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. 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:
No data
Average Mileage:
94,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 112011

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles


I bought my used 2004 Honda Accord EX V6 on April 9th, 2011 with almost 94,000 miles on it. It was a couple of days after I signed for the car that I noticed a tapping noise coming from the motor. It used to be faint enough that you only heard it good when you slowly pushed on the gas pedal. Now it is loud enough to be heard when idling, and it sounds like my car is low on oil when I accelerate. The noise fades after about 10 to 15 minutes of driving. I have checked the oil repeatedly, but it has never been low. I initially tried to get a call back and an appointment from the dealer I purchased the car from, but got no response. Everyone that heard the noise thought is was the valves. I decided enough was enough and took it to a Honda dealership instead. I was quoted an estimate of about $140 if the valves did need tightening. I arrive for my appointment only to be told that the price quoted was for a 4 cylinder. I would have to pay more for my 6 cylinder, to which I agreed. I had explained over the phone that you can only hear it for the first 10 to 15 minutes of driving, but when I get there they tell me they can't diagnose the problem if they can't hear the noise. I finally convince them they just need to let the car sit for a few hours, then start it up again. Of course they heard the noise then, and the Honda mechanic was sure it was the valves. I paid $270 to have them tightened and guess what.....the noise was still there. He then decided the real problem was a loose heat shield which covers the axle. This he replaced for free, since the problem wasn't fixed the first time. Well guess what....the noise is still there. He then says it could be the gas I use. I don't use low octane gas, so he didn't think that was an issue either. At that time he tells me the only way he can diagnose the problem is to tear into the motor. I only have the 2 year extended warranty that I purchased for a tidy sum of $2,000, which of course doesn't cover ripping apart the motor without knowing what's causing the noise. I had already put down almost everything I had as a down payment on the car, which was $5000. After spending the money for the valve tightening, I couldn't afford to have them tear anything else apart.

Finally after several phone messages and emails, I get hold of someone at the dealership where I purchased the car. They have me bring the car in, and claim they can't duplicate the noise. I have them keep the car overnight, and wait to start it with me there the next morning. I get him to push the gas pedal slowly, and he is able to hear the noise. The mechanic with him is up front listening, and now says he can hear the noise coming from the lower part of the engine. Neither of them can tell what it is, and since the only other problem with the car is the horrible gas mileage, they really can't do anything further. My only other option was to have them send it to a Honda dealership to be looked over again by someone more qualified to work on Hondas. I had already done that, so he advised me to just wait and see what happens. He said since it was documented that I tried to pursue repairs, that would be enough if something breaks later on. Oh how I love paying $11,000 for a car that sounds like its out of oil the first 10 minutes I drive it, waiting for something to break, and praying it will be covered.

I used to be a huge Honda supporter, but after dealing with this headache, and 2 failed transmissions in a previous 2001 Honda Accord, I am losing faith.

- , Council Bluffs, IA, USA

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