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:
170,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord clutch problems

clutch problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 272013

Accord DX Ivtec 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 170,000 miles


I drove to work in the morning and there was nothing wrong with the car. At lunch time, I attempted to drive the car and the clutch was completely frozen. I had it towed to a mechanic who reamed me out about not changed the oil enough and not having it inspected for awhile (I had moved to SC where inspection isn't a requirement!). The mechanic proceeded to do work to my car without first giving me an estimate. I had also asked him for an estimate for a rebuilt engine, and he never provided that to me.

During this time, I had another car to drive, and it took two months before I was told my car was ready. He said he cleaned the engine of "sludge" and replaced two solenoids, but he didn't mention any other repairs and treated me poorly over the phone. He said I owed him close to $800 for the work. He also seemed to have the problem wrong, because he didn't have a problem with the gears not working. He said the car cut off when he was driving it and tried to get up to speed in 2nd gear. This problem had actually happened in the year before and the Honda dealership said that they had found a faulty oil filter used when someone changed my oil. The dealership had my car for over a week!

I have not picked up my car yet, because I'm still saving for the repair. I am worrying that this guy might try and sell it before I can pick it up since the interior and exterior are in very good shape.

This repairman came recommended to me, but the person who recommended him was surprised at the treatment I received. The mechanic had also recently moved his shop from the city to his home.

If you have any suggestions, I'm all for hearing them. Many thanks!

- , Durham, NC, US

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