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:
44,335 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. replace the ELD (electronic load detector) (1 reports)
  3. replaced main fuse box assembly (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 012013

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Why do the headlights continually dim and go bright???

- , Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #6

Feb 112009

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Very dangerous when lights dim. Usually when accelerate or drive lights will dim.

- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 202010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

In order to repair problem with the ELD components, you must replace the entire main fuse box assembly which is expensive. Would be much easier to repair and way more economical if the ELD was built and installed as a separate component.

- , Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #4

Oct 202003

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 25 miles


It is a pain, but due to the cost of the part, I can deal with it.

- , Aravda, CO, USA

problem #3

Jun 012004


  • 40,000 miles

We have taken our car in at least three times to see if they can figure out why my lights go dim after dark. They are so bad that we try not to drive after dark. They put it on the tester and say they can not figure out why it does that. They have never been able to figure it out and again they don't really care. I would not buy another Honda for anything.

- , Sherwood, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 012004

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,321 miles

I own a 2003 Accord, 2.4L

Headlights as well as interior ligts dim when gas pedal is released. Happens only at speeds between 40 and 80 kmh. This was reported to Honda dealer while under warranty, of course the dealer washed their hands and said that the problem could not be I am driving in this condition ever since.

- , Kitchener, ON, Canada

problem #1

Jul 092003

Accord LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

headlights dim while driving sometimes. Dealer could not find the problem until a service tech noted a service bulletin on it. It was a voltage regulator. They replaced it, no problems since.

- , Fallon, NV, USA

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