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:
111,281 miles
Total Complaints:
53 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (27 reports)
  2. replace transmission (25 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (1 reports)
2004 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Mar 012010

Accord V6 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


Transmission problems--Call Honda Dealership and they called Honda-got 25% discount, felt I should get more.I have a 1992 Accord with 255,000 and a 1996 Accord with 240,000 miles and never had one problem with transmission. After reading all the complaints you can see there was a problem with this transmission. Does anyone know who to call at Honda for more help? Thanks

- , Burlington, NC, USA

problem #12

Jan 202010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,582 miles

I own a 2004 Honda Accord and the transmission start to slip, took it back to dealer and got the run-a-round. They told me that I was 16,000 miles over warranty, I mention to him that I heard about a recall on 2000-2005 Honda Accord's, He told me that is was on some model but not mines, I don't know how they figure which one in recalled or not. Then took it to a outside transmission shop, where they told me that 2004 Honda is one of there biggest customer because the transmission is poorly built.

- , Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #11

Nov 212009

Accord Coupe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I bought a Honda Accord Coupe V6, 2004, 91,000 miles for my daughter to drive back and forth to school and around our home. One owner great car fax. I still bought the dealer warranty. Four days later after buying the car it shifted into neutral while she was driving down a busy access road! As an inexperienced driver she handled the car very well changing lanes to get into a gas station. Under the used car warranty it is not covered until you've had the car for 30 days after the time of purchase! Stupid plan. As a parent nothing feels as bad as putting your teenager behind the wheel of faulty car! It's awful. My daughter was shaking and so scared. I don't know if she'll ever want t drive this car again after having this experience. I've been a faithful customer to Toyota and don't know why I switched!

- , Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 312009

Accord 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


while researching to see if this was a common problem i find out it is. my transmission is not shifting into third gear. i had the transmission fluids flushed since it was 100,000 miles and two weeks later i noticed that it would not go after i braked after being cut off on the highway. the transmission whined and then it slowly went into gear, i freaked and went to my mechanic. needless to say that was the most painful moment in my life to hear that the third gear was not accessible. went online to investigate and found this website. i was shocked too see that this was a common occurrence in 03-04 Honda accords and learned that there was a recall on just this problem. went to the nearest Honda dealer and learned that the recall was only for the the Honda accord with the v6 engine. she then informed me that there was a recall for my airbag and sent me on my way. i can not believe that the Honda service sucks like lemons. there was not let me see what we could do just a no and got f*ck yourself but we can fix your airbag at not cost too you. please if you have any information on what to too or where to go please help. after leaving the Honda dealer i went to the transmission shop to get a quote and the guy was more compassionate that the eel i left at Honda. he will call me tomorrow afternoon with a price i am sure will give me a heart attack that Honda was surprised to fix at no additional cost to me. o yes did i mention that i got my dream car in February this year.

- , Port Arthur, TX, USA

problem #9

Aug 082009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

Okay...I have been a loyal Honda owner since I purchase my 2004 Accord EX. I liked the car so much, I purchased a 2007 Ridgeline. I have told everyone who asks or inquires about how much I "love" our Hondas...up until 1 week ago. I was driving home and the car unexplainably "downshifted" while I was going 65 mph on the highway. The person behind me was not too happy. At first, I thought I had hit the shift, however, when I looked down, nothing changed. The car was still in drive. I pulled off the highway to see what happened and did not notice anything out of the ordinary. I continued home using side streets and the vehicle continued to act up...downshifting for no reason, not going into gear, no reverse, etc. I took the vehicle to the dealership on Monday and while on a test drive with one of their technicains, the car drove fine, however, he stated that "it is a problem with the Accord and Oddessy and that Honda really should do something about it". The dealership kept my car overnight and was able to recreate the problem. Again, the service manager indicated "we are aware of the issue and will refer the case to Honda of America to see if they could help in any way". So, while everyone knows it is an issue, no one at Honda will a damn thing. Honda's response, the car has a lot of miles and they are not built to last forever. So much for the Honda loyalty...It will cost about $3,500 for a new transmission and Honda is not going to help. Makes no sense that they would help other Honda owners with the cost...they clearly pick and choose. This issues is going to get someone hurt and I am absolutely furious with the outcome. I will be contacting Honda of America, but surprisingly, no email address.

- , Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #8

Feb 052008

Accord LX Auto

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

This is my fourth Honda, and the transmission went while I was driving in another state. I had to have it towed to a Honda dealership, paid 3,100 out of pocket, and then found out that the dealership in Merrillville, IN installed it incorrectly. I had to pay another 600.00 for a local mechanic to fix the alignment issues, because the local dealership refused to honor the warranty. Now, the tension is off and needs to be replaced for another 640.00 and towing cost of 115.00. After this, I am thinking of a Toyota!

- , Glenview, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 132008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,100 miles


Like most of the other complaints below my transmission died, but it took a few days to go though. One morning experienced minor slipping in reverse and then 1st gear right after I started the car in the morning. It was short enough I paid no attention to it. The next day I , at the same time, experienced a more significant slippage (like all have said car felt like it was in neutral) this caught my attention. Tried to drive for 2 more days after that (about 10 miles per day) to avoid rental charges while the transmission was on order, but only made it about 1 and half days before it completely went. During that time I had to stay under 2k RPM to gain acceleration without slipping and the car jerked like crazy between gears.

Now that the repair is done the car actually feels slightly jerky in 1st and 2nd gear where it used to feel a little smoother, but also a little less responsive.

I requested a Good Will repair from the start based on the mileage and the fact there was a recall on all V6 03 and 04 AT's just a few years ago. Honda agreed to pay 50% of repair.

- , Somewhere, NJ, USA

problem #6

Oct 082008

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles

I ended up having an accident and hitting a building; as I let up off the gas, the car jerked really hard and jumped the sidewalk and hitting the building. This is not joke and Honda should take the consumers reports more seriously! I've complained about this for almost 2 years and keep getting the same answer...everything is fine. Fine my you know what! On top of that, my airbag never deployed and the seat belt is jammed! Explain that! Thank God no one was at the ATM machine when this happened! I will never drive or purchase another Honda...they have had similar and same problems with 2003...this has gone on long enough and it's time that they take it serious!!!!

- , Durham, NC, USA

problem #5

Sep 152008

Accord Lx V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My 04 Honda Accord is slipping It will not accelerate passed 40mph if that. When I accelerate it will give me a big jerk and began to slow down if I try to accelerate it will idle really high but it will not pick up speed. It started off with a ticking sound in the engine I took it to the dealer they told me it was the hydraulic values and they adjust there self now the transmission is slipping and the car is no longer making the ticking sound. My car only has 65,000 miles on it this is reall bull crap Honda needs to fix this problem in these cars for free it's not like normal wear and tear this is a problem with the transmission they built, they have a recall on some of the 03-04 but it doesn't cover all of them just the ones that were made in 4/04 any car made after that dos'nt fall under that recall. Bullshit and they no it.

- , Hampton, VA, USA

problem #4

May 252007

(reported on)

Accord 2.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,185 miles

My 04 Honda Accord 4cyl Automatic Transmission started slipping gears and finally i have no gears (fail safe mode i guess) after i restart my car it drives fine for half a mile then again slippage and no gears. i have to restart it 10 times to go on a 5 mile drive . my car has only done 14000 miles. Went to dealer they diagnosed it since 5 days no result came out they did electronic test ecu test now pressure test i hope soon i get my car.

- , Delhi, Delhi, India

problem #3

Jul 012007

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,111 miles


I've been complaining of this problem for months now; they check it out and say all is well.

I have them write it on my receipts; however, I've also mentioned the TPS may need to be

replaced...they tell me it's not that. I'd think that someone at the dealership could tell me something. I've even left my car and asked that they drive it...I'm sure they didn't.

- , Durham, NC, USA

problem #2

Dec 032007

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,474 miles

As prescribed at close to 60,000 miles, my 2004 Honda Accord LX V6 which should really be grouped into the same model year as 2003 because of the date manufactured and current transmission problem that I am having. Getting on the highway at around 60mph is usually not a problem nor is passing someone at the same speed...until the transmission disengages/slips and you are coasting at 60 and your engine is redlining. Very scary if you are in heavy traffic.

This is a life threatening malfunction that Honda has not corrected or pitifully tried to correct with a recall in 2006. A known transmission defect like this should not be dealt with lightly .

Even at slow speeds of 30mph, the car's transmission slips and redlines the engine until it engages again with a jerking motion. I have read the complaints on this site and the same thing is happening to me. Honda quality? Well, it's not what it used to be that is for sure.

That's what happens when you bring a Japanese product to the U.S. and you TRY to replicate the same standards as you would on that island nation known for its quality products. I have a case number pending with Honda of America and will be taking the vehicle to a Honda dealer close by. This will be the last Honda I ever buy.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 012007

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

The entire process with Honda was just ridiculous. Ever since I bought the car I knew something wasn't right with the drive train. I complained that once the car warmed up, when I would come to a stop light I could feel the car pulling forward , a random pulsing in the brake pedal. Right before the warranty expired I took it in to the dealership again and complained again and had them take it out several times and they couldn't figure out what the problem was. They wrote on the paperwork "No problem found" and said they couldn't do anything unless it was broken. ie: underivable.

Well, whatever was wrong in the tranny/flywheel/clutch lasted for 20,000 miles longer (mostly highway). When on vacation in Canada it finally gave out. The Honda dealer would not even open the tranny and said it would be 5 grand. It could have been a 5 dollar part or a flywheel problem. Our vacation was ruined, had to abandon the car in another country until I could afford the repair and all the money spent on others things like the addition trip to get it and drive it back.

Honda America Customer service said they would "help" with the cost of the part (whole tranny, which they have and have rebuilt and resold to another sucker like me) they would never commit and just gave me maybe's. They didn't help with me being stranded in another country and in fact couldn't help with the repair at first. I had to pay it and then they said they might pay me back some of it; because they are separate from Canada. Good old corporate caring. I was going to buy a new 2008 Accord in the spring. HA!

- , Charlotte, NC, US

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