Crv Transmission

The Honda CRV is one of the most popular compact crossovers SUVs from the Japanese automaker. Hitting the market in 1995, the Honda CRV is a mid-range utility vehicle, slotted between the smaller Honda HRV and the larger North American marketed Honda Pilot. But despite the popularity of this versatile vehicle, do Honda CRV have transmission problems?

In this article, we will explore all of the transmission problems that may pose as a concern for your Honda CRV, some signs and symptoms of these issues, ways to troubleshoot them, and how to get the most mileage out of your Honda CRV.

All About Your Honda CRV Transmission

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Your Honda CRV’s job is to ensure that the right amount of power is getting to your vehicle’s wheels to drive at a given speed. Your SUV’s transmission works by shifting gears much like a multi-speed bicycle. On a bike, if the chain is off, it won’t go, and if the chain is in too high a gear, you’ll have a tough time getting started from a complete stop. This same principle applies to your CRV’s transmission. If you don’t keep it well maintained, your car won’t get great fuel efficiency or may not even be able to drive at all.

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There are two main types of transmissions cars have, including manual and automatic.

A manual transmission is basically a more powerful version of a pedal bike’s gear shifter. Even though your car does not have a chain like a bicycle, its engine and transmission have to be temporarily disconnected just like a bike chain is temporarily lifted off of its gears when you shift down or up. When you push the clutch pedal in your car, it will disconnect the engine and the transmission. When you shift into a different gear, it has the same effect as moving the bicycle chain and will move your vehicle into a new gear. Once you’re in a new gear, you can slowly release the clutch pedal and continue to drive.

An automatic transmission is basically an automatic gear shifter. Instead of manually shifting the gears by pushing down on the clutch with your foot, an automatic transmission will do all of the work for you.

Now that you better understand how your Honda CRV’s transmission works, let’s explore the potential problems that might plague your small SUV.

Potential Honda CRV Transmission Problems

Are you thinking about buying a Honda CRV or already own one? There are a few serious Honda CRV transmission issues that you should be aware of.

According to an article published by Consumer Reports Magazine, some Honda CRVs can leak gasoline into the vehicle’s engine oil. This can eventually lead to your SUV’s engine losing power or completely stalling.

Another issue that Honda CRV owners have reported is a strong odor of unburned gasoline as the result of fuel getting into the car engine’s lubricating oil.

These issues have occurred in 2017 and 2018 Honda CRVs that are equipped with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces up to 190 horsepower. For some reason, gas is leaking into the vehicle’s lubricating oil, which should not normally happen. This dilutes the engine oil and makes it less efficient at lubricating the engine. Over time, this defect can lead to serious engine damage, stalling, and loss of power, especially in heavy traffic or in super frigid temperatures.

The automaker has reported that this issue has happened mostly in northern parts of the United States during short drives in extremely cold weather. However, there have been reports of the problem occurring as far south as New Mexico and Texas.

And this is only the beginning. Back in 2010, Honda had to recall 1.5 million vehicles across the United States and another one-million Honda CRVs in China and Canada due to automatic transmission problems.

The 2010 recall was one of the largest made by the Japanese automaker ever, and was the equivalent in size to 70% of the 3.5 million vehicles they sold that year.

Drivers reported that the Honda CRV’s secondary shaft broke while they were quickly shifting between drive and reverse modes. The Honda CRV automatic transmission issue could have caused a misalignment of the gear shaft, causing the vehicle to make weird noises or stalling its engine.

Additionally, in 2015, Honda was hit with a class action lawsuit that alleged the automaker’s 2015 CRV suffered from a defect that caused violent vibrating and rattling. This issue was only found in that model year because of the new continuously variable transmission (CVT) and direct-injection “Earth Dreams” engine that Honda installed into its 2015 CRV SUVs. According to the lawsuit, the new features, combined with some other engineering changes, caused the vehicles to excessively vibrate while in the idle mode.

Honda CRV SUVs made in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 with 133,710 miles on the odometer have been reported to suffer from a transmission issue that includes a harsh shift from first gear into second gear. If flushing the transmission with Honda ATF-Z1 and replacing the linear solenoid does not fix the problem, owner will need a transmission overhaul or replacement.

Other common problems with Honda CRV transmissions may include:

  • A lack of response
  • Leaking or low fluid
  • Clunking, humming, or whining noises
  • Refusal to go into gear
  • Torque converter problems
  • Valve body problems
  • A noisy transmission while in neutral
  • Not shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear
  • Not properly shifting from 3rd gear to 4th gear
  • Not reversing properly
  • A dragging clutch
  • Trouble codes
  • Your check engine light is on

Top Three Honda CRV Problems

In addition to Honda CRV transmission issues, here are the top problems found in these vehicles:

  • Unwanted Acceleration: This issue is predominantly found in 2011 CRV models with 16,000 miles racked up on the odometer. The average cost to fix this issue is $5,000.
  • Excessive Oil Consumption: This problem was widely reported on 2010 Honda CRVs with 80,000 miles. The average price to fix it was $2,500.
  • Air Conditioner Stopped Working: Found in 2002 Honda CRVs with over 110,000 miles on the odometer, this issue costs $1,700 on average to fix.

When it comes to model years, the 2015 Honda CRV has the most overall complaints, closely followed by the 2014 CRV and the 2012 Honda CRV.

If your Honda CVR is experiencing any of the aforementioned problems, it is best to take it to your local certified Honda mechanic right away. While the AC problem is just a nuisance, the other two issues can be extremely dangerous.

Honda CRV Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

If you have a new Honda CRV that is experiencing transmission problems, your vehicle may be covered under warranty. The limited warranty covers your vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles while the powertrain warranty will cover your Honda CRV for five years or 60,000 miles.

Signs of Transmission Troubles

Here are some common signs and symptoms of transmission problems in your Honda CRV:

  • A Lack of Response: Your SUV may be suffering from a transmission issue if it does not change gears instantly.
  • Burning Smell: While a burning odor coming from your car may be caused by any number of things, it’s most commonly associated with overheated transmission fluid.
  • Grinding Gears: This transmission symptom can manifest differently in manual and automatic CRVs. In manual transmissions, you will notice grinding when you go to change gears. For automatic transmissions, you’ll notice a rough shift.
Crv Transmission
  • Noisy in Neutral: If you notice your Honda CRV feels bumpy when it’s in neutral, take it to a certified Honda mechanic to be properly diagnosed.
  • Illuminated Dashboard Lights: If your service engine light is on, you may have a transmission problem.

Can I Drive My Honda CRV with a Transmission Problem?

If your Honda CRV can still drive down the highway, you may think that it is perfectly fine to drive your CRV until you get its faulty transmission fixed. However, this isn’t a good, or safe, idea. Your transmission includes a lot of (and very expensive) moving parts. If something isn’t right with your transmission and you continue to drive your Honda CRV, it could lead to very pricey problems down the road.

How Often Should I Replace My Honda CRV Transmission?

The lifespan of your vehicle’s transmission largely depends upon how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws, such as the ones we already mentioned, also play a role, along with how and how hard you drive your Honda CRV. On average, a Honda CRV transmission can last between 130,000 and 180,000 miles.

How is a Honda CRV Transmission Problem Diagnosed?

You can never really get to the root of your Honda CRV transmission problem without the right tools and training. If you think your CRV is suffering from a transmission issue, take it to a certified Honda mechanic right away. They can hook your CRV to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) are affecting your vehicle. Once they know exactly what to look for, they can then perform a thorough visual inspection and then remediate the problem.

How is a Honda CRV Transmission Repaired or Replaced?

In order for the mechanic to replace your Honda CRV’s transmission, the vehicle has to be lifted up off of the ground in order for them to get access to all of the parts that need to be unbolted. After this, the transmission can then be lowered to the ground with a transmission jack to be repaired or for a new one to be installed.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Honda CRV Transmission Repaired or Replaced?

Your transmission is one of the most expensive repairs or replacements to be done by a mechanic. The average cost to replace a transmission will range from $1,800 to $3,400.

A used or salvaged transmission can cost you between $800 to $1,500, while a transmission rebuild will cost between $1,100 to $2,800.

And that’s just for the parts. The labor costs to remove and replace a transmission typically ranges from $500 to $1,200 for four to 10 hours worth of work.

How Can I Solve My Honda CRV Transmission Troubles?

There are three ways to solve your Honda CRV transmission problems, including:

  • Buy a Used Honda CRV Transmission: The quickest, and simplest, way to fix your Honda CRV’s transmission troubles is to buy a used transmission. You can find used ones at most junkyards, and they typically come with a 30- to 90-day warranty.
  • Purchase a Rebuilt Honda CRV Transmission: Another option is to buy a rebuilt Honda CRV transmission. If you take your vehicle to a local repair shop, the mechanic will remove your transmission and then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild.
  • Buy a Remanufactured Honda CRV Transmission: The third option is to invest in a remanufactured Honda CRV transmission.

Sell Your Honda CRV to Us!

If your Honda CRV has transmission troubles and you simply don’t want to dish out the dough in order to fix it, consider selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer. We buy all cars in any type of condition. Even if your car doesn’t run, or you’ve lost the key or title, we’ll still buy your car from you!

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Final Thoughts

Honda CRVs are notorious from suffering from transmission problems. If you think your Honda CRV has a transmission issue, take it into a certified mechanic right away. If you don’t, it could lead to bigger (and costlier) issues down the road. It can also be unsafe to drive a car with transmission troubles. If you don’t want to pay the cost of a transmission replacement, consider selling your car to Cash Cars Buyers for up to $500 on the spot.

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  • March 30: Honda Fuel Pump Recall Affects 708,000 Vehiclesrecalls 16 days ago
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  • March 4: Honda Civic Class Action Lawsuit Dismissednews 42 days ago
  • February 23: Honda CR-V Class Action Lawsuit Dismissednews 51 days ago
  • February 10: Honda Battery Problems Cause Accord and CR-V Lawsuitnews 64 days ago

2005 Honda CR-V

Typical Repair Cost:
$2,610
Average Mileage:
123,150 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace or repair (11 reports)
  2. replace torque converter (1 reports)
  3. was fixed by honda dealership, no problems (1 reports)

transmission problem

2015 Honda Crv Transmission Slipping

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2005 Honda CR-V Owner Comments

problem #13

CR-V

  • CVT transmission
  • 220,000 miles

Transmission failed and cost me $3k to get it fixed. It was a burden and a crappy problem, but I love my CRV.

- hopicoyote, Seattle, US

problem #12

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Lots of issues with car, shows AVS light, makes humming noise

2014 honda crv transmission issues

- Manish S., Watertown, MA, US

problem #11

CR-V ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

This CRV's transmission died yesterday while I was on the road. Only 133,000 miles. First the chain, then the AC, and not the transmission. UGH. Don't know if I'll fix it or not.

- sshears, Arbovale, WV, US

problem #10

Cr-v Transmission Reliability

CR-V EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The transmission failed. My wife was stranded on the road on a cold evening. After the diagnosis, we had no choice but to sell the car completely instead of fixing as the cost of the fix is the near value of the car and the car was 10 yrs old plus 160000 miles.

- bauermd, Rockville, MD, US

problem #9

CR-V LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,242 miles

I was a loyal Honda user and all members of my family drive Hondas. However this CR-V experienced massive transmission problems without warning. At a busy intersection I suddenly found that I could not engage my CR-V in any gear. I started pushing it out of the intersection, and fortunately some others got out of their car and helped me push it into a nearby parking lot. Fortunately police came on the scene and helped direct traffic around us as we pushed. The car was then towed to a Honda dealer that I used for all my repairs and services. They found the problem. The transmission had to be replaced at a cost of $4388.91 and it was no longer under any warranty. I believe I had no other choice but to get a replacement transmission. The new transmission does not work as well as the old one.. Hummmm. Not happy.

- Walter D., Peachtree Corners, GA, US

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problem #8

CR-V LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

The car doesn't have that many miles for a Honda. This is my third Honda and I didn't expect this kind of problem with such low miles.

- calalily301, North Canton, OH, US

Transmission Problems With Honda Crv

problem #7

CR-V LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

2005 Honda CRV transmission blew out at only 84,000 miles. I trusted Honda with their cars but now I do not. This is a expensive repair. Car was slipping before and then the transmission completely blew out. Contacted Honda and told me to take the car for a diagnostic and then they will see what they can do.

- Jay G., Monmouth Junction, NJ, US

problem #6

CR-V EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

Let me start by saying I was once the biggest supporter/fan/lover of Honda's..all Honda's! I had owned 3 Accord's 92, 96, and 99 which I never had any major problems with just the normal wear and tear scenarios and the normal power window issues. I absolutely loved them all..including the 1992 Accord that was still running beautifully when I sold it in 2010.

It was this Honda love haze that had me thinking about purchasing a CRV because I was expecting. This processed was rushed along when my 99 Accord was totaled in an accident..hind sight being what it is I should have kept it and found someone to fix it..but I thought well here is my opportunity to try out the CRV..UGH is all I have to say!!!

It started with a noise during acceleration. Thanks to my job I have access to tons of mechanics and I took the car over to a shop as one of my co-workers suggested. A short test drive later I could tell by the look on their faces that this was not going to be good and it wasn't. I was told to immediately take the car to either the dealer (uh..not in my budget) or to one of the two transmission repair places nearby..off I go and the next day find out that yes in fact there is a noise coming from the transmission and that the pump located inside the transmission had failed causing all sorts of metal grindings to get into the system which ultimately boiled down to the entire transmission having to be rebuilt.

Thankfully for me the guys took pity on me and only charged me their cost for parts (the pump itself was nearly $500 alone) and minimal labor charges..I think I was more than lucky to only have to pay $1588 for the work that had to be done, but I never would have thought a Honda..especially one under 10 years old would ever fail that way. Even the guys were surprised as we all seem to hold Honda to a higher standard. This seems to be an industry wide standard as well because there was more than a little trouble finding parts..no used parts (guess because I got the lemon)..parts had to b special ordered..or were on back order. What happened Honda? This may have just ended my love affair with the brand and has me considering trading in for another vehicle. A sad sad day! :(

- mslili, Greensboro, NC, US

problem #5

CR-V SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,200 miles

Honda denies it has a problem with the transmission on a number of vehicles, but any check of the Internet shows problems are widespread. Since 1978 I have owned 5 Honda Civics and the 2005 CRV, and have had great luck with them until this issue arose. Toyota had all sorts of issues, but at least they had the integrity to stand behind their product. I am very disappointed in Honda, and inclined to never again buy a Honda product! The final insult are the egregious prices Honda charges for its service, spitting in the face of their best customers! Go figure!

- piasa 62, Rockford, IL, US

problem #4

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I am pissed off at Honda..my 2005 CR-V has blown a transmission on my way to work. I had it towed to a Transmission place to get fixed because it is not under warranty and I would have paid alot more if I took it to the dealer. The car just turned 60,000 miles which is what has me so mad and the fact that I spent $300 at the dealer to do their overall maintenance of the entire car 11 months ago. Did they do something or not do something? I am sick over this. Now it will cost me approx $2800 to get a rebuilt one put in..money which I do not have. Thanks Honda for NOTHING!!!!!

I will never buy a Honda again.

- mel353, Peckville, PA, US

problem #3

CR-V EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,574 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On July 23, 2005 I purchased a new 2005 Honda CRV. I chose Honda for several reasons; top reason being Honda’s reputation for building a reliable car. I planned to take good care of my Honda in exchange for driving this car well into my retirement years. I was going to drive this car until it wouldn’t drive any further.

On August 8, 2010 I was driving when my car just died. We had the car towed to the nearest Honda Dealership in Elizabeth City, NC. Imagine my surprise when I was told I needed a new transmission on a car that was 5 years old and 135,000 miles! That’s not a reliable car!

Over the years (I’m 54) I have driven some real clunkers. In fact, in my entire life I have only “treated myself” to a brand new car twice – the 2nd time being my Honda. In all of my 38 years of driving cars NOT ONCE did I ever have to replace the transmission. I don’t even know anyone who had to replace a transmission on any make or model. The most expensive car repair I ever made was to a 6 year old Ford Tempo that had a fuel pump problem. In fact, 6 months later there was a recall on the fuel pumps.

If having to replace the transmission on my 5 year old car wasn’t surprise enough, PAYING for the repairs was another surprise. Hall Honda in Elizabeth City quoted us a price of $3,846.25. I called Pearson Honda in Richmond, VA (where I purchased the car) and they quoted a price of $3,103.51. That is a $740 dollar difference! Same car part; more money. Talk about making a bad situation even worse! I had to take this matter to the top! After speaking with David Jones at Hall Honda, they did lower the cost of the transmission replacement to $3,248.11. Did this make me happy? Replacing a transmission on a car that’s 5 years old will never make me happy!

I recently received some correspondence from Hall Honda.. “Your satisfaction is our #1 priority!” I’m not satisfied that I had to replace the transmission on a car that is 5 years old nor am I satisfied that two different Honda Service Department’s would charge vastly different amounts.

In closing, I wish to advise that The Haynes Household will not be purchasing a Honda in the future. I plan to drive my 2005 Honda CRV into the ground (again!) before deciding on my next car purchase. I can, however, eliminate Honda from my selection process.

- cwhaynes, Edenton, NC, US

problem #2

CR-V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,401 miles

My 2005 Honda CRV is the first foreign car that I have owned. I bought it new figuring that I would get 10 years out of it. I just recently hit 100K miles. Tuesday, my transmission went. Replaced Solenoid A with no success. Transmission is history - I'm told $3k to repair. Merry Christmas.

Update from Dec 16, 2010: I called Honda’s 800 service number. They told me there are no recalls or complaints for CRV transmissions. They suggested that I have my car towed to a dealership to be diagnosed and then have the service manager call them. I had the car towed to Commonwealth Motors on Friday, December 3. Commonwealth confirmed that the transmission was gone and worked with their regional rep to get me some recovery for the costs. It was fixed in a week. I am VERY happy with the service and PRICE for the repair. LOVE my Honda again!

- deborahharper, Georgetown, MA, US

problem #1

CR-V LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Back in 2005 I traded in my Honda Civic that had 220,000 miles on it for a Honda CRV. My profession requires I travel quite a bit. After 4 yrs and 125,000 miles my transmission died. Not worth the fix. it would have costly $3,000 repair or buy new. i bought new. went with toyota.

- kenca, Fresno, CA, US