Notes: The 2002 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, subframe rust, & problems with the airbag system (SRS). We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

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.

The SRS warning light likes to come on due to a defective seat belt sensor -- typically the driver's side. This sensor is covered under Honda's lifetime seat belt warranty, but some dealers charge a $100+ "diagnostic fee" or tell customers the entire SRS unit ($800) is bad.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
120,700 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. new transmission (3 reports)
  3. replace the transmission (2 reports)
  4. rebuild transmission (1 reports)
2002 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 222017

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,725 miles


I haven’t had it fixed yet. Going to bring it to a transmission place and then to the dealer to find out what the cost may be or whether it’s covered under a recall or warranty. Since the car is a 2002 I don’t believe the warranty will hold. Given the high cost of transmission repair, I may just trade it in or donate it.

- Joseph B., Cathedral City, CA, US

problem #12

Oct 102014

Accord 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I had it fixed myself after honda said they would not fix it even though it was a big issue with that year car. Shame on honda

- Jim R., Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, US

problem #11

Feb 012016

Accord SE VTEC 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

VERY VERY DANGEROUS TRANSMISSION SLIPPING AND LEAVING YOU STRANDED IN MID-INTERSECTION (wouldn't dare sell this to another person - not even as a 1st driver. it is too unsafe)

My Honda Love Affair: I had 3 prior Honda Accords before the 2002 SE ... and have loved every one ... 1) I had a 1973 Accord CVCC Hatchback MT - looked alot like an early 90s model CIVIC (but it was 400k on its 2nd engine (700k on the car) when I traded it for a new 91 Civic 4cyl ManTrans. 2) 1990 - My 1991 Civic Hatchback MT was absolutely a dream to own (but my husband totaled it at 5yrs). 3) 1995 I bought a used 1988 Accord LX MT from my brother-in-law who sells nothing but Hondas and Accuras because how great they are. And this one with 3 prior owners and 140,000 miles on its first engine - I didnt bat an eye at buying it - I sold it in 2003 to my neighbor's son who is still driving it today 2015. 4) in 2001 (still owning the '88 Accord), we leased a 2002 Accord SE (Vtech 4cyl AT) The acceleration was very dependable and smooth and the car had nice pickup when needed! The car was just a PLEASURE to own and drive ... UNTIL ...

In 2006 (80,000 miles/my car just 4yrs old), on the Baltimore MD interstate Beltway at rush hour (!!!), a really slow car cut in front of me - a wall of traffic was about to catch up - so to avoid being rear-ended, I slipped into an opening in the next lane and stepped into the accelerator in a normal fashion to get up to speed with the traffic. But when I stepped into the accelerator, my car failed to accelerate! Instead it went Wheeeeezzzzz as the TAC needle zipped past 4000 RPMs and pegged!!! Car instantly LOSING speed in the middle of the Baltimore rush hour beltway with a wall of traffic barreling down on my car. I was immediately swallowed up like a sitting duck!! When the pegged needle came back down below 1000 RPMs I could regain power. But my check engine light came on. ...somehow I was protected from a collision (miraculously by God I am sure). But I was really shook up. I have never had a car fail me like that.

I took it immediately to a certified Honda mechanic who pulled the code and told me that it was an O2 sensor. (which turned out to be a lie that I would figure out AFTER I paid 108.00 for the part. But for the moment - though I didn't see how an O2 sensor could cause that problem, I paid the $$$ to "fix" it. (I would later learn that the dealer's mechanic lied and knew it was the transmission solenoid code)

The CEL came on again while visiting my sister fall of 2008. My brother-in-law enlightened me that Advance auto can read the code - so we took it over and sure enough that was the P07xx code AGAIN. Well the printout list included a Transmission Solenoid misfire. I had a sickening feeling.

Soon I find myself in a traffic situation trying to quickly accelerate to get past some slow farm combine (in a legal passing zone) on a two-lane highway in PA and WHIZZZZZ - (sitting duck in the oncoming lane!!) my TAC pegs and my car loses power and we almost got clobbered before I could get back into the right lane!

A couple of months later same thing this time in a simple intersection - someone prematurely pulled out on me anticipating that I would be clear from the middle of an intersection - I had stepped into my accelerator normally - nothing fast - and WHIZZZZ / again sitting duck! Thankfully for me and my child the person realized I wasnt going to clear the intersection as they had presumed and took evasive action. Even though they were jumping their turn, my child would have been broad-sided because my car lost power.

This time the mechanic admits I have a factory-bad transmission - - and there is "nothing you can do because Honda wont recall it". He recommended I sell it fast. HOW COULD I IN GOOD CONSCIENCE SELL SOMEONE THIS CAR - EVEN IF I TELL THEM IT NEEDS A TRANSMISSION AND WILL LEAVE YOU STALLED IN DANGEROUS SITUATIONS? And I didn't have the 5,000.00 Honda Dealer wanted to fix it.

At this point the transmission started slipping between 1st and 2nd EVEN when accelerating slowly - worse in cold temps. The mechanic said "baby it" and get 2 more years at best. I have milked it for 6 more years. (I drive like an old lady and avoid heavy traffic at all costs.) As time has gone on, it is now slipping between 2nd and 3rd and will clunk and lunge and hesitate when going from park to reverse, and from reverse to drive.

The car only had 80,000 miles on it when the transmission failures started and I never mistreated the transmission or driven it improperly.

What I would soon find through investigation is that Honda had this transmission since 1998 but they just kept using it up thru 2003 or 04 when they knew they had a problem. Why did they wait sooo long to do something about it? Why didn't they send letters to owners to alert them of the issues - BECAUSE IT HAS COST ME HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS GETTING IT LOOKED AT AND OTHER THINGS BEING FIXED WHEN ALL ALONG IT WAS THE FACTORY-BAD TRANSMISSION!

This is just part of the problem with my car. I have had problems with engine seals going, and problems with radio and the SRS system. I am on my 2nd recall for the air-bags. Hoses busting, O2 sensor, the drivers seat belt doesnt retract any more. Problems getting the right brakes or getting the brakes installed correctly! I have had so many repairs I can hardly get to the standard service work!!!

Who in their right mind is going to spend $5,000.00 only to get the same bad (or worse) transmission in my car? Plus I still need valve cover gaskets and other engine seals, a water pump and timing belt, power steering seal, SRS sensor, door seal (leaking water)

It needs more repairs done at 140,000 miles than the car is worth.

I have been a loyal customer to Honda, but Honda hasn't been a loyal to me. I have sung Honda's praises, but I have not been valued by Honda.

It is clear that Honda had ignored problems and ignored customers.

And Honda dearlerships are NOTORIOUSLY dishonest. Honda has done nothing to ensure their customers have a trustworthy interface.

In light of the myriad of problems with this car, and finding that it is a wide-spread issue, and hearing mechanics telling me Honda just isn't what it once was - - I no longer feel good about recommending a Honda to other potential buyers. I find myself saying I used to love Honda's.

I am not so keen to have another Honda any more. I am definitely looking at other cars.

- candacetn, Frederick, MD, US

problem #10

May 012007

Accord SE 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


First to second gear shift is rough. Engine revs. If you back off of the throttle as it shifts it does not jerk as bad. Transmission shifts ok from 2 to 3 etc. The drain plug magnet is always loaded with particles. I change oil often to try to extend the life of the trans. Dealers will only offer junk price on trade in because of this problem.

- dolan314, Plattsburgh, NY, US

problem #9

Jul 122015

Accord 2.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,051 miles

I had my Transmission replaced about 2 years ago at 170,000 miles. It just started ticking really bad then. Now after I have had a used Honda trans put in for $2400 and now at exactly 200,050 miles. My car took a big sh*t on my way to see the band Cake about an hour away. I was almost there then without warning going up a steep hill the trans started revving high between 4 and 5 rpm and not moving! So I let off the gas and tried to ease up the hill. It would not move. So I turned around and pulled over only to smell burning trans fluid. Checked the fluid levels and it was fine.

Luckily I made it home because of all the roads from there on were flat but I was easy on the pedal keeping it between 2 and 3 rpm. Closer to home the car started bucking and the trans was acting up again because of all the red lights I had to stop and go at.

I thought Hondas were suppose to be long lasting when maintained the way I do. Also to have this happen without warning! Now the engine light is on and I think my car is done! I am really disappointed with the quality of this car! Honda has 100,000 mile warranty for a reason

Because they know the car is due to turn to sh*t after that! I'm in the middle of moving my family to another home still paying hospital from my almost 2 year old daughters birth with one on the way in Sept! This really sucks!

I live down a hill so I don't know how I will get it out of here with out a tow! I love Honda but very confused about the brand now! Don't know if I will buy another Honda product again at this point!

- Justin M., Annandale, NJ, US

problem #8

Sep 102013

Accord SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Really sick of the shifting problem Honda should fix it. I cant even sell the car the way it is. Other than that, it is a nice car. Too bad!!

- stormboy, Rochester, MN, US

problem #7

Dec 032012

Accord SE 2.3L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Revs high before shifting 1-2. Is apparently a common problem with this transmission.

I am going to try cleaning the solenoids and seeing if that works, but it's still going to require crawling under a car to get them and a while to clean them just to hope it works. If nothing else I guess I could replace them but that's not cheap.

Honda has seriously let me down with this one after all I've read about their transmission issues for the past several years. No car of mine will have a Honda automatic in it until this problem is resolved by Honda. Otherwise, I will look elsewhere. It's ridiculous that this is the #1 complaint on the entire website. At least it seems that way

- Bryan E., Plainfield, IL, US

problem #6

May 232012

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

About a year ago I decided to get a new car, since the one I owned was getting older and though very reliable started to compile issues. That car was a manual transmission Civic. I traded that car in at 200,000 miles. So since that Civic lasted a long time I thought "why not get another Honda I could pay for one out right with over a hundred thousand miles on it and know that it would last me along amount of time. So I traded mine in for a automatic 2002 accord with 130,000 miles for 6,000 dollars thinking it would last me at least four years. NOPE. Lasted a year exact. The dealership did not give me a warranty and I thought everything would be ok and every time I took it in for regular service the dealership said the transmission was ok. As of today the transmission is slipping. The car just revs and then may finally get into gear. Feels like the car is in neutral. Called dealership and they said it would cost me AT LEAST 3,000 dollars to fix the issue. Found this site and saw how many issues there were with accords that have transmission problems. If only I knew then what I know now. DO NOT BUY AN ACCORD!!! My whole family prides itself for owning Hondas. One of my family members is still driving a 98 accord with 298,000 miles on it. Honda used to be reliable now they are a joke. Now I had to miss work and am currently looking for a dependable used car.

- Tim I., Howe, TX, US

problem #5

Sep 012010

Accord EX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Transmission started sliping at 95,000 miles. Flushing the ATF helped for a while, but problem returned in full force.

- Steven D., San Rafael, CA, US

problem #4

Feb 032012

Accord SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

when i first noticed the problem, i was driving and the check engine light came on, the D4 light started flashing and the car didn't want to shift. when i was going 30 mph the car was revving at 4000-5000 rpms with no intention of down shifting. so now when i drive it, i have to carefully use my gas pedal and help it shift as well as manually shifting it. it seems to help but the car is definitely not highway safe. i haven't taken it over 35 mph since it happened because i fear the engine would explode if i tried! i took it to o'reillys for a free diagnostic scan and all it gave me was a generic code that i took home and looked up and found about 5 potential things that could be wrong with it. all of them not good, or cheap. my car is a 2002 honda accord with 155k and i have always maintained the car very well. there shouldn't be these kinds of problems with it!

- Lauren W., Portland, OR, US

problem #3

Apr 112012

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


It won't go forward when I shift into gear. Please Help!!

- rwjack11, W.Melbourne, FL, US

problem #2

Mar 012012

Accord 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I just bought my car. i have a loan on it not happy at all. When I'm driving down the road the car revs kinda high up to 4 before it shifts in to gear i don't know what is causing the issue and i don't have the money to fix it and my warranty ran out i don't know what to do.

- Katelynn M., Mohawk, NY, US

problem #1

Apr 302012

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,201 miles

We have a 2002 Accord with 77000Miles on it bought in 2003 with regular service and now Transmission is toast I've had tons of cars and trucks never any transmission problems. It's pretty clear there is a problem here and honda should have a recall or come to the table in some way 4 grand to fix a $6000 car when done, its junk at 77000 miles. Would not buy another.

- deanontario, Kenora, Ontario, canada

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