2018 Honda CR-V Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, electrical system, and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Honda generally makes great vehicles, but even the best cars are imperfect human-made machines. Take, for example, the troublesome 2018 Honda CRV. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the main problem areas for this SUV are the engine, fuel system, and electrical system.

**ATTENTION, if you are a current owner  of a 2017-2018 CR-V in following trim: EX, EX-L and Touring and are experiencing issues  with the information display, you may be eligible to join a class action suit against Honda. So give us a call. Our services are absolutely FREE to you. Click 877-795-3666 ☎ NOW for a Free Case Evaluation. Or go ahead and fill out our Contact Form.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022   2023

Engine and fuel system

Many modern engines – including those found in the 2018 CR-V – are direct injected. What this means is fuel is squirted directly into the combustion chambers, instead of into the intake manifold. While this design improves gas mileage, it can also lead to problems, such as fuel entering the engine oil. Because the fuel is shot right into the cylinder, it’s more likely to wash past the piston rings and into the oil pan.

Honda CR-V owners are all too familiar with this problem. What they find is that fuel ends up in the oil, creating an overfull level and obnoxious odor.

On the NHTSA website, one owner from Jamestown, NY, complains, “Just bought a new 2018 CRV EXL. I’ve had it less than two weeks and put 600 miles on it. There was a smell of gas in the cabin when my wife and child were driving in town. When they got home, I realized it was from gas getting into the oil. When the dipstick was checked, a strong smell of gas was noticeable, and the oil level read high on the dipstick.”

Another says on the Kelly Blue Book website, “Wow….Major oil dilution is occurring. No, I don’t take short trips, 15-mile highway commute. Honda said they are looking into it but wouldn’t do anything else. I said they had a major recall in China for the same reason and had offered extended warranties. The reply was, they are studying the problem. Ok, study Honda…but the fact is anyone whom has a quart of gas in their oil is having their engine compromised. I don’t think any study is necessary on that fact. So dragging your feet is not being upfront or valuing your customers.”

More than one lawsuit has been filed against Honda because of the problem.But so far, the automaker has not issued a recall in North America, though it did recall 350,000 vehicles in China. To fix vehicles abroad, dealers have been instructed to reprogram the SUV’s onboard computer, the engine control module.

Honda’s advice to U.S. consumers? Avoid cold climates and short trips, as these (normal) driving habits can exacerbate the issue. Customers are also told the problem won’t affect the longevity of their engine. But since fuel doesn’t have the same lubricating characteristics as oil, that statement is dead wrong.

Electrical problems

Once only found on high-end cars, advanced driver assistance technologies are now offered on moderately priced vehicles, like the CR-V. The Honda Sensing suite is Honda’s name for its bundle of such features. Functions such as collision mitigation braking, road departure warning, and adaptive cruise control are included in the package.

The Honda Sensing suite depends on a lot of high-tech sensors and computers, which can, unfortunately, go awry. When this happens, an alarming array of warning lights illuminate the dash, and in some cases, certain safety functions may not work.

On the NHTSA website, an owner from Dayton, OH, complains, “Driving down the highway when all dash warning lights concerning the Honda Sensing system came on with malfunction warnings. Pulled over to the side of the highway and restarted the motor and the warnings went off.”

Another from Springboro, OH, states, “Honda Sensing Problem with amber warning light on dash. The system all locked up while on I75 on the way home from work. When I exited at the light, I turned the car off, and it cleared the error message. Cruise control was not engaged.”

Much like the oil-in-gas problem, Honda has not issued a recall or service bulletin for the Sensing suite concern. Instead, the car company chooses to leave owners driving substandard, potentially dangerous vehicles.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Honda pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Honda CR-V

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Vehicle Speed Control
Power Train

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Tom F

    I got a deal on a new 2018 CRV LX AWD back in December ’18, the reason I bought it was because it was the non-turbo, non-dohicky version. No driver asst. to malfunction, no turbo to malfunction, no sunroof to malfunction, trusty 2.4 engine. Haven’t had any problems at all. So if you want a reliable used CRV get an 17, 18, or 19 LX.

  • Mark O

    Having the fuel entering the crank case issue. Still have the problem after I took it to the dealer and they did the TSB repairs on it. This is documented in my account with Honda. Also Electrical system problems, the display screen switches brightness and switches screens intermittently, took to dealer and they reflashed the system, no help. Drivers Assist is actually scary, driving on the highway, adaptive cruise control on, no vehicles anywhere, broad daylight, sunny day, no obstacles in front of the vehicle, the vehicle intermittently displays apply breaks now and actually stops by itself from going 65mph on an expressway, and goes to a compete stop on its own. Once I was almost rammed in the rear by a cement truck, luckily he swerved and avoided killing me… dealer found no problem. Vehicle was bought new from a Local large Honda dealership. No help from Honda. Iam afraid to drive it, so I leased another car and don’t know what to do with my CRV Touring 2018. Can you help? Thank You

  • Honey

    I have a 2018 CRV EX that has run 38K miles so far. The ac on the driver end is not working and throws warm air. I tried switching between both auto mode and manually on/off with no avail .However the cool draft of air doesn’t come from the driver side. I am utterly disappointed. The car is not even driven enough . It’s a shame the AC is not working with just 38k miles on a brand new CRV.

    I see tons of complaints all over the internet regarding the issue with AC for the Honda CR V 2018 model.
    It is annoying that in spite of this, there was no recall done by Honda

  • Kathleen

    I currently own a 2018 Honda CR-V Touring with only 24, 000 miles on it and have had numerous electrical/entertainment screen issues (as well as other known CR-V repair issues) since purchasing the vehicle, new, in November of 2017. The entertainment screen and the steering wheel display will frequently turn completely blue. This began just weeks after purchasing the vehicle. (I have countless pictures of the blue screens.) The infotainment system will also suddenly become “possessed” with the brightness self adjusting and the radio’s volume cycling silent to loud and also cycling thru radio stations on its own, with me and unable to stop/adjust with the controls. I’ve taken it to the dealer and had it repaired with a “software update” (which I’ve paid for three times) yet the problems continue. Twice after having the dealer apply said software update “fix”, my vehicle has unnessarily applied the auto braking, collision avoidance braking system on its own, slowing my vehicle down to a stop in the middle of traffic almost making my car cause an accident. One of those times was when I was on the highway, returning from picking up car from the dealer for AC repair and infotainment system update. I was driving 60 miles an hour on the highway, in heavy traffic, my car suddenly applied the braking system and slowed my car down to a stop. I was almost rear-ended by the vehicle behind me, and worse, almost caused a chain reaction, multi car collision. VERY DANGEROUS! This makes me very leery of driving the car anywhere, especially on the highway.

    My car often locks and unlocks the doors on its own, and beeps and chirps repeatedly after parking the vehicle and turning off the ignition. I replaced the vehicle’s battery when the car was just shy of two years old. (A dead battery stranded my 90-year-old mother and I in a hot parking garage in the middle of August after a medical procedure, unable to roll down the windows or open the trunk to retrieve her wheelchair to go back into an air-conditioned building for comfort while waiting for AAA to replace the battery.)

    I had to to repair the AC for failure at only 17,500 miles. (I also experienced an extremely expensive, AC compressor failure “black death” repair on my previous 2010 Honda CR-V. I later learned it was a known issue and that there was a service bulletin for A/C compressor clutch repair but that my vehicle was outside of the years of the vehicles being recalled!)

    The vehicle has other issues, but the ones I’ve listed above are the most dangerous (and costly!)

  • Frustrated

    I Have purchased a 2018 Honda CV-R of April 2021 it had 40,000 km. Come June the hottest month of the year my A/C decides not to work, have my baby in there we were on along trip had to keep soaking her with water (stopping every 15 min) to stay cool. Then the fan wont shut off now keeps running even after the vehicle is off.
    I have been contacting the dealer telling to come get their piece of crap thinking I will be worried about my credit rating. I d rather be worried about the safety of my children. HEEELLLLPPPPPP!!!!!!!

  • TK

    Terrible to here about everyone’s issues. I own a 2018 EX and have never had any issues whatsoever. It is my 4th CR-V and they have all performed great.

  • Walter C

    Bought a 2018 Honda CR-V Touring new. Have had problems with the information screen continually since I’ve owned it. The dealership I bought the vehicle from I do not trust. This is the second CR-V I bought from them and the last. The present CR-V has had steering issues where its pulled to one side without me trying and hoping it does not happen again. We are leaving for a long trip in June and I’m worried something may happen.

  • Jbatiz

    I have a 2018 CRV and had so many issues and took the vehicle to the dealership due to the terrible smell, issues with the driver seat electric controls that the dealer had to fix. Now experiencing some occasional issues with not being able to lower the volume, the screen where the radio is goes black at times while driving and moving the steering wheel, and
    to get me more frustrated I just discovered rust coming out in the tailgate door. The car is hardly used with less than 20,000 and sleeps inside a garage. I am so frustrated.

  • Barbara

    I also have a 2018 Honda CRV and for the last year have had problems with the Electrical system. All the Sensing dash warning lights flashing and the car continues to drive fine except you can’t use the cruise control are cell phone. Took back to dealer and was told per the computer to put 2 tanks of her gas and see if that corrects the problem, well it didn’t. Had problems again today and loss some power took battery cables off and computer reset. Drive approx 50 miles and started again. Same issues as others are having. Once I get this problem fixed I will move on to another vehicle as I don’t feel I can trust Honda anymore and this is my third one.

  • EL

    So many issues with my 2018 CR-V. I feel this car is a total lemon.

    Connection to Bluetooth fails often. Display screen randomly goes black or controls will freeze up, and I must restart the car.

    Electric parking brake issue today and now gave to have the car towed to a ship because it clicks, all electronics flicker, and then it won’t start at all.

    I’ve had the experience others have mentioned about going outside in the morning to find all windows and sunroof open.

    The car often gets a strong gas smell.

    Terrible car.

  • Duncan M


  • Melissa F

    I own a 2018 Honda CR-V EX, purchased new in January 2019. Around August 2019, went for a weekend trip as we were leaving town all happening at the same time, the radio volume would continue going loud to mute on it’s own, the door lock/ unlock was like someone was constantly hitting the lock/ unlock button, the CR-V would not get over 50 mph, every oncoming vehicle I met the CR-V automatically bright lighted and the steering pulled towards the vehicle I was meeting on the road when they were approaching the front of my vehicle. It continually did all of this until we reached our destination. Once we arrived the back doors would not open at all, causing my daughter to panic in fear of thinking she was trapped. After having her crawl through the front of the CR-V I noticed the key fob would not work for locking or unlocking the vehicle. Took it to the dealership as soon as we returned, they adjusted sensors and updated software.
    The issues still occur, as this did not fix them. At times have noticed clouds of smoke coming from the CR-V whenever the accelerator is pushed. Another trip that was taken had more issues to the point I will not travel in the CR-V any more. It is as if this vehicle is trying to harm my daughter and myself. On this trip the headlights did as before automatically bright lighting every oncoming vehicle, low tire pressure light stayed on, the dash was completely black during the day making it difficult to see anything on it, if the econ mode was on traveling through the mountains the CR-V would only get up to 35 mph, if I turned the econ mode off 45 mph was the fastest speed while the rest of the traffic was traveling at speeds of 70-75 mph. During this trip the CR-V on multiple occasions would jerk with the steering almost causing me to go off the side of a cliff, and other times would slam on the brakes saying I was departing the road. Again I took it to the dealership and left it for a week, they once again adjusted sensors, cameras, and update software. Currently I do not feel safe at all traveling anywhere with my child in it. Now I’m dealing with it wanting to stop running or sputtering. Last week I put gasoline in the CR-V (4) times, keep in mind I was only in town, a small town, driving that week. Typically I could go on a tank of fuel for 2 weeks. Have noticed the gas smell within the cabin. Also the CR-V had been parked for over 5 hours one evening when I noticed a buzzing or humming sound coming from the rear tire area of the CR-V, it paused for a few seconds then started back by sounding similar to when a gas furnace ignites, going into a buzzing/ humming noise afterwards. Once again contacted the dealership only to be told they no longer can help me, after making me feel as if I’m making these things up, since they cannot make it reoccur with them. I’m beyond frustrated. Contacted Honda Services, have a case but can’t seem to get the case manager to return my calls. I’m getting no where with these issues, and seem as if I’m being ignored. Feel like this is not right in many areas, especially for the amount of money I’m paying for this CR-V, Honda is not holding up their end of the agreement.

  • Jody L

    I have issues with the information display. It will start “jumping around”. I have to shut the car off and restart the car to get the display to quit vacillating. There is also a thermostat problem. The temp. gauge goes up and down at random and the heater will not get hot…only mildly warm.

  • Joel K

    My dash that controls the radio, blue tooth, navigation, air, heat and any other controls from that screen freezes or is black for a period of time. I just took it in a week ago and the dealership informed me that it can NOT be fix. I have spoken to Honda Corp., the dealership and US Bank who we have our lease through and NO ONE will allow us to get out of our lease even though this problem can’t be fixed. We need your help to solve this problem. I don’t want to pay this amount of money every month($380.82) and not have the car not working to its potential. It is not safe for me or my family.

  • Art H

    We noticed that, when checking the oil level, the oil smelled strongly of gasoline (much more so than any other vehicle we have ever owned). Also, the oil level showed above the FULL level. The dealer was informed at the oil change and said what we saw was “normal.” We have continued to notice this, despite having the Honda recall for this performed. After the recall fix, our miles per gallon dropped about 20%, which is odd since that means even more fuel is being wasted somewhere.. For teh past 3 oil changes we have told the dealer’s service advisors about this issue, each time they do NOT write it on the Service Order, yet when we go to pick the vehicle up they say that everything checked out OK!! Honda and its dealers know there is a HUGE issue with the 1.5-liter Turbo engine but they are ignoring it at all levels. Additionally, our dealer wants to change the engine oil and filter very 3000 m iles with synthetic oil, whereas we should be able to drive at least 7500 miles between oil changes. The more frequent oil changes clearly demonstrate there is a concern that the fuel dilution problem is a big issue and that they are trying to mitigate engine damage by changing the diluted/gas contaminated engine oil more frequently than should be needed. This costs the owner more money in maintenance. I want a 2019 that does not have the oil/fuel issue or my money back from Honda for selling a defective product and releasing an unproven and maldesigned auto.

  • Tim S

    I have a 2017 Honda CRV EX, the electrical issues happen infrequently as far as all alarms going off, happened at least 5-6 times. Then the brightness controls, can not stop or turn off the head unit, saved to video. Very annoying if you’re driving for 2 hours. Only able to turn off if the car is off for a period of time. I have a screen capture of Honda internal status stating to their dealers they’re aware of the problem but to do nothing. Here’s the rub with Honda, I have their 8 year 80,000 mile warranty, they tell me that this head unit may not be covered under my extended warranty AND that they may need to charge me a diagnostic fee. I don’t think I should have to pay any fee if it’s a warranty issue. Imagine a poker game where they’re holding the cards and have final say, would you trust that? Honestly last car I get with Honda unless they can fix this.

  • Pam G

    There have been several times when I have been driving and the road mitigation system turns off and I can no longer engage the cruise control. It is only reset if I come to a complete stop (which is hard to do when driving on interstate). Recently the infotainment system has been glitching. It has happened twice. The radio won’t turn off but the brightness keeps adjusting and the system beeps. I pulled over and it happens while I am stationary as well. I have taken it to the dealer to have the computer rebooted or whatever they say they do, but it hasn’t fixed the problem. I bought a Honda because of their good reputation but now am having buyers remorse. Yesterday I received notice that the powertrain now has a lifetime warranty due to this engine issue. I wonder how many times I will be taking my Honda to the dealership to work with these known issues?

  • Walter K

    Electrical problems similar to Tinas much so. All warning lights flashing, three times , first time cut engine off , fixed problem, Second time took to dealership , did the software update ,AC Control everything that was on the bulletin changed oil etc. seem to stop it , then at 38,000 did it again this time Traced it it to the fuel injectors , at a cost of $1,300.00 replace and all the trimmings , my car is still under warranty because I got the extended warranty . Waiting out my warranty so far they been very good to me give me a rental each time . Hopes this solves the problem if not I may take different steps .I enjoy the handling of this car, Plus gas mileage . I don’t have time for all the issues waiting on it to happen again to make a decision if it does .

  • Tina

    Tina I took my 2018 CRV to the shop after I had taken it for an oil change in June 2019. Four days later after parking my car I returned and turned it on only to find the dashboard lit up with problem lights- emergency brake- the parking brake- the lane mitigation- cruise control! I took pictures with my phone of all the problem lights! I took it back to the dealer. The dealer said my fuel injectors needed to be replaced! After 14,000 miles! I showed them the pictures which I took of my dash and they took the car to fix it. This is not the first time I have had problems coming up on my dash-“. The first time the lights went off after turning the car on and off. This time after turning the car off it seemed like even more lights came on the dash. I am fearful of driving this car. There appears to be a real issue with the 2018 Honda CRV.

  • Judy P

    I bought a 2018 Honda CR-V touring
    A couple months after I bought it the whole electrical system and monitor screen started malfunctioning.
    The radio can’t be turned off , the brightness button beeps and flashes, the screen goes black.
    The phone calls people randomly
    It has happened many times.
    After the car is turned off and sets for overnight it is normal again.
    I have taken it to get it serviced. I was told it can’t be repaired. Honda doesn’t have the parts.
    I have reported it to the dealership they can’t replace it I was told.
    The dealership wants me to buy a 2019 trading my car in and paying a cash sum.
    This seems to me I am taking the loss for a problem not caused by me.
    Honda should take the loss and give me a new car.
    I bought the car in good faith and they are not living up to their warranty promise.
    The car should be replaced under the lemon law.

  • Cindy F

    Electrical glitches with touchscreen. Radio flashes on & off, brightness screen on & off. “freezes” so can’t turn off. Sensors get dust on them and drops speed while on the highway with no warning. When heat is on smells melty hot and then the radio acts up even more.

  • Jeffrey H

    Took my Crv in to Honda shop because of stalling on road. Found out gas in oil. 2018 Crv has 10.000 miles on it. Gas smells in car. They worked on it for 1 1/2 hours . They say its fixed .. will see
    So not happy. Heater does not even get hot.

  • Cathy c

    I just had all dash warning lights come on. I pulled over checked tire pressure sand turned it off and on. All dash warning lights were still on. I called Honda and was told it’s a glitch but safe to drive as it reset itself. Also told to bring it into Honda to get checked. Will do.

  • Tatiana S

    We owned a 2018 Honda CRV EXL suddendly, the sound system started to act up. it begin by changing the radio station, then the brightness, all at one time. the beeping sound was unberable. When i arrived at my destination, I turned the car off, after couple hours off it was normal again. but I am concerned it may happen again…

  • Todd &

    My wife and I bought a 2018 Honda CRV EX . About four months after we owned it she told me she smelled gas.I did some checking. Fuel mileage was absolutely terrible and there was gas in the oil. Took it in they told me that a sensor was bad. Another big issue we have with it is the remote start distance is absolutely terrible. I was told from o’Malley’s Honda in Wausau Wisconsin that the remote will work up to 400 feet. I measured out 50 foot increments in my long driveway up to 400 feet could not get over 200 feet. I tried it five different times got the same result .Took it back to the shop they said they tried it and got 350 feet out of it I took it back home and tried it again the same day and could not get over 200 feet . My 2008 Chevy truck remote starts at 1200 feet

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