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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 1998 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, peeling paint, & subframe rust. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 100,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000.

Peeling paint has also been a huge issue for these Accords. Most of the complaints are with darker paint colors -- especially green & blue.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
159,648 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
  2. recall on ignition switch (2 reports)
  3. had to replaced the fuel board /relay because it over heated (1 reports)
  4. new ground wires worked (1 reports)
  5. relay main system (1 reports)
  6. replace distributor cap and spark plugs (1 reports)
1998 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jul 182014

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,124 miles


Car suddenly stalled while driving. I noticed the speedometer wasn't moving as I stepped on the gas and the RPMs were racing for a couple of seconds before it stalled. There was a loud sound as it stalled. After several minutes, it started up again as usual and I moved to the side of the road. Lucky I wasn't on the freeway. I had it towed to the dealer, but they couldn't find anything wrong. Mileage was a little over 156,000 so it exactly fits with other reports of the engine dying. My fix was to buy a new car.

- , Goleta, CA, USA

problem #26

Jun 282013

Accord LX 2,3

  • Manual transmission
  • 230,000 miles

short question 2001 Honda Accord LX 2.3, 5 speed 200k plus miles. the engine randomly dies as it comes upto a stop, no engine light, no warring, starts right back up usually every few times there might be a sight extended cranking. New recent problems SRS light came on, push button hvac controls don't change the blender motor doors, the lights on each button light up but nothing happens. What are some possible causes and would they be related?

long question engine occasionally just stops as I press the clutch to the floor (while coming to a stop). This is happening about 1 in 20 stops; sometimes two or three times in a row and then doesn't occur for a few days. In any other state, behaves perfectly, accerated briskly and cruised without fault.

For example coming up to a stop/light I'm downshifting and compressing and as it comes to final rest, the RPM just decays right to 0. (Cluth all the way in). Occasionally, the RPM will go right down to 0 and then come up to 500 - 750 by itself, but usually the engine stops.

Sometimes the car will idle at 500 instead of the more normal 750-1000 range. During this low idle speed the engine will occasionally "tremble". Sometimes it will recover to 750 RPM after this, but usually just sits at 500 unless I give it a little gas.

Car always starts without fault or delay, so sometimes if it stalls even before a complete halt (say when a light goes green before full stop) I can re-start it by letting up the clutch in 2nd or 3rd / or simply start it with the starter while rolling.

- , Porterville, CA, USA

problem #25

Oct 122012

Accord EX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 204,356 miles

98 accord just shut down while driving this not any fun . thank God I live in a small town shifted into neutral it started up. If i had know about this kind of complaint I would not have every purchased any honda new or used.

- , tabor city, NC, USA

problem #24

May 152012

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 289,553 miles


Pretty much the same exact problem that everyone else is having and I am not part of the recall. My mechanic is at a loss. If there is anyone who has found a fix besides the ones that are on the list, please let me know before I spend way to much money trying to find out what's wrong with the car.

- , Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #23

May 162012

Accord LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 323,000 miles

1998 Accord LX 2.3L 4 cylinder dies on me while driving. It starts just fine but cuts out on me while driving. I replaced spark plugs, wires, distributor, new battery, air filter, map sensor, idle air control valve, cleaned out the throttle body, soldered my main relay B(is their an A relay??? If so where is it located?) cause one of the connections was cracked, new oil, new ignition switch, new interlock for the key....im hopeless now....i can hear the fuel pump turn on when the key is turned on...my problem occurs when its hot...it shuts off on me and its pretty dangerous to drive. Could it be my ignition starter??? something that fires it??? OH, AND I DO NOT HAVE AN ENGINE CHECK LIGHT ON! PLEASE HELP. Im stuck :(

- , Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #22

May 092011

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

I paid 200.00 to have the main relay switch replaced. It still dies. I won't drvie my Honda Accord on the freeway now. I will take it to a new mechanic and see if they are familiar with the problem. I am afraid to drive my Honda now and stay on the streets. It's scary to take your Honda in for repair and technicians cannot accurately determine the correct fix for a serious problem.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #21

Jun 122011

Accord LX 3.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles



- , Muskego, WI, USA

problem #20

Mar 112010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,055 miles

Ok, I was driving down the road & all of a sudden I noticed the motor had died & the immobilizer light was blinking. The first time it done it when I was going at least 45-55 MPH, it started right back up. The second time it done it when I was almost stopped & the motor started right back up but the third time it done it at a red light when I was stopped about to take off & it took a few tries to get it started back. In the owners manual it says that if the immobilizer light is blinking then the car doesn't recognize the key in the switch but I have been using the key that came with the car. I have no idea what might be causing this, any ideas?

- , Crumpler, NC, USA

problem #19

Aug 172009

Accord 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

My mom has a 98 honda accord. It started dying while she was driving down the road. At first we thought she had a bad batch of gas because it was acting like she wasn't getting a good fuel pick up before it died. My husband and I dropped the tank, cleaned it out filled it with new gas and put a fuel injection cleaner in it. It started doing it more often. We had a lot of things replaced on that car and nothing worked. It just got worse. We finally changed the spark plugs, and the distributor cap and it has never died again.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #18

Mar 152010

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

While Driving, the Engine got SHUT, steering got completely locked (can't do any left-right). The KEY light got ON. All other lights were OFF. Luckily there was no CAR behind my car. else I would have met severe Accident. I stopped the car, restarted it, and reached HOME safely.

I am scared now to drive anymore.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #17

Jul 012009

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


I have brought my Honda in to two separate mechanics about this stalling/non starting problem. They can't figure it out. I already had the ignition switch worked on in 2006 (free, it was a recall thing). But I'm thinking of going back to a Honda dealer to see if they'll fix it again. Right now, the car's not really driveable because sometimes it just won't start, other times it stalls while I'm driving.

- , Big Oak Flat, CA, USA

problem #16

May 012009

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles


- , Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #15

Mar 262009

Accord LX 6.0 L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

I am not sure what seems to be causing the stalling problem. I will check the ignition switch and respond back.

- , Laurel, MD, USA

problem #14

Sep 152008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Really scary to have your reliable vehicle die on the interstate at 70 mph....this is happening way too often for the Dealer to "not know" what it is....HELP!

- , Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #13

Sep 082008

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

We inherited this car from my mom when she passed in 2006 she kept this car and hardly ever drove it, I depend on this car to take my kids and I places and me to work and now it is dying on the freeway and it is scary. It stops everything goes out I coast to wherever I can and restart the car which sometimes does not start for a while.

I am so scared to drive it that I take my husband everywhere with me in case I brake down somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

I cant afford to get it fixed right now and I am so furious cause it has only 30k on it.

can anyone tell me for sure what is wrong, I need help...

- , Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #12

May 022008

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Well ive had this car about 4 years now. Started off with 110k now with 182k. So far ive had the catalytic converter changed, the O2 sensors changed 3 times, the ignition switch, radiator, alternator, and had the transmission rebuilt. The worst of these problems would have to be the ignition switch since my car kept shutting off on me on the highway while i was going 70-80 or on the main road. The transmission was also a bother and cost the most about 1800. But overall this is a great car and i love it but had to deal with many many costly problems.

- , Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 022008

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

same as all the others, car dies while driving down the road sometimes it starts back while going down the road (i throw it in neutral and start it back) now it's getting to where it doesn't even wanna crank back i have to pull over and try to crank it over and over, i called honda they said the recall had already been done on my car, i replaced the distributor cap, main relay, and fuel pump i just don't know what to do anymore, some people having been telling me it could be the computer of the car..............anyone have an idea? PLEASE HELP!!!

Update from Aug 29, 2009: car was dying and i took it to Honda dealership and they replaced a bunch of ground wires and it works perfect now

- , Gardendale, AL, USA

problem #10

Sep 122008

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

This has happened twice already and it is really scary. If this is a manufacture problem I only hope Honda will look into it to find out why this is happening to all these Honda owners.

- , Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #9

Jun 042008

Accord LX 2.3L Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,404 miles

Ok I'm 18, I went 1 year without a car and said enough I need one. I came from a family of Toyota loyalists (1980 something Corolla, 86, 93, 98, 04 Camry) I wanted to get something different, so I get a well used 98 Accord LX at, ironically a Toyota dealer. The car had a broken axle, missing control knob, bad breaks, and dirty oil. My dad and bro are extremely good with cars and these were easy fixes so i got the car.

I start driving in NYC (land of the potholes) and one night I hit a crater in the night and my car dies and I say to myself, what the hell??? I start her back up instantly and say to myself it must have jolted something loose or the key was turned by my knee. So I leave it be.

Few days later, it dies again, no pothole, flat land and I go ok this isn't good. It wouldnt start for 2 mins in the middle of city traffic in the middle of teh road. I was pissed, I was cursing out the dealership because they put a distributor in my car and I figured the timing was off causing teh car to stall. They said they would check it but I thought to let my dad and bro check it first as I do not trust any mechanic or dealer in the world.

After readjusting the idle, checking teh distributor, and changing spark plug wires and plugs, it still stall randomly, most of the time with AC running. I didn't know what to do, my first car which I spent all my money on was pretty much a deathtrap!!!!

However, by the grace of god, me and my bro were in the car and I had to close a window, I go to turn the key to On but nothing. Thats when my bro goes to turn the car and hits the key to show the engine stall and come back. Low and behold the problem found: THE IGNITION SWITCH!!! The switch was so worn that it would have to be jiggled to get the On position engaged and the while driving, would come out of on while driving, hence engine stall.

With the knowledge of whats wrong in my mind, I knew the car dealer would not have known of this problem as the test drive for the car was only around the corner so the likelihood of them knowing that the switch was bad was unlikely. I proceed to look at recalls to see if I could get a fix and to my surprise yes, theres a recall on the ignition switch. I call up Honda give em my info and yes, my car is eligible and was never serviced so in I went and my car was good as new!!!

Overall, it has yet to stall and the switch is brand new. If your car stall randomly do the following:

1- Turn your car on and hit you key while its on, if your engine shows signs of stalling or if your car dies, you need a new switch which is covered on warranty. Call Honda and they will accommodate you. Love the car, but hesitant to buy another due to the one other problem this car seems to have that I will write a revie on next...the Tranny!!!

- , New York City, New York, USA

problem #8

Jun 152008

Accord EX 2.3L Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This has happened three times so far and it's scary enough that I don't want to drive the car. After talking to the Honda service people, it sounds like they have to experience the problem themselves before they can fix it. Here is are my experiences (all 3 on warm days with A/C running):

1. On a short drive of less than a mile, I came to a stop sign and the dash lights started flashing on and off while there was a clicking sound. I turned the ignition. Started it right back up again and drove off. One block down the road all the lights came on again, but the car seemed to still be running. I turned off ignition and tried to start it up again. The engine would turn over, but die. It took five tries before it stayed on.

2. Driving on the highway at 60 MPH with the A/C on and suddenly there is no power. The dash lights did not come on that I noticed. The engine died, but I still had full control of the steering and brakes. Luckily I was right by an off ramp and was able to coast to the side without disrupting traffic. I took the key all the way out of the ignition, put it in and started it right back up again. Drove the remaining 10 miles home without A/C with no problems.

3. 9 days later: driving with the A/C on for the first time since the above problem. We were driving about 25 MPH when the airbag light came on, went off, then the ABS light came on, went off and the engine ran a little rough. It seemed to stall and then turn itself back on about four times right in a row. I never lost steering or brakes. We pulled into a parking lot and it DIED...no steering or brakes..had to push the car into a stall. It wouldn't start for about 10 minutes. When it did, it ran about 1 minute and died. We shopped for about an hour. It started right up and we drove home 10 miles with no A/C and had no problem.

- , Richland, WA, USA

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