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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,905 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. remove twist in cable (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 182009

Accord LX 2.4L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 101,905 miles


The local dealer has not been able to fix this problem. It continues to occur. Idle reaches as high as 3,500 RPM in stop and go traffic. If the car were not a standard, it would be impossible to drive. Only current solution is to either drive on the highway for a while or shut the car off for 1/2 hour or so and try again.

Dealer interactions have included "can't duplicate the problem", "really strange, never heard of it before", "clean the throttle body", "wait until another repair and maybe it will go away".

It's been happening on hot days for years but neither the dealer (or Honda info base) seems to have any information about how to repair it.

This makes the car unusable on hot days and something I don't want to inflict on someone else by selling it used.

I have been a loyal Honda customer for many years, owning a Prelude, Civic and 2 Accords and have never experienced anything like this. Very frustrating!

Update from Mar 21, 2013: The dealer did eventually find the problem. It was that a cable had been twisted during a previous minor repair. The twist was removed and the problem disappeared forever. The dealer did not charge for the repair (in my opinion because it was minor and because it was probably caused there).

- , Fredericton, New Brunswick, canada

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