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:
90,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 032007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


This problem has been occurring for 2.5 years, has never manifested itself while at the dealer, and the engine light that coincides with the problem, goes out after car dies and is restarted. It all started with the yellow traction control triangle lighting up, right after we bought the car. No symptoms, just solid non-blinking light on dash. Dealer had no solution.

The problem got worse when my wife noticed that the car's transmission seemed to "bog down" occasionally when the light came on. I never experienced it, just the Misses so far. Dealer thought this was just the Traction Control kicking in, silly woman, new car owners alarmed over nothing.

Then, on a trip down the interstate last July, 4 hours from home, the car suddenly bogged down on me, I immediately looked down at the dash... The car was travelling 70 mph, the speedometer was dead, the engine was dead, I happened to be at an exit ramp, so I coasted off the interstate to a stop. I called the dealer in the nearest city, and they had an off duty mechanic call me, it was Saturday. He said to restart the car, I did, and it ran. I finished the trip, took the car to the local dealer, and the code was "Speed control sensor/short", which they checked and said was fine. They blamed it on having slightly too much transmission fluid in the transmission. BTW, I had just passed a car and was switching back to the right lane when this happened.

A few times since July, the car has mysteriously gone dead in traffic, notably while in the turn lane.

2 weeks ago, the red brake light started coming on.

Last week, it is pouring down rain, I drove 1 hour to the airport to pick up my daughter. The Traction Control light came on as usual, but now a check engine light was on, and every time I used the turn indicator, the car died. It restarted itself as I was driving along at 70, as soon as I stopped using the turn indicator, it just died and coasted when I nudged the turn signal to swap lanes, then restarted and back under power again. While looping around the terminal, it stalled several times as I tested to see if the turn signal still killed it, having to shift to neutral and restart, as the car was idling when it stalled. I turned the car off to load bags, and it has not done it since last week.

It is at the dealer now, they can find nothing wrong, other than they fixed the red brake light problem, bad brake fluid level sensor. They wanted me to come pick up the car, I told them that I would prefer not to make my family wealthy when they sue them for my untimely death as the concrete truck I am turning in front of, crushes me, because I forgot, and used the turn indicator...

- , Prairieville, LA, US

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