Notes: The 1998 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, peeling paint, & subframe rust. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 100,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000.

Peeling paint has also been a huge issue for these Accords. Most of the complaints are with darker paint colors -- especially green & blue.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
107,786 miles
Total Complaints:
124 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. repaint entire car (66 reports)
  2. not sure (32 reports)
  3. Honda should fix/repaint or reimburse owners for lost value (14 reports)
  4. to keep me as a honda owner i want re-embursement (5 reports)
  5. Honda paid to repaint the entire car (4 reports)
  6. repaint only roof and hood (2 reports)
1998 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #104

Sep 192003

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


The clear coat started to bubble on the roof above the driver side. It continued to bubble, crack, and peel on the roof and hood. It looked horrible!

- , Summerville, SC, USA

problem #103

Oct 172010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I used to wax my car twice a year until this problem with the paint surfaced. I thought I could rub out the area on the roof that was the first to appear but that was a wasted effort. Then over time it started to spread to the hood and trunk. Now it is a full blown epidemic. I have never approached the dealer where the car was purchased because he is out of state and I don't think I could maintain my cool if he started throwing out the company line about it being my fault or I drove the car in extreme conditions, etc. Honda Corporation is really dropping the ball on this one.

I will never buy another vehicle that is in any way associated with Honda. I'm sure their policy is to deny there is any problem at all. They figure this will go away in time but they are sadly mistaken. Once their brand is associated with all these paint issues from all over the country they will take a hit and I hope it is a sizeable one. None of the state agencies will take a look at this because it's not a safety issue. One can only hope to jump on board a class action lawsuit that mite appear in the near future. That way everyone that has been cheated can have their day in court.

- , Roseville, CA, USA

problem #102

Jul 172011

Accord EX 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 151,000 miles

I have a 98 Honda Accord EX 4 door champagne silver and my roof and hood look really ugly they are peeling and look real dry.. I have not contacted Honda yet about this problem but I sure hope they will do something about it. My car runs great has had lots of maint. done but it looks so bad I don't like to show it off to say the least..I have seen lots of 98's like this so it must be a known issue.Love Honda's always purchase them as well as my family and they are normaly awesome with there service so will see!!

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #101

Jul 242006

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles


Looking into painting my '98 Accord when i came across this site, and many others with owners complaining of this problem. Didn't know it was so widespread and that the fading paint and clear coat is a HONDA PROBLEM. Car has been great, but knowing now that Honda is not doing anything about it will prevent me from buying another Honda! Paint and clear coat peeling from hood, roof and trunk.

- , Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #100

Apr 012010

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I have had several hondas and would continue to keep buying them since they are a great car; however, with the paint problem, my car looks like I am either cheap or bankrupt and can't drive a decent looking car. I am very disappointed in this paint job and with fairly low mileage for a Honda, will have to drive it a few more years. I am very embarrassed for anyone to see my car. I am definitely disappointed and think Honda should repaint and take care of the problem. I could be a PROUD Honda owner again and feel like I am driving a nice car. Until the paint is taken care of I will feel sad and bad about my car. The hood, roof and trunk are all a terrible looking mess!

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #99

Sep 102010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

please can honda do something about it? i cant be paying for something which is not my fault.

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #98

Jan 012006

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Clear coat began peeling years ago. At first it appears as small has infiltrated the entire car. Car looks like crap. Of course I have noticed how many other dark accords have same problem. Have two friends with same car...dark color...same problem. Obviously, Honda is at fault here. It is not bird poop, or acid rain --but simply a cheap clear coat during manufacture. Honda should sent out a recall and get this fixed.

- , Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #97

May 012005

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

My husband purchased this car new from the dealership in 1998 - dark green color. About 6 years later the clear coat started to peel. It has progressively gotten worse and now it's just terrible. This car runs great, has only 120K miles on it, but looks awful. We can't get any real value out of it - who would buy a car that looks like this? What's also interesting is that I had a 1997 Accord through a lease and it started to do something similar around year three. When you touched it or rain your hands over it, white powder came off on your hands. The car happened to be white - so, I figured the manufacturer screwed up something and perhaps left the clear coat off altogether or used way too little. The dealership tried to tell me it was due to acid rain or perhaps the soap/chemicals where I was getting my car washed, but I kept at them. I had also purchased an extended warranty - so, they covered the repaint under that warranty - not the manufacturer's warranty. We were not so lucky with the second Honda. It does not bode well for Honda to have so many paint issues and US car dealers might be able to use this to their benefit. I would really like to buy another Honda, but I can't tolerate this again.

- , Vail, AZ, USA

problem #96

Feb 152011

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk

The paint looks so bad I give up trying to resell this car it is impossible, people just wont pay the book value with the paint looking like ASS what a joke, Honda SUCKS for not standing behind their product. I will not buy another ever unless they take care of this problem. After reading all these posts I wonder just how many loyal customers they have lost.

- , Lehi, UT, USA

problem #95

Aug 022008

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 256,000 miles

I have had two Honda's, love my car and never had a problem with it. Until a couple of years ago I started seeing little white dots when I cleaned it! I didn't understand what it was at first but as it started getting bigger I could tell it was the clear coat that they put on to protect the paint, now it is an ungodly sight and Honda refuses to do anything about it.

My car has a lot of mileage on it and I'm not going to have it painted, but Honda has lost a couple of customers because not only do I drive them but so does my daughter and if they can not stand behind their product we will not do business with them any longer. I have been car shopping because it is time to buy a new one, and had thought about buying the new SUV passport they have but since speaking to them that is out of the question will buy my SUV from another manufacturer, one that stands behind their products.

Thanks Honda for nothing, I'm sure when my car is parked in the parking lots and all the people see it they will rush to the Honda dealer to buy one and that is why I will not have it painted, I want everyone to see how well you back your product!!!!!!!!!!

- , Rome, GA, USA

problem #94

Jul 012007

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles


Another dark blue Accord with thin clear coat. Got the car in 2006 with 80K miles on it and there were no problems. Within a couple of years the area behind the sunroof began to lighten and then peel away. Now two years have passed and entire roof and most of the trunk are peeling. I have stopped washing the car now because it seems to do more harm than good. I don't really care about the paint but I know the resale value of the car is majorly affected by this. I have had dealers tell me they don't buy these cars because of the problem and the cost to repaint. I was planning to trade in the vehicle in a year or so but now I may as well keep it. Again, most of these Accords I see now have at least some minor peeling in the same areas where the previous generation Accords look like new. It's a shame that one of the best and most popular cars of the 90's has such a widespread issue but Honda refuses to acknowledge it. What's the deal?

- , Greensboro, NC, US

problem #93

Feb 012009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 310,000 miles

Honda should at least pay a portion to have it repainted.

- , Katy, TX, USA

problem #92

Jan 012010

Accord DX 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 114,954 miles

I bought this car in 2010 used from the owner. When I bought the car the paint was beginning to peel off from the trunk and the roof. Since buying the car I had regularly waxed and washed the car. But the paint seems to come off. The clear coat is completely gone from the roof. It is a shame because mechanically the car is in great shape. Found out from some car paint centers that its a usual problem with 1998 Honda Accord's specially the dark tone cars.

- , Milton, ON, Canada

problem #91

Nov 222004

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

My husband and I had every intention to keep my Honda (purchased brand new in '98) for at least another few years or so because it's running so great, but it really is becoming unsightly. Since day one of purchasing it from the Honda dealership in Cincinnati, we've been loyal Honda owners servicing it like clock-work at dealerships only. No one other than Honda ASE techs has ever worked on my car, and each time I take it in for an oil change, recommended service, etc., someone usually asks me if I'm willing to sell it because of it's spotless interior and flawless records. Of course, the topic of the clear coat always comes up, and it makes me furious.

You see, back in '98 when we purchased the car, we had actually just ordered the new VW Passat. I had no intention of ever buying a Honda. But my Passat was on back-order, and I had just sold my VW Jetta, so time was of the essence. We did our homework, test-drove the Honda, and I was immediately hooked.

Both the sales staff and the service staff have always exceeded every one of my expectations, and for that I'm most appreciative. I love my car. But...if we don't find a solution to this problem soon, we'll be leaving Honda for good. Just last week we test-drove the new Acura TL and MDX, but we're now wondering if we'll have the same problem and so now we're on to Volvos, specifically the XC90. One thing is for certain...I've driven around long enough with the clear coat peeling off my car.

We paid $24,000.00 for the car in '98, and we spent an awful lot of money keeping the car serviced and maintained at all times at Honda dealerships never taking into account the money we could save having it serviced elsewhere. It's time Honda reciprocate that loyalty and fix the defect it caused when manufacturing my car. No excuses, just an honest repair from a company who we expected much more from.

Update from Jul 9, 2010: This a Dark Emerald Green Honda 1998 Accord EX-V6

- , Fisherville, KY, US

problem #90

Nov 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles

So much for special editions. The car looks like crap i am on my way to see how much it is going to run me to get it fixed

- , Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #89

May 102009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,500 miles

I am a long time Honda owner and this is the first time I've had this problem. The clear coat is peeling all over, from roof on trunk and now on sides. I'm very reluctant to ever buy another. I have always kept it in garage , so I would like an answer on why this has happened.

Update from Jul 28, 2010: I had to have the whole car repainted @ the cost of $2200.00

- , Binghamton, NY, US

problem #88

Aug 011998

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles

The paint started oxidizing on my brand new car THREE months after I bought it. The first time that I took the car in to the dealership I was told that bird poop was causing this problem. Needless to say, I had several choice words for these people. My next experience was with a rep from American Honda. He was a complete jerk, very condescending and then told me that pine sap was causing the paint to come off. Now, many years later, my car looks absolutely horrible! The paint has come off of every part of the car and it is an absolute eyesore. Honda knows this is a problem but refuses to do anything about it! This is absolutely unacceptable and because of this, I will never buy another Honda product for as long as I live!

- , Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #87

Feb 022002

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

It seems that there was a huge problem with the paint and clear coat for the 1998 Honda's. The complaints on Honda's site and consumer protections is extremely high in numbers. What is Honda's answer? Oh. It's due two acid rain, weather conditions in your area, and my favorite..... It's due to regular wear and tear. That is funny. The only car in the entire world that is losing it's paint and clear coat due to wear and tear. Step up Honda and give us all a break. Even though the car is now 12 years old. It,s been a problem since day one.

- , Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #86

Jun 192005

Accord V4 Ex

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The paint on my honda accord 1998 was beginning to change, and it looked really awful. I had to pay to get it painted. I call the honda dealers and they said there was nothing that they could do.

- , Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #85

Jan 052005

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,458 miles

My 1998 Honda Accord has the same problem with the paint. It started on the trunk and has spread up to the roof of the car. Now today, I noticed on the center of the hood, the white spots starting to form. It has 237,000 miles on it and it is in exceptional condition mechanically, it just looks bad thanks to Honda and they cheap clear coat.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

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