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 1 of 4)

problem #68

Oct 132016

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


...just have a look at all the Honda Accords out there that look like sh*t...the clear coat peeling...horrible

- , Elberon, US

problem #67

Nov 012016

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,100 miles

The problem started out on the roof and just spread all over. Several specialists in body work opine that the car seem to have been repainted by someone with very poor auto body skills but the car was never repainted, at least not in the areas that reflect the problem. In fact, an area that was repainted years ago is showing no signs of the issue. The car with really low mileage, (under 25k) is now starting to look like junk! I am really unhappy because I thought that Honda was a premier brand and the car was treated quite well in terms of maintenance, so this is totally unexpected.

- , Ny, NY, USA

problem #66

Jul 012016

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Everybody knows there's a problem with Honda paint. I took my car to my Honda dealership probably a few years ago, and they acted like they had no clue what I was talking about and that it was just wear & tear. Bullshit. Now my car is old as heck, but I still love it, and wish it didn't look like a piece of sh*t. And it pisses me off.

- , Iowa, LA, USA

problem #65

Jun 022014

Accord LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I am at my wits end regarding the paint job on my 2004 Honda Accord. Let me first say that I love my car. However, the paint on my midnight blue honda accord is dreadful. As I am driving in Illinois and I see cars that look exactly like mine, I have noticed that they are all Hondas! I am appauled at the little to no help that I am receiving from the dealership. I asked for direction as to what to do and I was told to get it repainted. The cost for this is estimated between $2-4K depending on the amount of damage. Granted my car is older, however, she she not look like she has a disease. A severe case of psoraisis. What do or what can I do.

Baffled in Illinos

- , Blue Island, IL, USA

problem #64

Jun 012013

Accord LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My car Honda Accord 2004 black, started two white dots on top back of roof. that increased and allover the car. Need some solution from Honda Accord manufacture.

- , Millville, NJ, USA

problem #63

Jan 312014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

As common as it is to see a Honda driving everyday, It is a pain to see that all of them seem to have this horrible paint problem. There is no possible way that we all just have the usual wear and tear on the vehicles. There are 90s vehicles riding around around with a better paint job. Honda has definitely disappointed me.

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #62

May 092014

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The car looks like crap, the clear coat is coming off. Owed previous Hondas never had a problem until now. The Honda dealer said it was normal wear of the paint.

- , Aurora, IL, USA

problem #61

Jun 012014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Clear coat failure noticed on the roof, initially around the sunroof. Area of concern has continued to grow over the last year. Car is regularly washed and waxed and is garage kept; no reason for the clear coat to fail as bad as it has.

- , Madison, AL, US

problem #60

Oct 012014

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Worst is on the hood, once clear coat is gone then paint begins to fleck off

- , Nashville, TN, US

problem #59

Sep 012010

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

There have been many recalls due to paint issues on Honda Civics and Odysseys but not on Accords. My 2004 Accord clearly has the same paint issue detailed in other recalls but my car is not covered. Escalated to Honda Customer Service and was told that my car is too old to receive consideration for "Good Will Assistance". I bought the car new and have taken the car in for all maintenance suggested by Honda. This car should be included under the recall. Very unhappy with Honda's inability to help cover the cost of a new paint job for the car.

- , Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #58

Nov 152013

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


This is really appalling! Our 2004 Honda has already cost me my Ford Pickup due to having to sell it to have the transmission replaced in the Honda that cost $3,400. Now, the paint is coming off and Honda says they have no paint problems and won't do anything about it! Well, I will! I will never own another one of these pieces of sh*t.........

Update from Sep 20, 2015: Have gotten a quote to have it repainted which will run $2,500. What a money pit!!!

- , Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #57

Sep 132015

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Paint is bad several people have same issues. Black car looks grey and silver now. Embarrassing to wash and wax it because of how it looks.

- , Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #56

Sep 012008

Accord EX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,063 miles

I have a car that I paid $23,500 for and it looks like a piece of junk.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #55

Jun 082015

Accord EX V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Unbelievable!!!! I have owned several cars in the past, including Hondas, and I have never had any issues with the paint and clear coat until I purchased my 2004 Honda Accord EX.

It began as a small spot on the roof of my car where the clear coat started peeling off, and rapidly spread across the roof, onto the hood, the trunk, and even the small ledges on the doors just below the windows!!! How is it that I still have a '91 CRX Si with the original paint job and no issues, but an '04 Accord that looks like it is infected with a form of skin disease?!

This is absolutely ridiculous, and I am outraged that Honda has not issued any recalls on this! I am embarrassed to be seen in my car now, but I refuse to pay for a new paint job simply because Honda put out a faulty product! I know for a fact I am not the only one facing this issue, and it's about time Honda took some responsibility for it's poor quality paint and clear coat!

- , Summerville, SC, US

problem #54

Jan 012015

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

Bought the car used in June 2012 with no paint problems. Kept the car washed and cleaned on a regular basis, but paint started peeling first of this year. Other than the paint, it is a solid car that gets great gas mileage and is very dependable.

- , Murphy, NC, USA

problem #53

May 312014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Anybody have any suggestions? Will Honda cover any of the expense since quite evident that their primer failed?

- , Farmington, AR, USA

problem #52

Apr 062010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

My Honda is in great running condition and in the inside like new. But the outside paint job is AWFUL l. My Red Honda looks like a clunker and I paid a lot for it. Looking at it it looks like I don't take care of it. The paint has blistered and peeling off on the roof and all over. I had a teal green 1989 Honda Accord for 14 years and the paint never peeled, blistered nothing like the red Honda. I think Honda should warranty a new paint job and not say its normal wear and tear when it is not. If you noticed there are a lot of red Honda's with this same problem.

It took me this long to file a complaint as I didn't know about this website.

- , Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 232012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

This is in regards to the paint problems. Garage kept, professionally washed, passionately maintained. This vehicle still managed to receive paint peelings and fading. I want my recall fixed!

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #50

Jul 172013

Accord EXL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles


- , Marshall, AR, USA

problem #49

Oct 012014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Looks like a clunker. What bad advertising! We won't buy another.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

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