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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,500 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. rebuild engine by dealer (3 reports)
2004 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 282014

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


Car excessively burned oil. I mean, BAD! Had to add almost a quart at least every 500 miles. Car is one owner before me, and I got all their service records when I bought the car. They changed oil every 5,000 miles, at least, and did all maintenance. Oil light has come on twice, the first time I put oil in right away and had to put in 2 quarts. The second time I went right to Valvoline and they said it had no oil in it. Zero leaks on my garage floor. They did an oil change (I was having to do oil changes every 2,000 - 3,000 miles) and after that, 10 miles later, my check engine light came on. The code was that my timing was off, probably skipped time because there was no oil in it. Before I could get to a mechanic it died altogether. I had to have a Honda with 112,000 miles towed to a mechanic. How embarrassing.

Now I find out the lack of oil caused the timing to skip enough to bend valves and destroy pistons in their VTEC interference engine. Now I have no car. I have to get a new engine. But why would I? All Honda engines are junk and have this same issue They just settled a major class action lawsuit on it. I had to have it towed, again, back to my house where it now sits in my garage. The head is off so I can see the bent valves, the smashed in pistons, and the engine completely torn apart. The mechanic did not bother putting it back together. He said Hondas are the new Datsuns. Junk after 80,000 miles. Not what they used to be. The stereo still works so it will basically just be a place to chill out in my garage now. It is paid for and I cancelled insurance on it. Junk yards are offering me $250 for it. I just paid it off in October, 2013. It cost me $11,000. Money down the toilet. And I just put 4 brand new tires, 4 new rotors, and new brake pads on it. More money down the toilet.

I will never, and I repeat NEVER, buy a Honda or even set foot in a dealership. I used to work at Honda in Marysville too. But this is my third Honda that was nothing but problems and after seeing the class action lawsuits, now know they are a shady company building and selling known problems to consumers. What an embarrassment. I got a new car, a domestic brand, they have really come a long way. The only foreign cars I will now consider are Hyundai and Toyota - but NEVER a Honda, not even if it was given to me.

- , Hilliard, OH - Ohio, USA

problem #5

Jun 162010

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 81,000 miles

With regular dealership auto maintenance, no oil light indicators came on, though there were times I added additional oil between the oil changes. When the car seized, there were no indications at all, and even after purchasing an extended warranty to 100k miles at the time of purchase, proving all oil changes and maintenance for the vehicle to the dealership, they claimed that the car was 6weeks out of warranty due to the time frame, not the mileage. So if I had been driving it more often (I was unemployed for 9 months and therefore drove it very little during that time), and this occured 2 or more months earlier, it would have been covered, but isn't now? I am not the only one who had this same issue. Another person who also purchased a 2004 Honda accord at the same dealership, same thing happened but at 105,000.

Cannot believe Honda dealerships are not standing behind these vehicles. To have an engine seize at 80,000 is just not right. To expect someone to have these engines rebuilt since there is obviously an issue would not be the answer either. I always stood behind Honda, it was my second one, and I will never buy another.

- , Dover, NH, USA

problem #4

Jul 252010

Accord V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My Honda 2004 has never been abused, just the usual daily to/from work and school. I change my oil every 3000-3500 miles and regular check my oil, fluids, belts & etc. Before my car seized, if was making some funny sound like my engine is running on only 3 cylinders instead of all 4. So maybe I thought my car needed a tune up even though is under 100000 miles. Not even a week went by, my car just die while driving and now the engine refused to turns. I drove Toyota all my life, I should stuck with Toyota. I had three Corrollas that still running after 280000 miles with regular maintenance. I'm so disappointed in my Honda, Accord and now I can afford to replace a new engine, so is sitting in my driveway.

- , Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #3

Mar 102007


  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles


We bought the car Honda accord in 2004, by 2007 we had to have a new engine, Honda did not want to know what how the problem happened, but for those that do, we heard a knocking sound at the rear of the car, we drove it to a Honda garage, they called us a day later and told us due to lack of oil the car engine had seized. We filled the car with oil only 7 days prior, and had not driven the car more than 10 miles since. The car was totally undriveable, which it was not taken into the garage in that condition. Honda did not want to hear any of our concerns or thoughts on the matter and after a week or so, we contacted their customer care again, they did not want to deal with our inquiries, they told us the car needed a new engine, no other accord has ever had an engine problem, it was our fault for not filling it up with oil,and they wanted �9,000 for a new engine. After a year of the car being in their garage we could see that Honda had no interest in the car or would look into the fault being theirs as we had heard of other accords having the same problem. In the end we went to a different garage who confirmed that no way could this car have been driven into the garage, therefore it must have been their mechanics that caused the engine to blow, not us. However we had our car engine replaced by an independent garage (not bloody Honda) at the cost of �6,000. We have had such a bad deal from this uncaring, bloody minded, arrogant money grabbing company that we will never ever buy another Honda ever.

- , Bracknell, U K, UK

problem #2

Aug 012008

Accord EX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

My 2004 Accord's engine seize. Took it to Dealership, they told me that it would cost anywhere from $2000 to $6000 to rebuild or even replace with new engine. My dealer thinks I'm abused the car since it is 1000 miles over the recommended oil change. When the car was looked at by dealership, they found zero amount of engine oil. There was no indicator light prior to the problem. Is this normal for a Honda vehicle? What should I do? If people have experienced this before, please offer some advice.


- , Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 122005

(reported on)

Accord Cdti

  • 20,000 miles

The engine seized-up due to lack of oil, my fault completely, but, the dealer now tells me that this engine uses 1 liter of oil every 600 miles. There is no oil-level warning system on the car and it is therefore possible to destroy the car's engine within 3000 miles. This is not advancing the reliability of Honda vehicles.

- , Manchester, UK, UK

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