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:
79,260 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace power steering rack (4 reports)
  2. keep plenty of power steering fluid in stock. (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 142015

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


My dealer, Honda of Lewisville, tells me I have a recall on the power steering hose on my 2003 Honda Accord EXL ( yes FULLY LOADED ). One day later power steering fluid is leaking everywhere and Honda tells me I have to replace the power steering rack. Note, replacing the power steering rack is a $2400 expense since the bottom support structure has to come off, ie its labor intensive. Surely Honda knew replacing the power steering hose would cause a power steering failure? Note, the Honda dealer then charged me $2400 in labor to replace the power steering rack.

Note we have three Hondas in the family. Including a 2002 Accord and a 2003 CRV. The 02 Accord and 03 CRV each have over 200,000 miles on them and have had no serious problems including a rock solid original engine and transmission and no power steering problems.

For a Honda power steering rack to 'self destruct' with only 111,000 miles is a problem. We pay more for Honda quality and expect more from Honda. In my case, I ignored the 2003 Honda complaints thinking it was a fluke, which is a bad mistake that I hope you will not make.

And sadly, you can not trust Hondas to the point where you pay more for a Honda than any of the other brand. So the morale of the story is that 'you' must add Honda to the list of vendors that you MUST use a 'buyer beware' approach. Do your homework, delay the purchase and shop around.

- , Coppell, TX, USA

problem #4

Nov 152012

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,002 miles

Right after the repair I got notified of a steering hose recall. It came with a form to fill out for reimbursement of repairs . So I filled out the form and sent it in . Now I have been notified that honda won't cover the repairs. WOW They admit a problem big enough to have a recall But won't pay for the fix! You must have to die in a related crash first , then maybe Honda can pay in a related law suit. Help !

- , Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 012007

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

All i know is keep plenty of fluid,if youre low on cash thats all i know to do because a rack is expensive to replace..i put power steering fluid in my car every few days. If i dont then i cant turn the car at def annoying!!!!!

- , Campbell, TN, USA

problem #2

Oct 102007

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Gradually the steering became stiff. Took by local Honda after having to wait a couple days since they were booked with appointments. After the initial inspection had to wait a couple more days for the steering pump to be ordered. I was also told that it may involve the steering rack, but should wait to see if the 1 part would fix the whole problem. Went back again to have part put in and thought it was all overwith. Then steering was stiff when turning right. Took back and was told needed a new steering rack. This was covered under my extended warranty. Had to take the car back in for a 3rd time.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 242007

(reported on)

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,300 miles

Car is 3 years, 4 months old. Beyond the 3 year warranty, but under the 36K limit. Mostly light city driving. Certainly not abused. And power steering rack leaks? Dealer's response is 'check the fluid regularly, or spend $1040 for replacement.

- , Hyde Park, NY, US

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