Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2003 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially was replacing the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.

4.1

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,425 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 182009

Accord

  • 98,600 miles

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

Camshaft failure 2003 Honda Accord 2.4 DOHC ivtech.vehicle began to produce a slight valve clatter under acceleration with A/C on.technician was asked to adjust the valves when it was noted that on one of the lobes on the exhaust camshaft had lost its hard facing and the cam was experiencing rapid wear.this is an obvious defect in the heat treating of the camshaft since none of the other lobes on this cam are affected. All vehicle maintenance was performed as recomended. By Honda motor company. I contacted Honda motor company of America via telephone and was turned away at the door (so to speak) I think this is an emissions related concern that Honda is attempting to ignore. Vehicle"S with 98K under 10 years old should not have rapid wear failure"S of this sort.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #14

Jun 012008

Accord

  • 130,000 miles
When my 2003 Honda Accord LX is idle or at very low speed, the engine suddenly turns off. I am afraid the car's engine will shut off when at higher speeds such as on a freeway/highway.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #13

Jan 142008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. While braking or approaching a stop, the vehicle would shut off and then restart. The vehicle would shut off and restart 4 to 5 times, and then shut off completely. In order to restart the vehicle, the gear would have to be shifted into park. The failure occurred 12 times and did not cause any crashes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times, but was not serviced. The current mileage was 94,300 and failure mileage was 88,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #12

Nov 032006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

2003 Honda Accord transmission failed. Consumer was informed that there was a recall on the transmission. Consumer was charged 647 dollars for the labor for the repair. The transmission was slipping between second and third gear. According to the Honda press release the repair should have been free of charge. The rear motor mount was broken and the engine light had illuminated.

- Tom Bean, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 032006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
: the contact stated the check engine lamp illuminated. The problems persisted for over a year. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for inspection numerous times. The dealer replaced a valve in the engine; however, the problem still existed.

- Elmhurst, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 142003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,321 miles
Oil leaked out of the vehicle while backing out of the garage. The vehicle was towed. It was discovered the oil pump seal, gasket and the timing belt were defective and had to be replaced.

- Hobe Sound, FL, USA

problem #9

Oct 102003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,292 miles

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

After my first oil change, my vehicle leaked oil. I took the vehicle back to the dealership and they fixed the problem. I have had a subsequent oil change and did not experience a problem.

- Bridgeport, WV, USA

problem #8

Sep 062003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,591 miles
(1) a. window being scratched by something in panel. Both driver and passanger window. B. at about 16000 miles it was noticed that the transmission was leaking so badly I couldn't drive out of the dealership. ( I believe the car may have been leaking since purchase. New with only 36 miles.) C. trunk liner sagging. D. when making left hand turns if you have the sunvisor out it can swing and hit you in the head. E. passenger door latch not activated. Could not open door from inside. (dealer forgot to install this on window repair.) F. motor mounts not installed correctly. G. belt tensioner needed replacement. H. car pulling to the right. F. black seal around door frame warping. (2) no consequences from any of these failures. Except loss time having to leave car overnight for several days. Who know what longterm effects of a leaky transmission, belt tensioner, and improper motormounts have on the car. (3) under warranty the dealer corrected every problem. Mosts times more then one repair for the same problem was needed to correct the problem. For the tranmsission the dealer tried to stop the leaks with hondabond. The next morning I had leaks in the drive way. They had my car for a whole week on the first fix attempt. Finally Honda replaced the transmission with a new one. Nothing was done about the visor because the dealer said if they install a new one it will do the same. My windows are still being scratched by the felt lining in the window panel.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #7

Mar 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • 5,076 miles
The engine emitted a rotten egg smell. The driver heard a grinding noise. The vehicle also had a brake problem. The driver's seat was not stable. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer at least 9 times for multiple problems. Paint on the hood is flaking. Seat is not fixed. The door panel was fixed twice but problem still exists. Consumer confronted dealership about problem with vehicle but consumer was ignored. Consumer called american Honda to report issue with dealer.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 182003

Accord

  • miles
I purchased a new 2003 Honda Accord in July 2003. It has a terrible starting problem. My dealership has checked it out three times and still no resolution has been made. I believe Honda should address the problem promptly because I am not the only one who is having this problem.

- Piney Flats, TN, USA

problem #5

Aug 082003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles

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

2003 Honda Accord ex sedan with 4 cylinder. Car has developed high idle 1800 RPM when cold. Car will accelerate (actually jumps) to 20 mph with foot off the accelerator. Takes over +5 minutes before it reduces to a normal idle (approximately 2 miles worth of driving). This is a really dangerous situation. Also experiencing the rotten egg smell entering into the drivers compartment. The air conditioner (A/C) has a serious vibration when coming on that has had several passengers ask me what the noise and vibration were. It's a shame since I have been to the dealer 3 times for these problems and came away with them making me feel guilty and that I'm the only one with these problem. I guess I'm glad that sites like this exist...thanks.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #4

May 132003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my $34,000 2003 Accord on May 13, 2003 from route 23 Honda in pomton plains, NJ. After purchasing it, I noticed that the plastic/glass moldings around the doors were were very deformed. Three moldings have been fixed after 2 times being in for service, and one has yet to be fixed(waiting for part). The radio was making a squeaking noise and deformed looking, and they replaced the entire unit. On the right front tire well, there was a molding that was never screwed in properly, and began to hang down, which was replaced. The shifter has a loose stitch on it, which is becoming very sharp and can possibly cut someone. The part was put on order 3 months ago, but I was never notified of it's arrival. The driver side windshield wiper nozzle sprays directly into the wiper arm. This was brought in for service 4 times, and finally another dealership(sussex Honda) ordered a new nozzle which will hopefully work. The car has a slight burning smell when I park the car after driving. I brought this to Honda's attention, but of course they didn't find anything wrong with it. The car also has a slight grinding feeling that can mostly be felt between 1500 and 2500 rpms. I brought this into service 4 times and they couldn't find anything wrong(again). Along with that, when I put the car in drive, after about 20 feet it makes a horrible grinding noise and feeling in the gears. The car also seems to lack the power that it should have. I know this because I had a 2003 Accord LX V6 coupe, and then traded it in for a 2003 Accord ex V6 coupe. The LX had a lot more power than the ex. Also the LX had no wiper problems, grinding problems, or other problems that I have with the ex. Overall I have found 10 defects with my car within the first month of having it. After all of these problems, and having the dealership and the Honda service center hotline treat me as if I was making up these problems and that it was my fault for having these problems I will never buy another Honda again!

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #3

May 132003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my $34,000 2003 Accord on May 13, 2003 from route 23 Honda in pomton plains, NJ. After purchasing it, I noticed that the plastic/glass moldings around the doors were were very deformed. Three moldings have been fixed after 2 times being in for service, and one has yet to be fixed(waiting for part). The radio was making a squeaking noise and deformed looking, and they replaced the entire unit. On the right front tire well, there was a molding that was never screwed in properly, and began to hang down, which was replaced. The shifter has a loose stitch on it, which is becoming very sharp and can possibly cut someone. The part was put on order 3 months ago, but I was never notified of it's arrival. The driver side windshield wiper nozzle sprays directly into the wiper arm. This was brought in for service 4 times, and finally another dealership(sussex Honda) ordered a new nozzle which will hopefully work. The car has a slight burning smell when I park the car after driving. I brought this to Honda's attention, but of course they didn't find anything wrong with it. The car also has a slight grinding feeling that can mostly be felt between 1500 and 2500 rpms. I brought this into service 4 times and they couldn't find anything wrong(again). Along with that, when I put the car in drive, after about 20 feet it makes a horrible grinding noise and feeling in the gears. The car also seems to lack the power that it should have. I know this because I had a 2003 Accord LX V6 coupe, and then traded it in for a 2003 Accord ex V6 coupe. The LX had a lot more power than the ex. Also the LX had no wiper problems, grinding problems, or other problems that I have with the ex. Overall I have found 10 defects with my car within the first month of having it. After all of these problems, and having the dealership and the Honda service center hotline treat me as if I was making up these problems and that it was my fault for having these problems I will never buy another Honda again!

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jun 062003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Intermittent long crank starting problem. Happened average of 4 times a week.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #1

May 042003

Accord

  • miles
The vehicle stalled without warning, which made the vehicle difficult to control.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

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