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:
Average Mileage:
106,898 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced power steering pump (5 reports)
2003 Honda Accord steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 012010

Accord LX-V6 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


Disappointing, had to replace hoses and pump. Expensive repair.

- , El Paso, TX, US

problem #4

Apr 052013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,700 miles

I had a recall for the power steering failure. It took 7 months for the part to come in and once it was fixed, the power steering pump had cracked and leaked. This caused me to lose all power steering. I had to pay for this out of pocket as it was not considered part of the recall. In my mind, but for the recalled part being defective, this pump would have continued to work properly. I am contacting Honda and seeking reimbursement as this should be covered as part of the recall. I don't mind paying for the labor but the part I will not be paying for.

- , Springfield, VA, USA

problem #3

Aug 142012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I was driving along and saw smoke coming from my car and smelled something burning. I was towed to a mechanic and had the power steering feeder hose replaced. I later received a letter about a recall on this part and Honda reimbursed me. However, the leak in the power steering hose was so severe, it damaged the power steering pump and that had to be replaced. Called the Honda dealer (Dulles) and they told me to contact American Honda. I did, and they basically told me I was SOL and would have to pay for the power steering pump myself, even though their faulty manufacturing caused the damage!! Worst customer service, worst car. Needless to say I'll never buy another Honda.

- , Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 142010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

A month ago my car started making a whining noise upon startup. The noise was more pronouncer when I turned the steering wheel. After driving for a few minutes, the noise was gone. It would only occur during the morning startup.

I brought my car in for service to have the serpentine belt replaced and to have a recall taken care of (o-ring for power steering). No luck, the car still whined in the morning. The dealer told me that there was an issue with the power steering pump and it needed to be replaced. I called another mechanic and described the problem, he said this situation occurs frequently with 03 and 04 accords. He was surprised Honda had not come forward to fix the problem as its clearly a known issue with these model cars. First and second year versions of the new model.

Such a shame. We had a family Camry for 200k miles with little to no issues. I thought the Accord was on par. Im buying a new SUV for my new family soon and now wont even consider a Honda. Despite their recent issues, its a Highlander or Sorento. Way to many issues with the Accord. No wonder sales are down for Honda.....

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 232008

Accord EX 3.0L V6 Sohc (Mfi)

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,789 miles

Only the Power Steering Pump was covered under my extended warranty with a $50 deductible & I also had to pay for a Power Steering Flush which was $107

- , Long Beach, CA, USA

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