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 1 of 3)

problem #47

Jan 012017


  • 111,920 miles


Problem power steering feed hose leak

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #46

Sep 292016


  • 213,000 miles
Picking up son from pre-K and car key would not turn off. After messing with the key and juggling it for over an hour, I was able to turn it off but it would not turn on again. I took it to the dealer and was told it could be the ignition lock cylinder. The vehicle was stationary at the time.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #45

Sep 252016

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,340 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 5 mph and attempting to make a turn, the steering wheel failed to move and the vehicle lost power without warning. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering hose needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,340. Updated 11/29/16

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #44

Mar 082016


  • 72,000 miles


2004 Accord transmission began leaking at the same time as ABS trouble, what seems to be suspension problems (bad springs?), hood struts failed. These all happened about a month after one dealer replaced an engine mount and leaking power steering fluid container. The trunk opening switch would not work but was too expensive to repair. I had the ABS looked at at another dealer and for $100 an "electrical switch" under the gas pedal was replaced. The power steering fluid was leaking again. They said that the transmission needed to be fixed for $2000 and that my car was not in the recall. I saw many complaints about transmission leaks online and about the gas door not opening. The dealer didn't want to hear about that. (engine mounts and hood struts are popular items on amazon.) I was lucky that my head wasn't under there when the hood fell. I had opened the hood to check the power steering fluid and went to the trunk to get some, when it fell. I was able to replace them from amazon. I had the engine cut out twice while driving in the rain after last inspection. I lost steering and saw the engine light come on so I quickly started the engine again. About a month apart. It didn't happen again. It seems strange to me that all of this happened within 6 months after an inspection.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #43

Jul 192016


  • 198,678 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 10 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver and a squealing noise was heard from the front passenger side tire. The contact pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and observed that the power steering hose was leaking. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V222000 (steering). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 198,678.

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #42

Jul 022016


  • 159,000 miles
Jan. 2015 traveling at 25 to 30 mph, driver front lower ball joint separated causing wheel to turn sideways in wheel well, which resulted in disabling vehicle, seperated cv shaft and fender damage. No injuries and had to have towed. May 2015 traveling 20 to 25 mph, passenger lower ball joint separated causing wheel to turn sideways in wheel well, resulted in disabling vehicle and damage to fender. Local police were called, no injuries and vehicle towed. July 2016 backing out of driveway, passenger front lower ball joint separated, causing wheel to turn sideways in wheel well, resulted in disabling vehicle, damage to fender, separated cv shaft, and dented the oil pan, no injuries. There is a fault in the design of the lower ball joint placement, the weight of the vehicle is naturally causing the ball to press against the retaining edge of the socket, resulting in metal on metal contact causing the retaining edge to wear resulting in separation of the ball joint. The only way to correct this would be to redesign the front suspension steering knuckle and lower control arm. The ball joint should be pressed into the socket with weight on the wheels not pulling it apart. My only suggestions until something is done about this, is go to a service garage and have them check the ball joints with a pry bar between the steering knuckle and lower control arm, if there is movement have it replaced and keep your receipts. Just shaking the wheel by hand isn't enough to see the movement. Do not pick the vehicle up by the lower control arm, it can result in control arm bushing separation.

- Bradford, PA, USA

problem #41

Jun 092015


  • 259,000 miles


My 2004 Honda Accord had the battery, alternator, ac filter, and oil changed by the Honda dealer. After picking the car up from the Honda dealer, it was driven approximately 10 miles on the interstate. After exiting the highway, while coming to a stop, the car burst into flames. The fire department responded and extinguished the blaze. The car was a total loss. The dealer stated that the cause of the fire was a failure of the power steering system.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #40

May 132015


  • miles
While driving the vehicle at night, I experienced a spontaneous total electrical failure when switching the dash control which powers the digital thermometer/odometer control. This effected headlights, steering and braking, as if the car was turned completely off, but I was able to coast toward the road shoulder.

- Avon, CT, USA

problem #39

Sep 012014


  • 150,000 miles
The power steering hoses developed a leak causing turns to be very difficult. The car is a 4 cylinder. Looked up recalls and it seems like they recalled the hoses for the 6 cylinder and not the 4. losing power steering in a turn can be pretty dangerous.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #38

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 #37

Nov 202014


  • miles


I was driving my normal route and coming up on my right turn. The dashboard lights and all interior lights of my car went black and I was unable to steer my car. Within seconds I tried to brake. My pedal went directly to the floor and my brakes never engaged. I had no steering and no brakes going 55mph (forcing me through a red light). I was T-boned by a SUV at 60mph (no skid marks for either of us)- a full impact crash. My side of the car was destroyed, my car sent spinning into and taking out a pole, and then my car spun down an embankment. The next thing I remember is being cut out of my car and then nothing past that. I spent the next 5-6 days at 2 different hospitals. I suffered lung/heart/body trauma (especially due to airbag and seatbelt) and a major concussion. Wherever the airbag hit and seatbelt lay- I'm a rainbow of colors. I am looking at a lengthy recovery and unable to return to work for a few weeks, unable to take college finals, nor can I return to college next semester due to heart trauma. My husband and I had moments of brake and steering problems sporadically/occasionally in the last few months. Each time we took in our car we were told "we can't find any problems". and the notorious: "there are no recalls for your brakes". we have four children and this incident has affected each of us.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #36

Sep 012014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Power steering fluid is leaking onto the exhaust from the power steering pressure hose. There was a recall on this exact same problem for 2003-2007 Honda Accord. However my vehicle wasn't included. It is the exact same issue described in the recall.

- Elgin, TX, USA

problem #35

May 192014

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
The power steering hose was recently replaced due to recall 12V-222. However, I believe the power steering pump is damaged and is related to this recall. Multiple mechanics, including the dealer, suspect the pump may be going out, though it is still functioning fine. Honda should cover the cost of replacing the power steering pump. Also, the O-ring in the inlet hose was not replaced. I realize it was not part of the recall, but there are wide reports that this O-ring, once replaced, will resolve a leaking issue. Honda should also cover this.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #34

Apr 172014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 128,498 miles
I have noticed that when I try to turn on car there is a lost in connection and car won't turn on I have to turn the steering wheel in order for car to finally turn on. I think there is a problem with the ignition switch. I have done research and seems like other Honda owners have had the same problem. I'm just afraid that car will stop in the road while I'm driving.

- Lawrence, MA, USA

problem #33

Mar 132014


  • 166,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the power steering hose became cracked and was leaking fluid. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was confirmed that the power steering hose was leaking and needed the be replaced. The manufacture was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V222000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 166,000.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #32

Nov 112013


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle exhibited a loud screeching noise while starting the engine. In addition, power steering fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Lakeland, MN, USA

problem #31

Jul 042013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact took vehicle to through inspection and failed because there was a leak in the steering rack. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who determined that the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 58,000.

- Lebonon, NH, USA

problem #30

Jul 102013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I received a recall notice for my 2004 Honda Accord. I work very long days and have very little time to get this recall completed. The problem is that the closest authorized Honda dealer is 70 miles away. This makes getting the work done very difficult. My complaint is that there should be circumstances that Honda allows others to fix these issues. Now, I may never be able to get this fixed and who knows what may happen to me or my car if that is the case...

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Apr 172013


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the steering malfunctioned and the passenger rear wheel seized causing her to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle crashed into a ditch and the air bags deployed. No injuries were reported. The contact stated that she had recently received a notice for NHTSA campaign number: 12V222000 (steering). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 119,000.

- Pendleton, NC, USA

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