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 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #118

Jul 072014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


Vehicle started slowing down all of a sudden then I proceeded to pull over. Once I pulled over turn vehicle off and started vehicle back up it pulled off fine then it was slipping gears. Pulled over again and turned vehicle off same thing and the last time I repeated the vehicle completely blacked out like it was the battery. Vehicle had to be pushed on side of a rural road once I decided to get off of highway. My vehicle was left on side of the road, vandalized, rained in after one window was down once vehicle was disabled.

- Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #117

Aug 202014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Felt like the gears stopped engaging and the rpms spiked. Slowed down and got it to reengage but only in 1st or 2nd gear. After pulling over, the gears wouldn't engage at all. Restarted the car but the same slippage and RPM spiking happened again. Dealer wants $5600 to repair. Honda had a limited recall but is reviewing on a case-by-case basis. Have been a loyal Honda customer for nearly 25 years, but am questioning that loyalty now.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #116

Jul 172014


  • 94,775 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph, the check engine and tcs light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact mentioned that the vehicle suddenly decelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission assembly needed to be replaced. The contact was made aware of recall NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train). However, the VIN was not included in the recall. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 94,775.

- Hauppauge, NY, USA

problem #115

Jul 212014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,500 miles


While driving home from work I came to a red light, as I proceeded to hit the gas the car started to jump and would not accelerate. I was hitting the gas the engine would rev and the RPM's were super high but the car would only go about 5 mph with the ending revving really loud. After about a few seconds of hitting the gas and only going 5mph the car would finally jump into gear and go. Every time the car would come to a stop and then have to go again that's when it would happen over and over again. That night we decided to take it for a test drive and that's when the engine light came on and the "D" shift light was blinking and the "tca" light came on. There is seriously something wrong with the car when the day before the car drove like new. We looked up the recalls on online for our vehicle and see that there is one out for the auto transmission. Just weird all the sudden this would happen and there is a recall out in that. Please help!

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #114

May 302014


  • 93,610 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the transmission seized without warning and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was restarted and an unknown warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, who informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in the NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 93,610. Updated 03/17/15

- Hemet , CA, USA

problem #113

Jun 272014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 98,660 miles
2004 Honda Accord V6 ex (98K) 1st time I was making a right hand turn & as I completed the turn & tried to accelerate there was no power. Engine revved but car did not go anywhere. Crept along to pull over on the side of the road. Waited a few minutes & drove home about 10mph. Luckily I was only 3 blocks from home. Thought maybe it was bad gas or something. Drove fine the next few days. 2nd time I saw my life flash before my eyes as I went to make a left hand turn. As I started my turn, again trans stalled only this time oncoming traffic was coming at me which included a monstrous semi-truck. As cars slammed on their brakes I crept through the intersection to the side of the road. Car towed to my mechanic who has taken care of the car since I bought it brand new in 2004. Mind you I had no security warnings or alerts come up on the dash. I have had no leaks, nothing on the ground where I park. My mechanic took for test ride & had the same thing happen. Unfortunately he does not repair trans. Call Honda after finding multiple complaints & lawsuits on this trans only to be told my VIN # is not included on the recall & there is nothing they can do. Ridiculous that they only include certain VIN #'s when it's the same trans in all these cars. I really love my Accord, extremely disappointed in the way Honda is handling this. I have had no other problems with this car other than the power steering which there was a recall on. Asked to speak to a supervisor at Honda & was told she would review the case & get back to me by end of day Monday. Very unfortunate, we have been through 14 Honda's in my immed family. The only other one that had a problem was my brother's 2003 Honda Accord V6 ex in California. His trans went at 60,000 but was covered under extended warranty. He's at 115K & so far so good. Honda, don't ruin your reputation like GM, admit fault & take responsibility.

- Alsip, IL, USA

problem #112

May 282014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


I was driving my car for the regular maintenance and all of a sudden the transmission failed and it slowed down immediately. I was lucky enough that I didn't have any vehicle in my back so I could control the car and moved it aside. Otherwise it would have been a disaster as I was driving in one of the busiest roads. Honda should proactively take actions on these kind of defects as its the matter with lives and not about just money.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #111

Sep 262012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 10,200 miles
I was driving the car on the I-15 approaching victorville, ca. The car suddenly lost all power and I had to pull to the side of the road to prevent getting hit from behind. The car stalled once I got it stopped and the warning lights for the engine and transmission came on. The transmission had apparently overheated and spewed all the transmission fluid out onto the road. I called for a tow truck and had the vehicle towed to victorville Honda. They told me that it was too late in the day to look at the vehicle and drove me to a car rental place where I rented a car at my own cost. The next morning they called and informed me that the vehicle needed a new transmission and the cost would be approximately $6000 for them to replace it. I was driving from California to Ohio and could not afford the cost. I had them flush the transmission and refill it and continued on my trip. Approximately one month later the transmission completely failed and I had it replaced at a local shop.

- Anna, OH, USA

problem #110

Feb 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • 85,383 miles
My wife experienced a near accident with a semi-truck on a freeway due to power train failure. During a lane change the car's power and acceleration completely stopped performing for several seconds. She noticed the tachometer indicator revving very high but no power was transferring to the engine for several seconds. It did "kick" back into gear in just enough time to avoid a collision with a semi-truck that was fast approaching from behind. After missing her intended exit she took the next one and realized she was only about a mile from the Honda service center that we have always used. This was on a Saturday, so to confirm the problem we waited until the next Monday to get the news that the transmission had to be replaced for $4,100. Research on the car showed 2 full transmission flushes (~37K & 61K) because of contaminated fluid. Our owner's manual recommends the first service be performed at 120,000 miles. I don't believe this car had any corrections made on the initial recall customer letter from the summer of 2004. If it had, then there would be no reason for the two transmission total flushes and total failure at 85,383 miles. The Honda service dept. Would not negotiate based on previous history so on 02/25/2004 I wrote a letter to american motor Honda company's customer service dept. Stating the facts and requesting a reply. I did receive a letter on 03/20/2004 requesting that I call a certain number within 10 days (actually 2 work days) otherwise they will consider the matter closed. The letter was dated 03/14/2004. I could only reach a voice message from the person who would not return my repeated calls. Honda will not take responsibility for neglected and inferior work. In effect this whole matter reduces the value of our car by more than $4,100. More important, they placed my wife in unnecessary danger on the freeway! please open an investigation.

- King City, OR, USA

problem #109

Apr 042014


  • miles
The car went crazy revving up and down on its own. Driving on the highway, it felt like the car would be applying the brakes on its own only to rev up again but felt like it was on neutral, then the gear would shift abruptly. At the intersection, once the light turned green, the engine would not proceed no matter how light I applied the gas pedal (I didn't want to "drown" it), it felt as if it were in neutral - only to speed up on its own. It felt like the car didn't know whether to speed up or slow down - the gears would jump from one to another on its own. Horrible!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #108

Mar 032014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 80,200 miles


When I was driving on the highways, all of the sudden the car went into neutral and would not accelerate. I tried to pull over to the side of the highway, as I turned the transmission went into gear and causing the car to accelerate to 50mph and hitting the vehicle in front of me. My insurance company fixed my car and then I took the car to the dealer to get the transmission checked out and they said the transmission is working as designed by Honda. I felt confused because it was not working properly and they checked for recalls and found a recall on the transmission which had already been done. They said if I don't feel safe driving with that transmission that I would have to pay 5,000 dollars for a new one. I declined the offer and saw online many people had the same issue as me.

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #107

Feb 102012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 68,472 miles
After vehicle was driven for approx 10 minutes the car slowed down and the motor would rev up. Car parked and then tried to drive it again and same thing happened. Car would not go more than a few miles an hour, luckily was able to pull over on side of the road. Car towed to Honda dealer. Was told that the VIN # was not included in the recall. Spoke with Honda corporate and filed a claim. However they continued to say the car was not included in the recall. Dealer noted on invoice that trans slipping in 1-2 gears and slips on 1,2 up shift. Fluid is dark. I had to pay to replace the transmission on a car with only 68,472 miles.

- Powell, TN, USA

problem #106

Mar 242014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
No forward movement in the middle of heavy traffic.

- Estero, FL, USA

problem #105

Aug 112013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
August: 1st. Driving home shifted into 1st gear to go from a stop light. Car hesitated, began to go real slow even when trying to accelerate. Pushed gas pedal all the way to floor car did not go any faster. RPM were revving up as if the car was going faster. Went into 2nd gear....the same. Check engine and tcs light was on. Turned off car 15min later the tcs light was off but check engine light was still on. Stayed on for about 2 days. Got codes check, it stated it was all misfires. 300-306. Reset. September: On the 15 fwy South on a Sunday in September with my mother and kids going around 70mph in fast lane. Car then lost power instantly. Went down to 40mph car began to jerk and sputter. Had to put on hazard light and get off fwy as safe as possible. Very dangerous!!!!! stop and called aaa. Engine codes read again. Codes were: PO300, PO3001, PO302, PO303, PO304, PO305, PO306, .P2138. Shut off car waited 30mins and car drove fine and tcs light went off, the check engine light went off later. Took car to Honda specialist and they said it was the misfire of 1st coil spring. Got that replaced along with fuel injection cleaning and oil change. November-January: Car running sluggish. Honda dealer says nothing is wrong. Taking off sluggish. Check engine light flashes on and off from time to time. Feb 13th driving home on 210 fwy East at 8:30P. Going 70mph in 6the gear cruising and car instantly looses power again to 30 mph. Making cars swerve around me. Had to pull off fwy very slow with hazard lights on. Car began to sputter and jerk. Feb16. Check engine and tcs light turned on while stopped at stop light. Car lost power and slowly turned into intersection. Pulled over. This is now becoming a safety hazard for my son and I and no one can give us answers and keep fixing things that aren't fixing the problem. Please help!

- Rialtto, CA, USA

problem #104

Feb 012014


  • 184,000 miles
Vehicle whines and moans when turning steering wheel or even when steering wheel touched when car is cold.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #103

Feb 032014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle suddenly came to a complete halt. The contact mentioned that although he depressed the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to respond. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 109,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #102

Feb 052014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Power train slipped and engine RPM was around 2000 RPM then RPM went up to around 5000 when power train slipped. Engine light came on.

- Staley, NC, USA

problem #101

Jan 212014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the transmission failed to shift into second gear. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The technician informed the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train) however, the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #100

Dec 282013


  • 177,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated while driving approximately 25 mph the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician stated the transmission had to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact was advised by the manufacturer that the vehicle was included and repaired per the NHTSA recall campaign number: 04V176000 (power train) by the previous owner. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 177,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #99

Nov 182013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,175 miles
Attempted to pass semi truck on a tollway, was in the fast lane when transmission failed with the semi to the right and fast moving traffic behind me. Transmission felt like it slipped into neutral, eventually it did go back into gear long enough to make it to a repair shop. Entire rebuild at $2700.

- Frisco, TX, USA

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