Shopping for a used Honda Accord
John Goreham's picture

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.
Advertisement

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 CarComplaints.com. 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 CarComplaints.com.

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.


Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.


Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

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.
I have a 2005 Honda Accord as well. My car is at 323,000 miles. Only issue I have had is the O2 and Knock Sensor having to be replaced often.
The problem is Ethnol gas. Add Startron to gas and check engine light goes out
What was the problem what fixed the knock and O2 problems?
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!!!
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.
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
I have 2004 Honda Accord coupe V6 six Speed , it's a great machine I think you forgot about the manual.
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
On a 2006 Honda Accord v6. At 97,000 miles it to a rod. I had to get a whole new motor.
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.
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.
I brought a 2017 Honda Accord at Honda of Ocala. I was told the vehicle was certified pre-owned and after I si
2017 accord
I bought my 2015 4 cylinder Honda Accord in 2017 with 53k miles . L have had to replace my battery 1 year after purchase. I also just had to replace my starter @ 65k mi at a cost of $600.
I bought a 2003 6 cylinder accord. Transmission failed within 3 years. No help from Honda. They wouldn't acknowledge problem due to cost of potential recall. Because they refused to acknowledge it though MANY others had same problem, I no longer support Honda. It was my 2nd brand new Honda and my last.
I feel your pain! I also had a 2003 V6 Acord and my transmission failed as well. Honda did settle a class action suit on that issue for multiple models. There was a recall, and Honda did reimburse owners who paid for the service out of pocket prior to the recall. If you have your receipt, it may be worth looking into.
I bought a 2008 accord when i bought had no key had AAA come cut one ran good for month the went in lymph mode hooked to code reader replaced crank shaft sens. All plugs and wires. Catalac convert. Fuel inject alternatives battery throttle position and mass air flow. Im having same issue now on top something keeps draining my battery someone please help
I owed Honda Accor 2008 everyday I read here is true yes I changed brake and now starter too I thought Honda is one of the best but it’s not . I don’t expect all mess I faced I am not sure if I buy Honda any more.
2008 Accord new, now 207000 and on 2 starter, 5 sets of rear pad and just recent all rear parts replaced.Bottom end of motor rebuild @185500 and Honda oasis all but 500, we love the car and can’t part with it, never had a front end alignment, drives great still, we have a 2020 accord but still drive this old one. Had a 2013 new and starter nightmare starting at 60k, again at 80 it began to miss again, got rid of it
2002 v6 3.0 Honda accord coupe. Original owner, Transmission clunks and bucks forward... @ 140,000 or so or started. Other than that great car just can't drive believe I need a new transmission, any help? I'm at 177,000 can't afford a rebuild or replacement.. SOS!!!
I own a 1997 Accord V6 and 2009 Accord V6. To be brutally honest my 1997 still has pickup and rides well but just recently had a power steering pump replaced and my car started accelerating in reverse?? It drives normal going forward but but if I press on the gas pedal it takes off. The 2009 Accord, I haven't had any problems but I don't drive it in the winter and have only put 19,000 miles on it in 4 years. Had a 2002 4 cyl. Honda Accord clutch and it gave me more problems than both of these combined.
I have a 2009 Honda Accord EX V6 with 133K. The only problem I ever had is that the air condition stunk like the smell of poop when turned on for the first time. Replacing the air filter does not cure the problem.
I hv a 2007 honda accord se 4 cylinder. And I had a problem with the transmission. When I'm driving 40 mph, my car begins to jerk real bad. So I took it to the honda dealership and they said it was the transmission torque. I got it fixed and haven't had any more problems with the transmission.
2009 Honda Accord ,low mileage and burns oil like crazy! There was a class action lawsuit for this but dealer in Lehigh valley pa. Refuses to do anything about it even though it’s still below the mileage requirements for them to fix it .Honda’s used to be great cars in the 80s and 90s but after this I will never buy another! Horrible car and horrible dealership!
I bought a new 2003 Acura CL --Honda 6cyl V-Tek motor. Still running great. Had a motor and tranny rebuild in 2009. Cost about 3k. Other than that, regular maintenance, 315k and counting.,.. Also bought new a 2008 Acura TL, same motor, ran great until July 2020. Tranny let go while on the highway. 225k miles. Got rid of it, bought a 2016 Accord Coupe, we'll see....
My 2008 EXL accord has been a super reliable car with great performance except for the rear brakes. I put mostly highway miles on this car and it has all the recommended servicing. There was an initial problem with the calipers seizing but I got around this largely by having the brakes completely disassembled every 6 months.Currently this is no longer working and caliper replacement with OMEs or rebuilds leads to the same result...seizing at 18 months. Really disappointed that Honda has not remedied this issue. Will likely not risk buying another Honda though this is my third.
Honda had a lawsuit on 2008 rear brakes, if your car has this issue you need to have the safe way to jack up with jack stands and know how to replace yourself, car complaints.com says only 2008 had issue, I also have well over half of my 2008 as highway miles, just ordered starter, idler pulley, belt and alternator, hope that will get me another 100k
2010 Honda 4 cyl. Seems like we are getting the brakes changed all the time. Calipers seize up and ruin the rotor in a very short time. Also have an 08 accord and both have the oil rattle on the first start each day. Besides that, they are tanks, both with over 200k miles and going strong.