Update on my 2013 Honda Accord Issues – a mixed bag.

I took my 2013 Honda Accord EX-L into the dealership last Saturday primarily for the erratic radio behavior, but also for the recent squealing noise that started to occur occasionally when I made left turns.

As it turns out, the squealing noise was due to a disc brake pad retaining clip shifting and rubbing against the rotor, there was apparently a tech service bulletin out on this particular issue. I was happy to hear that and had high hopes that the problem would be resolved. Well, the squealing stopped, but returned 4 days later with a vengeance. I now get a high-pitched screech from the same side while slightly turning left. Ugh…time to set up another service appointment.

A TSB was recently released for the radio that was supposed to fix many of the issues I was experiencing (occasional lock ups, static, and sluggishness). Honda performed the software update on my radio, which seemed to go pretty well. I had to re-pair my phone to the radio and my audio adjustments were reset (bass/treble/sub/etc), not a big deal.

Were the problems with the radio resolved? Well, I haven’t had any lockups or weird static issues yet – and the sound quality seems to have improved over bluetooth. It hasn’t been a week yet since I had the update, so it may be too early to say for sure. The stereo system is still not what I would consider a premium sound system, as Honda calls it. Bass response *might* be a little better, but still not what I would expect from a system with a sub.

As far as the radio sluggishness, it seems to be more responsive now, with only a slight lag at times. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the touch screen interface at all, I prefer the tactile feel of buttons and find myself having to look down at the radio longer to change a station with the touch screen. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why Honda added the front collision warning system – for those times when you’re trying to adjust the poorly designed radio. I also have to touch the screen much harder than I would expect. As far as I’m concerned, Apple sets the bar for touch screen responsiveness. The touch screen in the Accord feels a little spongy like something you would find on a low-end portable GPS. Sorry Honda, but I consider the stereo to be the biggest flaw. I’d happily replace it if I could, but seeing as how it’s tightly integrated into controlling non-radio functionality, that’s just not possible.

Last but not least is my fuel economy issue. It has improved, I left the ECON mode off for my last fill-up and averaged 30.9 MPG, up from the 27-28 MPG I was getting when drove much of the time with ECON mode turned on. I think there was a little more highway driving on the last refuel, so that may explain much of the increase in fuel economy. When I take it back to the dealer to have the screeching noise looked at, I intend to ask if there’s something that can be done with regard to the fuel economy, so far it’s been a little disappointing. I don’t see how 36MPG on the highway is achievable unless I’m going downhill with a tailwind for most of my trip.

On a final note, I do have to give a big kudos to the service advisors at my Honda dealership, they have to be the most pleasant couple of guys I have ever dealt with at any auto service department.

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15 Comments

  1. I have had nothing but problems with the HondaLink/Radio. It has locked up on occasion forcing me to restart the car to resolve it. Tonight, the radio had a high pitch squeal to it. Restarting the car did resolve it, but this is damned ridiculous. I will contact the dealer about the firmware upgrade and see if any issues are resolved.

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  2. I have the same high pitched screech/squeal coming from my left front axel area while turning left. It is getting worse and worse too. I have an appointment first thing tomorrow morning. I am glad i found your post which states there was a TSB for this issue.

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  3. Hi – I have a 2013 Accord with the same squealing brake issue. I brought it in and they adjusted the retainer and applied mylokote. Two days later (today) and it’s back and even worse. Wondering what the resolution was when you brought it back the second time?!

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    1. Hi Callie – when I took it back the second time I *thought* the noise was coming from the same wheel. They said it was actually a different wheel and did he same fix. Whatever they did, fixed it and it hasn’t come back since 🙂

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  4. I took delivery of Honda Accord EX-L several months ago and the squeal when turning left started almost immediately. It was originally only when the steering wheel was turned far to the left and then began to squeal when steering wheel was turned left even a small bit – – sounded like nails on a chalk board. Went to Tarrytown Honda today and it was fixed. They said it was the brakes.

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  5. Hate to break it to you because I don’t know were you have been since the 70’s but the posted EPA miles per Gallon are always inflated. It is because they test them at 55 mph at optimal driving conditions for the highway numbers. There are test parameters car companies have to follow that the government dictates to come up with the MPG. The driving test is not designed to approximate average driving habits but is design to get maxium MPG since the car companies have to meet minimum MPG standards on their fleet. That is why they always say EPA because it is the EPAs test they post. I can get 32 in my 2014 LX manual at 80 MPH with little wind. I could get 36 if I drove at 60 MPH in 6th gear for a few hundred miles on flat land. However that is the only way you are going to ever get your cars rated MPG.

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    1. Hi Brian,
      Not sure if you read the updated post on my fuel economy, but essentially turning off the ECO mode and warmer weather seemed to make a big difference with my highway fuel economy (http://www.pjsquared.com/blog/?p=309).

      …and a little side note on the lesson you gave regarding EPA ratings and testing. The EPA revised fuel economy testing back in 2008 in an effort to get more real-world results (along with new standards for the fuel economy ratings on the window sticker), which ends up being more accurate to what consumers can expect. Lots of information out there on it right at your finger tips. So I believe the following statements you made below haven’t been valid for several years now:

      “It is because they test them at 55 mph at optimal driving conditions for the highway numbers.” and “The driving test is not designed to approximate average driving habits but is design to get maxium MPG since the car companies have to meet minimum MPG standards on their fleet”

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  6. I have had my Accord EXL for about a year and a half. My overall mileage is about 8L/100km which is about 29.4 miles/US gallon. I have found that the ECON button does nothing for mileage. If I do a straight highway drive for about an hour I can get around 6.5L/100km doing about 110-115km/hr or about 36mile/US gallon. I also have the brake squealing noise and I had to have the software on radio/Nav system updated because I would start the car and the screen would be blank.

    Cheers,

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  7. I have a 2013EXL. Just got it 6 weeks ago. Had several problems the dealer could nor resolve:
    The compass did not show at all. Dealer said this model didn’t have it. Called Honda they told me never heard of such a complaint. They would get back to me. Not satisfied I googled the problem. Some website (Can’t remember the name) that I went to, said for $10.00 they could get an answer. I said to myself I can lose 10 bucks. I agreed. Low and behold a mechanic from a Honda dealership (he gave no name) gave me the answer. I had to go into the diagnostics mode (not available to consumers) find compass region and select USA. When I opened the diagnostics mode I think it said Europe. Changed it, calibrated it and viola it works. Now I have another problem. The manual says “your vehicle” has voice recognition. The menu does offer a field for that.But all I can do is use the phone.
    For the first time (I have been a Honda fanatic for 20 years) I am disappointed. The manual is not clear and the dealers and Cust Sce of Honda itself don’t know the answers. I think Honda is not “the car that sells itself” it used to be.

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  8. I own a 2013 EXL. I would like too “reset” (right word? reinstall?) the navigation system, is there a way I can do myself?

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  9. Paul, I have a 2013 Honda EXL and when we put nitrogen in our tires, our highway miles increased to 41mpg and our in town mpg is 36!!

    We had the software update on the radio last week, and the problems have already returned, and now our directional indicator has disappeared. I refer to it often, so this so frustrating!! Now another trip back to the dealer, which is located 60 miles from us!!

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  10. I currently own a 13 accord coupe ex-l. The first thing I began to despise was the bass . I turned the sub and bass to its maximum output and it still lacked the premium sound it claimed to be equipped with. After learning that I could go into the Developer menu and change certain settings, such as getting rid of the driving restrictions and turning a function called flat on which significantly increased the bass by double! As far as the brake issue I also have screeching brakes which only sound when I brake at high speeds, However If I brake gently the noise does not appear. I currently have 15k on it, Honda said that my brakes are at mid life…..

    * As far as fuel economy I noticed the car goes a lot slower and has much less power when on eco mode. When turned off it drives fairly fast and is even more quicker when on sport mode. On my recent trip from Los Angeles to Vegas a 250 mile journey I average 37 mpg with econ mode on. As far as Gas I am blown away by how fuel efficient this car is. It’s not hybrid millage but for the power this car has I have no complaints. Just the Brake issue, which judging by the previous models seems to be a design flaw…

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  11. I have a 2013 EX-L V6 with NAV. I routinely get 34-36 MPG in eco mode on the freeway at 70-74 mph. At 65-70 MPH I routinely get 38+ MPG. I have photos of the display reading 40.1 MPG at 60 MPH. The key is to use the cruise control and baby it on the onramp until you are up to speed. One or two sudden accelerations will chop a MPG off.

    Eco mode does make it more sluggish. It is a rocket when not in eco mode.

    Love the car except the NAV system requires a PhD in computer science to operate, and the voice control is pretty worthless.

    Edgar, I had to install a separate subwoofer in the trunk to get real bass.

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  12. I also have an EX-L V6. You can’t go by the vehicle info display to report the gas mileage accurately! I check my mileage the old fashioned way and find it to be somewhat less than the system reports – e.g. on a recent trip back from Virginia the system said 38 mpg but it was actually closer to 33, which is still awesome for a V6.

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  13. Our 2013 Accord Touring has excellent gas mileage. Unfortunately the passenger seat is not confortable at all. The navigation system has never been helpfull. We persevered with it thinking we had to get familiar with the way it was supposed to work. It is the most frustrating option for the passenger who is not able to make changes to the GPS while the car is being driven. When the car is stopped and we press a letter on the touchscreen it does not identify the letter that has been pressed but rather another letter. We have mentioned it to the dealer but they said They did not find anything wrong with it. We are now thinking of purchasing a postable GPS to make our travels more pleasant. We truly enjoy the passenger side camera.

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