Notes: 1997 is the last model year in the 5th generation of Accord. Which means it's also the last model year before problems like widespread transmission failure, subframe rust and peeling paint took over.

Does the 1997 have problems? Sure it does. Any car this old will. Some owners say their engine started to cut out around 147,000 miles. That's still not bad, and getting to 200,000+ miles isn't out of the question.

Does anyone believe a newer Accord will reach 200,000 miles?


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
102,800 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. honda dealer refused to fix (5 reports)
  3. repaint (2 reports)
1997 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1997 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 012007

Accord DX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


Dealership never warned me about this problem even though car maintenance was performed at the dealership for years before and after the clear coat started to separate.

- Anne M., Millbrae, CA, US

problem #14

Mar 032013

Accord LX 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Clear coat is peeling away on trunk roof hood and doors

- Antone P., Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #13

Jul 012013

Accord EX-R 2.2L I4 F22b1

  • Manual transmission
  • 99,419 miles

Clear coat separating from paint on the roof of my car. Honda refuses to fix this problem with their cars! And it's still ongoing to this day with their modern Civics and Accords! It's downright embarrassing to drive this car around with this problem! Honda stop cheaping out on the PAINT! Get your sh*t together and start building quality cars again!

- f22b1tech, Markham, Ontario, canada

problem #12

Jan 201999


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles


This is not a life or death problem and it CLEARLY helps my boyfriend with the point that "I care to much about what things look like"!! I REFUSE make light of the fact that Honda Knows about this situation and as i looks to me like they're NOT taking care of and it would only require the minimal "fixin's" LOL ....that would make a whole lot of consumers (including myself) VERY HAPPY..AND LOOKIN' GOOD TOO!! HAHAHAHA

- galene, Cicinnati, Ohio, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 062010

Accord LX 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

I have had any issues with this car, except the clear coat peeling on the hood, roof and the truck lid. If Honda really cares about their customers, they should fix the problem or reimburse owners for lost valve.

- Srinivas V., Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #10

Jan 012012

Accord SE 1.32l4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My car is beautiful from far away, its shiny like new, I wax it all the time. It's garage kept but the clear coat is separating on the roof horribly, and it's starting on the hood and trunk now, I take very good care of my vehicles, I was a car detailer when I was young and always stuck with me, my car is starting to become embarrassing. Every Honda I see has this problem and there is no stopping it. My car is so shiny even the bad spots shine, it's too bad because it would be a nice car. It's special edition purple, they should honor their reputation and fix this problem, it's clearly a defect. But if your car is not taken care of then I can see they shouldn't fix it but my car would be showroom condition if it wasn't for the bad spots in paint.

- David V., corona, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 302006

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Honda hasn't taken responsibility for this flawed paint job. There are thousands of identical complaints all over the internet. What makes them think that we would run out and buy another Honda when they don't take responsibility for THEIR mistakes. The car is embarrassing and humiliating. It would fine if it didn't have peeling.

- Liz J., Wall, NJ, USA

problem #8

Apr 202009

Accord Special Edition Same As Lx Model

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,020 miles

The clear coat paint peeling is so significant that three years ago I couldn't get professional detailers wouldn't even touch my car anymore to prevent further damage to the undercoat paint! My hood and bumper covers have been replaced but not the trunk or top of the car, or the top sides of all 4 doors. Here it is 3 1/2 years later and I only have 140,000 miles on this car but it looks like its 30 years in the desert. I previously owned an 87 Prelude SI that I bought used and kept it for 10 years that was in perfect shape. I also bought a del Sol when they discontinued the Prelude model but my ex wrecked it in less than 2 years. I started to develop a bad taste for Honda in my dealings with the dealer in NM where I purchased my current Accord, but now my relationship with Honda might just end with this shoddy factory paint job being the icing on the cake for me.

- trueblood, Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012007

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Needless to say, my hood (absolute worst) and the roof of the car look awful. The rest of the car is fine. My sister has a 1994 Accord and within two years her paint started peeling. My Honda is a great car, but the paint leaves a lot to be desired.

- karramell, Havre de Grace, MD, USA

problem #6

Jul 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I LOVE my 1997 Accord. I take really, really good care of it. Aside from some damage thieves did to the car in the early 2000's, the car is in great condition. But I am COMPLETELY embarrassed by the clear coat peeling problem. It comes of in giant sheets. I lived in Pennsylvania (Harrisburg), Washington (Seattle), and now Texas (Austin), and the problem started about 10 years into the life of the car. Really badly. So my joke is that my car has "leprosy". It covers the entire hood, parts of the front fenders, and the bumper. Sad thing is, it hasn't affected the back of the car too badly yet. So it looks like a giant sunburned face barreling down the highway. I don't feel I could ever sell it in this condition (and really love it enough to keep it until it completely dies). But a body shop basically gave me the "man who is about to die" speech when I asked if they could fix it... He says it would cost about $7k - $10k to really do it right. So just take it home, drive it, and "enjoy the car"... until the end of its life. I just really wish it didn't look like crap or make me look super cheap and miserly. It's a great car.

- melissaatx, Austin, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 152001

Accord LX 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


Clear coat in middle rear of roof started getting cloudy in about 2001 and has continued to spread to the rest of the car. Now clear coat is blistering and bubbling. The exposed color paint is starting to oxidize.

I've seen hundreds of Honda vehicles just like mine with the same problem over the past 10 years.

Seems their should be a class action suit on this as well.

- stumbo, Whittier, CA, USA

problem #4

May 012007

Accord SE 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The paint on my 97 Honda Accord, SE is completely hideous. It is Honda's responsibility to fix there product if its defective!

- Tara C., Merritt Island, FL, US

problem #3

Mar 102004

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The paint on my Honda starting fading on the trunk, hood, and roof. The car is still in excellent condition but the paint looks terrible. I bought the car new in 1997.

- gretaky, London, KY, USA

problem #2

Mar 032005

Accord LX 16v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Since not all Honda's have the clear coat issue, it appears the ones that do must have been manufactured during the same time frame at a certain facility or the shipments were exposed to something that started the problem which progressed over time. Please be aware that 1997 Accords have the peeling clear coat problem as well as the some of the 1998 models and others I may be unaware of. Honda should cover the cost of the fix. It is "clearly" a Honda problem passed on to the consumer. Other car companies have done recalls to resolve these issues.

- Steven H., Omaha,, NE, USA

problem #1

Jun 062002

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,560 miles

Purchased a new 1997 Honda Accord LX, 4-door, green in color. Vehicle kept in garage and now has only 41,560 miles. Approximately five to six years after owning the vehicle, I began to notice splotchy areas on the hood, rood, right side door, and both bumpers. Took vehicle to Ed Voyles Honda in Marietta, GA. and had Honda paint manager exam problem. Paint manager stated that this is a COMMON issue with some of the Honda vehicles, in which the clear coat separates from the paint. He described this as a Honda defect manufacturing process. SYSTEMATIC ISSUE. However, since vehicle was older than three (3) years, doubted Honda would pay for repairs. In the meantime, a Honda factory representative will meet with me within the next two (2) weeks to examine paint and make determination. However, manager expressed very unlikelihood of Honda honoring repairs.

This is a system wide problem with Honda vehicles and paint issues. The websites are loaded with cases of identical cases, yet Honda fails to be proactive and do what is the right thing and repair their defective crummy paint jobs, especially if they want to retain customer loyalty.

- Charmaine L., Marietta, GA, USA

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