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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Jun 052003

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


I am just writing to "confirm" that Honda has a major problem with their metallic paint. I have noticed that every car that I see like mine (2 dr. V4 coupe LX)has the paint peeling away on the roof and the trunk. I find it ironic that this would be from 'sap' or 'bird droppings' as Honda has stated, in the same place on different cars! Wouldn't it be just as likely for the paint to disappear from the hood? But most of the models like mine have missing paint in the exact same spots!!I am getting ready to get an estimate to re-paint my car, as I keep my cars and I am scared to death after reading these posts!! I am happy with the car otherwise, but before this Honda, I had a Mazda RX7 that was 12 years old and the metallic red paint looked BRAND NEW and shiny!!!!! Strange that the sap didn't get it, huh???? Same parking conditions!

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #43

Jan 012000

Accord EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

I too am having the same clear coat peeling off my 1998 Honda Accord (Black). It was hardly worth mentioning as first, BUT now it is terrible and it's embarrassing. I purchased this car knowing that it would last a long time and didn't imagine that the paint would not hold up. Honda should stand up and be a reputable company and re-paint these vehicles. I cannot afford to have mine painted.

- , Lox, FL, USA

problem #42

May 012006

Accord LX 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,908 miles

I too have a paint problem with my green 1998 Honda Accord. The paint started peeling away a little over three years ago. At first I didn't think anything of it until I saw other honda's with the same problem. I'm embarrassed of the way my car looks. My kids say I need to just get a new car but why get a new car when you have a car thats in good running condition. I'm going to write a letter to American Honda Motor Co., Inc to let them know about the terrible paint they put on our cars. Check this out when I called AHMC Nikki said there were no complaints on paint jobs. Do you think I believed her? She was so full of it. She also went on by telling me that my car is ten years old. My response to her was there are plenty of other cars just as old as mine that don't have this problem.

- , Madison, MS, US

problem #41

May 012005

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


I too have a problem with my paint. However, the color of mine is "HeatherMist"(the silver/gold color). It has gotten so bad, I can actually peel pieces of paint off of the front bumper!!! It looks terrible! Luckily, I haven't had any problems around the roof and rear bumpers...however, I do have problems with the moldings on the doors peeling! I love my Honda but this paint problem is really EMBARRASSING!!!!

- , Collierville, TN, USA

problem #40

Mar 012007

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I bought my "Green" 1998 Honda Accord from a private party in June of 2006. There was a tiny bit of peeling around the edges of the hood...over time it has gotten worse and worse. Too expensive to have painted...would it even be worth it to do, would I get the value from it? It was such a pretty car...much of the reason I bought it! Now, I feel like a hick driving it around...Honda should just make an offer to have people with this problem come to a few central locations and paint a whole bunch at once and save their reputation! I'm considering buying a Toyota next time! I was impressed with Hondas up to this point and I can't believe they won't make THEIR mistake right...they are a huge company! Isn't the customer always right?

- , Newberg, OR, USA

problem #39

Apr 152007

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My Honda is dark purple, but suffers from the same manufacture paint problem. The roof clear coat is peeling all over the place.

- , Boothwyn, PA, USA

problem #38

Jan 012002

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


I too, have a beef with the paint job on the 1998 Honda Accord. Mine is black, and I got the same stupid "acid rain" excuse from the dealership. I live in Austin, TX one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the US and there have been no news reports about having acid rain in our city... I love my car, it runs great has nice leather interior and is paid for! But it looks so ugly.

I propose we all aside a Saturday and go park our ruined cars in front of our local Honda dealers and let the buying public know about the company's knowledge of this problem, which is a manufacturer defect, and their failure to admit to it and resolve it.

That's my beef!

- , AUstin, TX, USA

problem #37

Mar 072006

Accord EX Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I got online to see if there were others who had this problem and my gosh I see there are several ppl with the same issue. I love my Accord and I've been back and forth on getting rid of it, but I just can't seem to part with it. The paint is killing me though. I hate the way it looks. I'm not a person that goes out of the house looking ragedy so I for sure can't stand my car looking that way. I've gotten estimates on what it would cost to have the car repainted and its anywhere from $900-$1500, which isn't bad, but why should I have to pay when its a problem that the manufacturer is having? By the way, the color of my car is Raisin Pearl..its a purplish looking brown color. Rare color that you see, but is a beautiful color. Now that it has happened to me, I've started to notice all the Accords like mine and everyone that I see has the same issue. That is so strange to me.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #36

Jun 012007

Accord 4 DR 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I purchased this car new in May 1008. I had the car treated with a paint protector package at the time of purchase. In the summer of 2007 i noted that paint looked funny when washing it one day. As the summer went on the paint got worse and looked as if it was stained with something. I finally asked a local body shop if he could rub it out, and he told me it was a problem of the clear coat separating from the color coat, and the only fix was to completely remove the paint and repaint, and would cost about 3000. I askd the dealer about it, and he said not a paint problem but was caused by acid rain and pollution. SInce car is nearly 10 years old now, not covered under paint protection warranty.

My body shop man tells me this is a common Honda problem and has been for quite a while.

Other than the paint problem that is really bad now, the car has been very reliable and trouble free.

- , Camp Hill, Penna, USA

problem #35

Mar 182005

Accord EX-L 4DR V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Exact same problem as described by everyone else, dark green 98 accord. Clearcoat started coming off on the roof of the car above the windshield in 2005. It has now come off more than 80% of the hood and most of the roof. The car looks absolutely terrible and I am embarrassed to drive it. I imagine the resale value has dropped considerably. I haven't bothered complaining to Honda, my next car will be a Toyota.

- , Apalachin, NY, USA

problem #34

Apr 272007

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,650 miles


My paint started going on the roof in just a small spot, but now it has developed into 3 big stripes on the roof. I took it to the dealer and they couldn't do anything and simply recommended some body shops to have it repainted. I don't have a quote yet, but it everything says that a solid paint job is a couple of thousand $$. I love my car, but driving a car that looks this bad is embarrassing.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #33

Jun 012006

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I am an original owner who purchased a 1998 Black Accord in October of 1997. A few of years ago I noticed that the paint on the hood was starting to crack and looked like it had spider webs all over it. Then soon after the roof and trunk sections started to peel until all of the beautiful black paint now looks like a dull gray. This includes about 3/4 of the roof section 1/2 of the trunk and now the top sections of the door panels as well. I was also told by the Honda Service Manager upon complaining that the problem was probably due to acid rain or the salt air since I live near the beach. I don't think so!!! If anyone is making headway with Honda please let me know. I have taken it to the Service Manager 3 times now with a compliant and keep getting the same response. I also have two other friends with Hondas that have the same problem. One is a teal color and the other is a Navy Blue.

- , Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #32

Jan 092007

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,500 miles

I was amazed at the number of Honda owners with the same problem involving the paint peeling off, especially with the green Honda's. I have the same problem, except my car is San Marino red. At first, the clear coat blistered. It didn't take long after that when the clear coat started peeling off, now my hood looks like it has some kind of disease. I loved my Honda, it was my pride and joy. I took great care of it, always had it clean, waxed, detailed, but now, it's an embarrassment to drive and I don't have the money at this time to repaint the entire car. How has Honda been able to get away with this problem is beyond me, but they do need to be held responsible for such a widespread problem and for apparently knowing that this problem exists.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #31

May 222007

(reported on)

Accord LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This is my 4th Honda and I have never had a paint problem like this. The color of my car is green as well. The problem is on my hood, roof and my front bumper. The bad thing is that it is getting worse, it isn't peeling but the color is awful, its black and has white all over it. It is also spreading to the doors and mirrors. If Honda has such a get reputation and is known for one of the best car companies why aren't they fixing this problem? My mom and my niece have Hondas as well, my moms is a 97 and my niece has a 98 they too have the same problem as we do, but their cars red and black. My niece's car looks like awful, it has been eaten down to the bare metal. I think its time for Honda to step up and take care of the problem!

- , Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #30

May 102007

(reported on)

Accord EX 2.3L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I'm in the same situation, with a '98 green 4dr Accord. Paint and clearcoat is oxidizing on the roof, c-pillars, tops of door panels, and is now starting on the trunk. I've had the hood repainted due to a previous fender-bender, so I don't know if that would've been affected or not.

Was quoted 2k to repaint roof and pillar/trunk area, as they'd need to remove the rear window to do the job correctly. Ideally, the entire car should be repainted.

I live in Arizona, so the constant sun makes the problem even worse. I have seen a newer (ca. 2000 or so) black Accord with similar paint issues on the back of its roof, but I've usually only seen '98s with it.

Honda should step up on this and offer some remediation.

- , Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #29

Nov 172007

Accord EX V Tech 4

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

I have the same problem, with my 98 Accord ex. two Honda Dealerships in WV, told me the same thing, Bird Crap, or Acid Rain... I Don't Think So! I bought this car brand new, its now again time to get another vehicle, and this car, that should still be worth approximately 6 grand, isn't worth S&%#. I have owned other Hondas, and have persuaded others to own Hondas. Never again, because Honda will not back It's Product. I have enclosed some photo's of the Emerald green Metallic Paint. I would love if Honda had to repaint all of them!

- , New Martinsville, WV, USA

problem #28

Nov 162007

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

Same problem as many have reported except the color of my car is "raisin" (brown).

- , Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #27

Nov 112007

(reported on)

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Another case of paint fading on roof and doors.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #26

Nov 062007

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

The clear coat finish is peeling on the roof in about 5 spots and on a few other spots on the car. This happened fairly quickly from the first indication - within months of the first spot starting. the spots range in size from a quarter to over the size of a dollar bill.

I was getting ready to take it to the paint shop this week to have them recommend a repair.

has anyone tried GUARDIAN AUTOMOTIVE PAINT PROTECTOR? Someone recommend that - but i think that is a BEFORE remedy.

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #25

Oct 282007

(reported on)

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

When I purchased this car my first question was about the paint as I was trading in one Honda for another and my old Honda had the same problem. I was assured that the newer Honda was made in such a manner as the paint had been dealt with and that I should not have any problems. They lied. The paint is fading on the front hood, the roof of the car, side panels as well as the trunk. I was told I must repaint the entire car in order to avoid rust from developing.

- , Millville, NJ, USA

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