Engine Rattles at Cold Start-Up – 2008-2013 Honda

February 25, 2017
05909 Version 5


Engine Rattles at Cold Start-Up

Supersedes 09-010, dated March 3, 2015, to revise the information highlighted in yellow.



Under DIAGNOSIS, the audio/movie file was added.



Year Model Trim VIN Range
2008–12 Accord ALL ALL
2013 CR-V 2WD 5J6RM3H…000001 thru 5J6RM3H…033075

2HKRM3H…000001 thru 2HKRM3H…513144

3CZRM3H…000001 thru 3CZRM3H…707736

2013 CR-V 4WD 5J6RM4H…000001 thru 5J6RM4H…067486

2HKRM4H…000001 thru 2HKRM4H…658914

2012 Crosstour 2WD ALL
2013 Crosstour 2WD 5J6TF3H…000001 thru 5J6TF3H…004260



At cold start-up, the engine rattles loudly for about 2 seconds.



The variable valve timing control (VTC) actuator is defective.



Replace the VTC actuator. This procedure does not require the complete removal of the cam chain and associated parts, so repair time is much shorter.



Tool Name Tool Number Quantity
Stopper (lock pin) 14511-PNA-003 1
Tappet Adjuster 07MAA-PR70110 1
Tappet Lockout Wrench 07MAA-PR70120 1



Part Name Part Number Quantity
Honda Bond HT 08718-0004 Engine Rattles at Cold Start-Up - 2008-2013 Honda 1 1/10th of a tube (One tube repairs 10 vehicles.)

NOTE: Material costs = 1/10th of the current net part price (must be entered under the “Materials” section of the claim form)



Part Name Part Number Quantity
VTC Actuator 14310-R5A-305 1



The normal warranty applies. NOTE: Different states have different warranty coverages 5/60K powertrain, 7/70k California emissions, and PZEV 15-150k. Use powertrain and emissions inquiry to confirm coverage.

Operation Number Description Flat Rate Time Defect Code Symptom Code Template ID Failed Part Number
1101Z9 Replace the VTC actuator. 2.0 hrs 03214 04216 09-010C 14310-R44-A01 Engine Rattles at Cold Start-Up - 2008-2013 Honda 1

Skill Level: Repair Technician



If viewing this service bulletin on SIS and your computer has sound, click on the picture below to hear a sample of the engine’s rattle.

  1. Allow the engine oil to drain from the VTC system by not starting the engine for at least 6 hours.
  2. Start the engine and immediately listen for a loud rattle.

On start-up, do you hear a loud engine rattle that lasts about 2 seconds?


NO  ̶  If you hear a different noise, continue with normal troubleshooting.

If you do not hear an abnormal noise, get more information from the customer and, if needed, continue with normal troubleshooting.



This procedure is in an outline form that you can also use as a checklist for the repair. If you need more details, refer to the service information for the following procedures:

  1. Remove the frame (strut) brace (if equipped).
  2. Remove the engine cover.
  3. Remove the ignition coil cover and the ignition coils.

ignition coils


  1. Remove the engine oil dipstick, then disconnect the breather hose and the brake booster vacuum hose from the cylinder head cover.

oil dipstick


  1. Remove the two bolts holding the EVAP canister purge valve bracket to the cylinder head.
  2. Remove the cylinder head cover.
  3. Raise the vehicle on a lift.
  4. Turn the front wheels or remove the right front wheel.
  5. Remove the splash shield to provide access to the crankshaft pulley.
  6. Remove the camshaft auto-tensioner (chain case) cover.
  7. Rotate the crankshaft clockwise to top dead center (TDC) No. 1 cylinder.
  8. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise to compress the auto-tensioner. Align the hole in the lock and auto-tensioner, then insert a 1.2 mm (0.05 in)-diameter stopper (lock pin).



  1. Rotate the crankshaft clockwise to TDC No. 1 cylinder.
  2. Lower the vehicle.
  3. Mark the timing chain at the punch marks on the exhaust camshaft sprocket and VTC actuator. Secure the chain to the sprocket with a wire tie.

camshaft sprocket


  1. Loosen the camshaft holder bolts, in sequence, two turns at a time.
  2. Remove the five camshaft holders. Set them aside on a clean surface in the exact order and position that they were removed from the cylinder head.
  3. Carefully tip up the end of the intake camshaft until there is enough slack for an assistant to lift the chain off the VTC actuator teeth.
  4. Remove the intake camshaft/VTC actuator assembly while the assistant keeps light tension on the chain. Place the camshaft/VTC actuator assembly on a clean, padded workbench.
  5. Secure the timing chain to the A/C compressor hose using a wire or zip tie to keep it from falling into the front cover.
  6. On the workbench, as an assistant holds the camshaft steady with an open-end wrench, remove the VTC actuator mounting bolt, then separate the VTC actuator from the camshaft. Discard the VTC actuator.

VTC actuator


  1. Before installing the new VTC actuator, make sure it is in the unlocked position.

VTC actuator


  1. Install the new, unlocked VTC actuator onto the camshaft; do not force it on.
  2. Once fitted, with the VTC actuator facing you, carefully rotate it counterclockwise until it engages the camshaft’s locator pin. When installed and rotated this way, the VTC actuator will not lock. Apply clean engine oil to the mounting bolt threads, then install the mounting bolt, finger tight.


  1. To unlock a locked VTC actuator, apply clean engine oil to the mounting bolt thread, then install the mounting bolt on the actuator, finger tight.
  2. Cover pressure port #1 on the camshaft with several layers of electrical tape. Secure the tape with a wire tie as shown.



  1. Apply compressed air to pressure port #2. While compressed air is being applied to pressure port #2, rotate the VTC actuator by hand to the unlock position.


VTC actuator


  1. Have an assistant hold the camshaft/VTC actuator assembly steady on the padded workbench with an open-end wrench. Use a torque wrench to torque the mounting bolt to 113 N·m (83 lb-ft).


VTC Actuator


NOTE: Be careful not to scratch or damage the camshaft. Also, do not use an impact wrench to tighten the mounting bolt; it will cause internal damage to the VTC actuator housing, vanes, or lockpin.

  1. After the mounting bolt is torqued, rotate the VTC actuator to the locked position.
  2. Remove the wire ties as an assistant keeps light tension on the chain.
  3. Slide the camshaft/VTC actuator in at an angle so that the chain can slip over the actuator’s teeth.
  4. Line up the marks you made on the chain with the punch marks on the exhaust camshaft sprocket and VTC actuator.

camshaft sprocket


  1. Apply engine oil to the journals and caps for both camshafts. Lower the camshaft/VTC actuator assembly onto its journals.
  2. Install the camshaft holders. Tighten them two turns at a time, starting in the middle and working your way outward, following the numbered sequence.

camshaft holders


  1. Remove the lock pin from the auto-tensioner.
  2. Rotate the crankshaft in the direction of engine rotation (clockwise) two full turns, then stop at the TDC mark. Make sure both camshafts line up as shown in step 15.

TDC mark


  1. Inside the cylinder block, visually confirm that the timing chain is properly riding on its guide, and has not slipped behind the guide in the block. If so, realign the chain as needed.
  2. Remove the old sealant, dry, reseal, then reinstall the auto-tensioner (chain case) cover.

NOTE: Wait 30 minutes before adding oil, (if needed), then wait 3 hours before starting the engine.

chain case cover


  1. Check the valve clearance using a tappet adjuster. Adjust if needed.

Intake: 0.21 – 0.25 mm (0.008 – 0.010 in)

Exhaust: 0.25 – 0.29 mm (0.010 – 0.011 in)

  1. Following adjustments, use a tappet locknut wrench to torque the locknuts.

Intake and Exhaust: 14 N·m (10 lb-ft)

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2. Reinstall the splash shield.
  3. Straighten the wheels or reinstall the right front wheel (if removed).
  4. Lower the vehicle.
  5. Check the sparkplug seals for damage. If any seals are damaged, replace them. NOTE: Check the head cover gasket. Replace if needed.
  6. Install the head cover gasket in the groove.
  7. Remove the entire liquid gasket from the chain case and the No. 5 rocker shaft holder.
  8. Clean the head cover contacting surfaces with a clean shop towel.
  9. Reinstall the cylinder head cover, tightening the bolts in three steps. In the final step, torque all bolts in sequence to 12 N·m (8.7 lb-ft).

cylinder head cover


  1. Reinstall the EVAP canister purge valve bracket.
  2. Reinstall the engine oil dipstick and reconnect the breather hose and the brake booster vacuum hose.

oil dipstick


  1. Reinstall the ignition coils and the ignition coil cover.

ignition coils


  1. Reinstall the engine cover.
  2. Reinstall the frame (strut) brace (if equipped). Torque the bolts to 22 N·m (16 lb-ft).



February 25, 2017
05909 Version 5



Download (PDF, 1.04MB)

March 17, 2016
01607 Version 4



Download (PDF, 779KB)

March 15, 2016
01607 Version 3



Download (PDF, 784KB)

September 24, 2014



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Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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