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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
119,665 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Jul 032016


  • 218,000 miles


The front subframe is getting rusty and I can see a lot of water draining from the ac system on it. I think it might fail and cause a major issue. My car is not rusty, it is in a great shape for the age. The only place that is rusted so bad is that area. Honda's bad design that makes the ac water drain plug dump into the subframe made that problem happen.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #27

Sep 012014


  • 19,000 miles
My vehicle is one of the 2 million+ Honda Accord with sub-frame rot, caused by the A/C drain hose. I have had it inspected through local mechanics during routine oil changes and they warn me it is unsafe to drive. I am worried the engine and/or transmission will eventually fall out. It is only rotted on the passenger side directly underneath the ac hose, driver side is fine.

- Mounds View, MN, USA

problem #25

Dec 112014


  • 190,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 3 mph, the ball joints became fractured. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate mileage was 190,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #24

Nov 262014


  • 192,000 miles
Heard clunking noise while turning. Figured it was a cv joint, took it to my very trusted mechanic. He confirmed the right joint was bad, and said that on the left joint, the boot was already off, and it is slinging grease everywhere. More disturbing, he also said that the front subframe is dangerously rusted out. He specifically mentioned that the "cradle", which holds up the front of the engine is almost completely rusted through. He said "you are one pot-hole away from total failure...the engine will fall to the ground. Do not drive it." I looked online and saw that there is a recall for the same make/model/year, but my car falls outside of the covered dates. My vehicle was made in Dec 1997, and the recall only goes through Aug 1997. Quite frankly, given that the failure mode is exactly what is covered by the recall, I believe my car should be included in the recall. While I recognize that the car is old, the frame of a 98 model Accord shouldn't corrode and break in half, potentially leading to catastrophic results.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #23

Nov 062014


  • 146,000 miles
Sub-frame is rusted out on the passenger side between the cv axle and tie rod.

- Alto, MI, USA

problem #22

Sep 212014


  • 137,000 miles


Coming home from work suspension broke car flew up landed on railing almost went over.

- Hineston, LA, USA

problem #21

Aug 222014


  • 161,000 miles
I took my 1998 Honda Accord ex 4cylinder V-tec to get new shocks, and struts which had 161,000 miles. My mechanic called to tell me that I needed a new subframe. I had heard a tire squeal when I made right turns, and I have brand new Firestone tires so I knew it wasn't the tires. So I went to the shop to look at the car myself, and sure enough up under the passenger side of the car was rusted out as if the car wasn't maintained properly, which isn't the case. I keep my car regularly serviced, and when the "check engine light" comes on the issue is always addressed, and fixed. I don't think that it's fair as a consumer to take care of something that's just going to fall apart in turn. Come on Honda, bite the bullet and reimburse us consumers who've had to have this expensive problem taken care of.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #20

Aug 082013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 238,000 miles
Failed clear coat and faded paint were the first problems to occur with my silver Honda Accord. Next was the gas tank leak, where fumes and leaked gas could be smelled and seen on the ground when filling the tank more than half full. Finally my passenger side front subframe rear cross member rusted thru and now the car isn't safe to drive and won't pass inspection without major repairs to the frame. None of the rest of the under body is rusted, just that section. Not happy!

- Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 292014

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
Upon routine brake inspection vehicle was deemed unsafe to drive due to passenger sub frame that has cracked due to rust. Sub frame is cracked in multiple places.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #18

Jul 162014


  • 173,000 miles


Upon servicing front brakes, safety inspection revealed accelerated corrosion off the passenger side sub frame component. The driver side is solid and intact. Deemed unsafe for highway use.

- Amherst, OH, USA

problem #17

Jul 012014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 333,233 miles
I have a 1998 Honda Accord when I call Honda to let them know my car is stalling while driving they tell me this is not a covered recall on my certain car for my VIN also the lower ball joints are not covered but they have a recall for the parts on line for other 1998 cars but it is crazy neither of these items are covered on my car.

- Lebanon , TN, USA

problem #16

Nov 092007

Accord 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
I had car accident and two days after I had picked up car from body shop I notice that a a noise. I called the insurance and the rep. Said to take car back to shop. I did and from what the insurance and we're told the car just needed an alingment., I remember hearing a loud heavy sound on left front end of car on passenger side and all of the sudden the car looses control. I rememberd the vehicle was on its roof I, felt arm getting burn by fire. It seemed that the roof of vehicle was not protected.and did not server it purpose. My speed was about 25 30 mph. The left front side and wheel were sticking out from body frame of car. The same side where shop had made, repairs and the arm axel had been replaced just few days before per insurance request. The insurance had used and after market in invoice. If we check all of the parts the car had put in and the extend of the damage and the wheel not align with body of car along with the loud sound and jolt I felt could only show the neglect and the lack of safety.

- Corona Ca, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 092013


  • 98,753 miles
After hearing and feeling a cracking sound and then inspecting under the car, I noticed that the subframe of the car was rusted thru and a visible separation of the subframe. The point of the rust thru is at the passenger side rear corner of the vehicle's subframe. The car is at the mechanic's being repaired, he stated the cause is the drain hose for condensation from the ac at that location. This car has been an excellent vehicle throughout. This rust thru of the subframe could have caused a accident.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 292013


  • 161,000 miles
Took 1998 Honda Accord to mechanic for check on bumping noise in passenger front tire area. Told that the subframe rusted and rotted out. Mechanic said it is because the ac drain hose is leaking onto passenger front subframe. Must replace subframe. Mechanic said it is very dangerous.

- West Pittston, PA, USA

problem #13

Jul 182013


  • 155,000 miles
A clunking noise was noticed while driving. The vehicle was taken in for service and it was advised that the passenger's side sub frame was rusted. The private mechanic stated that the entire sub frame needed to be replaced and that the vehicle was not safe to be driven. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure.

- Carrboro, NC, USA

problem #12

Jun 222013


  • miles
Rusted sub-frame assembly, right front passenger side resulted from A/C drippings.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #11

Jun 022013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 49,765 miles
Was driving vehicle (1998 Accord LX 4 cylinder) when a loud thump was heard from the front passenger side suspension. Put the vehicle up on ramps to inspect and the front subframe on the right side holding the sway bar was completely separated and rotted/rusted out. Prior visual inspection never showed the issue as the rusting was taking place from on top of the subframe. After some quick research this issue is a design flaw where the ac condenser empties directly above the subframe causing premature failure of the subframe. The vehicle only has 49,765 miles on it and the frame should not be failing in this magnitude.

- Middlefield, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 142011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
The Accord models from 1998 to 2002 have been having a crucial rust problem. The sub- frame has been rotting out due to a misplaced air conditioning condensation drain. Honda claims that there are not enough complaints out this problem and that is coincidence that there are a rust problem. Here's the deal, all these cars have a major rust problem on the foundation of the car. Honda also, claimed that the A/C drain was not the problem for it. Well then tell me why all these cars have this problem only on the passengers side of the vehicle directly under the A/C drain. Honda needs to recalls this model because if that structure breaks on the road the passenger side wheel could come off or the rack of the power-steering could split and cause the driver to lose control of their car. Not to mention the engine could drop out the bottom or even more devastating things that could hurt people!"V=bcqzuddas-G"V=eefxsqpr0pq

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 012013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Right passenger side subframe crossmember has suffered sever corrosion due to poor A/C drain valve location. Damage is extensive into the lower control arm housing, and car has been deemed as unsafe to drive.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

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