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2001 Honda CR-V
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It may be time for a third vehicle in our family - Thunderhorse is in for repairs again, and once they're done, he should be good for a while, but I'd like something of a bit more recent vintage for my daily commute. I'm looking at a 2011 CR-V at Carmax. It's got 84,000 miles on it. I've bought from Carmax before and always been happy with the vehicles, but thought I'd ask here if there are any particular issues I should ask about when I go in. Thanks!
 

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I've listed the many common issues with both of our '09s here. It has been interesting owning two of the same vehicle--they have about the same mileage, and were built only a couple of weeks apart (about 7,500 apart on the serial number, 191,000 manufactured). Note that the 2010-2011 were after a mid-cycle refresh. The engine and other components may had minor revisions during that time, so these may or may not apply in all cases.

Here are common problems we've had with both (verified by others here with the same issues):

  • The AC compressor's electric clutch will go bad at some point. $1200+ on both for new compressors (figured I would start fresh with new ones since the cost was minimal).
  • Starters will go bad. One of ours died completely. The other just cranked slower over time, to where it would barely crank in cold weather on a fully charged battery with a booster attached.
  • The evaporative control solenoid will throw an error--if you get the "check fuel cap" message repeatedly, that's your culprit.
  • The struts will go bad. Either the hardware will start rattling up front, or they will start leaking. Oddly, mine had a leaky left rear strut--our other '09 had a slight leak on the same one, and others here in the forum did as well. (Learned the hard way--do not buy Monroes, but go with KYBs.)
  • Rear brakes were fussy about hardware--my rear caliper wore through its pad suddenly on a weekend trip, due to the caliper's stainless hardware corroding (which is only around $10 in parts for both sides). Since then, I've replaced rear pads and hardware on both.
  • If it's an EX-L (with leather), be aware the door and seat armrests are of poor quality and can start peeling.
  • Note that third gens have had a recall in Canada for structural rust (in the rear, where the trailing arm attaches to the chassis)--if the rust is bad enough, Honda repurchases the vehicle. No recall in the US as of yet, but there have already been failures reported in the forum. If you live in a colder area with a lot of road salt, be aware this may be an issue later on. If not, don't worry about it. I'm already looking to replace one of ours since it has more rust than the other. Not taking a chance on anyone getting hurt. This is not repairable. If it's caught early enough, it can be treated.
You'll have the usual items wear out over time, but they are typical of any vehicle--bushings will harden, sway bar links will wear out, brake pads, fluids, etc..

Otherwise, they're comfortable to drive over long distances, not quite as roomy for hauling things as the first generation was, are anemic to drive in mountain areas (they can barely keep up with highway speeds), don't have the greatest gas mileage (I find mine to be very finicky regarding E-5 and E-10 vs. ethanol-free, where it gets its best mileage and performance), and the all-wheel drive system is the best I've had so far, cutting through several inches of snow like butter thanks to the VSA system. Ground clearance isn't off-road-ish, but still over 7 inches, and I had no issue going on rough unpaved roads in Utah. If I decide to keep mine, I am considering a 1.5" or 2" lift.

In other words, it's like any vehicle--it has its good and bad points, some we can live with, others we can't.
 
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2001 Honda CR-V
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Wildcat! That's an excellent list, and gives me some good things to check on and ask about.

I live in south Louisiana, so rust from salted roads isn't likely to be a concern. We're in the flatlands, so no concern with performance in mountain areas. We use the ethanol-free gas now. I might miss the hauling space from my 1st gen, it sounds like. I can cram a lot of stuff in that little car!
 

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2009 CRV
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I have only had my 09 for maybe 6 months or so. With that said I always refer to the knowledgeable members such as Wildcat as the ultimate in authority on such matters but will say what I have experienced.

Bought my CRV with a tick over 60k and it now sits at 70k.
  • My rear trunk struts were shot - bought them online and replaced myself
  • All exterior window door seals were tearing or coming apart - picked up all 4 new ones off amazon and replaced them myself for under $75
  • While I do not believe Hondas are known for bad wheel bearings I have replaced a total of 3, vehicle rides very very quietly now even with pretty cheap tires. The CRV did not seem to be re centering well, had it aligned 2x, turns out when the front wheel bearing was replaced issue went away
  • Brake pedal was rock hard in the morning, brake booster was replaced and fixed the issue.
  • Replaced both electric radiator fans as the motors were shot $45-50 Ea
  • Replaced all Wiper blades with decent bosch blades
  • Replaced spark plugs attempting to fix a light ping under high load at high RPM, so far it still exist so on to the next
I have also flushed the power steering fluid, changed all filters and drained/refilled transmission fluid. Mechanics who replaced the wheel bearings and brake booster said everything else is in really great shape. He was at a bit of a loss as to why I had 3/4 wheel bearings go bad but I am happy its handled now.
 

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Check the parking sensors. They only last a few years in my experience. So I have kept them off once they start reporting errors, fake obstacles.
 

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One other thing--the exhaust systems in both of our '09s are starting to get a bit old. On the blue '09, the flange between the muffler and the resonator pipe broke. I put on a repair flange for now, and a new gasket donut, but it's still noisier than mine. This '09 has more rust on the underside, so this is not a surprise.

My '09 is starting to get what sounds like an internal baffle starting to rattle inside the muffler, or maybe it's elsewhere. It's too cold to get underneath and hunt it down right now. It's kind of a muffled rattle though, which could be anything under there. It's not the heat shields around the cat--those are already crunched down with long hose clamps.

So it looks like I might have to install two expensive OEM exhausts this spring. Aftermarket systems are not as quiet and are made poorly, in my experience.

At least the exhaust systems are stock. The idiot previous owner of the kiddo's Accord had all of the flanges removed and the system welded together...even the catalytic converter. So if we were keeping it and I had to drop it to replace other parts, I would have to replace the entire exhaust from the exhaust manifold to the rear bumper! (I don't trust a local shop to properly weld a flange onto the existing cat, and don't have my own MIG welder yet.)
 

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2001 Honda CR-V
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Somebody bought the 2011 I was eyeing. Dang it. Now I'm considering either a 2010 or a 2013. I posted in the Shoppin' and Test Drivin' forum if anyone wants to weigh in there. I'm guessing comments on the 3rd gen would still apply to the 2010.
 

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2011 CR-V 4WD EX
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482 Posts
Gen.3 is 2007-2011. We really like our 2011, last year is generally good. Test drive, maintenance records, general condition, the usual used car stuff.
 
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