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:
109,539 miles
Total Complaints:
205 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (66 reports)
  2. paid for a new transmission (46 reports)
  3. replace transmission (38 reports)
  4. complete rebuild (15 reports)
  5. honda paid partial "goodwill repair" (15 reports)
  6. fixed with new warranty from transmission specialty shop (9 reports)
2004 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 10 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Oct 082009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles


I was driving home from work going about 38 miles per hour, attempted to accelerate and my car felt like it was stuck in neutral, and the rpm went up to 6000 rpm. Then a malfunction light indicator came on the dashboard and I pulled over.

Still needed to try and get home however, the car kept jerking and rpm's going up until finally the car would just not go anymore. I was on a two lane road in the middle of rural county, and had to leave my car at someone's business connected to their residence.

Interestingly enough, I found online that 2004 Honda Accord's had a recall due to their transmission issues, but I never received anything about it. I called the local dealership, Honda of Clear Lake, and they told me that my car was not covered by the recall, and that they would not consider a "Good Faith Repair" on the transmission because I did not have my car serviced by Honda...He also quoted me a price of $3800 for a new transmission. Not sure how he could quote me a price on a new transmission when he had not even seen my vehicle yet.

Called America Honda and got the same answer (that my car was not part of the recall) however, it has the same problem as the recalled cars. When I asked about a good faith repair they told me that they did not have a specific policy about it, but they looked at each situation on a case by case basis, but I would have to have the problem diagnosed at a Honda dealership and repaired by Honda for them to even consider paying anything. Yeah right, since I was going to get such a good deal from them!

So, we had the car towed to a local transmission shop, going to see how much it would take to fix the problem and then decided what to do. Fix it and then sell, sell without fixing it, etc. I told America Honda I would not be purchasing another Honda EVER!

- , Manvel, TX, USA

problem #24

Aug 212009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Leave work Friday traffic attempting to merge onto I-5. Engine revs up to 6500 RPM while im still only going 30mph. Realizing there is a problem with the Transmission I exit the freeway immediately. Car stops forward progress before I can reach the Honda specialist. Call AAA and get towed to shop. Today is Monday and I just found out the transmission is shot. I took care of this care like my first born with the religious maintenance. When my mechanic called the Honda parts dept for price and availability they said sorry NOT AVAILABLE for purchase only warranty. I called AMHC twice and burned a hole in the ears of two of their "specialists" that informed me that Honda would do nothing about it. I love the end of the phone call........ "Is there anything else I can help you with?" ...... I made sure they knew they never helped me in the first place!

- , Bremerton, WA, US

problem #23

Jul 292009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Please read up when purchasin a new car because I think this car was buiolt with this problem....

- , Lathrop, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 302009

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles


I was driving down the freeway yesterday when all of a sudden the transmission started to jerk for a few seconds and then lost all forward momentum and had to pull to the shoulder of the freeway. It acted as if the transmission had come out of gear. I shut the car down and looked under the hood to check for problem. I couldn't find anything under the hood nor on the ground (looking for puddle of trans fluid) to explain this problem. I was able to start the car easily enough and was able to limp it into the dealership. I was advised today by the dealership that the transmission was completely gone. The cost of a rebuilt was $3600.00 and it would take 6 to 8 weeks for the dealership to get one. Because I was a "so-called" good customer they called the midwest division and asked the midwest division if I could fall under a so-called "goodwill warranty". In this case the dealership could get a rebuilt trans in a matter of days, Honda would pay 15%, and my cost will be $3060.00. I currently own 3 Hondas and I've owned numerous other vehicles (Ford, GM, Chrysler) in my life time and NONE of these vehicles have ever had problems with a transmission. This is the first time I've ever encountered a complete transmission failure. No one should experience complete transmission failure at 124,000 miles. I still have a few phone calls to make, as listed above by some of the others, but this may be the last time I ever purchase a Honda if they are not going to stand behind their product. By the looks of things, I'm not alone.

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #21

Oct 102008

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

The transmission just ground to a halt. I had my other honda for 240000 with no transmission problems. This one then had to be replaced again 6 months later because the Honda case started leaking. (not the pan-through the case) they replaced it and now i am having problems again 2 months later. This car has been awful. At 8000 miles Honda had to replace a lot of the engine. That will be on another rant. I only drive on the express tollway so there are a lot of miles, 2000 a month at around 75 mph. There isn't even any stop and go traffic to worry about. This thing is a real piece of crap. The dealer said I will need engine work again. At least Hyundai has a warranty.

- , Firestone, CO, USA

problem #20

Apr 102009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I had the same problem with the revving engine and no forward movement. It happened once on Friday, again on Sat morning and we took it into the dealer Saturday afternoon.They were just about to close and would call us Monday morning. I mentioned it to my brother over the weekend and he told me it was a known issue and I should check it out. That's when I found this website and a huge THANK YOU to everyone who's posted - it really helped when the service rep called on Monday and told my husband the transmission needed to be replaced and it would cost $2800. My husband asked him to talk to me since I had done a little research. First the guy says he's never heard of the problem (like we really believe that) and then he says my husband didn't give him the chance to tell him that he had already spoken to the distrtict manager and since we were such good customers (our 4th Honda and all service work done at the dealer), Honda would cover 50%. I do not believe he would have ever offered the 50% discount if we hadn't come up with all the backround listed here in the previous posts. I told him we weren't happy with that amount as it's obviously a known problem, we treated the car properly and a transmission should last longer than 80K and expected Honda to cover it all. He went on for 10 minutes on why I should be happy with the 50%. I asked how he got to that number as some people had 100% covered, some had 80%. some had parts and the owner only had to pay labor (which would have been about $750). He said it was up to the district manager. I asked to speak to the DM, and was told he doesn't speak to the genereal public. Nice. He then offered to call the DM and plead my case again. 6 hours later, he calls back and says the DM won't budge, its 50%.

Here's the fun part, I was told that I could call the Customer Service Hotline but if they said they would only cover 25% or possibly nothing at all, then the 50% was off the table! I couldn't believe it....told them my odds were better in Vegas and asked if they really thought that was a smart way of doing business. I again asked to speak to the DM, no dice so I asked to speak to the general manager at the dealership. I think I was turned over to the serivce manager who said he'd already spent 45 minutes of his time on this (woohoo) and it was out of his hands. He also mentioned that if were a year ago, Honda probably would have paid for it but times are tough, so too bad. I asked about calling corporate and he recommended I go ahead as he didn't really think they would drop the offer lower than the 50%. I called corporate and they told me the decision is made at the dealer and they support their dealers so they won't change a thing. When I mentioned the dealer recommended I call them, they say, no, go back to the dealer. So I call the service rep and'll love this....he said, no, the decision is made by corporate and the DM. (apparently the DM is the local corporate rep)...and then he tells me I should call corporate back and talk to a different rep. At this point, I gave up - which I'm sure was the intention and told him to fix the car but stated I still wasn't happy and hoped they would find a better solution. Picked the car up and no change, we paid the $1400 -and I made sure I got a new warranty in writing (thank you again to the person who posted that since it was a goodwill repair, their dealer wouldn't warranty the part!!), came home and wrote the letter to corporate.

The letter was very straightforward and stated I was one of Honda's biggest supporters, owned 4, always serviced at the dealership, etc. and asked for a refund of the $1400. I offered this was a chance to make it right, otherwise, I felt obliged to call the lawyer, notify the National Transportation Safety Board and add to the postings on the web. Today I received a phone call from corporate, again stating how lucky I was that they offered to cover half and they really didn't have to do that. They said that if I had called them first, it might have made a difference, but they support their dealers and DMs so it's doubtful anything will change now, especially since I already had the car fixed which meant that I was agreeing to their offer. I again stated my disappointment in Honda.

The funny part is every time you talk to Honda, they always finish up with "And is there anything else I can do for you today?" So here I am, adding my post, next I will contact the lawyer in NY and I've already filed with NTSB (highly recommend everyone do that at under the report a vehicle defect page. I will never buy another Honda and I will share my story with all...when I do the math, I think it's going to cost Honda a lot more in the long run.

- , Sandy, OR, USA

problem #19

Mar 112009

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I am glad I found this we site. I went to a local transmission shop and they quoted me $3,500 for a transmission rebuild. The lowest quote I got in town was $2,500! I requested a good faith repair from Honda. It took them about a week to decide. I have always had a Honda Accord as my car so it was strange to see the transmission go out. I never had any slipping until the day it failed. Luckily I was not on the highway.

Honda of America wanted receipts of all the services I ever completed on the car. They can look them up sometimes if they are completed through a Honda dealer. I was able to produce paperwork of a complaint my wife had with "hard" gear shifts. This was when the car was at 2,000 miles. I faxed ALL the paperwork that I had over the last 4 years. Since I am military I went to MANY different auto shops. Not all were Honda. In the end all I was asked to pay for was the freight and a portion of the transmission. My total bill was $900.

- , Hope Mills, NC, USA

problem #18

Apr 112009

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

My car has 54,000 miles on it, and I serviced it at the dealership at 36,000 miles. At 54,000 miles the car revved to 6000 RPM even though I didn't change the pressure on the gas pedal. I pulled it over and then decided to try to drive it to the dealership. Later on the way the car acted like it was in neutral and wouldn't move at all. I had it towed at my expense to the Honda dealership and they told me that the torque converter failed. Since my car was so new they gave me $1,000 off from the factory and $500 off from the service department to complete this repair, but it was still $3,000.

If this happens to you, make sure that you talk to the general manager of the dealership where you bought it so that you can get the factory discount, and I would strongly consider the extended warranty if I bought another Honda, which at this point, I might not do.

- , Valencia, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 132009

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

The transmission in our Accord ES just went out. We are getting ready to call Honda to enforce their "goodwill" warranty. We were never notified about the 2005 recall. Thanks for the information about the class action lawsuit. We will be joining it as soon as I finish this.

We called Honda of America and were told to try to solve the problem with the local dealership. If the dealership could not help us with a discount, then we were to follow up with Honda of America. Well, the dealer told me it would be $3500, then told my husband it would be $3600. We called Honda of America and were told that they could not help us because the car had reached 100k in miles and ir did not occur within the first three years of the lease. We then went back to the dealer, who told us that they have new transmissions on backorder and may be able to get one in two weeks but he is not sure. We're going to a third party transmission center who will rebuild it in three days for $2500 and provide a warranty.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #16

Mar 292009

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Thank God for the internet! I have a 2004 Honda Accord V6 Automatic transmission. Yesterday, in the middle of traffic my transmission went out. I would accelerate and the RPM's would rev up high, but the car would not go into gear. It felt like it just stayed stuck in the gear it was in (1st?) so I had to drive super slow. It literally would NOT go into the next gear; it just revved. I barely made it home with my life. When I did make it home I did some research on the net and discovered this model Accord had a transmission recall that caused the teeth to break off the gears and the car not to go into gear. So I called the recall "customer service" number and gave him all my info. He said the thing to fix the recall had been done to the car in January 2005. Hmmm, that's interesting: Why would that issue even come up in January 05 if the car was THAT new??? So this tells me my car was definitely one of the ones involved in the recall. He could not give me any more details regarding what exactly was done to the transmission. My option was to have the car towed to Honda at MY expense and have them diagnose it. Then the service person would contact customer service and give them a full report. Then it would be up to customer service to make a decision regarding the vehicle. How freaking ridiculous!!!

Ok, from the online research I've done, I found that the transmission design of my model was poor, therefore causing it to fail, even when thousands of $$$ are spent. A few people replaced their transmissions 3 times and paid for it!!! I would really like to know some of your solutions...what you did to fix the problem. I'm thinking of having my mechanic friend see if he can fix it and trade it in for something new with 0% interest and a WARRANTY!!! Or is this a bad idea? I feel so lost and defeated right now. I'm afraid Honda will tell me the transmission needs to be replaced and even if they pay part, I can't afford to fix it. I want to cry!

Back years ago I had a Hyundai Sonata (when they were huge pieces of crap and did NOT have warranty's). Anyway, that car's transmission didn't start giving me problems until I hit 125,000 miles! You buy a Honda because it is "dependable". I'm sorry but a transmission replacement on a car this new is absurd! I've been looking on the net for a class action lawsuit but can't find one. How do we start one??? Thanks for listening!

- , Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #15

Mar 202009

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,800 miles


Tranny dies in rush hour traffic on freeway. Towed to dealer. Dealer quotes $3700 for factory-rebuilt tranny, plus brake work and battery (brakes needed, I know). Since money is an ISSUE for me (retired) I called Honda Customer Relations number, 1-800-999-1009. I am now a case number--so dealer and HCR will talk. Independent of that, dealer offered to discount battery/brakes. Swell. Dealer mentioned rear main shaft seal shows slight leakage, since tranny has to be pulled to replace it, do it now. ok, makes sense. BUT I think THAT has affected the transmission, too. (Or, maybe vice-versa.)

I bought a Honda, at son's suggestion, because of quality rep. He bought one, too. HAH! Transmissions do not die at 50,000 miles! Son's VW went 283,000 miles on original tranny. In 40 years of owning American cars, no, nada, zip, zero, tranny problems.

From what I see on the net, Honda trannys are junk. Complaint on top of complaint. I really like this car, but transmissions do NOT die at 50,000. It's not like I'm driving the dam* Baja.

- , Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 112009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,755 miles

Transmission failed 11:00 pm on Hwy 10 near Cabazon, CA. Like others have describe, it was like the car went into neutral and it was all over. Fortunately I was going around 85-90 mph -- keeping up with traffic, so had plenty of momentum to get to the roadside. Had the vehicle towed to the dealer -- AAA only covers 7 miles, so it cost me $100.

I was first quoted $3,800 to rebuild the transmission from H&A w/ 3 year warranty. Told service manager I had to think about it. He called back, said he had contacted factory rep, and Honda would pick up half. Somehow their half is a lot bigger than mine, because my cost was $1,150.

That's all good, but the reason I bought a Honda is I thought I'd get some error-free miles on it. I drove a Mazda 323 220K miles without a major problem, and put 230K on a Nissan pickup. Wasn't planning to take this car that many miles, but 73K for this problem is ridiculous.

I just called an attorney that someone else gave me the number for, who is filing a class action suit. 212-566-4356 Today is Saturday, so haven't spoken to anyone yet. I'm not a big class action fan, but I think Honda is very deserving on this one.

Last Honda I owned before this one was '78 Accord, bought new. After 3 head gaskets in 30K miles I said never again, Honda. Decided to give them another try after all those years. Wow.

- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 042009

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

while driving to work,my Honda accord the car i love just died on me in the middle of the high way,im pressing the gas and the car was as if it was in was a horrifying experience as big trucks and trailers came close to hitting the car and i was stranded 40 miles away from home waited for a tow truck to take the car to a Honda dealer who diagnosed and told me the tranny would cost$4,200 to make the repair.i thought i was going to have a heart attack with that price i told him i cant afford it and now im stranded cant go to work i am recall depressed right now,i read the blog you guys posted and called Honda at 1800 999 1009 and was told that my car got serviced in 2005 for the recall and that there's nothing they could do ,but i kept complaining an received a reference number for a complaint im just like fish out of the water. HELP !!!!!!!!!

- , Queens, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 152008

Accord EX-L 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

hi everyone my name is quang and im pretty sure all of the accord enthusiast will know what im talking about when it comes to the accord v6. this is my going to be my third tranny due to the poor design on the internal components. for everyone out there that doesn't know what im talking about its the second gear in the automatic transmission not getting enough lubrication thus leading to transmission failure. at first i didn't know what that meant but now since i am a certified mechanic i some what fully understand the extent of the problem. at first my car made a really loud high pitch whining noise and to my knowledge it indicates that the either the torque converter or the front pump is the culprit.when that happens your torque converter isn't fully pumping in atf at its full potential thus leading to excessive heat build up and then boom transmission failure. i called Honda under the goodwill impression hoping that they will help pay for everything or at lease half and the response....sorry your car is way over warranty and there's nothing we can do. So now going on my THIRD trans and for sure after this im going to trade the car in for something more reliable. im sorry if this post is alittle long but i also hope in someway i helped out a person in need of some kind of info.

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 112008

Accord LX 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,950 miles

seems as though after buying 5 Hondas from One dealer they would stand behind their cars. Everything was great until i needed repairs-- for the repairs they did.And then more repairs for the repairs. No kidding- the windshield wiper hose stuck in the body of the car when they had to repaint the whole car so it was not 4 shades of the same color!!! 5 trips so far and still not right. should I be sending my car to a different dealer? How can we get them to stand behind what used to be an extremely well made car and now is quickly turning to Poo. If I hear one more person say" we are going to try and work with you". my head may just explode and then I guess my cat troubles are over. :) Aren't we in the age of computer geniuses??

- , St Joseph, MO, USA

problem #10

Dec 042008

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,767 miles

I have owned Honda products for the past 20 years; the 2003 Acura & 2004 Accord have been by far the worst products I have owned. The MDX had a motor mont fail in the fourth year which was out of warranty; both cars have had batteries fail in the first 18 months. The quality of Honda products have dropped significantly since 2003

- , Hermitage, TN, US

problem #9

Nov 122008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

In addition to #3 by mjcolbeth, I just want to say that when you call Honda USA and they ask if you've done all your services at Honda, you should say yes as this raises the possibility of them paying a portion usually 50% (they pay parts, you pay labor).

Saying no could mean you will not get the goodwill repair assistance. I learned this the hard way after calling the lawyers office to add my name to the class action suit. The lady who answered said I should have just told them I did do all my services / repairs at Honda.

- , Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 302008

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Rather than share a horror story, I thought I'd pass along some useful information to anyone buying a Honda Accord. In doing some research on this site I've found that there was a major problem with the transmission in the 03 Accord. I have an 04 with 78,000 miles. Last week I experienced what everyone else on here was referring to as the slipping and jerking of my car. I have not had a problem with several other Hondas and Acuras that I have previously owned. A friend of mine is a mechanic and told me that it sounded like my tranny was slipping. I took the car in this morning and an hour later the svc adviser called me and confirmed that it was the transmission and that they would be ordering me a refurbished unit. Fortunately I purchased an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles when I bought the car at 30,000 miles. Word to the wise, purchase the extended warranty if you are going to buy an accord. The transmission is a piece of sh*t.

- , Riverview, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 092008

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

66,000 miles, well-maintained Accord. Suddenly stopped accelerating. Just barely made it to my mechanic's shop. Won't go from 2nd to 3rd. Offered a choice: Re-manufactured transmission from Honda, $3400, re-build my transmission for $2850, or a used Transmission with 37,000 miles for $2,400. I fear the used one - what if it fails at 66,000? But I can't afford this. Went for the used one. My first Honda. Very disappointed. I have 95,000 miles on my Prius and have only changed the oil and the tires. Sticking with Toyota in the future.

- , H Mills, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 252008

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I was on the Route 80 where there are 4 lanes. I was in the left lane and

I was only going about 40 miles per hour because of the traffic. All of a sudden it felt like it was in neutral. I looked down to check and it wasn't. I could not accelerate. This happened at 6PM when everyone was coming home from work, I some how made it across

the four lanes and did not get hit and got off the road.

I had NO WARRING and no engine light came until a few mins after and then the light went off. I called the Honda dealer shipdealerships and they told me to try to drive it home. I said NO WAY. I had it towed over there. In April I had the timing belt, and all other belts replaced for $1,100 so I would not be left on the road. I keep up with all and don't wait till after the fact. Whn the dealership called they said I need a new transmission and that it would be $3,200 for a rebuilt transmission. I told them I bought the extended warranty and NOT Once did I use it and that I was very disappointed with this. Honda is supposed to go for 200,000 to 300,000 miles. I never had to replace a transmission or my family have to. Before I purchased this car NEW I looked at a new BMW and everyone told me it is expensive to maintain so I went with HONDA and I even bought the warranty. Everyone told me I was silly for buying the extended warranty.I asked them to please do something for me. and this was NOT acceptable. They were very nice at the dealership and said they will contact Honda and try for me. They were able to get Honda to pay for half. This could have been very bad if I did not get off a 4 lane road ok. This car was NOT Cheap and this is not good enough!!!

Something needs to be done. Half is better than nothing but there are to many complaints about this. I had no warning and the car did not act up before hand.

- , Roxbury, NJ, USA

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