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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,031 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

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 #4

Mar 252014


  • 155,000 miles
Upon entering the expressway (from the entrance ramp), I engaged the accelerator (gas pedal) to transition into existing traffic. Upon reaching an adequate speed, I quickly began to approach a car in front of me (this was during morning rush hour). I needed to apply a bit of pressure to the brakes to react to flow of traffic - and upon taking my foot off the brake, realized that my car was still accelerating. I quickly reapplied pressure to the brakes and tried to use my left foot to "un-jam" the accelerator. I did not look to see what might have caused the accelerator to stick, as I was focused on the road in front of me. I then applied heavy pressure to the brakes, engaged the emergency brake, and turned off the ignition. I was able to coast to the shoulder without further incident - though this could have been a very serious incident under different conditions or had a driver not reacted in the same manner.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 012012


  • miles
Please help me figure out what to do with this.I received a call from Honda approximately a year ago...for power steering hose to be replaced free of charge due to it over heating and deteriorating causing a leak of power steering fluid. Once I got the notice I went to have it replaced but I believe by the time I got the notice it may have been to late because now it has caused it to now leak power steering could into the rack and pinion. I have done oil changes and done a complete tune up to date but this is causing the power steering fluid to waste and is deteriorating the rack and pinion. Not having the proper amount of power steering makes it much more difficult to steer the car easily. I have to constantly drive worried that the car may lose control and I have two children I am driving with everest I cannot afford for me to lose control over something that should have been detected and gives when I went to Honda to change the hose. It is obviously not a problem with just the hose it is a problem much more profound then that which needs to be fixed. I have done my research and if the power steering fluid is flammable and can cause toxic fumes. This in my opinion is not to be played around with and is dangerous. It has also cause my brand new tires go bald.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Mar 062012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that she noticed fluid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was later taken to the dealer where they advised her that the fuel pump was fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 71,000. The current mileage was approximately 82,050.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 172012


  • 54,000 miles
Vehicle air conditioner drain hose improperly installed by factory, causing excessive water build up in A/C reservoir. Water drained onto vehicle ECU, causing corrosion. Engine started running poorly, followed by failure of ECU to recognize valid keys. Vehicle would not start and had to be towed. Problem could have easily cause stalling in interstate traffic. Internet searches show this to be a common problem due to the design and placement of the ac unit directly over the unprotected ECU.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

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