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 1 of 11)

problem #204

Jun 152012


  • 91,150 miles


1998 Honda Accord complete automatic transmission failure at 91,150 miles. Incident below resulted in near collision when my vehicle pulled out to merge into traffic and vehicle would not accelerate more than approximately 15 mph. Other vehicle had to slam on brakes to avoid side collision. I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX, 4- door, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission. At approximately 91,000 miles, I noticed that the automatic transmission started to "slip" shifting from first gear into second gear, especially right after the vehicle was just started. This issue would get worse under medium to heavy acceleration. Having had another 1997 Honda Accord LX, 2 door, automatic transmission, that failed at 66,000 miles, I suspected that the transmission was failing on this 1998 Honda Accord LX. The vehicle was taken to cottman transmission for evaluation, and the technician test drove the vehicle immediately after starting up the vehicle in the morning. The technician confirmed the severe "slippage" from first into second gear and ran diagnostic tests on all the electric components, including automatic transmission solenoids. Upon completion and additional examination of the problem, the technician stated that the automatic transmission was failing, and required a total rebuild. Once the Honda Accord automatic transmission was removed from the Honda Accord and taken apart, it was noted that the internal metal filter was plugged with metal savings, the clutch bands were burned, and an internal electric switch was defective. Expect no help and/or compensation from Honda corporation as pursing that route has been futile. It would seem that Honda corporation had been over confident in the sale of Honda in the United States, that the "quality" of their product now suffers.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #203

Oct 202010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 64,350 miles
I have a 1998 Honda Accord. I have recently been noticing that it has been shifting rough or like it has lost power. I have been driving and after stops or attempting to merge into traffic the vehicle feels like it's lost power and then lunges forward. O also just got a check engine light with the error code for the torque converter. I have read this is a common problem and could cause someone to give the vehicle too much throttle do to the lack of power when the accelerator is depressed. And due to the delay in acceleration a person would not be able to tell. I have not repaired my vehicle but the dealer is saying to change the transmission. $3000.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #202

Dec 012006

Accord 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord ex-V6. Transmission failure. 1. I was driving on the highway and suddenly the transmission started to disengage and re-engage by itself and then locked the transmission. 2. before the failure, I started to notice the transmission slippage around 55,000 miles. I brought it to Honda dealership at around 60,000 miles and they just replaced the transmission oil. However, the problem was just getting worse. 3. after the transmission locked up, I almost lost control, I have to put the transmission to neutral and had it towed to Honda dealership. I was told that transmission was out and need to be replaced. The replacement transmission cost was about $3000 4. I just noticed that there were similar recall for Honda and Acura transmission.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #201

Dec 272009


  • 89,000 miles


Have a 1998 Honda Accord. Was driving slowly up a hill in congested traffic and the car acted like I had put it in neutral. At this time the car rpms jumped up and the car started rolling backwards almost rolling into a car behind me. The car then jumped into gear and lurched forward almost hitting the car in front of me. The car started to run fine after that but since it had first happened it has re-occurred a number of time, just not on a hill. The check engine light has come on and a reading of the code was a PO740 which is a failure of the torque converter. I've checked on the web to see if anyone else has had this problem and I'm surprised to see that it seems to be a common problem with Accord models from 98 to about 2002. There was no one hurt or damage to anything but I can see where it could really be a safety issue around uneven roads with slow moving traffic or, around mall type parking lots where there are usually a number of persons walking around and thru traffic.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #200

Dec 302009

Accord 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
I drive a 1998 Honda Accord ex V6 with 140,000 miles. As of the end of December, 2009; the vehicle's gears would not engage when putting it into 'drive'. the car would roll forward for about 100-200 yds; if you tried to push on the accelerator it acted as if you were in neutral and the engine would just rev. After that, it would jump/jerk and kick into gear. I have 2 children, ages 2 & 7 that are in the car daily. I have been told by a Honda dealer that w/O at $3,500 replacement of my transmission the vehicle will likely leave me stranded on the road. I am also scared to death when pulling out on a major road and my car won't go over 3-5 mph. I'm sitting crossways in traffic hoping that it will eventually kick into gear. I have come close to causing a few accidents B/C my car won't move. The Honda transmission has a design flaw; yet Honda won't cover any of the repairs and there is no recall. This is absolutely a safety issue and my car should not be on the road.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #199

Aug 122009


  • 160,000 miles
Car began to shift roughly occasionally several weeks ago. Car is now slipping gears especially when engine is warm. Transmission was replaced at ~143000 miles 16 months ago because of slipping gears. This would be the second replacement if I am told this is because of transmission failure. The car has ~160000 miles on it.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #198

Apr 142009


  • 97,000 miles


My 1998 Honda Accord is having transmission problems. I have had it worked on numerous time with nothing actually fixing the problem. It was a huge waste of money and time. It has a hard time shifting. I was pulling out on to a road that went up hill and on coming traffic almost hit me because my car wouldn't go into gear. Just in time it jerked into gear and I floored it getting out of the way just in time. The on coming car was extremely up set with me and I pulled over to the side of the road to gather myself. I had my transmission fluid changed at jiffy lube and about 2 weeks later the transmission began slipping. That event is what started it all. For all of the complains about the 1998 transmission problems I cant believe they don't see a safety issue. I could have easily cause a wreck that day.

- Calhan, CO, USA

problem #197

Dec 052008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord V6 automatic transmission failure. The transmission slips when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. The vehicle will not be repaired since the costs is approximately $3500 for a remanufactured transmission.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #196

Oct 012008


  • 132,000 miles
Changed my oil pump, timing belt, spark plugs, and spark plug wires. Also fixed the engine mount problem. Now I get code P0740 on my car. Honda Accord, 1998, V6. The code translate to transmission problem which is very common on Honda.

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #195

Oct 242008


  • 124,000 miles
Engine code P0740 tcc malfunction.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #194

Sep 152007

Accord 6-cyl

  • 11,000 miles


I have a '98 Accord V6 automatic, at slightly over 100K miles the\ transmission started failing - slipping, then suddenly shifting into 1st at 50mph, then shifting into neutral (all of this happened while driving at steady speeds on highways, no reason for the trans to do any shift, much less 2 or 3 gears suddenly.) $3K to replace, now the replacement is starting to fail with 40K on it. Just found out it's a known defect with Accord from '97 -'02, "especially the V6" (check or for more info.) a mechanic showed me a Honda service bulletin on it, but Honda has never stepped up to the plate. My 3rd Accord and last Honda, next car is Toyota after years away.

- Venice, CA, USA

problem #193

Sep 022008


  • 118,000 miles
I have Honda 1998 Accord ex with a know transmission problem. I have the P0740 torque converter clutch circuit malfunction. I would like to voice my complaint at Honda and let you know my car is having the same issues.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #192

Jul 032006

Accord 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My Honda coupe V6 had 67,000 miles on it when the transmission started slipping. As a consequence of this, I cannot safely make left turns as the car won't accelerate immediately and passing is not safely done either. I do not drive it now except to work, 2 miles away, and locally. The repair shop said I need a new transmission and the cost will be between $2,500 to $3,000. I have not had it fixed yet.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #191

Jun 162008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,112 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. After placing fuel in the vehicle and shifting it into gear, the vehicle collapsed. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic's shop. The mechanic installed a temporary lower ball joint so that the contact could drive to a local dealer. Once at the dealer, the contact was informed that the ball joint separated from the frame. A recall related to the failure was found, but the dealer stated that the VIN was not included. The dealer repaired the ball joints on the passenger side of the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 154,112. Updated 07/29/08. Recall # 99V069000. The consumer also stated the transmission made a grinding noise when it was in gear. The transmission had a leak as well. Updated 07/29/08

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #190

Jul 012002

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,278 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. After four years and 49,278 miles, a new transmission was installed in July of 2002. The dealer stated that the new transmissions were malfunctioning; therefore, they only charged the contact $1,000 for labor. In March of 2008, the vehicle needs another new transmission. The failure mileage was 49,278 and current mileage was 102,658.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #189

May 082005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. While shifting into fourth gear, the transmission fails to shift properly. After the vehicle has accelerated over 10 mph, the transmission operates normally. The failure occurred in may of 2005. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 270,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #188

Oct 302007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord automatic transmission has failed. There are 130K on it. In Sept 2007 the transmission started to slip. When I came to a stop it would jump. The more that I drove it would shift hard into every gear. On Oct 30 2007 the transmission began to jump from 1st to 3rd gear and then would not shift into 2nd gear at all. The rpms were at 3K in 1st gear and would begin to jump wildly. I have not been able to drive the car since it is a hazard on the road. It will cost around $1200 for a new transmission which I do not have.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #187

Dec 152007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
I own and drive a '98 Honda Accord ex 4-cylinder with automatic transmission. The transmission had been having a rough shift in the 2nd gear for about 1 year when driving the car from stationary to moving. But the car was running fine on the higher gears. I was able to drive on highways till few weeks ago. Around the 15th of Dec 2007 I suddenly started to have vibrations in the car and strange hitting noises came from the engine when driving on the highway. The car felt dragging on the highway (I270S) which panicked me and I have to give more gas to pull to safety. The car still rust, but I'm not using it for about a month now because of fear of getting into an accident because I have heard cases with similar transmission issues where the car down shifts to 2nd gear suddenly on a highway without any warning, which will lead to an accident with the car coming behind me. Dealer says that to fix this problem, the transmission needs to be replaced with a cost of around $3200. I referred the case to american Honda, but they refused to do anything to resolve this safety issue. The current mileage on my car is around 105000 but the problem started when it had around 93000 miles. The 90000 mile service was done at the right time and the transmission oil was changed at that time using genuine Honda manufactured transmission oil. I also have changed engine oil regular and done all maintenance as per the schedules provided in the '98 Honda Accord manual. The car had been under professional care all through the time I owned. This transmission related issue is a real safety issue which was addressed in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Honda Accord by voluntary recalls by Honda motor corporation. Honda had changed the transmissions on these cars to resolve this issue. But that recall needs to be extended to the 1998 model cars as well because the Accord model had been completely redesigned in 1998 when, I believe, this problem had originally started.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #186

May 012007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX 4 cylinder 4 door automatic. Vehicle will not shift from park to drive so I had to use a flat-head screw driver to manually release the shift lock. This poses a safety concern.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #185

Oct 082007

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
(1) normal 1 hour commute to and from work. (2) as I pull away from a stop, the transmission either fails to go into 2nd gear or revs to about 5000 RPM then lurches into second gear. Frequent drops will occur. Once car is into third gear there are no problems. This happens on a daily basis now, and I have had about five times where I have been in fender benders because of the violent transition the transmission will make when throwing the car from second to first. (3) have tried replacing transmission fluid/filter to no avail. Called Honda dealer for possible recall. While Honda acknowledges there is a problem, they will do nothing about it. New tranny to cost around $3000. Car has about 140K miles.

- Grafton, WI, USA

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