Honda Jazz Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Honda Jazz reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Looking at a second-hand Jazz for our eldest's first car. Does the engine have a timing belt or chain?
The subject of a Honda Jazz timing belt or chain comes up pretty frequently, as would-be owners try to gauge how reliable these hard-working little engines are. For those who prefer solid, low-maintenance motoring, the news is good, because all three Australian-delivered generations of the Honda Jazz have used the company’s L series engines which feature a timing chain rather than a rubber timing belt.
The task of the timing chain or timing belt is exactly the same: They take drive from the engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and, in the process, keep all the moving parts in harmony. Many car makers moved away from a timing chain to the rubber, toothed drive belt as a way of simplifying engine design and driving down the cost of each engine. The rubber timing belt is also quieter in its operation and is also less prone to stretching (as a timing chain can) so the camshaft (commonly referred to as the cam) stays in perfect synch with the rest of the engine’s rotating parts. The timing belt is a simpler design because it doesn’t need to be tensioned via oil pressure from the engine as many timing chain systems are.
The timing chain, meanwhile, is preferred by some manufacturers (and their customers) because it should last the lifetime of the engine and never need replacement. This isn’t always the case, however, and some engines designs from a variety of manufacturers suffer problems in this regard. But, in a properly maintained engine of sound design, the timing chain should never need attention, while the rubber timing belt generally requires periodic replacement, usually between 60,000 and 120,000km depending on the make and model.
What is the best dog-friendly car?
If you like the idea of the Honda but don’t want such a physically large package, take a look at the Honda Jazz. Yes, it’s probably one size down from your current Focus, but its interior is very spacious for its external dimensions. It’s also the car that has probably the most versatile interior in terms of flexible seating arrangements with a rear seat that folds, slides and tumbles. It also has normal ride height (as opposed to the jacked-up stance that SUVs boast) so your dog may find it easier to jump in without hitting anything. Beyond that, you really need to visit dealerships and check for yourself that rear doors, rear seats and general layout suit your very specific canine requirements.
Which generation Honda Jazz had a transmission issue related to the CVT?
The problem you refer to affected the very first Jazz models sold here up to 2008. Any car made after that date should not exhibit the same problem as Honda made running changes to fix it back in the day.
The problem was actually traced back to the wrong transmission fluid being used in the CVT unit. These modern transmission are very particular about what fluid they use, especially with regard to the complex brew of additives that make up the fluid.
Over time, the fluid in the affected Jazzes would start to break down as the additives became depleted, at which point, it wasn’t doing the complete job necessary. Specifically, the depleted additive package suddenly allowed the starter-motor clutch to remain engaged. Essentially, you had the transmission trying to drive the car and the starter clutch dragging at it, effectively trying to slow it down. Which is when the car would start to shudder.
The solution was to switch to a new, reformulated transmission fluid which was added to the drained CVT, the car driven for a certain distance, the new fluid dumped and refilled and then the ECU reset to recalibrate the transmission. Problem sorted.
RECALL: More 20,000 Honda Jazz, City, Civic, Accord, HR-V, CR-V and NSX cars and SUVs have faulty fuel pumps
Honda Australia has recalled 22,366 examples of the Jazz, City, Civic, Accord, HR-V, CR-V and NSX over an issue with their fuel pumpsRead More
Honda Jazz 2008: What's the difference between models?
There’s a bit of detail missing from your question, Peter, but I’ll take a stab in the dark and guess that you’re talking about the Honda Jazz city car. The MY06 Jazz was, in fact, known as the GD model, while the GE you’re comparing it with was released in 2008.
The GE was an all-new model Jazz, so fundamentally they’re entirely different cars. Yes, they share a similar mechanical specification and share a place in terms of their market segments, but beyond that, the GE is a newer design with better dynamics and superior safety levels.
If you can afford the later GE model, then it would definitely be a better car.
Toyota Yaris 2011 and Honda Jazz 2005: Engine longevity
A few factors determine engine longevity, so let’s start with the first of those, the basic materials and design of the engine in question. Both the Toyota and Honda have advanced small-capacity engines that are made from quality materials. So that’s in their favour.
The second factor is servicing. A lack of regular maintenance including fresh oil and filters will kill engines fast, so that’s crucial. And finally, how they are driven will also play a part. An engine that only does long distances in the country will always last longer than one that is subjected to frequent cold starts and stop-start traffic. An engine that is regularly revved to redline between the gears will also potentially die younger than one that is driven sensibly and with a bit of mechanical sympathy.
The bottom line? There’s no short answer. But I have seen small-capacity Honda and Toyota engines clock up 250,000km and more with correct maintenance. Things have certainly changed from the 1950s when the average car engine needed a rebuilt every 100,000km and what was called a de-coke and valve-grind every 30,000km. Ask your grandfather about it.
Should I buy a used Honda Jazz?
Well, if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car, then a Honda Jazz is a very good choice. With an official combined fuel-consumption figure as low as 5.7 litres per 100km, and the ability to run on the cheaper 91-RON unleaded, the Jazz’s weekly fuel costs will be among the lowest around.
But $15,000 is a crazy figure. The entry-level Jazz was only about $16,000 when brand-new, so even though the kilometres showing on this one are extremely low, the price being asked is astronomical. The most expensive 2008 Jazzes out there are asking around $8000 (and that’s too much) with plenty out there for $4000 or less.
The difference would be if you meant to type 2018 instead of 2008 (which is a better match with the odometer reading you’re quoting) at which point $15,000 starts to look like roughly the right price to be paying. Either way, the Jazz is nicely built, drives well and will be very economical.
Honda Jazz 2018: Can I increase the legroom in my car?
It should be ok, but to be sure I suggest you contact Vicroads who will be able to put you in touch with one of their approved engineers. In turn they will be able to tell you if you would be contravening an ADR. By modifying the car you will affect the factory warranty in those areas you change.
Honda Jazz 2007: Transmission problems
There was a lot of trouble with the auto transmission in the Jazz of that era. You don’t say if the transmission that was fitted was new or used; if it were used I would suggest the transmission is the problem. You also mention the fluid being changed, it’s very important that Honda fluid is used, and you say it was when it was changed, but you don’t say what oil was in the transmission before it was changed. The damage might have been done before the fluid was changed. I think you could be up for another transmission.
Honda Jazz: Replacement key cost
There are many options for replacing your key fob: some cheap, some not so cheap. Without more information about your vehicle I can't determine what would be the cheapest option, but have a read of this article for a greater list of options for key fob replacement.