Honda appears to be having problems with its bread and butter crossover. Some owners of 2017 and 2018 CR-Vs equipped with the new 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 have been reporting stalling and reduced power output, resulting in a top speed of 20 mph.Consumer Reports has confirmed several instances of this problem, and there are numerous complaints via online forums and social media. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also confirmed reports with CR of gasoline scents in the passenger compartment and dilution of engine oil with gas. NHTSA did not confirm any complaints about stalling or loss of engine power.
The problem appears to stem from unburned fuel finding its way into the engine’s lubrication system. Honda released an official statement that confirmed that they are aware of the issue and that they are working on a solution. According to the statement, the fix should be ready by mid-November and will be covered under warranty. Honda will also be applying the fix to all 2019 CR-Vs.
Honda did issue a service bulletin for 380,000 CR-Vs and some Civic models in China for a similar problem. The recall instructed owners to take their vehicles to the dealer to address “an inappropriate fuel-injection setting” that caused unburnt fuel to seep into the engine’s oil at temperatures of -4° F and below, especially in vehicles were used for short trips.
In the meantime, if you have a 2017 or 2018 Honda CR-V with a 1.5 turbo engine, you should check your oil frequently and watch for warning signs including high oil level and/or a fuel smell in the oil or in the cabin. Other signs include heaters that don’t work well or at all in cold weather and the aforementioned stalling and low power output.