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:
94,560 miles
Total Complaints:
126 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (46 reports)
  2. not sure (38 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (16 reports)
  4. dealer claims there isn't a problem (10 reports)
  5. honda is replacing the tranny with a rebuilt at no charge (8 reports)
  6. dealer replaced with a refurbished transmission (3 reports)
2003 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Honda Accord:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Feb 222008

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


I'm joining the unfortunate club of "Angry Honda Owners". I never thought such a club would exist, but boy am I wrong. I, like everyone else, have been having transmission problems with my Accord. For the record, I loved - I LOVED - this car. I loved owning an Accord; loved the way it looked, smelled, drove, rode, and felt. I bragged about my car and convinced friends and family to also purchase an Accord. I washed her and stroked her like she was my pet.

Let me go back a few more years so you can understand why I loved this hunk of metal like I did.......I made the HUGE mistake of purchasing a 2000 Olds Alero right out of college. I thought it was the sexiest car ever made and soon learned what a hunk of crap it was (for the record I'd drive an El Cameno before I'd drive an Alero again). I decided to trade it in (I took a $3,000 loss on it as I owed $10K and the dealer only gave me $7K for it) but was so excited to have gotten rid of it and purchased a brand-new Honda Accord. I finally felt like a grown-up -- and had a four-door sedan --- and it was an Accord. It was love at first sight. I was a proud driver of a four door sedan that I was going to have forever.

I won't tell you all the obvious because I know I'm preaching to the choir here - but I bought that car thinking to myself "self, this baby is going to last you forever - you are going to be driving it for 20 years! Honda makes the BEST cars and you will never have problems with it - EVER." So, I make all 60 of my payments to the bank and celebrate having a fully-paid-off car. I tossed back a beer and toasted to 10+ years of no car payment! Man, I thought I was going to be rolling in the money because bye-bye were the days of car payments. This lasted exactly 3 weeks. Three weeks to the day after I made my final car payment I began having transmission problems.

Well, five years and a 125,000 miles I am not so happy any longer. I'm now tossing the beers back again, but not in celebration. By the way, my 125,000 miles are ALL highway miles. I began having transmission problems several weeks ago and immediately brought the car into the Honda dealership where (like all of you I was a religious fanatic about the 'recommend service' and happily paid the $110/hour of labor for maintenance) I was told that they couldn't duplicate the problem, thus they couldn't diagnosis it. They flushed my transmission fluid, I coughed up $1200 (new front/back brakes, 120,000 service and pretty new pink transmission fluid) and left thinking "damn, I love this car." I love supporting the Honda dealership and paying them $110/hour and in turn they pay their technicians $20/hour and then roll around naked in my money.

Low and behold, the car is still having transmission problems. So, I drive my car home, say a little prayer to God that it will just 'go away' and drive it again. No such luck, the car continued to have the same problem. After the car was warm - driven on the highway for 30 minutes or so whenever I'd slow significantly and then re-accelerate my car would not go into third gear. Instead, the engine would rev to 5-6000 rpms and not accelerate. Well, this is just not ok! This is clearly a safety issue (it's not like I can put a sign up in the window and say "DON'T APPROACH ME, MY TRANSMISSION IS GARBAGE AND WON'T SHIFT") and I was bound to either get hit or cause a major accident.

So, I take the car back in. Sure enough, they tell me they can't get the car to duplicate the problem. I take my car back, tell the old girl that I still love her, and drive it home thinking again that the problem will just 'poof' vanish. Heck no, that doesn't happen and no amount of beer that I drink makes it go away.

Well, I decide to go for information where the entire world is at my fingertips -- the internet. Wow, I found this site and think "I'm not alone, I have company, I have friends." It's obvious that there is a design flaw in the Honda Accord's transmission (by the way, we're all the luckiest because it's the most prevalent in the 2003 model V6!) and that Honda doesn't take transmissions apart, they take them OUT and say "cough up thousands of dollars but please still love us because we're HONDA and we make everyone feel warm and fuzzy." I might feel warm and fuzzy from my Miller Lite, but not from Honda.

I'd like to think I'm smarter than the average bear and that it's pretty darn clear that Honda's transmission is as good as a Schwinn 10-speed. All of us are having the same problems; I'm not delusional. I'm not crazy and I'm not quiet. So I pick up the phone and call the 1800 Honda number out in California and have a case opened with my transmission issue. Again I'm told that I either need to have the car duplicate the problem or have the check engine light go on. Boy what fun - I can wait as my transmission slips (by the way, by this time the car would sometimes NOT pop back into gear and I would almost get rear-ended) and makes my engine rev to the red-area and run the risk of blowing my engine which is the only piece of equipment more expensive than the transmission but at least it's not a hunk of junk. (In defense of Honda because I'm bashing them a bit - they make a great engine!) Honda tells me that they will "help" with the repairs but won't say how much. Ok, it's time for a guessing game. Will I pay more than a month's earnings or less? Will I be forced to eat Old Roy dog food or will I be able to afford Science Diet?

After almost being hit last weekend (with my 5-year old nephew in the car and my beloved Labrador Retriever) I'd had it. No more "here's your car back...we can't get it to duplicate the problem because we want to hide under a rock and pretend that Honda is awesome and invincible." I call the dealership and tell them that I will take the tech for a ride - he/she can ride along with me because the car has a problem. Wouldn't you know it - the car acts up! The tech (who by the way had an IQ of 43 and grunted a bit) says "yep, that's definitely an internal transmission failure and you need a new tranny." Are you serious? Did I not say that 2 weeks ago when I first brought my car in? Do I look like I pray for my two synapses to rub together to create a spark in my head?

To make a long story short - ok, too late for that......but Honda is paying for the new transmission (and no, I don't think that this one will be better than the old's obvious that the transmission fairy didn't visit the engineer and teach him how to build a decent tranny) and I'm paying the labor at $110/hour. What a bargain! Honda knows their trannies are crap, they are a billion dollar company, and I'm paying a $110/hour for a grunting tech (by the way, I am NOT saying all techs are grunters like this one...but I just happen to get a weird grunter...I've worked with numerous non-grunting-normal techs) to put in a new transmission AND for a rental car. Hey, guess what kind of rental I got? Wait for it....wait for's a 2007 Accord V-6 with only 8,000 miles on it. Guess what? I guarantee you that this car's transmission will fail before it hits 20K! The car is already acting up a bit and showing early signs of upcoming tranny problems - hard shifting between 2-3 gear....not that smooth with all the gears....a bit of a lag when I hit the gas. You just know that this Accord rental from the dealership has been beat on and it's not taking a beating and going to keep on ticking.

The bottom line is, I'm coughing up the cash the for the labor -- driving the car until it's at 35,000 more miles and the new tranny warranty is going to expire and then selling it. My dream of owing this car until it hit 1/2 million miles is crushed. I'm going to have to go to the dark side -- Toyota. I don't like Toyota Camry's or Avalons as much as I like the Accords but I've been burned and won't go near the stove again. I'm gonna do it, and go over to the Toyota dealership and pray I don't get crapped on again. I might even forgo the V6 (but man I love the power and speed) and get a little 4-cylinder "I think I can" sort of engine. It will be my new little engine that could.

My advice to anyone having transmission problems is to not take no for an answer and not drive your car until a new transmission is put in. This is a serious safety issue and you, and others on the road, could be seriously hurt or killed. I know I've joked a lot in this posting, because that's how I cope with stress, but in all seriousness don't drive the car if it 'acts up'. Also, I have to say I'm pleased that Honda is standing behind their vehicles in some ways and paying for the new transmission. Because I'm way over my warranty they could tell me to go pound sand and I wouldn't have much recourse, but they willingly agreed to pay for the cost of the parts. We do have to give them credit for that because they truly didn't have to.

- , Roseville, MN, USA

problem #25

Jul 242007

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I have to admit, i am in love with Hondas, but this particular occasion made me want to throw my car in the river. I was driving on the highway going at least 75mph, i noticed that my transmission started slipping very bad. It felt like i was hitting my breaks on and off at 75mph. I had no idea what the problem was. Anyway, had to tow my car back to TN which was well over 200 miles. I took it to the dealership and they told me that the transmission was dead. I was shocked...a Honda transmission DEAD!!!. i had complete trust in my car, after all, it was only 4 years old. They replaced it for free under the warranty...thank god. I could have been killed on the highway because of the bad transmission. It just goes to show that anything can happen...please be careful.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #24

Mar 032008

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

On a highway, at about 60mph, I accelerated to pass a car and the transmission jumped into 2nd gear, almost causing me to lose control. Got off the highway and realized the car would not shift into reverse, or out of 2nd gear. Dealer said the problem was caused by dirty transmission fluid and a faulty clutch solenoid. Had the solenoid replaced and the transmission fluid replaced. Car worked fine for about 20 miles, and then the exact same problem re-occurred. Taking it back to the dealer today.

- , Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #23

Feb 052008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,100 miles


I had my Honda Accord EX to the service dealership about 4 times complaining that my TCS light kept appearing on my dashboard of and on and when it would happen I would hear a grinding sound. Every time I took it to the dealership they said that the light was no longer on and that the computers was showing that there was no problem. They did not document this complaint on my service records until April of 2007. I took my car in because I started having a problem where my car would Jerk in and out of gear. After taking it to the dealership they advised me that it was a solenoid ????? that had went bad that was not allowing me to shift from 1st through 3rd. After complaining back and forth that I kept complaining about the grinding sound that I felt that It should have been a warranty problem. They advised me that, they did not show any records of my complaints until April 2007, therefore they would not cover it. Being a mother of a 16 month old baby, I advised them to go ahead and fix it. They charged me $445.82 to repair the so called problem. Before I hit the interstate which was less than 3/4 of a mile away from the dealership the service engine was now on again. I called the dealership and they assured me that the problem was fixed and that the car now "shifts like a Dream". I thought I was feeling the jerking in the car again, but I was assured that all was fine. The next day I drove approx. 30 miles away to have lunch with my husband, when the car was doing the same thing as before when I took it in for the original problem. After a long back and forth battle with the dealer they advised me that they did not know what was wrong with the car, but they would go ahead and replace the Transmission for me. Wow what a deal. As I complained further they said they would cut me a deal and pay 85%. At this point I am still upset because of the transmission Recall that they had earlier told me that did not pertain to my car was now the source of my problem. However their records showed that I had it repaired due to the recall, when I took it in for the recall they told me that it did not apply to my car. so here I am going of almost 2 weeks with no car and a baby that i can't take to her doctor if their is an emergency. All my cars have always been a Honda, I had one used Honda Accord that I owned for about 10 years that had 325,000 miles on it before I sold it and it is still on the road today, I had a Honda Civic for 2 years before I realized that it did not go in the snow Which had less than 10,000 miles when I traded it in for the2003 Honda Accord I have now that has less than 41,000 miles on it and has been nothing but problems. After the problems that I have had with this Honda I will never own another. In the five years that I have owned this car I have put over $10,000.00 in repairs for things that the dealership said was not broke????? Go figure???

- , Stonewood, WV, USA

problem #22

Dec 072007

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Ok, this is the fourth honda I have owned, and I have always bragged about how excellent and reliable these cars are. However when the car had only around 47,000 miles my car transmission started slipping and freezing, so in 2005 due to the warranty and the recall in 2004 a new transmission was placed in my car, and I paid $250 out of pocket costs, and had a free rental car. So I thought, wow this is great I just had some bad luck, but this car will last at least 10 years now. WRONG!!! I have had a week out of hell. My car has 99,000 miles on it now, 2 years later, and four days ago my car started slipping and revving up but it wouldn't drive, and I was on the 5 fwy in LA. Thankfully I was able to get over on the side, however it was real scary with all the cars going 70-80 mph around me!! I knew it felt like last time, so I took it to Miller Honda in Van Nuys, where I spent 105.00 for them to tell me I needed a new transmission, which would cost me over $3700. They said I was no longer covered by the warranty for the new transmission!! That warranty is for 12 months or 12,000 miles. I do all the service on my car thru my mechanic and not the honda dealer since they are so costly, and was told I should have all my maintenance through them! I reminded them, that I did have my transmission replaced two years ago by them!! Does anyone know of any class action suit about this? I would like to pursue one, because this is a real safety issue!!! Honda needs to wake up, they can't live off their reputation!

- , Burbank, CA, USA

problem #21

Nov 212007

Accord EX VL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I sympathize with all the Accord owners out there that are experiencing this problem. I just recently noticed that my transmission was slipping between 2nd and 3rd gear. I took the car in for the 45,000 mile service and told them about the problem. I had previously read many of the complaints posted on this site and was ready for battle and calmly made the service manager aware that I knew about a fairly consistent problem with the 03 Accord transmissions. When the service was complete the service manager called me to let me know a new transmission was needed and that he would order one. Concurrently, he also let me know that this was going to be covered by Honda at no cost to me (outside of a possible rental car due to a 2 day repair). I have always trusted and known Honda to be a great car company willing to stand behind their product. Again, I sympathize with all of you who have had negative experiences. Kudo's to Performance Honda of Fairfield Ohio for stepping up to the plate and going to bat for a long time customer!

- , Hamilton, OH, US

problem #20

Nov 252007

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles


Funny, this same thing is happening to me right now and Honda has no clue what's going on! Seems pretty elementary to me, as I have done the research and found this board. The car is going to it's 3rd honda service center on Monday to "find" the problem. I have already contacted Honda to report this. It started on Sunday, Nov. 25, I noticed the car having trouble finding a gear. Drove to Columbus and then it's started the jerking. We checked the trans fluid and added some. I drove back to Dayton and bam, while on the highway doing about 70 mph, the car decides to downshift on it's own to 40 mph. There were cars behind me at the time, so it could have been a serious accident. I was able to get off at the nearest exit and drive home. I called my dealership where my car is serviced, but couldn't get in until the next day. I called another dealership that I used with my other Honda. They checked it and couldn't find a thing wrong. I had all of the Level II services done at that time since it was due. I drove it to work the next day, which is in Cincinnati and bam happened again while on the highway. Made it to work safely and then couldn't park my car since it wouldn't go in reverse. After some co-workers pushed my car, someone suggested we unhook the battery. In his opinion, he thought the computer isn't communicating with the trans and maybe needed to be reset. I then took it to the nearest dealership in Cincinnati to look at it. They couldn't duplicate the issue either. They called Honda to talk to some highly skilled techs and were told to flush out the fluid and add new fluid and see if that fixes things. They did that and then drove it 52+ miles since I said it was happening on my commute to Cincy from Dayton. They were not able to see any issues so they said to come pick up my vehicle. Of course, I was paranoid driving home one the highway, but I did. No problems that night. Thursday, I drove to work, again no problems, still paranoid thought. I decided to call Honda to voice my concerns and complaint. It is now on file for 3 years. Anyway, drove home to Dayton with plans to drive to Columbus later that evening. When I made it to Dayton, I thought I felt the trans slipping. I decided not to stop for food and continue driving to see if I was correct. Well what do you know, it was acting up again and started jerking. Good thing I wasn't on the highway this time. Made it home, and immediately called my dealership. I take it in on Monday. We'll see what happens!

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 212007

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I have always loved a Honda or Toyota. My idea of maintenance is an oil change and tire rotation. I feel for the people that drive domestics, even though there are a lucky few. So we purchased this 2003 Honda V6 EX at 56K miles. At 80K miles I noticed that the transmission was not up shifting. I let up on the accelerator and the car shifted into third. I new this was going to be bad. 2 days later on a quick family trip 60 miles away the car lurched as if we had slapped the gear shifter into neutral. Then the car began to do this over and over. We arrived to our destination after shifting the car into neutral when the lurching was occurring.

I called the tow truck and had a quick discussion about towing my car to a Honda dealer for an inspection. He commented that this was the first Honda he towed due to mechanical failure. I agreed that this was going to suck!

Apparently there was a recall for an oil line issue to the tranny - my car had that fix at 56K - great - NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 04V176000. and no burned gears - crap.

The tranny had a bad modulator in the bowels of the beast. To get to the modulator the entire tranny had to be dissembled to replace the 26 dollar part. The dealer told me that they may as well put new parts into the tranny as they had to tear it down anyways. SCREAM....but get this, the Honda dealerships will not rebuild a tranny - they will only replace or swap trannys as it is more cost effective for everybody involved I guess.

I let the Honda dealership call Honda MOCO to see if they could get this covered free of charge. 3 days later I was called by the service manager to let me know that the entire thing will be repaired free! WHAT!! Holy cow I did not expect this. I have no loyalty to this dealer...never been there before as Honda's do not really break all that often.

The thing that I was disappointed with was the fact that I buy a Honda expecting it to last forever. I do not have x-ray vision so I do the most research that I can - but its a Honda, come on. If a Honda has a problem like this we all deserve to get angry - welcome to the domestic car arena.

I have discovered that local Honda Medic's can rebuild a tranny for $1200 - $1500. Not $5000!!! This was some comfort as it is close to x-mas and I did not want a new tranny.

So I learned that Honda's do break, and that if I had not started at a Honda Dealership I would have got screwed for sure.

By the way - this issue has scared us so bad that we bought a new 4runner as I have seen that Toyota's are a little less finicky. We are selling the Honda with a new tranny - I will leave that out of the ad however. I feel for you all!! This is a crap tranny I think.

- , Littleton, CO, USA

problem #18

Apr 202007

(reported on)

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,885 miles

like the rest of you, the tranny on my 2003 accord v6 was slipping out of gear and revving up to 5000, I would back off and revs would go down and problem would go away for awhile. I took it to a driveline shop and went on test drive but could not get it to duplicate problem. During the drive the tech put it in neutral at 110km/hr and revved engine until the rev limiter kicked in at around 5500 rpm (this shuts down fuel) after this it has not happened since, my guess is the computer had a"glitch" and causing the rev limiter to kick in may have "reset" the glitch.

- , Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #17

Aug 272007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Like others on this page, my Honda's gears started slipping. I took it to my mechanic and he said that I have major internal tranny problems. He called Vista Honda In Ventura, CA to see what the warranty is. A Service guy told my mechanice that there is a 80K / 8 year warranty on the tranny. i then call the Service center myself to ask and they said that its not true, all i have is a 3year / 36K mile warranty. They also said that since I do not have my car serviced with them they cant make any special deals with me on a new transmission. I took that as a sign they never want me to buy another Honda again.

At this moment I would like to look into a class action lawsuit. If anyone is interested please let me know.

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 112007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


This is a must read story!

Heres another story for everyone to read about the piece of shi* transmission that honda makes and won't warranty. the story goes like this. We bought the car used from a mitsu dealership with about 30K miles on it, about a year later with 40K miles on the car we started experiencing the dreaded "slipping transmission problem" and finally it got to the point where it was undrivable. so after searching on the internet i found that there were tons of people complaining about faulty transmissions on the automatic accords and that there was service bulletin "recall" issued from honda to fix a broken 2nd gear in the transmission. So after calling the toll free honda usa corporate people, they told me that our car was already taken into a honda dealer and had this 2nd gear replaced by the previous owner. so basically according to honda, they did their part by repairing the 2nd gear, and even tho the trans is now broken less than 20k miles later, there is nothing honda will do to cover the cost of a new trans. So after multiple phone calls, i find a honda dealer about 60 miles away that is willing to goodwill the transmission and give us a new trans. GREAT NEWS! right? well, less than one year later and less than 9000 miles after the "NEW" trans was installed, the car is already showing symptoms like it did before in the beginning stages before the trans completely broke. the car slips out of gear, the TCS light comes on for no reason, etc. So i call up our local honda dealership in schaumburg to make an appointment to bring it in and have them look at it hoping that they will experience the problem and fix it for us. so after talking with the service advisor he tells me that if they can get the trans. to act up , honda will fix the problem since the replacement trans carries a 12month/12,000 mile warranty. SO needless to say, the car never had any trans problems while they had it. I dropped off the car on tuesday and left it with them until friday, making them drive the car multiple times, but of course it never acted up from them. So I went in the service center friday afternoon to pick up the car and try to come to some resolve with the service dept. obviously i didn't bring the car there for an imaginary problem! the car is doing the exact same thing it did a year ago right before the trans broke! so after spending almost an hour talking with the service advisor and service manager at schaumburg honda, this is what they told me. since the car was serviced at 20k miles for the 2nd gear replacement, and since the car was "goodwilled" at 40k miles with a new trans, honda DOESN'T GIVE YOU A 12MONTH/12,000 WARRANTY ON A GOODWILL REPAIR! can you believe that crap?! so even tho honda installed a supposedly new or re-manufactured transmission, they do not honor any kind of warranty on a goodwill repair? wtf is that? so basically they told me that when/if the transmission does completely fail again, that I or they, can TRY to call corporate honda to see if they will honor another goodwill repair on the trans. but they stressed that this decision is solely up to corporate, no honda dealership is going to make the decision on their own to authorize the repair. So here is a brief recap of the timeline of issues. 20k miles the car was serviced for the "recall" of the 2nd gear problem. 40K miles the transmission completely fails and is towed to honda, and a new/re-manufactured trans is installed. 48k miles the trans is starting to act up already. now honda tells us we're basically on our own. they tried to charge me $105 to look at the car, so after asking the service manager how he would feel if i charged him $105 to drive his car around using his gas and sitting in the a/c, and then telling him that there is nothing wrong with the car, he agreed to split the cost with me. and by the way, my girlfriend drives this car, so its not like shes beating the crap out of it when she drives it. and then to top this entire story off, when i walked to the car there was overspray of paint over the entire front end, hood, fenders, windshield, bumper, and even in the engine compartment. so i grabbed the service advisor to show him, after looking at the car for 10 minutes, he offers to drive it back in the shop and have someone clean it up. 5 minutes later he pulls the car back around front to me, and has the audacity to tell me that maybe the paint was on the car when WE brought it to them! he insists that there was no way paint could of gotten on the car since they don't have a body shop on site, so i told him that i wasn't going to be the one to clean this up and that they better figure something out. so now we have to bring the car back to have a detailer wetsand and buff the car out. moral of the story, if you buy a honda accord, make sure you get a manual transmission, because obviously whatever they are doing to fix the problems isn't working.

- , Carol Stream, IL, USA

problem #15

Jun 302007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

We have around 71000 miles on our '03 Accord. My wife mainly drives this vehicle but, whenever I drive it I notice that the tranny is acting up. Going up hills it fails to shift unless I let up off the accelerator then it will engage. We used to have a '97 CR-V that started doing the same thing. I just don't want to be on the highway going 65mph and have the tranny act up. Reading some of the other posts I understand what you're going through. Several years ago, while driving the CR-V we were on the interstate when ALL OF A SUDDEN the engine REVed really high but we weren't going anywhere. I had to get off on the shoulder with my flashers on going about 40mph. Needless, to say, when we did take it to the dealer they could NEVER replicate the problem.... This may have been my last Honda purchase.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052007

(reported on)

Accord EXL-V6 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I just noticed this forum and see we are not alone. I just experienced the dreaded "slip" this past Thursday. I took it in and had the tranny flushed hoping it would cure this problem. Wrong! It is intermittent and it will even do it in first gear from time to time. It seems to really occur when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. Has anyone checked to see if there was a official recall on this as I do not recall getting one. Not good. I had a 1993 Accord and had 180k miles on it without a problem. I have been religious about changing fluids as well as tranny fluid ever 30k miles.

- , Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, US

problem #13

Jul 052007

(reported on)

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I'm having the same problem everyone else is having with the transmission slipping at around 30 MPH (RPM would shoot up to 5000-6000 before I could back off on the accelerator). This happened intermittently during a recent trip from San Diego to Napa over the course of 5 days. On the fifth day the problem seemed to go away. I took the car in to a reputable, independent Honda shop, and they could not recreate the problem. So far, so good (less than a week has passed). From what I'm reading, I should contact Honda about this, since it seems to be a known problem (even if they don't readily admit to it). Thank you to the other postings. The info helps.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 192007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,865 miles

I noticed earlier in the day that my car starting revving really high and I was only going 40 km/hr and I wondered what the heck?!!! This happened a couple of times for 10 secs each time. I knew something wasn't right but I never thought that I could have lost my life from my car's failures! That evening, I was on the Deerfoot highway, going about 120 km when all of a sudden it felt like someone smashed into us from behind. My passengers and I all went flying forward and I was shocked but still in control of the vehicle. I slowed down to 90 when I realized no one hit my car, suddenly right after my car lurched on it's own again. It felt like I was slamming on my car brakes but I wasn't. Just over the 100,000 km mark, I wondered what could be wrong with my car?? I prayed to god it wasn't the tranny because the warranty only lasts up to 100,000km. I got it towed to Honda and they are doing a flush stating my fluid was black and smelled like armpit, and that they have never seen that before. I am starting to wonder if they sold me a lemon to begin with! I hope to god this problem is fixed because I cannot and will not pay $5000 for a new transmission! If anyone else went through this and Honda admitted to a transmission recall on 2003 please let me know using the comment link below.

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #11

Mar 042007

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

85K! Transmission is slipping everytime I drive the car - Fortunately, all my service work completed on time and the at same Honda service center/dealer. I have been assured that the transmission will be replaced under the warranty at no charge to me. What about resale - does anyone know how it's affected - I owe $5k on the loan. Does anyone know what the public/dealers think about replaced transmissions.

And to all of you other 03 Exers out there - thanks for taking time post. It's somewhat comforting to know I'm not alone in enduring this critical car issue. And this will be my last Honda purchase and I have driven a Honda for 20yrs.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 012006

(reported on)

Accord EX 4-CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

At 60K+ miles my Accord started to slip in/out of gear. This happened while accelerating through 30-40 MPH. When this happened I took it to an independent shop, and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They just did a Transmission flush/fluid change, and it has been fine since.

Now I've got ~ 90K miles and am having similar problems. I took it to a local shop and they mentioned there is a design defect in these Accords. There is some fiberglass part that is getting some friction on it and the particles are clogging up a filter. Other customers have had to fight with Honda to get this covered under Warranty by calling up Honda North America.

Currently I just dropped it off at the dealership and they are diagnosing it. I don't really want to spend $$$ to fix a car that was bought with a known defect. It's due for a transmission flush/fluid change anyway... so we may just have to be vigilante about making sure to get this work done every 30K miles.

- , Northridge, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 192006

(reported on)

Accord EXL 3.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Usually after the transmisson is warm, the transmission will fail to engage in 3rd gear and the engine (RPMs) will race. Letting off the gas and allowing the speed to slightly decrease helps in "feathering" the gas pedal and the 3rd gear then kicks in. This transmission has been "over-maintained" and it still did this. Very disapointed even with 114,000 miles. Transmisson fluid changed every 12,000 miles. NOT GOOD. Why can't Honda make a good transmission? It's been failing since 1997 and they still are.

- , Hingham, MA, USA

problem #8

Nov 162006

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Car is only 3 years old... Transmission started slipping from 2nd-3rd gear... Got fluid changed and new filter.... Still slipping... Contacted Honda and they said that this is normal for any car to have possible problems that are unpredictable. Car only had 3 year/36,000 mi warranty.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #7

Nov 222006

(reported on)

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Well, the transmission flush didn't work --and it had been less than 100 miles since the flush -- and the gear slipping continued. I checked the transmission fluid, and it was not even registering on the dip stick-- once again, where did it go. So I took it back to the dealer, popped the hood, had them check the fluid... they saw the same - and the slipping was now intermittent. I am happy to report though, that Honda, since I had the recall work done when I was notified (or close to it) is replacing the tranny with a rebuilt one at no cost to me . (except the $300 for the original diagnosis, and tranny flush and the need to rent a car for a weekend trip for $100). Obviously this model year tranny is an issue, and growing - kudos to Honda for stepping up to fix -- there was no yelling, threatening to go to the arbitration board, or ranting (not to say that there wasn't going to be if they didn't replace) ... but I have all my work done through the same dealer so they have a history of everything done to the car. With that said... a poorly engineered transmission, or quality problems with this batch of tranny's is inexcusable for any car.

- , Northville, MI, USA

Read the next 6 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?