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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,910 miles
Total Complaints:
202 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (66 reports)
  2. paid for a new transmission (46 reports)
  3. replace transmission (38 reports)
  4. honda paid partial "goodwill repair" (14 reports)
  5. complete rebuild (13 reports)
  6. fixed with new warranty from transmission specialty shop (9 reports)
2004 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 7 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Jan 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Just when I needed a trustworthy vehicle, as my company closed after 18 years and left me without an income! I come to find out there is a known problem with the Honda transmissions! Can't afford $3200! Church may help in paying! PTL

- , Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #81

Feb 232011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The worst problem, that took place in January, was when I was gong 65 mph on the freeway and my car COMPLETLY shut off on me. I was horrified that I would be hit and crashed into, because nothing worked.The only thing that worked were my breaks. I couln't put the emergency lights on or even use my signals, or excelurate. I merged to the shoulder as quickly as possible and just panicked. I almost got hit by a passing vehicle. When I was pulled over to the side, I tried to get my car to do anything but was unsuccessful. I tried turning the car on and off, pressing on the gas pedal, using my emergency lights, but nothing happened. It wasn't until minutes later, when the car had been off for a while, that it started back up. I happened to be right by the Norm Reeves Honda, in Cerritos where the car was actually purchased from, but the service tech refused to help because it was a Sunday. I as so upset that he wouldn't help me, because he saw I was frantic. After this, I was too scared to drive anywhere, so I decided to go home and it shut off again this time on the street. After that, the same problem has gotten even worse. Yesterday, on February 23 2011, my car shut off while I was driving to work on the streets. I called Palmdale's Honda dealership and made an appointment to come in immediately. I explained all the problems I was experiencing with my vehicle to the tech. He chargged over one hundred dollars just to look at the car. But he never even mentioned that this was a reaccuring problem with 2003 and 2004 Honda's. Upon searching online, I found out that Honda had a recall for cars like mine. The tech told me that I needed a new transmission and it would cost $3,500 to fix. So now I have no car, and it's not even paid off. And my car is sitting in my garage, and I can't drive it.

- , Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #80

Feb 202011

Accord EX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

JUST called Honda. Told me to take it in to a authorized dealer. Wondering what that will cost. Expecting them to confirm what I already know. Bad transmission. This is my second Honda with a transmission to go bad. Last one was the Odysessy . This will be Honda,s last chance to do the right thing by me. If they don't replace this transmission without charging me they will have lost both my husband Robert and I forever as customers.

- , Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #79

Apr 162011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,825 miles


The car had a few problems going from reverse to drive. I was driving around doing errands and I started to go up a hill homeward and the car started having problems shifting and seemed to go in neutral. I drove it to Honda on Monday and after a $70 diagnostic fee (why wouldn't they know the problem based on the year and model of the car??) was told that there was "total internal clutch failure". This Honda dealership had serviced my car less than 2,000 miles ago and at that time I was told there were no problems. So I am fighting with them to see if Honda will do any goodwill contributions to the repair. I used to love Hondas and always praised their reliability and the fact that they could go forever (my Civic in high school had 400,000 miles). Unless Honda can help me out, I will no longer be a loyal Honda person.

- , Longmont, CO, USA

problem #78

Feb 172011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Was driving home and car started to downshift and jerk every time I applied the brakes and would slip when trying to accelerate. Had car towed home and changed the transmission fluid myself the next morning. Car seemed to run fine for a little over a month and problem returned. Was driving on the Florida Turnpike and tried to accelerate around another car, the car shifted into neutral and rev to about 7000rpm. Got to the side of the road, turned off and let rest for a few. When I turned it back on it ran fine. Called the dealer and they said I need to replace transmission without even looking at it (seemed odd.) Talked to Honda Corporate and they got back to me the next day. Asked me what kind of assistance I am looking for. I explained to them that after having these problems with my car I started looking online and found hundreds of these same complaints with my year and model of Honda. Was told they can't just take online chat as fact and again asked what kind of assistance I am looking for. I asked them what they are willing to do for me since it appears that this is a Honda problem and not some fault of mine. They told me that mechanical parts fail and I explained to them that mechanical parts don't fail intermittently from wear. Was told they will get back to me. I will have to say that this is the first Honda I have owned and I bought it used. I don't believe I will ever own another. After looking into the situation, it appears that Honda doesn't really stand behind their products and aren't much of a company. They have the shortest power train warranty on the market. Even their newest vehicles are only warrantied for 60k. Not impressed.

- , St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #77

Mar 282011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,500 miles

Complete failure, replaced with re manufactured unit at an independent shop.

- , Merrit Island, FL, USA

problem #76

Jan 312011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,300 miles


The transmission on my 2004 Accord went without warning during rush hour on a busy highway (Interstate 84 in the town of Southeast, NY) and I was lucky to be able to pull off to the shoulder. I had to have it transported to Mount Kisco Honda who informs me that the transmission is shot and will have to be replaced at a cost of over $4,000 and it will take more than a week to get the parts and make the repair. I later learned that there was a recall of this Accord model year (2004) for transmission problems that I was never notified of. Very aggravating. I will never buy a Honda again. Building cars with transmission problems is inexcusable and dangerous.

- , Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #75

Mar 262011

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I noticed that it had started to take a moment to switch from reverse to drive, but did not think too much of it. Then one day, I was driving home and went up a hill and felt the car start to jerk a little. When I reached the top of the hill I had zero acceleration. The engine continued to rev up to 5000 rpm, but the car continued to slow down. I eventually had to pull off, let the car sit for a moment, then drive home going 40 mph with it in 3rd. The transmission fluid had a burning smell when I checked it. I had been looking for a new vehicle anyways, so I just traded it in before the whole transmission blew. I am highly disappointed that this seems to be a common problem with Accords and yet you never hear anything about it. I got a Toyota this time and after this, may never go back to Honda again.

- , Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #74

Mar 032011

Accord EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

My car just suddenly stopped accelerating, seemingly shifted to neutral on its own as it just revved up as I stepped on the gas. I kept thinking, how could this happen to my Honda! They are supposed to be reliable as heck! After getting it towed to a mechanic and getting home, I searched the internet to see if there have been any similar reports of transmission failures on a Honda Accord. It is so bad to find out that there have been many cases. One website,, mentioned a recall and class action lawsuits for transmission problems. I go to my local dealer routinely for maintenance and they never mentioned anything about a recall. My hope is to get some help in paying the repair bills as from what I read, it could cost as much as $5000 to get this fixed! And it may soon just break again!

- , Corona, CA, USA

problem #73

Mar 012011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,657 miles

My first visit to the dealer was unproductive, they did not admit a problem with the transmission and said they would diagnose the problem and get back to me. I went on the web to research any problems other Honda owners had had only to find that that there was a plethora of information on this particular defect and that my car had a recall issued by Honda in 2004 which I was not privy to.

The situation is ongoing and I feel that Honda has deliberately pulled the wool over owners eyes of these vehicles to prevent expensive repairs at their cost.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #72

Mar 052011

Accord LX 3.2L 6cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Honda can't make a car that goes more than 80 thousand miles without a total failure of the transmission? This car had excellent care taken of it, oil changes, fluids always checked, etc. Had trans fluid drained/replaced at about 60k but I did not keep proof. Fluid was clean, not burned, same as now. Car began jerking downshifting, then began revving without acceleration (as when clutch would be pushed in auto trans car). Had to push it to side of road. Each time I turned off for a minute and started it, I could go a bit before it would fail again. Basically I limped home at idle speed. Called Honda, they said I had to bring it in...many miles from me. Also said Honda might make goodwill adjustment, no guarantees. No quotes on cost as they must see it first and THEY MUST DO THE REPAIR. From you website, I know, and from little things I've dealt with this dealership previously, they want top dollar for everything. My opinion is that Honda would fix this problem if I towed it in, charge me at least 150% more than a private shop, then offer me a small goodwill discount. Not for me. Seems the entire scheme is geared to extract money for incompetence. If the trans didn't fail, they'd make no money. But since it was inferior and was their fault, they get to make money. Profit from their inferior product. They seem to have it figured. Why isn't there a 100,000 mile power train warranty like other cars? Because they make money from this "system?" I want Honda to know that their reputation has taken a real hit with me and those I talk to, and many ask my advice. Personally, I don't think I will buy a Honda again. This is the first car I've owner that had a tranny failure, and it was one that was supposedly made to last. Well, this customer's satisfaction lasted about 80k miles and has now departed with the transmission. I think Honda KNEW they had a problem and ignored it, then turned it into a profit thing. Are they that greedy and money-grubbing?

- , Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #71

Feb 252011

Accord Coupe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles



- , Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #70

Feb 182011

Accord LX 3.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,090 miles

k looks like this is a problem with the 04 accord not to happy about it.

was driving on the highway at around 120 km an hour when it started to red line dangerous. lucky no one was killed . than i had to get it towed looks like its going to cost 3600 to 4000 to fix Honda should be paying for this they need to identify they have a problem here theres going to be alot of very upset customers

- , Midland, ON, Canada

problem #69

Jan 032011

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

You can add the 2004 Honda accord to the transmission rebuild. Just found out mine is costing about 2200. I am just now finding out about all of the transmission failures in the early 2000's models. I hope this transmission will last but I will NOT BUY another Honda. Beware. This problem should have been reported to the buyers.

- , Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #68

Jan 212011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,500 miles

I was driving on the freeway at approximately 50MPH, and I decided to speed up a little. I stepped on the gas, the engine increased revolutions, but the car did not speed up. Instead, it down shifted gears, which has the same dangerous effect as stepping on the brakes. The whole situation was scary and dangerous. Since then it's happening more and more. I am sure the transmission is failing. Will take the car to dealer and find out what my options are. Please advise me on what to do.

Thanks, Oscar

- , Cudahy, CA, USA

problem #67

Feb 082011

Accord Leather V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

2004 Accord V6 with 110,000 miles...needs new trans. Dealer just told me today, but have not yet investigated how I am going to proceed.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #66

Jan 102011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,700 miles

I took my Honda to the dealer to get the oil jet recall done in 2008. Transmission was serviced per recommended schedule with Honda fluids. At 82700 miles it started to slip and pop itself into neutral. Wow, have you heard this story before???? Honda is still sticking to their story that there is nothing wrong with these transmissions? Cost to fix this problem was around 4000. I wonder how many have to fail at this mileage for them to admit the problem and at pony up the money to make it right? I can't believe how many people I've talked to lately with the same problem. There are 28 homes in our neighborhood. Three have replaced honda automatic transmissions. Oh yah, my sister-in law has also replaced her's. It too was under 100k. Honda had better come up with a solution soon. I called Honda customer service to see if they would cover any cost because my transmission was "in question" They told me that mine was not on the recall list and there was nothing they could do. After explaining that I plugged my vin into there website, my car was on the list and that "the problem" had already been fixed in 2008. She then replied' "oh yah, I see here that your car was serviced" "But there is still nothing we can do for you.. I am disgusted with Honda's failure to recognize that there may be a problem with these transmissions. There sure are a lot of complaints. This isn't the only site out there. Toyota next time I guess.

- , Bonney Lake, WA, USA

problem #65

Jan 172011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,900 miles

Driving Home from work. The car would redline and all of a rapid and sudden drop in speed. Fortunately there was a shoulder to get on, otherwise it was very very close to a serious accident! Whenever the car hit any sort of incline it would literally have no power and drop in speed - Had to put in 1st and 2nd to creep up the hill.

Spoke to Honda last night they said that our car did not fall under any transmission recall. My wife is arranging to bring the car to our local dealer to see what could be done. Based on what I read on this site, I don't expect much, but I hope to get some sort of good will repair. Honestly can't afford to tow the car in much less get it repaired.

I had total confidence in my Honda, but deeply concerned now.

- , Branchville, NJ, USA

problem #64

Jan 052011

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Honda is not the company it used to be even when you buy the extended warranty. They do their best to weasel their way out of owning up to an inherent problem with transmissions. We bought the extended warranty which covered the vehicle to 75k miles. I reported the problem when the vehicle had 84+- miles. Dealer(Prime Honda, Saco, Me.) and NE Transmission Shop confirmed that there was problems going on with transmission because of color of transmission fluid and clutch bands deterioration. Obviously this problem was occurring well before the 75k mile warranty ended but Honda refused to acknowledge that. In their effort to be penny wise and dollar foolish we will not consider buying a 2011 CRV nor will my son consider buying a Honda CRV to replace his Nissan Sentra. Very sad because we have owned other Honda cars in the past but because of this bad experience we will be considering other manufactures.

Update from Jan 7, 2011: Honda said the best that they would do would is offer a good-will-fix of 25% to help repair the transmission. I personally called Honda of America on 1/6/11 and asked they to at least reconsider going 50%. Waiting to hear back today or Monday. I had the extended warranty from Honda which covered the vehicle to 75000 miles. Since the vehicle had 84000 miles on the O/D they said their was nothing they could do to help me cover the cost of this. Needless to say I explained to them that this type of transmission failure did not all of a sudden start right when the warranty ended. This has been going on internally for some time most likely even before 75000. It was a waste of time to call them.So buyer beware don't bother to buy the extended warranty from Honda. Not worth it.

Update from Jan 7, 2011: Received a second call from Honda in Calif and they refuse to do better than 25% Good-Will policy. That means I would have to pay around $2600 to have it repaired by Honda.

Got a second opinion from a know reputable transmission shop that is local and after I read to him what the Honda service tech wrote on the service order he did not feel that the transmission needed overhaul. Here are the reasons: -Honda tech said that the transmission fluid looked like after market fluid. How can he tell this if the fluid was brown/burnt in color. Transmission shop whom I had it serviced at 42000 miles states on the invoice that they put only Honda spec transmission fluid which is ATF-Z1. I have this in writing on my invoice. I personally talk to the shop and read back to him what Honda wrote on service order. He was a bit taken back because he said the liability of putting non Honda fluid in any Honda is not worth the trouble he would get into. -transmission screen was filled with metal debris. The only way to get at the screen filter would be to take apart the transmission. Honda would not do this and only charge me $80 for fluid change. All Honda and any transmission shop just drain the transmission fluid which approximately 4 quarts and replace it with 4 quarts.
The transmission shop who gave me the second opinion said that he could overhaul my transmission for $2300 but given the info I gave him and that the transmission is shifting properly after Honda changed the fluid he does not feel it requires an overhaul at this time. His opinion is that all it needed was new fluid change.

Update from Jan 24, 2011: I think I'll buy a KIA or Hyundai when the hype for them cools down.

Update from Jan 24, 2011: Second opinion transmission shop says that nothing is wrong with my transmission after the fluid change by Honda dealer. He said Honda was just fabricating a problem to get me to fork over $3k for an overhaul. It is just now a matter of wait and see game to see who will be right. Honda or the other transmission shop.

- , Biddeford, ME, USA

problem #63

Dec 292010

Accord Coupe Whithe V6 3.0 CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

My daughter (17 yo) was driving the Honda Accord 2004 in the highway and the car began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where for her to pull over and I was able to drive it home (stop-and-go) but got it home. The next day we took the car to the dealership and they said that they could not replicate the failure and in their diagnostic system no CODE was reported. It was time to change the oil and that is what they did. The next day my daughter was driving the car presented the same problem as before. I called the dealer and they said they were "slammed" and to bring the care the first week of the new year 2011. In the meantime I took it to another mechanic, the mechanic said that it maybe transmission problem, but he was not sure. As I drove-tested the car, the problem continue and a friend recommended that I take the car to a transmission specialist. I took the car to a transmission specialist and he said that they problem was the transmission and the cost to re-furbish the transmission was between $2,800 and $3,100. WOW!!! I went back to the dealer and told them what the transmission specialist said and asked them how much it would cost to repair it. He said about $4,000..double WOW!! I firend that understand about cars and other details of the business asked if Honda could provide with Out-of-Warranty Assistance. The manager said that Honda had done that in the past, but it took on a case by case basis. I just called Honda and was assigned a Regional Case Number and I will get a call in the next 2 business days. I hope the Regional Case Manager will help with at least 50%. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have driving my two daughters. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition. Rewiewing the complaints in the different forums, I am very surprised that the began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where the snow was plowed off enough for me to pull over and call AAA. I had to wait 35 minutes on the side of this road in the middle of nowhere for my car to be towed. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have been the only driver since. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition.

I had my car towed to the nearest Honda dealership in Pittsburgh New York. The next day the mechanic called me and said it was an internal failure of the transmission. He gave me three options, none of which are appealing. The first option costs $2,500 for a used transmission, second option costs $3,000 to rebuild the existing transmission and lastly $3,300 for a new transmission. Again, no option is appealing. When researching this type of failures that Honda Accords have had with transmissions, this problem is rated at the top of complaints. What is more surprising is that the NHTSA has not made Honda issue a recalll on Transmissions of the Honda Accord. As I understand the NHTSA gets involved when there is a SAFETY issue. Well, this is a SAFETY issue, don't you think? I will keep you posted as I get this issue resolved.

Update from Feb 14, 2011: I talked directly with Honda Customer Service Center and they agreed to helped me with 1/3 of the cost of replacing the transmission. I ended up paying $2,300 and Honda paid the rest. The car is now working and in good order. The lesson that I learned was that sometimes one needs to go directly to the manufacturer to get the final help/solution.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

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