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:
112,767 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2003 Honda Accord electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 012015

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


I have three warning lights in dashboard for months this year. I complained many times this year and service rep said it's minor because it's electronic thing on dashboard..... Now I can't tolerate seeing it on every day when I started car and still see it on while driving. Annoyed. I called general manager at Honda today to express my concern for my safety that I have the right to have all lights working fine and depend on that visual aid for any time in future for warning notifications. I should not pay for repeated diagnosis every time I go there to complain about it and always being told it's electronic thing and not to worry!!! What does three lights on at same time mean!?

- , Auburn, NY, US

problem #5

Oct 042015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

PLEASE HELP, which ground wire do I replace?? (if you suspect that is the issue) -ignition stutters upon start - interior lights on radio flicker on/off -cd player stops working if AC is turned on/off -fan for AC/heat no longer works -possibly a separate problem but...leaking power steering fluid which is not an o-ring problem. it's not reentering the compartment. -not a spark plug problem

- , Pikeville, KY, USA

problem #4

Sep 012013

Accord EX 2.4L Vtech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

OKAY. the date I provided for this complaint was just in reference to the most recent addition to the f** mess of issues my car has acquired since purchasing about 5 years ago. I purchased the car from D-Patrick Honda with a little under 100K miles on it. I went about 2 years no noticeable issues.

The first thing that happened to the car was the control panel went out in the car. I was told I would have to pay out of pocket to fix it because the car was over 100K at that point. (Thanks for having me purchase a warranty that was only usable for about 15K by the way). So I decided I did not need the radio/ac lights enough to drop $600+ on it. Shortly after that the automatic lock/unlock feature was no longer working and has never worked since it went out. I decided to suck it up and deal with that too since every issue with this damn car costs an arm and a leg to fix.

Now to the bigger issues........around the end of 2011, my starter went out. This is where the serious issues began. I replaced the starter, twice within a six month time span equaling over $2,000 because I also has to replace the flywheel due to damage from the teeth of the starter not catching on the flywheel correctly. The labor for these issues was unbelievable and I was without a car for almost a month because the mechanic had to take my transmission out to reach the flywheel/starter and his lot was packed. After finally getting my car back the radio had stopped working all together and HONDA tells me they have to charge me to fix it because the auto-theft had been engaged and for some reason my code wasn't working on the radio. I sucked THAT up as well and was just happy the car would at least work mechanically!

Well, that didn't last long. About a month ago, my car started giving me a whole new array of problems. When I unlock my car and try to turn the key NOTHING happens sometimes, no lights, no noise, no sound of the battery building charge.......nothing. I have to hit the unlock button on my key chain several times as well as turn the key over to battery several times until finally I get some kind of power surge followed by my car alarm going off. After this happens my car starts fine.

I have always backed up Honda 100% when others tried to warn me about how they build their cars and how they treat their customers, but after being turned away several times for all of the issues I have had, after all the money I have put into this car through payments and mechanical issues, I absolutely cannot stand this car company. I am a 22 year old college student who has to have a co-signer to get another vehicle and I do not have the money to replace the whole electrical system.

I have only a $2,500 left owed on the car and I'd love to not have a car payment.....but I'd love to have a car I can rely on and feel safe in. I don't know what to do at this point.

- , Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #3

Jul 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Radio will turn on and off while driving. Recently while the car was off I was standing outside of it and the radio turned on. This has been happening on and off for about 2 years. When the radio turns off the clock still stays on.

Dome light does not work most of the time. I tried replacing the bulb thinking that it was the issue, still only works once in a while.

- , Gardiner, ME, USA

problem #2

Jun 302011

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,600 miles

I noticed that my accessory sockets were not working because my phone wasn't charging when I connected it to either socket. So I checked the fuse at the left hand kick panel, and thank goodness that was the issue. I replaced the fuse, and it worked for about a month and went out again. Changed the fuse again and it worked for another few months. Now, it doesn't work, BUT the fuse is still good. It's not that my charger is bad, either, because I tested it in another vehicle and it works. A week before I noticed that the accessory socket went bad, my stereo, clock, and climate control screen stopped working. It makes me wonder if the accessory sockets and the stereo are all connected??? I love my Honda, and it runs really well, but it's so annoying to not have music or be able to charge my phone. I hate to get rid of it just because the stereo doesn't work because it runs so well. But I'm wondering if this is just the beginning of a long road of more electrical problems.

- , Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #1

Dec 012003

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Electrical / Electronics issues - Tranny failure at 160,000 KM, Seat Heater stopped working, |Horns stopped working, interior light module replace (warranty) Stereo module replaced (warranty),Windows work randomly, still have issues with interior lights working when they want to.

- , Edmonton, AB, canada

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