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:
No data
Average Mileage:
84,660 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 012007

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


I forgot the exact date and mileage this happened... One day, the key remote no longer locked the car remotely. All other functions worked, unlock, trunk, panic... just not the lock function (even on the backup key). I bought the diagnostic plug from the dealer (it cost 2 or 3 dollars) which gave about 20 error codes through the odometer display. I bought the factory manual to look them up (no standard ODB codes, by the way, I own a code reader), and they were all low speed BUS errors between the main fusebox/multiplexer and almost every other component (door remote module, gague module, etc). I replaced the fusebox/multiplexer because everything connected through it for about $250 or so, but no dice.

I gave up for a while because it was just annoying, didn't really effect anything important. About two years later, out of the blue it just started working again, codes disappeared, back to normal. It's been fine since then, but not very reassuring. Transmission also failed, so looking to get rid of this monstrosity.

- , Dublin, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 202012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Keyless entry won't work which makes it dangers for a woman that has to get in her car in a parking garage late at night. I have changed the batteries and tried to reset the system. Nothing has solved the problem. I've not taken it in to have it fixed because so many other things have went wrong with the car there is no money left to have it compressor for the air has been replaced 3 times, it has been worked on approx. 7 times and still doesn't work even with a new compressor from Honda... seat stuck in the laying back position, this is the 2nd time I've had to have it fixed...power steering pump had been replaced 5 times, still will not turn unless I am rolling. Forget turning it if your barely moving and need to get out of a parking spot or around someone...4 radio's have gone bad...lights on the dash blink...brakes don't work right but no one can tell me I'm working on a 3rd transmission.

Honda sucks, don't buy one...Makes me sad because I have always owned Hondas, but never again, not after this experience.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #3

Sep 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

For some god for saken reason my drivers side door wont unlock with the keyless entry which causes the passenger side not to work either! i have to manually lock the drivers side and then shut the door and make sure the alarm is on. Some time it works, but more of the time it doesnt! Ive had countless problems with this car and im sick of it! I thought getting a honda would be cheaper and easier to maintain & fix but thats clearly not the case. My Lexus was way better then this pos I should have never bought it!

- , Salem, NH, USA

problem #2

Nov 102008

Accord EX 3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

So I am trying to lock my car with the remote on my key and it won't work. The lights are not even blinking nor is the horn sounding to indicate that the alarm is on. I really don't think anything of it, since I keep trying and the alarm finally sets and the doors lock. Well I was picking up a friend and went to unlock the doors and when they went to open the door, it was still locked. I tried again and nothing. Now the door just stays locked. It will not unlock from my key nor from the lock/unlock switch inside the car. Go figure. Another thing wrong with this vehicle. Definitely won't be purchasing a Honda again.

- , Long Beach, CA, US

problem #1

Jul 102006

(reported on)


  • 35,300 miles

Key transmitter quit working, I changed battery and it still does not work. Paid good money and car did not even last 3 years. Will never buy tell any one else to buy Honda again.

- , Flagstaff, AZ, USA

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