Honda Accord 8th Generation 2008-2012 (CP1-CP3) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Accord 8th Gen

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8th Gen Honda Accord What Owners Say

  • The 8th-generation Honda Accord sedan is renowned for its interior space for both the passengers and the trunk. This makes it a more than capable family car that can be used for a plethora of tasks. The coupe is slightly more impractical but still competitive in its class.
  • Despite buyers not regarding the Accord as a premium sedan, it excels when it comes to the quality of its interior, particularly so if it has been specced with premium touches such as leather upholstery. Examples that have been looked after don't struggle with rattles and creaks.
  • Thanks to its generous glass house, the Honda Accord offers both the driver and passengers a great level of visibility, making it a more comforting car to reside in and a safer car to pilot.
  • The eighth-generation Honda Accord is plagued with braking problems and poor general stopping characteristics. The fast-wearing rear brake pads can become a bit of a headache for some owners.
  • While it is a well-rounded and refined sedan, owners complain of the 8th-gen Accord's intrusive road noise, which lowers the driving experience.
  • Some owners have criticized the Honda Accord for its relatively uncomfortable front and rear seats, which can come as a major deterrent for those shopping in this segment as it weakens the appeal of using it as a long-distance traveler.

Eighth Honda Accord Facelift

The 8th-gen Accord was handed a facelift for the 2011 model year. This consisted of some visual adjustments to both the sedan and coupe as well as some additional standard kit and revisions to the five-speed automatic transmission. The SE trim was introduced to the range as well.

2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Front Changes CarBuzz
2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Front Changes

To create a sharper appearance at the front, the Honda Accord was given a new grille design with one fewer horizontal line1. The grille no longer has a chromed border, just a chrome brow and two thin chromed slats below it on the sedan and one on the coupe. This is joined by a new bumper design for the sedan and coupe which has a smaller central air dam2 and more intricate creasing around the foglights3. This design is the same on lower-trim models but without the foglights.

2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Rear Changes

Changes to the rear may appear to be extensive, but the only noteworthy alteration from this angle is the new broad lightbar that extends from the taillights to the license-plate housing1. The Accord script is also repositioned higher on the trunk lid2. On the coupe, the only change made to the rear is a new pair of taillight clusters.

2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Side Changes CarBuzz
2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Side Changes

No noticeable alterations are made to the eighth-generation Honda Accord's profile, but from this angle, we can catch a glimpse of the redesigned front grille1 and bumper2. The side of the coupe also shows off the new taillights. New alloy wheel options can also be seen.

2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Interior Changes CarBuzz
2011-2012 Accord 8th Gen Facelift Interior Changes

When it comes to the interior, Honda opted to keep the changes to a minimum. However, you may notice that the traction control's deactivation button located to the left of the steering wheel now features a graphic as opposed to the VSA text1. The HVAC controls located at the sides of the center console control panel have also been rearranged2.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The 8th-generation Honda Accord was available with four powertrains and three transmission options throughout its lifespan. While this sounds like a long list of choices, in reality, it is only limited to two variations of the 2.4-liter inline-four and 3.5-liter V6 units each, all of which are available from the 2008 model year and fitted transversely, driving the front wheels. These consist of the K24Z2, K24Z3, J35Z2, and J35Z3. Transmission options consist of the five- and six-speed manual and five-speed automatic. All powertrains are naturally aspirated gasoline mills. Inline-four models are referred to as the Honda Accord CP2, while the Accord CP3 code refers to the V6 powertrain. The Accord CP1 is not a US code; it is only available in Southeast Asia.

2.4L Inline-4 Gas K24Z2/3
177/190 hp | 161/162 lb-ft
177/190 hp
161/162 lb-ft
Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic

The K24Z is a widely used naturally aspirated inline-four engine in Honda's stable. It uses all-aluminum construction with 16-valve dual-overhead cams, multi-point fuel injection, and the i-VTEC valve-timing system. Both the Z2 and Z3 have a compression ratio of 10.5:1 and an identical bore and stroke, but the peak power rpm and redline figures differ. The Z2 delivers 177 horsepower at 6,500 and 161 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 with a redline of 6,800 rpm. The Z3 delivers 190 hp at 7,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm with a redline of 7,100 rpm. Both can be had with the five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The Z2's automatic transmission features shorter second, third, and fourth gears. Although the K24Z is generally a dependable engine, you can expect oil leaks from the front crankshaft seal, exhaust-cam galling, and a weakening timing-chain tensioner problem as it accumulates the miles.

3.5L V6 Gas J35Z2/3
268/271 hp | 248/251/254 lb-ft
268/271 hp
248/251/254 lb-ft
Six-speed manual or five-speed automatic

Honda's J35Z is also a frequently used powertrain which employs all-aluminum construction with a multi-point fuel-injection and a 24-valve single overhead cam configuration featuring i-VTEC valve-timing. There is not a big difference in power between the Z2 and Z3, but the two units are distinct from one another. The first iteration of the Z2, available only in 2008, has a compression ratio of 10.0:1 and delivers 268 hp at 6,200 rpm and 254 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm with a redline of 6,800 rpm. This is only available with the five-speed automatic transmission and features Honda's cylinder-deactivation system. In 2009, this unit was swapped out for the revised Z2, which maintains the compression ratio with a power output of 271 hp and 254 lb-ft. The Z3 six-speed manual 8th-gen Accord Coupe models feature a lower compression ratio of 10.0:1 and a lower torque output of 251 lb-ft, but it features a standard VTEC valve-timing system and cannot be had with cylinder deactivation. You may encounter issues with the J35Z's cylinder-deactivation on engines so equipped, and with its timing belt.

2008-2012 Honda Accord 8th Gen Real MPG

Although the four-cylinder K24Z2 and Z3 have different power ratings, the EPA gives them the same city/highway/combined mpg estimates. The manual sedan appears to be the most frugal model on the combined cycle with its 27 mpg claim, while the automatic variant has the best highway estimate at 33 mpg. The 8th-generation Honda Accord Coupe models do not appear to vary that much from the four-door models based on these estimates. It is a similar story with the V6-powered units. The 2008 variation of the J35Z2 auto sedan and coupe boasts a combined figure of 22 mpg. This is improved to 23 mpg with the arrival of the Z2's second iteration. The Z3 mated to the six-speed manual coupe is the poorest of the lot, but only fractionally with its 21 mpg figure. Real-world figures sourced from user submissions which consist of drivers that in no way represent the EPA show that the above-mentioned claims may be accurate, but bear in mind that these figures are sourced from drivers with varying styles and conditions.

EPA mpg (city/highway/combined)Real-world combined mpg*
K24Z2/3 2.4 inline-four five-speed manual sedan23/32/2728.7-32.3
K24Z2/3 2.4 inline-four five-speed automatic sedan22/33/2624.8-27.8
K24Z2/3 2.4 inline-four five-speed manual coupe23/31/2627.3-28.5
K24Z2/3 2.4 inline-four five-speed automatic coupe22/32/2624.1-26.8
J35Z2 3.5 V6 five-speed automatic (2008) sedan19/29/2222.8
J35Z2 3.5 V6 five-speed automatic (2008) coupe19/28/2223.4
J35Z2 3.5 V6 five-speed automatic (2009-2012) sedan20/30/2322.2-23.4
J35Z2 3.5 V6 five-speed automatic (2009-2012) coupe19/29/2322.6-23
J35Z3 3.5 V6 six-speed manual coupe18/26/2119.6-25.9

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


The Honda Accord sedan achieved exemplary results in its NHTSA crash test with a five-star rating for the overall frontal, side, and rollover crash tests. In the frontal section, both the driver and passenger sections are awarded five stars. The combined side barrier and pole section sees the front seats earning four stars and the rears, five. The side-barrier test garnered four stars for the driver and five for the rear passenger. The NHTSA does not provide crash-test results for the coupe, but given that the two body styles share a similar structure, its rating should not vary greatly.

When it comes to safety features, the Accord range backs its crash results up with an extensive list. All models receive front automatically tensioning three-point seatbelts, dual-stage and dual-threshold driver and passenger airbags, dual-chamber front side airbags with passenger-side occupant-position detection, curtain airbags, and active head restraints. Vehicle assists consist of traction and stability control, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and tire-pressure monitoring. Automatic headlights, daytime running lights, outboard lower anchors and tethers for children, rear-center child seat tethers, and child locks for the rear doors complete the Accord range's safety offering. A backup camera was introduced in 2011 via the navigation package for the EX-L trim only.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result Sedan

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating (Driver):
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating (Passenger):
Side Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating (Driver):
Side Crash Rating (Passenger):
Rollover Rating:

8th Generation Honda Accord Trims

There are four trims available for the eighth-generation Honda Accord sedan and three for the coupe. The range starts with the LX trim for the sedan. This is followed by the LX-P, EX, and EX-L. The coupe can be had in LX-S, EX, or EX-L. With the arrival of the facelift, Honda introduced its customary SE trim for the sedan. Basic standard features across all models are fairly generous as equipment such as air-conditioning, auto-locking doors, all-electric windows, and a multifunction steering wheel are all included as standard.

2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic

The LX is the entry-level trim of the Honda Accord range and can only be had in sedan guise. As standard, it features remote keyless entry with power-window control, variable intermittent windshield wipers, automatic halogen headlights, electrically adjustable door mirrors, chrome window surrounds, air conditioning, programmable auto-locking doors, cruise control, a manually tilting and telescopically adjustable multifunction steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and a 160-Watt AM/FM and CD audio system connected to six-speakers. This is joined by an aux input and MP3 compatibility. This trim comes fitted with 16-inch steel wheels with full plastic covers. This model is only available with the 177-hp 2.4-liter inline-four gas engine, which is mated to the five-speed manual transmission as standard or the optional five-speed automatic.

The LX-P is an extension of the base LX but provides owners with a more premium ownership experience as it adds a security system, 16-inch alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust finisher, auto-up and -down driver's and front passenger's windows, illuminated power-window switches, and an eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat. Since 2011, the LX-P can only be had with the five-speed automatic transmission.

The LX-S is the base trim for the coupe and includes everything from the LX-P, plus 17-inch alloy wheels and the infotainment interface dial with scrolling and a multi-line display. Interestingly, it is not available with the electrically adjustable driver's seat and illuminated electric-window switches, nor the auto-up and -down driver and passenger windows. As for entertainment, this trim inherits the six-disc in-dash audio system connected to a 160-Watt six-speaker system. This employs the 190-hp 2.4-liter inline four with a five-speed manual as standard and the five-speed auto as an option.

2.4-liter inline four or 3.5-liter V6
Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic

The EX and EX-L trims are available on both the sedan and coupe. These come standard with everything from the LX-P, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, a one-touch power sunroof, heated door mirrors, premium interior accents, blue ambient console lighting, electrically adjustable lumbar support for the driver's seat, and the six-disc CD changer. The EX-L builds on this by adding automatic multi-reflector halogen headlights, leather trim for the heated (front) seats, steering wheel, and gear knob in manual models, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a 270-Watt seven-speaker premium audio system with XM satellite radio, and an exterior-temperature indicator. With the EX-L, you also have the option of selecting the navigation package, which also adds Bluetooth connectivity and additional steering-wheel controls. Bluetooth became standard on all EX-L models in 2011.

V6-powered EX and EX-L sedans get front foglights, dual exhausts, chrome door handles, and the HomeLink remote system. The EX-L V6 coupe features 18-inch wheels and a body-colored rear decklid spoiler.

2.4-liter models can be had with the five-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the V6 is available exclusively with the self-shifter unless you opt for the coupe, in which case you gain access to the short-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Five-speed automatic

The SE is a trim limited to the last two years of the eighth-generation Honda Accord sedan's lifespan, which builds on the LX-P by including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats with as electrically adjustable lumbar support for the driver. You'll only find this in sedan guise with the 177-hp 2.4-liter inline-four powertrain connected to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Eighth Generation Honda Accord Features (2012)

Auxiliary Audio InputSSSSS
Back-Up CameraN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Bluetooth ConnectionN/AN/ASN/AS
Brake AssistSSSSS
Climate ControlN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Cruise ControlSSSSS
Driver Air BagSSSSS
Front Head Air BagSSSSS
Front Side Air BagSSSSS
Heated Front Seat(s)N/AN/AN/ASS
Keyless EntrySSSSS
Multi-Zone A/CN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Navigation SystemN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Passenger Air BagSSSSS
Power Driver SeatN/ASSSS
Power Mirror(s)SSSSS
Power Passenger SeatN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Premium Sound SystemN/AN/ASN/AS
Rear Head Air BagSSSSS
Remote Trunk ReleaseSSSSS
Satellite RadioN/AN/AN/AN/AS
Seat MemoryN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Stability ControlSSSSS
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsSSSSS
Tire Pressure MonitorSSSSS
Traction ControlSSSSS
Universal Garage Door OpenerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

Interior, Trim And Practicality

2008-2012 Honda Accord 8th Gen Interior Overview Honda
2008-2012 Honda Accord 8th Gen Interior Overview
Bucket SeatsSSSSS
Cloth SeatsSSSN/AN/A
Leather SeatsN/AN/AN/ASS
Leather Steering WheelN/AN/AN/ASS
Ivory, seat trimN/AN/ASN/AS
Black, seat trimN/AN/ASN/AS
Ivory, Seat trimSSSSS
Black, Seat trimSSSSS
Gray, Seat trimSSSN/AS

2008-2012 Honda Accord Maintenance and Cost

The eighth-generation Honda Accord uses a Maintenance Minder system that uses an on-board computer to inform you when a certain service is required. While it is an advanced system, we would recommend sticking to a routine maintenance schedule as these systems can be untrustworthy in certain cases. As a result, we suggest that you adhere to the following schedule. The K24Z and J35Z should receive an oil and filter change ($95) every 5,000 miles together with a tire rotation. A new air-cleaner element ($22 to $38) is required at 15,000-mile intervals. Every 45,000 miles is when you should replace the cabin air filter ($25).

It is imperative that you conduct a transmission-fluid change at 60,000-mile intervals for models fitted with the five-speed automatic. A new fuel filter is required at 90,000 miles. A new set of spark plugs ($100 to $150), a PCV valve, and a coolant change should be done every 100,000 miles. Accessory drive belts should be replaced every 150,000 miles. A minor service for the Honda Accord should not cost more than $208 at the dealer and $86 at a private workshop for the 2.4-liter. It is important that you adhere to these intervals if you wish to keep at bay problems with the K24Z's exhaust-cam galling and weakening timing-chain tensioner.

Eighth Gen Honda Accord Basic Service

A basic service will cost in the region of $290 at the dealer or just over $100 at a private shop. The V6 may cost $1,125 at a dealer or $295 at a workshop which is an alarming increase over the smaller powertrain. For a major service, you can expect to pay around $1,420 at the dealer or $295 at an independent shop. Conducting an oil change by yourself will have you spending $63 for five quarts of 0W-20 the synthetic motor-oil type including the cost of a filter for both the inline-four and V6 engines. Spark plugs may cost $100 to $150 while a new air filter should be between $22 and $38.

8th Gen Honda Accord Tires

Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
17" x 7.5"
Spare Tire:
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
16" x 6.5"
Spare Tire:
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
17" x TBD
Spare Tire:

Check Before You Buy

2008 to 2012 Honda Accord recalls consist of the following:

  • The eighth-generation Honda Accord range was part of the catastrophic Takata airbag recall. Thus, all cars are subject to seven airbag-related recalls. All 2008 to 2010 models were also recalled for an airbag control unit power supply corrosion. A handful of 2008-2012 models were recalled for an incorrectly installed replacement airbag inflator.
  • All five-speed automatic models assembled from 2008 to 2010 were recalled for an automatic transmission problem relating to the control-module software, which can result in the car rolling away even if it is in Park.
  • Some four- and six-cylinder 2010 Honda Accord units were recalled for a remote start/ignition switch-circuit coupler problem that can cause the engine to stall while on the move.
  • 2010 and 2011 V6 Honda Accord models had to be recalled due to a front suspension problem related to the damper bolts and spindle nuts which were not properly tightened.

No recalls were issued for the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's engine, power steering, or brakes.

You may encounter the following OBDII codes when running a scan on the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord sedan or coupe:

  • Codes P0101, P0102, P00420, and P0430 indicate an issue with the mass airflow (MAF) sensor and catalyst system.
  • You'll encounter codes P0134, P0135, P0137, P0138, P0141, P0161, or P1129 if there is an issue with the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's oxygen sensors or their readings. Air-fuel ratio mixture issues will be reflected by the P0171, P0174, or P1172 codes. The P0200 code reflects a fault with the injector circuit.
  • P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, or P0304 means that a misfire is detected. The last number of the code indicates which bank is at fault. Irregular engine idling is highlighted by the P0507 code.
  • You'll see the P0325 or P0328 codes if there is a problem with a knock sensor.
  • Camshaft- and crankshaft-position sensor problems are indicated by the P0339, P0340, P0341, and P0390 codes.
  • Exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and evaporative emission (EVAP) control-system faults in the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord will be indicated by the P0400, P0455, P0456, P0457, P0497, and P145c fault codes.
  • Engine and speed-sensor-related fault codes include P0523, P0701, P0704, P0716, P0717, and P0722.
  • Electronic throttle control system relay faults will bring up the P1658 and P1659 codes.
  • P060a indicates a fault with the internal processor.
  • The P0966 fault code points to a fault in the automatic transmission's clutch pressure-control solenoid valve.

Eighth-Generation Honda Accord Common Problems

K24Z 2.4-Liter Inline-Four Common Problems

The K24Z, like all other K-series powertrains, has an aluminum cylinder block with cast-iron cylinder liners. It also features an aluminum-alloy dual overhead cam cylinder head, the i-VTEC intake valve-timing system, and a chain drive for the camshafts. This powertrain does not employ hydraulic valve lifters to compensate for valve clearances, so these must be adjusted every 30,000 miles or two years.

You can expect to encounter galling and rapid wear of the exhaust camshaft if you defer your oil changes. Furthermore, the K24Z does tend to suffer from oil leaks from the front crank seal. You may also encounter leaks from the rear seal, but it is not as common. The cam-chain tensioner's spring is also known to be untrustworthy on the K24Z engines.

The K24Z in the eighth-generation Honda Accord has a variable timing control (VTC) actuator flaw caused by a defective pin which may rattle, particularly when the engine starts. This actuator doesn't cause any internal damage, but it can be an annoyance seeing that it manages the engine's valve-timing system. If it does fail, it can result in engine failure. Expect to see fault codes P0011 or P1009.

Mileage: You can expect the front crank seal to leak from 120,000 miles, but sometimes it is also age-related. Exhaust-cam galling can take place from as soon as 100,000 miles on neglected engines. The K24Z's chain tensioner and VTC actuator are prone to give in at any mileage.

Cost: A crank seal can cost in the region of $10-$40, with labor expected to add $300-$400 to the repair cost. Replacing a worn exhaust camshaft is expected to cost between $1,000 and $1,500. Replacing the cam chain and tensioner can set you back by $1,200 at a repair shop. The labor alone for this job is more than six hours. Replacing the VTC actuator can cost $845, including labor.

How to spot: If your crank seal is leaking, you'll be able to spot a visible oil leak. This can also lead to a low oil level and create smoking from under the hood and a burning-oil smell. This will occur if the oil lands on hot engine parts, including the exhaust system. A worn exhaust camshaft will make a distinctive clicking noise. In extreme cases, you will notice a decline in engine performance. A failed chain tensioner might translate to a rumbling or rattling sound together with timing problems that can hinder the car's ability to start. This is also likely to illuminate the Check Engine warning light. If left unchecked for too long, you can also expect serious engine damage due to piston-to-valve contact. A VTC actuator will rattle when you start the engine.

J35Z 3.5-Liter V6 Common Problems

The Honda Accord's J35Z engine problems are limited to complications with Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder-deactivation system and premature timing-belt wear. A good few J35Z engine failures are accredited to the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's VCM problems. This intricate cylinder-deactivation system apparently causes the rings on the cool side of the engine to rotate and line up, which increases oil consumption. The reason for the increased consumption of oil is because of deposits that form on the piston rings. Once this builds up, oil seeps through into the combustion chamber and burns up. Honda issued a technical service bulletin for this to have the piston and rings replaced, so be sure to inspect whether this has been conducted when having a look at a prospective example. In turn, this will foul up the spark plugs, which results in rough running and misfires. You can also expect the usual high-oil-consumption problems, including low oil levels, engine-overheating problems, increased piston and sleeve friction, and eventually, complete engine failure. You will also find VCM-gasket oil leaks to be common. In this case, oil will leak onto the alternator, potentially ruining it. When the VCM is operating, you'll notice a subtle vibration problem which is more of a characteristic as it runs on three cylinders.

If you don't adhere to routine oil changes as per the car's maintenance minder or the suggested 5,000-mile intervals and don't adjust the valve clearances routinely, you may experience accelerated camshaft wear. The J engine uses a timing belt that needs to be exchanged at 90,000-105,000-mile intervals as per Honda's recommendation, but owners have reported that the belt doesn't always last that long. Ideally, this should be conducted at 60,000 miles at the most if your car encounters freezing temperature. We'd just replace it every 60,000 miles anyway. The J35Z's water pump is driven off this belt, so we would recommend that you replace this part as well at this interval. A water-pump seizure will result in the belt snapping, which will lead to catastrophic engine damage. Like the K24Z, there are no hydraulic lifters for the valves, so valve clearances must be checked and adjusted at 30,000-mile intervals. You can also expect the Accord's J35Z to suffer from pre-cat failure. The car's cat sits close to the engine which can result in fragments of the failing cat getting sucked in through the exhaust valves, which can damage the engine.

It is unlikely that you will experience any issues with the J-series engine as it should last for 200,000 miles if you routinely maintain it. Extra hands on the powertrain, including frequent servicing and ensuring oil and coolant levels are always topped up, should see an engine life of more than 300,000 miles. This could be a challenge as the powertrain features a low oil capacity in relation to its displacement, so any significant drop in the oil level could spell trouble and a reduced life if not preempted.

Mileage: You can expect camshaft wear at any mileage because it is caused by poor maintenance rather than distance covered. Be sure to adjust the valve clearances every 30,000 miles. Replace the cambelt at 60,000-mile intervals together with the water pump. A drastic increase in oil consumption can be due to issues relating to the VCM system. This usually causes piston-ring problems that are present from 130,000 miles on the J35Z. Rear main seals can start to leak after 100,000 miles.

Cost: Resolving the VCM problems and excessive oil consumption may cost anything between $1,700 and $4,000 in engine repairs. You may pay around $6,500 for a full engine replacement in a worst-case scenario. A water pump and cambelt replacement kit cost around $250 with a $300 fitment fee. Replacing the rear main seal may cost over $1,000, including labor. It is unlikely that you will spend more than $50 on parts and $500 for labor for the other gaskets and seals.

How to spot: Dirty oil or a low oil level means that the J35Z in the Accord has been neglected. With this, you could encounter a couple of powertrain issues. Excessive oil consumption is hard to identify during a short test drive, but you can expect fouled spark plugs causing poor performance and misfiring. Oil leaks from the VCM will leave traces close to the alternator. Valve clearances that have not been adjusted will result in ticking noises, a worn camshaft, and uneven running. If you hear rattling from the exhaust, this may point to pre-cat failure. If your timing belt is starting to fail, you'll notice ticking or slapping sounds or poor running that may illuminate the Check Engine light if you're lucky. It's more likely to fail without warning.

Failing Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor problem on the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord is an issue that affects both the K24Z and J35Z models, so we're listing it as its own unique problem. In both cars, this is likely to start appearing on cars that are subjected to higher levels of heat, so it is difficult to pin down an exact mileage of when it may fail. If this part gives in, your engine will misfire, cut out, or fail to start. The crankshaft-position sensor is a fairly inexpensive and easy part to replace, but you will need to conduct an engine relearn procedure after it is fitted. You can do this with an advanced OBD-II scanner.

Mileage: Crankshaft-position-sensor failure may occur at any mileage as it is more dependent on heat.

Cost: You can expect to pay around $285 for the cost of parts and labor.

How to spot: A bad crankshaft-position sensor may result in misfiring, cutting out, or starting problems.

Alternator And Starter Failure

One of the slightly more uncommon but possible issues that you may be met with in very high mileage 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord models include a failing alternator and starter problem. Both of these failures are due to wear and tear, but in the Japanese family sedan, they seem to give in sooner than they should. It is understood that both of these parts can start to show signs of wear after 80,000 miles. Both a failing alternator and starter will result in a non-starting car or charging problem, even if the battery is relatively new or has been subjected to a long enough drive to charge up. Keep in mind that oil leaking from the VCM unit can also ruin the alternator.

Mileage: Both the alternator and starter can start to show signs of wear from as soon as 80,000 miles.

Cost: You can expect to pay around $772 to replace the alternator and $800 for a new starter, including the cost of labor.

How to spot: A failed alternator and starter will result in an inability or struggle to start the car.

Automatic Transmission Failure

You may face problems with the Honda Accord's automatic transmission that will result in the illumination of the Check Engine and D4 light, accompanied by rough shifting and hesitation problems. If this occurs, the car will have suffered from mechanical failure, in which case the transmission will have to be replaced. If there is no rough shifting, it is possible that there is a faulty sensor or the transmission fluid will need to be exchanged. The reason for this failure has not been revealed by Honda, but it is understood to be an engineering design flaw. Transmission-related faults of the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord will bring up the P1734, P0796, P0847, or P0873, codes.

Mileage: Transmission failure can occur at 140,000 miles, but it is dependent on driving conditions and how often the oil is changed as well.

Cost: Having a new transmission fitted can cost in the region of $3,500. A new sensor may set you back $255 while a transmission-fluid change should cost no more than $130.

How to spot: If your Check Engine and D4 light start flashing, your transmission sensor or fluid may need to be exchanged. Rough shifting may point to mechanical failure.

Excessive Brake-Pad Wear

Eighth-generation Honda Accord owners have noted a problem on the stock rear brake pads that sees them wearing out as soon as 100,000 miles. In extreme cases, this may occur as soon as 70,000 miles. This issue is so severe that owners of early model years issue several class-action lawsuits for it. 2008 and 2009 models are most susceptible to this problem, but you can experience it in later models as well. Worn pads will translate to squeaking metal-on-metal noises, poor braking performance and rotors seized to the discs if left unchecked for too long. You may also notice leaks at the ABS modulators. To resolve this issue, Honda supplied an electronic brake-force distribution software fix. If you want to be extra sure, you can opt for a pad made from an improved pad material.

Mileage: Rear brake-pad wear can start as soon as 70,000 miles on the Honda Accord but some models can last up to 100,000 miles.

Cost: Replacing the pads on the rear axle will set you back approximately $300 including the cost of labor. If you want uprated pads from Bosch or Akebono, you can expect to pay anywhere between $45 and $65 excluding fitment.

How to spot: Worn brake pads will result in squeaking, poor braking performance, and metal-on-metal noises or a seized-rotor problem, necessitating the replacement of the rotors too if not caught in time.

HVAC Blower Malfunction And A/C Problems

HVAC and AC-compressor problems may start to occur after 100,000 miles. One of the issues is a failed blower motor that will result in air-conditioning and heater problems. Replacing this part is fairly simple as it sits behind a plastic panel in the glove compartment. Another issue you may encounter is a weak and intermittent air-conditioning condenser problem, but this is more due to a design flaw rather than a weak part. Due to the position of the condenser and the shape of the Honda Accord's grille, the part is prone to suffer from damage if struck by road debris. If this happens you will notice a lack of cool air from the AC and leaking refrigerant from the front end. To resolve this you will need to replace the condenser and refrigerant, which can be costly.

Mileage: The Honda Accord's blower motor may wear after 100,000 miles. The AC's condenser failure and refrigerant leaks are based on road conditions rather than mileage.

Cost: Having the blower motor replaced should not cost more than $250. A new condenser may set you back $430 while refrigerant can add $504 to the bill including the cost of labor.

How to spot: A worn blower will result in a malfunctioning HVAC that fails to blow any air, hot or cold. A damaged condenser will result in leaking from the front end and an inability to use the AC.

Less Common Problems And Problem-Free Areas

It is unlikely but possible that the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's radio and climate-control display may go dark spontaneously. If this happens, you'll have to have the unit replaced. A handful of owners have also struggled with a door-lock actuator problem. This is an intermittent issue that can only be resolved by replacing the door-lock system. Cars fitted with the sunroof/moonroof may also struggle with water-leak problems due to worn plugs. Water will leak on the driver or passenger whenever the car goes round a corner. There have also been reports of a bad brake-booster vacuum supply hose that results in a hard brake-pedal feel when it is pressed for the first time in the early morning or in colder conditions. A hose replacement will be needed to resolve this. A small sample of owners has also recorded that the Accord may struggle with an erratic idle speed or stalling problem due to a flaw with the idle-air control (IAC) system. This can also impact the car's fuel consumption and trigger the Check Engine light.

You are unlikely to encounter the following problems with the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord:

  • Intermittent electrical problems relating to the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's battery, headlight, key remote, VSA, and mice eating wiring are not likely to occur, unlike some other Hondas with soy wiring that attracts rodents.
  • Problems relating to the 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord's Bluetooth, computer, gas gauge, speaker, and window visor are not well-documented and seem rare.
  • Both the clutch and differential appear to be problem-free in the eighth-generation Honda Accord.
  • The eighth-generation Honda Accord's fuel pump, oil pump, head gasket, and catalytic converter are not known to be problematic other than the usual wear-and-tear but do listen out for exhaust rattles on the V6, which may indicate a failed pre-cat that can potentially ruin the engine.
  • Problems with the rack-and-pinion power steering pump and steering column should not be frequent in the 8th-gen Honda Accord.
  • It is unlikely that you will have problems with the rear suspension, wheel bearing, or ABS sensor.

Which One To Avoid

The 2008 and 2009 Honda Accord models should be avoided, mainly because these two years appear to be the most problematic models, particularly with the rear brake wear, but this is only marginally so compared to the rest of the range. You should also overlook the V6 model with the VCM cylinder-deactivation system as it can lead to several engine problems over time and is simply more trouble than it's worth. Any examples that have not been routinely maintained and well-looked after should also not be considered. If possible, try to avoid the automatic models as these transmissions are known to fail, which can result in costly repairs.

Which One To Buy

Facelifted eighth-generation Honda Accord models appear to be slightly more trustworthy. Those powered by the K24Z should be fairly dependable, but if you are looking for a bit more grunt, only V6 models without the VCM should be considered for the sake of reliability. The five- and six-speed manual-transmission options are also more dependable as they are not plagued with the automatic transmission's tendency to fail. The choice between the sedan and coupe body shapes is entirely dependent on your personal preference.

8th Gen Honda Accord (CP1-CP3) Verdict

The eighth-generation Honda Accord is an accomplished Japanese sedan that delivers in terms of interior space, standard features, and reliability. Performance from both the K24Z and J35Z powertrains is also nothing to shy about. Unfortunately, there are some faults that crop up here and there, but if the Accord is routinely serviced and meticulously looked after, there is no reason why it should not provide a trouble-free ownership experience.

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