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  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 

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



Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [1.04 MB]

March 17, 2016
01607 Version 4



Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [778.97 KB]

March 15, 2016
01607 Version 3



Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [784.20 KB]

September 24, 2014



Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab



Bestseller No. 1
Castrol 03124 EDGE 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • 42 percent better rating on fighting power robbing deposits
  • Superior engine protection vs conventional and synthetic blend oils
  • Superior performance against deposits, wear and oxidation; Bottle Color: Black
  • Meets the needs of Honda, Toyota, Acura, Lexus and other vehicles where 0W-20 grade is recommended
Bestseller No. 2
Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, Green , 5 Quart
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • -Dramatically reduce engine wear
  • -Leave critical engine parts 4X smoother* * As tested in the industry Sequence IVA wear test
  • -Superior wear protection on critical engine parts
  • -Unsurpassed level of protection against viscosity breakdown
Bestseller No. 3
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil, SN Plus, 0W-20, 1 Quart, 6 Pack
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Formulated for longer drain intervals
  • Helps prevent build up that can cause rust and corrosion
  • Reduces friction for less engine wear
  • High resistance to viscosity and thermal breakdown
Bestseller No. 4
Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil 5 QT
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Excellent engine cleanliness through superior sludge and varnish protection
  • Outstanding high-temperature protection under severe driving conditions and superior cold-temperature protection through faster oil flow at start-up
  • Helps maintain fuel efficiency
  • Fully compatible with all conventional and leading synthetic motor oils
Bestseller No. 5
Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SAE, SN) 0W-20, 5 Quart - Pack of 1
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Provides better protection from friction
  • Helps protect engines from loss of power
  • Provides Faster low temperature oil flow and protects in extreme heat
  • Keeps pistons cleaner
Bestseller No. 6
Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage with MaxLife Technology SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil 5 QT
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Premium, full synthetic base oil for the best protection against engine heat and stress
  • Seal conditioners rejuvenate aging engine seals to help stop and prevent oil leaks
  • Extra wear protection helps prevent future engine wear
  • Extra detergents keep older engines cleaner by bonding with and removing sludge and deposits
Bestseller No. 8
Idemitsu Full Synthetic 0W-20 Engine Oil SN/GF-5 - 5 Quart
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • 5 quart container of full synthetic 0W-20 engine oil - API SN, ILSAC GF-5
  • Maximizes fuel economy by combining synthetic base oils with advanced friction modifying additive technologies
  • Provides outstanding protection against engine wear while minimizing formation of deposits, even under extreme conditions
  • Engineered for high piston cleanliness which means less oil burn-off and reduced emissions
Bestseller No. 9
Royal Purple 51020 API-Licensed SAE 0W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil - 5 qt.
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Bestseller No. 10

Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7 thoughts on “Engine Rattles at Cold Start-Up – 2008-2013 Honda

  1. I’m having the same issue with my 2010 Honda Accord. A service rep told me a few years back that I didn’t have to replace the actuator, Honda was aware of the issue and it wouldn’t cause any long term issues. Does that sound right?

    Is it really over a $1,000 to replace the Actuator?

  2. I am The Honda Specialist in Fort Worth Texas. I would like to know if this satisfactorily repaired your Honda and how many miles have you driven since. I have gotten a lot of these and would like to help future customers.

  3. If your Honda is out of warranty, and has less than 100k miles on it, and you’re having this issue with it, 1.) Take it to your dealer and have them document the issue, 2.) Bring it to the attention of the Service Manager and ask he/she if they’d be willing to ask their Honda Rep. for warranty help in this matter, 3.) If not, then call American Honda and politely ask to speak with “Goodwill warranty department”. Every auto manufacturer has one, but they don’t tell you that. 4.) Tell Honda Goodwill Dept. everything you did to try and get help to resolve the issue (they may ask for receipts), and tell them your vehicle has less than 100k miles on it, and that you are seeking any type of goodwill help that they can offer you.

    My 1st CR-V, a 2001 that I bought new, developed the dreaded receding exhaust valve seats issue that the ’99 to ’01’s had. The car had 55k miles on it when the issues began…Long story long, I paid out-of-pocket for 2 valve adjustments over time, because they wouldn’t pay for that, even though American Honda did keep the case open during that time period. At 93k, it was showing signs once again that it needed yet another valve adjustment, but I was told by the dealer that no further adjustments could be made, and the cylinder head would need to be replaced…at a cost of over $3,000!! Luckily, the service manager knew me for several years, since I always used their services with my previous Honda whenever I couldn’t handle doing repairs myself. (It didn’t hurt that I almost went into that field as well, so I’m pretty knowledgeable, and he knew that.) He called in their regional Honda Rep/Manager who met with me, and they called American Honda for approval, and they offered me some goodwill help. They paid for all labor, and I had to just pay for parts.

    At 93k miles, it was almost ready for a timing belt/water pump replacement, so they included that in the labor, since the front timing cover had to come off anyway. All-in-all, I paid only $837! Verses $3800 I would’ve had to shell out had I not gotten the goodwill help!

    One last thing… If your service manager refuses to help you acquire goodwill help from American Honda, (1st be sure to call them anyway to open a claim case…they’ll give you a case #), then go to another dealership. Try to find one that has won the “Honda President’s Award”. They are usually a better quality dealership, and want to win your patronage.

  4. If this is a common issue for this range of hondas, why not just cover the replacement? I was just given a dealership quote for this issue of $2400.00. I feel like this is twice as much as it should cost, if anything at all. I love my 2009 Honda Accord with 102,000 miles and was hoping to pass it on to my kids as a first car. But that cost is extremely high for a fix that Ibam reading shouldn’t be more than 700 to 800 at most. The dealer said the parts were 1500 alone. I am just floored, especially since this is an issue for a large number of Hondas.
    May have to look at a different brand.

  5. I fixed this problem by switching to High Mileage 5W-20 oil, and using Lucas High Mileage Oil Additive with each oil change. Check oil level monthly. This is not the manufacturer’s recommended OEM repair, but it’s $1,200 cheaper than replacing the actuator.

  6. From what I am reading this is a known issue of these engines with Honda. If the VTC actuator has been replaced and it happens a second time within 15,000 miles, what is Honda’s stance? I have a 2014 Crosstour, original owner, less than 50,000 miles, VCT replaces once and problem is back. Local Honda store is not wanting to cover repair costs. Thanks for any advice or recommendations.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.