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:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,660 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 5 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #124

Mar 032004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,300 miles


Bearings in automatic transmission failed and needed to be replaced. Transmission has to be removed and taken apart to replace the bearings. Repair cost was $1113. Car has only 61,000 miles and is maintained regularly.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #123

Jul 312003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
The car makes a bumping noise when backing up, it also slams into first gear when the car is cold.

- Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #122

Feb 212004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,103 miles
Join the club, I have a 1998 Accord with 120,000 and the transmission failed on the freeway. I was almost ran over by a tractor trailer. This car has had a clunky transmission since 80,000 miles and I would get the transmission serviced and it wouldn't help. I am still making payments on this car and the transmission is dead. I thought this was supposed to be a Honda" I thought Honda's were reliable? american Honda will not help, the dealer will not help so basically I'm screwed. Used transmission replacement estimates are $1700-2500. This is terrible, why is there not a recall" someone really needs to do something about this before someone gets killed. I almost did. Honda knows something is wrong. This is even listed on that this car has a bad transmission. I am going to fix it and sell it and go back to Toyota, I will never ever buy another Honda again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #121

Mar 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


Purchased vehicle in new 1998 and have maintained a perfect service and maintenance record with dealership. Transmission has failed at 70,000 miles and needs to be replaced. I have discovered over 100 similar cases involving transmission failure on the 1998 Honda Accord on this site.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #120

Feb 232004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord ex-V6 needs new transmission, 108,000 miles - problem since 86,000. Seems that quite a few consumers have the same issue with this model; however, american Honda has ignored the complaints of 1998-1999 owners with transmission problems. Fortunately, for the 2000-2001 owners got a recall. The problem with the transmission is the same in the 1998-1999 models. It's not fair that we have to pay for this ourselves when there is an obvious problem (look at the number of complaints). Also, Honda never sent me any recall or service notices for other problems such as the fuel float, egr problem, or this transmission problem. This is my second Honda - first I owned for 17 years, and now this? I am very upset.

- Tujunga, CA, USA

problem #119

Feb 262004


  • miles
While shifting gears vehicle will not move. A loud noise was heard coming from underneath the vehicle. Consumer drove the vehicle to dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that transmission needed to be replaced due to worn out parts.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #118

Feb 182004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


As reported by many other consumers, my Accord is experiencing hard shifting or jerking in the lower gears (slipping). When the car is warmed up, it's not as bad.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #117

Nov 242002

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
The transmission failed in my 1998 Honda Accord at about 54,000 miles in November, 2002. I previously reported this to your Agency. Honda has only paid for approximately half of the cost of the new transmission which was installed by aamco. My question is whether the NHTSA is going to issue a safety recall on the 1998 Honda Accord transmission. My review of your database today indicates over 100 instances of transmission failures on this model Honda Accord. Isn't that sufficient to generate an investigation by your Agency and a safety recall? please advise as to your intended action in this matter. Thank you tarynn yokomizo

- West Windsor, NJ, USA

problem #116

Feb 022004

Accord 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord with 61000 miles on its automatic transmission has joined the growing population of Accord with failed carrier bearings in the final drive (transmission). I have had all of my service work done at the service shop where my son is employed as a mechanic. Thus when I discovered the transmission fluid leak I took the car in to my mechanic for what I thought would be a seal replacement, only to be hit with the horrific news that it is going to cost me $2500-$3000 to fix the failed carrier bearings in the final drive! I've called the dealership that I purchased the car from (klein Honda in everett wa.) and was told by trevor in the service department that they are experiencing this problem with the V-6 engines, but not the 4 cylinders (mine). When I asked him to help me this the expense he recommended that I contact Honda customer care and wished me luck since I hadn't had any of my services conducted with a dealership. All of this took place within the last week, so my call to Honda customer care will occur on 2/9/04. If I don't get anywhere with them I do plan on turning this in to the better business bureau and everyplace else I can find to lodge complaints with. With the research I have done over the internet I have found that this a common problem that needs to be recognized by a Honda recall action!

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #115

Jan 292004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We took my 1998 Accord ex in for regular service (90,000 miles) and to have the interlock switch recall done. When we picked up the car, the dealer told us the transmission was leaking and needed to be replaced. I've never had a problem with the transmission - no leaks in the garage, no strange shifting problems. We declined the service, but the dealer called and said our re-manufactured trans was in and since I had the extended warranty would be replaced at no charge (incl. Rental car). I was suspicious that they would order the part and push the issue so strongly, so I did some research. On I found that others had been having transmission problems with this car. This transmission can suddenly fail due to a problem with a bearing (in fact, the service write-up states "trans fluid leak, trans may fail due to differential bearing going out causing fluid to leak"). I thought this was warranty fraud by the dealer, but apparently they know about this potential transmission problem. They aren't clearly explaining the problem to owners, which is what makes the issue seem suspect. In fact, when we picked up our car, the dealer was explaining the exact same problem to the person in line before us (which is why we got suspicious). It seems that Honda has a problem that they don't want to tell vehicle owners about, but their dealers are pushing to fix it anyway. Of course, they originally quoted us $1,600 to $5,000 for the repairs. After we told them no, we were informed it would be completed at no cost to us. Sounds like a stealth recall to me. (they told us it would be free because we have the extended warranty with no deductible through Honda care. I don't know how much I believe that either.) we're having the work done today now that I know what the potential problems are. I think others need to be informed of this issue so no one gets killed or injured if their transmission fails because they couldn't pay for this work.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #114

Feb 032004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


I was notified today that I needed to replace the transmission in my 98 Honda Accord. This seems to be well known by repair people that 98,99 and 00 have tranmission problems. Why won't the dealerships replace these when there so many people being affected by the same problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #113

Dec 292003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
Upon exiting a parking lot at 15 mph engine revved and vehicle surged forward, and was rear ended by another vehicle. Dealership determined that transmission failure caused the problem. However, dealership didn't specify the specific failure, they just said that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #112

Dec 032002

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Faulty transmission - have serviced 4 times in 1 1/2 years. Honda is aware of the problem with the transmission and is only offering to cover 1/2 of parts to replace transmission on 1998 Honda Accord. It shifts incorrectly and revs very high, then slams into next gear. Problems started around 74K miles after I owned for 7 months. Said they won't cover whole replacement because I didn't have regular service done at Honda dealerships. I was able to prove I had service done at reputable dealers but not Honda. It is estimated the replacement transmission will cost me around $1500. Honda of America should pay for the whole thing in my mind. There are plenty of complaints regarding these transmissions. When is someone going to do something about it?

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #111

May 012003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Back last year in may I had to replace my V-6 3.0 automatic transmition at 74,000 miles! I can understand if the transmition goes out at 125,000 miles or more but 74,000 doesnt sound right to me. They said when I had the transmition replaced that the gears in the transmition compleatly wore away! this repair costed me $2,000 and at the time I didn't have that kind of money. The car had regular check ups and was working fine for years. I would like you to check more Accord if they have transmition problems like I have had, I have talked to many people online who also have this problem and I have one friend who also had this problem, but for him he just had to pay for the parts because he could fix it him self. Please look into this problem and if there is componsation please help me because that is alot of money that I do not make as a student!

- Morton Grove, IL, USA

problem #110

Jan 262004


  • miles
I got the check engine light on my 1998-Accord-LX (97000 miles on this one). Took it to the dealer and they told me that the transmission has failed completely and needs to be replaced. I got all the regular sevices done at only Honda dealers and there was no indiation about this failure. For no fault, this thing has failed. I would think that the part itself is defective, in the first place. Please investigate further.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #109

Jan 262004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
While the vehicle was parked it rolled backwards and caused an accident. The dealer has been notified. Please provide any additional information.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #108

Jan 262004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving the vehicle's automatic transmission failed. Please provide any additional information..

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #107

Jan 212004

(reported on)


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle had continuous transmission failure. Transmission hesitated, then jerked into gear. Dealership flushed the transmission in an attempt to correct the problem. However, problem still exists.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #106

Jan 122004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,740 miles
I own a 1998 Honda Accord w/ less thatn 60000 miles. My transmission has completeley died. Honda knows they have faulty transmissions / they recalled my make and model 2000/2001 for the same problem I am having. My warranty has expired, but I want them to fix my car/ this problem is chronic w/ Honda.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #105

Dec 022003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
I own a 1998 Honda Accord sedan which was bought in December of 1998. Like so many other people who own the 1998-1999 models, I am having transmission problems and the transmission needs to be replaced. I have 100,000 miles on it and the car is serviced whenever the time came. My dad is a mechanic so he was always strict on maintenance. Even timing belt and all other belts were changed out. I am very disappointed because I thought Honda's were reliable. This is a 5 yr. Old car and already the transmission needs to be replaced. I've called my dealership and explained everything. They gave me a number to Honda of America to make a complaint. They made a claim and called me back with no help to me. Their customer service is really bad also, not much help and were rude. They stated that the warranty is over and will not cover anything. Now my car is just sitting at there and can;T be driven safely. The problem is that the transmission slips on all the gears and will not drive correctly. At a stop, the car would jerk back to first roughly and the when I accelerate, it slips on first gear and then finally catches violently. I am very disappointed in Honda overall. They are suppose to be reliable cars. Please look into this complaint because I'm one of the many who are dealing with the same issues. The price for a rebuilt transmission is 3500. I didn't expect to buy a new car in 98 and 5 yrs later have to replace the transmission. There is something fishy going on with the 98-99 transmission. Even the 00-01 Accord have now warrant with a 100,000 mile/ 7 yr. Warranty. Honda seems to know something we don't know and I think it's a recall. Please help if possible. Here's a website /forum where many others are voicing their concerns and complaints."message=5734 and"message=3625 please help if you can. Thank you, wayne le.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

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