Notes: The 2003 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. 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.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially was replacing the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
58,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. repeated purchase of new in-cabin air filters (2 reports)
2003 Honda Accord AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Honda Accord:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 172007

(reported on)

Accord EX-L 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


Smelled like "Skunk" when I turned on my A/C. Problem was fixed with replacement of cabin air filter. I hope it doesn't persist in the future!

- , Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 062006

(reported on)

Accord EX Coupe 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I bought my car at around 52,000 miles. It was in good condition except for the brake rotors, and the A/C. The A/C works but it reeks terribly like b/o. I sort of solved it by replacing the in cabin air filter, sometimes it is still faintly smelly. The real issue is that this keeps occurring, and i am replacing the in cabin air filter every 2-3 months which is a complete pain in the ass, and a lot of money. I don't know if there is a bigger problem with the A/C that is causing the filter to become so nasty every time i change it. The filters are literally gross when i take them out; bugs, dirt, moistness, dust, and everything that i don't even know what it is.

- , Marietta, GA, USA

Not what you are looking for?