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:
109,296 miles
Total Complaints:
203 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (66 reports)
  2. paid for a new transmission (46 reports)
  3. replace transmission (38 reports)
  4. complete rebuild (14 reports)
  5. honda paid partial "goodwill repair" (14 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 9 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Mar 122010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles


I see this is happening to lots of people and Honda really could care less about THEIR problem. I wish this was getting half of the attention that Toyota is getting about their acceleration issues. Having your transmission fail when you have a rock hauler behind you going 70 mph is likely to result in some severe damage or death.

Driving down t he highway at rush hour...everything fine and then the car is acting like it got shifted into neutral. Rpms were up, but no acceleration. Looked at my gear shift and it was in D, so joy. Piece of crap transmission bit it. Looking at over $4000 for Honda to fix it, hopefully can get it done for around $2K at a local mom & pop shop. We called Honda Corp, who really doesn't care about the failure of their product. They told us that we HAD to have the transmission evaluated at their dealership and they HAD to have their transmission so they could "disect" it to see what the issue is. In other words it soulds like they are well aware of this issue and are trying to keep a lid on it so they don't get found out. After reading of all of these complaints, I am tempted to contact a local news agency to see if they would follow up on it. This is a safety issue and could result in the death of many. Thank God my kids were not in the car when this happened to me.

- , McKinney, TX, USA

problem #42

Mar 012010

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

Just can't believe this....Once the car was paid off I started having monthly issues.....Just had the timing belt changed, before that had to have a new starter put in....and just last, my transmission went out on me without any notice at all!!!! We are looking at $3000-4000 to replace and this is with a moolighting Honda Service Tech and now he is telling me there are no transmissions to be found and is waiting to hear back from CA dealership. I just have never heard of someone's transmission going out on a Honda until I saw this website. I drive on the highway mostly, and thought I had car I could rely on.....I don't have the money to continue with these kinds of expenses. I am so disappointed in HONDA

- , High Point, NC, USA

problem #41

Mar 082010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I have read through the following complaints and the EXACT same thing happened to me. I was driving during rush hour on a busy freeway and my car suddenly acted as if it shifted in to neutral. The RPMs raced and I was going nowhere. Suddenly power came back and I was able to drive (slowly) to a safe place. I also noticed when I pulled into a parking space that there was a delay from reverse to park and so forth.

I had the car towed to a mechanic who initially could not find anything wrong. The transmission fluid was full and they all said the car was in excellent shape. They also drove the car that night and had no issues whatsoever. They decided to keep the vehicle overnight suspecting an intermittent issue with the transmission. Sure enough, the next morning the car would not go into reverse at all!

I got lucky on this one. I did some research (thanks to this site) and found this issue and it is appalling! I called the dealership and found that I do have 100,000 mile power train warranty , so, the rebuild is covered. I am happy about that, but not so happy about the situation. Honda needs to step it up and make people aware of this issue in this make and model. It's too dangerous not to.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #40

Feb 012010

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


On February 1st as I tried to merge on the freeway the transmission just locked up thank God the person behind me was paying attention and had good brakes. I thought maybe it was a fluke because the car picked up speed and appeared to be ok until i got to a grade on the freeway at which point the transmission started slipping and I was able to pull off the freeway in Castro Valley, however, the car stopped in the middle of an intersection. It was still dark outside and if it hadn't have been for a truckdriver nearby I do not know how I would have gotten the car to safety.

I had the car towed to the local Honda dealer and was told that there was a recall on these transmissions (A notice that I never received) however, since I was at 130k miles, I was not eligible for a "warranty" transmission. Apparently Honda is "holding" on to Honda transmissions to use for the customers who are still under warranty. I was told that I would not be able to get a Honda transmission until MAY! I had to purchase a remanufactured transmission from a shop that rebuilds Honda transmissions.

This is my 5th Honda and I am so dissapointed in how they are handling this situation. I was unaware of the recall until this incident happened and in reading the service manual it indicates that the transmission fluid should be replaced at 120k miles or 6 years whichever comes first. I have completed all services at the Honda dealership and my paperwork indicates that the REPLACED the transmission fluid at 60k, 90k & 120k! I almost feel like they were trying to get it to last past the warranty of 105k. In addition, the mechanic who replaced my transmission indicated that it looked to him like the fluid had never been replaced.

I could go on and on. I am not giving up and am appalled at the customer service. This is very dangerous and all owners should be made aware.

- , Tracy, CA, USA

problem #39

Jun 252005

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

My wife and two year old son were on 285 south in heavy traffic in Atlanta. she could not pull over after transmission went out unexpectedly due to heavy volume of traffic. They were stranded in middle of highway. A tractor trailer almost slammed into the back of car that would have caused very serious injury or death to my loved ones. The driver of the truck, luckily was quick enough to react and get his truck stopped in time. after getting car towed to Honda dealership in Morrow Georgia where we purchased the car. They charged us a diagnostic fee off 95 dollars. I have ample knowledge of automobiles and told them the transmission was gone. They still insisted on the diagnostic. The car had a 3 year 36 thousand mile warranty. it went out at 44 thousand miles. i figured they would still cover it because of such low mileage and being the car was bought brand new. They would not. luckily my wife had purchased gap insurance and that covered it.This was just the start of the more problems with transmissions from Honda.The refurbished transmission American Honda would only provide went out at 115 thousand miles while on vacation.Just 70 thousand miles later. We had to have car towed home all the way back to Atlanta from Florida and rent another car to finish our vacation. Once again Honda was no help. I had another shop rebuild this transmission. 2500 dollars. WOW! This transmission is now at 14500 miles and the front pump is whining like hell and about to go out. TO ANYONE FROM HONDA. IF YOU SEE THIS. WHAT IF THAT TRUCK DRIVER DID NOT REACT FAST ENOUGH AND KILLED MY WIFE AND CHILD? At least Toyota has responded to its problems with the accelerator pedals and is doing something about it.Does it take someone to die for you to address these problems the correct way? I hope not!

- , Jonesborro, GA, USA

problem #38

Jan 212010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Driving in town and the car accelerates towards the car ahead of me and then feels like it is dogging out. The next morning while shifting from Reverse to Drive it seemed to take a few seconds before the vehicle actually engaged. I drove about 35 miles without a problem. When getting ready to head home again the vehicle took a few seconds to engage once in Drive. Then within 10 miles while slowing for traffic ahead the RPMs drop and the vehicle slows suddenly. Then the RPMs jump up and the vehicle accelerates towards traffic yet again. NO check engine light! Can you say SAFETY HAZARD!!!

I have the vehicle towed to the dealer who tells me yeah you have high mileage and the tranny is shot! High mileage? I thought the whole reason for buying a Honda was you could drive them forever. In my previous conversation with the Service Rep he told me that he sees transmissions with 500k on them, so how is he now telling me that 123k is high? I have reported to both the Transportation Safety Board (who said I was their second call about Honda's accelerating THAT DAY) and the Service Rep that it was a safety concern due to no Dashboard indicators and the Rep was unconcerned to say the least. He even said well maybe you'll take better car of your next car. .....Hmm really? I guess he didn't like the fact that I called him out on the fact that this was a well known problem with their cars. Honda quoted $4150 for a Remanufactured Transmission, what a crock... I am calling a local transmission shop on Monday. Honda does not care about their customers, and I must say they have done a pretty good job of keeping this one on the wraps. But not for long. I'm busting this little nugget wide open!

- , Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #37

Dec 182009

Accord EXL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


I took my car faithfully to the dealer for service. Did every service they recommended. At Thanksgiving they recommended a full transmission flush at 155K because it had never had a full transmission flush. On December 18th at 3:30am on the way to the airport the transmission failed completely. I called my dealer who I had been faithful to and sent emails to the service manager. The service manager at Danbury Honda never returned my emails. Not even to say "I am sorry". When I called the service desk they told me that I should call American Honda to log a complaint-didn't even offer the first ounce of empathy. I was dedicated to them and it appears they didn't really care about me as a customer. Won't buy another Honda

- , Brookfield, CT, USA

problem #36

Dec 072009

Accord EXL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,625 miles

Driving to work and without warning, the transmission started slipping. Turned car around to bring it back home. At one point the car would barely move. It revved up to the red line while barely moving. I remembered my neighbor who owns a 2003 Honda Accord had a similar problem. Honda paid for his new transmission. He had to pay labor. My car had a recall in 2004 to add a jet kit to feed one of the gears extra transmission fluid. I remembered that my wife had a 2001 Honda Accord EX 4 cyl. that although didn't have any problems while we had it, Honda increased the warranty for some extra mileage and years, I can't remember exactly what is was. I decided to check the internet to see if anyone else was experiencing any transmission problems. I found a lot of testimonies. It is obvious that Honda is having problems with its automatic transmissions in early 2000's model Accord.

- , Blackwood, NJ, USA

problem #35

Dec 172009

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Trans starts slipping this morning - once, then at lunch just kept slipping. Slightly uphill in left hand turn lane no gear kicked in at all and I was coasting back towards a truck. Had to wave traffic around me then coast in reverse to side of road. Turned off engine then started 5 minutes later - was able to limp back to work keeping under 30mph and stopping 3 more times. Started on way home - 60 miles away - but no dice. Had to be towed. This isn't suppose to happen to Hondas at 126k miles. Checking into recall notices. My ex-Honda mechanic says 23-2700 to put in used or rebuilt unit.

Update from Jan 27, 2010: Local Honda dealer asked district mgr for goodwill adjustment but told mileage too high. Two Honda dealers tell me $3,000 for rebuilt trans. Local trans shops = $2250 and $2400. All gave 12 mo./12k miles warranty. Found friend of friend well recommended to rebuild at $1500 - 12mo./12k mile. Will check out open lawsuits as Honda knows full well trans. has defective design.

- , Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #33

Oct 022009

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


My 2004 Accord transmission started slipping at 105000. I was on the interstate on the way to work and felt loss of power and realized transmission was slipping. I slowed down and drove in the far right lane and stopped a few times but made it to work. I brought it to the closest transmission place and they confirmed transmission failure and quoted $2900 for rebuilt tranny and maybe more if the computer was also a problem. I researched the problem and saw this site and called about the possible class action suit. They recommended I have it repaired by Honda since they said if they file and settle any suit it would be easier to collect if Honda did the work. So I called the local dealer Broad Street honda Glen Allen VA, and after some hassle they reduced their original estimate from $3900 to $3400. I called Honda America customer service and they would do nothing more. I got the repair and when I paid the bill it was for $2900. Still a lot but at least not more than the tranny place. I told all the Honda folks I talked to that I had 3 Hondas and always was happy with their reliability. BUT considering the information I read about the tranny problems and Honda's lack of concern, and what I personally experienced, no more Hondas for me! Ford looks good.

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #32

Nov 192009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

My radio light went out but was fixed by the dealer... However it broke in the exact order that published... The next thing that went wrong was a $2000 tranny job specifically the torque converter. In addition the engine mounts were broken which would have been another $450 but I will take the car to an individual mechanic to fix the motor mounts as I will not let Honda get another cent of my business. I am very mechanical (REALLY) and understand engines & transmissions. I actually repair/rebuild antique clocks mechanisms as a hobby, and early in my early career designed, oversaw construction, and supervised the installation of offshore oil platforms & production systems... I would like to explain in terms the public can understand the problems with the transmission torque converter and why the engine mounts also are breaking. The reason the motor mounts were also broken is not from hard driving as they will try to insist (I am 54 years old and drive like a Grandma and no one drives my car but me)... The engine mounts break from engine chatter & twisting torque on the motor mounts produced by the jerking engine due to the transmission torque converter TRYING to lock up at slow driving. (IE) the car shifts into an overdrive when feathering the gas pedal at slow speeds... It does this to lock up the torque converter to more direct link the engine to the transmission thereby producing optimum gas mileage.... Unfortunately the Honda torque converter is locking (engaging) in/out causing the engine to jerk from side to side. This will be felt as a shudder in the steering wheel and will over time BREAK the engine mounts. Honda in so many words said ..."I COULD SHOVE THAT TRANNY UP MY FANNY!" Cause they would not help out with any repair cost. No Goodwill Warranty for me thankyou! I encourage ANYONE that purchases a Honda to BUY THE EXTENDED WARRANTY cause believe me they DO BREAK. My wifes Honda Odyssey van ALSO had the transmission go out at 60K. Honda did replace the transmission on the van but ONLY because it was a RECALL. Honda makes you feel as if they did you a favor but in reality they produce suck a faulty product that it is breaking to the point that a recall is made on the vehicle. NOT GOOD Mister Honda... I refuse to wait on strike three.... With me STRIKE TWO you are out! No more for me thankyou... I will try my luck elsewhere....

- , Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #31

Nov 102009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

My wife was on 695 in Maryland dropping our son off at school whenthe car went from 55 to a dead stop in a matter of seconds. She luckily was able to get to the right shoulder of the highway without getting hit. Needless to say this really scared and upset her. We had the car looked at and we found that the transmission died without warning. My wife has called Honda but they've told her that there is nothing they can do about it and they suggested that we file a complaint with NHTSA and we did today. NHTSA will post our complaint, Joseph and Amanda Norris, within 48 hrs. If anyone would like to complain about the transmission of your Honda's from 2003 to present, please feel free to contact NHTSA THEIR PHONE NUMBER IS 1-888-327-4236. it was told to my wife that the high mileage of the car may have been a factor, 173,000. our car was serviced and aren't cars meant to be driven.

- , Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #30

Nov 052009

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I've had the vehicle just over a year, and at 78,000 miles, there was a delay in accessing the gears. I first noticed an issue when I needed to literally wait a second or two for the transmission to kick into reverse, then again wait a few seconds after I put the car into drive. Things then became worse. I would accelerate and the RPMs would spike as the car would be "between" gears (i.e., neutral) for a second or two.

Took it to the local Honda dealer, where I paid $95 for the serviceman to say 'it's the transmission.' Thanks for the information! My 2-year old nephew could have told me the same thing for free.

They recommended a national transmission place. Their diagnosis was that the "torque converter clutch" was worn prematurely. I had the transmission refurbished at a cost of $2541.88.

I called American Honda, and said that 'this was a critical time in my relationship with Honda' since I owned 2 Toyotas prior. The gentleman was nice, but did not approve my request for a good-will repair. Their basis was that "Honda could not stand by a non-dealer service." Keep in mind, the dealer does not deal with internal transmission repairs, and a new transmission would have roughly been double the price. FYI, Honda also could not have guaranteed a good-will repair even I had taken the car to the dealer.

I communicated to the gentleman in calm but firm manner at the end that their decision was 'disappointing,' and that 'I will never buy a Honda for the rest of my life here on Earth,' (which is true). He replied that 'he understood.'

SUMMARY: I am disappointed about my decision in switching brands. Honda left me out in the cold like an abandoned orphan. I will enjoy a beer every time their stock drops.

Hello, Toyota!

- , West Chester, PA, USA

problem #29

Nov 142009

Accord 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

I started experiencing this problem only after i paid honda 1422.00 for a miss diagnoses. Driving down the road @ 40 mph plus the car would just stop all while pressing on the gas might i add almost causing an accident. I would try to accelerate to take off and the car would go very slow I thought the gear had shifted to neutral so I looked down to verify but not the case.

I took my car into Honda to have it looked at and to my surprise it was the transmission and only after they said that i should have the 105,000 maintaince done that would fix the problem. Wow another trip to the dealer and was finally told that my transmission is bad. I have had 4 hondas and have never had this issue. I always use honda for all my service issues. I will never buy another Honda again. I will call honda corp as file a law suit if i have to

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #28

Nov 042009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Same problem as reported throughout the forum ... highway..wife...RPM does not accelarate. After reading the reports on this forum, starting to think if Honda transmission has a thing of failing specifically on national highways !

Was quoted USD 5000 by dealer for replacing transmission with a Honda re-manufactured piece. In a state of desperation, resorted to the internet to make an educated decision and am so happy I bumped into this forum.

Called back the dealer with all the information found on this forum.. used all the right keywords Honda wants to hear ... lawsuit, safety concern, goodwill repair, call American Honda... and promptly got a call back saying Honda had agreed to pay 50% of the cost for replacing the transmission, including cost for problem diagnosis (USD 150).

End result is that my car is due any day now ... end cost of repair is close to USD 1800 (50% of 5000??,,, wonder how !!!).

I still hate Honda.. their help and promptness to address the issue just makes me hate them a little less ....

Am sure more people are going to run into this issue ... lets just hope more people can use the information on this forum to make things less miserable....

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #27

Oct 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

We bought this car so we wouldn't have this kind of problem. We told them that if we wanted to replace a transmission at 100K we would have bought a GM. They tried to be helpful and reduced the price from $3700 to $1800 but I think Honda has a serious problem with their transmissions. During the repair the messed up the exhaust heat shields so now they rattle real load, another $300 to fix them! I'm trading this car in as soon as I can! Maybe Toyota....

- , New Market, MD, USA

problem #26

Oct 232009

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,101 miles

I am so pissed. I thought Honda's were the way to go, now I need a whole new transmission. It only has 75,000 miles on it. This sucks. I am going to see if the dealer will help with it. Stupid bastards, guess this is my last Honda.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #25

Oct 082009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I was driving home from work going about 38 miles per hour, attempted to accelerate and my car felt like it was stuck in neutral, and the rpm went up to 6000 rpm. Then a malfunction light indicator came on the dashboard and I pulled over.

Still needed to try and get home however, the car kept jerking and rpm's going up until finally the car would just not go anymore. I was on a two lane road in the middle of rural county, and had to leave my car at someone's business connected to their residence.

Interestingly enough, I found online that 2004 Honda Accord's had a recall due to their transmission issues, but I never received anything about it. I called the local dealership, Honda of Clear Lake, and they told me that my car was not covered by the recall, and that they would not consider a "Good Faith Repair" on the transmission because I did not have my car serviced by Honda...He also quoted me a price of $3800 for a new transmission. Not sure how he could quote me a price on a new transmission when he had not even seen my vehicle yet.

Called America Honda and got the same answer (that my car was not part of the recall) however, it has the same problem as the recalled cars. When I asked about a good faith repair they told me that they did not have a specific policy about it, but they looked at each situation on a case by case basis, but I would have to have the problem diagnosed at a Honda dealership and repaired by Honda for them to even consider paying anything. Yeah right, since I was going to get such a good deal from them!

So, we had the car towed to a local transmission shop, going to see how much it would take to fix the problem and then decided what to do. Fix it and then sell, sell without fixing it, etc. I told America Honda I would not be purchasing another Honda EVER!

- , Manvel, TX, USA

problem #24

Aug 212009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Leave work Friday traffic attempting to merge onto I-5. Engine revs up to 6500 RPM while im still only going 30mph. Realizing there is a problem with the Transmission I exit the freeway immediately. Car stops forward progress before I can reach the Honda specialist. Call AAA and get towed to shop. Today is Monday and I just found out the transmission is shot. I took care of this care like my first born with the religious maintenance. When my mechanic called the Honda parts dept for price and availability they said sorry NOT AVAILABLE for purchase only warranty. I called AMHC twice and burned a hole in the ears of two of their "specialists" that informed me that Honda would do nothing about it. I love the end of the phone call........ "Is there anything else I can help you with?" ...... I made sure they knew they never helped me in the first place!

- , Bremerton, WA, USA

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