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:
84,033 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the brake light switch (6 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 062015

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,900 miles


To fix this problem you need to replace the stop light switch.The cost for this repair is around $6 USD.

- , North Miami, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 022014

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,300 miles

My daughter and I were both stranded several times until the switch would start working again by itself. I understand the safety feature connected to the brake lights, but failure with no warning leaves you stranded!

I found the item also known as a brake stop switch at AutoZone for $8.00 and changed it in less than five minutes. It actually took longer to remove that under-the-dash cover.

- , Cypress, TX, US

problem #4

Apr 112011

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Should be a recall with a list of other crap as well.

- , Akron, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I would be at the bank drive through with my car in park and my motor on, and I would go to leave and I couldn't get the car out of park. This went on for a while, and my TCS light was constantly on. I didn't think the 2 had anything to do with each other. I then found out that when this happens you can take your car key and put it in the slot right next to the gear shifter. This allows you to manually move from park to drive or reverse. This is just a temporary fix. Then one day my brake lights went out. I replaced my $7.00 bake switch and it fixed all 3 problems. If this is happening to you, I suggest this be your first step. Replacing the brake switch took about 10 mins. Very simple. But my Accord has also experienced a ton of other problems. I will never buy a Honda again. Just wait till your transmission fails at 75,000 miles like mine did. Awesome. Ill be posting about that later...

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #2

May 112009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Car stuck in driveway, and rendered completely useless! Hope we don't have an emergency; as we are having to have someone come out to our rural residence to try to repair the car. Next time, I will have to consider other manufacturers when buying. Since this has been going on over mothers day weekend, it is a major pain. Honda; very reliable if you can get it to move!

- , Bluff City, TN, USA

problem #1

Sep 042007

(reported on)

Accord XL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Car has only 32,000 miles on it and the brake light switch failed. This leaves the shifter stuck in park, and when it randomly does make contact the rest of the trip has NO BRAKE LIGHTS!

I have driven 4 different Chrysler products well into the 170,000+ mile point, and a few GM vehicles in to the 70,000 and 150,000+ Mile ranges. None of these ever had a brake light switch fail. Never an electrical problem at all. Honda / the dealer REFUSED to help. Would not replace the switch. 32,000 miles is still new in my book. This is the second major electrical problem the car had. Very disappointed.

- , Canton, MI, USA

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