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What Year Honda Accord To Avoid & Which One Is The Best?

What Year Honda Accord To Avoid & Which One Is The Best?

Honda has built a reputation because its cars are reliable and stay on the roads longer than other companies. For most periods, Accord Sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks have carried the legacy.

Accord has retained a high level of quality for its ten distinct generations. The company must have done something right to have a car model for 45 long years.

However, there are a few outliers and exceptions. You must avoid the sixth generation and parts of the seventh, eighth, and ninth generations.

Though the company reports specific issues each year, some years have an excess of problems reported. We are here to help you steer clear of those issues.

What year Should I avoid Honda Accord?

You should avoid buying Honda Accords of 1998-2005, 2008-2010, 2013, and 2014. Honda faced several difficulties in these years. The new sixth-generation Accord had issues of slipping and making thuds while shifting and often outright failing.

Several engineers also encountered stalling out while driving the car. These problems not just existed throughout the sixth generation but got worse in the seventh. There were clear coat issues for those years that made the matter worse.

Some problems existed in 2003 and 2004. Fewer problems were present in the 2005 model. But it also has enough transmission problems, so you must avoid this model.

The ninth generation of Accord kicked off issues of getting the car started, the poor build quality of interiors, and excessive oil consumption. After engineers put together things for 2006 and 2007, the 2008 model came in for the eighth generation.

Customers came over with a thousand complaints of premature brake wear, problems with cabin quality, transmission, excessive oil consumption, paint, and air conditioning.

The models of 2009 and 2010 too had these problems, but fortunately, they subsided for 2011 and 2012. The same issues again arose in 2013 and 2014, but the significant engine issues and the electrical system got much better in 2015.

What are the best years of the Honda Accord?

The best year of the Honda Accord was 2013. It was the year of the highest reliability and owner satisfaction. These stats are available in customer reports that looked at the Honda Accord models dating back to 2000, rating each model based on owner satisfaction and reliability on a five-point scale.

The models of 2000 through 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019, and 2020 got four stars for owner satisfaction. The Accord earned a full five for reliability in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Of all the redesigns of Accord, the 2003 and 2008 changes seemed to have introduced new problems.

The critics have given it a rating of 3 out of 5 for its reliability verdict to all models of 2000, 2003, 2008, 2018, and 2020. The model years of 2008 through 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018 got a three on owner satisfaction.

The complaints data of the Honda Accord dates back to the year 1979. The complaints that customers submitted were below 100 until 1998, and the number jumped up to 435.

In the years that have followed, only five models have less than 200 complaints. These five were 2006, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Since the 2017 and 2018 models are too new to have extensive problems, 2006, 2011, and 2015 are the reliable model years.

According to the list created by car complaints about the best vehicles, the car has received the Seal of Awesome award. But, no model of Accord has unfortunately made it to the list.

However, some models have got the award Seal of Pretty Good. The models 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2015 have received the Pretty Good Seal. The older models got the Beware of the Clunker award and Avoid Like the Plague seals.

The models that got Avoid like the Plague are 1998 through 2004 and 2008. According to car complaints, 2003 is the worst model year because it has transmission problems. The year 2008 noticed the most complaints on the site.

Common problems with the Honda Accord

Some common issues with Honda Accord are faulty door lock actuator, temperature knob breaks, light burns out on the clock, warn air from the air conditioner, problems shifting into 3rd gear, and more. Here is a list of issues the car can have.

  • Failure of ignition switch causing “no start”.
  • Darkening of radio and climate control display
  • Illuminating and flashing of D4 and check engine
  • Wrapped front brake rotors that cause vibration while braking
  • Bad rear hub and bearing units
  • Leaky tail light gaskets
  • Breaking of temperature breaks
  • Air conditioner producing warm air
  • Vibration and rattle of engine mounts
  • Issues while shifting in 3rd gear
  • Poor rearing hubs and bearing units
  • Fault in door lock actuator
  • Internal breaking off of driver’s door latch
  • Cracking of front compliance bushings

We will now discuss some issues in detail.

1. Failure of the transmission

Transmission failure is the biggest problem that older Honda Accords exhibit, especially the seventh generation. The 2003 model registered against it more than 3000 complaints and 24 recalls.

Whereas there were more than a thousand complaints and 21 recalls for the 2004 model. Transmission failure alone recorded more than 500 complaints. The average cost of its repair is $2,700.

2. Faults in the ignition switch

A faulty ignition switch is another major issue in several models of the Honda Accord, according to RepairPal. You may face problems starting the car, or the vehicle may stall out due to an ignition failure.

The battery gets power from the switch in most car electronics and also the voltage the engine requires. The engine does not start when the switch goes bad.

If it does start, it may pose problems in dangerous situations. Lights and accessories may be lost, and you may have trouble removing the vehicle’s key from the switch. The cost of repair is around $250. Plus, the inconvenience and potential safety risks make this issue to be taken seriously.

3. Reliability

The 10th generation is the most reliable car on the road. The current model has proved to be one and has appeared on several best cars lists. The current generation that started in 2018 is the most impressive sedan because of its efficiency, power, versatility, and comfort.

But the older models are not the same. The sixth, seventh, and ninth generations have got one out of five stars in reliability ratings. These three generations are among the worst-rated vehicles for reliability among the company’s entire slate of cars.

4. Other problems

The Honda Accord has had several other problems in the past years. There were over 1000 complaints in 2008 about premature brake wear and excessive oil consumption.

Other problems were grinding sounds, highly uncomfortable seating, exterior accessories issues, and more. Some early warnings that your car has transmission issues are transmission fluid leaks, strange smells, and grinding sound while shifting gears. 25 Honda Accord models face shifting issues associated with automatic transmission.

Accord owners also report all types of issues with the car’s starter.

The things that indicate a starting system failure are slow engine cracks, and the engine does not start, grinding noise when the engine starts, engine intermittently failing to start, and whirring noise while trying to start the engine. The replacement cost ranges between $535 and $748, including the labor costs.

Some Honda Accord owners have reported issues with the accelerator. They have faced sputtering and hesitation during acceleration. Other commonly reported problems are scraping and metallic sounds from the brakes and increased stopping distance.

What year does the Honda Accord have the least problems?

The current models of the Honda Accord possess the minimum problems. Only 211 complaints have been registered so far. Honda sold Accord at about 30,000 per month in 2013, so this amount of complaints is insignificant.

Also, the bulk of complaints here are not from major mechanical issues and focus more on interior accessory ones. 40% of the bad feedback about interiors is not because of broken or malfunctioning but due to highly uncomfortable seats.

The eighth-generation car model has the highest number of car issues. This generation of cars was built between 2008 and 2012.

The 2008 model has recorded 2305 complaints per year in the database. The reports were on premature brake wear, whose average repair cost is $228.

The seventh generation has fewer complaints than the eighth generation. But the severity of the issues makes this generation avoidable.

The majority of the problems are about transmission issues. Many customers have problems with complete transmission failure resulting in a bill of about $2,696.

What year did Honda Accords have transmission problems?

2003, 2008, 2009, and 2013 models of Accord face transmission problems. The 2003 model has multiple issues with the transmission. One frequent complaint is how the transmission starts to slip and ultimately needs replacement after the odometer hits the 90,000 miles mark.

The 2008 model has several problems like poor brakes, excessive oil consumption, and uncomfortable seats. The discomfort of the interiors was an added problem with mechanical issues. Customers claim that they did not notice this during the test drive.

Like its defamed predecessor, the 2009 Accord saw several issues from the owners. The primary problem once again is the transmission. The worst cases of this problem would generally be transmission slipping instances, faulty transmission, torque converter shaking, and a whining sound emitting from the car.

The 2013 model saw changes compared to the bad models of 2008 and 2009. Apart from all this, this model too showed starter failure close to the 36,000 miles mark.

The OEM battery used in the vehicle did not give it enough power to equip the V6 engine. When this is paired with transmission issues, a genuine troubling car gets generated. Customers have also reported that the car slips during acceleration.

You can use the right tools, knowledge, and experience to self-diagnose the transmission problems. Look for what needs to be repaired or replaced.

Otherwise, you will do more damage than good. Do not try to solve a transmission problem if you are not 100% confident about the same. Bring your car to a transmission repair center or a local mechanic.


Honda cars are considered the most reliable sedans on the road. They have earned that reputation, but some Accords possess issues, and you should avoid buying them. As mentioned above in the article, the sixth and early seventh-generation Accords have multiple problems.

Refrain from purchasing all models between 1998 and 2005. Transmission is an issue. You can overlook some problems in a car, but a bad transmission is not something that a driver should worry about. Also, the engine of these cars is prone to excessive oil consumption and failure.