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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.

7.4

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,459.00
Average Mileage:
122,368 miles
Total Complaints:
57 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. replace transmission (14 reports)
  3. have transmission rebuilt (9 reports)
  4. sell the car (2 reports)
  5. take off slower (1 reports)
1998 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #57

Jun 102008

Accord v6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When I first got it back in 2008 it jerked my but nothing like what it does now. It was whipping me back and forth the other day when I got stuck in traffic on the highway. It just got to bad to drive my car and since I've had my baby this past year I can't take any chances so I haven't driven with her in the car at all. Is it even worth getting the transmission fixed if this problem seems to happen on this model alot??? I can't afford to get a new car but am scared to shell out that type of money for a transmission that may be as bad as mine is now in just a few years.

- , Scranton, PA, USA

problem #56

Mar 072013

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

I had no problems with gear shifting on my Honda Accord 1998 up until recently. It started having gear shift problems especially between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd. One time i couldn't get it switched to 3rd and was driving on highway like 30-40 miles/hour. when tried to accelerate, the rpm would go up to 4-5 rpm. It throws car back when switching between gears like if you had hit by a car from the rear end. One time there was a really dangerous situation when i was making a left turn on the intersection and my car would just not switch to the second gear and almost froze while incoming car was approaching the intersection. After my mechanic changed the transmission fluid and gear shift solenoid, the car was ok for about 5 days and now I am back to the same problem. Have to add that this problems are inconsistent and it seems to be better after the car sits for an hour or two. I may need to rebuild the transmission, but it's a big of investment for such an old car. Unfortunately, i cannot afford to by a new car at this moment.

If Honda knew about defective transmission on this model and had settlements done for the owners of the other Honda models that have the same transmission, they have to admit that Honda Accord 1998 owners are entitled for the same compensation.

- , Rockford, IL, USA

problem #55

Apr 012013

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Same as all the other million plus accord/odyssey owners, failing automatic transmission.

- , Hoover, Alabama, USA

problem #54

Aug 142012

Accord LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The transmission would not go into gear. It slipped over and over even after having it looked at. Apparently, nothing was wrong with it. I BEG TO DIFFER! I almost got hit two times in one day. Got rid of that thing quick!

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #53

Jul 032012

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I HAVE A 1998 HONDA ACCORD EX THAT IS AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION VEHICLE. HOWEVER AT TIMES IT SHIFTS FROM FIRST GEAR TO TO SECOND GEAR ROUGHLY WHEN THE ENGINE HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR A WHILE. WHEN THE ENGINE IS COLD IT SHIFTS FINE. HOWEVER, ON OCCASION IT ALSO SHIFTS ROUGH EVEN WHEN SHIFTING FROM SECOND TO THIRD GEAR. THE CAR ALSO AT TIMES WHEN IT SHIFTS, IT ALMOST HANGS UP WHEN SHIFTING. TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, IT IS ALMOST AS THOUGH MY CAR IS SHIFTING FROM FIRST GEAR TO NEUTRAL, WHEN CAR IS IN OPERATION. MY ENGINE LIGHT IS STEADY ON. MY CODE READER INDICATES THAT THIS IS A SHIFT SOLENOID TORQUE CONVERTER PROBLEM. I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHOM EXPERIENCED THIS PROBLEM,, BUT DUE TO SEVERAL RESEARCHES THAT I HAVE MADE ONLINE, I HAVE FOUND OUT THAT SEVERAL OTHER HONDA OWNERS OF THE ACCORD RANGING AS EARLY AS 1990-2002 HAVE HAD THESE EXACT IDENTICAL PROBLEMS AND THESE HONDA OWNERS HAVE ALSO FILED COMPLAINTS OF THE ISSUE. THIS TELLS ME THAT HONDA HAS KNOWN ABOUT THIS PROBLEM FOR QUITE SOMETIME, AND HAS DONE NOTHING TO TAKE CARE OF THE ISSUE. I HAVE FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE NHTSA ABOUT THIS ISSUE ONLINE. I FEEL THIS SHOULD BE A MANDATORY SAFETY RECALL, BECAUSE IF THE CAR DOES NOT SHIFT FROM FIRST GEAR TO SECOND GEAR SMOOTHLY OR HANGS AS THOUGH THE CAR IS IN NEUTRAL, THIS COULD CAUSE A CAR ACCIDENT THAT COULD RESULT IN INJURY, OR SUDDEN SEVERE DEATH ESPECIALLY IN METRO CITY AREAS.(HOUSTON,TX DALLAS,TX ETC.) EVEN IF NHTSA DOES NOT MAKE IT MANDATORY, JUST THESE COMPLAINTS ALONE, SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR HONDA TO DO A COURTESY RECALL OF THEIR OWN WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO.

- , Lfk, TX, USA

problem #52

Oct 052012

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Purchased this car October 2011 at 89,000 after having car accident in my Scion TC. Decided a honda with 89,000 miles on it and a 1998 was a good deal. Well I was surely wrong, Friday my gears were slipping from 2-3. Took my car to the shop was told the damn transmission was going. I am pissed I have to drive 40min to work in heavy traffic with a failing transmission. I will never purchase a honda again in my life, they should really do a recall on this model

- , Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #51

Apr 102012

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Honda's late 1990s and early 2000s transmissions were notoriously awful and will cost you a few thousand dollars to get rebuilt. Unfortunately, I did not know this when I bought a used 1998 Honda Accord for my daughter. We drove it with an increasingly failing transmission for a year or so, then when it was no longer drivable we had it rebuilt for $2000. This is shamefully poor car engineering and lousy build quality from Honda which used to be the premier brand of Japanese car. It makes me very reluctant to buy another Honda and I've owned two of them. Driving a car with a failing transmission is very dangerous as you cannot really control the car, and when it goes out of gear you lose power. On the freeway, that is very dangerous. Honda should have a transmission rebuild program for every one of these failed transmissions over the entire six or seven years they made them. It might be thousands a year, though, so they wouldn't do that. Shame.

- , Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #50

Mar 122012

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

y do u create , when u know its problem, so better fix it then selling it

- , Sandeigo, CA, USA

problem #49

Dec 122001

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

people dont realize how bad hondas transmissions have become.dealers dont want to be involved in fixing your trans.IMHO the dealers just keep denying problems until the vehicle is out of warranty.i like my honda accord but their transmissions are seriously bad and the media is afraid to report it.please be aware and pass on the problems with honda transmissions to all your friends and family.note:i treat and maintain my honda gently.

- , Roselle, IL, USA

problem #48

Sep 052011

Accord LX 2.3L, V-Tec, I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

In August 2011, the "Check Engine" light of our 1998 Honda Accord LX came on. When the service codes were scanned code P0740, 'Torque Convertor Clutch Circuit Malfunction', was identified. Shortly thereafter the vehicle developed an irregular jerky response upon acceleration. A second diagnosis rendered the same code, and the mechanics' recommendation was that the transmission had to be rebuilt or replaced at the cost of $3,000 +/-. After further researching this problem , I discovered that Honda, North America had issued a recall of some 600,000 vehicles (2002-2004 Honda Odyssey, 2003-2004 Pilot, 2001-2002 Acura MDX, 2003-2004 Accord V-6) for similar problems. In 2006 Honda also settled a class-action lawsuit, claiming that Honda had misled consumers by selling them vehicles with defective transmissions in the 2000-2001 Accord, 1999-2001 Odyssey, 2000-2001 Prelude, 1999-2002 Acura 3.2 TL, and 2001-2002 Acura 3.2CL. Honda settled the case without ever admitting a defect and denied the charges. (http://www.hondaproblems.com/problems/tranmission-failure.shtml) Unfortunately, although the 1998, 1999, and 2002 Accord models use the same automatic transmissions, these models were not included in the settlement (???).

A letter to Mr. Tetsuo Iwamura, President & Director of Honda North America, Inc., outlining the problems with my vehicle and the thousands of others in the recall and class action suit, was answered by a call from one of their customer service representative 'robots' who was of no service whatsoever and denied any responsibility for transmission failure on a vehicle that was "so old". What crap!

Honda is fully aware that they had manufacturing defects in these vehicles, but is unwilling to support customers whose vehicles have developed the same problems, with the same transmission, different only in model year or time of onset of the problem. This is egregious irresponsibility, and I am calling on all 1998- 2002 Honda Accord and other owners who have been affected by this problem to deluge NHSTA, demanding a recall be issued, to hold Honda North America accountable for their defective transmissions.

- , Koloa, HI, USA

problem #47

Jan 142011

Accord DX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 227,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Thanks to a poor move to go from on-off solenoids for shifting to Linear solenoids for shifting, my 98 Accord DX has the classic late 90's/early 2000's 2nd gear slip. Why can't Honda not only replace the transmissions but also reflash the ROM in the TCM with some better Linear solenoid control algorithms? As a Honda/Acura (Mainly Acura) guru I have found the problem myself and I am by far a "Highly trained Technician"! I'm just a 31 yr old with a High School education and backyard automotive experience.

- , Malden, MA, USA

problem #46

Jan 192011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

First noticed car had problem with acceleration from stop. Then rattling sound when only idling the car. Then check engine light came on. Knew to take it to dealership. Told dealership problem. They said I needed new motor mounts for the transmission and an egr valve replacement. Cost me a bundle, so I had it fixed. Still had acceleration problem so I had an early 150,000 mile checkup/tune-up. Dealership said I needed a new CV boot, so I had it fixed. Still had acceleration problem. Took it in for a oil change that included a a minor checklist for the car if there were any problems. They found none. Accerelation problem/symptoms getting worse. I used Lucas fuel system cleaner after the dealership told me I had carbon deposits which necessitated the egr valve replacement in the mean time interim. I thought I had clogged fuel injectors from trying to self diagnose from the Honda repair manual I bought at Kragen/O-reily. The problem was starting to drive me crazy. Acceleration problem got worse and so bad that when trying to merge into traffic my car would stall and then pick up speed. I had to maintain a big space cushion just to drive safely. This was becoming ridiculous and also becoming a safety hazard. I could only compensate so much when driving in traffic.

Talked to a friend about my car problems and he said his father had an accord with the same symptoms that was a transmission problem. A light bulb went off in my head. Took car back to the dealership and told them to check the transmission. Guess what? They found the problem on the fourth visit to the dealership, but I had to tell them what was wrong. They said that it would cost over 3700 dollars to fix it! I am no mechanic yet the dealership can't even diagnose the main problem with my car after three tries. I am so upset. I can understand the frustration of all the Honda owners of this forum. The Honda transmission on Accords are not up to par.

I used to be a loyal Honda fan. My first car was a used manual 1979 Prelude. My second car was a manual 1993 Civic. They don't build Hondas like they used to any more. Too many reliability issues with the transmissions. Too bad the recall doesn't extend to 1998 Accords. People with Honda transmissions, drive at your own risk!

You were warned.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #45

Sep 052011

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,000 miles

Okay so it hasn't been a full 5 yrs/ almost 70,000miles since I had to buy a new transmission and even got it installed at a Honda dealership only to have the same thing start happening again. I mean Seriously Honda, I thought u all built the best cars.I should have just went with my first pick and brought a Toyota or Nissan made vehicle. I am so pissed right now. I can truly say if anyone asks my opinion on purchasing a Honda, please go somewhere else with your money. Even Kia nowadays lives up to standards of parts lasting more than 5 years. Make it so bad i called American Honda to report the problem and see if something could be done about it and the lady said well sir i understand but there is nothing we can do the only solution is to buy a re-cased transmission. I mean WTF the time i served my country we stood up behind people to ensure they could feel safe to sleep at night that's why U S was put before the branches of services if they can't stand behind people who spend their hard earn money on there product just change your name at least than people wouldn't be so mislead. When i had a problem out of the American Chevy, I have they stood behind their product and at least came off the few hundred dollars to correct the problem and the car is a 1986. I cant believe they are so selfish they think correcting something that's a safety hazard cause by their fatal designs in a vehicle is worth nothing to a consumer of their products. I think that all of us that bought these 98-2002 accords with trans problem should get a suit together and make them pay for their mistake maybe than they will listen and try to correct things at the small level.

- , Jacksonville, Florida, USA

problem #44

Nov 222006

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Had to go home on emergency leave drove over 12 hrs had the car checked out before i left at a Honda dealership which i had to drive an hour out of town to get to because it was slightly slipping and they charged me over $100 for adding trans fluid than got offended when i ask why i was charge so much and they said they put in 2 1/2 quarts so i asked for the rest of the 1/2 bottle....Well anyway got home after the long drive just in enough time to see my grand mother in the hospital for the last time. I placed the car in park and it slam so hard the security guard ran out because he thought i hit something the car was stuck in park and won't move next i had to get it towed to Townsend Honda for them to tell me it couldn't be repaired, an replacement was the only option and it would take 2 days which turn into me having to request a emergency leave extension because those 2 days turned into 4 1/2 days and them charging me for a new void key they lost while replacing a recall part on the ignition system which was $150. this really pissed me off due to the fact i only bought a Honda in the first place because i thought it would last forever like the ones my other family members had when i was growing up and i had to pay almost half of the amount i purchase the car for to replace this less than a year after i purchased it and it was a certified honda vehicle at the time of purchase does the sticker in the window mean certified by honda that whatever problems you have it's not on us

- , Jacksonville, Florida, USA

problem #43

Oct 042010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

The transmission was very jerky from the moment I purchased the pre-owned Honda in 2004. Did not think anything of it, but I should have done my research? Turned out that the transmissions on the 1998 Honda Accord with a V6 had an abnormally high failure rate? The car also went through Honda dealer brake rotors and pads every six months until I smartened up and purchased quality Monroe brake parts and had my mechanic install them? The transmission finally failed on December 2009 after a trip to Montreal. I thought about towing it to the wreckers, but decided to pay the $2600 to have it rebuilt so that I could sell it after driving it for a year? WRONG! Before the year was up, it needed to be rebuilt again. The transmission was making a whining noise and the mechanic felt that it needed to be rebuilt again under warranty? I was without a car for 2 weeks while it was getting repaired. Before I could decide on which vehicle to buy, the transmission started slipping between first and second gear. By that time, the warranty on the rebuild had expired? I never expected that to happen? Should have traded it in when I had the chance, but I am now forced to drive it until it dies and will not spend another penny on the car, nor will I ever purchase another overpriced used Honda product ever again. I do not understand why used Honda vehicles maintain their value because I feel that they are no better than most North American vehicles? I have had owned many North American vehicles in the past and never had transmission problems with any of them? It is surprising that both rebuilds did not even last one year? I know many people that had their transmissions rebuilt and they had all lasted over 5 years. It would make more sense to me to buy comparable North American vehicle for less money because you would never spend more than the price difference to repair most North American vehicles? Six Honda models made the top 20 list for worst vehicles on this site? Makes you kinda wonder?

- , Oakville, Ontario, canada

problem #42

Nov 302010

Accord LX 4cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

I purchased my 1998 accord about 6 months ago. I noticed the tranny slipping then but it wasn't bad and I didn't think it was a problem. I thought since it was a honda it would hold up better than it has. this is my fourth honda and the only one I've had problems with. after talking with transmissions shop mech. and checking the internet, I have learned that honda has had problems with transmissions from 1998 to 2002.

I contacted Honda (America) and gave them my vin and I was told that my vehicle wasn't on the call back list and that it was over the years and mileage (100,000).

If I had known that they (Honda) had defective transmissions I would have purchased a Nissan instead for a few hundred less. I only want honda to do what's right.

- , Madison, MS, USA

problem #41

Oct 282010

Accord EX 4cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The transmission is slipping between gears, making a thud going from park into drive, and the engine seems to be racing at times.

- , Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #40

Jul 132004

Accord LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

the honda in auburn,ca 95604 will not replace my car cuz the warrant is over so my car as been in my storage for now going on 6yrs and its hard to get what i need to fix it cuz money is really hard to come buy right now . i think honda should fix it for free . so i will not be buying any more cars from honda any more ....

- , Auburn, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 012008

Accord EX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

IF YOU BUY A 98-02 ACCORD GET THE MANUAL TRANSMISSION!!! I bought this Accord at a Lexus dealer with 45k on it and no more than 5 days of driving it, the trans was slipping between gears. Had the problem fixed for free under the 90 day warranty. They said they brought it to the Honda dealer for an overhaul which I find hard to believe since I didn't get any paperwork from Honda. Anyways, the car shifted good now and I went on my way. Two years later at 75k miles the same thing starts all over again. Slips between gears. More noticeable when the car is cold. At this point I have realized that the 98-02 Accord auto trans are time bombs waiting to explode. Decided to put a used trans in and sell the car. Bought a used one for $700 and payed $500 to the shop for R&R. And what do you know!? The used trans was a piece of crap too! I spent more time and money replacing all the sensors and solenoids on the used trans as well a new ECU. Still slipped between gears. The scrap yard I bought the trans from has a 90 day warranty but they wanted the part fist and said they'd call me when another came in. Needless to say I am now screwed because I can't just rip the trans out and have no car while I wait for this scrap yard. Besides the trans problems this Accord has been a great car with no other problems. Should of bought the manual shift and I would be doing a clutch and flywheel instead of replacing a whole transmission.

- , WSAterbury, CT, USA

problem #38

May 012008

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

first gear started slipping really bad, and the harder i accelerated from a stop the harder it would pull back and then jump, so i took it a little easier on the initial amount of gas i would give it (meaning i slowed my ass down and wasn't in such a hurry to speed off) and it actually stopped doing it, didn't have any problems with it slipping until just recently (2 years after the first time it started doing that) and its most likely because i let myself get carried away with my led foot and the need for speed.....

- , Katy, TX, USA

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