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:
6 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,818 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Mar 142013

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V222000 (steering) however, the steering wheel was still very hard to maneuver whenever making a turn. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 153,392.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #26

Jun 062012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that after having repairs performed on the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V222000 (steering), the vehicle started to exhibit a loud, unusual noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician refused to provide any assistance since they had already performed the repairs specified to the recall campaign. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 91,000.

- W Covina, CA, USA

problem #25

Apr 202012


  • 138,592 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the power steering hose was cracked and leaked fluid, causing air to seep into the power steering pump. As a result, tehre was an abnorma noise cming from the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic, who repaired the power steering hose but not the power steering pump. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised the contact that they would reimburse him for the cost of the power steering hose repair, in which his vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V222000 (steering) but not for the power steering pump. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 138,592 and the current mileage was 156,400.

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #24

Dec 092009


  • 63,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that she took the vehicle to the dealer for an oil change and the mechanic noticed that the power steering hose had a leak and they stated that the hose needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Old Brige, NJ, USA

problem #23

Feb 012013


  • miles
2004 Honda Accord. Consumer writes in regards to power steering pump failure recall. The consumer stated the Honda service advisor confirmed with him, that a leak in the power steering hose could cause a failure in the power steering pump due to reduced power steering fluid. The consumer stated it would seem to him, that replacing a hose and O-ring on vehicles that have already had the hose fail was not going to fix the problem in its entirety. The hose on the consumers vehicle was confirmed to have failed and it caused the power steering pump to fail.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #22

Jan 182013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate when all of a sudden I was no longer able to accelerate. The car jerked when I tried to accelerate or brake. I was able to steer it off onto the side of the road. After taking it in to get it looked at, I was told it is the transmission. According to several articles online and mechanic at the shop I took it too, 2004 Honda Accord are known for having weak transmissions. It was so unexpected and I take car of my car. I felt completely unsafe trying to get it off the interstate going 20 miles an hour as it jerked along and apparently people already know about this issue?? I have just had the car for a year now and bought it from a Honda dealership. Not a word was said to me about the issues with these models or safety recalls for several Honda models made in 2004 - but apparently not mine.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #21

Dec 222012

Accord 6-cyl Diesel

  • 84,500 miles


My 2004 Honda Accord had an engine fire caused by a defective high pressure power steering hose. The hose sprung a leak, spraying power steering fluid onto the engine, which caught fire. This defect is already the subject of NHTSA recall 12V-222, but inactivity and foot-dragging on Honda's part has caused this otherwise avoidable safety incident.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #20

Aug 092012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 165,519 miles
The power steering fluid was leaking, so I took the car to a mechanic. They informed me that the hose was cracked and deteriorating and cause of the leak leads back to the rack and pinion which will have to be replaced. I subsequently received a recall notice from Honda, but parts will not be available for repair until early 2013.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 242012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 168,519 miles
I was driving the highway and merging on an uphill ramp, the transmission raced and the car lost speed. About 20 miles later, I could feel something wrong with maintaining my speed and there was hesitation. Another 20 miles later, I lost all forward movement in drive and left the highway. I was able to go another few miles on a side street in 2nd gear and then the car stalled in the middle of the street. The transmission is completely lost.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #18

Nov 022012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 107,104 miles
I was driving 55 mph. As I attempted to change lanes, the car veered right to left uncontrollably. The steering wheel turned back and forth, and I could not gain control of it. I crossed 4 lanes of traffic, went over a median and hit a brick retaining wall, and my car was turned around to face oncoming traffic when it finally stopped. Updated 11/19/12 updated 12/4/2012

- Suitland, MD, USA

problem #17

Nov 142008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 58,220 miles


When starting the car in the morning and backing out of garage, noticed a whining, grinding noise coming from under the hood, and more so when turning steering wheel. The car would also whine when driving and accelerating. Also found that the steering wheel was getting gradually harder to turn. Brought car to local Honda dealership where they replaced the 0-ring at power steering inlet joint but found the whining to continue. The power steering pump & reservoir were changed which solved the problem. Six months later, found a leak under the car and burning smell. Returned to Honda dealership and found leak coming from power steering pressure hose. Hose was replaced. About 4 years later, started noticing whining/humming noise coming from under the hood again. Immediately brought it in to an independent repair shop that specializes in Honda. They thought it was the tensioner and changed it. The car continued to whine. The power steering pump was replaced again. It took care of the noise. The pump that was replaced at the Honda dealership lasted only 35502 miles. Find this unacceptable that the 2004 Honda Accord has had 3 power steering pumps in the span of 9 years and the car has only 93722 miles.

- El Cerrito, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 202012


  • 166,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle became difficult to steer. The contact mentioned that although she replenished the power steering fluid the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the vehicle had a leak in the power steering hose. The contact was informed of recall NHTSA campaign id number: 12V222000 (steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections). The dealer was made aware of the failure who verified that the VIN was not part of the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 166,000.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #15

Aug 092012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My power steering hose (which is constructed of the same materials and routed in the same manner as the Acura TL) began leaking fluid onto my catalytic converter at the rear of the engine and a great deal of smoke billowed from the hood. I was able to pull the hose out of it's design position and away from the exhaust and drive home. This engine is identical externally to the engine in TL. The hose routing and materials are the same as well. The TL rl tsx have been recalled, why hasn't my Accord V6?

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 162012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 280,000 miles
I had been driving 10 min. (70mph) on the interstate when I went to pass another motorist as soon as I turned on my blinker the car started to shutdown. After several minutes I discovered that when I applied the brakes the car would also make an sudden jerk and begin to shutdown. The car would drive completely normal as long as you did not activate either the blinkers or the brakes. I tried several other electrical accessories and none of them seemed to effect the car. After driving for several hours we exited the interstate and put the car in neutral after engaging the brake for several seconds the car died. When I took my foot off the brake it immediately restarted and the problem stopped.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #13

Jul 062012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Today was just another day to work. I have taken this road to work for past two years with me driving. First you get off the ramp, then stop at a stop sign, then you pass under the bridge to follow the straight road to work. However, today it was different. I first took the exit ramp and went to the end of it. Stopped at the stop sign. Checked both sides to see if it was clear for me to proceed and go ahead with making a turn. It was clear so I made a left turn and went straight. However, within next 5 yards after going straight my car's steering wheel started to shake and car pulled to the left. I could not control the car since all this happened so fast and my car hit the huge cement pole which is the base of the bridge. After talking with my husband and many others, they believe that car has somehow malfunctioned. The two theories we have is either steering wheel getting locked or left wheel giving out in some manner. This was not a new road for me. I was not a phone. I was not texting. I was not distracted in anyway. The car just had its own mind today and somehow it pulled to the left. I do not know if there are others who have had this problem, but I wanted to tell my story since I am not hurt as much. If this happened while being faster, this could have been fatal.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #12

Jan 252012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 122,400 miles
I drove South on interstate 15 from victorville to fontana, California, and when I parked the car I noticed the smell of smoke coming in through the air vents and saw a bit of white smoke coming up from the back of the engine compartment hood. We discovered that the power steering high-pressure feeder hose had a leak under the bushing that fits into the engine hose clamp. The leak was small but produced enough liquid to drip onto the rear of the engine and exhaust components, which then heated the fluid and caused it to smoke. We duct-taped the hose forward of the hose clamp, which helped stop the leak and diverted the drip a bit rearward, and we drove the car home. We assessed the hose condition and consulted with Honda dealer service and parts personnel to see if there is an improved replacement hose żż apparently not. I purchased a replacement oem power-steering high-pressure feeder hose and O-rings from my local Honda dealer and had them installed by an independent mechanic. The high-pressure feeder hose with flammable power-steering fluid is poorly routed closely along the transverse-mounted engine front and across a rear corner, above high-temperature engine and exhaust components, including the pre-cat. This placement and hose failure is very much like those in recalled Acura, also manufactured by Honda, detailed in recall ids # 68810, Dec. 4, 2007; # 70296, Feb. 27, 2008; and # 82159, April 29, 2010.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 082004


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the power steering made noise while moving the steering wheel from the left to the right. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who stated the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The contact did not have the power steering pump replaced. The failure mileage was 41,000.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 102011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Smoke visible coming from right side of engine compartment. Inspection found power steering fluid leaking from pressure hose onto exhaust.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #9

Aug 232006


  • 29,764 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle would exhibit an unusual clicking noise from the front end of the vehicle when attempting a turn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that four years after the failure while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle became un responsive to the contacts attempts to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told the transmission would need to be replaced. The contact inquired about NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) but was told that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The dealer also advised that the front axle and tie rods would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 29,764 and the current mileage was 94,200.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 222008


  • 74,000 miles
Oil consumption burns oil & engine clatters noisy valves & minor problem front end feels un stable Honda Accord 2004 V tech while I brought concerns to service I requested engine compression test and check spark plugs for any oil leaks inconsiderate of problem service dept did no compression test for engine only did a oil consumption test which I was told to pay for I still have papers of test the engine problem technician is only is willing to road test my automobile and tell me he feels no problem I know very well when I've been given the run around after that tech says compared to his 94 pathfinder it feels great !!! I don't like my time to be wasted but these tech's are pros at getting their clients frustrated to the point they know you will never be talking to them about that problem again. In my opinion they are so well versed at this type of professional job description ( con) this practice commonplace in the trade and compensated at the end of the month I know well after the fact its 2010 and the automobile has 122,000 miles and now consumes almost 2 quarts every 1000 miles and the engine is probably going to die soon and I believe your dept has many complaints of this nature. And as the freedom of information a.C.T. please disclose how many autos that match the make & model have these issues thank you

- Pomona, NY, USA

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