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:
Average Mileage:
104,485 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. metal work on frame (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. seal the trunk with car caulking (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint 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 #3

Dec 152011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles


A large crack began to develop in my windshield. Took it in to have replaced as glass is covered under insurance. It turns out that water from the sunroof was draining down through the front driver's side A-pillar under the seal, which caused the pillar to rust out, leading to the cracked windshiled. Insurance did cover the glass itself, but had to have work done on the pillar which ended up costing about $250.

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 212012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

We bought a 2003 Honda Accord and after a month we noticed a funny smell. We popped open the trunk and imagine our surprise when we realized that the spare tire was halfway submerged in water. We took out the tire and the carpet and pulled the plug at the bottom to let the water drain. We had to get it fixed quickly because in Alabama it rains. The longer we left it leak the more it would smell. It won't dry out when the trunk is closed so every time it rains you have to leave the trunk open once it stops so it can dry out. Plus the rim on the spare tire starts to rust when it just sits in water so you have to remove the tire until you get the leak fixed. It cost us $125 to get it repaired. The body on the right and left sides of the trunk right next to the seal just rot and eventually you have a hole. The only fix is to get automobile caulking and have it caulked up. But, I am sure caulking doesn't last forever and will have to be redone. The folks that fixed it said they see this leak all the time on this model. So, with the bad tranny (I left a complaint about our tranny too) and the leaking trunk this Honda has been a real pain.

- , Huntsville, AL, US

problem #1

Mar 302011

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,456 miles

Every time it rains, a wet spot develops on the headliner right above the driver's side sun visor. Sometimes, water drips on me while I drive if it rains a lot. The headliner is stained from the leak and my car is really starting to smell odorous. I unclogged the sunroof drain hoses, but the leak still occurs. It might be that the front driver's side drain hose has a hole in it???

- , Georgetown, KY, USA

Not what you are looking for?