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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,967 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 #33

Feb 172011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 134,043 miles


The engine fails while driving for no apparent reason. The car is running fine, then at different speeds, the engine fails. All braking and power functions fail. This occurs at different times and dates. There does not seen to be any reason for it. The engine runs fine when it is re-started.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #32

Sep 172011

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
When I stop or slow down the car shuts off. I have no steering and no brakes and no hazard lights. Car shuts down while driving.

- Havana, FL, USA

problem #31

Jun 262009


  • 250,876 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled and the front suspension collapsed. As a result, the vehicle crashed into the ground. A police report was not filed, but the contact suffered injuries from the crash. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where the body damage and lower ball joints were repaired. The failure was not diagnosed. The failure mileage was 250,876.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #30

Mar 032011


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that after adding oil to the vehicle, he noticed oil leaking onto the ground and none appeared on the dipstick. The vehicle was taken to an local mechanic where the contact was advised that the oil seal had fractured from the vehicle. The mechanic replaced the front engine seals and all pumps seals with an upgraded seal retainer as well as the timing belts. The failure and current mileage was 150,000.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 102010


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving at 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and drove to the dealer. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer four times in regards to the failure yet the dealer was unable, each time, to duplicate the failure. There were no repairs. The failure and current mileages were 140,000.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #28

Jun 022010


  • 100,000 miles
Engine dies when driving at high speeds.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #27

May 102010


  • 90,000 miles


Honda Accord accelerator cable failure. I picked up my son from school. I started to drive away from the school and the accelerator pedal stopped responding. I steered the car back to the curb using the remaining momentum, stopping near the curb at an angle. I opened the engine hood to locate any loose cables going from the engine to the accelerator pedal. When I touched the accelerator cable, the metal cable was loose and fell out of the housing, revealing a broken frayed cable. I called a tow truck to deliver the car to a Honda dealer for repair.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #26

Mar 202010


  • 170,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord 4 door sedan L4 engine stalls and the engine dies while driving in traffic. I am very concerned about this issue as it relates to my safety and the safety of my family. The first time this event happened the car stalled then died. The check engine light came on. After I let the car sit for awhile I attempted to start the car. It took four times. I then sought service or repair. Four attempts have been made to correct this problem. None of which are successful.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #25

Dec 272009


  • 122,000 miles
While driving my 1998 Honda Accord, the engine suddenly shuts off. I was able to start the car immediately after it stopped. This has happened about five times in four months. The dealer replaced the electrical portion of the ignition switch and it happened again.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #24

Dec 092009


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving 63 mph the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle slowed down to 30 mph on the highway. The decrease in speed almost caused a crash. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by a dealer. The contact is concerned about the safety risk. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 119,000.

- Circleville, OH, USA

problem #23

Jun 282008


  • 73,000 miles


1998 Honda Accord kept shutting off while driving. The car stopped on a back road around a turn and completely stalled. Then when driving the car to a dealership it shut off while driving on interstate.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #22

Oct 222007


  • 150,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord LX is randomly turning off while I am stopped, or while I am driving. It never occurs at any certain time or speed. I have many things replaced in the car and nothing has fixed it. I had a recall done on the ignition switch and it still did it. I talked with a service representative at a Honda dealership and he told me that the main relay system are notorious for going out, so I took a chance since it was only 65 dollars and replaced it and it appears the problem has been fixed. I had read on many forums from tons of people who have had the same problem and no one can figure it out. This is a huge safety concern because my car could be driving along the freeway going 65 and it would just shut off for no reason. Sometimes it would not start back up and I had to force my car on the side of the road. This could cause a serious wreck which could lead to fatalities if it was during rush hour.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #21

May 162008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord has been having the same problem for the past three years. In hot weather, during the summer months, my car will either not start at all, start and then immediately shut off, or shut off while driving. This problem has continued to worsen over the past three years to the point I am afraid to drive my Honda. I have taken it to numerous mechanics, including an authorized Honda dealer, and no one has been able to fix this issue. The Honda dealer replaced the battery and the starter, which has not fixed the problem. I do not have any of the old parts that were replaced. This problem occurs in hot or warm weather. It will happen a couple of times a week, and then won't again for a couple of weeks. I am fearful of the consequences enough that I am not driving my car because I have no way of knowing when or where my car will random shut off. My car has shut off while driving on a busy road, and men in other cars had to push my car across heavy traffic to get it off of the road. After a few minutes of rest, my car started again. I am also afraid of what would happen if my car shut off while driving on the interstate. I am not sure what to do at this point because authorized mechanics have not been able to solve this issue.

- Brentwood, TN, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Mar 192008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,500 miles
Engine stalls without warning. Engine stalls immediately after starting despite multiple attempts to start. Problems are random and occur both in traffic and when parked. Problem started mid-2007 with momentary loss of engine power (<1 sec) combined with loss of power to instrument cluster. Problem is much worse now. Engine now stalls and does not restart for 2-3 minutes which is very dangerous in traffic. Incident date is the latest date.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #18

Jan 142008

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 198,000 miles
The contact's husband owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle completely shut down. There was a total loss of steering and brakes. Occasionally, the vehicle would restart itself and other times, the contact would have to pull over and restart it manually. The service engine light illuminated in December of 2007 and then dimmed. There was no code to pinpoint the failure. The contact took the vehicle to two auto shops, but neither could duplicate the failure. The purchase date and powertrain were unknown. The current mileage was approximately 200,000 and failure mileage was approximately 198,000.

- Henderson, NC, USA

problem #17

Mar 192007

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
- the contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord, and stated that while driving on the highway or in the city the vehicle sometimes lost power. Neither the weather nor the speed were a factor at the time of the failure. The first failure was at 90,000 miles, and has experienced the failure sometimes twice a day. The vehicle experience the failure around 5-15 times a month. Before any of the incidents there has been no prior indication. The contact took vehiclet to the dealer, and they stated that they could not diagnose any failure in the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that next time the contact had the same failure to have the vehicle towed to the dealership after it stalled.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #16

Oct 022005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact stated the vehicle will cut out while driving or at a stop. A recall for the ignition switch was issued, but the dealership could not determine what was wrong with the vehicle. Also, this vehicle was not included in the recall due to VIN. This has been happening for one to two months. She stated it happened almost on a daily basis. The vehicle will start after sitting for a couple of minutes.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #15

Apr 202005

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
I have owned this car for two years and have had two axles replaced, as well as rotors and breaks replaced twice. The brakes wear, the rotors had to be replaced, the horn does not function properly when pushed. Recently I went to get an inspection sticker and failed because of the emissions part. My check engine light does not work because a bulb is malfunctioning which means there is no sensor, my three way catalytic converter needs to be replaced and there is supposedly a problem with my fuel tank evaporative emission valve. Recently my car has shut off while I was in drive and continued to roll. It has also turned off while I was driving up a hill and would not start for ten minutes. I have invested almost 1500 dollars in repairs for this car and I would like Honda to repair and hopefully reimburse me for past repairs.

- Braintree, MA, USA

problem #14

Nov 262004


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Consumer is having problems with starting his car. When taken to get serviced, they could not determine the problem.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

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