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The common 'rattle' problem with Honda Accords

Gray Honda Accord parked in a driveway.

(Photo: Flickr/Jon Mick)

The common 'rattle' problem with Honda Accords

October 22, 2012

Q: My 2008 Honda Accord makes a rattling noise when I start the engine. The noise last for 2 or 3 seconds, and it only does it in the morning or after the car has been sitting a while.

A: This is a common problem acknowledged by Honda, and the noise you hear is a faulty Variable Valve Timing actuator, which is a part inside the engine. It sits on the camshaft and varies the timing of the engine to obtain perfect performance and fuel economy.

This part has a defect internally where it starts becoming loose internally. When you leave the vehicle overnight it drains the oil out of it, so when you start the car without the oil in there, the loose parts inside will rattle until it fills with oil and then goes away. Replacing the actuator with a new redesigned unit from Honda will correct the issue and will prevent future recurrence.

This problem should be covered by your powertrain warranty, which is 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. If your vehicle has less than 60,000 miles I would schedule an appointment with your local Honda dealership as soon as possible to have it repaired at no cost to you.

This repair will take 2-3 hours, however they will need to verify the noise by hearing it, which will mean they will have to leave the vehicle not running for at least 6 hours, so I suggest you drop off the car before they close and leave it overnight at the dealership so they can hear the noise in the morning. This is standard procedure for any warranty job that they have to verify the problem before fixing it.

-- Answer from Ahmed Ibraheem, master auto technician on JustAnswer.

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