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A used Honda Accord is typically a sensible, drama-free option for a used car. However, not everything is as it seems, and some model years could defy your expectations of the tenured Honda sedan. Check out five Honda Accord model years that owners highlight as some of the sedan’s most problematic, like the 2004, 2008, and 2009 models. 

What years were bad for the Honda Accord?

A gold 2003 Honda Accord shows off its front-end styling.
A seventh-gen Accord | Honda

Owners highlighted the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 Honda Accords as some of the most problematic model years for the sedan. Among the most prevalent issues for these models, drivers might run into transmission problems, engine issues, and problems with the vehicles’ braking systems. 

According to Car Complaints, 2002 to 2004 and 2008 Honda Accord models earned an “Avoid-it-like-the-Plague” rating due to the abundance of owner reports. For instance, the 2003 Accord from the model’s seventh generation has nearly 1,000 complaints on the web explicitly related to transmission issues. However, the 2009 model received a “Beware-of-the-Clunker” rating, citing fewer dissatisfied owners than the earlier models.    

How many miles can a 2003 Honda Accord last?

A 2003 Honda Accord could last longer than 200,000 or 250,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. However, the significant number of owner complaints citing transmission failures and rough operation keep the Accord from being as reliable as more modern models.

Specifically, the 2003 model exhibits over 500 complaints of transmission failure at an average mileage of 98,000 miles. Unfortunately, repairing or replacing the transmission could cost around $2,710. As a result, Vehicle History gives the 2003 Accord a 6.0 out of 10.0 for reliability, a point behind a comparable 2003 Toyota Camry.  

What problems does the 2004 Honda Accord have?

Like the 2003 model, the 2004 Honda Accord exhibits transmission problems like premature failure and slipping. However, the 2004 model also has a 2019 recall for 3,947 vehicles pertaining to a faulty driver-side airbag. Specifically, the airbag inflator could explode, leading to injury or death. 

To check if your vehicle has an outstanding recall, use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) VIN lookup tool. 

Does a 2002 Accord have a timing belt or chain?

2002 was the last year for the Honda Accord’s timing belt. As a result, the 2002 Accord doesn’t have the same timing chain issues that later issues could develop. 

It does, however, have 347 complaints NHTSA complaints about transmission issues. For instance, most owner complaints pertain to improper operation, jerking, and slipping. Unfortunately, the most commonly reported fix is a replacement unit, which could cost around $2,500. 

What is wrong with the 2008 Accord?

A used Gray 2008 to 2011 Honda Accord cruises a mountain road.
An eight-generation Accord | Honda

Unfortunately for the 2008 model, the Accord has around 1,277 NHTSA complaints about braking issues. Specifically, over 1,000 owners of the eighth-generation model reported premature brake wear, including excessive vibration and warped rotors

Does the 2009 Honda Accord leak oil?

While the 2009 Accord has very few owner reports of leaking oil, it has nearly 140 complaints about excessive oil consumption. Moreover, the 2009 model exhibits the same premature brake wear problems as its predecessor, the 2008 Accord. 

Are these problems a deal-breaker? Share your thoughts on the Honda sedan in the comments below!


Jeff Bezos Owns a 1997 Honda Accord