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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
84,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Honda Accord AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 102012

Accord EX 3.06

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles


Literally the same day my Audio-HVAC Display went dark, I had no air conditioning, or fan, or heat. It's still warm to hot here in Florida most days in October, and even now that it's well into November. I have no idea if this problem is associated with the defective circuit board that now leaves me with a dark display panel, but the timing was the same.

- , Eustis, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 212012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I used to LOVE Hondas! But I bought a complete dog of a 2003 Accord. I checked it out on Carfax, had my mechanic check it out, etc. In the last year and a half I have:

1. Replaced the transmission (hooray, 2,300)

2. Replaced the rack and pinion steering (hooray, $700)

3. Replaced the sunroof motor (hooray, $400)

4. Replaced the starter (hooray, $550).

And the interior is falling apart. I am just trying to get this car running long enough to sell it. Sorry guys, Honda's sun is setting.

- , Tallahassee, FL, USA

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