The Honda Accord has gained a strong following of devoted owners over the past four decades. While the Accord has earned a reputation for being one of the most reliable vehicles available, research from CarComplaints.com suggests that some model years are less reliable than others. An online automotive complaint resource, CarComplaints.com collects data from site visitors, cross-references it with NHTSA consumer complaint data, and develops graphs to show automotive defect patterns.
Overall, the data compiled by CarComplaints.com shows the Honda Accord to be a very reliable vehicle with few consumer complaints, with the exception of two years. The 2003 and 2008 Honda Accord stand out for having an exceptional number of consumer issues and complaints, making them two model years that you should avoid.
The history of the Honda Accord
The ’70s were a turning point for U.S. automakers for a variety of reasons. Americans’ love for full-size vehicles with powerful engines and an overall attitude that there was an endless supply of oil led U.S. manufacturers to continue producing vehicles that appealed to consumer’s desires.
Even as federal regulations began to push up the cost of new vehicles due to safety and emission requirements, low gas prices caused the U.S. auto industry to continue producing cars and trucks that were bigger, faster, and more powerful and luxurious.
Attitudes began to shift in the ’70s when an Arab oil embargo caused fuel prices to rise and created an unforeseen demand for smaller vehicles with greater fuel efficiency. A slow response by the entire U.S. auto industry combined with another oil crisis in 1979 opened the market to small fuel-efficient cars from foreign automakers.
By 1980 inflation, unemployment, and interest rates were all high, throwing the U.S. economy into turmoil, causing huge operating losses for U.S. automakers.
In the midst of this economic turmoil, Honda, a Japanese auto manufacturer, introduced a groundbreaking vehicle to the U.S. market in 1976, the Honda Accord. Originally designed as a compact hatchback, in 1989, the lineup expanded to include a sedan, coupe, and wagon. By the ’90s, the Accord had transformed into an intermediate-sized vehicle, with one platform sharing different body styles and proportions to improve its competitiveness. So where did things go wrong?
The 2003 Honda Accord
According to data collected by CarComplaints.com, the 2003 Honda Accord has experienced extensive issues with transmission failures, with the transmission beginning to slip and eventually requiring replacement shortly after the odometer reaches 90,000 miles.
Transmission failure has been a significant problem for several Honda models through the early 2000s model years, causing the manufacturer to extend the transmission warranty to 93 months or 109k miles for the 2000-2001 model years as part of the settlement to a class-action lawsuit.
While this is good news for owners of 2000-2001 Honda Accords, owners of other model years have no such protection on the transmission, which has an average repair cost of over $2,000.
The 2008 Accord
There have been several significant issues reported with the 2008 Honda Accord, including poor brakes, excessive oil consumption, & uncomfortable seats. In 2010 Honda was in court again defending itself against another class-action lawsuit for premature & excessive brake wear.
Honda stated in 2011 that a software update to the variable cylinder management (VCM) could remedy the excessive oil consumption, but the manufacturer still had class-action lawsuits pending.
While not a mechanical issue, 2008 Accord owners have continually voiced complaints about uncomfortable seats in the vehicle. These issues are not limited to a particular body type and have been reported among owners with a wide range of individual heights and weights. Seating complaints include reports of back pain and leg circulation issues and are most likely due to poor lumbar support, cushioning, & seat angle.
Many consumers have stated that they did not notice how uncomfortable the seating was during the test drive. Still, for many, it became noticeable after a period as short as 15 to 20 minutes.
Over the years, the Honda Accord has proven to be a very reliable vehicle with few significant issues reported. Faithful owners have become repeat buyers and strong advocates for the quality offered by Honda. The Honda Accord may have developed an excellent overall track record, but the 2003 and 2008 model years are vehicles that consumers should avoid at all costs.
The Honda Accord was equipped with various variants of the H5 transmission, including the B7XA, BCLA, BB7A, BAXA, B97A, B90A, B0YA and BAYA. In pre 1992-models the PX4B. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Honda Accord transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.
Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.
What Transmission Do I Have?
Honda Accord Transmission Models
1992-Up Honda Accord: B7XA, BCLA, BB7A, BAXA, B90A, B97A, B0YA, and BAYA Transmission
Honda Accord Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate
Pricing varies by exact engine size and year. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.
What are the DTC codes related to Honda Accord transmission problems?
P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.
Honda Accord Transmission Recalls
2005-2010 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Control Module (TCM, PCM) (NHTSA Recall: 11V395000)
In 2011, Honda recalled 2005-2010 model year Honda Accords, equipped with the automatic transmission. Manufactured between July 1, 2004 and September 3, 2010, these cars had a faulty secondary shaft bearing that could fracture and cause all sorts of damage.
According to the recall, “certain driving styles” (see: driving it like a teenager) could cause the outer brace (the round metal band that contains the ball bearings) to fracture. If this happens:
a) The engine could stall/the Check Engine Light could illuminate, if a piece of the broken bearing gets lodged between the idle gear and a sensor housing, or:
b) Part of the bearing could become lodged in the park prawl (the metal piece that engages Park), causing the car to roll away after it’s shifted into Park.
If the latter happens, your Accord could endanger everything from pedestrians to garden gnomes.
Honda dealers were instructed in 2011 to reprogram the transmission control module to keep this from happening. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy, and refer to Honda recall #: R89
1998 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Bearing Failure (NHTSA Recall: 98V018000)
Back in 1998, Honda had to recall 33,966 units of the Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe, to fix a problem that prevented the automatic transmission from fully engaging Park.
It seems that a die used to cast the transmission cover, caused an irregularity on the right-side of the cover, which prevented the park prawl (the metal piece that engages Park) actuation lever from properly engaging Park. If this happens, America’s favorite family car would roll after being put in Park – endangering many people, places, and things.
At the time, Honda instructed its dealers to install a collar on the park prawl, which would allow the actuation lever to move freely. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy.
2003-2004 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission (NHTSA Recall #: 04V176000)
A 1 million+ vehicle recall was issued in 2004, because the automatic transmission that was installed in the 2003-2004 Honda Accord seemed to be prone to early failure. Severe gear damage/breakage could cause the transmission to unexpectedly seize, which could obviously lead to an accident.
Due to insufficient transmission fluid flow, excessive heat can buildup between the countershaft and the secondary shaft second gears (ATF absorbs heat and carries it away from moving parts), which can result in decreased material strength, chipped gear teeth, and in extreme cases, complete gear failure (i.e. it breaks). Unusual noises will typically signal a problem. However, a broken gear can cause the transmission to completely lockup, which would bring the car to a sudden halt.
When the recall was announced, Honda instructed its dealers to do one of two things: 1) Vehicles with less than 15,000 miles received a special ATF oil jet kit, which was installed on a fluid return line. This kit was designed to prevent the problem by injecting cooled transmission fluid directly onto the second gears. 2) If the vehicle had more than 15k miles, the dealer would inspect the gears and either install the jet kit, or install an entire remanufactured transmission. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy, and refer to Honda recall #: P38
Honda Accord Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)
Common Problems with the Honda Accord Transmission
Lack of Response
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light
Can I drive with a transmission problem?
If your Honda Accord can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.
How often does a Honda Accord transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a Honda Accord transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Honda Accord transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.
How are Honda Accord transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Honda Accord transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.
How is a Honda Accord transmission replaced?
In order to replace your Honda Accord transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.
Recommendations for Honda Accord transmission issues?
To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Honda Accord transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.
How to Solve Honda Accord Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Honda Accord Transmission
The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.
Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Honda Accord Transmission
Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.
Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Honda Accord Transmission
Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.
What Problem Does Your Honda Accord Have?
Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!
Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.
What Transmission Do I Have?
In production since 1976, the Honda Accord has been one of the best selling cars in the US since 1979 and was the best selling Japanese car for 15 years between 1982 and 1997. It was the first Japanese car to be manufactured in the United States when production started in Marysville, Ohio in 1982. It has been consistently rated as one of the most reliable vehicles on the market by many road tests over the years. However, a few years have suffered from transmission issues – some of which required recalls. The name “Accord” has been used on a number of different vehicles including crossovers, wagons, coupes and hatchbacks, but the mid-size, four-door car sold in the US is most well known version of the vehicle.
Shopping For A Used Honda Accord: Which Years And Trims To Avoid
The Honda Accord is a very popular car and a great used vehicle in some cases. However, some years have a track record of owner complaints. Why buy one of the troublesome Honda Accord years or trims, when you can pick and choose from such a vast population of cars.
Related Story: Shopping For a Used Toyota Camry - Here's The Year and Color To Avoid At All Costs
Honda Accord V6 Transmission Problems
The first Honda Accord problem to know relates to the V6-equipped trims made in 2003. Honda had a transmission defect emerge in the V6-equipped Accords. The transmissions had a typical failure mileage of around 97K miles. The problem was severe enough that Honda launched a campaign to try to support those Accord owners with failed transmissions.
Here’s a shortened version of what one owner reported to CarComplaints.com. Take careful note about what the owner says about the prior recall on the transmission: “After searching through Craigslist in 2015, I find this gem, a 2003 Honda Accord ES with about 76,000 miles on it. It was in amazing condition! About 2 years later and with about 95,000 loving miles later, I'm driving 75mph in the fast lane at night with a constant flow of traffic with big rigs and all; my car jolts backward as if I slammed on the brakes at high speed. y car was making a loud awful mechanical machine noise and as I drove it off the highway its revs were at a constant 5... 5!! It also does not reverse! The car’s previous transmission recall was temporarily fixed in 2004 with a jet kit at less than 15,000 miles.”
Here’s a second owner who reports that the recall didn’t do the trick: “I'm the original owner of 2003 coupe, and like most of you when we received recall, we took it in to have it fixed. Now with 153000 miles, the transmission has failed, and even though this is the only trouble we've had with the car, it's disappointing that Honda knows there's a problem but won't fix it correctly. Called local Honda dealership, and they say Honda won't help fix it, but they hear/see the problem all the time with this year Hondas. We tried calling Honda customer service anyway, and as expected, they were very rude, said it was taken care of in 2004 and not under warranty now.”
Used Honda Accord V6 Models Years to Avoid
CarComplaints has labeled the 2003 and 2004 Honda Accord with its “Avoid Like the Plague” stamp. It rates the 2005 “Beware of the Clunker.” Why not just buy a 2002 or 2006? CarComplaints lists 2003 as the worst used Honda Accord year.
Related Story:Restore the Faded Yellow Cloudy Headlights On Your Honda Accord For $25 In Half An Hour
Used Honda Accord Brake Issues
Another issue widely reported by owners of used Honda Accords is related to brake issues. This problem has an average mileage rate of about 26K. Here’s what one owner reported: “Not something you expect from Honda. I have replaced rear brakes twice once at 15K and then around 30K and now recent service at 45K the Honda agency tells that rear brakes have worn AGAIN!!!” And this owner has a similar tale, saying, “I almost change rear breaks every year, it is really frustrating and costly. I tried to call dealer and honda. but they have no answer.” There are literally thousands of owners who have reported this issue.
Used Honda Accord Years To Avoid Due To Brake Issues
2007 to 2010 are the model years that most used Honda Accord owners report brake problems with. The problem seems to be the worst in 2008. These years are ones to carefully consider before buying.
Used Honda Accord Starter Problems - Years to Avoid
The used Honda Accord also had starter issues according to many owner reports. The two years most affected seem to be 2013 and 2014. Both V6 and four-cylinder used Accord owners have reported this issue. One owner sums it up, saying, “This is the second time I replaced my starter in less than a year!” The average cost to resolve the issue (temporarily) is $620.
If you own a Honda Accord and have struggled with any of these issues, please tell us in the comments below what your experience has been. If you are an owner with no problems, you are also most welcome to report that your Accord has worked flawlessly (so far). Your input may help a fellow used Honda Accord shopper make an informed decision.
Accord chart and quotes courtesy of CarComplaints.com.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.
The Honda Accord has a reputation for being a reliable car over the years. However, the Honda Accord transmission problems have deterred some users from purchasing this vehicle. Therefore, we are telling you the worst model years of hte Accord, the signs and symptoms to look out for, and how much you can expect to pay to repair the transmission!
Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE
Worst Model Years of the Honda Accord
The Honda Accord has been an extremely popular model throughout the years. Despite the popularity, the Honda Accord transmission problems, coupled with high repair costs and a lack of reliability, has made some production years unsafe to purchase. The worst model years of the Accord are the 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2013.
2003 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
The 2003 Accord is plagued by transmission failure and a consistent issue with the stereo backlight failing after minimal use. To prevent these Honda Accord transmission problems, we have one word of advice – avoid this model year.
The worst categories of concern in this year are the transmission, interior accessories, body and paint, engine, and AC and heater. The NHTSA also cited a whopping 588 complaints regarding the transmission, stating that there were concerns with the torque converter, manual transmission, automatic transmission, gear position, and the levers and linkages.
Regarding the Honda Accord transmission problems, the most common issue is premature transmission failure. The most common solution is to replace or rebuild the transmission, contact Honda to assist with teh replacement cost, or join suit with other car owners and file a class-action lawsuit. The overall repair cost for this issue is around $2,720 and occurs at around 97,000 miles.
Owners who experience this Accord problem say that the transmission starts and stops while driving, the car wouldn’t move forward or in reverse, and the car makes loud noises during use before dying on the road.
The second issue when looking at the 2003 Honda Accord transmission problems is the car not shifting properly. Owners have to pay over $2,610 to either replace the transmission or replace the torque converter solenoid and rebuild the entire transmission. The average mileage of this occurrence is just over 100,000 miles, with owners stating this problem is an 8.4 out of 10 on the severity scale.
The third most pressing issue regarding the 2003 Honda Accord transmission problems is the car’s transmission slipping out of gear. Fixing this concern costs over $2,600 to replace the transmission, rebuild the transmission, or purchase a refurbished transmission from a Honda dealership at around 95,000 miles.
2008 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
The 2008 Accord suffers from various defects – all of which are quite serious. This model year has problems with the brakes, excessive oil consumption, uncomfortable,seats, and numerous Honda Accord transmission problems.
The most pressing transmission concerns focus on the transmission jerking into gear, the transmission slipping, the car shuddering when changing gears, the car hesitating, the car having trouble shifting gears in cold weather, and early transmission failure. To fix the transmission jerking into gear, owners have to pay around $4,500 to replace the entire transmission – a hefty replacement cost at just 35,000 miles.
2009 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
The 2009 Accord followed suit with the previous year – it had plenty of issues with the braking reliability, extreme oil consumption, dated interior, uncomfortable seats, and Honda Accord transmission problems.
The worst transmission problems dealt with the torque converter shuddering, the transmission slipping, the transmission not working properly, and the car making a whining sound.
2013 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
Although some of the issues from previous years were addressed and remedied, the 2013 year suffered from the starter failing at just around 36,000 miles, the OEM battery not providing enough power to the V6 engine, and the Honda Accord transmission problems.
Owners complained about the car hesitating and slipping while accelerating, the car revving high when it is cold outside, the transmission failing prematurely, a noticeable downshift when coasting, rough shifting, and the transmission not engaging in some gears.
To fix the hesitation and slipping, the most common solution is to replace the axle, replace the seal, update the PCM, and refill the transmission fluid. This is a fairly low repair cost at just $350 when compared to the more severe Honda Accord transmissions problems.
1998 Honda Accord Transmission Recall
Back in 1998, Honda had to recall almost 35,000 units of their Accord sedan to fix a problem that prevented their automatic transmission from fully selecting and engaging the Park posinto. The die used to cause the transmission cover created issues with construction, preventing the metal piece that engages Park to actually stop the car.
2004 Honda Accord Recall
Honda announced a recall in early 2004 that affected over 1 MILLION vehicles due to the prevalent Honda Accord transmission problems! The gear failure in certain Accord vehicles could result in transmission lockup, increasing the risk of a crash and dangerous driving conditions.
In some minivans, SUVS, and passenger cars, certain conditions could result in an excessive buildup of heat between the countershaft and secondary shaft gears. If this occurs within the automatic transmission, it could quickly lead to gear breakage and other Accord transmission problems.
2010 Honda Accord Recall
Honda announced another recall that directly related to the Honda Accord transmission problems. If the driver would take out the ignition key when the gear selector of their Accord had not been properly shifted to the park position, this could increase the irks of a crash and a dangerous situation for everyone around the vehicle.
This recall affected over 550,000 vehicles, with Honda forced to recall certain model year 2003 Honda Accord cars, Honda Civic two and four-door cars, and 2003-2004 Honda Element vehicles.
2011 Honda Accord Recall
In 2011, Honda Accord had to recall 2005-2010 Accord model year cars that contained the automatic transmission. Produced between mid-2004 and the end of 2010, this specific kind of car had a damaged secondary shaft bearing that could break and cause further Honda Accord transmission problems.
According to the Honda recall, certain driving styles like aggressive driving, frequent stopping and starting, and speeding up in tight spaces, could lead to the outer brace on the ball bearings to fracture. If the outer metal band on the ball bearing breaks, this could turn on the Check Engine Light on the dashboard.
Furthermore, the ball bearing could break and cause the dislodged part to stick in the space that engages the ‘Park’ position, leading to the car potentially rolling away after being shifted into Park. If this happens, it will cause serious safety issues and further aHonda Accord transmission problems.
Can I drive with a transmission problem?
Although you may think that some of the HOnda Accord transmission problems are not severe enough to require immediate attention, not fixing the transmission or engine is a crucial mistake that can lead to your car completely breaking down. If your Honda Accord can still chug along, turn on, make it up a hill, and accelerate, you might think that it’s fine and you can address the issues later.
However, that’s not always the best solution depending on the frequency and severity of the Honda Accord transmission problems. There are numerous expensive and important parts that are moving together and working together in the transmission, and if something is not working as it should, continuing to drive on a faulty transmission could damage another part irreversibly.
How often do I need to replace the Honda Accord transmission?
The lifespan of a Honda Accord transmission depends on the maintenance schedule, the condition when it was first installed in the car, and the prevalence of seriousness of any noticeable Honda Accord transmission problems. With factory design issues also contributing to some problems, the low end of the replacement schedule will be at around 130,000 miles.
If you take better care of your Honda Transmission, then you can expect your car’s mechanism to last upwards of 180,000 miles on average. A high-quality transmission replacement can last longer than 180,000 miles if you fix the Honda Accord transmission problems soon as you notice them, you stick to a routine maintenance schedule, and the factory design flaws have been corrected.
How are Honda Accord transmission problems diagnosed?
When trying to figure out how to diagnose and fix the Honda Accord transmission problems in your car, you need to have the right tools, knowledge, and experience to look in the right places and repair or replace the correct parts. If this doesn’t sound like you, bringing your car to a local mechanic can help save your transmission before it is too late.
A good mechanic or local transmission repair center will know how to connect your Honda Accord toa computer and diagnostic tool to figure out which diagnostic trouble codes have been stored in your car’s internal computer- the electronic control module. Once the mechanics know what problems to look for, it will be much easier for them to visually find the Honda Accord transmission problems.
Honda Accord Transmission Repair Cost
The average transmission repair cost for replacing your Honda Accord transmission is between $1800 and $3400, while the second most expensive choice is to purchase a remanufactured mechanism for between $1300 and $3400.
The other options are to save a bit of money and buy a rebuilt transmission for between $1100 and $2800, or to buy a used or salvage transmission for between $800 and $1500.
The Bottom Line
Figuring out what model years of the Honda Accord that are safe to use can help you keep the transmission repair cost at an all time low – no more worrying about the Honda Accord transmission problems worsening over time!
Problems transmission accord v6
Honda Accord Transmission Problems: Diagnosing and Solving Them
Over the past 45 years, the Japanese brand Honda, has produced one of the most loved cars in the world – the Honda Accord. It’s actually been one of the most sold cars in the United States since the ‘90s.
Any dedicated car enthusiast would know about the four-door sedan model under the Accord lineup. And while the cars do have their cult following, customer complaints over the years have expressed how some models are clearly not as good as the others.
The problems are persistent with some models while the others run perfectly fine. In general, the Honda Accord line is very reliable with the exception of four years, 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2013. These four models stand out for having a concerning number of consumer complaints and issues, a common one being the Honda Accord transmission problems.
You should definitely avoid these four models if you’re planning on buying something from the range. But, if it’s too late and you have one already that’s been malfunctioning and driving you crazy, we have the solution.
The Story of Honda Accord
The ‘70s were where the U.S. automakers really shone. America couldn’t get enough full-sized vehicles powered by strong engines. They were also under the assumption that the country has an endless source of oil. Manufacturers came up with vehicles appealing to those desires.
Federal regulations began getting stricter, pushing up the price of new vehicles owing to emission and safety necessities. Low gas prices acted as an opposing force, causing the auto industry to keep making trucks and cars that were faster, bigger, more luxurious, and powerful.
Suddenly, the oil embargo with the Arabs caused a drastic attitude change within the people. Fuel prices rose up harshly, creating an unprecedented need for smaller cars with improved fuel efficiency. However, the U.S. auto industry took significantly longer to respond to the crisis and that opened up the market to foreign automakers who were producing smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. 1979 was a total game-changer in every aspect.
By 1980, unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were at an all-time high, causing a ruckus in the U.S. economy. Local automakers incurred huge operating losses. Japanese auto manufacturer Honda capitalized on this economic turmoil and introduced the revolutionary Honda Accord in 1976 to the U.S. market.
The original 1989 design was a compact hatchback but the company soon expanded the line due to popular interest. By the ‘90s, the name had many intermediate-sized sedans, wagons, coupes, and cars. Things seemed to be going great for Honda. So, where exactly did it go wrong? Here’s a video on everything about these cars if you want to know more about their timeline.
2003 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
Customer data has indicated that the 2003 Honda Accord experiences multiple issues with the transmission. A frequently mentioned complaint would be how the transmission starts to slip and ultimately needs replacement quickly after the odometer hits the 90,000 miles mark.
The models of the early 2000s mainly faced problems with the transmission and the manufacturers got into trouble for it too. As a result of the overflowing criticism, Honda had to extend the transmission warranty to 109k miles or 93 months for their 2000 to 2001 models. This, however, was done as a part of a settlement to a lawsuit.
That was enough to convince the owners of the Honda Accord’s 2000-2001 models but the other variants had no such protective barrier. When the transmission failed, people had to get repairs which have an average cost of more than $2,000. Keep in mind that there are differences between manual and automatic transmissions.
2008 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
The 2008 Honda Accord is definitely the most infamous of the bunch, coming down with performance complaints like excessive oil consumption, poor brakes, and uncomfortable seats. Honda found itself in court once again in 2010 fighting against another class-action lawsuit; Only this time it was for excessive and premature brake wear.
In 2011, Honda stated that if the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) received a software update, that could solve the excessive oil consumption problem. But that didn’t save them from the pending lawsuits.
Aside from the mechanical issues, owners of this model continually said that the seats were far too uncomfortable. These issues aren’t restricted to a certain body type; complaints have been pouring in from people of different weights and heights. Seating complaints like the cause of back pain, leg circulation problems, and more are most probably due to poor cushioning, seat angle, and lumbar support.
Customers noted that the uncomfortable feeling wasn’t that noticeable when they took the Accord for a test drive. Still, some owners said that they could feel the discomfort after a brief span of 15 to 20 minutes.
2009 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
Following the footsteps of its defamed predecessor, the 2009 Accord had plenty of complaints from the owners. The majority of these issues included extreme oil consumption, braking reliability, uncomfortable seating, dated interior, and of course, the Honda Accord transmission problems.
The worst cases of transmission problems would usually be instances of the transmission slipping, torque converter shaking, faulty transmission, and a whining sound emitting from the car. Transmission shudder can be solved following this guide.
2013 Honda Accord Transmission Problems
In comparison to the downright bad models from 2008 and 2009, the 2013 model had changes that fixed a handful of the problems. Despite that, the new model showed starter failure close to the 36,000 miles mark. Not to mention how the OEM battery wasn’t giving enough power to the equipped V6 engine. Pair that with the transmission problems and you have a genuinely troubling car.
Owners complained that the car hesitated and slipped during acceleration, would rev high when it’s chilly outside, and transmission would fail prematurely.
The slipping and hesitation can be fixed quite easily by replacing the axle, replacing the seal, updating the PCM, and finally, refilling the transmission fluid. It shouldn’t cost more than $350. This is a pretty great deal if you’re comparing it to the costs of fixing other more severe issues the Honda Accord is prone to creating.
Honda Accord Transmission Problems Troubleshooting
If you plan on doing a self-diagnosis of the transmission problems with your Honda Accor, you need to have the right knowledge, experience, and tools. You must know whether to look and what to repair or replace or you can end up doing more damage than good.
If this isn’t something you’re 100% confident you can do, save yourself and your transmission from a world of hassle by bringing it the car to a local mechanic or transmission repair center.
Either of them, if good, will know how to attach the Honda Accord to a diagnostic tool and computer to detect the diagnostic trouble codes or DTC. The trouble codes are stored inside your car’s built-in computer, otherwise known as the electronic control module.
After the mechanics have a clear picture of what the problem is, it will be much easier for them to visually locate the area of error and work on it.
Related DTC Codes
P0657: Voltage problem on circuit “A” – This transmission error is mostly caused by a bad, or short ground on the PCM wiring harness or PCM.
P0700: The transmission control system has malfunctioned – The DTC can be triggered when a problem exists with the TCM, a solenoid, the valve body, or a wiring harness.
P0715: Turbine/Input speed sensor malfunction – Typically, this means that the input sensor is unable to read the engine RPM, preventing the transmission from shifting gears when needed.
P0717: Turbine/Input speed sensor no signal – The PCM isn’t getting a signal from the input speed sensor, stopping the computer from registering when the transmission must be shifted.
P0720: Failed input/output speed sensor – The trouble code comes into action when the transmission has a bad speed sensor.
P0730: Incorrect gear ratio – A number of minor issues could be triggering this event, including bad transmission fluid, faulty transmission control module, or a poor transmission solenoid.
P0766: Failed shift solenoid D – A DTC that is stored when there is a problem with the valve body or the shift solenoid.
P0791: Intermediate shaft speed sensor on circuit “A” – Possibly due to a malfunction in the intermediate shaft speed sensor. This could happen because of a wiring problem, a failed shift solenoid, or a bad sensor.
P0793: No signal on intermediate shaft speed sensor circuit – The computer generates this DTC if it can’t contact the intermediate shaft speed sensor.
P2703: Failed friction element D – A DTC which is triggered by a broken friction element such as a clutch disc.
Step 1: Turn the engine on and shift the gear into “drive.” A faulty shift linkage could prevent it from shifting properly so keep that in mind. While somewhat uncommon, this could be the case with an Accord that has over 100,000 miles. Extended use wears out the bushings as well as the linkage.
Step 2: While in gear, remove your foot from the brake pedal. The car should creep forward. If it doesn’t, that could translate to a bad torque converter. This is a common phenomenon with high mileage Honda Accord. Get a qualified mechanic to replace the converter. Standard transmissions won’t raise this problem as there’s no torque converter.
Does your Accord train in gear while driving? If not, this could be indicative of a major issue with the automatic transmission. In the case of standard transmissions, this can generally be accounted to the worn clutch disc; not that serious of a problem. For automatic transmissions, on the other hand, it could mean anything from a worn clutch to missing or broken teeth on the planetary gear system in use. Changing the transmission fluid could fix the issue if the problems are minor.
Honda Accord Transmission Recalls
1. 2005-2010 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Control Module
NHTSA Recall: 11V395000. The brand recalled its models 2005 and 2010 from the lineup in 2011. Both year models featured an automatic transmission. Made between July 2004 to September 2010, those Honda Accords came with a bad secondary shaft bearing susceptible to fracture. That could cause all kinds of damages.
The recall said that particular driving styles could cause fractures to the outer brace. The outer brace is basically the round metal band holding the ball bearings. If there is a fracture:
- a) The Check Engine Light could light up/the engine can stall if there is a piece of the broken bearing lodged between a sensor housing and the idle gear, or,
- b) Bits of the bearing could get stuck in the park prawl, making the car roll away after it hits the “Park” gear.
If it’s the latter, you could put everything at risk through your Accord, from pedestrians to picket fences.
Honda dealers all over were told to reprogram the control module to prevent this from happening. Not sure whether your car underwent this step? Call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Make sure to have your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at hand.
2. 1998 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Bearing Failure
NHTSA Recall: 98V018000. 33,966 Accord Sedans and Accord Coupes had to be recalled in 1998 to fix the issue that was hindering the automatic transmission from engaging Park entirely.
A dye was used to paint over the transmission cover and that caused a malfunction on the cover’s right-side. This stopped the park prawl actuation level from engaging Park. An issue like this would make the Honda Accord roll after the gear was set to Park.
Back then, Honda instructed all the car dealers to put a cover over the park prawl. This would let the actuation level more freely. Contact Honda CustomerService if you’re unsure this fix needs to be performed on your vehicle. And don’t forget the VIN!
3. 2003-2004 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission
NHTSA Recall #: 04V176000. A whopping million vehicles were recalled in 2004 as the automatic transmission equipped in the 2003 to 2004 year models of Honda Accord seemed to be rather erroneous. Severe gear breakage/damage could lead to an unexpected seize in the transmission, which could cause an accident.
There isn’t enough transmission fluid flowing in the system and this can cause extreme heat buildup between the secondary shaft and countershaft second gears.
Ultimately, this can result in chipped gear teeth, reduced material strength, and in some of the more severe cases, total gear failure (it snaps). Any unusual noise generally indicates a problem. A broken gear, however, can push the transmission into complete lockup, bringing the car to an abrupt stop.
After the recall was issued, Honda gave the dealers two choices to deal with it: 1) Vehicles will lesser mileage (under 15,000 miles) got a special ATF oil jet kit that would be installed on the fluid return line.
Specifically designed to deal with this problem, the kit would inject cool transmission fluid into the second gear directly. 2) Vehicles with more than 15,000 miles would get their gears inspected by the dealer.
They would then either install a whole remanufacturer transmission or a new jet kit. To confirm if the fix was done on your call, feel free to contact Honda on their local customer service.
Can You Drive with a Transmission Problem?
Don’t make the mistake of taking Honda Accord transmission problems lightly. If not given immediate attention, the problems could worsen and even lead to a complete breakdown of your car. It’s crucial to get it checked and fixed in time.
If your car can still turn on, chug along, accelerate, or make it up a hill, you may be convinced that the car is fine and leave repairs for later. But this isn’t always the best choice.
Depending on the severity and frequency of the Honda Accord transmission problems, you have to get work done on it. There are many important and expensive parts that are coordinating in transmission. When one thing isn’t working, it messes up the whole harmony. Continuing to drive even when you’re aware of the faulty transmission is nothing more than calling for a disaster.
Replacing Needs of the Honda Accord Transmission
A Honda Accord transmission’s lifespan depends on the condition it was in when it was first installed, the maintenance schedule you follow, and the prevalence of any extreme issues noticeable. Factory design faults are always a part of the equation. Taking that into account, the low end of this particular car’s replacement schedule falls around 130,000 miles.
That being said, if you take better care of your car, it could definitely last longer. In fact, the line could be extended to 180,000 miles. A good-quality transmission replacement ideally lasts more than 180,000 miles given you solve the problem the moment you notice it and maintain a regular maintenance schedule.
Honda Accord Transmission Problems: Replacement and Repair
The first part of replacing the transmission on a Honda Accord is lifting the vehicle off the ground to gain access to the bottom parts that have to be unbolted. Using a transmission jack, the transmission can then be lowered in order to install a new one.
Expect to pay anywhere between $1800 to $3500 for the transmission repair cost of changing your Honda Accord transmission. Alternatively, you could buy a remanufactured mechanism. This would be slightly cheaper, costing about $1300 to $3400.
Or, you can purchase a rebuilt transmission too if you’re saving money. That will set you back about $1100 to $2800. Running on a tight budget? No worries. You could probably get away with it by buying a decent used transmission for the range of $800 to $1500.
How to Solve Honda Accord Transmission Problems
With the prices out of the say, let’s talk in detail about the three choices you have
Option 1: Purchase a Used/Salvaged Honda Accord Transmission
The fastest way to solve the Honda Accord transmission problem would be to buy a used transmission. You can get these at almost any junkyard and they will come with a sweet 30 to 90-day warranty!
But, there’s no way to tell the true condition of these internal parts, so you could just be paying all that money to regain that problem from a different angle. Plus, the warranty covers only the transmission provided it’s defective. It doesn’t include the labor costs of having it get checked.
Option 2: Get a Rebuilt Honda Accord Transmission
A rebuilt transmission is always an option. At a local transmission repair shop, they will remove that compartment to install a handful of new parts. One thing to consider here is that the technical know-how and experience will vary from one mechanic to another. And the warranty may only provide coverage at specific repair shops spread across a limited geographical region.
Option 3: Purchase a Remanufactured Honda Accord Transmission
Consider purchasing a remanufactured transmission if your Honda Accord is your mode of transport regularly.
The Honda Accord has proven to be a valuable asset someone can invest it to reap great value. But like with anything, the curses come with blessings. There are some issues reported by customers frequently about the 4 models we discussed today so we’d suggest you steer clear of those. All in all, with a track record as clean as that, the Honda Accord is here to dominate the markets for a very long time.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.
Despite Honda being a popular and reputable car company throughout the years, the Honda transmission has caused numerous issues for the manufacturers and car owners. Unfortunately for Honda, these transmission problems have not only occurred from 1994 onwards, but have been prevalent in many different models, citing that this is a widespread problem plaguing many Honda models.
Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE
Some of the most affected models that have succumbed to transmission problems are the 2003 Honda Accord, 2001 Honda Civic, and the 2002 Honda Odyssey, all showing transmission failure at an extremely low mileage average.
What Is The Transmission?
Your transmission is another name for your vehicle’s gearbox. This mechanism turns the engine’s power into energy that your car can use. Without the transmission, your car wouldn’t be able to run.
What Are Signs Of A Faulty Transmission?
There are a few key things to look out for when determining the root of your Honda transmission problems. Noticing these signs can give you an indication that something is wrong with the transmission, and can help you diagnose and cure the problem.
The first sign of a faulty transmission is whining and clunking noise. Although this is fairly obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people ignore this glaringly-obvious sign that something is happening inside of your car. When your car begins to make noise, it’s time to get it checked out. This humming, buzzing, whining, or clunking coming from your transmission shows that you need to get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. A transmission mechanic can give you a proper diagnosis of the issue.
Second, your transmission might be delayed. The transmission is designed so that you can instantly switch gears without pause. Your car won’t be able to stay in a particular gear. With a delayed response in shifting, it’s time to bring your car in for a transmission check.
Next, you might smell burning – which is never a good smell to be coming from your car. This could be the cause of numerous things, but a common reason is the overheating of transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is the lubricant which keeps the transmission in working order, and is imperative for your vehicle to drive.
Fourth, your Honda transmission problems might be brought to your attention by leaking fluid from your car. This fluid will be emitting from the bottom of your vehicle, and can usually be seen in a puddle after you move your car from your parking spot or drive away.
Fifth, grinding gears in your vehicle can be a clear sign of Honda transmission problems. This issue shows itself in different manners for manual and automatic transmissions. Regarding manual, when you change your gear, you will feel a sense of grinding. This means that the clutch may have been worn out and needs replacing. Regarding automatic transmissions, if your car is shifting roughly, then you should bring your vehicle to a mechanic to diagnose.
The next symptom of Honda transmission problems is your car making a lot of noise while in neutral. Even though a bumping sound doesn’t necessarily mean that your Honda is in trouble, you might need to get your transmission fluid replaced.
The last symptom of Honda transmission problems is when a ‘service engine soon’ light or ‘check engine’ light is shown on your dashboard. With sensors placed all around your car’s engine, they can pick up on various issues that are occuring with the transmision. Be sure to bring your Honda to a mechanic to diagnose the Honda transmission problems shown by the dashboard light.
What Causes The Transmission Problems?
If your engine is able to rev, but the car can’t shift into gear, then the problem could be related to the torque converter.A majority of the Honda transmission problems are directly related to the torque converter failing or burning transmission fluid. The torque converter is in charge of connecting a power source to the load, transfering rotating power to a rotating driven load.
Honda Transmission Problems – 2003 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is a popular make and model from the Honda brand – but that doesn't mean it isn’t without faults. The most common Honda Accord transmission problems cost an average of $2,700 to repair, and occur at around 100,000 miles. The worst model year of the Accord is the 2003 Honda Accord transmission problems. This model contains widespread transmission failure and stereo backlight issues. Let’s dive deeper about the details of hte Honda transmission problems in this specific year and model.
The transmission problems with the 2003 Honda aAccord are mainly due to the transmission failure. The other categories containing negative reports and complaints deal with not being able to shift properly, transmission slipping out of gear, not being able to shift into 3rd gear, unintended downshifting, and shifting violently at low speeds.
This issue costs an average of $2,720 to repair, and occurs at around 97,750 miles. Many car owners have reported the car making a loud clunking sound while in park, the car not being able to move after stopping, and the car starting to slide and drift while driving. The most common solution for this problem is to replace or rebuild the transmission. Rebuilding a Honda Accord transmission costs around $480-$699 for labor, and $1647-$2448 in total.
Not Shifting Properly
Accord owners have said that their car is mis-shifting while driving, down shifts erratically, and stopping without meaning to. The average repair cost for this problem is $2,610 and occurs at just over 100,000 miles. The most common solution is to replace the transmission. Replacing the transmission costs an average of between $1000-$6000.
Transmission Slipping Out Of Gear
The net problem in the myriad of issues regarding the 2003 Honda transmission problems involves the gears slipping, the car not being able to stop, and the car not being able to go into the drive gear. The transmission gear slipping has certain signs that can foreshadow the issue, like the check engine light on, a high RPM, burning smells, and problems shifting. The average repair cost for these problems costs $2,640, and occurs at 95,000 miles on average. The main solution for this is to either replace or rebuild the transmission.
The NHTSA is the US government agency that is in charge of vehicle safety. When the NHTSA has numerous complaints about a vehicle, specifically in one category, then this vehicle is unsafe to drive – and should definitely be avoided.
The 2003 Honda Accord has been reported to have widespread transmission failure. The transmission begins slipping, and eventually needs to be replaced just after 90,00 miles. Transmission failure has continued to be a huge problem for the Accord and other Honda models in this time frame. Although Honda extended the transmission warranty to 109,000 miles for the 2000-20001 Accord due to a class action lawsuit, other Accord owners are not as lucky – this includes the worst rated 2003 Honda Accord.
Regarding the Honda transmission problems that the NHTSA complained about, these transmission issues have caused at least 15 crashes, two fires, nine injuries, and occur at just below 85,000 miles.
Recalls of The 2003 Honda Accord
In addition to the NHTSA complaints, there were numerous recalls for the 2003 Honda Accord – 24 to be exact. One of these dealt with the electrical system and the ignition negatively affecting the transmission, exacerbating the HOnda transmission problems.
Honda recalled certain Honda Accords, specifically the 2003 version. The interlock lever in the ignition may deform, which causes the interlock function with an automatic transmission to not work correctly. If you remove the ignition key when the selector has not been shifted to park, then the vehicle can roll away. This only occurs with the automatic transmission version of hte HOnda Accord, showing one of the many issues with the Honda transmission problems.
2001 Honda Civic Transmission Problems
Just like the 2003 Honda Accord, teh 2001 Honda Civic has numerous transmission problems which cannot be overlooked. The NHTSA had 317 complaints on just the transmission category of this vehicle, showing the lack of safety in this make and model.
The main problems within the transmission category is the transmission failing and slipping. The transmission failure typically costs an average of $2,330 to fix and occurs at 104,000 miles. The most common solution is to replace the transmission or replace the whole transmission. For a Honda Civic, it costs approximately $514-$765 for labor costs, and a total of $1203-$1922 to rebuild the transmission.
The slipping transmission costs around $2,290 to fix and happens at just over 110,000 miles. The most common solutions for these Honda transmission problems are to replace the transmission or replace the torque converter.
NHTSA & Recalls
The NHTSA has reported numerous issues with the powertrain in the automatic transmission of the HOnda Civic. Although HOnda conducted a huge recall in 2004 and settled a class action lawsuit for defective transmissions, no recall has included the 2001 Civic. It is important to realize that the 2001 Civic is the most-recalled car – ever. With a car being recalled so much, you can see just how detrimental the Honda transmission problems are to the driver and the passenger safety.
2002 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems
The Honda Odyssey is in a timespan of Odyssey vehicles having numerous transmission problems from the 1999-2004 era. The main transmission issues feature transmission failure, which typically costs $3,400 to repair and occurs at an average of 97,000 miles. The main solution for this issue is to replace the transmission.
The price of a new Honda Odyssey transmission depends on the type of transmission used. A used transmission ranges from $800-$1500, while a rebuilt transmission costs around $1300-$2400 for a remanufactured version. The labor to remove and replace the transmission generally ranges from $500-$1200 and takes around 4-10 hours of billed time.
The NHTSA has issued a whopping 461 complaints about the 2002 Honda Odyssey transmission problems. The transmission failure occurring at dangerous times has caused at least 1 crash, three fires, one injury and has a severity rating of 10.
Is Honda Doing Anything To Fix The Transmission Problems?
Honda has offered a few owners out-of-warranty compensation to cover the cost of the transmission repairs. Instead of going to your local dealership, you should contact the customer service line to ask for a “goodwill repair.” However, most of the models included in this article are not covered under the warranty – despite having deadly transmission issues.
If your car is under warranty, then Honda may offer to pay a portion of the repair bill, coming in at around 50%. Some 2003 vehicle owners have reported having almost 75% covered by warranty.
Honda Dealerships Might Have Very High Repair Bills For Honda Transmission Problems
Despite some problems being covered under warranty, Honda might charge you an exorbitant amount to have the issue fixed. An independent repair shop will generally do the repair for half of the price, but it just depends on if you want to obtain the warranty benefits or not. Be sure to get a warranty on parts, since rebuilt transmissions can commonly fail.
What If I Don’t Feel Safe Driving My Honda Due to the Honda Transmission Problems?
If you have one of the aforementioned vehicles, or you have another Honda with numerous transmission problems, then you are better off not driving your car anymore. The risk of driving with a faulty transmission is not worth the damage that could be done to your vehicle – and to yourself.
To keep yourself and the passengers safe, you might decide to turn in your car to a junk dealer to make some extra cash. Remove all non-metal components from your vehicle and bring your car to a reputable location. Head to CashCarsBuyer to obtain a fair quote, have great customer service, and earn some money to put towards a new and safe vehicle!
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