Honda CR-Z Problems: 5 Common Issues (Explained)

The Honda CR-Z was discontinued due to its unimpressive sales, but the quirky hybrid is still around and bought or sold pre-owned. However, that doesn’t mean the Honda CR-Z is without flaws.

We already looked at how long the CR-Z lasts and now we’ll dive into the most common issues.

Here we talk about common problems specific to the Honda CR-Z hybrid, how to recognize, and possibly fix them.

Electric Power Steering Malfunctioning

The Honda CR-Z saw mostly minor issues with the exception of a few in addition to some life-threatening recalls. One of the most common issues reported has been faulty power steering.

Drivers complain of a hard turning steering wheel that seems to happen intermittently.

One of the most apparent symptoms you’ll usually notice first is heavy, hard steering. Additionally, you may hear noises such as rustling or hissing while turning the wheel.

Other signs signaling the onset of power steering malfunction that you may notice include:

  • A dash light notification
  • Lack of speed sensitivity makes driving difficult and less accurate
  • Using an excessive number of wheel rotations to turn
  • The vehicle pulls in either direction

Possible Causes and Solutions

Do you hear a hissing or whirring noise as you rotate the wheel? If so, that may indicate the problem is the result of your Honda CR-Z running without adequate power steering wheel fluid.

Low Power Steering Fluid Levels

Typically, filling up the steering wheel fluid when it’s low will get the steering wheel working right again.

Steering Wheel Fluid is Leaking Out

If you fill up your steering wheel fluid yet it’s low again after some time, then you probably have a leak. Low steering wheel fluid may be caused by a leak which happens due to a damaged part within the car.

Finding a solution to your Honda CR-Z’s power steering problem means finding the source of what’s causing it. It means getting to the root of a new leak or otherwise, as well as maintaining your vehicle checks and necessary fluid levels.

Check Your Car’s Pump and Hose, a Common Place for Leaks.

Often, leaks come from these parts in the vehicle, so you may want to check there first. Damage to this area is typically responsible for the leaks which cause consistently low fluid levels.

Signs that your Honda CR-Z is leaking power steering wheel fluid are generally easy to spot.

  1. Notice if there is fluid on the ground when your car is parked, as this is the first indication that there is a leak.
  2. Listen for whirring or hissing noises as a sign that steering fluid is critically low.

Steering Wheel Fluid is Bad

Additionally, your power steering wheel fluid may be old or bad. You can tell something is wrong when the steering wheel fluid thickens.

Bad steering fluid tends to appear thick and when this happens it cannot work properly. In that case, the fix is to take your Honda CR-Z to a shop to flush the power steering fluid.

The approximate cost of a Honda CR-Z steering wheel fluid replacement service may be between $100 and $250, depending on where you are and what else you may need to replace.

Electronic Power Steering Control Module Failure

When the electronic system fails, it’s a sign that there may be an issue with the mounted electric motor. As with most electronic components, Honda CR-Z electronic power steering failure is difficult to predict.

And replacing the steering assist motor may require replacing the module as each is connected within the power steering system.

Excessive Steering Rotations

Ultimately, an electric steering control module decides how far the steering wheel must rotate. So, when it fails, the number of rotations it takes to turn the steering wheel of your Honda CR-Z may fluctuate at random.

Problems with The Steering Rack

The steering rack is the connection between the power steering system and the wheels of your Honda CR-Z. It works by taking the pressure from the power steering system’s output and applying it to the wheels of your car.

Costs can vary significantly from place to place when it comes to auto maintenance and auto repairs. The cost to replace a Honda CR-V power steering control module may range between $681 and $700.

Check our list of best and worst Honda CR-Z years.

Cooling Fan Causing Battery to Overheat

The battery cooling fan in Honda CR-Zs has been known to quit working, leading to an overheated battery.

The high-voltage battery included in a hybrid Honda CR-Z isn’t problematic. It only needs to be replaced after the entirety of its use, which is great.

Replacing a Honda CR-Z Hybrid Battery

In the case that the battery in your hybrid Honda CR-Z becomes damaged, it could set you back quite a bit.

A new Honda CR-Z battery replacement could end up costing you approximately between $2661 to $2717.

A broken battery cooling fan is one of the more common issues reported by Honda owners. Other problems that can also cause your car to overheat include:

Coolant Leak

The most common sign you have a coolant leak is when your Honda CR-Z begins to run hotter than usual. Typically, you’ll notice a coolant puddle has formed underneath the vehicle.

Thermostat Replacement

A thermostat stuck closed can cause your Honda CR-Z to overheat.

Water Pump Replacement

Watch for leaks or odd noises as this is a frequent indication that your CR-Z needs a water pump replacement. In addition to causing car damage to the drive or time belts, a bad water pump can be responsible for your car overheating.

Engine Stalling Without Warning

The most common causes behind a Honda CR-Z stalling out include:

  • Air Intake System
  • Fuel System
  • Ignition System

Sensor Replacements

The Honda CR-Z uses many sensors to send reports about what’s going on with the vehicle. If one sensor acts up and sends the wrong information, it could cause your car to not act right too.

For instance, the MAF and MAP sensors report on the measurement of air in your vehicle and then the car will adjust accordingly. If one of these sensors doesn’t work properly, the information they report will be wrong.

This could lead to the wrong airflow balance needed for quality air inside your car. If a sensor sends a vehicle the wrong information, it can lead to a car stalling.

But because vehicle stalls can happen at any time, it can be difficult to figure out what conditions led to a car stalling out in the first place.

Stalling issues are one of the most common Honda CR-Z problems. Other problems that could cause your Honda CR-Z to stall include:

  • Water in the gas tank
  • Air/fuel mixture is not balanced
  • Too much fuel in the combustion chamber
  • Don’t have enough fuel

General Pros for Honda CR-Z

Despite its flaws, the Honda CR-Z has captured the hearts of its fans. Here are a few things that people seem to appreciate about the Honda CR-Z.

Sporty Design and Feel

The Honda CR-Z was created with fun in mind. If you have your headset on a vehicle that’s economical and looks sporty, then the Honda CR-Z is that.

A futuristic-like stylish interior, the Honda CR-Z is unique. From the dash to the cool lights on it, the Honda CR-Z is one of a kind.

Good Gas Mileage

The gas mileage on a Honda CR-Z is quite good with a four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor. Fuel efficiency in the city is 31 mpg and 37 mpg for the highway.

Affordable Hybrid

The Honda CR-Z is unique compared with other hybrids in that it’s affordable compared to other hybrids and for the type of vehicle it is.

Economical and Environmentally Aware

The Honda CR-Z markets itself as an economical and smart hybrid vehicle. Its interior features include many buttons giving options to choose and press Sport, Normal, or Economy as your preferred drive-mode.

The Econ option echoes the earth-friendly sentiment and pressing it will adjust air conditioning levels in the vehicle to sustain gas mileage.

Good Safety and Reliability Ratings

Honda CR-Zs have all the standard safety features like anti-lock brakes and stability/traction control. The car was rated good in safety testing. Testing included side impact, rear crash, and roof strength.

Here’s an overview of the problems Honda CR-Z owners may face.

  • Electric Power Steering malfunctioning
  • Cooling fan causes the battery to overheat
  • Engine Stalling without warning

What do the Reviews Say?

“The CR-Z is a sporty-looking, two-seat hybrid with nimble handling, but is not very sporty otherwise. Fuel economy is excellent, but you might expect more from such a small hybrid. Acceleration is unimpressive. The ride is choppy, noise levels are high, and on-limit handling can be tricky.”


“…this hybrid Honda doesn’t quite deliver on its core mission of being a frugal hybrid with a side measure of mid-speed thrills. If you’re not committed to the CR-Z’s style or the Honda badge, there are better alternatives in this price range.”


It seems that to fully get behind the Honda CR-Z you may need to be sold on its bells and whistles like the Plus Sport System drive selector and fun dash.

While the CR-Z looks sporty and offers great gas mileage, there may be better alternatives if you’re looking for a quiet ride with smooth handling.

GO BACK: Honda problems per model.

What’s the Resale Value on a Honda CR-Z?


Year Mileage Price
2011 111,610 $8999
2012 109,134 $10976
2013 78,001 $13995
2014 93,771 $13900
2015 86,275 $15193
2016 107,880 $12999

Sources:,|Honda CR-Z models

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.