ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,801 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #68

Feb 192010


  • 104,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated as she was driving 40 mph the transmission stopped without giving any warnings. The vehicle shifted out of gear and stopped in the middle of the road. The vehicle was towed to the Honda dealer and they informed her that the transmission burned out and needed to be replaced. There was no warranty on the transmission and the contact stated that she had to pay for the repairs. The failure mileage was 104,000.

- Greer, NC, USA

problem #67

Feb 102010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 115,841 miles
My daughter was driving home from school in our 2004 Honda Accord ex V6. On the top of the crescent city connection (new orleans bridge), the car stopped accelerating. Because she was on an incline, it started rolling back. She panicked but put her foot on the brake. Thankfully, a N.O. policeman pulled up and put his lights on calling for the bridge police. Bridge police pushed her off bridge. Once down she turned off the car, turned it back on and it worked. It happened again on her way home. She turned it off and back on and it started working again. No warning lights come on, it just stops accelerating. Honda dealer said technician had to drive it awhile and had same experience. The car didn't give any problem code either but said if we continued to drive it, it would. Says transmission needs to be replaced. Told him internet site is flooded with similar transmission failures and this is a safety problem. Said american Honda would assist us if we pay $1,944.24 of the $4,500 to replace the transmission. It's a known problem with the 2003 and 2004 transmission and should be a recall. Honda will order the transmission tomorrow to do the work.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #66

Jan 232010


  • 84,000 miles
My Honda Accord 2004 has a transmission problem whereby it will drop into neutral during normal driving. The most pronounced time I noticed it, was driving in peak hour traffic and trying to cross lanes of oncoming traffic. Just before doing so the car revved to 6000rpm with very little forward acceleration. I had time to cancel my actions to cross, however had the transmission dropped out 2 sec later I would have found myself in the middle of oncoming traffic including trucks at high speed. Luckily a major accident was avoided however I fear for the safety of the vehicle. I have since had the car at Honda for determination of the fault. They admit there is a defect and have offered to assist with repairs by charging me 1600 to fully replace the transmission. My position is that since Honda has already recalled similar 2004 Honda Accord for transmission issues that they should include my VIN in the recall range. Honda had issued a corporate release regarding the recall stating it was a significant safety concern and affected 1,000,000 vehicles world wide. I can't help but think my transmission is suffering the same fate as these other Accord.

- Kilgore, TX, USA

problem #65

Nov 282008


  • 26,804 miles


On November 24, 2008 my wife was in an incident where she rear ended the SUV in front of her. Auto body masters (abm), the officially recommended repair facility for miller Honda in culver city, ca, is the repair facility that repaired our car. Shortly after January 1, 2009, abm informed us that the transmission was slipping badly and the warning light indicated a malfunction in the transmission. Subsequently abm took our car to miller Honda to diagnose the problem. After several days, I was told the car needed a new transmission. The service advisor at miller Honda told me that after the transmission was replaced, miller Honda would make a determination if the accident caused the transmission to malfunction. I was also advised that the transmission would be sent to american Honda for a more thorough inspection of the transmission and they actually had the ability to override the dealer decision and the decision to override could be made after the fact. Furthermore, I was advised that, if the damage was not caused by the accident it would be covered under the extended service contract we purchased. On January 22, 2009, the transmission was replaced by miller Honda. I was informed that an external and internal examination of the transmission found no indication of damage as a result of the accident and thus our Honda care extended service contract covered the cost of this repair. I did what research I could on the internet regarding problems with Honda Accord transmissions and quickly found the transmission in the 2003/2004 V6 Accord has a history of failing in such a way as it is common for the car to hesitate and jerk. Adding another factor is that some 2004 Accord had a recall for transmission problems. With all these issues in mind, it has become clear that the cause of my wife's accident is not as clear cut as it first appears. My wife's recollection of the incident has consistently been that.

- Culver City, CA, USA

problem #64

Jan 202010


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord which was purchased brand new in December 2003. While driving at speeds of less than 30 mph and slowing down, the vehicle lunged forward. The next day, while driving at speeds of less than 50 mph, she noticed the rpms dropped and the vehicle began to lose power suddenly without warning. The vehicle then began to slowly pick up speeds. She immediately drove off of the highway. The vehicle was towed to her local dealer who stated that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. No repairs were made to date. The failure and current mileages were 123,000.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #63

Jan 182010


  • 123,000 miles
Car has been maintained 100% according to Honda's owners manual. While driving on the freeway, the car will downshift into first gear causing a drastic reduction in speed and fast. Cold cause an accident.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #62

Jan 182010


  • 123,000 miles


I was driving and all of a sudden the transmission began slipping. Within 2-3 miles the car would not move in any gear. I called tow truck and when he arrived I tried again and was successful in turning the car around. I found on this site a reference to a recall notice but Honda doesn't show any recalls for my car. One repair shop wants to put in another transmission est. $3,000. I am planning on taking to Honda dealer and try again in person.

- Lewisport, KY, USA

problem #61

Jan 142010


  • 95,000 miles
Driving Honda Accord on sh 121, pressed the accelerator and engine started revving but car wouldn't go. Tried shifting into other drives and back into drive thinking that maybe it was stuck in between gears (even though it's an automatic) and the car would go for a bit then do the same thing. I eventually had to pull off the road with my hazard lights on hoping I wouldn't get rear ended. Called and had my car towed to the dealer. First the keys were lost somewhere between the tow truck and the dealership, then the dealer first couldn't replicate what had happened and after we told them to let the car warm up some more, they did replicate it. So we went from "there's nothing wrong with your car" to " you need the whole transmission replaced". this for a Honda that doesn't have 100K on it yet. Checked websites and seems this isn't an uncommon thing with this car and still waiting to hear what, if anything Honda will do to correct their problem. The car hasn't had any symptoms and has always been serviced at the dealer and had its scheduled maintenance performed. I bought a Honda so I wouldn't have these problems. I feel ripped off.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #60

Dec 282009


  • 97,965 miles
Drove home from vacation and car was fine. Next morning driving to work felt transmission begin to slip. On way home from work the transmission began slipping and RPM's shot up to 5000 to almost 6,000 and car decreased speed rapidly, car jerked and began to go again. Waited until I could get to a empty straight road and tried to increase speed rapidly and same thing occurred- RPM's shot up and car not in gear. Drove next day to work and car did same thing. Had to have car towed from work. Honda says there isn't a recall and have not had "any complaints to this, it could be that the proper service has not been completed by you". well I have my car serviced every 3,000 miles and had transmission fluid flushed every 10,000. Last time it was flushed none of their service tech thought there was a problem due to not being serviced properly.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #59

Dec 172009


  • 126,000 miles
Transmission started slipping during lunch break and almost caused me to collide into another vehicle as I was stopped uphill and when let off brake car was not in gear. After rolling backwards towards curb from left hand turn lane, stopping engine and starting again I started limping back to work. The trans slipped, RPM's rose and then kicked in gear lurching forward almost hitting a vehicle. Had to be towed 60 miles home.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #58

Nov 262009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 60 mph, the speed decreased under 20 mph. The contact was able to drive into the emergency lane and shut the engine off. The vehicle restarted but the transmission would not shift into gear; therefore, the vehicle was towed to a local mechanic. The technician confirmed that there was a faulty second gear shaft solenoid which burned transmission fluids. The technician also stated that the transmission needed an overhaul. The Honda manufacturer was notified and responded as if they were unfamiliar with transmission failures. There were no recalls or warranties related to the transmission. The failure mileage was 92,000. Updated 03/01/10. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was confirmed that the transmission failed. Updated 06/11/10.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #57

Dec 022009


  • 100,400 miles
We have owned many Honda in our past with no problem but this one... I just don't know. The morning of December 2, we were driving it on the highway to find it slipping gear between gears 1 and 2, and 2 and 3. so at the end of the day we stopped by the Honda dealership. They literally drove it around and told us right away that it was the transmission. After a quote of $3800 (approximately), we tried to drive it home less than 4 miles and it died on the way. We had it towed to a local transmission place who took a further look at it and the 2nd and 3rd gears are totally gone and the 4th gear is about to go. They are trying to fix it with a quote of $2900. This is quite unsafe, had we not decided to get it checked out right away, someone could have gotten hurt!

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #56

Oct 122009


  • 105,000 miles
My 2004 Accord transmission started slipping at 105000. I was on the interstate on the way to work and felt loss of power and realized transmission was slipping. I slowed down and drove in the far right lane and stopped a few times but made it to work. I brought it to the closest transmission place and they confirmed transmission failure and quoted $2900 for rebuilt tranny and maybe more if the computer was also a problem. I also called the local Honda dealer and after some hassle they reduced their original estimate from $3900 to $3400. I called Honda America customer service and they would do nothing more. I got the repair (rebuilt tranny) and when I paid the bill it was for $2900. Still a lot but at least not more than the tranny place. I told all the Honda folks I talked to that I had 3 Honda and always was happy with their reliability. But considering the information I read about the tranny problems and Honda's lack of concern, and what I personally experienced, no more Honda for me!

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #55

Nov 062009


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving between 50-55 mph the check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a local repair facility and a mechanic stated that the transmission failed. The manufacturer was notified, but because the warranty expired no assistance was provided. The current and failure mileages was 170,000.

- Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #54

Nov 032009


  • 72,000 miles
While driving on interstate, car accelerated without pressure of gas pedal. When brakes, applied car shock violently and was unable to stop. When safe to attempt to pull off the road, I had to :stand on the brakes, put the car in park, turned off the ignition and cruised until the car stop. The police came to my assistance and saw nothing was stuck on the gas pedal and also looked to see if my accelerator cable appeared to be stuck. It was not. When I tried to restart the car in park, the engine revived as though the gas pedal was completely depressed. Car was towed to dealership. I barely missed crashing into a pole. If there had been a vehicle in front of me, I would most like have struck it as my car accelerated to over 70 miles per hour.

- Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #53

Aug 242009


  • 92,690 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 65 mph the vehicle suddenly began to down shift causing the vehicle speed to decrease to 25 mph. The contact shut the engine off, restarted the vehicle and noticed that after the gear shift was placed in drive the vehicle would not accelerate. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 92690.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #52

Sep 102009


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions; proceeding to a traffic signal and applying pressure to the accelerator pedal, the vehicle lunged forward. The transmission slipped in and out of gear in a pulling motion. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact drove to the emergency lane and after a few minutes he was able to continue driving; however, the identical failure continued to occur intermittently. The transmission failed and the contact could only drive in reverse. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 100,000.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #51

Sep 022009


  • 141,888 miles
Driving down a major road and lost all power, the engine revved up but the car would not accelerate. I let off the gas and coasted for a short while. I gave it gas again and I got the car to the Honda dealership. They could not duplicate the problem until after they completed a service and were doing a test ride. They called and said the transmission failed. I recently had a transmission fluid changed. The interesting part is the service manager and my salesmen both had there transmissions fail in there Honda. I called Honda and they said we can not help you.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #50

Sep 022009


  • 141,888 miles
Driving down a major road and lost all power, engine revved up and would not run. It started running again and I got the car to the Honda dealership. They could not duplicate the problem until after they completed a service and were doing a test ride. The transmission failed.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #49

Aug 012009


  • 85,000 miles
There were no problems prior to sudden failure of my transmission in my 2004 Honda Accord. I was driving down the road when my car suddenly dropped speed. The engine revved, while my car went no where. Left me stranded in the middle of a extremely busy road (with my 2 young children in the car). I had to have it towed and was told by a mechanic that my transmission was completely shot and had to either be replaced or only has 85,000 miles on it. I have yet to get it fixed because I have been doing my research, and this seems to be a very popular problem. Quite confused as to how a car can go from working just fine, to needing a completely new transmission within a matter of minutes.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

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