When the 2015 Honda CR-V hit the market, it created a frenzy among consumers. And why wouldn’t it? Honda had promised some impressive improvements for that model year. The game-changer was the better fuel economy, thanks to the new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
To top it off, there were some stylish tweaks and new tech features for the interior. Honda seemed to have created a dream vehicle that people had been eagerly waiting for. However, it turned out to be more of a nightmare for owners, as CarComplaints.com reveals on their website.
Unveiling the Problem: What Plagues the 2015 Honda CR-V?
Drivers began noticing a bothersome vibration that appeared when they were in gear but stopped at a red light or stop sign. Once they resumed driving, the vibration disappeared. Over time, the vibration intensified, affecting not only the steering wheel but also the driver’s seat, and in some cases, even the passenger seats.
Numerous Honda dealerships received these complaints, but they often dismissed them as “normal” vibration from the four-cylinder engine. As more feedback poured in, some drivers reported experiencing the vibration even when driving at speeds of 60-70 mph.
Certain CR-V owners went a step further, describing the vibration as so severe that they suffered from headaches, backaches, and even nausea. This ultimately led to a lawsuit in 2015, alleging that Honda was aware of the issues but still sold the vehicles.
Unraveling the Mystery: The Root Cause of the Vibration
According to Hondaproblems.com, Honda aimed to enhance the CR-V’s fuel economy to compete with other SUVs. To achieve this, they introduced a redesigned engine, known as the Earth Dream, for the 2015 model year.
This modified engine could achieve 33 mpg, which is about three more miles than the previous year’s model. The direct-injected 4-cylinder engine, coupled with a CVT, operated by reducing the engine’s RPMs while idling or at low speeds.
However, this design led to vibrations and sometimes noise. Ignoring the issue and continuing to drive the vehicle exacerbated the vibration, almost making it feel like the vehicle was on the verge of shaking apart. CR-V owners found this shaking both sickening and thoroughly distracting on the road.
Is the 2015 Honda CR-V Doomed or Can It Be Remedied?
To address the vibration problems, Honda issued a technical service bulletin. It outlines three distinct scenarios where drivers experienced the issue and provides repair recommendations for each case.
For those who experience vibrations when the vehicle is stopped with the gear engaged, Honda advises technicians to replace the radiator cushions, transmission mounts, and front head restraints.
In the case of vibrations during acceleration at around 1,000-1,200 RPMs, Honda suggests two solutions. Firstly, a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) update is recommended, and secondly, the installation of a tailgate damper lift kit to balance the vehicle.
If the vibration is noticeable only during acceleration between 1,800-2,200 RPMs, Honda recommends opting for the PCM update alone. Many owners who had these repairs performed have reported no further issues, but there are still some who continue to face problems.
It’s worth noting that the 2015 Honda CR-V is not the only vehicle affected by this complaint. Some drivers of the 2016 CR-V have encountered the same problem, albeit in fewer numbers. The good news is that owners of 2017 and newer Honda CR-Vs no longer report experiencing this issue, so hopefully, it is now a thing of the past.