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 1 of 3)

problem #53

May 192017

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,703 miles


While driving with the gearshift in 'D', the transmission started slipping into neutral. The engine revved but didn't actually go. Since then, I've driven it once and noticed it occasionally slipping. Each time, it comes back into gear, but I've only driven it five miles since it started. I'm debating replacing the transmission or scrapping the car entirely at this point.

- , Redmond, US

problem #52

Sep 162016

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

I had the transmission fluid flushed by a honda dealership about 1 month ago and then today the transmission started to slip. I took it to a transmission specialist and they advised the entire thing needs to be replaced at a cost of about $3500 for the new tranny plus another $1000 for labor. He advised that I sell the car because a replacement transmission would just do the same thing in a few years. I thought when I was buying a honda that as long as I maintained it that it would last forever. I had the timing belt replaced last year and now I wish that I hadn't. I also have the issue where the radio light went out. Honda knows about the radio and the transmission issues but refuses to take care of its customers. I'm switching back to Toyota and not coming back to honda ever again.

- , Carrollton, TX, US

problem #51

May 302016

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,368 miles

Transmission slipped while in the McDonald's drive thru. Once the car came to a complete stop, it did not want to go forward, yet it was in drive.

- , Hilo, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #50

Jan 122016

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,445 miles


Overall this has been a great car and we are quite satisfied with it.

However, yesterday (1/12/2016) while trying to merge onto the highway the car jolted and the engine revved up and the transmission disengaged causing the car to stall. The car behind me must have though I was nuts, slowing down on a highway on-ramp, because he came barreling up on my bumper nearly crashing into me. This is a very dangerous issue. Had my children been in the car, and the driver behind me not been so alert (praise the Lord), this could have had devastating consequences.

After that instance the transmission kept slipping and the engine would rev up and again the transmission would not engage and the car would jolt forward and back. Fortunately I was not far from home, so I was able to get the vehicle home without an accident.

This car only has 112,000 miles on it. All our maintenance and repairs have been per schedule and performed at the Honda dealership so there is no excuse for this transmission to fail this early. I checked the tranny fluid to see if that may have been the issue, however it was full and clean (thanks to regular maintenance).

In researching this further I found several complaints about this model experiencing the same issue. It turns out that there has been a recall of over 1 million vehicles on this very problem back in 2004 (NTSA Reverence #04V176000, April 15, 2004). There has also been a class action lawsuit covering several Honda models related to this issue.

I will be contacting Honda customer service dept. in hopes that they will do the right thing and repair this problem in good will, with no cost to us. This failure is unacceptable given Hondas reputation for quality and dependability. Not to mention the fact that I have 4 children, and had this been under different circumstances could have had catastrophic results. Please Honda; do the right thing and fix this issue.

- , Mill Creek, WA, USA

problem #49

Nov 232015

Accord EX L 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Well, we have owned multiple Hondas and Acuras. 1 Civic, 2 Odysseys, 1 Acura MDX TEC with a little tune (SWEET VEHICLE, sold it and bought a Tahoe, needed more space) and we are on our 3rd Accord. Not once have we had a problem, with any of them.

Bought this Accord as it was a decent deal and in gorgeous shape. The car has been great. I'm thinking home run with it... then last week I was pulling away from a stop light and the car felt like it got bumped into neutral. My wife is like, what are you doing? And I'm like, WTH, it wasn't me... well, cruise on up the road and the thing goes from overdrive down to second gear and winds the tach up like an 8 day clock. I pull off of the road and check to make sure the transmission fluid hasn't dumped or something. I was actually kind of shocked because we literally had the car serviced on Friday, picked it up, and went home and put it in the garage. We did not drive the car until Monday. So NO warning what so ever.

I limp it back home shifting up through the gears and leaving it in third. I get online, and here are all of these transmission issues with the V6 model. I call my mechanic, run it by him, and he tells me that there was a recall on something that related to this issue. I give him my VIN, he checks,then tells me that the recall did not include my VIN?! I'm like WTH? Why would my car not be included? HONDA I AM TALKING TO YOU HERE... this sucks.

We have always kept a Honda because they are so reliable. Why have you not thoroughly researched this and made an effort to resolve the problem? Why is MY V6 Accord not included in the recall? If my wife had been driving it alone and gotten stranded it would have sucked. I have not had it fixed as I am hoping that there is a different option other than installing a $3500 transmission... Oh, my car is sub 150k on the odometer... should have been good for at least 250k.


problem #48

Aug 172015

Accord EX 3.2L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,877 miles

I owned a 1992 Honda Accord which lasted for 275,000 miles without any major problems. Therefore, I purchased a used 2004 Honda Accord in 2006. This automobile has been a really good car up until 8/17/2015 when the transmission has started slipping. It only has 116,877 miles on it and the manual says you don't even have to change the auto transmission fluid until 120,000 miles.

I have recently learned that the 2004 Honda Accord has an engineering and manufacturing flaw in their transmissions and even offered a massive 1.2 million dollar recall on the 2004 Honda Accord for this transmission flaw back in 2004, but did not extend it to people who purchased the vehicle as a used car. I probably will have to put out thousands of dollars to get this transmission repaired.

I think a class action law suit should be instigated against Honda for this incompetency and failure to acknowledge their responsibilities to people who purchased this vehicle. I have learned from this website that Honda stopped making good cars after 1997, therefore, I will probably never purchase a Honda again.

- , Taylorsville, UT, USA

problem #47

Jan 012015

Accord LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles


This was my Mom's car (hence the 49,000 miles in 11 years) which we purchased because she was getting to where we didn't want her driving. My daughter (now in college 3,000 miles away) has bonded with the car, as it was the one she got to use most of the time. We live on a creek, so to get anywhere we're pretty much obliged to go uphill, and a few months back I noticed the automatic transmission would be very unhappy when I would give it some gas to get up to speed (35 mph) uphill. Basically it was slipping - behaving as though the clutch had been engaged.

I checked the fluid, actually hoping it would be low, but it was fine and clean. When I took it to the dealer for regular maintenance (and to order the airbags for that recall) I asked them to check. They did a road test and explained that it was a bad transmission and would cost about $4K to replace. I called Honda USA but they were unwilling to help out because of the age of the vehicle.

At this point the car is almost not drivable - it really doesn't like going into reverse. I am currently shopping around to find a place to replace it ($4k is still cheaper than a new car); my biggest concern is that it will only last another 49,000 miles. I don't think the dealer is mistaken about the fix, nor do I think I can get it fixed a lot cheaper due to the cost of the part, but I'm looking around. I would love to put in a manual tranny, but I'm sure the vehicle would not pass a smog check if that were done.

- , Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #46

Dec 282013

Accord EX-L 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 177,000 miles

Only have had the car for 10 months. Turns out it was one of the recalls. The recall was fixed prior to me purchasing the car. Because of my car I have droven it about 50k miles. I have always done all the maintenance on the car every 2-3 months due to the amount of miles I drove.

While visiting friends 100 miles from home, Out of nowhere my car transmission slipped. It's like it will not go out of first gear. It's like it doesn't catch. Took it to my local dealership and they said it's not covered under the recall, even though the problem is because of the malfunction in the transmission. They quoted me $5100.

I then had my car towed home and it sits in my drive way. I plan to get it fixed but I am not paying that much money to fix it. It pisses me off that because of the car issue I don't have a job anymore. How do you travel if you don't have a car. I sit and look at it and wanna junk it or sell it for parts. But I am not. I'll wait another month and Ill take it to a cheap shop to fix it as cheaply as possible then sell it for retail price and buy something that is not going to mess up on me again!!

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #45

May 162012

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

we bought the vehicle used a couple of years ago and have been very happy with it. But after driving it 10 hours away from home on vacation, we were dismayed to have a total breakdown without warning. 2 garages have suggested replacing the transmission. People used to be able to repair things. Now folks just want to get a new one.

- , Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #44

Jun 052012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Honda wanted to charge me $5000 to fix the problem and never told me about the recall. This work could be done for 1/2 of that.

- , Columbia, MD, USA

problem #43

Aug 272013

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


My car just suddenly struggled to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear. It revved really high, and when I let my foot off the gas it shifted. Initially the engine light was on. I made an appointment with the dealer to take it in the next day. Driving home that night - no problems. Next morning - here we go again. The dealer called me and quoted me $4900 to replace with a refurbished transmission. Someone where I worked said she's gone through three transmissions, and that if it's only slipping between 2nd and 3rd I should be able to get the solenoid replaced. Don't know. I did drive it to another mechanic to get a 2nd opinion. I was just about to trade this in for another Honda, but seeing all the transmission complaints not only for this model but other models as well - I don't think so. It's clear Honda knows there's a problem and they just don't care. They've lost my long time business. This was my 3rd Honda.

I'll let you know what the other mechanic says.

- , Palm Desert, CA, US

problem #42

Aug 082013

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,399 miles

My 2004 Honda Accord 6 cylinder vehicle tranmission just went within a moments notice. I was accelerating and the car jerked or slowed down in speed even though the engine revved up. Parked the car, drove it to the mechanic and barely made it there. Problem got worse the longer I drove the car. I have 115,399 miles which is relatively low for a Honda car or so I thought. I have found many complaints about the same issue online. I feel that Honda is well aware of the ongoing problems with their Transmissions, but have done nothing to address. I spoke to Honda Customer Service and basically because it is not under warranty, it is not covered and they will not help with the compensation. Word to the wise, buy extended warranty for Honda's upto 200,000/miles.

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #41

Sep 032012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Much like some of the others who have posted on this complaint site. I own a 2004 LX V6 Accord. I keep up with all the maintenance schedules and I am now having issues with the transmission. The car is mostly jerking. The dealer quoted $4800 to replace the transmission. I will be shopping around as I am told this is way too much for this type of repair.

- , Florissant, MO, USA

problem #40

Oct 042012

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,500 miles

After filling up the car, the check engine light illuminated steady while driving. I then had the transmission slip from gear to a false neutral, causing the engine to rev while the car decelerated. The transmission regained power after the car slowed but the check engine light remained illuminated. When I got home, I found online all of the problems the 2004 Accords transmissions are having. Very disappointed with the Honda brand and this will be my last Honda.

- , Anacortes, WA, USA

problem #39

Aug 142012

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 261,000 miles

Same complaints of slipping transmission. The only major difference is that I have 261K miles on my car. Based on the average miles where people have problems, I suppose I should consider myself lucky. Going to dealer today but based on what I've read today, I already know what they will tell me: "write a check for 3K and you can have your car back."

- , Salinas, CA, US

problem #38

Sep 082012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,579 miles

I'm like many others with a 2004 Accord EX V6 serviced only by Honda for the past 8 years. It's just out of warranty and the transmission slips after the car is warmed up. It's remedied by putting in park for a few minutes just to get home. I've driven it only twice since this started happening because I'm afraid it will quit completely. Mostly mad because 2,000 miles ago I had the timing chain water pump and power steering pump replace for a total of $1,697. I was told I'd get another 100k miles for my money. From what I'm seeing I will be putting in another $3k. I'll update after I talk to the dealer.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #37

Jun 302012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,294 miles

Was trying to get to the fast lane and the the engine rev'd but the car did not move, I had my son with me and was very worried that I would get hit. Today on the way to work in the slow lane it slipped again. I have read that this is not new, but this should be addressed by Honda as a huge issue as it puts lives at risk!!

- , Antelope, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 232010

Accord EX L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I have a 2004 Honda accord EX-L v6 w/ navigation. I have always been a Honda fan because I had a 1990 one too, in the past. But never again, will I ever buy another Honda!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was driving down the road one day and all of a sudden, the car started jerking and then it shut off right in the middle of the road, which was scary in itself. So the next day my husband attempts to get it to the shop and it was doing the same thing to him the whole way there, I think he told me it cut off at like 5 different times. Well they looked at it and said that we needed a new transmission and it would be $3,900. I was so pissed off b/c I still owed $7,000 and it only had 140,000 miles on it. So I had to end up refinancing the auto loan to get it fixed. And 2 years later, it is still messing up, I take it back and they say its fine but I am about to get a lawyer and to everyone out there DONT EVER BUY A HONDA ACCORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After this car, I am going to Toyota, at least they can own up to a problem fix it. HONDA NEEDS TO START DOING SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They need to own up that they have transmission problems!!!!!!

- , Callahan, FL, USA

problem #35

Jul 012012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

My 2004 Honda Accord transmission also failed while traveling on a busy California freeway nearly causing me to be rear ended by two other cars before I could get off the road. The Honda dealer says "out of warranty". End of discussion. I have not taken it elsewhere yet but I will not be giving my money to Honda anymore. I will also never buy another Honda again either.

- , Martinez, CA, USA

problem #34

Jun 122012

Accord EX V6 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

After reading the numerous beefs about this same problem, it surprised me Honda has not offered some sort of remedy. I called the dealer and they said with no hesitation $3200 to replace the transmission. Are you kidding me? This is my second Honda and it has definitely been a LEMON! My car started with the whining, then when changing gears it would take a second or two longer to switch gears, then ultimately it stopped moving while I was driving. Honda once was a name you could trust now it's just like its counterparts junk.

- , North Charleston, SC, USA

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