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:
105,936 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. drilled out intake manifold (1 reports)
  3. replace bad egr valve (1 reports)
1998 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #13

Feb 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,915 miles


We hear from mechanics that this problem is typical for the 1998 Honda Accord.

The car electrical system works fine but the light is always on. Sometimes on a very long drive it has gone off :)

So- all in all just annoying to look at. Always wondering if a real problem exists.

- , Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

problem #12

Oct 222004

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

My Check Engine Light has been coming on/off continuously since 2004. Around the same time, my Brake Light began coming on sporadically. One or the other is ALWAYS on. Sometimes, the Check Engine Light will go off when I do a fill-up, but rarely.

I've had both of these items "fixed" only to return moments after leaving the Honda dealership and paying for said "fix." Each time they've "fixed" it, they've given me some line about how nothing's shown up, but we went ahead and ...fill-in-the-blank. I can't honestly tell what they've said each time, because each time it changes. I don't think they know what the problem is and, rather than tell me that and not charge me to not "fix" it, they give me some bogus load of crap and charge me between $90-$95.

The biggest problem I have with these electrical flaws is that if there was a REAL problem with my engine or brake, I may simply choose to ignore it since I wouldn't know the real thing from just the perpetual nuisance I've had to stare at for nearly 6 years.

- , Fisherville, KY, US

problem #11

Dec 132004

Accord 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The check engine light has been on for 6 years. I have had it reset countless times. The honda dealer said that there was all kinds of things wrong with it. I took it to an independent mechanic to look at it for a second opinion and he said that there was NOTHING wrong with the car and that Honda makes those sensors so that they will come on and get people to come in and waste money without anyone being the wiser. The only time I go to a honda dealer is to change out recall parts.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #10

Mar 082010

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


My Honda Accord LX 1998 2.3L Engine Light has been on for few months, I've ignored it since it had started to lit. Sometimes during the driving the car I hear door locks relay get activated spontaneously while I am driving. Since last week it is acting up. It stalls while I am driving and today it quit while I was on the freeway. Kind of scary too. The speedometer dropped from 70mph to 0mph while the cars speed was coming down. It reached to about 40mph, then started again and I could accelerate to 60mph. Speedometer jumped from 0 ( false 0) to 40 as soon as problem went away.

I have no clue where this problem is coming from. Any help will be appreciated.

- , Beverly Hills, CA, US

problem #9

Oct 142004

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

I was driving on freeway and my alternator gave out. I had it replaced. After that point, the check engine light went on and it has never gone off. I have asked multiple mechanics to examine this problem including the dealer. The dealer said it was a catalytic converter issue. I suspect the bad transmission was the real problem which the dealer denied, they said they could not detect a problem (!!! the thing thuds like crazy !!!).

- , Big Oak Flat, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 192008

Accord LX 2.3L Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 193,000 miles

Look at the mileage of the car guys before saying anything(193000). I guess it is close to it mechanical limit if it is not above it. That was not what i wanted but some how I ended with such a high mileage car. Forgive me I am in Nigeria and in Africa. I need a solution if there is any. I am new to cars and this is my first car.

I noticed the check engine light few weeks back and it goes on anytime I turn on the engine. One morning I noticed that it had disappeared but the roof light was permanently switched on. I got that fixed by an independent mechanic(Nigeria). Few days later, the check light resurfaced and always comes on anytime the engine is turned on.

No mechanic seems to know the reason. They all advised me to to forget it

But 3 days ago my transmission began to jerk sometimes after pressing the accelerator pedal. I was told it was bad fuel because it started 5 minutes after filling my tank. It turned out not to be true

I am confused. what can I do to make the light go off? Could that be the cause of the jerky transmission?

- , Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria

problem #7

Dec 012004

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


The check engine light is on for 1998 Honda accord and I took it to dealer ( this is back in 2004) around 65k miles and he said some oil leaking blah blah.. and time to change other services charged me around $1500. Gave me the car back after a day. When I drove of the car from parking lot and the light is on again. So I went back to dealer and complained and the mechanic came and said it may be loose fuel cap. I said ok, but why did you charge around 700 for the service. Finally, they kept the car for another day and said BAD EGR volve and covered under warranty.

I have the same problem again for past 6months ( around 125 k miles) . The light going on /off . I thought its may be because of loose fuel cap. My emission test failed. Also observed trouble picking up acceleration after slowing down.

So I took to dealer again charged $1290 ( bad EGR valve, leaks and replace broken CV boots). I drove out from parking lot and observed still have the acceleration pick up issue. This time mechanic drove with me and said it may be transmission issue. He came back after inspection and change transmission fluid/flush($89.00) and engine is shaking - engine mounts need to be replaced( $570 front mount replacement) + (278 for side mount replacement) . I am still undecided what to do. Even though I see some engine shack up..I don't think its an issue with speed pick up. I decided to wait few more days do some more research and mean time My emission test need to pass ( I have to wait for a week before go to emission test again after the check engine light fix).

What can I say--- with all these problems...and color peel off from trunk and hood etc.. its really ugly. Now the question is Honda really that rugged and reliable car?

By the way I drove my friend 1998 Corola at 140k miles and it drove real smooth. May be time for change to Toyota.

- , Woburn, MA, USA

problem #6

Sep 012008

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

First off, this car is under 75,000 miles. City driven and regular maintenance ever 2500 miles. in ten years.

The check engine light started coming on around 25,000 miles about 4 years ago. Every visit to the dealer they would reset it and after about 6 months it would come back on again. They never offered an explanation. We just thought it was like a factory warning sign that said the car was due for regular maintenance.

The State of Illinois EPA is asking for the emissions after it failed once.

Now the car is ten years old and the warranty is expired. Maintenance is expensive so we opted to change the Catylitic converter for a universal one at a muffler shop and got new sensors and pulled the #13 fuse for 20 seconds. Still the check engine is coming back. The EPA here will automatically fail the car if the check engine light is on.

The car still has a million miles to go before it dies and the current condition is good to new.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 302007

(reported on)

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,258 miles

It happened 2 times before, and each time with an answer, "no problems found" and turned it off, $75, $80, now $85.

I could have turned it off by resetting the fuse #13.

- , Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #4

Mar 122007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

We had this car for just a short time , less than 50000 miles, when the engine light came on and it hasn't went off sense. We have tried to fix it with no luck. Also, the brake light on the dash comes on occ. for no apparrent reason.

- , Edmomton, KY, USA

problem #3

Feb 162007

(reported on)

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Despite multiple trips for diagnostics, the light continues to go on, and no problem can be found. Sometimes the light stays lit, and sometimes it flashes, but it won't stay off.

- , Greenville, SC, USA

problem #2

Jan 162007

(reported on)

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I purchased a used Honda Accord in June of 2006. The check engine light is on and it won't go off. Someone told me to remove my battery and then put it right back in and it would go off. I did and it went off for about a day. I've had my car put on machines so many times to see if my engine actually does need to be checked and there's nothing wrong with it. I guess it's a defect the honda manufacturer made.

- , Columbia, SC, USA

problem #1

Jan 252006

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 103,000 miles

The check engine light had a code for the egr. Silko Honda changed the cat, egr, o2 sensor returned the car. One day later the light was back on. It was a new code caused by sloppy work at the dealer

- , Tiv, RI, USA

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