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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,683 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Aug 222010


  • 66,500 miles


The engine stalls without warning when going at slow speeds.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 012009


  • 208,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly shut off while she was driving at approximately 15 mph and occurred several other times. The lights flashed on the instrument panel before the failure. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after more than one attempt and continued to drive. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the egr valve needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was approximately 208,000. The current mileage was approximately 213,000.

- Portland , OR, USA

problem #21

Jan 082010


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. Whenever the contact drove the vehicle at any speed the engine would suddenly stall without warning. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and the contact noticed prior that the check engine light had appeared on the dashboard before the stalling begun. The current and failure mileages were 145000.

- Howe, IN, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Jun 192008


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The vehicle will completely shut off regardless if it is accelerating, decelerating, or at a stop. The failure occurs everytime the vehicle is driven at various speeds. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle prior to the failure. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current mileage was 106,000 and failure mileage was 104,000.

- Watervliet, NY, USA

problem #18

Jun 122006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the engine light was illuminated, but eventually dimmed. The service dealer stated that they would charge her just to inspect the vehicle. The dealer advised her to return when the failure recurred. The engine light illuminated again one year later. The contact returned to the service dealer who stated that the vehicle was only guaranteed for 80,000 miles. The codes issued by the maintenance technician regarding the failure were P0420, P0505, and P1456. The purchase date and powertrain were unknown. The current mileage is 97,596 and failure mileage was 80,000.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 102006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,200 miles


The "check engine" light lit up on a Sunday, but the service dealer who looked at the car on Monday could not determine why. A diagnostic device indicated a problem around the carburetor so the technician turned off the "check engine" light and I was told to drive around for awhile and see what happened. The vehicle suddenly started to overheat while driving within the city. There had been no problems before this incident and all regular maintenance was done on the vehicle. When the car overheated, it could not even be driven for a mile without stopping to let it cool down. This would've been a serious problem if it had occurred on the highway because there was no warning and the vehicle was immediately incapacitated. The service dealer determined that the engine block had cracked and the only remedy was to replace the engine. The car only had 63,000 miles on it, but the cost of a rebuilt engine (with 120,000 miles on it) was almost as much as the blue book value. Suddenly, our car was worthless when we expected it to last for several more years. The dealership saw no reason to provide any compensation. An employee at the dealership bought the car for $1000 for parts.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #16

Feb 122006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles
I have taken my 1998 Honda Accord LX to the dealership to have my oil changed. (my check engine light was on) I was told by the dealer that my engine was leaking oil, oil had leaked through out the cars entire system so they flushed out as much oil as they could. I was skeptical so I went to get a 2nd and third opinion and it was the same consensus- I needed a new engine. My vehicle has 134,000 miles. For a used engine it will cost about 3,000 for a new engine $5,000. I was told to that I either had to replace the engine or purchase a new car. Since the system was drained, the car has leaked oil again this time the oil was all over the drive way and it is almost April.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Mar 162006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at various speeds the engine stalls without warning and intermittently the vehicle does not start. There is a NHTSA recall, # 02V120000 regarding the electrical system: Ignition: Switch. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. The dealership has been alerted. The interlock switch has been replaced due to bulletin #03-088 however; this did not correct the problem.

- Dana Point, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 232004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving the vehicle lost power without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop. Upon inspection the mechanic determined the harmonic balancer bolt and key way had came loose. The bolt, pulley, key way and two power belts were replaced. The problem has not reoccurred.

- Bridgeport, PA, USA

problem #13

Feb 162005

(reported on)


  • miles


Catalytic converter and the fuel injector replaced on 1998 Honda Accord. Although each component was replaced the check engine light remained on. The technician indicated that the problem was probably with a sensor.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

Jun 022003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 73,000 miles
Check engine light stays on. Had car checked, work completed, light stays on.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #11

May 022003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Check engine light on my dash.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012003


  • miles
I own a 1998 Honda Accord. The check engine light is always on. I have tried the gas cap trick but it no longer works. There is an entire website of people having the same problem. Let me know if you want the address.

- Sussex, WI, USA

problem #9

Apr 102003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 125,000 miles
Consistant problem with the "check engine light" in my 1998 Honda Accord. Have been to three different dealers, and all three have a different diagnosis (all over $500). I went to an independent mechanic, and he told me that he couldn't find anything wrong with it, and that I should just ignore the light. But now my car won't pass New Jersey inspection with the check engine light on. I have found hundreds of Accord owners with similar problems on the internet ( and I now realize this is a huge problem that Honda won't acknowledge.

- Stewartsville, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jul 032003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
98 Honda Accord with a check engine light caused by a clogged egr valve: I've had multiple occurrences. This is a well known design problem for Honda for 10+ years.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 152003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord "check engine light" has been on for over a year. There are scores of other Accord owners that I have found on the internet with the same problem. Honda should do something to fix this. It can be distracting driving at night with this light on.

- Joplin, MO, USA

problem #6

Feb 182003


  • miles
The engine light illuminated and stayed on the entire time the vehicle was being driven.

- Rex, GA, USA

problem #5

Aug 112002


  • miles
While driving at any speed and with no warning vehicle will shut off, causing consumer to pull will be hard to get vehicle to start notified.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #4

Nov 061997


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Rear engine motor mount failed.

- Los Angele, CA, USA

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