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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,652 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Honda Accord drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Apr 302016


  • miles


This is exactly what happened to our car please see below from the other Honda owner's description: At 100,000 miles my 1998 Honda Accord began jerking and bucking when shifting from first to second gear and also when accelerating in higher gear. I was almost killed by a semi truck behind me when the car bucked and decelerated rapidly. These are dangerous cars! the check engine light came on and in the lower gears the car would go into "limp mode" and I would have to pull off the road and restart the engine in order to drive it. I took the car to a very reputable mechanic and he diagnosed a complete failure of the transmission and told me this was a known issue with this year and model of Honda. To replace the transmission would cost $3,400. After researching I have come to learn that it is a manufacturing defect in the transmission that Honda has been aware of and has done nothing to rectify. I contacted Honda and was told that they "sympathize with the problem I had but because they have no recalls or alerts in their system" there was nothing they would do to help. There have been hundreds of complaints about transmission failure in 1998 Honda Accord and in my case it almost cost me my life. If you have a similar problem, please report it to the national highway safety administration.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #25

Jun 142015


  • 266,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the vehicle jerked and stalled. In addition, the vehicle failed to shift out of reverse and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 266,000.

- Darby, PA, USA

problem #24

Jun 142015


  • 266,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle automatically decelerated to 25 mph. The contact was unable to shift the gear into reverse and the vehicle jerked while driving. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 266,000.

- Darby, PA, USA

problem #23

Nov 022012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


This is my second Honda I owned and I have been dealing with my second Honda's transmission problem for a about 6 months now. I first noticed a slipping and a delay in speed when I started to drive it. At first I thought it was a fuel pump issue but then it started to slip more severely to the point I almost wrecked trying to make a left hand turn into oncoming traffic. I have several incidents where this car has almost caused an accident. I have taken it to a mechanic, check engine light was on. He said it was a shift solenoid, $365 dollars later just for the part alone, no fix. The same slipping and jerking continued. I have looked for a good price for a transmission and it cost about $1,800> to get a the transmission installed with labor. A price that I am not willing to pay. I feel Honda is responsible for this faulty car. So many of the same complaints is not a coincidence its a fact. Honda get it together or you will lose many loyal customers!!

- Glendale , AZ, USA

problem #22

Jun 132012


  • 114,000 miles
On the date specified above up to the current date 11/14/2012 I [xxx]have had this 1998 Honda Accord ex for less than a year and I have had problems out of this car's take off speed. To further explain the car struggles to take off, and when it does and tries to shift, the shifting is either delayed, and or the vehicle shifts very rough. It is almost as thought the vehicle is leaping forward. There are even times when I try to take off after stopping in traffic, the car behaves as though it is in neutral when trying to shift from first gear to second gear. My engine light did not come on until later indicating that there was a malfunction somewhere. I pulled out my code reader and hooked it to the obd outlet on my car and it indicated, low torque shift solenoid circuit. I checked the internet to see if any other Honda owners had this same issue with their Honda Accord, and it appears that I am not alone with having the same symptoms. It also appears that Honda has had these problems with the craftsmanship of their transmissions on the Accord from year models 1998-2002. However, so far from what I have researched on the web their has been no accidents or fires reported yet. I am urging the NHTSA or to immediately investigate this issue. This is a safety issue that I believe needs to be addressed. Although my car is a 1998 model, their have been customers whom have had their vehicles have transmission failures with mileage as low as 56000. This type of mileage of 56000-117000 miles for a transmission to fail is not normal. Especially if the vehicle has been very well maintained, with maintenance records to back it up to date. Anyway, please investigate before someone gets seriously hurt or even killed. I don't want anyone or Honda to suffer like Firestone tires did a few years ago. Come on Honda, fix your product that you have been standing behind. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lufkin, TX, USA

problem #21

Apr 142011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 215,000 miles
I bought the car from a dealership. And it was ok at first than check engines light came on and I got it checked out long story short the dealer replaced it. But I messed up my wrist bc of the jerk from the vehicle. And now a year and a half later my torque converter goes out again at 245,000 miles which means your transmission is out too. I been all over the web why hasn't NHTSA made Honda recall their transmission when its effecting so many people. I'm now about to be out of a job, and home. I'm begging NHTSA do something about this 2000-2003 weren't the only year to have a defective transmission problem 1999 are to. I think there is no better proof than research. If U google transmission problem Honda Accord/Odyssey 1998-2002 have bad issues with the torque converter code P0740. Please resolve this issue transmission shouldn't go out after 50,000 miles. Safety wise: This past week I almost hit to semi truck bc it jerked forward I could've died. And being on the highway N the middle is a dangerous situation when it you and your family. Another issue is that people wanted to know the issues with the car they are buying carfax only stats recall. I prefer a recall like a thousands of other people but if you can't, at least make Honda come up with a better solution a better transmission have them add a transmission filter.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 152012


  • 91,150 miles


1998 Honda Accord complete automatic transmission failure at 91,150 miles. Incident below resulted in near collision when my vehicle pulled out to merge into traffic and vehicle would not accelerate more than approximately 15 mph. Other vehicle had to slam on brakes to avoid side collision. I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX, 4- door, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission. At approximately 91,000 miles, I noticed that the automatic transmission started to "slip" shifting from first gear into second gear, especially right after the vehicle was just started. This issue would get worse under medium to heavy acceleration. Having had another 1997 Honda Accord LX, 2 door, automatic transmission, that failed at 66,000 miles, I suspected that the transmission was failing on this 1998 Honda Accord LX. The vehicle was taken to cottman transmission for evaluation, and the technician test drove the vehicle immediately after starting up the vehicle in the morning. The technician confirmed the severe "slippage" from first into second gear and ran diagnostic tests on all the electric components, including automatic transmission solenoids. Upon completion and additional examination of the problem, the technician stated that the automatic transmission was failing, and required a total rebuild. Once the Honda Accord automatic transmission was removed from the Honda Accord and taken apart, it was noted that the internal metal filter was plugged with metal savings, the clutch bands were burned, and an internal electric switch was defective. Expect no help and/or compensation from Honda corporation as pursing that route has been futile. It would seem that Honda corporation had been over confident in the sale of Honda in the United States, that the "quality" of their product now suffers.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #19

Mar 062012


  • 100,000 miles
At the approx miles stated above, my Honda Accord began to struggle shifting from first to second gear. It was as though the car was losing power. Also at times the car not only struggle to get into first gear but when it shifted it would shift rough, and the car would plunge or gallop forward. I researched several websites and blogs just to see if any one else had experienced this same problem. As it turns out everyone has experienced the problem on the Honda Accord 1998-2002 models. So since this was not just me, I contacted Honda headquarters about this issue to see if they would be or had issued a recall on this vehicle regarding the transmission. They stated they had not, however, I feel they need to because this is a hazard, and a major problem. When the car struggles to get into first gear while trying to get into traffic, the car can lose power, which can possibly cause someone to loose control of the vehicle. And as a consequence an accident may occur, resulting in serious injury or death. I ask that the NHTSA please immediately look into this issue. I have read blogs and complaints all over the web regarding Honda and this problem with the Honda Accord transmission solenoid, dating back as far as 1990-2002. Honda apparently has know about this problem, and has failed to be courteous about fixing it. Although my car is old, I still feel Honda should be held liable for a faulty part on the transmission. To continue where I left off with Honda, I have talked to them 4 different times and in different months regarding this issue, it seems they are not interested in correcting it, unless they are forced to do so. The lady over the phone did not even offer any type of compensation for the repair. So now it seems it is all up to me as the consumer. NHTSA, again, please look into this immediately.

- Lufkin, TX, USA

problem #18

Aug 032011


  • 128,823 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the transmission slipped and the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 128,823 and the current mileage was 132,000.

- Medley, FL, USA

problem #17

Dec 312001

Accord 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Transmission started to slip at 18000 miles gradually got worse, Honda and dealer refused to fix.

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #16

Nov 012010


  • 150,000 miles


TL- the contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall intermittently without warning. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure and the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000 and the current mileage was 170,000. The VIN was unavailable. Kmj

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #15

Sep 152002

Accord 4-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 20 mph, the contact noticed an excessive vibration in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. After the repair the failure continued. The transmission was replaced seven times to no avail. The approximate failure mileage was 149,000. Updated 11/22/11 updated 06/13/2012

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #14

Dec 102008


  • 139,000 miles
Second and third gears are defective in my 1998 automatic transmission Accord, everytime I have a problem when I stop then move at a stop light.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #13

Dec 012006


  • 72,716 miles
1998 Honda Accord with transmission problems customer states that she wants a response* the consumer stated that she was having problems with her vehicle so she took it to the dealer. When she took the car in, the dealer informed her that she needed her transmission rebuilt. The consumer stated it was a shock being as though the vehicle only had 72,714 miles on it. The vehicle was taken to the shop and the transmission was rebuilt for $2700. The consumer stated a couple of months later she was in fact having the same issues as before and returned to the vehicle for service. The consumer stated the dealer stated the problem could not be duplicated.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #12

Feb 012007

(reported on)

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
The consumer's 1998 Honda Accord V-6 developed transmission problems. The consumer found out that the 1999 and 2000 models were being repaired under a silent recall. The consumer would like to know why her vehicle is not being covered by Honda.

- 99999, DC, USA

problem #11

Jan 012003


  • miles
Nar 1/31/2003. The vehicle lurched forward while at a stop light with the brake applied and then hesitated when the consumer attempted to accelerate. The consumer was told a new transmission was needed.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #10

Aug 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
The clutch master cylinder on this vehicle is defective. When the vehicle is stopped, when the clutch is depressed and the car is placed in gear the clutch automatically engages and the car moves on its own. This can cause deadly consiquenses at a red light, school crossing, railroad crossing, the master cylinder fails with usage, one of the problem is Honda doesn't have the parts to fix it! so here we are with a 5 year old car w 70000 miles in it and the factory doesn"T have any parts.

- Grayson, GA, USA

problem #9

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,250 miles
The catalytic converter failed but was under some special extended warranty so I didn't have to pay a cent. But, it failed, and I am not pleased. The second problem which is my major complaint is that I am being told that I will have to replace my transmission on a car that only has 83K miles on it! Honda knows that this is a problem with 98 - 01 Accord models, but only extended the warranty to 00-01 models. I believe Honda should be force to do a recall! it is very dangerous to be driving in southern California I-5 with a car that doesn't shift properly. Please help all us 98-99 Honda Accord owners.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
My transmission went out (slipped in and out of gear lurching forward) at 81,000 miles even though I had maintained the car just as the manufacturer suggested at the Honda dealership. After seeing many of the exact same problems from other Honda owners of the V6 engine for years 1998-2002 on the internet, I confronted the dealer and asked them to contact american Honda. I got them to give me a new (reconditioned/rebuilt) transmission and it did not cost me anything. Unfortunately if the consumer is not informed and fairly direct, then you could end up paying what they wanted in the beginning which was $4,500 for a new transmission. From what I could tell on the internet, the best deal everyone else got was a transmission but they paid for the labor (around $500). I paid nothing, except being without a car for a week.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
I was backing up in a parking lot. My car suddenly started to accelerate. I pressed on the brakes, but they did not work. It was like I had no control over the car. The car finally stopped after I crashed through a fence and hit a tree.

- Logan, UT, USA

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