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Shopping For A Used Honda Accord: Which Years And Trims To Avoid

The Honda Accord can be a great used car buy. Here’s a rundown on the years and trims to avoid.


The Honda Accord is a very popular car and a great used vehicle in some cases. However, some years have a track record of owner complaints. Why buy one of the troublesome Honda Accord years or trims, when you can pick and choose from such a vast population of cars.

Related Story: Shopping For a Used Toyota Camry - Here's The Year and Color To Avoid At All Costs

Honda Accord V6 Transmission Problems
The first Honda Accord problem to know relates to the V6-equipped trims made in 2003. Honda had a transmission defect emerge in the V6-equipped Accords. The transmissions had a typical failure mileage of around 97K miles. The problem was severe enough that Honda launched a campaign to try to support those Accord owners with failed transmissions.

Honda Accord Customer Complaints Chart

Here’s a shortened version of what one owner reported to Take careful note about what the owner says about the prior recall on the transmission: “After searching through Craigslist in 2015, I find this gem, a 2003 Honda Accord ES with about 76,000 miles on it. It was in amazing condition! About 2 years later and with about 95,000 loving miles later, I'm driving 75mph in the fast lane at night with a constant flow of traffic with big rigs and all; my car jolts backward as if I slammed on the brakes at high speed. y car was making a loud awful mechanical machine noise and as I drove it off the highway its revs were at a constant 5... 5!! It also does not reverse! The car’s previous transmission recall was temporarily fixed in 2004 with a jet kit at less than 15,000 miles.”

Here’s a second owner who reports that the recall didn’t do the trick: “I'm the original owner of 2003 coupe, and like most of you when we received recall, we took it in to have it fixed. Now with 153000 miles, the transmission has failed, and even though this is the only trouble we've had with the car, it's disappointing that Honda knows there's a problem but won't fix it correctly. Called local Honda dealership, and they say Honda won't help fix it, but they hear/see the problem all the time with this year Hondas. We tried calling Honda customer service anyway, and as expected, they were very rude, said it was taken care of in 2004 and not under warranty now.”

Used Honda Accord V6 Models Years to Avoid
CarComplaints has labeled the 2003 and 2004 Honda Accord with its “Avoid Like the Plague” stamp. It rates the 2005 “Beware of the Clunker.” Why not just buy a 2002 or 2006? CarComplaints lists 2003 as the worst used Honda Accord year.

Related Story: Restore the Faded Yellow Cloudy Headlights On Your Honda Accord For $25 In Half An Hour

Used Honda Accord Brake Issues
Another issue widely reported by owners of used Honda Accords is related to brake issues. This problem has an average mileage rate of about 26K. Here’s what one owner reported: “Not something you expect from Honda. I have replaced rear brakes twice once at 15K and then around 30K and now recent service at 45K the Honda agency tells that rear brakes have worn AGAIN!!!” And this owner has a similar tale, saying, “I almost change rear breaks every year, it is really frustrating and costly. I tried to call dealer and honda. but they have no answer.” There are literally thousands of owners who have reported this issue.

Used Honda Accord Years To Avoid Due To Brake Issues
2007 to 2010 are the model years that most used Honda Accord owners report brake problems with. The problem seems to be the worst in 2008. These years are ones to carefully consider before buying.

Used Honda Accord Starter Problems - Years to Avoid
The used Honda Accord also had starter issues according to many owner reports. The two years most affected seem to be 2013 and 2014. Both V6 and four-cylinder used Accord owners have reported this issue. One owner sums it up, saying, “This is the second time I replaced my starter in less than a year!” The average cost to resolve the issue (temporarily) is $620.

If you own a Honda Accord and have struggled with any of these issues, please tell us in the comments below what your experience has been. If you are an owner with no problems, you are also most welcome to report that your Accord has worked flawlessly (so far). Your input may help a fellow used Honda Accord shopper make an informed decision.

Accord chart and quotes courtesy of

John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.


Tavarius Baker (not verified)    April 14, 2020 - 4:47PM

I own a used 2005 Honda Accord EX 2.4L with almost 400k miles. Not the original owner but never had any major issues. Just regular maintenance. Original power train, still runs and shifts like new.

joseph (not verified)    March 6, 2021 - 11:19AM

In reply to by Tavarius Baker (not verified)

Also have 2005 EX.Runs beautifully at almost 300,000km.Some minor issues like ignition switch and check light engine which is related to oxgen sensor .Iam addicted to the accord .Like to buy a used one just do not know which year is most reliable .Ty.

Bobby (not verified)    June 11, 2021 - 11:35PM

In reply to by Tavarius Baker (not verified)

I own a 2005 EX-L and as of June 2021 have 418,000. Not a single major problem. Just high mileage routine maintenance. Original transmission, etc. It burns a little oil but that is it.

Corey Ceasar (not verified)    April 19, 2020 - 3:24PM

Man they are right about the 03 honda accord coupe nearly lost my life in that thing lost control of car on a six lane highway going 50 mph!!!! Car did a 360 in traffic!!!

Gregory (not verified)    May 3, 2020 - 5:23PM

Currently with the same problem 2014 accord coupe. Replaced starter, battery sensor. Get this
Took it back after starter replaced same problem . Kept old starter that came off car and had it tested. Guess what, starter is good .still don't know what's wrong with it.

James A Mcguire (not verified)    January 15, 2022 - 2:21PM

In reply to by April Jennings (not verified)

Find new ppl to look at it cranks don't break that's not a's very possible something else has let loose but I'm 99.9% sure it's not ur crank an if it actually is put it in the Guinness book or records bc it jus doesn't happen even in high horsepower cars lol

SkillZ (not verified)    January 13, 2022 - 9:14AM

In reply to by Gregory (not verified)

Just buy a RED OPTIMA, and when problem re-occurs hold foot on brake, do not remove, then press START again in 5 seconds, repeat without letting go of brake until car starts!!

John (not verified)    May 10, 2020 - 9:09PM

I have 2008 EXL. Brake change at least every year to year and a half, replaced starter twice in last 2 years. And abs keeps giving problem, had to replace ignition switch and door key lock. Both crapped out with in a month, could not get key to turn in either of them. Replacing struts next week. Lots of road noise in car . Thin leather on arm rest and doors came off . Overall with almost 200k on it . It does run good

Rudy Rivero (not verified)    May 21, 2020 - 5:06PM

I have 2004 Honda Accord coupe V6 six Speed , it's a great machine I think you forgot about the manual.

Clinton T Matthews (not verified)    June 1, 2020 - 6:25PM

I brought a used 2008 honda accord last October haven't had any problems with it so far l have taken a few long trips with the 2008 no problem yet l give the accord a 9 glad l brought it it was well taken cate of l take care of it also

Pamela Manning (not verified)    December 12, 2021 - 11:33PM

In reply to by Clinton T Matthews (not verified)

I bought my used 2008 Honda Accord EX in April of 2019. I had to replace the brakes last year. The power on one of my back passenger doors went out shortly after I purchased the car. I've been told to replace the timing belt, as it is likely to wear out over 100k miles. (I'm currently at 140k and haven't replaced it.) Has anyone else had an issue with the timing belt?

Marc (not verified)    December 21, 2021 - 12:05PM

In reply to by Pamela Manning (not verified)

Yes my 08 ex timing chain jumped a tooth or two before I purchased it from the previous owner. It had 286k on it at the time which was mostly highway miles.

So yes get your timing chain changed because it really does matter and can seriously damage valves and pistons if it jumps or breaks. Which means a new motor.

I was lucky after changing the timing chain that the valves and pistons we're okay because the previous owner shut it off immediately and didn't start it again.

My Accord currently has 310k and runs great. I have replaced A LOT of parts because of wear and tear some major like the ac compressor but the rest is all minor stuff. Definitely a reliable year if maintained properly

Heidi Wilson (not verified)    December 27, 2021 - 10:19AM

In reply to by Clinton T Matthews (not verified)

And hold your breath and wait I have an 08 and it's a nightmare.. my 2000 Honda Accord went to 455,000 miles before I scrapped it because of a gas line break. The 08 EXL 3.5 L V6 is a nightmare you have no other words for what this car has been. Currently just not even sure what to do with it... We bought the program to cancel out the Eco BS they put on there and it works fine in the winter I'm in Michigan by the way, but in the summer it jerks around and acts like it's got tourette's. It's very odd. Needless to say the program, at $80, may have helped some but it certainly hasn't fixed the problem. The shift solenoid issue is a whole nother saying I don't even want to get into cuz I don't fully understand it but I have recently discovered neither does my husband and he's a decent mechanic.. so I think she's probably headed for the junkyard at under 200,000 miles which breaks my heart I'm a die-hard Honda Accord lover and I'm thinking it's time to change my ways...
Lesson here being had I googled the 2008 Honda Accord I would have known not to buy it so do your research people I regret this purchase every day and I will be a long time before I get to make another big purchase like this unfortunately

Ckhonda (not verified)    December 29, 2021 - 4:44PM

In reply to by Heidi Wilson (not verified)

I had the same issue at 150k miles. Burning oil, rough idle, fouled spark plugs. # 3 if I remember. Anyway, Googled it and found the solution. If you trick the temperature sensor, the engine will think it is not warm enough to kick in the ECO mode. Yes you will get less mileage, but my 2009 Accord V-6 has 280k now, no burning oil, runs great! 22 mpg. I think there is some guy that sells kits, but I found that 82 ohm was a good balance, without getting the engine light to trip, and only go in ECO mode about 5% of the time. There is a blog out there somewhere. Put in accord v6 burning oil eco mode for a start. Good luck!

Joel (not verified)    June 11, 2020 - 7:47AM

2014 Accord LX here. Bad starter at around 60K, and bakes pulsating at 24K. The dealer turned the rotors, and it came back shortly after the warranty expired.

Wilfredo Cosme (not verified)    July 16, 2020 - 9:41PM

I bought a 2003 Honda Accord LX almost 3 years ago with 170,000 miles,now the vehicle has 195,000 miles and since I owned the vehicle,I had to do just regular maintenance on this Vehicle.I love this Vehicle.

Digole Williams (not verified)    July 18, 2020 - 12:25PM

I brought a 2017 Honda Accord at Honda of Ocala. I was told the vehicle was certified pre-owned and after I si