Notes: The 2004 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 ever 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 replaced 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,348 miles
Total Complaints:
68 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. have the car repainted (47 reports)
  2. not sure (16 reports)
  3. repaint (5 reports)
2004 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

May 012011

Accord EX V6 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel

On January 2, 2004 we purchased a Honda Accord EX. The car is red in color. Total cost was $25,998.50.

We have enjoyed this car since we purchased it and about 6 months ago we made the decision to replace the timing belt. That was on April 8, 2011. Since that time (probably in May 2011) we started to notice some peeling on the front above the windshield and also some around the rear window. It has gotten worse with each passing day.

Had we known this was going to happen we would not have replaced the timing belt. We now have a Honda in great mechanical condition that looks awful.

It seems that Honda when contacted blames the environment for these problems even though we don’t see the cars made by other manufacturers having complaints about a paint peeling issue.

Honda has changed its paint process to save money and now the consumer is going to suffer the cost of repair or a car that looks like a junker.

We are very upset that this was not a recall by Honda. There are so many Honda owners with this problem and they have documented these problems online.

- , Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #7

May 072011

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I have a 2004 Honda Accord EX that is dark maroon in color. A couple months ago I noticed a white cloudy spot on top of the car by the windshield. I took it to a body shop and the estimate was $1700 for three areas on the top. They advised that it the cleacoat. We bought this car new. We went to the dealer and they implied that it is from sitting outside. After checking the internet I see that this clearcoat issue is wide spread with Hondas. We will be going back to the dealer for what this is worth. This appears to be a problem that Honda has known about for sometime. No more Hondas for us.

- , Salisbury, MD, Bahamas

problem #6

Oct 072010

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My problem was something I never thought I would face at such early ownership of my first honda. I am experiencing paint peeling on the trunk and the top of my car. It is so bad I must get it painted. I am highly disappointed that the Honda dealership nor corporation will do nothing to resolve my issue and others, I bought the car brand new and less than 7 years I am incurring this problem. Is there any help for us?

- , Macon, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 082011

(reported on)

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel

The clear coat just started peeling off my car this summer and it looks utterly diseased. I bought the car new, have taken great care of it and stored it in a garage, so this should definitely not be happening to six-year-old factory paint. Of course, Honda told me they can't do anything because of the car's high mileage (an irrelevant detail -- age of the car and location of storage should be the only details of concern). I have had the owner of our local dealership pursue this on my behalf, and he, like me, has gotten nowhere with Honda. This certainly seems like a dirty little secret Honda certainly thinks it can continue to get away with. This problem appears to go back DECADES. Why would Honda not fix this defective product and take care of the customers it has surely lost as a result of this ridiculous unacknowledged problem?

- , Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #4

Aug 312010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

top coat is peeling off from the top of the rear window, above the top of the side doors, above the front window. there are spots on the hood that are starting to fade. took the car to the dealer. he kept asking me if a was sure the care never had a accident or was repainted. he took pictures and measured the thickness of the paint with a meter. he said he will notify Honda. it been 2 weeks still have not heard from him. if a dont have a new paint job. i will hang a sign on my car telling people where i bought it. the last thing the dealership wants is bad advertising in the community.

- , Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 012009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

The clearcoat on my red Accord EX is peeling/wearing out. Several body shops in town agree that the clearcoat was just too thin to begin with. It's past the warranty period, but a $23,000 vehicle should have a paint job that lasts more than 5.5 years. All Honda will say is that they're not responsible for it, no further explanation. Thankfully, my local dealer is trying to do something about this without Honda's help. I don't really think it's their responsibility, but they sell other makes and are probably keeping a long term customer. Honda apparently doesn't care about that.

- , Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #2

Oct 102007

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

My family is a Honda and Acura family. Some family members work for Honda. I always drove Ford vehicles. My nephew who works for Honda Finance talked me into getting a new Honda Accord. I paid a beefy amount of money for my Accord and don't miss any payments on the car. I took my Accord to the dealer in Newark, DE (Martin Honda) showed them the paint that was fading off of my car and you can clearly see how the clear coat and paint is fading (GREEN IN COLOR) and my Accord is truly a MESS and I am so embarrassed to drive the car. I only have an estimated of 20k miles on my 2004 Accord. . I WANT MY ACCORD REPAINTED BY HONDA. I ALSO HAVE PICTURE THAT CAN BE SENT BUT I'M AT WORK AND CAN NOT DOWNLOAD THEM AT WORK. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME GET MY ACCORD PAINTED.

- , Newark, DE, USA

problem #1

Apr 302006

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Red 2004 Honda Accord clear coat began to peel at 34,000 miles. When I noticed it was getting much worse, I wrote to and spoke to the Honda Co. to get something done about it. The peeling is now working on the red paint. The Honda dealerships treated me in a very condescending way. A reputable body shop in my town looked at the car along with an auto paint rep and they both agreed the problem originated at the factory. Honda, in all their perfectness, declared over and over that they had not had any similar problems with red Accords so it could not be a factory problem. They did not insult my intelligence by saying it was acid rain because my car sits in the yard beside a navy blue Chevy getting the same wind, rain, sun and dust and the blue Chevy has no paint problems. And, my car sits right next to a white 2004 Honda Accord at my work receiving the same wind, rain, sun and dust and the white Honda has no paint problems. They did say that the clear coat peeling is consistent with damage to car paint in crop dusting areas. However, I do not live in a delta or a crop dusting area. In fact, we live at leave 4-5 hours away from the nearest crop duster. The bottom line is that Honda will not repaint or pay for a repaint nor will they even admit the possibility of it being their problem to begin with. Buyer beware!!!!

- , Hot Springs, AR, USA

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