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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
119,718 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Mar 182010


  • 160,580 miles


Honda Accord LX 1998.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #27

Oct 012009


  • 128,000 miles
1. I was driving normally at steady speed on an interstate highway. 2. the engine shut down and restarted then a short while later shut down. 3. the dealership is going to replace the ignition. I still have the old part. The same part has already been replaced once due to a recall by Honda.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #26

Jun 112009


  • 188,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord does not always start and stalls while driving. I called american Honda and they claimed, based on my VIN number, that the recall issued for this problem does not apply to my particular car. It makes no sense that I have this problem if, as Honda claims, this defect does not exist in my car.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #25

May 182009

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving at any speed, the vehicle suddenly shuts off. The vehicle is able to immediately restart after the failure occurs. The dealer could not duplicate the failure. The current and failure mileages were 124,000. Updated 10/20/09 updated 10/22/09.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #24

Jun 132009


  • 126,500 miles
Had the ignition switch replaced on our 1998 Honda Accord dx in 2002 via the NHTSA# 02V120000 recall at Honda dealer. Recently car stalled a few times and I discovered it was the ignition switch they replaced in 2002. I have since moved but called nearest Honda dealer 60 miles away and asked if they would replace it and they refused, stating I did not have the extended warranty on vehicle. I feel since the part was on safety recall and it failed again; I should be reimbursed for the $150 I had to spend locally to repair problem so the vehicle could be driven safely. I also have the defective part that was replaced. Thank you.

- Landaff, NH, USA

problem #23

Jun 122009


  • 111,120 miles
A week ago the lights on my dash flashed on and off several times as I was driving at 60 mpg. I did not lose power, and the car ran fine for a week. Tonight, the car lost power as I was driving, thankfully only at 35 mph. I restarted it and I got home safely. I was told it may be the ignition system, and as I was investigating on the internet, my situation was very similar to others mentioned in the articles.

- Louisville, CO, USA

problem #22

May 182002


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number 02V120000 (electrical system:ignition:switch); however, the vehicle continues to stall without warning. The dealer stated that nothing could be done to repair the vehicle a second time. The failure mileage was 40,000 and current mileage was 80,000.

- Morgan View, NJ, USA

problem #21

Sep 132008


  • 170,000 miles
I drive a 98 Honda Accord sedan. The engine and the whole electrical system died on me while I was driving on I-75. There was sudden loss of power, no hydraulic brakes, no power steering, no head lights, it was so scary. It was very difficult to stop the car and get the car to shoulder. This happened to me twice.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #20

Mar 212009


  • 201,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord quit running in an intersection, on interstate, and other dangerous situations. Would start back up seconds after it quit running. Faulty ignition switch found to be cause. Started occurring over the last year very infrequently then more frequently.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 292008


  • 135,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord had the ignition switch recall performed with the recall came out. In November 2008, I started to notice starting issues. The dash light would flicker. After trying a couple of times the car would start. The car ran fine until around January 2009 when the car engine shut down without warning while stopping at a traffic light while driving home from work. The car was able to start back up immediately. One day while driving on the interstate in Feb. 2009, the engine RPM started dropping and I could not accelerate to get more speed. I pulled into the emergency lane and stopped the car while the car was still on and in drive position. Once I stopped, I could accelerate again. Another time the dash lights flicker when I tried to start the car. The car did not start until after a couple of tries. Each time, these problems occurred, I check if it was related to a certain condition (weather, temperature, etc). The problems happened randomly. After reading various complaints on this site and other sites, I started to try to reproduce the dash board flickering just by turning the car on but not starting the engine. I was able to reproduce the flickering by slowly turning the key toward the off position. I talked to Honda headquarters and they told me the recall was already accomplished and the my car was out of warranty and they can not do anything about it. My car now 142250 miles. I talked with the dealership that I had the recall done and they said they could not do anything about it. I talked with another dealership where I get my maintenance done now. They said that it would be $100 to run a diagnostic on the car. I told them what would guarantee me that the problem would be found if the car was running fine at the time. I will be replacing the ignition switch on I figure out how to get to the wiring since Honda will help with this issues. This switch is putting me in unsafe situations when driving.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #18

Jan 132009


  • 148,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving 10 mph in local traffic, the vehicle shut off several times. The contact took the vehicle to a repair shop and they stated that the ignition switch was failing. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers 02V120000 or 03V423000 (electrical system: Ignition: Switch). The contact stated that he will purchase the switch and replace it himself. The current and failure mileages were 148,000.

- Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

problem #17

Mar 102002


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving less than 75 mph, the vehicle stalled. All of the instrument panel indicators illuminated. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after several attempts. The dealer replaced the ignition switch the following day according to NHTSA campaign id number 02V120000 (electrical system:ignition:switch). On a separate occasion, the vehicle stalled again. The dealer replaced the battery and the positive coil at the cost of $300 and stated that the failure should not recur. The vehicle stalled again and the dealer could not duplicate the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 44,000 and current mileage was less than 145,000.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #16

Dec 202008


  • 150,688 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving 70 mph, the contact smelled a strong odor of gasoline. The vehicle stalled and then automatically restarted. The dealer stated that because the vehicle was previously repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number 03V423000 (electrical system:ignition:switch) in 2004, they would not assume financial responsibility for any additional repairs. The manufacturer did not assist. The failure and current mileages were 150,688.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #15

Nov 052008


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The vehicle was almost in a crash due to the vehicle shutting off on a six-lane highway. The dealer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers 03V423000 or 02V120000 (electrical system:ignition:switch). In November of 2008, while driving approximately 55 mph on the road, the entire dashboard flickered off and the vehicle completely shut off for approximately one second before restarting. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in any relevant recalls. The current mileage was approximately 145,000 and failure mileage was approximately 140,000.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #14

Sep 112008


  • 142,000 miles
The vehicle is cutting off while driving whether you are at a traffic light or driving at various speeds. This has not caused an accident yet but it is only a matter of time before it causes one. As I looked on the web I see where there are several other complaints about this issue.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #13

May 312008


  • 151,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving between 45-50 mph, the vehicle would shut off on its own. The key switch would blink on and off seconds before the vehicle would shut off. The dealer stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 02V120000 (electrical system:ignition:switch). The dealer stated that the ignition needed to be replaced at the cost of $250. The failure mileage was 151,000 and current mileage was 154,000.

- Spartanburg, NC, USA

problem #12

Mar 152008


  • miles
Subject: 1998 Honda Accord 117,000 miles. Events that led to complaint: Vehicle engine and all electrical completely shuts down leaving no control over vehicle: No lights, no brakes, no steering, no signals, no check engine light. A sudden and complete loss of vehicle control with 2-3 kids in car and 2 adults. We went on line for recall notices and found the following: Compliant: Recall # 02V120000, May 16th, 2002' & 03V423000 Oct 27,2003' "ignition switch contacts worn out causing the engine to stall with out warning". "catastrophic failure!" Honda of oxnard replaced part back on May 2002' with same faulty part. Registered compliant 4/3/08 without resolution with Honda America and Honda of oxnard dch: Honda America case # N012008-04-0200208 - senior regional case manager:jamahl brown 1-800-999-1009 X118263. Jamahl asked that we take the subject car in to dch Honda of oxnard for diagnostic to confirm failure. Failure was confirmed by clint stremcha-service tech, rose siela - service manager, to be the "ignition switch"! same as recalled part. I brought the results back to jamahl brown at Honda America and he said he would not perform any good will because of age of vehicle. I stated to him that this car was still on the round transporting kids to and from school daily. A catastrophic failure of this magnitude could cause great bodily injury or death. He replied that is my problem and that I need to keep the vehicle serviced. I further explained this part is not a serviceable part like brakes and oil are. I also said I have a Honda that has 200,000 miles that is still on the road without incident. I asked him why did he ask me to take the car to Honda to it get diagnosed to confirm the failed part? with out answering the question he said he would stand by his decision not offer me any financial support or solution to this failure. End of explanation.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 192007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 180,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord ex 4-door: Horn functions intermittently. While driving straight ahead (normal highway driving), horn usually does not work. Isolated the malfunction and found that the steering shaft is only intermittently grounded, and the horn requires that ground in order to function. The horn (and the steering shaft ground) operates perfectly when the key is removed from the ignition switch. It appears that something in the ignition switch is causing the loss of ground. This year and model vehicle has already had two different recalls for different problems with the ignition switch. I know of at least 2 other people with identical symptoms, and one of them has already had an accident that would have been avoided with a working horn. As far as I know, this vehicle has never been in an accident. The failure has not been repaired as of yet.

- Spiro, OK, USA

problem #10

May 122007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,549 miles
98 Honda Accord, car went dead while driving 30 mph, coasted into lot and restarted. Ran fine. 2 weeks later car went dead while traveling 60 mph, turned key while driving, car restarted, kept driving. Car has been in for earlier, 2003 or 2004, ignition recall. Do not know if replaced. Now at dealer, who stated they could not find find anything. Very dangerous. Has this issue been fixed?

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #9

Aug 052006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The car is a 1998 Honda Accord LX V-6 coupe w/ auto trans. And now has 65700 miles on it. While driving at low speeds the engine sometimes died. When this happened the steering became difficult and the brakes did not function well. Most times after the car came to a complete stop I was able to restart it. Other times when I tried to start the car, it would start and then immediately die. I would have to wait 2- 4 hours to start. At still other times trying to start it, it would just crank on the starter motor and not start at all. Sometimes I would have to wait overnight to successfully start the car. These problems have been occurring since 2003, but with increasing frequency in the past 2 months. I have taken it to two different Honda dealers. The first merely sprayed carp cleaner into the throttle body. The second kept the car for three days and replaced the main relay. Last year, I had to have the alternator, which seized up replaced.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

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