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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
78,659 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. dealer wants to replace heater core even tho pass. side ok (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 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 #4

Jul 082009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,637 miles


There are many people I have talked to that have this problem (among many) I don't understand if Honda acknowledges this defect why it's not covered at this point.

- , Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #3

Dec 182009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I brought the vehicle to my mechanic who looked at it for most of the day and he could not fix it. He thinks it is one of the two modules in the vehicle. Since each module costs over $700 he did not want to buy the modules because he is not certain what is causing the problem. He recommended that I bring the vehicle to the dealership but the are not near my house and I know they will keep the vehicle there all day.

- , Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 052010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

This is for my girlfriend's car. This happened as we had just started to see each other, so I wasn't in the picture enough to be there with her when this happened. The car was taken to Koons Honda in Manassas VA, and it cost her $1100 and the problem was not fixed. It didn't even help. I feel that either there was an incompetent tech or they took her because she was a woman by herself. Either one is not acceptable.

- , Clifton, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 112007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I bought Honda based on their reputation and despite their pitiful 3 year 36K mile warranty. The dealer wants to replace the heater core. Problem is driver side produces air flow, but no heat. Passenger side is perfectly fine. The dealer charged me $200 to flush the radiator and heater core and to perform "diagnostics" to rule out control valve, hose and electronic control problems. I find it hard to believe that the heater core should be replaced since 1/2 of the system works. Sounds more to me like a control valve or electronic control problem. I have found no other complaints of this type on the Honda. Waiting for dealer service manager to contact me as well as Honda USA customer service. Will go back to Fords.

- , Dover, PA, USA

Not what you are looking for?