Honda Accord 9th Generation 2013 - 2017 (CR1-CR3) - What To Check Before You Buy | CarBuzz

2022-10-22 21:07:21 By : Mr. Xuwen Zhang

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Accord 9th Gen

The 2016 model year brought about a fresh face and several upgrades for the Honda Accord 9th gen. On the exterior, a new face debuted with sharper lines and more refined design elements that made the Accord look less bulbous.

At the front, thinner, strip-like LED fog lights were introduced in a more aggressively styled lower valance from the Sport trim upwards 1, while an aluminum hood was also new and lighter than the previous steel one 2. The grille is completely revised 3, with the old U-shaped chrome frame replaced with a more fussy grille with a thick horizontal chrome bar in the middle, two thin ones below it, and a chrome strip above it that reaches halfway into the slightly slimmer new headlights on either side 4.

At the rear, a newly designed rear bumper 1 and taillights - still LED - differentiated the Accord. The new taillights are significantly slimmer and, mirroring the front changes 2, the upper chrome strip on the trunk lid now reaches into the rear light clusters, curving upwards at either end like frowning eyebrows 3. The new rear bumper now has a full-width chrome finisher strip in its lower section just above the tailpipes 4. Wheel sizes increased across almost all trims, and on trims like the Touring, a new rear spoiler added some excitement 5.

Under the surface, the chassis was made more rigid and received new suspension braces, a retuned power steering system, high-performance dampers, hydraulic rear subframe bushes, and larger front brakes on the Sport and Touring trims.

The side view remains much the same, but there are new wheel designs 1 and the changes to the rear lights can clearly be seen in profile too 2. This is also the angle from which the front headlight clusters' new side marker lights can be best seen - they move to the rearmost upper corner of the wraparound front lights, pointing like orange arrows towards the side mirrors 3.

Inside, a new seven-inch touchscreen was added to models from the EX trim up, introducing support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay 1, while the EX also gained access to SiriusXM Radio for the first time. Models above the EX gained HD Radio functionality. Convenience was further bolstered by 60/40-split rear seats on all Sport-level sedans and higher, while from the CVT-equipped EX and up, all models gained remote start. Lastly, heated rear seats were added to the Touring, along with auto high beams and front and rear parking sensors.

The 9th-generation Honda Accord is available with three engines, all of which do an adequate job of powering the car. All models are front-wheel-drive. The sedan is available with a 2.4-liter inline-four or 3.5-liter V6 and there are two hybrids as well, each equipped with an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter inline-four and either a 1.3-kWh battery on the normal hybrid or a 6.7-kWh battery on the plug-in (PHEV) with an all-electric range of 13 miles.

The 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter engines can be coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. Automatic transmissions vary, being a CVT on all four-cylinder engines (including the hybrids, which are CVT-only models) and a conventional six-speed automatic transmission on the V6s. All the same ICE drivetrain options for the Honda Accord CR2 and CR3 sedans are available on the Honda Accord CT1 and CT2 coupes. The Honda Accord CR6 Hybrid is a sedan only.

The most widely used powertrain in the ninth-generation Honda Accord is the 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine, which can trace its origins back to 2001 but has been thoroughly redeveloped to feature direct injection in its latest K24W incarnation. In the 9th-gen Accord coupe and sedan, it produces 185 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, upped slightly to 189 hp and 182 lb-ft in sedan Sport guise. These slight gains are not enough to make a real-world difference, however. The engine is known for being quite rev-happy, providing most of the power and torque at the top of the rev range. That's the main reason Honda's CVT transmission does not always get on well with this engine. Unfortunately, the only other option is a manual gearbox. Great if you're a keen driver, less so if you need a comfortable daily companion. The engine has a reputation for durability and lasting well beyond 200,000 miles if cared for properly, although it does experience the odd problem with cam-chain tensioners and oil leaks.

As the 9th-gen Accord Sedan started moving upmarket, Honda gave it a larger, more powerful engine. The 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine was dropped as an option in the 10th-generation Accord but remains in use in larger offerings like the Passport, Pilot, and Ridgeline. In the 9th-generation Accord, it's called the J35Y1, featuring direct fuel injection and producing 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Unlike the four-cylinder K24, the 3.5-liter V6 uses a timing belt, requiring more frequent checks and replacements. It's also prone to more problems than the K24, including issues with the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system leaking oil and/or causing excessive oil consumption, as well as the typical carbon build-up problems common to all direct-injection engines.

Electric motor: Permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric motor

Engine + electric motor hybrid system output: 196 hp and 226 lb-ft

The 9th-gen Accord Hybrid was introduced in 2017 utilizing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. It is only offered in the sedan body style. In terms of the internal combustion engine, the 2.0-liter LFA1 engine is simply an Atkinson-cycle derivative of the long-serving SOHC R engine, which is known as a tough and reliable engine with a maintenance-free chain drive for the camshaft and conventional indirect injection.

In the standard hybrid, the electric motor is powered by a 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery. The plug-in hybrid uses a larger 6.7-kWh battery to ensure an electric-only driving range of around 13 miles. The combined system output is 196 hp, but don't let that figure fool you; the hybrid models are CVT only, so this configuration is not meant to provide a fun driving experience. Instead, the focus is efficiency. Performance is sprightly for a hybrid though, the sprint from 0-60 mph taking between 7.2 to 7.7 seconds, the latter figure applicable to the heavier PHEV with its larger battery, since the power/torque outputs are the same for both configurations.

If we added every model's claimed fuel consumption figures, you'd be here all day reading them. Instead, we chose a shortlist of models, based on the three models you'll likely encounter on the used market.

According to the EPA, the 2.4-liter NA engine only consumes 27/36/30 mpg city/highway/combined. The V6 is surprisingly frugal, with claimed figures of 21/33/25 mpg. As you'd expect, the most frugal model in the range is the hybrid, managing 49/47/48 mpg. All models can easily do more than 400 miles on a single tank, while the hybrid can go more than 700 miles.

According to owners, you can expect real-world figures of 30.7 mpg from the 2.4, 27.2 mpg from the V6, and 44.1 MPGe from the hybrid.

* 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.

These days Honda includes its Sensing suite of driver-assistance features as standard, but the 9th generation is obviously a previous-generation car. The only standard driver-assistance feature is a backup camera but several more were optionally available on upper trims from the start, namely forward-collision warning, blind-spot warning, and lane-departure warning. An innovative new (optional) LaneWatch system activates a camera in the right-hand-side exterior mirror to give the driver a low and wide view of the car's passenger side when switching on the right-side indicator, so this might be fitted to a used vehicle. It is a standard fitment on 2015+ Accord EX and EX-L coupes only, while the 2015+ EX and EX-L sedans get auto-dimming interior rear-view mirrors.

The Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance features became standard on the Touring and optionally available on all the other trims from the 2016 facelift, incorporating adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and road- and lane-departure warning. The 9th generation does come with a host of active and passive safety systems. In addition to a full suite of six airbags, it features stability and traction control, tire-pressure monitoring, and daytime running lights.

At the beginning of its lifecycle, the IIHS gave the Accord a Top Safety Pick+ award, setting the standard until it was eventually axed in 2017. There were no restrictions on this award, so whatever Accord you end up buying, this rating will be applicable.

The mainstay trims are LX, EX, Sport, EX-L, and Touring. For 2014, a hybrid is available in the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims, joined by a one-year-only plug-in hybrid trim with its own specific equipment. Each successive trim generally contains everything the preceding one does except where otherwise indicated. Both the EX and Sport trims are based on the entry-level LX trim with trim-specific features added - sporty ones for the Sport and more luxury- and comfort-oriented ones for the EX.

A 2016 facelifted range adds a revised exterior, improved interior trim, revised suspension to improve ride and handling, more standard equipment, and range-wide availability of the Honda Sensing driver-assistance suite (standard on the facelifted Touring). All facelifted models except for the base LX get their one-piece folding rear seat replaced by a 60/40-split item and all trims from EX and up receive a standard seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Exclusively available with the entry-level four-cylinder engine, the base-level LX will let buyers enjoy the drive with either a CVT or manual gearbox. It also looks the part with 16-inch alloy wheels and body-color exterior accompaniments. Despite being the most affordable model, a comprehensive lineup of safety features including six airbags, stability control, a rearview camera, and, in more recent model years, the available Honda Sensing suite, makes the LX an ideal family proposition. Standard equipment on the 2013 launch LX includes cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a one-piece folding rear seat, cruise control, a manually tilting/telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, a backup camera, a 7.7-inch upper display screen, audio and phone Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, a USB/iPod audio interface, Pandora functionality, an auxiliary audio jack, and four speakers. The 2013 LX-S Coupe is similarly equipped to the 2013 LX Sedan but the 2014 Coupe gains 17-inch alloys and a six-speaker audio system.

Unlike other brands that place their sportiest models at the top of the hierarchy, Honda knows enthusiasts don't always have loads of disposable cash, which is why the Sport trim sits second from the bottom of the Accord roster. Making do with the same engine/transmission options as the LX (albeit with paddle shifters on the CVT and 4 hp / 1 lb-ft more), the Sport is distinguished by unique exterior styling including 18-inch alloy wheels, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and dual chrome exhaust tips. Inside, an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and a leather-trimmed steering wheel are the key additions. The 2016 facelifted Sport's alloy wheels go up one size to 19 inches.

In the ninth-gen Accord's final production year, the Sport SE debuted as a run-out special edition. Based on the standard Sport, differences are limited to black leather seats with red stitching and front-seat heating, and Special Edition badging. However, based on the facelifted model, buyers can also enjoy 19-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and foglights, and aluminum foot pedals.

The EX represents a mid-level comfort-biased alternative to the Sport, including all the features from the base LX. However, it rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and boasts additional amenities like a power moonroof, keyless entry and start, heated mirrors, a six-speaker audio system, the power-adjustable driver's seat. and leather-trimmed steering wheel from the Sport, while the Honda LaneWatch camera helps to monitor blind spots. The EX Coupe is similarly equipped to the EX Sedan. From the 2014 model year, the conventional hybrid is also available in the EX trim. A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system can be found below the existing 7.7-inch upper display screen in facelifted models, adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, and an additional USB port.

Many might think L stands for Luxury, but in the case of the Accord, it's all about the additional features over and above the EX's, namely leather upholstery, heated front seats, a memory function for the driver's seat, a four-way electrically adjustable passenger seat, a seven-inch touchscreen below the existing 7.7-inch display screen in the center stack, an upgraded backup camera, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a seven-speaker premium sound system with HondaLink smartphone-app integration and satellite radio. The EX-L Coupe is similarly equipped to the EX-L Sedan. The EX-L V6 Coupe gets larger 18-inch wheels, whereas the EX-L V6 Sedan retains its 17s. The facelifted 2016 EX-L has power-folding side mirrors

The EX-L is the first trim to make available the 278-horsepower V6 engine as an alternative to the 2.4-liter four-pot, but can only be specced with automatic transmission variants. Buyers can alternatively have the EX-L with a hybrid powertrain from the 2014 model year. The EX-L also boasts a further sub-trim, the EX-L with Navi, which, as the name implies, adds navigation with voice recognition and a built-in 16-GB hard drive.

Top of the pile for the Accord lineup, the Touring is only available with either the V6 or hybrid (the latter from 2014) powertrains but comes loaded with standard features. These include all the features from the EX-L with Navi, as well as LED headlights with automatic on/off functionality, adaptive cruise control, and, from the 2016 facelift, larger 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated outboard rear seats, and automatic high beams. Quite simply, the Touring borders on luxury but at a lower price point.

Available as a one-trim limited-edition only for the 2014 model year, the Plug-In Hybrid has its own unique feature-set. It shares its hybrid powertrain with the normal hybrid model, save for a larger battery pack, up from 1.3 kWh to 6.7 kWh, giving it an EV-only mode with a range of 13 miles. A total of 196 horsepower is put to good use by special aerodynamic 17-inch wheels, and low-rolling-resistance tires, and yields 115 MPGe combined. Unique to this model are standard LED headlights and blue chrome exterior trim, while comfort and convenience is covered by standard dual-zone climate control, standard navigation, an eight-inch infotainment screen, adaptive cruise control, and heated front and rear seats. The hybrid battery pack eats into luggage volume and the trunk offers only 8.6 cubic inches of space.

The Accord Sedan has a spacious interior, offering seating for five. As with most traditional sedans, the trunk is nothing special. At most, it offers 15.8 cubic feet, which you can extend by folding the rear seats forward. The driver and passengers have more than enough storage room; everyone gets at least one cupholder and big door pockets. The trunk can't match what SUVs offer, but 15.8 cubes is ample space for the weekly grocery shop and will fit a family of four's luggage on a weekend getaway. This shrinks quite dramatically to only 8.6 cubes on the PHEV model, putting a serious dent in its practicality.

The Coupe offers a 13.7-cube trunk. It also has less interior space, but only in the back. Compared to the Sedan, front leg-/headroom are barely diminished, reducing from 42.5/39.1 inches to 42.2/38 inches. However, in the back, the Sedan offers a roomy 38.5 inches of legroom, whereas the Coupe has nearly five inches less with 33.7 inches; rear headroom, on the other hand, is quite competitive in the Coupe, measuring 37.2 inches - only 0.3 inches less than the Sedan.

Quality is not an issue, but there are a few observations we made browsing hundreds of Accords online. The base model's cloth upholstery does not stand the test of time very well, nor does the polyurethane steering wheel. The leather trim ages much better.

There are hundreds of claimed Honda specialists scattered across the country. Most are located near main or large cities. In addition to that, there are 1,068 official Honda dealerships and service stations in the USA. That's a huge footprint, which means you won't struggle to find someone to look after your car.

For an annual service, you're looking at around $400, while a basic oil change can be done for around $150.

The V6's timing belt should be replaced every seven years or every 60,000 miles, and the car should keep chugging along happily. This job should cost no less than $700 to perform, or over $1,100 with the water pump included, which is recommended as the water pump runs off the cambelt and a water-pump failure could snap the belt, leading to terminal engine damage.

How often to change: 5,000 miles

Part code: 12290-5A2-A02

OEM part number: 17220-5A2-A00

OEM part number: ?17220-5G0-A00

Hybrid 1.3-kWh high-voltage battery pack

OEM part number: 1D100-5K1-C01

PHEV 6.7-kWh high-voltage battery pack

OEM part number: 1D100-5K0-A00

Honda recommends all-season tires for all model years. Honda also recommends Goodyear tires.

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

Compared to some rivals, there aren't many 2013-2017 Honda Accord sedan, hybrid, and coupe safety recall notices. In the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Honda Accord driveshaft recall, affected cars were recalled for driveshafts that may corrode and fail, while the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 battery sensor recall addresses one of the Honda Accord's common problems by replacing sensors that may have suffered water damage. In the 2013 fuel-tank recall, the fuel tank is replaced if the tank neck does not properly seal at the fuel pump. There was a 2014 and 2015 Honda Accord engine recall for incorrectly torqued connecting-rod bolts that may cause an engine stall and hybrids from the same year were recalled to fix a hybrid system that may go into fail-safe mode. The 2015, 2016, and 2017 Honda Accord fuel-pump recall aimed to fix a reduced-performance fuel pump that may cause a stall. Despite suffering the odd problem in other vehicle systems, there were no 2013-2017 Honda Accord VSA modulator, VTC actuator, wheel bearing, alternator, catalytic-converter, electric power steering - EPS, paint, sun-visor, ABS-module, airbag, backup-camera, starter, ignition-switch, headlight, DRL LED strip, or starter recalls.

By and large, the 9th-gen Accord lives up to Honda's quality reputation and issues are not too numerous, although there are several 2013-2017 Honda Accord LX, EX, EX-L or Touring 2.4 or V6 sedan/coupe Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, XM radio, stereo, navigation, and infotainment-display problems to watch out for. As for the rest, there were few issues and certainly not enough to form a concerning pattern and prospective buyers will be pleased to learn that this model's other systems are generally reliable, with few 2013-2017 Honda Accord LX, EX, or EX-L 2.4L four-cylinder - I4 - or V6 fuel-gauge or fuel-pump, ECM, HDD, VCM, RPM, TPMS, thermostat, factory catalytic converter, engine-cradle, door-lock, flywheel, front-alignment or camber, brake, warm-up, instrument-panel brightness, keyless entry, driver power-seat, power-window, subwoofer, wheel-bearing, ABS-module, backup-camera, brake, suspension coil, strut, throttle-body, drain, or general electronic or electrical problems reported.

Here are some OBD2 trouble codes you might run into when having to diagnose Accord problems:

The automaker builds durable engines and there are not many 2013-2017 Honda Accord engine or powertrain problems. However, the K engine does not feature hydraulic valve lifters and valve clearances must be checked every 30,000 miles or two years. The K24W engine used in the 9th-gen Accord has direct fuel injection. Typical K-series engine problems include galling and rapid wear of the exhaust camshaft, exacerbated by deferred oil changes. This is quite uncommon and usually a sign of poor maintenance. In addition, K engines tend to suffer from oil leaks from the front crank seal. The rear seal can also leak, but it's less common. The cam-chain tensioner's spring can fail on the earlier K24 engines, but the fault seems rare on later engines. Being a direct-injection engine, the K24W can suffer from carbon build-up on the backs of the intake valves at higher mileages, typically beyond 80,000 miles.

Mileage: The front crank seal can leak from around 120,000 miles or at lower miles on old engines with lower mileage, due to age. Exhaust-cam galling can occur from around 100,000 miles. A chain tensioner can fail at any mileage. Carbon build-up on the intake valves can occur from around 100,000 miles.

Cost: A crank seal shouldn't cost more than $10-$40 and labor should be no more than $300-$400. Replacing a worn exhaust camshaft can cost between $1,000 and $1,500, all-in. Replacing the cam chain and tensioner can cost as much as $1,200 at a repair shop and more at a Honda dealership; the labor alone is more than six hours worth. Walnut-blasting DI engines' intake valves can cost more than $200 for labor; no parts needed.

How to spot: A leaking crank seal will leave a visible oil leak, result in a low oil level, and cause under-hood smoking and a burning-oil smell if the oil lands on hot engine parts such as the exhaust system. A worn exhaust camshaft will emit clicking sounds and there will be a loss of power if the wear is very bad; this points to a neglected engine that should be avoided. A failed chain tensioner might cause rumbling and/or rattling sounds and timing problems that affect starting and that might trigger the Check Engine light and fault codes. In the worst case, slipped timing can cause piston-to-valve contact, which is serious damage.

Honda's J family of V6 gas engines has been in use since 1998 and continually developed. Most J35 engine problems stem from deferred maintenance and if you ensure that the oil and cambelt are replaced at the prescribed intervals, the engine will keep going for hundreds of thousands of miles, barring the occasional cleaning of the intake valves.

Earlier J35 engines were prone to Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) problems causing excessive oil consumption, but this should have been mostly sorted out by the time the J35Y rolled by. However, most V6 Honda Accord oil-consumption problems are still attributed to this system, yet there was never a 2013-2017 Honda Accord oil consumption recall. Keep an eye on oil consumption nevertheless, because this generation of Accord still attracted its fair share of complaints concerning excessive oil consumption, sometimes requiring invasive and expensive engine work like replacing the piston rings to fix if it happens out of warranty.

The J35Y derivative of this engine that launched in 2013 in this, the 9th-generation Accord, was the first J35 engine with direct fuel injection, a feature it shares with the Accord's smaller 2.4-liter K24W four-cylinder engine. Direct injection means more power and better efficiency, but it also means that the oil droplets left on the backs of the intake valves by the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system build up and harden to form carbon deposits. Although it can't ruin the engine, it can affect engine operation with age, causing misfires and being detrimental to performance and economy. The intake valves must be walnut blasted to clean them and restore proper engine operation.

A common Honda problem in case of lax maintenance resulting in dirty oil or low oil levels is camshaft wear and this is also true for the J35. Check the oil level, ensuring that it is full and the oil is clean and clear, with no tell-tale metallic ticking sounds when the engine is running. Keep in mind that the direct injectors also make a ticking sound - which is normal - so it might be a good idea to take an expert along on a test drive. Camshaft wear will also be accelerated if you neglect to have the valve clearances checked and adjusted every 30,000 miles; the J35 does not have hydraulic lifters that auto-adjust.

Finally, the J35 does not use a cam chain but a cambelt instead and although Honda's Maintenance Minder typically only alerts the driver of an impending cam-belt change at 100,000-mile intervals, some owners report that this item doesn't always make it that far. Because the J35 is an interference engine, a snapped cambelt will cause extensive engine damage, so it's recommended that you replace it every 60,000 miles at the latest. You might want to replace the water pump at the same time to save on labor, because the water pump is driven off the cambelt.

Mileage: Carbon build-up problems start from around 80k to 120k miles. Camshaft wear can occur at any mileage and is a result of poor maintenance, not necessarily due to age or mileage. Valve clearances must be adjusted every 30,000 miles and the cambelt replaced every 60,000 miles to avoid problems. Excessive oil consumption may start from 48,000 miles.

Cost: For VCM and excessive oil consumption, between $1,700 to $4,000 for extensive engine repairs, and up to around $7,000 for a full engine replacement, should the worst happen. The water pump and cambelt comes in a kit costing around $250, plus $300 for fitment. It's likely to cost at least $300 to walnut blast the intake valves.

How to spot: Check the condition and level of the oil; low/dirty oil may mean the vehicle has been neglected and that many other problems may be afoot. Avoid such a car. Excessive oil consumption may not be easy to identify on a short test drive, but it will foul the spark plugs, causing poor running and misfiring, which could give it away. VCM oil leaks should leave physical traces near the alternator. Carbon build-up on the intake valves could also result in poor idling, misfires, and poor performance.

Don't be misled by the odd LFA engine code. The 2.0-liter inline-four engine in the hybrid Accord is nothing more than a derivative of the familiar R engine already used in countless Civics and HR-Vs on the used market. The SOHC 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter engine is used in the latter capacity in the Accord but its strengths remain, namely those of exemplary reliability and durability if properly maintained. That said, it doesn't have hydraulic valve lifters either, so you have to remember to have valve clearances checked every 30,000 miles or you'll suffer ticking valve gear and eventual camshaft damage if ignored. Similarly to the K engine, its crank seals tend to become leaky with age. Also similarly, the chain drive should be maintenance-free if you keep the oil fresh and clean.

Mileage: Have the valve clearances checked and adjusted every 30,000 miles. Crank seals can start leaking from around 100,000 miles. The auxiliary belt's tensioner pulley might have to be replaced every 60,000 miles.

Cost: Auxiliary belt tensioner pulleys don't typically cost more than $400-$500 to replace.

How to spot: A ticking noise while the engine is running means the valve clearances must be adjusted. Crank-seal leaks will usually leave physical evidence and may cause the oil level to drop.

There were a few 2013-2017 Honda Accord LX and EX 2.4 and EX-L V6 battery, alternator, intermittent push-button engine start, related starter/starting, keyless ignition switch, and charging-system problems. The standard batteries were weak in earlier models and that, as well as corroded terminals, led to a loss of electrical power and a number of problems such as not starting, loss of steering assist, and several warning lights. A replacement battery is an easy fix, but certain models were also recalled to replace the 12-volt battery sensor. Faulty alternators do occasionally pop up and this was quite a common problem on earlier J35 engines when leaky VCM gaskets spilled oil on the alternator, causing it to fail.

Mileage: From around 40,000-60,000 miles.

Cost: $140-$210 for replacement battery. An alternator will cost between $600 and $1,000 to replace.

How to spot: Loss of electrical power-steering assistance, slow-cranking starter.

This is one of the Accord's most common problems. The cost of replacing the starter is around $600. It's not always an easy problem to spot, however. In some cases, it will be fixed by the dealership because it's something a customer might encounter on during a test drive. But the starter might just be operating correctly on the day. Just to be safe, check the maintenance history to see whether the battery or starter was replaced. A rod is supposed to extend and engage a pinion gear, which turns over the engine to start it. If the transmission's torque-converter ring is misaligned with the starter, it may fail to engage or make grinding noises when it does; this was outlined in service bulletin TSB #16-002. Fixing the problem requires the starter motor to be replaced and the crankshaft to be rotated by one bolt hole to ensure the parts line up properly.

How to spot: Starter does not engage and turn the engine or requires multiple attempts before it does. There may also be a grinding noise on 2013-2015 V6 Accords when trying to start the engine.

A surprising number of customers complained that their LED daytime running lights burned out. There's no way of knowing if or when it will happen, and the replacement cost for two new headlight assemblies is around $750 - the DRLs cannot be replaced separately. Honda took notice of this problem, however. It extended the warranty of the DRLs to ten years. This problem seems to affect mostly 2016 and 2017 models and is the most common of the few Honda Accord headlight LED problems that owners reported.

Mileage: Can happen at any mileage.

Cost: $750 for two new headlight clusters.

How to spot: LED daytime running lights don't work or they are flickering or dim.

To avoid CVT problems, it is especially important to keep to the frequent fluid changes on these transmissions. There were various 2013-2017 Honda Accord LX, EX, and EX-L CVT automatic transmission, shifting, and rough acceleration problems reported, but generally, there aren't nearly as many 2013-2017 Honda Accord V6 sedan/coupe EX-L/Touring manual or automatic transmission or related acceleration problems. Despite the CVT issues, there was never a 2013-2017 Honda Accord CVT transmission recall. We noted a few complaints about CVT gearbox failure at around 70,000 miles. The most common cause is owners not keeping up with the annual maintenance, which includes a CVT oil change. If you're looking at a CVT model, ask for a detailed service history and make sure the transmission fluid changes happened as scheduled. The fluid should be replaced every 20,000 miles for Honda's CVT, or every 12,500 miles if the vehicle is used under extreme conditions, such as in freezing temperatures and/or when towing.

Cost: Can amount to thousands of dollars, depending on the repair.

How to spot: Note TSB 13-053, which was for a vibration, judder, or light acceleration from idle. When the car is cold, put it in reverse and see if the rpm climbs. You can also get dirty and check the undercarriage for leaks from the gearbox seal. The easiest way to check for this problem is a test drive. Do a few hard 20 to 40 mph acceleration runs. If it shifts smoothly the car is fine. If there's any delay, hesitation or juddering, walk away. Check that all the service campaigns and recalls have been completed.

The touchscreen infotainment interface can freeze, potentially causing problems with the navigation and reverse camera too. Problems with the radio, audio control, and device syncing could all point to infotainment problems. A hard reset (disconnecting and reconnecting the battery) seems to fix this in some instances if it doesn't come right by itself. However, the system's software must always be up to date as well.

Mileage: Can happen at any mileage.

How to spot: The infotainment will be sluggish, even when using the remote controls on the steering wheel. Certain items such as the radio and navigation may cause problems and/or not work correctly. The fix (a hard reset) is relatively simple.

Some Accords had faulty door seals, allowing lots of wind noise in. Test drive the car at highway speeds to see if the noise is excessive.

Cost: $70 for a set of door seals

How to spot: Excessive noise at highway speeds

Out of the 12,000 Accords sold during the first year the car was on sale, 43 owners complained about uncomfortable seats. That's enough to register as a known flaw, so it's best to try them out yourselves on an extended test drive and see if they agree with you.

Cost: Prices range from $150 to $650, depending on the chosen upholstery, for custom seat covers with additional bolstering.

How to spot: Extended test drive.

In common with many other manufacturers like Toyota, Honda uses a soy-based wiring insulation that costs less and is more environmentally friendly. However, this attracts rodents that like to chew on the wiring and use it for nesting material, potentially causing thousands of dollars in damage and wreaking havoc on the car's electrical system. Some suggest treating the wiring with rodent repellents or wrapping it in capsaicin-laced tape, but you can't get to all the wiring, so the only real fix is to control the rodents and prevent them from getting to your Accord in the first place.

Cost: Can amount to thousands of dollars depending on the extent of the damage.

How to spot: Check under the hood for signs of rodent activity, such as droppings and chewed wiring. Random electrical problems are often caused by damaged wiring. If there are signs of chewed wiring, stay away.

Steering racks can sometimes fail between 60,000 and 70,000 miles and at around $2,200, this is one of the expensive 2013-2017 Honda Accord speed-sensitive electrical power steering - or EPS - problems, so check that the steering system is working properly, with no clunks and rattles and no loss of power assistance. Some owners complain of the paintwork chipping and/or peeling too easily, so be sure to check that the paint is in good condition. Repairing and/or repainting body panels can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is reliable, but the occasional condenser needed replacing at a cost of over $500; other than that, there aren't many 2013-2017 Honda Accord heater control and defective air-conditioning/air-conditioner - or AC - problems to report.

The 2013 and 2014 Accord with the CVT gearbox might exhibit various issues. The CVT transmission tended to be somewhat troublesome and you run the risk of buying a model with starter and/or battery problems. These V6 models from these two years also have a reputation for drinking oil. Infotainment problems are also the most common on the pre-facelift models and they also received the most complaints about uncomfortable seats and flaky paintwork. These are a few reasons to avoid the 2013-2015 9th-gen Accord.

The Honda Accord is a spacious, safe, luxurious, and affordable family sedan.

As such, we'd choose the engine and trim that work best with the car's main selling points, namely its spacious, comfortable interior, and effortless driving experience. It has to be the 3.5-liter V6 with an automatic transmission, in post-facelift EX-L trim. Honda decluttered the interior a bit, but the small changes to the exterior design make the biggest difference. Most of the Accord's major flaws were also fixed after the facelift and the 2017 model year exhibited very few problems. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on this trim in its facelifted form. Just make sure those dodgy DRLs have been replaced and the infotainment system works properly and its software is up to date.

The 3.5-liter V6 provides enough power for the driving experience to feel effortless, and it returns surprising fuel consumption figures. Honda's traditional automatic gearbox is much better than its CVT. The automatic simply fades into the background and does its job, like any good automatic should. Honda only put the V6 engine in the high-spec models, but that's not a bad thing. The EX-L has all of the toys you need, plus a few you weren't expecting. If you are an enthusiastic driver, it's worth taking a look at a V6 manual. Good luck finding one, however.

The 9th-generation Accord is a bit on the bland side, but it is a good used buy. Stay away from the 2013-2015 models, ensure that the car was well maintained by its previous owners, check the service booklets to confirm recall problems were sorted, and you should be golden. And go for an extended test drive because poor seat comfort is a deal-breaker for some people - while the seats don't bother other people at all. Going by what we've seen, you should be able to get at least 200,000 miles out of a good Accord. If you want something similar but slightly more engaging, it's worth checking out the Civic and Civic Si models, and if you prefer a high-riding version of the Accord, the CR-V is also a good buy.