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We just bought a new-to-us 2011 EX-L from used car inventory at a local Honda dealership. Interior is in great shape and mechanically it seemed to check out. However...

I notice when the vehicle is first turned on, but even sometimes after I've been driving for a while that I get that trademark power steering whine. If it's happening while I'm driving, the sound will sort of match the rise and fall of the RPMs. I've also got a knocking/clicking sound occasionally when I turn the wheel (typically when turning into driveway entrances, etc). And I don't know if it's related or not, but the steering wheel is still not centered when I'm driving straight down the road.

The Honda certified tech looked over all this, but he just said that the whining noise was indeed the power steering but that it was "just the way these models are." He told me he lubed up the strut but said "there is no safety issue" and "I don't think the dealer will fix this for you." He also did an alignment, but the steering wheel is still not straight.

Are these acceptable answers? I'm picking my battles, because I also didn't realize until after I brought it home (it was super bright on the day of purchase) that lots of the vehicle was repainted. I'm currently working with them to get all that fixed.

Should I accept these mechanical woes in order to get the "more important" stuff accomplished?

Thanks!
 

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How many miles? You need to Muzzle that thing asap!

As for the other elements, I let the experts in this era chime in but clicking struts are not that hard to address. Though the noise tends to come back. Power Steering whine, depends on how loud and how often. But the "clicking" and knocking when turning sounds like an axle half/cv or ball joint issue. Our '02 was doing this for quite a while, took it somewhere, they said all was fine, then one day I'd had enough, crawled under and found the dinged ball joint myself. I was not happy and no longer use that company for service (and kicked myself in the a$$). The wife's car, I didn't drive it often enough, etc.

Clicking noise, this was what started in on my '07 Avalon and it was an axle half. SO you could have a few things going on here.

Not sure where you live but Firestone will do a full inspection for like $25, mention this stuff to them and they'll take a closer look. Before we bought our '16 EXL I picked it up at the dealership, took it to Firestone, they spent over 1.5 hours with it and we found a few items that needed to be addressed that I used to negotiate the price on; and more importantly we found it be an overall safe and sound vehicle! Over a year later, Muzzle installed, I've done the front brakes (rotors and pads), transmission cooler and trans fluid changes and our '16 drives like a dream.

Good luck!
 

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The Honda certified tech looked over all this, but he just said that the whining noise was indeed the power steering but that it was "just the way these models are." He told me he lubed up the strut but said "there is no safety issue" and "I don't think the dealer will fix this for you."
Just to clarify, did you take it to an indy shop?
 

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Same question on the miles, but I assume as a 9 year old car it is somewhere between 90-130K?

The issue here is trying to get the dealer to spend money on the car after the deal is done. Yes, a 9 year old car is going to have some things that need to be addressed and as a buyer it's your job to identify these items before the deal is done and either they agree to fix them as part of the deal or they decline and you have to decide whether or not the value is there that it's worth you paying out of pocket to address them. I just helped my son buy a 2011 Toyota Venza and I knew that it needed a few things addressed, but they were things I was capable of at a fraction of what it would have cost the dealer, so I negotiated best I could for an as-is deal and brought it home to deal with those things. Anyone that is not capable of evaluating a used car should take it to an independent shop and get it inspected.
 

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We just bought a new-to-us 2011 EX-L from used car inventory at a local Honda dealership. Interior is in great shape and mechanically it seemed to check out. However...

I notice when the vehicle is first turned on, but even sometimes after I've been driving for a while that I get that trademark power steering whine. If it's happening while I'm driving, the sound will sort of match the rise and fall of the RPMs. I've also got a knocking/clicking sound occasionally when I turn the wheel (typically when turning into driveway entrances, etc). And I don't know if it's related or not, but the steering wheel is still not centered when I'm driving straight down the road.

The Honda certified tech looked over all this, but he just said that the whining noise was indeed the power steering but that it was "just the way these models are." He told me he lubed up the strut but said "there is no safety issue" and "I don't think the dealer will fix this for you." He also did an alignment, but the steering wheel is still not straight.

Are these acceptable answers? I'm picking my battles, because I also didn't realize until after I brought it home (it was super bright on the day of purchase) that lots of the vehicle was repainted. I'm currently working with them to get all that fixed.

Should I accept these mechanical woes in order to get the "more important" stuff accomplished?

Thanks!
does the knocking/clicking sound like this?

I had a real fun experience buying my Honda certified pre-owned, they did basically nothing but clean it, tires and brakes and send it out the door.

Expect due to the year of yours, it was just a used honda off their used car lot, and not Honda certified pre-owned.

insist on them changing the pump and correcting all your issues, they just took your money for the van, they can put in the effort to make you happy.
 

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does the knocking/clicking sound like this?

I had a real fun experience buying my Honda certified pre-owned, they did basically nothing but clean it, tires and brakes and send it out the door.

Expect due to the year of yours, it was just a used honda off their used car lot, and not Honda certified pre-owned.

insist on them changing the pump and correcting all your issues, they just took your money for the van, they can put in the effort to make you happy.
I can't speak for Canada, but in the US every dealer is required to post a warranty declaration on every used car on the lot. If not they can be fined. A properly negotiated deal on an as-is car could very well turn into a loser for the dealer if every 9 year old car came back days to weeks later with the customer expected to be made "happy". Some buyers come back with a list that either wants the dealer to make the car like new or is designed to get the dealer to just take the car back, a clear indication of buyers remorse. Caveat Emptor. As long as the dealer did not lie or mislead the buyer then these types of issues are on them. When I was selling cars (and when I sell my own) I would tell buyers of older/high mile cars to make sure they get it inspected and know what they are buying, because once they leave with it it's theirs. Sometimes I tell them 50/50 warranty. If it breaks in half you own both halves. I know this may seem blunt to some, but the market drives used car values and most buyers don't look beyond the cosmetic condition, so dealers can't afford to truly bring older cars current before selling them or they would lose money. The dealers that used to do that have been run off by the buyers that will drive a hundred miles to buy a car that is $100 cheaper, much less $500-1,000 less because it looks just as nice as the one that is current on all of it's maintenance.

Sorry, rant over lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the fast replies!

How many miles? You need to Muzzle that thing asap!
Actually only at 73k miles. I am planning to order the VCMuzzler once I confirm all these issues are addressed.

Just to clarify, did you take it to an indy shop?
I actually did take it to my trusted mechanic to check out the whole vehicle since I'm still under powertrain warranty. He said it all looked good. He could not replicate the (perceived to be) strut issue at the time =/

The issue here is trying to get the dealer to spend money on the car after the deal is done.
Fortunately, this dealer offers a 3-day satisfaction guarantee. I put in writing to them all the aforementioned issues (including the paint stuff) before the 3-day mark and they said they would take care of the issues. Of course, some of this may get messy if their mechanic is saying the issues are not serious. I'm going to hold them to this though, because if they had said anything differently, I still could have turned the car back in and reversed the sale that day I contacted them.

does the knocking/clicking sound like this?
I haven't gotten a good listen to it outside the car, unfortunately. It doesn't happen constantly so it's hard to get a good capture of it.

I'll post two video next of the sounds...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Power steering whine...
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/418923749" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="
">IMG_5916</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user107125646">Martin</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Clicking while turning (was told by mechanic was the strut). It's hard to hear but you can hear it at :00, :01, and :10 seconds (3 separate clicks):
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/418926002" width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="
">IMG_5920</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user107125646">Martin</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
 

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Thank you all for the fast replies!



Actually only at 73k miles. I am planning to order the VCMuzzler once I confirm all these issues are addressed.



I actually did take it to my trusted mechanic to check out the whole vehicle since I'm still under powertrain warranty. He said it all looked good. He could not replicate the (perceived to be) strut issue at the time =/



Fortunately, this dealer offers a 3-day satisfaction guarantee. I put in writing to them all the aforementioned issues (including the paint stuff) before the 3-day mark and they said they would take care of the issues. Of course, some of this may get messy if their mechanic is saying the issues are not serious. I'm going to hold them to this though, because if they had said anything differently, I still could have turned the car back in and reversed the sale that day I contacted them.



I haven't gotten a good listen to it outside the car, unfortunately. It doesn't happen constantly so it's hard to get a good capture of it.

I'll post two video next of the sounds...
Good for you. Stick to it and make sure they honor the 3 day satisfaction to the letter.
 

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What's the explanation for repainting so much of the body? Did you pull a Carfax on it?

If you took the van to your mechanic to get it looked at, it must have been indoors and on a hoist. I'd have some pointed and uncomfortable questions for your mechanic about how that didn't get noticed.
 

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Power steering whine? Step one is to replace all of the power steering fluid with Honda OEM fluid and see if the sound goes away. Old fluid can make the pump whine, and if it is left like that too long it can damage the pump (permanent whine!). You can do basically a full change with the engine off and the front end off the ground (drain reservoir, then pull return line and put it into a funnel or hose to a bucket, turn steering wheel lock to lock a few times - the system will be drained - I believe it is 2 or 3 bottles to refill).

-Charlie
 

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Power steering whine? Step one is to replace all of the power steering fluid with Honda OEM fluid and see if the sound goes away. Old fluid can make the pump whine, and if it is left like that too long it can damage the pump (permanent whine!). You can do basically a full change with the engine off and the front end off the ground (drain reservoir, then pull return line and put it into a funnel or hose to a bucket, turn steering wheel lock to lock a few times - the system will be drained - I believe it is 2 or 3 bottles to refill).

-Charlie
+1. Fluid gets aerated and needs to be replaced. Also, the "O" ring on the supply line going to the pump is a known weak point and if it has failed allows air in exacerbating the aeration problem. More common on Gen3 vans, but not unheard of for Gen4.
 

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I can't speak for Canada, but in the US every dealer is required to post a warranty declaration on every used car on the lot. If not they can be fined. A properly negotiated deal on an as-is car could very well turn into a loser for the dealer if every 9 year old car came back days to weeks later with the customer expected to be made "happy". Some buyers come back with a list that either wants the dealer to make the car like new or is designed to get the dealer to just take the car back, a clear indication of buyers remorse. Caveat Emptor. As long as the dealer did not lie or mislead the buyer then these types of issues are on them. When I was selling cars (and when I sell my own) I would tell buyers of older/high mile cars to make sure they get it inspected and know what they are buying, because once they leave with it it's theirs. Sometimes I tell them 50/50 warranty. If it breaks in half you own both halves. I know this may seem blunt to some, but the market drives used car values and most buyers don't look beyond the cosmetic condition, so dealers can't afford to truly bring older cars current before selling them or they would lose money. The dealers that used to do that have been run off by the buyers that will drive a hundred miles to buy a car that is $100 cheaper, much less $500-1,000 less because it looks just as nice as the one that is current on all of it's maintenance.

Sorry, rant over lol.
not a rant...
(y)

it is the same here, possibly more strict because of abuse by shady operators in the past.
Here cars are sold as-is or certified.
Certified gives the purchaser all kinds of legal rights, as-is gives them none.

I didn't see as-is in the posters comments.
There is what you get when you sign the dotted line, and then the sellers reputation.
The fact there is re-paint issues means a possible collision, which should of been disclosed.
We use Carproof /carfax in Canada to track vehicle service and collision history, not sure what is used in the US.

My last 2 Hondas (civic and odyssey) were both from a Honda dealer, single owner trade-ins and both experiences were painful.
All kinds of things were missed by their inspection folks, that required weeks of follow up.

I bought my kids single owner Veracruz from a local small dealer built on reputation, the post sales service was impeccable.
 

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Power steering whine? Step one is to replace all of the power steering fluid with Honda OEM fluid and see if the sound goes away. Old fluid can make the pump whine, and if it is left like that too long it can damage the pump (permanent whine!). You can do basically a full change with the engine off and the front end off the ground (drain reservoir, then pull return line and put it into a funnel or hose to a bucket, turn steering wheel lock to lock a few times - the system will be drained - I believe it is 2 or 3 bottles to refill).

-Charlie
some of the folks around here have been giving good feedback on the Lucas power steering fluid.
I suppose if martinb182 is not successful in getting this resolved, then fluid changes is his next course of action.

I found my power steering to be weak and losing assist on cold start ups, did a flush with honda fluid a couple weeks ago and that issue is gone now.
The dealer records show fluid changes at 50k miles, but who knows what that was, could of been the original PS fluid at 96k miles.
Did the brake flush as well, it was black in the rear clear in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What's the explanation for repainting so much of the body? Did you pull a Carfax on it?

If you took the van to your mechanic to get it looked at, it must have been indoors and on a hoist. I'd have some pointed and uncomfortable questions for your mechanic about how that didn't get noticed.
I suspect it was paint oxidation. Had a clean Carfax.

As I inspected more closely, I found what appears to be oxidation in the deep ridge along the roof rack track. The rear rims are oxidized a bit so I suspect it happened in these other areas as well (the roof has the most repainted, so that seems to line up with the oxidation suspicion. I actually had already noticed the paint stuff when I drove it to my mechanic. I purchased the car before taking it to my mechanic since I had the 3-day guarantee and all "looked" great the day I bought it. I think I had higher hopes for a car (even 9 years old) from a Honda dealer vs. a 3rd party used car lot. Lesson learned!

Power steering whine? Step one is to replace all of the power steering fluid with Honda OEM fluid and see if the sound goes away.
The fluid reservoir was completely topped off (overfull) when I purchased. I took some of the fluid out. Since it went through the "250 point" used car inspection at the Honda dealer, I presumed they used Honda OEM, but I'll start there if I make no progress with them.

+1. Fluid gets aerated and needs to be replaced. Also, the "O" ring on the supply line going to the pump is a known weak point and if it has failed allows air in exacerbating the aeration problem. More common on Gen3 vans, but not unheard of for Gen4.
We had this same issue with our prior '05 EX-L (the O-ring). Unfortunately, I know the drill.. lol. but I was hoping to not have to fight it again with this one! At least not yet!

The fact there is re-paint issues means a possible collision, which should of been disclosed.
We use Carproof /carfax in Canada to track vehicle service and collision history, not sure what is used in the US.
Carfax was provided and clean... no accidents. One owner. Low mileage. Checked all the boxes!
 

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Yeah CarFax is simply a tool, not a be all/end all. They get their data from reporting repair shops, insurance companies, and BMV records. No repair at a reporting shop and no police report? No CarFax history. In theory if I tag a light post head on in a parking lot at 20 mph and deploy both front air bags, then don't call the police, have it towed to a non-reporting shop for repair, and pay out of pocket CarFax knows nothing even if the amount of repair would have been enough to total the car. Looking for paint work is the only way to know if paint work has occurred. On the flip side if someone keys my car and I choose to repair it out of pocket the entire car could have been repainted and the car had no impact damage and no CarFax. If that's a deal breaker then use the 3 day return and keep looking. Well done paint work on a 9 year old car wouldn't bother me, but that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well done paint work on a 9 year old car wouldn't bother me, but that's just me.
Totally. We are there with you. It's 9 years old. We tend to drive older used Hondas. This is one of the lower mileage ones we've bought. We took it in and got my punchlist addressed. The guy actually did a good job of fixing 2 of the 4 things we mentioned, but in classic fashion, they neglected to hit everything, so I'm having to go back. The paint is actually blending fairly well (it's white so that helps) and they have been able to make the clearcoat re-finishing pretty smooth. Hoping they can get it right on the next go.
 

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Totally. We are there with you. It's 9 years old. We tend to drive older used Hondas. This is one of the lower mileage ones we've bought. We took it in and got my punchlist addressed. The guy actually did a good job of fixing 2 of the 4 things we mentioned, but in classic fashion, they neglected to hit everything, so I'm having to go back. The paint is actually blending fairly well (it's white so that helps) and they have been able to make the clearcoat re-finishing pretty smooth. Hoping they can get it right on the next go.
White...probably got repainted due to peeling. Common issue.
 

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I suspect it was paint oxidation. Had a clean Carfax.

As I inspected more closely, I found what appears to be oxidation in the deep ridge along the roof rack track. The rear rims are oxidized a bit so I suspect it happened in these other areas as well (the roof has the most repainted, so that seems to line up with the oxidation suspicion. I actually had already noticed the paint stuff when I drove it to my mechanic. I purchased the car before taking it to my mechanic since I had the 3-day guarantee and all "looked" great the day I bought it. I think I had higher hopes for a car (even 9 years old) from a Honda dealer vs. a 3rd party used car lot. Lesson learned!



The fluid reservoir was completely topped off (overfull) when I purchased. I took some of the fluid out. Since it went through the "250 point" used car inspection at the Honda dealer, I presumed they used Honda OEM, but I'll start there if I make no progress with them.



We had this same issue with our prior '05 EX-L (the O-ring). Unfortunately, I know the drill.. lol. but I was hoping to not have to fight it again with this one! At least not yet!



Carfax was provided and clean... no accidents. One owner. Low mileage. Checked all the boxes!
Mine had a clean carfax as well.
There was a minor "unreported" front collision on mine, that was causing the door to lightly rub on the fender edge, I had to loosen the fender bolts and re-align it.

a lot of dealerships shine up cars with silicone based cleaners, so the car really shines at delivery.
once that stuff washes off you see all the imperfections, and clearcoat scratches.
especially on darker vehicles, Honda pulled that trick on me with my black odyssey.

if they are willing, get them to high speed polish the roof and other areas that appear to be resprayed.
Got a lot of crap out of my paint doing that, but it is 8 years old, and some things just don't buff out!
 

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