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:
103,890 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2003 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 042017

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Please help! I have 2003 Honda Accord, engine shorts oil and gearbox failed. I bought a 2006 Honda Accord engine and gearbox and installed but still not comfortable with the engine performance when ac is on. The engine stalls and produce black smoke when the ac is put on. Also I discovered that the car doesn't respond faster when the accelerator is pushed for over take.

- , Lokoja, Nigeria

problem #3

Oct 122011

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I have had a problem for almost a year where when the weather is really hot or cold and I use the defroster or a/c my car starts to idle extremely low and has stalled. It has also not started and needs a few times to start. I have had it checked numerous times and no one can pinpoint the actual problem. I do not want to spend so much money on something that is not a definite problem. Some have said it's the sensors that need to be replaced and some have said other things. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 262011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,560 miles

My car stated having this issue about 2 weeks ago, Took my car to Honda immediately and was told it was bad gas, since I had a full tank, I would have to drive the gas out replace with premium, and add some octain booster, and to call them back once I had driven the gas out and replaced with prem gas. It took a week for me to run the gas out replaced with prem gas, and my RPMs still ramp heavy, the AC drags my engine so hard that if idle at a stop sign or traffic light the car will shut off. So I'm stuck in hot Florida riding my two babies around with no AC. When in reverse, drive I have to push immediately on the gas or my car will hesitate. I was then told that my computer needed to be updated with new software, but per Honda I had the latest software and there is nothing they could do, as they can't find what the problem is. My spark plugs are good, I do not have any wires, no distributor cap, Honda doesn't no what to do now. It was suggested I get a new car while the check engine light was still off.

- , Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 012009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

A/C drags engine down on 4 cylinder Automatic. When you take off from a stop, the car hesitates so severe that it has puts me and my family at risk. We have had the car for 6 years and it has never been this bad. I realize most all cars lose some power due to the A/C being on, but this is terrible! Anyone else have this issue?

- , Chico, CA, USA

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