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CarComplaints.com 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.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,941.00
Average Mileage:
103,399 miles
Total Complaints:
163 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (57 reports)
  2. paid for a new transmission (40 reports)
  3. replace transmission (27 reports)
  4. honda paid partial "goodwill repair" (14 reports)
  5. rebuilt transmission at friends shop (9 reports)
  6. fixed with new warranty from transmission specialty shop (7 reports)
2004 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 9)

problem #163

Jun 232014

Accord LX V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 136,390 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I absolutely loved my Accord until Monday when the transmission died without warning. I've always had the maintenance done according to schedule and used synthetic fluids to maximize performance. Lotta good that did me. In today's world, 136,390 isn't over the hill for a good automobile. I was hoping to drive this Accord for another year or two.

Like many other posts here, I was driving down the highway and it basically felt like the gears stopped engaging and the RPMs spiked. I slowed down and got it to reengage but only in 1st or 2nd gear. After I pulled over and restarted, I got back up to 45 mph but the same slippage happened. I limped to the repair shop doing about 15 mph. As I was pulling in, the malfunction light goes on (Thanks a lot Accord, Really didn't know there was a problem). The mechanic read the codes and said it came up as transmission related. He drained the fluid and found metal shards. Rebuild was going to cost $2800. Not worth it for a car I no longer trust.

Honda, you just lost another customer. Maybe I'll try Toyota or even Ford this time.

- , Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #162

Dec 122013

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Took 20 minutes making a post to express and complain how disappointed I am in Honda. 80k miles regular maintenance and transmission slipped and loud noises cause me to go get a new transmission. I will never buy a Honda again, next car I will buy i will do some research on the internet about problems on vehicles before I make another horrible decision.

These cars have horrible transmissions, enough said with the amount of complaints. Hope you listen to this message cause I spent some valuable time to tell you to dump your 2004 Honda Accord before your transmission fails cause it's a time bomb... 80k miles and a car turns to sh*t, thanks for ripping me off with your crappy vehicles. I]ll go electric or American here on out cause your cars are overrated.

- , Concord, CA, USA

problem #161

Jul 122011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

What a load of crap...Honda recalls these transmissions, but EXCLUDES the 2004 Accord that I have. I had the exact issue that everyone else had. Know what I got from Honda - Nada. I've been a 4x owner of Honda/Acuras... But my next car sure as hell won't be.

- , Atascadero, CA, USA

problem #160

Mar 242014

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I sure thought I was making a smart car choice. Purchased it "used" and certified from a Honda Dealer in Ohio, put only 60K miles on it. There is no excuse for the corners they cut to save money when building brand new transmissions.

- , Estero, FL, USA

problem #159

Dec 182013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,175 miles

Have been loyal to Honda for about 20 years. Currently own 04 Accord EX that required a new transmission at just over 100K - repair cost $2700.00. Up until this, really no issues. Kept it maintained and had the required recall fix-up for the transmission when notified.

Was in heavy traffic one day on a tollway and had to pass a semi, when I stepped on the gas it slipped into what seemed to be neutral. It was a dangerous situation as I was in the fast lane (80 MPH) and trapped by the semi on my right with fast moving traffic behind me. Was very surprised to hear the failure rate of 04 Accords and the issue not being addressed by Honda.

- , Frisco, TX, USA

problem #158

May 052013

Accord EX-L 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,627 miles

I have had 4 other Hondas-3 CR-Vs and one Civic and now my FINAL 2004 Honda Accord EX-L V6. What a piece of CRAP!! I bought the car used with 115,526 miles in it in Auburn,ME because of the "so-called" Honda reputation and previous Hondas I have owned. What a lemon this car turned out to be!! I expected better out of this car than what I got. I have AAA and had it towed 3 times within two months because on inclines. Had it towed to a local shop in Raymond,ME. I now live in Casco,ME. They did a "fix" on it for about $600. Hoping it was a minor problem. No such luck! I had to have it towed again when I was on my way to work at night. I was out on an old country road and had to leave the car there overnight- meanwhile one of my co-workers was good enough to come pick me up. I got a ride back to my car in the morning and called AAA and had it towed again to Raymond from Parsonsfield.

I was later told the bad news about having to have the transmission rebuilt to the tune of $2600. I know it is less than some repair shops but still hurts! In addition, the shop had the car for 6 weeks and I had to rent a vehicle. (More unwanted expense). Shortly after that, the rear brakes went and now the power steering pump needs replacing-that's another story. At present the car has 164,000 miles on it. The car looks good but is a mechanical nightmare!! I called Honda America and gave them my VIN # since the 2004 Honda's had a recall on them. I was told my VIN # was not part of the recall. Thanks a lot Honda!!! This is the last one I will ever own and will let all my friends know about the excellent quality and the friendly help I received from Honda America!!! I think I should have the "lemonmobile" painted yellow, or at least have large lemon decals put on the doors and drive it that way-provided the transmission works!!! This whole situation should never have happened!! This SUCKS!!

- , Casco, Maine, USA

problem #157

Jun 242012

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This is the second time I have had a transmission issue. The 1st one happened after I had just had the transmission serviced at a Honda dealership. I had it towed to aAAA service center. They diagnosed it as torque converter/ transmission failure . I had it towed to my mechanic of 10 plus years Gino's Garage. Same diagnosis. Called Honda USA to ask for good faith assistance with repair. Was told that I needed to have the diagnosis done at the Honda dealership. Had it towed there. They charged me for the diagnosis and it was the same. They wanted $3700.00 to rebuild the transmission. I had it towed to Cottman Transmissions who did the rebuild for $1895.00. The transmission started giving me problems again on 6/24/12. I got off on an exit ramp from the highway. I stopped at the knight on an incline and the car started to roll back. I had to hold down the brakes and press the accelerator to go forward. I could feel a thump as the transmission went into gear. I could also faintly smell something burning. The next morning I called Gino. He told me to bring it in. He checked the fluid. The level was where itneededto be but the color was brown instead of red. He told me that was what I was smelling and advised me to take it to Cottmans. Rather than risking driving it anymore I had it towed. The torque converter has failed again they don't yet know the extent of the damage it has caused. I am still paying for this car. I could not believe Honda would not do anything to make this right the first time. I hope I have not waisted my time appealing to you again

- , Harrisburg, NC, USA

problem #156

Mar 212012

Accord V6 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,036 miles

Without any other signs or warnings, my Accord just started losing its transmission.

Starts out fine, and then after about 5 minutes, it's like it slips out of gear. The engine revs but the car doesn't want to engage. It wants to stay in first gear, kind of. Have to crawl over to the side of the road (which can be very difficult) and turn the car off for a few minutes. It starts out okay, but again, after a minute or so, the same thing happens.

A local trusted transmission mechanic has recommended a rebuild. And he is quite aware of "the Honda transmission thing."

I put my Vin# in the Honda America website, and they said my car was not part of the recall. What's up with that? Going to have to pay 2-3K for this one. Ouch. Very disappointed with Honda.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #155

Apr 172012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

The FIRST transmission that failed was under warranty at 96,000 miles. The transmission was replaced by Honda dealer. With 54,000 miles on the replaced transmission,that has now failed as well. Honda says there is nothing they can do.

- , Delran, NJ, USA

problem #154

Sep 062011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Transmission worked well until one day,it started slipping 13 miles into a 14 mile trip. Per the code reader fault code I replaced secondary shaft speed sensor, no improvement, car would drive fine for a mile or two, then the transmission would start slipping and stop moving. I drove the car to the Honda dealer and paid the diagnostic fee. Per the dealer the transmission needs to be replaced at a cost to me of $4100.00. I find it hard to believe that one day the transmission is working well and the next day it is unrepairable and needs to be replaced. I went on line and found out Honda had a recall on the transmission, I bought the car new, I wonder when Honda is going to notify me of the recall?

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #153

Jun 072012

Accord ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission blew out last Thursday, called my repair shop that only handles Honda's to tow me in for free. They suggested I call Honda of America to see if they would help with the cost. I made the call, and first they said they will not even open a case unless the car is sent to a dealer and diagnosed by them. I had the car towed to the dealership (50$) then had to have them run diagnostics on the car (120$) to tell me the transmission needed to be replaced. (Shocker right?)

Honda of America said the car was out of Warranty, and that they would do a Good Will repair ( going from $4400->$3475 ) to replace the part. I told them this was completely unacceptable, and they would have to do better. They said that this was their final offer, and they cannot promise, although they are "Honda" the manufacturers of cars that up until now in my eyes and past experience run forever, that the car would last passed its 100K Warranty! 100K and the tranny dies is a bunch of crap, and the guy on the phone was even surprised that I didn't want to mess with the dealer because they pretty much rape you.

Its very disappointing to see that they won't stand by their product. I took it back to my repair shop, where they charged me 500$ less than what the dealer wanted WITH the help of Honda of America. I hear Hyundai is making a pretty decent product... will look to them for next purchase. Sorry Honda, you lost my business.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #152

Jan 102013

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

This is a 2004 Honda Accord with a V6 motor, that we purchased new from a dealership in Pensacola, Fl. We have only 68,000 miles on this vehicle. We have driven the vehicle with care during this time and have performed all the routine maintenance upkeep at the normal intervals. The transmission began slipping badly earlier this year, and we were forced to park the vehicle. We now have the vehicle at a repair facility and are being told that we will need a new transmission. The repair facility informed us about all the issues Honda has had with transmissions in the 2000-2004 models of the Accords, Civics, and Odysseys. Most local facilities do not want to touch this transmission due to the class-action lawsuit that has been filed against Honda. Honda also wants too much money for a replacement transmission. The repair facility has offered to look for off-name brand transmissions for the vehicle.

We were alarmed to hear about this since we bought a Honda based on its reputation and being previous owners of a 1987 Honda Accord, that we never had any major maintenance issues with. This is why we were a returning customer.

I will never buy another Honda, nor will I ever recommend a Honda to anyone!

- , Niceville, FL, USA

problem #151

Apr 292013

Accord EX 3.0L Vtec V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Routine and recommended maintenance performed by my local Honda dealership including transmission maintenance (e.g., tranny fluid replacement).

- , Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #150

Jul 292013

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,762 miles

my car has 126k miles, to me its only broken in and to have the transmission only go out now is a huge problem with low miles. its a 2004 I put on 15k miles per year. this car should last 10 more years. but Honda fails to admit their transmission problems on the 2003-2004 Honda accords v6. called customer service to complain, sorry they could not do a thing as they say "NORMAL wear and tear". This is my 3rd Honda, 2nd accord. I can tell you this is the LAST Honda I will own EVER. And this is the only problem with the Honda ever. its been through its normal oil changes and every maintenance it should go though. all fluids changed, timing belts changed and so on. after the transmission and their failure to accept their transmission issues put them in the same category as a thief!

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #149

Aug 042013

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

My son was driving the car when the transmission seized up on him. This caused the drivers side CV axle to twist and break. I replaced the CV axle not knowing that the transmission had seized and found that the car still had no reverse or forward gears. I then went on the internet and researched and found out that Honda has has problems with transmissions for some years. I understood then that the tranny had seized and that is what caused the axle to split. This could have been very dangerous and could have caused an accident. There was no warning. My son could have been killed and or killed someone else. I will see if Honda will replace the transmission or if I will be left to decide on whether to get rid of the car and never buy one again.

- , Halifax, NS, canada

problem #148

Jul 032013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

Honda used to make reliable cars - no longer. Transmission suddenly failed

- , East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #147

Sep 172012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Had just bought used honda two weeks before. Seller had all maintenance records and no problems.

Two weeks later, car started making noise and stopped in the middle of road during rush hour. First time I have had any car break down in middle of road.

- , Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #146

Dec 202012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

I did so much research on this car before I bought it and felt like I was going to have a good car. We have always had Hondas in our family and they have always been great. With this one I've now spent close to 4k on repairs. First the compressor went out and now this. And I've only had it two years. I feel like I bought a lemon. Hondas are supposed to be great cars and I'm so disappointed with it. No options to sell and get a new one though. The car is only a 2004 and only had 118,000 miles. No reason the transmission should have failed. I did research on the issue and there was a recall on the 2003 and 2004 transmissions. I called Honda the next day and they said my VIN number doesn't fall under that recall. Very disappointed in this Honda. My family and I will more than likely not be purchasing Hondas in the future.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #145

Jan 272013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

My wife, 2 1/2 year old son and I were driving along on the freeway when I tried to change lanes. As I stepped on the accelerator to match traffic, the engine rev'd up but its almost as the gears disengaged. Clearly something wrong with the transmission. We're having the good folks over at the dealership look into the matter.

- , Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #144

Nov 082012

Accord EX-L 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

This is the second transmission I have replaced on this car. Never again will I buy a honda.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

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