Notes: The 2004 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 ever 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 replaced 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:
Average Mileage:
71,171 miles
Total Complaints:
67 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. call American Honda (1-800-999-1009), ask for goodwill repair (11 reports)
  3. have circuit board replaced by dealer (6 reports)
  4. service report 04-027 (6 reports)
  5. call your local dealer (4 reports)
  6. replace the light (3 reports)
2004 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #67

Nov 102016

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I read online about the recall for the radio / backlights and the detailed complaints. While others mention that this issue is annoying, I see this as a major safety issue that Honda should fix for free, regardless of mileage..they knew there was fault at their end. We trust them to provide a safe ride and transportation for others and when you can't see the defrost buttons there is definitely a safety concern. I was driving in the mountains and I could see the defrost button and my car was fogging up. I had to pull over (which was unsafe also, but I couldn't see) to turn on the defogger. HONDA, THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE THAT YOU SOLD TO ALL OF US, FIX IT!

- , Placentia, CA, USA

problem #66

Sep 152015

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

radio light went out. I watched a video on you tube, took it apart and soldered it back. It worked for awhile and then I had to do it again. went out again and I just said screw it and left it dark. This car is a piece of crap.

- , Carrollton, TX, US

problem #65

May 162013

Accord EX 3.0L Vtec V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My concern over reliability and Honda quality grows as I document problems that appear to be fairly standard for the model I own. The circuit board had previously been replaced (recall-service bulletin), but the replacement board also failed and is no longer under warranty.

- , Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #64

Mar 062013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles


audio-stereo / hvac display module went dark

My Honda 2004 Accord HVAC Display Module went Dark. It's a royal pain. It had been getting dim for a long time. Now I can't see temp, radio or nothing. I understand this is a Honda defect. I called Honda about this issue. I purchased this car new. Honda want offer me no assistance. I was told this runs 1000 to fix. I can't afford to fix it. I guess I want buy another Honda. A sensor went out in A/C right away. Cost me 400.00 to fix. Also replaced brake rotors and pads several times. My daughter bought a 2007 Accord, got rid of it because of brake issues.

I'll stick with Toyota.

- , Millers Creek, NC, USA

problem #63

Aug 102010

Accord EX V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I bought the car used in 2007. It had a around 40,000 miles on it. During the test drive, I noticed the radio backlight was out. The dealer agreed to have it fixed, and they did. The backlight works fine (and still does), but a few years later, the CD player stopped working. It won't play a CD . . . won't even accept a CD into the slot. I just bring my ipod into the car now. I noticed Consumer Reports gave a bad rating for Audio System on their used car reliability history for this model year.

- , Reston, VA, USA

problem #62

Sep 242012

Accord EX L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,500 miles

I get that things break but if they know its a bad product FIX IT! Paying to have my circuit board replaced $200+ No dealer help 79K on the car but over the 7 year extended warranty. Love the car though.

- , Canton, OH, USA

problem #61

Aug 222012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


My wife and I are the original owners of our 2004 Accord EX V6. Last week the radio backlight and HVAC backlighting went out. This is related to TSB 04-027. This bulletin covered the failure for up to 7 years or 105k miles which ever came first. Well the car is now 8 years old but only has 42k miles on it. I figured I had nothing to lose so I called American Honda customer care and explained the problem. The rep said we needed to have a Honda dealer confirm the problem. I told them no problem, I'll take it in the next day (Sat) which I did and they confirmed. An American Honda case manager called them Monday to confirm the diagnosis. The case manager called me later that day and said Honda would cover the complete repair minus a $75 deductible. I am more than satisfied with that. So I guess all I'm saying is even though you may have a service problem that falls outside the warranty period, you have nothing to lose by calling Honda.

- , Fredericksburg, VA, US

problem #60

Mar 112012

Accord ES V6 W/Auto Trans

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,001 miles

After losing the HVAC/radio display on my 2004 Accord Ex V6 (76,001 miles) Sunday I read the 44 complaints on which helped me understand my problem more fully. I called Honda Motor Cars of Corona (CA) on Monday and explained my problem. Mike knew immediately of the issue and offered to order the circuit board. We set up an appointment for this morning and by noon it was fixed. Mike even called Honda of America and got me half off (since I was over the 7 year mark but well under the mileage limit of 105K). I ended up paying $140 and they even replaced a brake light bulb, fixed the latch on the dash console and washed the car! Best dealership I have ever experienced in my 65 years (and being a car nut, that's a lot of cars)! Bottom Line - work with your local dealer and Honda of America.


- , Corona, CA, USA

problem #59

Jul 182011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

My problem with the light on the CD player was caused by a circuit board. However, since I am over the wire for the fix I will have to pay it out of my pocket. I will try to call Honda this morning and try to ask them to pick up the charges on both my light problem and Motor mount problem, Hopefully, they will pick up the repairs.

Update from Dec 6, 2011: My Honda was a Certified pre-owned Honda. When my audio lights went out I took it to Honda West to have it fixed they told me it would cost $400 to fix. Since this was a Certified Honda, I believe they should have fixed this issue before they even Certified it. To make a long story short, I paid the amount to have it fixed and then called Honda after I found the info on this web site about the fix. They told me it was pass the date for the fix. However, they did decide to give me $153.00 for the cost of the audio board. I still got stuck with the labor costs. Since this was a CERTIFIED CAR when I bought it, they should have fixed the problem before they certified it. They were either too lazy or figured it didn't need to be fixed since it was still working and had not turned black!

- , Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #58

Mar 102011

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

One morning got in to drive the car and guess what no lights for the ac,radio ,clock temp.etc...went to 2 Honda dealers in town and both said it was a computer wouldn't give me a estimate and the other said it would cost $198 or more for labor plus the part..right now I'm using a small flash light to see the background so I know what I'm listening to etc. Guess I''ll give Honda a call...WISH ME LUCK

Update from Oct 3, 2011: As I said before I'll call Honda...after I talked to rep....she said out of warranty and she couldn't or wouldn't help... I asked her about the goodwill situation and again she said what I'm thinking about doing is going to a junk yard and see if they have the part and go to an Independent mechanic and get it fixed and if that doesn't work I guess I'll just have to eat the my local Honda dealer

Update from Nov 4, 2011: Well I didn't go to junk yard,but I did go to the service mgr. at the Honda dealership where I bought 4 Hondas..(new mgr.)..explained the situation,he gave me a little runaround overmilage and out of warranty...but said he would check into it...he called back the next day and said Honda made the goodwill gesture for the free part so my cost would only be$100 instead of the $250-$ there is some gold at the end of the rainbow..(be persistant)

Update from Nov 16, 2011: as I said in my last update Hondda turned me down....Luckey for me a new service manager was at my Honda dealer..told him about the situation..he called the Honda Rep....he said he would send the part as a goodwill guesture...Had it installed for $83.00 instead of the 250-300...I guess I lucked Out...(mileage was 106,000 miles)

- , Waterville, OH, USA

problem #57

Jun 202011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


Mine went out at 7 years, 4 months with 84,000 miles. The dealer says Honda won't honor the extended warranty, which I think is total bull since they know it is a built in problem with their printed circuit board.

Update from Jul 17, 2011: I called Honda direct after the dealer gave me no help, and Honda supplied the part via Goodwill. However the dealer - Bob Lindsay Honda - would contribute NOTHING. When I reminded the dealer manager that I had all my service work done at their shop and had recently had $800 worth of work done, he still wouldn't consider helping with the repair at all (not even the profit from the part that Honda had supplied at no cost). When I told the manager I would no longer have service work done there, his total response was "OK". Since Bob Lindsay Honda doesn't value my business, they will get no more of it.

- , Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #56

Apr 202011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

The problem of the console display going dark is already well-documented below. The repair is covered under extended warranty (7 years, 105K miles). Mine went out at 6 years, 10 months and 21 days / 97,000 miles. Just under the wire, but Honda covered it at no cost. Nice. Too often, I've been just barely on the other side of that mark. :)

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #55

Nov 012010

Accord EX

  • 65,000 miles

Warranty extension is coming to the end so act soon! I got in with only 5 days to spare!! A little thing to be aware of is when they say it's "7 years or 100,000 miles" the 7 years are NOT model years but 7 years from the date the car was manufactured. A HUGE difference as your car may have sat on the lot for months before being titiled but the clock is ticking and this extended warrany will soon be up.

- , Leominster, MA, USA

problem #54

Oct 022010

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles

This happened a few weeks ago, but I was busy, then out of town, so I didn't get it looked at until now. My mechanic informed me that the stereo/AC backlight problem was covered under a recall and that I'd have to go to the dealer. Fortunately, American Honda customer service just informed me that my vehicle is covered under the extended warranty (7 year/105,000 mile). I guess I'm glad the problem happened now, as my car will be 7 years old in not too long. I've made my appointment with the dealer and hopefully everything will be covered as it's supposed to. Will update my post if it isn't.

- , Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #53

Jun 012009

Accord 4 Door V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

My radio/AC display went dark on my car as well. Started out dimmed then eventually went totally dark. What a pain in the butt!! I dealt with it all summer because I figured I would be facing a hefty repair bill. I had my cd's and radio stations somewhat memorized so getting around on them was difficult but do-able. Because it was summer time if I needed AC I would just turn it on to full low temp and blast the cold air until I was comfortable. When fall came and I needed defrost action it became very difficult because I could no longer remember how many times to push the mode button to get all defrost, all feet heat, etc. I couldn't see to use my dual comfort zone heat control and could no longer see the exterior temperature reading, which I depend on when the weather dips below freezing (icy roads). Needless to say, I reluctantly took it the dealer...feeling stupid for how long I was going to tell them I had been dealing with it. Surprisingly, they knew what it was, ordered the part, and fixed it for free. My dealer was an A+ in resolving this for me. :)

- , Westminster, MD, USA

problem #52

Oct 142009

Accord EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,525 miles

About six months ago the display lights on the stereo and upper a/c lights started to flicker. Then they went out completely. I checked and there is an extended warranty that covers this. It's a pretty big inconvenience, because I can't tell what time it is, or which cd in the cd changer I'm listening to. I'll either have Honda repair this, as long as I don't have to incur any cost, or replace it with an after market stereo with an auxiliary input. But I'm wondering if replacing it with an after market unit will take care of the light display problem.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #51

Dec 182009

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

My radio/black light has gone out sometme after christmas and my o2 sensor has had to be replaced twice with in 2 years and spent $600 each time just to have it pass to get my tag for a 2004 this is awful. My brakes front and back have both had to be replaced I was very happy to get a honda thinking i had a reliable car ): boy was i wrong. Very dissapointed i will NEVER EVER buy another honda. I think i will go back to chevy my husband has a 2001 GMC with over 100,000 miles and still the original brakes. This by far is the worst car i have ever had.

- , Buford, GA, USA

problem #50

Aug 202009

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I am calling Honda tomorrow and hopefully I will get some results. My clock/stereo/climate control backlight is out. I only hope my VIN is on the list and Honda will repair my problem. It is a shame, because I have never had any problems with Honda products. This is my 2nd Honda and I have friends and family who own a Honda and have nothing be positive things to say about Honda. I only hope they do not change my mind tomorrow when I call regarding my electrical problem.

- , Chesapeake, VA, US

problem #49

Dec 022009

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
  1. OKay so last week my back light went out. I heard about the 03-04 recall, however, I called Honda and they said my VIN was not on the list and it would cost $500!!! That's crap, who whats to spend that on a backlight??? But it is super annoying. I'm going to try and find a radio in a junkyard and have my husband install it. BOOOOO to Honda.

- , Riverview, FL, USA

problem #48

Jul 202007

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My radio light went out but was fixed by the dealer... However it broke in the exact order that published... The next thing that went wrong was a $2000 tranny job specifically the torque converter. In addition the engine mounts were broken which would have been another $450. I am very mechanical and understand engines & transmissions. I actually repair/rebuild antique clocks as a hobby and early in my career designed, oversaw construction of offshore oil platforms & systems... The reason the motor mounts were also broken is not from hard driving... But from engine chatter and torque on the motor mounts due to the torque converter TRYING to lock up at slow driveing. IE the car shifts into an overdrive when feathering the gas pedal at slow speeds... It does this to lock up the torque converter to more direct link the engine to the transmission and produce optimum gas mileage.... unfortunately the torque converter is locking in/out causing the engine to jerk in out from side to side. This can be felt in the sttring wheel but will over time BREAK the engine mounts. Honda in so many words said ..."I COULD SHOVE THAT TRANNY UP MY FANNY!" Cause they would not help out with any repair cost. I encourage ANYONE that purchases a Honda to BUY THE EXTENDED WARRANTY cause believe me they DO BREAK. My wifes Honda Oddesy van also had the transmission go out at about 60K. Honda did replace the transmission on the van but because it was a RECALL. They make you feel as if they did you a favor but in reality produce a faulty product breaking to the point that a recall is made on the vehicle. NOT GOOD Mister Honda... With me STRIKE TWO you are out! No more for me thankyou... I will try my luck elsewhere....

- , Lafayette, LA, USA

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