2013 Honda CRV Timing chain and VTC Actuator replacement


Asked by GuruLDRXX Mar 22, 2019 at 01:42 AM about the 2013 Honda CR-V

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2013 Honda CRV just crossed 60,000 miles, started with engine rattling
noise during cold start, and now got the check engine, steering and traction
lights turned ON on the dashboard. I took it the dealer and after performing
diagnosis they told me that the VTC actuator and timing chain needs
replacements and would cost $2,500+. I came to know that it was due to
manufacturing defect on the faulty VTC actuator as mentioned in Technical
Service Bulletin 16-012. This VTC actuator problem contribute to high oil
consumption as mentioned in this link: https://www.julieannacline.com/engine-
rattles-on-cold-startup-tsb-09-010/ . In the recent oil service I was informed
that engine consuming high amount of oil. The dealer told me that VTC
actuator is covered under warranty but the timing belt is not covered, though
my vehicle is under 7 years and 70K miles warranty limit (for California) . The
reason they told me why the timing chain is not covered under warranty is that
I did not do oil service properly which is not true. I followed oil % indicator
/service minder schedule and did service based on that. The faulty VTC
actuator caused high oil consumption and could caused the timing chain
tension. I contacted American Honda, but found that it was waste of time. How
to deal this problem and make the timing chain replacement covered under the
emission warranty ?

8 Answers


You will probably not have any luck getting Honda to stand behind this even though it is a known defect. I had the exact same thing happen with our 2013 CRV at 63,000 miles. American Honda yanked me around for days "evaluating" our request for warranty coverage while the car sat at the dealership and gave us a similar excuse to not cover it - claiming that since we did not have the oil changes done at the dealership that must have somehow been the problem. We had the VTC and timing chain repair done at the dealership and now at 96,000 miles it is doing exactly the same thing it did at 63,000. Started out with the engine rattle at start up and progressed to dash lights randomly coming on so it will be going back to the dealership.

7 people found this helpful.

Same problem here. Just had the timing chain changed but am still having the noise at start up. I even had the vtc changed when I bought it, it was a recall on it then. Wonder if having the vtc changed out again would help?

2 people found this helpful.

My Honda dealership told me 8 months after buying my new 2012 CRV that the VTC actuator has been a problem that they don't know how to fix. Funny, they didn't tell me this when I bought it. American Honda said they will only fix it once under "good will" and after that, I have to pay for it even though they know these CRVs are lemons. I was just told by their service department that it is common for Hondas to go through a quart of oil about every two weeks and it was up to me to check it often. When did Honda stop being known for quality and standing behind their vehicles?

2 people found this helpful.

Brought mine to dealership Feb 2017 and they couldn’t find the problem while trying to say it was the cold MI winter. I knew the warranty would be out soon so I had him confirm that when the problem was found, it would still be under warranty. Brought it back yesterday and sure enough, it was the vtc. She tried to say it wasn’t under warranty and the previous person is no longer there. I told her that I’d bring her the previous paperwork since I have it on file. She didn’t call back as she said; she simply fixed it under warranty. Not sure how they didn’t know the problem 2 yrs ago since it’s obviously common.

2 people found this helpful.

I have the same issue. Replaced it once while under warranty after 4 years of owning it (2 years ago). It’s doing it again. The dealership won’t fix it since “it’s a design flaw” and will do it again. So my riddle is this, if I turn in this vehicle to Honda and buy another (which I doubt I’ll do after owning 4 Honda’s, I’m thinking a Hyundai Tucson sounds good right now) my bet is they would fix this car cause no one would buy it with this horrible noise coming out of the front end when u start it on a cold day ( which in Minnesota is half the year).

1 people found this helpful.

Might be best to to trade it in, the problem will likely keep coming back. We traded our CRV in on an Outback but the Tuscon was a contender. After two rounds of VTC actuator problems it was time to just cut the losses and move on. We gave American Honda two chances to step up and correct the problem. First time they said we caused the problem, "must not have changed oil" which was documented as not the case. Second time they said it was 'in spec" even though it sounded like the engine was exploding on start up. Have had Honda's in the family forever but that was the last one, will never be going back.

2 people found this helpful.

Same problem here. I have a 2014 Honda CRV. I bought it brand new in April 2014. Made the noise on cold starts and had to replace the VTC Actuator in January 2015 at 20,336 miles. Same thing in April 2016 at 50,509 miles, replaced a 2nd time. It started making the noise again a couple of years ago, probably in 2018 around 90,00 miles. I ignored it until now. I now have 140,568, May 2020. The noise was happening for warm starts. My third replacement. I was going through 3 quarts of oil every oil change. Also lacked power. Nice to have a new VTC Actuator, no noise and more power. Hopefully oil consumption drops. I called American Honda and the excuse I received was because I had already paid for it there was nothing they could do. GREAT!

3 people found this helpful.

Same exact problem I had with my 2013 Honda CRV. Just under 60,000 and the 7 year warranty (in California) was coming up. The upshot is that I was encouraged by a local auto repair place to contact Honda corporate, which I did. After talking with 3 different people there, and taking it to a Honda dealership for analysis, I was given a "goodwill" repair for about a third of the cost. It helped that I have been a loyal Honda owner since 1996. This restored my faith in Honda, and the kindness of strangers. Huge relief!

1 people found this helpful.

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