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:
No data
Average Mileage:
38,475 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace master cylinder (3 reports)
  2. no solution (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 152011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles



- , Easthampton, MA, US

problem #3

Jan 102005

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Master cylinder [traction control] was bad. They claim fluid was low. I told them they were the ones doing the service and they failed to top off brake fluid which they claim caused the problem. They fixed it no charge. Rear brakes failed prematurely also.

- , Greenwell Springs, LA, US

problem #2

Jul 052007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Well, if you read my original complaint regarding my defective transmission - you know that I am very unhappy about this car and Honda in general. Now my master brake cylinder is malfunctioning. My brake light and TCS light came on and stayed on. Nothing seems wrong when I drive but the dealer ran a diagnostic and they say the master cylinder and some sort of brake switch needs to be replaced. I am very angry that a car that is only four years old needs a new master brake cylinder. I will eat this bill only because they fixed my transmission free of charge but I am very angry and worried about what the next part will be that breaks down. My advice to anyone who reads this is "don't buy Honda!" They once made good cars but now they don't.

- , Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 072003

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 2,900 miles

I purchased a Honda Accord 2003 on January 28, 2003 from Fairfield Motors, Inc. (Route 23 Honda) in Pompton Plains, NJ. Since I bought the vehicle, I have had to return it to the dealership a total of six times. My vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of 30 calendar days and counting (it is still at the dealership). .

My vehicle has been in Route 23 Honda on the following dates for repair of the following defects:

3/3/03 Gas door spring problem 4/21/03 Brake problem (master cylinder replaced) 5/21/03 Brake problem and air conditioner problem (master cylinder replaced and part order for A/C) 5/28/03 Air conditioner problem (condenser replaced) 6/21/03 Brake problem and radiator leak (Final opportunity to repair) (replaced ABS modulator and radiator) 7/11/03 Brake problem and air conditioner problem (still in the service department)

Honda has not been very helpful in resolving these problems. Their customer service and mediation group are useless. I would not recommend purchasing a Honda.

- , Little Falls, NJ, USA

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