Every generation of Honda’s Accord family car has big shoes to fill, thanks to this car’s reputation as one of the auto industry’s most reliable vehicles. The eighth-generation Accord was introduced with the 2008 model year and ran through model year 2012. The Japanese automaker offered the eighth-gen Accord as a four-door sedan—the largest ever, with as much interior space as some full-size cars—and a two-door coupe.
If you own a 2008-2012 Honda Accord or just recently acquired a used one, you’re probably wondering if it’s time for maintenance, repairs, or even upgrades. This article will serve as a guide to maintenance and replacement parts, highlighting common issues for the 2008-2012 Honda Accord and how to handle them.
For more information on the 8th-generation Honda Accord, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- Eighth-Generation (2008-2012) Honda Accord Specifications
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Problems
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Gas Mileage
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Recalls
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Common Replacement Parts: Rims
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Headlights
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Cabin Air Filter
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Engine Air Filter
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Tires
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Front Bumper
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Oil Filter and Engine Oil
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Battery
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Spark Plugs
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Windshield Wipers
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Taillights
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Hubcaps
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Brake Pads
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Maintenance Schedule
- 2008-2012 Honda Accord Accessories and Modifications
- Q & A
Eighth-Generation (2008-2012) Honda Accord Specifications
The more common eighth-gen Accord sedan measures 194.1-inches long, 72.7-inches wide, stands 58.1-inches tall, and sits on a wheelbase of 110.2 inches. The smaller coupe is 190.1-inches long, 56.4-inches tall, is 0.1 inches wider, and its wheelbase is 107.9 inches.
Entry-level LX sedan models are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 177 hp and 161 lb-ft of torque, which increased to 190 hp and 162 lb-ft in EX and higher sedan trim levels and the Accord coupe. Optional in both sedan and coupe was a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 268 hp and 248 lb-ft.
When the eighth-generation Accord was new, Honda offered four-cylinder cars with a choice of five-speed manual and automatic transmissions; the V6 was standard with a five-speed automatic, but buyers could option the coupe with a six-speed manual in EX-L V6 trim.
In four-cylinder versions of the eighth-generation Accord sedan, Honda specified tires sized 215/60R16 for base models, and 225/50R17 for uplevel trims. The Accord coupe came standard with 225/50R17 tires and could be optioned with 235/45R18.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Problems
The Accord’s V6 uses a variable cylinder management (VCM) system that can shut off three or four cylinders under light load to save fuel. This system has been linked to excessive oil consumption that can foul the spark plugs and cause poor engine performance. Honda issued a service bulletin that instructed its dealer technicians to install updated engine control software. The VCM system uses oil pressure switches to control which cylinders are shut off, and these switches have been known to fail but replacements like this (Honda part number 37240-R70-A04) are thankfully not expensive.
If a four-cylinder Accord makes a loud rattling sound for a couple of seconds after a cold start, the probable cause is a faulty variable valve timing actuator, commonly known as a VTC actuator. The fix is to replace the actuator. Here’s some helpful reading. You can buy a replacement (part number 14310-RBC-003) here.
Some owners of eighth-generation Accord models with the automatic transmission have complained about a shuddering sensation felt when they accelerate away from a stop. This is caused by a faulty torque converter, the component that manages the flow of power from the engine to the transmission. Read more about the problem here.
When shopping for a used eighth-gen Accord, have a look at the rear brake pads. If they’re badly worn, and worn significantly more than the front brake pads, the car could have a faulty electronic brake force distribution system. This flaw was the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the years following the 2008 Accord’s arrival. We’ve listed some replacement brake pads further down this article.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Gas Mileage
In 2008, the Honda Accord four-cylinder sedan’s gas mileage ratings were 22/31/25 mpg (city/hwy/combined), and 21/30/24 mpg with the automatic. The V6/automatic combination was rated 19/28/22 mpg (city/hwy/combined), and the estimates for a coupe with the V6 and six-speed manual were 17/25/20. By 2012, the Accord’s mileage had improved slightly to 23/33/27 mpg (city/hwy/combined) with the four-cylinder and five-speed manual, 22/33/26 with the four-cylinder and automatic, and 20/30/23 with the V6 and automatic.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Recalls
Among the recalls that apply to the eighth-generation Honda Accord, the most notable ones are related to the car’s airbags, including the infamous faulty Takata airbag inflators that the U.S. NHTSA says have killed 19 Americans and injured more than 400.
Honda also recalled some Accord models for automatic transmissions that could let a parked car roll away, an ignition circuit flaw that could cause engine stalling, and front suspension damper bolts that could lead to a loss of steering.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Common Replacement Parts: Rims
Sawyer Auto sells a 17-inch Honda Accord sedan alloy rim under the part number REP131738. The Aftermarket Replacement Store offers an 18-inch alloy wheel like that used on the Accord Coupe as part number 42700TE1A91. These are both OEM replacement wheels that are guaranteed to fit your eighth-generation Accord, which eliminates guesswork if you want to upgrade to larger wheels or replace less-stylish steel wheels. Also, if you only need to replace one or two damaged wheels, these should be an ideal match for the ones that came on your car from the factory.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Headlights
The eighth-generation Accord has quad headlights with separate bulbs for the low- and high-beam settings. If your car’s headlight bulbs still work but are old, they will have dimmed over time, so replacing them will improve your nighttime visibility. These Sylvania XtraVision OEM replacement bulbs are also brighter than standard halogen bulbs and promise to cast light further down the road.
If your eighth-gen Accord’s headlight housings are damaged and need to be replaced, check out these products:
AutoAndArt 7221-0028LR is a set of left and right headlights for the Accord sedan designed as direct-fit replacements that require no modifications to install.
The Bryght HL-ACC082D headlights are designed for the eighth-gen coupe. These are also direct-fit replacement parts, and they meet all U.S. road safety regulations and are SAE- and DOT-approved.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Cabin Air Filter
The Honda Accord’s cabin air filter keeps dust and other contaminants from entering the car when you use the HVAC system. FRAM makes a replacement in part number CF10134.
FRAM makes some of the highest-quality aftermarket filters in the auto industry; in addition to its high filtration rate, this one promises better air flow than the OEM filter and prevents musty smells from building up in your Accord.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Engine Air Filter
The eighth-generation Honda Accord’s four-cylinder and V6 engines use different air filters. Replacing the engine air filter regularly will ensure your car keeps returning excellent gas mileage and strong performance.
This genuine Honda part will provide exactly as much air filtration as is necessary to keep your Accord’s four-cylinder engine running for years to come, just as Honda engineered it.
- Four-cylinder – Genuine Honda Part 17220-R40-A00
Here’s another FRAM aftermarket air filter that will fit your V6-powered eighth-generation Accord. Like FRAM’s other air filters, this one promises better air filtration than the OEM filter but is a drop-in replacement that requires no modifications.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Tires
The Yokohama Avid Touring S (size 215/60R16) is a no-nonsense all-season tire that promises 80,000 miles of tread life, and is designed for solid grip in all weather conditions. While we recommend dedicated winter tires for harsh winter driving conditions, this is a good product for year-round use in parts of the U.S. with temperate winter weather.
If your eighth-generation Accord has 17-inch wheels on it, consider the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 in the 225/50R17 size. It’s an affordable replacement tire that delivers a comfortable ride, a long tread life, and good grip, especially in dry conditions.
Finally, if you drive an eighth-generation Accord coupe with 18-inch wheels and want a tire that will enhance your car’s sporty character, try the Pirelli PZero in the 235/45R18 size. This is a summer-only tire that boasts impressive steering response and well-controlled road noise.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Front Bumper
If you’ve been involved in a crash that damaged your Accord’s front bumper, MBI Auto has this affordable replacement that it can ship to your home in less than a week. For the price listed, MBI Auto will paint the bumper to match your car, so you’ll have to provide them with the paint code that corresponds to your car’s color.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Oil Filter and Engine Oil
You’ll notice that FRAM’s filter products feature heavily on this list, and that’s because they have an excellent reputation in the aftermarket auto industry. A good engine oil filter is critical to keep contaminants away from your engine’s bearings and other surfaces that require good reliable lubrication to prevent advanced wear and tear.
As with your car’s oil filter, you want to use good-quality, name-brand oil, like this 5W20 Pennzoil Platinum, which meets Honda’s exacting specifications for lubrication.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Battery
The eighth-gen Honda Accord uses a group size 51R battery with an AH rating between 36 and 65 for four-cylinder models, and 60 and 72 in models with the V6. The Optima Red Top 8020-164 fits the bill with its strong cranking power.
If your eighth-gen Honda Accord’s key fob stops working, try replacing the battery, which is a CR1616 type. Not all batteries are equal, so choosing a name-brand like Energizer will ensure your keyless entry system will work reliably for years to come.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Spark Plugs
NGK and Denso make spark plugs that fit the eighth-gen Accord’s four- and six-cylinder engines. The NGK part number is ILZR7B11, and the Denso model is SXU22HCR11. Always use the spark plugs recommended by Honda; while other part numbers may feel like they fit your Accord’s engine from the outside, they could interfere with critical internal parts if they’re not sized exactly right.
The part numbers listed above refer specifically to spark plugs for the V6 engine; for four-cylinder cars, add an “S” to the part number.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Windshield Wipers
Wiper Blades USA offers a set of Trico driver and passenger side wipers for the eighth-generation Accord. Trico is a trusted name in wipers; this set will ensure you enjoy clear vision in all types of inclement weather.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Taillights
If you need to replace a burned-out brake light in your eighth-gen Accord, you’ll need a type-7443 dual-filament bulb, which functions as the brake and tail light.
Should you need to replace the entire taillight assembly, note that the eighth-gen Honda Accord sedan and coupe use different taillight designs.
Sedan: This sedan taillight bears SAE and DOT certifications and is a direct-fit replacement requiring no mods to fit on your Accord.
Coupe: Gold Shrine says this Accord coupe taillight meets all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is a direct-fit replacement. It also includes a bulb and socket.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Hubcaps
If you drive an eighth-generation Honda Accord in one of the lower-end trims that uses 16-inch steel wheels and hubcaps, this genuine Honda replacement hubcap is part number 4473-TA5-A00. Plastic hubcaps are not flashy, but if you’ve lost one or two and want to bring your vehicle back to its factory appearance, this product is an exact match.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Brake Pads
While you may not recognize the Akebono brand, this company makes OEM brake pads for a wide range of vehicles sold in North America. These affordable replacements will provide reliable, long-lasting, and safe braking performance for your Accord.
Warner is an aftermarket replacement part specialist; this set of rear brake pads will provide stopping performance just like Honda intended for your Accord, at a very attractive price.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Maintenance Schedule
We referred to the factory owner’s manual for the 2008 Honda Accord for the company’s maintenance recommendations.
Honda uses an electronic oil life monitor to alert you when it’s time to change your Accord’s engine oil. Regardless of how frequently the system advises you to change the oil, you should always replace the oil filter at the same time; the V6 engine’s oil capacity is 4.5 quarts, while the four-cylinder needs 4.4 quarts. Both of the Accord’s engines use 5W-20 oil.
Every other time you change your Accord’s engine oil, Honda recommends you also inspect the brakes, suspension, and other fluid levels.
You should replace your eighth-gen Honda Accord’s air filter every 15,000 miles, and replace the transmission fluid, spark plugs, and engine coolant according to prompts from the car’s maintenance monitor system.
Engine coolant: Honda recommends that you only use Honda Long-Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2, which is pre-mixed 50/50 with water. If you can’t find Honda-branded coolant, here’s a Valvoline product that will work if you can’t get to a Honda dealer to buy the fluid that came in your car from the factory.
Transmission fluid: For automatic transmission cars, use ATF-Z1 fluid. While ACDelco is most closely associated with General Motors, this ATF will protect your Honda’s transmission as well as what was installed at the factory.
If you change your Accord’s manual transmission fluid (MTF), refill it with Honda-branded MTF.
Brake fluid: The Accord’s maintenance schedule advises the use of the Honda Heavy Duty Brake Fluid DOT 3. In a pinch, you can use any DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid, but Honda suggests replacing it with the branded fluid as soon as possible. Never use DOT 5 brake fluid in your eighth-gen Accord.
Clutch fluid: If you have to top up or refill your manual transmission Accord’s hydraulic clutch system, use the same Honda Heavy Duty DOT 3 brake fluid. The will ensure your stickshift Accord continues to deliver the engaging driving experience you’ve come to expect from your Honda.
Power steering fluid: Use Honda Power Steering Fluid (PSF); it’s formulated specially for the Accord’s steering system and will keep the pump and steering rack properly lubricated and extend their lifespans.
Timing belt: In V6-powered cars, the maintenance system will alert you when it’s time to change the engine’s timing belt, but Honda says that should be done at least every 60,000 miles for cars regularly driven in temperatures above 110 degrees F or below -20 degrees F. This replacement kit also includes a water pump, which is easy to replace while you’re installing a new timing belt. This MNJWS kit is not a genuine Honda part, but all of the parts in it are designed as direct-fit replacements for what came on your car from the factory.
2008-2012 Honda Accord Accessories and Modifications
Finally, if you’re looking for ways to personalize or modify your eighth-generation Honda Accord, here are a few suggestions.
Lowering springs/coilovers: Here’s a set of OCPTY 119023-5209-1158007261 complete adjustable coilovers that fit both coupe and sedan versions of the eighth-generation Honda Accord. We like this set because it includes shock absorbers designed to work well anywhere within these coilovers’ height range, which will help ensure a safe and comfortable ride while improving your car’s handling.
Cat-back exhaust system: The Magnaflow 16817 is a performance-tuned exhaust for the eighth-generation Accord coupe. Magnaflow promises better exhaust flow, which will improve your car’s power output while delivering a sporty sound when you accelerate.
Manual transmission shift knob: The Ilovo SK018-6 is a universal-fit shift knob designed to look like the OEM shift topper in Honda’s sporty Type-R models. The six-speed shift pattern matches that of the Accord EX-L V6 coupe and its six-speed transmission.
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