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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
146,940 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replacement of subframe, change a/c drain (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
1998 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #3

May 232017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,500 miles


I just paid $1300 to replace the timing belt and leaking water pump and leaking seals on my 1998 Honda Accord so my son could get to and from his college job (which he absolutely must have in California...the job and the car). I am a self-employed single mother of 2 so I had to take money from my IRA to pay for this, but it had to be done, we can't afford a new car. The mechanic test drove the car after doing the repairs and heard a loud squeaking. He put it up on the lift and found severe rust on the right front subframe. He said it's very dangerous. So my son will lose his job and his only source of food money if he doesn't drive the car, but I'm afraid he'll lose his life if he continues to drive the car. We can't afford another car and our best replacement cost so far is $900 which I don't have. So imagine my shock when I searched online for repair options and cost only to find MANY, MANY complaints about this exact same issue because of the poor design of a drain hose that has been leaking water on the subframe in this exact spot for 20 years. I was sure there would be a recall listed on this car because of this problem, but there is not. Please, Honda, do the right thing and recall these cars so we loyal Honda owners can fix our cars. You know this is a problem because you redesigned the car and moved the drain hose on later models.

- , Kansas City, MO, US

problem #2

Feb 012015

Accord EX-V6 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,321 miles

Bought this car as a certified used Honda with 36,000 miles for 17,000.

When I got the oill changed about a year ago they told me that the subframe was so rusted out it was unsafe to drive, that it could casue a crash and engine could fall out while driving and I could lose control of the vehicle.

I was was upset because the drivers side of the frame where it connects to the the front suspension and engine compartment was rust free, while the passenger side in this same area underneath the A/C drain pipe is completely rotted out, but only in this very specific area - under the A/C drain pipe.

I was very upset I was not notified by Honda considering this is a major safety issue, and there are hundreds of complaints and even news stories of people having this same EXACT issue in the same Exact place, but magically there is no problem on the driver side in the same area.

If you have not seen the ABC News story addressing the specifics of this issue, I will paste the link here - although I am not sure if it will be screened off by this website.

How cowardly and greedy of Honda to not bring this to the customers attention of a voluntary recall. They blew me off on 2 other design, manufacturing defects on this car that I see all over the place - the clearcoat and paint on the black current color cars all peels off, I showed it to a Honda factory rep at the dealer because it was still under warranty and they denied it was their fault. Also the transmission on this V^ started slipping between 1st and 2nd gear with about 120,000 miles which for a Honda - you expect the car to go longer than this.They also blew off all their customers on this design defect - as it occurred on most if not all of these V^ accords from 98 - 02.

Iam hoping enough people complain and Honda listens before people start dying in traffic crashes - because they sold 1.5 million of these vehicles - is will cause a lot of crashes when the frame lets apart on the highway and an investigator will easily see this is a defect, as the driver side has no rust as shown in the ABC news story.

If you have this issue - please report it, it could end up saving lives, since Honda doesn't seem to care enough, they seem to care more about $ for now, when lives are on the line. I just dont get it that they dont learn - they continue to try to hide and make excuses until its too late.

- , Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #1

Jun 142011

Accord LX Coupe 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 160,000 miles

excessive rust on subframe causing structure failure. The Accord Models from 1998 to 2002 Have been having a crucial rust problem. The Sub- Frame has been ROTTING out due to a misplaced Air Conditioning condensation drain. Honda claims that there are not enough complaints out this problem and that is coincidence that there are is rust problem. Here's the deal, all these cars have a major rust problem on the foundation of the car. Honda also, claimed that the A/C drain was not the problem for it. Well then tell me why all these cars have this problem only on the passengers side of the vehicle directly under the A/C drain. Honda needs to recalls this model because if that structure breaks on the road the passenger side wheel could come off or the Rack of the Power-Steering could split and cause the driver to lose control of their car. Not to mention the engine could drop out the bottom or even more devastating things that could hurt people! Toyota recalled their cars for a subframe problem, but Honda won't. I am one of those die hard Honda fans but when i found out that there are 1.5 million of these cars that potentially all have this problem, i was disappointed.Not to mention the fact that this problem has been brought up to Honda and they don't take responsibility for it. Everyone in my family drives Honda's, I guess Toyota would've been a better choice. They care about the safety of the drivers and quality of their product. Very disappointed with you Honda, I thought Honda was the better company. Looks as though i am wrong........ :/

- , White, Non-Hispanic, OH, USA

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