Honda Accord (2003–2008)

What's good

Of diesel reader reports "Very minor oil consumption of roughly 500ml per 12,000 miles." Same reader reports 50mpg + from BP Ultimate diesel. 5mpg worse using supermarket diesel.

2.4 mode voted one of Autocar's top ten cars of 2003.

Honda generally 8th lowest average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 67.27 v/s lowest 31.93).

Four star NCAP crash safety rating.

6th in 2007 UK J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey with 84.6% score.

3rd Most Reliable 3-5 year old family car in 2012 analysis of Warranty Direct Claims records.

What to watch out for

No longer British built.

Bonnets not galvanised and paint prone to chipping.

Not much headroom for tall drivers with long torsos.

Reader negatives (2.2 i-CTDi): "Dealer service not that good - charged for none existent top up oil at one point (credited back when I pointed it out on the invoice) and appear to have a very poor body shop service (car suffered panel damage recently due to a hit and run supermarket car parker) - Honda body shop rep wouldn't even come out to main dealer to look at damage - I had to take it to them - subsequent quote was a complete rip of so I had the damage repaired at a local coach builders for literally half the price still using genuine Honda panels."

"Tyre roar unacceptable on coarse tarmac - partially cured by swapping to Pirelli P7's from the original Michelin tyres."

"Paint on bonnet chips very easily - paint finish on rest of car not good in places."

Radio TP problem when cars fited with satnav. Radio supposed to automatically seek best signal for selected station but instead can seeks out the strongest signal around the frequency which can result in unintended channel hopping.

Have been turbo failures on i-CTDi.

Report of heavy use of rear brake pads and discs. Corrosion occurs on the edges of the metal backing of the pads which make the pads tight in the calliper. When the brakes are applied the pads move in towards the disc, but when the brakes are released they cannit not retract a few thou and so are constantly wearing down. Best to replace the rear pads every 12,500 miles.

Reports of heavy oil consumption as bad as 1,000km a litre on some i-CTDi and no low oil warning light, only oil pressure light so needs regularly checking.

Reports of mid 30s fuel consumption of early 2.2 i-CTDi.

Reports of problems with electrics: central locking and electric tailgate.

Problems with ABS and VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) modules from age about 4 years old. Cost £1,600 to rerplace. But can be refurbished by for around £300. Honda warranty on the component is only for 3 years or 62,000 miles.

Problems with radio speakers.

Noisy automatic transmissions due to known software fault with transmission ECU.

Have been cases of water ingress into rear wheel bearings.

DVD Satnav is by Alpine and can be repaired by them if it goes wrong, tel Alpine Electronics 0870 3333 407 0870 3333 407 . No need to buy a new unit.

Problem of 2006MY 6 speed manual boxes on diesels jumping out of 1st gear. Modification available from Honda, but parts on back order in March 2007.

Report of faulty voltage regulator on 2.2 i-CDTi at 20k miles.

Report of dealers charging £100 to adjust non adjustable hydraulic tappets of 2.2 diesel.

Report of dealers repeatedly overfilling with oil at services.

Numerous report of fuel strainer/fuel filter of 2.2 i-CTDi clogging in cold weather leading car to run in 'limp home' model.

Reports of problems with inlet manifold swirl chambers of 2.2 i-CTDIs at high mileage. Also of inlet manifolds cracking, emitting fumes to the cabin. Best to have replaced before the 3 year 90k mile end of warranty. Though even after, Honda will sometimes pick up the tab. By 2010 Honda had extended its warranty on both the inlet manifold and the timing chain to 7 years or 125,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Report of cracked injectors on 2.2 i-CTDI after 100k miles.

Complaint of cracked exhaust manifold of 2.2iCTDI that seems to occur on 2007 cars at high mileage. Occurred to reader at 150k miles. Honda apparently extended the warranty on the manifold to 125k miles or 7 years. The danger here is of drowsiness caused by carbon monoxide sucked into the cabin.

12-4-2011: Further complaint of cracked exhaust manifold on 2005 6-year old Accord and no warranty replacement.

Mystery battery leakdowns on the Civic can be through the starter switch. Can also be though a faulty oil sensor switch. This may also apply to the Accord.

One reader's list of problems over 70,000 miles:- * premature rear pad / disc wear (20,000 miles) * excess road noise from tyres (from new) * corrosion of alloy wheels (30,000 onwards) * failure of drive belt tensioner (67,000) * failure of alternator bearing (67,000) * very poor level of attention from Honda franchised main dealer during servicing.

One report of same ABS problem as on VAG cars, small BMWs, small Volvos and Mazda 3s. ESP warning light can indicate Fault Code "Boost Pressure Sensor G201". This is embedded inside Teves Mk 60 ABS systems and requires replacement of ABS control unit/pump. Seems to be age-related, occurring mainly in 3 - 5 year old cars. Bosch ABS systems do not have the problem. More on the problem and independent rebuilds of the unit at:

17-1-2013: 45 Amp battery of petrol models prone to losing charge and can have a life as short as 18 months.

8-2-2013: Clutch slip may occur on 2.2 i-CTDI diesels for various reasons. Normal life for a clutch is 80k – 120k miles, but clutches have been failing in as little as 10k – 30k miles. See: Honda service bulletin (number 1269) tells the dealer to check the cruise control switch before removing the gearbox, and the self adjusting mechanism before removing the clutch assembly. The dealer has to collect information about the clutch and then has to get Honda UK engineers to examine the findings to establish whether the clutch failure is the result of abuse, normal wear, or a manufacturing problem. It is also possible that the clutch wear is caused by a fault with the DMF (dual mass flywheel) that can develop play. Once it is confirmed that the clutch failure is due to a manufacturing defect, then all costs are covered under the standard 3 year warranty. Examples of clutches not covered under warranty are: A badly worn and overheated clutch plate that shows no lining grooves and appears burnt. A badly worn and overheated clutch plate that shows no lining grooves and appears burnt. A completely worn out clutch plate. A completely worn out clutch plate. Honda dealers now have a fixed price cost of £585 for replacement of the clutch only. Clutch friction disc and cover RRP is £194.88 inc VAT + 5 hours labour. A new flywheel retails at £892.63 inc VAT plus an additional 0.2 hours labour. A clutch release bearing retails at £47.06 inc VAT plus an additional 0.3 hours labour.

3-4-2014: Fuse board of 78k mile 2007 i-VTEC EX+ estate caused battery drain by shorting out due to water ingress from bulkhead vent well.

19-7-2015: Two cases reported of VSA light coming on in the dash display of 2006 Accords. Quoted £2k + ro replace by Honda dealer, but may be fixable by

9-8-2016: Report of 2005 Accord Tourer 2.2iCDTI reaching 200,000 miles reliably (apart from common issue exhaust manifold). Now starting to smoke under accelation and replacement injectors will cost over £1,000, so effectively an economic write-off.

7-6-2017: Report of 2005 Honda Accord 2.2iCDTI Tourer Executive 5-speed manual needing 5 EGRs in 3 years. Now done 197K miles but only 16 months and 20k miles since last new EGR fitted. Doesn't burn oil. Still on original turbo and exhaust. EGRs costing £800 a time.

11-9-2017: Report of erratic tickover on 2004 Honda Accord Tourer 2.2i CDTi. When hot, revs sometime drop to 500 rpm then it shudders back to normal tick over or stalls. Occasionally it is very difficult to restart and engine management light comes on. Owner tried injector cleaner and always used V Power fuel. May be due to the problems outlined above.

20-6-2018: Owner of USA built 1995 Honda Accord Coupe completely unable to source SRS airbag parts for his car despite a Worldwide searcvh and, because his airbag light is flashing, which id an MoT fail, is now faced with ahving to scrap his car.

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225/45 R17s can tramline. Service Bulletin HUK 000000000396 (dated 28/05/2004) shows a suggested alignment modification "only to be carried out on strong customer complaint".

Several 2004 TSBs on 2.2i CDTI: To correct faulty glow plugs, underperformance of cabin heating system and incorrect boost settings on the turbocharger which may cause problems on higher mileage cars. September 2004: Worldwide recall of various Accord models to correct a sealing fault to the cars left hand headlights. Affects 16,690 Accord saloons shipped to the UK. Further TSB on the EGR valve on diesel Accords. 9-8-2010: Various recalls announced. Following a nearly two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall includes 197,000 Accord and 117,000 Civic vehicles and about 69,000 Element vehicle. Honda spokesman Chris Martin said a small number of crashes and one minor injury have been reported in connection with the recalled vehicles. Although faulty ignition interlocks are common to all three recalls -- the others were in 2003 and 2005 -- different problems are to blame, he said. "These are different parts. They are different issues that are causing this same sort of symptom," he said, noting that the 2003 Accord was a complete model change from the 2002 version. NHTSA said in a statement that Honda was right that the "underlying defect differs from previous recalls," but the agency warned that "the potential safety risk is the same." Honda will remove the original interlock pin and lever and replace them with redesigned components. Martin said the reshaped components will prevent the vehicle engine from being switched off without being in park.

In the latest recall, NHTSA opened the probe of Accord models in September 2008 after getting 15 complaints alleging 10 crashes. One driver reported she was almost in her house when she saw her Honda rolling out of the garage and down the driveway. She was almost run over as she tried to stop it before it crashed into a cable box. Another said a Honda rolled away from a driveway, hitting a tree, NHTSA said.

In January 2009, NHTSA upgraded its probe into an engineering analysis after receiving 36 complaints alleging 17 crashes. On July 7, 2010, Honda and NHTSA officials met and, on July 29, 2010, Honda agreed that a safety defect existed. Honda initially felt that the failure rate wasn't high enough to warrant a recall, but NHTSA said "it was a serious enough issue" to seek a recall, so the company agreed, Martin said.

In the prior recalls over ignition interlock defects: Honda recalled 563,000 vehicles in 2003, including 1999 Honda Odyssey, 1997-1999 Acura CL, 1999 Acura TL and 1999-2001 Honda Accord vehicles and some 2002 Accord vehicles. Most of those were inspected and needed no repairs, Honda said. Honda recalled another 483,000 vehicles in 2005 over the same issue -- including the remaining 2002 Accord models not covered by the first recall, along with other models. Honda said in 2005 it was redesigning its interlock system. The fault allowed some drivers to be able to remove the ignition key without shifting the vehicle into park. More than 200,000 of those have been fixed.

Honda itself provides a record of all official safety recalls here: Honda Recalls

18-09-2019: R/2019/243: Possible air bag inflator rupture. Passenger air bag may not deploy correctly. Fix: The inflator inside the passenger’s airbag module is to be replaced. Build dates: 17-11-2000 to 16-12-2014.

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