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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,561 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Honda Accord drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #138

Oct 302015


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power. The contact shifted the vehicle to drive two. The vehicle hesitated momentarily and resumed normal operation. The failure recurred three times. The contact brought the vehicle to an independent mechanic who stated the fluid in the transmission was so burned that it resembled tar. The mechanic recommended flushing the transmission without placing in it a machine to see if the failure would correct itself. The vehicle was repaired, but recurred a day later. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but declined to assist since the VIN was excluded from the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Brentwood, NY, USA

problem #137

Oct 212015


  • 157,300 miles
The transmission is faulty. Gears downshift erratically and unpredictably while driving at high speeds. When starting up, oftentimes fails to shift up and car cannot accelerate, just redlines.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #136

Oct 092015


  • 115,365 miles
My wife was driving on a highway and she was in the second to the fastest lane on the highway and the car just locked up because of the transmission, which made her go into the next lane and the car in that lane locked up there brakes and came very close to side sweeping each other, at that point she had to get out in the middle of the highway and leave the car, which was later pulled to the side of the highway the NHTSA recall #04V-176 mfr campaign id P38 and I was aware of this issue with this car, so I always changed the transmission fluid after 5,000 miles

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #135

Sep 202015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


The transmission went out at 127,000 miles. Driving home from lowe's on 09/20/2015, all at once the RPM went up but the car slowed down. My fastest speed to get home was 30 mph. At one time I stopped at a red light and then it wouldn't go at all!! I'm having the transmission rebuilt but am out of pocket on this Accord, why"??" vn#;[xxx] apparently someone forgot this car when doing recalls on the transmission and I am requesting this matter to get resolved asap. I also own a 1991 Accord coupe, 196,000 miles: No problems at all with it. My email address:[xxx] phone #: [xxx] please don't push this under a rug and assume it will be ok now, cause it's not ok. I'm 57 years old and can't afford this to happen to me. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #134

Aug 182015


  • 166,111 miles
First occurrence, Tuesday August 18, 2015 driving into work, transmission slipped, RPM's increased with no additional forward motion by car. Then stopped and went to back into parking stall and car would not engage into reverse, finally it did started researching possible issues and found tons of recall and complaints online, driving home the car all of a sudden stuttered and downshifted violently this time it produced a "check engine light" (obdc: P0741), I called Honda cust service and spoke with jason, he created a case # for me and stated I would need to have it diagnosed by a Honda dealer and call them back. I called back the same number but this time option 7, customer service rep read thru my case and determined that because the VIN did not indicate being part of the recall, the age of the vehicle and mileage, Honda would not do anything to assist me. My transmission fluid smells burnt. I now have had to pay a transmission shop $3464.65 for a rebuilt transmission.

- Poynette, WI, USA

problem #133

Jun 152015


  • 139,865 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled and an unknown warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 139,865.

- Plainfiled, NJ, USA

problem #132

Apr 302015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 124,600 miles


As I was driving on the highway the RPM needle went up and down and the car began to accelerate on its own and then did not respond, and then accelerated again. The car continued to do this a few times. When I got off the highway and my speed was reduced to 30 mph the car stopped moving although the car was still running, I hit the gas and the car didn't go anywhere. I turned off the car and then back on, and it moved again but, continued to stop moving a few times again after that. This occurred while I was on a busy street with a lot of traffic, cars were behind me and by me suddenly stopping without notice because the car stopped on its own, could have caused an accident. When the car accelerated on its own I could have ran into another vehicle causing an accident. Attached is a link to people who had the same exact safety issue with the same make and model and year as my vehicle: Honda has a history if having problems with their transmissions with this specific vehicle.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #131

Apr 152015


  • 112,000 miles
04 Honda Accord V6- D(4) light starts blinking. Brought it into the shop for diagnoses; 4th gear pressure switch. Replaced 4th gear pressure switch. Car seems to be working better. 3 days later; car only goes under cool conditions (tranny seems to work when the car has not reached regular / recommended operating temperature). When it reaches normal operating temperature, the motor starts revving, even in D. this has happened while at a stop and on a highway. When I was on the highway and the car had already warmed up, the engine revved and then suddenly jerked back. The feeling is like a manual transmission car downshifting without pressing on the gas; it jerks then decelerates. And from there it just revs and revs, like it's not catching the gears. So I had to pull over to the side of the highway a few times, thanks to this non-working transmission. When this occurs on the small roads, I would then have to pull over and turn off the car. After a few minutes, the car will engage into gear again, but not for long. This is a probable sign of overheating within the transmission, which can probably cause the tranny to slip" not 100% sure because I'm not a mechanic. So I was referred to contact american Honda for a recall inquiry, and of course, my VIN# doesn't have an open recall for transmission, meaning I pretty much screwed myself from the start when I bought this vehicle because there's a sketchy transmission in it. Even if I got it replaced, what are the chances that the replaced one doesn't do the same thing" I understand that transmissions do not last forever on any vehicle, but if you just google: 7th gen Accord transmission, you can read all the wonderful stories about fail Honda Accord transmissions, starting from year 2003; there's a community of authors. The worst part is, I got it replaced and I still don't feel any peace at mind. Good luck

- Sun Prairie, WI, USA

problem #130

Feb 172015


  • 115,000 miles
As I was driving my car would not shift gears. Specifically, I was driving on the freeway the car went from 60 mph down to 35 mph and would not slip into gear. This happened as I tried to accelerate to merge onto another freeway. It seemed as though the car was stuck in neutral which it was not. This was very dangerous because as other vehicles were traveling at high speeds my car nearly came to a halt on the freeway. Luckily, I prayed my way into gear and it worked. It was quite scary since I was traveling with my child I easily could of been rear ended. No sensor lights turned on, there were no warning lights. My car has been serviced routinely and 2 days later it happened again. It is now at the dealership. When I read up on the problem it seems to be common. On one site I saw over 200 complaints for the same complaints and same make of the car. I can only imagine how many more complaints there have been. I hope that the federal Agency and Honda act responsibly and pay for the recall on these transmission problems.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #129

Feb 132015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
Transmission sudden total failure, without any previous indication or symptoms, while entering a freeway at an on ramp. Near end of on ramp at about 35 mph, vehicle was merging into existing traffic that was coming faster than 35mph when car stopped accelerating but slowing instead. Nearly rear end collision from traffic and subsequent traffic snarl as there was no place to go, nor any ability to make it go.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #128

Feb 122015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 120,156 miles


I was driving on the interstate, moved into the left lane and attempted to pass, stepping down on the gas to accelerate. Suddenly my (automatic) transmission slipped completely out of gear, my tachometer red-lined as the engine revved hard, and the card decelerated rapidly. I was nearly hit from behind but fortunate that the driver behind me was paying attention. I slowed rapidly, but my brake lights didn't come on, because I wasn't braking! my car slowed to dangerously low speeds in the left lane of the highway. Every time I tried to give the car gas it was as if the transmission was in neutral and wouldn't provide drive. Finally at around 20mph it started gripping, but if I tried to accelerate much the transmission would slip again. I was able to merge back into the right lane, which was scary because the cars behind me were going full highway speeds. I was able to pull the car off onto the shoulder of the road. I drove along the shoulder very slowly until I could make it to the first exit and limp my car to a repair shop. My transmission needed a complete rebuild. No only should this not happen on a car with relatively low mileage that has been well maintained, but this failure was dangerous! it happened completely without warning at high speeds on the interstate. It caused a rapid deceleration and a loss of control of the vehicle, and placed me in a very dangerous position trying to regain control. I researched my problem and found that Honda had issued a recall for automatic transmissions on a large number of 2003/2004 Accord. I checked my VIN number against the recall (NHTSA recall number: 04V-176) and found that my VIN was not covered by the recall, even though I experienced the exact same failure that the recall describes. Why my VIN specifically was not included in the recall is completely unacceptable considering this is a known problem.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #127

Jan 042014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
At passing speed the car just stopped accelerating and began to drop speed suddenly. The motor revved with gas pedal pressing but it went nowhere. It coasted to a stop. No warning. No stuttering. It just dropped speed and went no more.

- Mendocino, CA, USA

problem #126

Jan 092015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
Car will not speed up and suddenly slowed down, been told transmission failed, needs new transmission. Just did transmission service one month ago power steering oil leak and changed pipe and then power steering pump failed.

- Rowland Heights, CA, USA

problem #125

Dec 222014


  • 79,489 miles
Vehicle started to loses acceleration all of a sudden; diving normally in traffic then car started to jerk/ and rpms started to get higher before slowing down. Car then stops in traffic and does not accelerate even though shift is engaged in drive. Transmission failure that could have caused accident. Vehicle eventually drove again after turning car off and back on but stalled again/ issue repeated.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #124

Nov 152014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord V6 transmission decided to die on Saturday November the 15th. I was driving on the interstate when I realized the RPM's were going up, but I wasn't getting any acceleration. I pulled over to check my transmission fluid, oil and etc. Everything was good. So I start back on the road trying to make it to my destination. The next thing I know I heard what sounded like a chain breaking off and the car jumped back like I was gearing down really low. I hit my head on the steering wheel and blacked out for a minute. Thankfully I had someone with me and they grabbed the steering wheel and directed us off the interstate. We lifted the hood once again and could smell something burnt. We were able to get it to a mechanic who said the transmission had failed. We had no issues prior to the date the transmission failed. I'm extremely upset by this. The car had been taken care of and maintained regularly. My family is Honda enthusiast and have never had problems. That is why we always bought Honda's, for their reliability. I think Honda needs to make this right and have the transmission fixed. From what I've read this has been a major problem affecting tons and the transmission has been recalled. I thank god I didn't kill or hurt anyone during this ordeal.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #123

Oct 172014


  • 104,000 miles
Transmission failure while driving. Bought vehicle used in Feb. 2014 from dealer with 97,570mi. At 104,000, transmission failed. Repairs can range from $4500 to $3400, with either a Honda rebuilt transmission or my own being rebuilt. Since Honda was aware of these failures (had a recall before I was an owner) and the dealer that sold me the car was likely also aware, I find these practices totally dishonest and bordering on illegal. I paid almost $10,000 for this vehicle because of low mileage, only to have a major failure 8 months later.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #122

Jun 012008

Accord 4WD 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
We got a 2004 Honda Accord ex through abc auto 6112 N.Florida ave tampa 33604 Florida.took test drive checked trans fluid which needed to be changed, we figured it was the way the car was built, but we advised the sales man, which advised us he would have "there" shop completely look the car over.which nothing was found. I had trans fluid changed immediately, approx 30 days later checked fluid smelled burnt and again metal shaving were present.and change every 3 months, so no issues would arise.after approx 11months we received a "recall notice for the power steering hose.which was replaced.upon that recall we looked into all recalls on the car to insure safety of the family.the car seemed fine then started "stopping real fast, at any speed" took to Honda dealer they advised us it would be $5000 to repair.upon investigating more we realized their was a recall on this car for the transmission (#04V176000) advised Honda dealer, they stated the mileage was well over 15,000 mi, and a trans fluid cooler was added to satisfy the recall, based on the fact that the owner at that time "didn't notice anything wrong with the vehicle". the car at this time is very unsafe to drive, and not driving properly due to the transmission. Fact is Honda should of checked and replaced the faulty transmission.which instead only added a trans cooler.not what this recall demanded Honda to replace and or repair.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #121

Sep 082014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
I have transmission problem with my 2004 Honda Accord at 122,000 miles. That's unheard of! I've purchased 3 Honda before this one & never a problem. The torque converter came apart on my transmission & I had to get it rebuilt. The bill was $2200. American Honda said sorry & they couldn't guarantee when a transmission will go out. Really" 122,000 miles" I will not purchase another Honda. I was on the interstate & could have been in a serious accident! all they can say is sorry. I have never been so upset before. To top it all off the dealership wanted to repair it for $4700 or trade my car in for $1000. By the way I wasn't able to get any type of reimbursement for my repair bill.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #120

Sep 082014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Driving on highway at 55mph. Started to pull a slight hill and was preparing to pass a truck. Vehicle rpms went higher but speed continued to drop off. Ended up coming to a complete stop on a bridge with no shoulder. Had to shut the vehicle off and then restart to get it to go again. Went about 14 miles and it did it again. Took it to dealership. Was serviced last week and had transmission fluid changed as a part of recommended maintenance by Honda dealership. Car in shop now. The loss of power could have had serious repercussions on our safety.

- Anacortes, WA, USA

problem #119

Sep 142013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 78,061 miles
While I were driving locals, I notice a sudden drop in speed and spike in RPM. When I tried to accelerate, only RPM would go up and the car would not shift to higher gear. This happened without any warnings. No engine light. Nothing. If this happened in the freeway, it would have been very serious situation. I also noticed numerous 2003 2004 Honda Accord owners to have similar problems. This is definitely manufacturer's fault. I had to rebuild the transmission which came out to be $1820. This is serious situation.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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