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:
No data
Average Mileage:
60,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Honda Accord electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Mar 052010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


Every once in a while when I'm starting a warm engine, the starter seems to run faster than usual but struggling to crank the engine. Today when it happened, the engine climbed to only 200 rpm and stalled. Take two, and the engine goes to 500 rpm and runs. It's still a relatively low speed but eventually stabilizes at 1000. There is no problem if the engine is cold.

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 082009

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

It sounds like you try to start the car after you have it started - you know that over start sound? It is still starting but the sound come and goes and sometimes is extended for longer than a few seconds. The sound comes from the right side (behind the glove box - at first I thought it was speaker noise/static).

Have one call in for repair cost of $338.33 from Plaza Tire for a NON-HONDA part (aftermarket new). Isn't that an oxymoron?

Anyway - Dealer locally where I take it for recall work was really non-responsive to my problem (bring it in - bla bla bla). Called dealer in State that it was purchased (will get back to me after reading up-to-date bulletins).

Next step is to call Honda but I really need it verified that it's the STARTER that needs replacing. There is an online petition of over 600 Honda Accord owners complaining about this very problem. How many complaints do they have to get to do something about a car part that obviously falls short of performance on an over-rated over-priced car?

Kicking myself for not purchasing the extended warranty but the way it was explained to us, we had to have ALL SERVICING DONE AT THE DEALER at a premium price compared to other oil/change/tire places. So, if you just once, take it to WalFart for an oil change, you have voided your extended warranty. Miss the old days when dealers had great mechanics and free servicing for vehicles they sold.

- , Saint Peters, MO, USA

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