Skip to main content

Effective vibration fix reported by happy 2015 Honda CR-V owners

Last month Honda generated a 19 page dealership service bulletin for Honda’s problematic 2015 CR-V.

Join us...    

The short story: I’m happy to report that we’re receiving positive feedback from Torque news readers through our Honda CR-V Forum as to the vibration fix. Great news, after 6 months of fielding mostly righteous complaints. Based on reader comment it appears that Honda has come up with an effective vibration fix for 2015 CR-V.

A bit of history

Earlier in 2015 Torque News and others shared Honda’s straightforward response to 2015 Honda CR-V vibrations in video format. In the video Honda touched on the variables of the cause and effect of the vibration, and that American Honda had launched an earnest study as to mediating the vibration. They acknowledged the problem without debate and would remedy it!

Not good enough! Although 2015 Honda CR-V SUV remained the #1 selling SUV in North America, a handful of owners were pissed, a lawsuit was filed, and as is often said “ the rest is history.”

Personal experience

I experienced the significantly refreshed EarthDreams ™powered, CVT shifted 2015 CR-V in Huntington Beach , California. I, like the majority of journalists attending the reveal gave 2015 CR-V high marks for greater power, much improved handling, a noted uptick in refinement, exterior good looks and expanded tech-driven personal connectivity. No excuses, I simply didn’t notice an unusually aggravating vibration.

2014 CR-V not my favorite ride

Prior to the Huntington Beach reveal, I wasn’t a big CR-V fan. After driving a 2014 CR-V in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I held a handful of reservations as to Honda’s best selling SUV. I found CR-V to be a bit cramped, marginally underpowered, driver-seat-uncomfortable, and a mild side roll while cornering.

Granted, I’d spent a week driving 2015 Acura MDX the week prior. Not a fair comparison. With that said, I walked away from the 2015 CR-V reveal duly impressed and was initially surprised by reports of excessive vibration.

Hey, what’s acceptable to one driver may not pass the muster with another. In speaking with Honda’s Chris Martin, that was the problem at hand as to finding a CR-V vibration remedy that would put all affected owner’s concerns at rest. It wasn’t going to happen easily, nor quickly.

Honda drafts a 19 page service directive for CR-V vibration variables

Harmonic frame transferred vibrations, engine mounts, CVT shift mapping, Hatch related vibration, this is the sort list of possible vibration causes in your 2015 CR-V SUV. While the dully noted vibration has not resulted in a formal safety-related product recall, Honda recommends that any CR-V owner experiencing an unusual or excessive vibration, to contact their dealer or Honda certified repair shop immediately.

Join us...    


Ann (not verified)    January 8, 2016 - 1:56PM

I had my CRV "fixed" and now it doesn't feel as peppy as before. Also my MPG has dropped about 2 MPG overall! Also the back hatch is difficult to open, although I don't know if that is from the tailgate damper kit. Vibration issue is much better.
I can't wait to get rid of it.

Parks McCants    January 8, 2016 - 2:54PM

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Welcome Ann. This issue has been a frustration for many owners. Unfortunately, new technology, in this case direct fuel injection and CVT transmission interface does come with a bit of vibration. Hopefully your fuel economy will rise in the spring when the refineries return to a summer blend gasoline. Note: You may wish to have a Honda dealer service department adjust the tension on your lift gate. Best of luck.

Parks McCants    June 20, 2016 - 8:50PM

In reply to by francisco (not verified)

Welcome francisco. Honda issued a 19 page dealer directive as to addressing and correcting various CR-V vibration related issues. Including but not limited to digital control (PCU) board remapping, tail lift gate "balancing" etc, The only way to ascertain what your Honda requires is to drop it off with a certified Honda service center. Best of luck.

Ann (not verified)    January 14, 2016 - 10:58PM

Hello Parks. I bought a CRV, not a Harley. Look at the YouTube video where the seats and visors were in earthquake mode, that was my CRV. My dealer says the MPG will drop with the fix. I see my MPG with the real-time digital gauge and monitor it weekly. It has been consistently tracking 1-2 MPG lower every week since. Honda rep says it should be about .7 MPG less. Yeah, okay. And yes I want that TORQUE back! Thanks for keeping the readers informed.

Cara (not verified)    February 27, 2019 - 2:39PM

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Yes Ann! You are so correct about earthquake mode. Im a mom transporting kids, not tooling around on a Harley. I have been dealing with this since new in 2015 and have had it fixed only for it to return. Now its at the dealer again after second fix that didn't work. 30k for a brand new car has caused more problems than my 20 year old Jeep that I had.

manuel (not verified)    January 29, 2016 - 8:26PM

They did the TSB 15-086, I was happy at first that there is a fix for the vibration on my 2014 CRV. However the vibration got worst and also it caused malfunction of the fuel range indicator (goes up & down 20-30 miles). I think it also compromised the fuel economy even w/ the economy button on. Now I am monitoring the odometer if it has malfunctioned.

Karen Lindeberg (not verified)    February 1, 2016 - 10:02PM

Got the "fix"for my 2015 CRV vibration. As bad as ever! It is actually worse because now it occasionally gets really intense around my lower back and abdomen. I can see why some people are getting physically sick. I brought it back and both the service manager and foreman rode with me. Since they couldn't feel anything more than "normal" (???) vibration I was told they couldn't do anything. The intense vibration isn't a daily thing, but when it hits it is terrible. I asked the foreman what he would have done had he felt the intense vibration while he was in the driver's seat and he said he would have called someone to discuss it. So why wouldn't he make the same call based on my description of the vibration? Unless they come up with a real remedy soon, Honda has lost a customer. They knowingly sell flawed 2015 cars and then only make cosmetic changes with the 2016. So much for their "honor".

Gary Cinader (not verified)    February 19, 2017 - 7:20PM

In reply to by Karen Lindeberg (not verified)

I have a 2015 CRV, it has been in the shop 12 times for idle problem. No one from the Honda Corp. or dealer wants to help. They keep saying it normal. I am about ready to hang lemons on it and drive it around. All of us that are having the problem need to get together and go after Honda. I know of over 800 complains.

GK (not verified)    February 10, 2016 - 2:26PM

Got mode 1,2,3 fix after much denial of the problem. It was a characteristic of the car. And even now the car continues to vibrate after the fix. And again we are told its a characteristic of the car, engine and CVT constantly. I'm sorry to say a car is not fixed just because every car has the same problem. Only choice is to hold onto all your paperwork and go to arbitration with NCDS and follow up with litigation. The problem is they either have to raise the rpms at idle which would reduce mpg and get the EPA involved or use hydraulic engine mounts. Honda chose not to equip the 2015 CR-V with hydraulic engine mounts which are used in Acura, however, because they are more expensive. Honda instead opted to install torque-rod engine-mounts in the CR-Vs, which are cheaper and also less effective at damping vibration. And the problems continue.

Dharmesh (not verified)    March 24, 2016 - 4:47PM

i bought 2016 CRV EX model and it has the same vibration issue, i was told that 2016 models are out with fix but looks like NOT. i reached out to my dealer and they have asked to bring back to check on vibrations. not sure what all hassle i have to go through

i would have never bought this vehicle knowing the issue, paying that big money and having not piece of mind just doesnt make sense

magdalena mejia (not verified)    October 17, 2016 - 10:42AM

In reply to by Dharmesh (not verified)

Im going threw the same citation as you, my is 2015. and it started with the passenger seat and now its both with the driver seat its freaking annoying, and i taked to dealer and i hate that they said its normal.

Manuel (not verified)    March 26, 2016 - 2:44AM

I just brought my 2014 CRV to the dealer as my last attempt for repair, but still no fix. As usual they will always say "cannot duplicate the problem". I'll just wait for fall to trade for a Rav 4 while it still has some value.

Randy (not verified)    March 26, 2016 - 11:53AM

I have a 2015 CRV AWD with the vibration problem and have had ALL 3 fixes applied, but they still haven't fixed or resolved the low RPM vibration issue. I have taken mine back to the dealer and compared it to a 2016 model that does the exact same thing. The problem only shows up once the engine has reached full operating temperature. When you put your foot on the brake while the vehicle is in drive and you don't have the headlights or blower motor running, then once you stop at a light, the RPM's will slowly drop to around 600 RPM's and the vibration starts. To confirm this, after the engine is at normal operating temperature with the headlights off and blower motor off,place the CRV in drive and engage the parking brake, so that the vehicle won't move if you take your foot off the brake. The RPM's will be about 750 or so at idle with your foot off the brake. Now place your foot on the brake and the RPM's will slowly drop to around 600 RPM's and the vibration will start. Take your foot off the brake, turn the steering wheel, turn on the blower motor half way or turn on the headlights and the RPM's will increase and most of the vibration will go away. I don't understand why they can't program the idle to not drop below a certain value to where the vibration won't occur. 700 or 750 RPM can't be that bad, since the engine naturally stays at that RPM if the accessories are on.

As it stands now, I'm waiting for the results of the pending lawsuits and may file for the lemon law depending on the outcome. In any case, I may be done with Honda, since they also recalled my 2014 civic for improper hardened steel in the CVT and rather than replace the defective part, they de-tuned the engine so it won't make too much torque.

Parks McCants    March 28, 2016 - 2:59PM

In reply to by Randy (not verified)

Good day Randy. For our reader's edification: On a scale of 1 to 10, when you refer to vibration at idle, etc, how measurable is it? Note: *I've personally driven no fewer than 3,000 in 2014/2015/2016 CR-V and have yet to experience a vibration that would merit, yet qualify for a lemon-law recall reimbursement of cost(on the West Coast) anyway. What sir is the date of manufacture and trim-level of your CR-V? Thank you for your timely response.

michelle macgregor (not verified)    June 29, 2017 - 7:54PM

In reply to by Randy (not verified)

I purchased a 2017 Honda CRV over 2 months ago and when I start my car on a cold start as the idle starts to go down I have a flutter and vibration coming from engine and when I am at a red light on foot on brake and in drive gear my engine starts to vibrate and have a flutter feeling , very annoying, had at shop 3 times they said that is a normal operation of that particular vehicle that is a bunch of crap, I did drive same CRV for a day the dealer loaned me and it did the same thing after I drove it for a while but mine is more pronounced, Honda knows what the problem is but will not fix it, but we are good enough to buy there SUVs but when we need assistance they turn there head on the consumer, I ask for another CRV will not give it to me, plus I told them maybe the software needs changed will not do it.

Debbie Gelfand (not verified)    May 22, 2016 - 10:14PM

I also had the vibration issue and complained almost from day 1.(dec 2015) I kept thinking the car was going to stall. I joined every online complaint site and was at least glad I wasn't crazy. I complained to the dealer every time I brought the car in over one and half year . The dealer each time said they did not know what I was talking about which was quite disheartening so made no record of my complaints, I had not read about eh "fix" but at my last oil change,when they did the follow up satisfaction call I mentioned the issue again but this time did get a call back about the fix. I asked why I was not notified as I had complained so many times and they stated they had no record of my complaints--WOW---BUT good news for me after all this. I bought the car in and they performed the 19 or whatever page adjustments and I must say that my serious vibration issue is so much better and I have not lost any mpg that I can detect so far and I did have a severe vibration--not a mild one----maybe just a slight loss of pick up but I am pretty happy now with the CRV

Terry C (not verified)    June 14, 2016 - 10:00PM

2015 CRV. Vibration issues. Not a constant nor consistent thing. Usually felt between 2000 and 2500 RPM. Driving or idling. It's at the dealer now for a fourth crack at it. The vibrations can vary between a 2 and 5 on the vibration scale. Once I could feel it through the seat. We had a 2016 loaner car from the dealership and it had the same problem. I'm very disappointed with Honda. It's clearly a design flaw and although it may not be a serious safety or mechanical issue, it certainly is a value issue. I've heard of owners being offered one third less than what they paid for the vehicle and it's not even a year old. BS I say. Trying to get rid of it through the lemon law.

Parks McCants    June 15, 2016 - 11:16AM

In reply to by Terry C (not verified)

Good day Terry. What I've discovered is that once the vibration becomes a mind set, it isn't going away. I've detected vibration in EVERY direct injected 4 cylinder powered vehicle driven to date. Honda,Kia,Mazda, Toyota....Granted I haven't driven your CR-V. And, in a perfect world the vibration wouldn't exist.

On the dealership side: ALL Honda dealers are independent business owners. and set their particular region trade in values. As to the Lemon Law, good luck with mitigation. Take care.

Berc Caylakyan (not verified)    February 27, 2018 - 11:26PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

Thank you and God Bless you , I made several attempts to mention this but every time I gave up , 2016 Honda CR V touring is my 20 th car and is the first 4 cylinder vehicle in my 40 years of Canadian life , back home I drove all small engines and they vibrate like crazy , in Canada I drove big V8 s smooth as can be when I heard about vibration problem I test drove my car and I felt the vibration , we call vibration when things are falling from dash board or the change in console making so much noise that you can not have a conversation with your passenger . One thing I like to say Honda is Why don't they give us the choice of V6 engine , Acura has it ....

Bob R. (not verified)    June 15, 2016 - 5:19PM

I just left Automation Honda Chandler AZ. ,met with District Manager. I had fixes done with no improvement,He had a look at my vehicle and I drove a 2016 with same problems,just like Randy explained above. It seems to be a computer problem that Honda is aware of,but for some reason rather try to cover up,instead of repairing the cause of the vibration.The repair must expose a emission or mpg problem that Honda does not want to address

Parks McCants    June 15, 2016 - 7:09PM

In reply to by Bob R. (not verified)

Welcome Rob. What if anything did Automation Chandler offer to do for you? Just curious. Yes, the remapping does drop MPG, although marginally. I've yet to experience a measurable vibration in a 2016 model. Please expand on this a bit. What was vibrating and under what driving or idle condition? Thanks for your participation.