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 8 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

Jan 172011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,900 miles


Driving Home from work. The car would redline and all of a rapid and sudden drop in speed. Fortunately there was a shoulder to get on, otherwise it was very very close to a serious accident! Whenever the car hit any sort of incline it would literally have no power and drop in speed - Had to put in 1st and 2nd to creep up the hill.

Spoke to Honda last night they said that our car did not fall under any transmission recall. My wife is arranging to bring the car to our local dealer to see what could be done. Based on what I read on this site, I don't expect much, but I hope to get some sort of good will repair. Honestly can't afford to tow the car in much less get it repaired.

I had total confidence in my Honda, but deeply concerned now.

- , Branchville, NJ, USA

problem #64

Jan 052011

Accord EX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Honda is not the company it used to be even when you buy the extended warranty. They do their best to weasel their way out of owning up to an inherent problem with transmissions. We bought the extended warranty which covered the vehicle to 75k miles. I reported the problem when the vehicle had 84+- miles. Dealer(Prime Honda, Saco, Me.) and NE Transmission Shop confirmed that there was problems going on with transmission because of color of transmission fluid and clutch bands deterioration. Obviously this problem was occurring well before the 75k mile warranty ended but Honda refused to acknowledge that. In their effort to be penny wise and dollar foolish we will not consider buying a 2011 CRV nor will my son consider buying a Honda CRV to replace his Nissan Sentra. Very sad because we have owned other Honda cars in the past but because of this bad experience we will be considering other manufactures.

Update from Jan 7, 2011: Honda said the best that they would do would is offer a good-will-fix of 25% to help repair the transmission. I personally called Honda of America on 1/6/11 and asked they to at least reconsider going 50%. Waiting to hear back today or Monday. I had the extended warranty from Honda which covered the vehicle to 75000 miles. Since the vehicle had 84000 miles on the O/D they said their was nothing they could do to help me cover the cost of this. Needless to say I explained to them that this type of transmission failure did not all of a sudden start right when the warranty ended. This has been going on internally for some time most likely even before 75000. It was a waste of time to call them.So buyer beware don't bother to buy the extended warranty from Honda. Not worth it.

Update from Jan 7, 2011: Received a second call from Honda in Calif and they refuse to do better than 25% Good-Will policy. That means I would have to pay around $2600 to have it repaired by Honda.

Got a second opinion from a know reputable transmission shop that is local and after I read to him what the Honda service tech wrote on the service order he did not feel that the transmission needed overhaul. Here are the reasons: -Honda tech said that the transmission fluid looked like after market fluid. How can he tell this if the fluid was brown/burnt in color. Transmission shop whom I had it serviced at 42000 miles states on the invoice that they put only Honda spec transmission fluid which is ATF-Z1. I have this in writing on my invoice. I personally talk to the shop and read back to him what Honda wrote on service order. He was a bit taken back because he said the liability of putting non Honda fluid in any Honda is not worth the trouble he would get into. -transmission screen was filled with metal debris. The only way to get at the screen filter would be to take apart the transmission. Honda would not do this and only charge me $80 for fluid change. All Honda and any transmission shop just drain the transmission fluid which approximately 4 quarts and replace it with 4 quarts.
The transmission shop who gave me the second opinion said that he could overhaul my transmission for $2300 but given the info I gave him and that the transmission is shifting properly after Honda changed the fluid he does not feel it requires an overhaul at this time. His opinion is that all it needed was new fluid change.

Update from Jan 24, 2011: I think I'll buy a KIA or Hyundai when the hype for them cools down.

Update from Jan 24, 2011: Second opinion transmission shop says that nothing is wrong with my transmission after the fluid change by Honda dealer. He said Honda was just fabricating a problem to get me to fork over $3k for an overhaul. It is just now a matter of wait and see game to see who will be right. Honda or the other transmission shop.

- , Biddeford, ME, USA

problem #63

Dec 292010

Accord Coupe Whithe V6 3.0 CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

My daughter (17 yo) was driving the Honda Accord 2004 in the highway and the car began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where for her to pull over and I was able to drive it home (stop-and-go) but got it home. The next day we took the car to the dealership and they said that they could not replicate the failure and in their diagnostic system no CODE was reported. It was time to change the oil and that is what they did. The next day my daughter was driving the car presented the same problem as before. I called the dealer and they said they were "slammed" and to bring the care the first week of the new year 2011. In the meantime I took it to another mechanic, the mechanic said that it maybe transmission problem, but he was not sure. As I drove-tested the car, the problem continue and a friend recommended that I take the car to a transmission specialist. I took the car to a transmission specialist and he said that they problem was the transmission and the cost to re-furbish the transmission was between $2,800 and $3,100. WOW!!! I went back to the dealer and told them what the transmission specialist said and asked them how much it would cost to repair it. He said about $4,000..double WOW!! I firend that understand about cars and other details of the business asked if Honda could provide with Out-of-Warranty Assistance. The manager said that Honda had done that in the past, but it took on a case by case basis. I just called Honda and was assigned a Regional Case Number and I will get a call in the next 2 business days. I hope the Regional Case Manager will help with at least 50%. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have driving my two daughters. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition. Rewiewing the complaints in the different forums, I am very surprised that the began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where the snow was plowed off enough for me to pull over and call AAA. I had to wait 35 minutes on the side of this road in the middle of nowhere for my car to be towed. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have been the only driver since. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition.

I had my car towed to the nearest Honda dealership in Pittsburgh New York. The next day the mechanic called me and said it was an internal failure of the transmission. He gave me three options, none of which are appealing. The first option costs $2,500 for a used transmission, second option costs $3,000 to rebuild the existing transmission and lastly $3,300 for a new transmission. Again, no option is appealing. When researching this type of failures that Honda Accords have had with transmissions, this problem is rated at the top of complaints. What is more surprising is that the NHTSA has not made Honda issue a recalll on Transmissions of the Honda Accord. As I understand the NHTSA gets involved when there is a SAFETY issue. Well, this is a SAFETY issue, don't you think? I will keep you posted as I get this issue resolved.

Update from Feb 14, 2011: I talked directly with Honda Customer Service Center and they agreed to helped me with 1/3 of the cost of replacing the transmission. I ended up paying $2,300 and Honda paid the rest. The car is now working and in good order. The lesson that I learned was that sometimes one needs to go directly to the manufacturer to get the final help/solution.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #62

Dec 282010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


On December 28, 2010 I was driving my car through the windy and snowy back roads of the Adirondacks when suddenly the car began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where the snow was plowed off enough for me to pull over and call AAA. I had to wait 35 minutes on the side of this road in the middle of nowhere for my car to be towed. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have been the only driver since. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition.

I had my car towed to the nearest Honda dealership in Pittsburgh New York. The next day the mechanic called me and said it was an internal failure of the transmission. He gave me three options, none of which are appealing. The first option costs $2,500 for a used transmission, second option costs $3,000 to rebuild the existing transmission and lastly $3,300 for a new transmission. Again, no option is appealing.

When looking up the types of failures that other Honda Accords have had, this is right in line with them. It infuriates me to no end that this is not covered by warranty and that it will cost me over $3 thousand to fix this car. Prior to this problem, my immediate family has owned 6 Hondas, needless to say, we won't be purchasing any more.

- , Boston, MA, USA

problem #61

Dec 232010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

I was driving to Texas to visit family for Christmas...Never had problems with the car...we were going around 65 miles when suddenly the car rpm redlined and instantly slowed down to about 20 miles while on the freeway. I managed to pulled off the freeway...where six strange men tried to assist me and my kids on a dark road. Neither to say, my kids and I had to spend the night at a hotel until the next day. Took the car to a Honda dealership who informed me that the transmission went completely out. Without warning no check engine light or nothing. After research, I found out that Honda had a recall for this particular type of problem. This is a dangerous situation! Also, when I put the car in reverse it would go into drive and vice versa. I am calling the better business bureau as of today.

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #60

Aug 252010

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I bought a honda to last a lifetime because that's the reputation they have...but it's only 6 years old and I have to put $2700 into it. Not cool.

- , Springville, UT, US

problem #59

Oct 162010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles


I've owned this vehicle for less than two years. The vehicle is well maintained. My transmission failed without warning or provocation. I had no idea that this was a well documented problem with this model until I went on line to price the average cost to repair the transmission. My vehicle falls under the safety recall issued in 2004 for the transmission, and I am waiting to hear from American Honda about a resolution.

I feel Honda is negligent and irresponsible for knowing there is a dangerous defect in the design of their transmissions without creating a permanent fix for it. I also feel it's very unfair to the consumer to possibly have them eat the cost to repair and or replace, knowing this is a manufacturing/design flaw. I have filed a complaint with the National Highway Safety Patrol, as a child was injured as a direct result of the transmission locking and me losing control of the vehicle trying to avoid an imminent collision. This is the third Honda Accord I've owned, and by far the worst. I am disappointed in the Honda brand.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #58

Nov 022010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I recently purchased a used 2004 Honda Accord Coupe EX V6 with 109000 miles on it from Honda of Clear Lake. The salesman told me they did everything on this car they would have done for a certified used car but could not certify this one based on age and mileage. So after having the car for 5 weeks and 4000 miles the transmission started slipping and not shifting. Then while driving on the freeway at 65 miles an hour the car violently downshifted and then went into neutral and redlined taking the car from 65 mph to 35 in a matter of seconds. Luckily no one was behind me and I was able to pull to the side of the freeway. I was able to get the car off the freeway to a parking lot where it had to be towed to the dealership. I was told by the dealership that I did not have a warranty and that I purchased the car as is and they would not help. So after reading all the complaints on this and other websites I called American Honda to see if they would help with a goodwill repair. After waiting 2 weeks for an answer I was told by the Honda regional mgr that they would do nothing for me. After pleading my side of the case she rudely told me there was nothing she could do for me and that talking about this further would not do any good. The dealership is doing the repair for 3300.00. I would not recommend this dealership or Honda in general to anyone. I thought Honda built quality cars and were very reliable. Boy was I wrong. I guess no one stands behind their products anymore. I have had a Mazda and Mitsubishi's that have had 185000 miles on them with no transmission work needed and this one didn't even make 110000. The manual doesn't recommend service until 120000. What a crock. I am so frustrated right now!

- , Katy, TX, USA

problem #57

Oct 052010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I bought the car 3 years ago certified from a Honda Dealer with 54k on it, i only drove the car 54k and the transmission failed. I bought this Honda thinking I can get 200k on it but I was wrong. I emailed the Honda Dealer Goudy Honda in Alhambra, Ca yesterday I have yet to hear back. I called the used car manager today and I'm waiting to hear back. This should not happen to this car so soon. I hope they will help but I dont think they will. If they don't I will not buy a Honda ever again.

- , Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #56

Sep 082010

Accord LX v6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

this is the second transmission in this car. the problem first occurred in Sept of 09 with about 88k, went to dealer who could not duplicate the problem which was in shifting and loud rumbling noise and vibrations. Problem continued over the next month finally went back to dealer with 99,997 miles on car. Literally with 3 miles left on the certified honda warranty. Dealer said it needs new transmission. They treated well and after about 2 weeks I had my car back with a honda remanufactured tranny. Now 10 months and 19400 miles later (119,400miles) the car is not shifting properly. In first gear it seems that it is not totally in gear which causes the car to hesitate a great deal. this is very dangerous when trying to get into heavy traffic. The tranny fluid seems fine with no apparent leaks. However the power steering seems to whine quite a bit when car is cold. Not sure if they are related. I am taking car back to dealer on Thursday this week, 10/29/10 and I will post how they handle it. they told me the warranty on the rebuilt tranny is 12/12. Well it's been 10 mos and 19k miles. I don't car how many miles, I don't feel a tranny should fail like it has, especially in a Honda which is why I bought it. I've owned many cars foreign and domestic and I have never had any transmission problems. Not even my Ford F150 that had 199k on it when I sold it! Stay tuned!!

- , Seekonk, MA, US

problem #55

Sep 192010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


I had complete transmission failure on the freeway going 65 mph with no warning. Paid $3300 for a rebuilt transmission. I will NEVER buy another Honda. The owner of the transmission shop said he sees at least 1 Honda a week.

Update from Feb 7, 2011: Honda reimbursed me $600 for my repairs. Better than nothing!

- , Livermore, CA, USA

problem #54

Aug 042010

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,450 miles

The transmission locks in lower gear when passing gear engaged (intermittent), RPMs jump when engaging transmission (intermittent), severe vibration between 55 and 62 MPH (constant). I went to the dealer and they asked USD 4,000/- , i get job done form specilized shop in 1200/- I had Camry for last 10 years and never had any serious problem, now i lose trust in Honda.

- , Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

problem #53

Sep 012010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

As others have reported, my 2004 Accord's transmission just went kaput. My wife was driving along about 55 mph, when the RPMs went redline on her, but the car jerked and whined to a stop. Luckily, she was able to get it off the road. I went to look at it, hoping it was a fuel pump problem. I was able to crank it and it would go about 40, but when I tried to give it a little gas, it redlined again and jerked and moaned to a crawl. I had to pull over a couple of times and let it cool down a little and was able to make it hobble in to a backyard auto shop. He told me the transmission totally went out.

I emailed the general manager of the local Honda dealer-Mark Johnson, at Holmes Honda in Shreveport and told him about my ordeal, and gave him links to these pages. He emailed me back within 10 minutes and said he would look into the problem. I didn't bother him for a few days, but when I emailed him back, he said his service manager had emailed me. I finally got the email, and what do you know: They went to bat for me with Honda America and will pay for half of the cost of $3,508. I will be out $1,755, but they didn't have to do anything. They weren't required to do this, and especially since my car has 120+ thousand miles on it. It took less than four days to get this accomplished, and I just have to get the car towed to them in SHreveport. They also offered to pay half of the towing charges.

Now keep in mind that I have my Honda serviced at this dealer. If I had it serviced anywhere else, this wouldn't have happened. But the fact that they are doing this for me helped my attitude about Honda and especially this dealership. Mark and the service manager Daryl Oliver actually do care about their customers. And I appreciate that.

- , Minden, LA, USA

problem #52

Sep 012010

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Car has been functioning with no problems until yesterday on the highway the accelerator revs without propagating the car forward. After researching, we realize that the HONDA ACCORD 2004 V6 has a recall on their transmission and OPENLY admit to it. Though they have a recall, it looks like they are only willing to compensate for HALF of THEIR MISTAKE. It's mainly a financial issue for them until someone acutally DIES or looses a limb in an autoaccident...then THEY WILL BE SUED for MILLIONS....

I will call headquarters tomorrow to see if we may receive a goodwill repair...we'll see..may have to end up getting lawyers involved...

Update from Sep 26, 2010: So we ended up taking the car to the local honda dealer and of course the say that our model was not under the recall, but they were willing to cover 1/2 of the cost which ended up being 1800.

So we sucked it up and paid...Never buying another honda again.

- , Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #51

Jul 202010

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Transmission failure at 82,000 miles due to a cracked case (Part failure). Honda knows about this problem but only did a VIN specific recall, of which my car was not in. I called American Honda to see if I could get a goodwill repair since the car was no longer under warranty. If I had the dealer put in a refurbished transmission (90 day warranty) for $4300.00 Honda would cover 25%. Or, which I did, I had it towed to a Transmission Specialty shop and had it rebuilt (which is better) with a 1 year warranty for $2,000.00. I will never buy a Honda again.

- , Venice, FL, USA

problem #50

Aug 022010

(reported on)

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Torque converter / clutch stuck. This is the same problem described on the website. since this is aknown issue dating back to 2001 there should have been a recall and it should have been highly publicized. I think my transmission should be replaced at no cost to me. I am still paying $326 a month on a car that I can not even drive.

- , Harrisburg, NC, US

problem #49

Jul 262010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

Honda of America is aware of the problem with the 2004 V6 automatic transmission but

were unwilling to help with any goodwill repairs. My car experienced the same symptoms they were concerned about in the recall. They don't care and they were rude. Not to mention this is an extremely expensive transmission to replace or repair. I would not recommend Honda anything to anybody. I have never been treated so unfairly. The issue is a serious safety concern. I am so disillusioned and saddened to see the true colors of a company I have held in such high regard for so long. I have been a Honda owner for 12 years. I will never purchase another Honda anything. My husband was driving 65 mph down the freeway when the transmission decided to drop to 1st gear in a very abrupt manner. His speed reduced drastically and is lucky he wasn't run over or rear ended at a very high speed. This was our very first sign that our transmission was failing. It went into complete failure within a day. my car had 111,000 miles and my owners manual doesn't recommend that you even do a 1st flush until 120,000 miles. I am just thankful that no one was hurt. This repair is costing my family 3550.00 dollars. There are many other stories just like ours and Honda is aware and acknowledges that it's a bad transmission. Unfortunately they don't seem to care about their reputation enough to step up and do the right thing.

- , Creswell, OR, USA

problem #48

May 012010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I have completely lost faith in the Honda product and lost faith in the Honda company brand. A transmission should not fail on a car that hasn't even needed its first brake job. I Just barely had to put on new tires a couple of thousands miles ago and the transmission all of a sudden started slipping and failed right on the highway. Honda wanted me to tow it to them and then give them $100 to do an evaluation on it. For crying out loud, the transmission failed. A deaf monkey could "evaluate" that over the phone.

They said the repair would be $4,000 but they couldn't be sure until they had their mechanics on site do the evaluation for $100. If I didn't pay the $100 they wouldn't be able to tell me if they could give me any kind of good will break.

I got it repaired at a trusted local mechanic shop for $2,400 and then drove it straight to the Jeep dealer to trade it in for a Wrangler Rubicon. Now if my car breaks, so what. I didn't buy a car to be reliable. I bought it cause I think its cool and fun to drive!

- , Brandon, FL, US

problem #47

Jul 052010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Honda is supposed to be a reliable car, as I have been reading I am not alone in my transmission problem! Honda will not do anything to repair this chronic problem they have, won't be buying another!

- , San Anselmo, CA, USA

problem #46

Jun 222010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

The transmission drive train went out on my 2004 V6 Honda Accord, and caused all systems in my car to stop responding while on the freeway going 60 mph. In the process multiple cars came into close contact with my vehicle before it stranded me in the middle of the freeway. Upon contact with several automotive shops in area, I was advised that this has been a longstanding issue with this vehicle drive train not being configured for the 4 cylinder engine and not correctly for a V-6 engine.

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

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