Honda is currently on their eleventh generation of the Accord. The beloved sedan has received many awards for its comfort and price point over the years. Honda has kept the Accord model running for so long because of its popularity and how easy they are for anyone to drive. However, one of the biggest questions when buying a car is how reliable it can be. As for the Honda Accord, these are the top five problems that can cause headaches.
1. “No Start” due to ignition switch failure
According to RepairPal, the biggest issue for Honda Accords is the ignition switch failing. The ignition switch is part of the steering column area where you use your key. Over 25 model years are affected, starting from 1990 and onward. Honda issued a recall for many of the model years to replace the switch.
The average mileage affecting the ignition switch is around 140,000 miles. If the recall does not cover the ignition switch, the average replacement cost is $151-$187. Common signs of the ignition switch failing are if the car takes a few tries to turn the key to engage the starter. The only other indication will be if the vehicle doesn’t start at all, meaning the severity of this problem is relatively high.
2. Check engine light and D4 light flashing
One of the most common issues on the Honda Accords is the check engine light and D4 light flashing. A flashing D4 light occurs when the transmission has detected a rough shift or is having trouble shifting at all. The problem only affects automatic transmission cars but has happened in a wide range of model years from 1990 onward.
Rough shifting occurs from a mechanical failure inside the transmission. Other issues, such as slipping transmission or skipping gears, can occur from a faulty sensor or dirty transmission fluid. Depending on the exact cause, the repairs can cost anywhere from $60-$3000, with the worst case being a total transmission replacement. A check engine light will also illuminate on the Accord, and trouble codes will read P0700, P0730, P0740, P0780, P1768, and P1768 to determine the exact failure better.
3. Radio/Climate control display may go dark
A common sight for most older vehicles is the interior lighting starting to dim. The bulbs are not replaceable for some models, meaning you need to replace the whole unit. On the older Honda Accords, the bulbs can be swapped. But you may replace the unit on some of the newer models, like the 2001 and up. Most cars have this issue that occurs around 107,000 miles if there is a fault.
In most cases, bulb replacement can be tackled at home with some basic hand tools. However, if you have to swap the entire display, you may pay quite a bit for the repair. If you can find a used part, the installation time is where you will get most of the cost. A shop will most likely charge an hour of labor, roughly $100, to replace the unit for you.
4. Faulty door lock actuator
Affecting the most model years on this list, a faulty door lock actuator is a common problem in 28 model years of the Honda Accord. Multiple symptoms can occur due to this issue. The symptoms include doors that won’t lock, doors that won’t unlock, and doors locking intermittently without any input from the remote or button. Unfortunately for the owner, there is no exact cause for this issue.
Another downside to this common issue is that once the problem occurs, there is no repair for the part itself. Instead, it needs to be replaced entirely, which involves taking most of the door apart. This replacement can be labor-intensive for a shop to do. Most cars that are affected have the problem occur above 120,000 miles.
5. Warped front brake rotors cause vibration
Last on the list is a problem that can occur on any vehicle, but it makes the top five list for Honda Accords. Warping front brake rotors happens when there is too much heat in the metal and if the rotors are towards the end of their life. When the rotors warp, you will begin to feel a vibration or shaking in the steering wheel when you press the brake pedal.
Replacing the rotors is the only way to remedy this problem. While original equipment parts are best to do the replacement, using a high-quality aftermarket option will work just as well. In most cases, you will want to ask your mechanic about what rotors they have seen the best results from for your vehicle.
Is the Honda Accord a reliable car?
Although there are these common occurrences, the Honda Accord is still a reliable car. Most generations of Honda Accord are known to reach upwards of 180,000 miles without any major issues. Reaching that mileage puts the Accord above many other sedans and coupes in its class for reliability. RepairPal even gives the Accord a 4.5 out of 5 overall for its reliability rating. If you’re shopping for a used Accord, it is best to check out the 2008-2014 model years, as they will give you the best mix of technology and price point.