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Honda Accord (2003-2007) Maintenance and Repair

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  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    As you have already discovered, '05-'06 Accord EX sedans with 5-speed manual are not easy to find. My cousin is General Manager of a large Honda dealership here in Georgia and he recently gave me some insight into why they are so scarce on the used car market. According to his Service Manager, owners of the 2003-2007 Accord EX with the 5-speed manual keep their cars much longer than average. The vast majority of manual-shift Accord owners plan to continue driving them for years to come- so they rarely show up in used car listings! =(

    Comparing 2005 and 2006 models, quite a few improvements were made to the 2.4L I-4 for the 2006 model year. Drive-by-wire (DBW) replaced the previous 'throttle cable' setup, which results in smoother operation and enhanced throttle response. The 2006 version gained a minor power boost (6hp) and both hp and torque peak at lower revs.

    The minor design 'refresh' in 2006 made an already attractive sedan look even better, IMO. The 2003-2005 tail lights look a bit droopy and dull, while the 2006 was fresh and sporty looking. If I was in the market right now, a 2006-2007 Accord would be at the top of my short list!

    I may have one suggestion that could help to broaden your search a bit. If you can live without the EX's power moonroof, there were two EX-look-alike models sold in 2006 and 2007. I have always referred to both model years as the SE, but the 2006 model in particular is often called the LX Special Edition, Special Edition or LX-SE. By 2007, SE seemed to stick.

    The 2006 SE adds the following features to the LX sedan-

    16" alloy wheels (identical to EX 4-cyl)
    4-wheel disc brakes w/ Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
    6-CD in-dash changer
    Steering wheel audio controls
    Body-color side sill
    Carbon-fiber interior accents

    A 5-speed manual was standard on the SE both years, so there are some manual transmission examples out there. From the either side, they are a dead-ringer for the EX thanks to the sharp-looking alloy wheels fournd on both trim levels! =)

    A 2006 SE stickered for $1725 less than an EX sedan and the power moonroof standard on the EX was the most significant difference. The EX also added heated side mirrors, security system, Aluminum interior accents (vs. carbon fiber), illuminated power window switches and ambient console lighting. The EX driver's seat also has a manual lumbar adjustment and the height adjustment becomes power (vs. manual on LX and SE). EX and SE both have side-impact and head-curtain airbags standard!

    So an SE 5-speed manual might be worth considering if you don't manage to find an EX that works for you....

    If you totally strike out at finding an Accord 4cyl 5-speed, you should take a look at the 2004-2005 Acura TSX as an alternative. The '03-'07 Accord sold here was designed specifically for the North American market. The rest of the world had a slightly smaller, more athletic Accord instead...and that verison of the Accord was sold here as the Acura TSX! =) 200hp, 6-speed, rock-solid reliability, great styling,
  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    Thank you for the very detailed response! I am afraid that based on the shortages of new Hondas now due to the tsunami's destruction that used Accords are going to be even more of a scarcity. But your description of the advantages of the 2006 do make it seem worth holding out for. I totally agree about the tail lights looking better, although I think the car overall doesn't look as good as the 1999-2002 version. And the 2008+ are best viewed from the interior of the car.

    The LX-SE is a nice idea, although I really do want the EX's sunroof if I can get it. I live in Minnesota, so summers are short and you want to make the most of them. In the winter, the heated side mirrors would be well-used.

    As for the TSX, yes, I'm familiar with it and enjoyed driving one, but the engine seemed to rev a bit high in 6th gear and the car really reminded you of how bad our roads are. Gas mileage isn't as good as the 5-speed Accord, it requires premium gas, and a comparable year would be significantly more expensive.

    The 2006 Accord 5-spd 4 cyl really hits a sweet spot as a used car -- safe, fuel-efficient, relatively fun to drive, reliable. That's why nobody wants to give them up!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    I have no problem finding a 2005 EX-L 5 speed, but that is because it is in the garage.

    and I have a neighbor with a 2006 or 7 5 speed Accord (can't recall which model though, but sure it is a stick). Other than that, not something I see very often.

    Other than an annoying CEL that just came on, no problems with it, and I most likely will keep it for a long time yet, probably passing it down to my daughter at some point to use in school.

    one of the best things about it? No crappy Honda AT to fail prematurely! So no real worry keeping it well past 100K. Though I only have 62K on mine now.

    I did not realize they made so many mechanical tweaks for 2006, but honestly, i doubt you would really notice them or miss them if you got a 2005. The taillights on the 05 also IMO were the best looking, since they got rid of the white band for the back up light. I never though the 2006 rear matched the front on that car.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    also, try hard for an EX. I consider the moonroof to be essential, but almost as important is getting the power seat.

    I believe the EX has partial power (height only, and 6 way?). The EX-L has full 8 way power. much nicer.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    The 06 EX has just the power height adjustment. The EX-L does indeed have the 8-way power seat for the driver (heated too). The passenger seat is manual.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    I just bought a 2004 Accord LX 4-door A/T for my step-dad as a Father’s Day gift! To be fair, my mom, grandmother and I each chipped in to get it for him and it was a STEAL! My mom’s best friend since childhood (57 now) owned the car and drove it until last year when she bought a CRV. The Accord has 168k miles on it, but it has been serviced to the letter at the selling dealership. It doesn’t have a ding or scratch anywhere and the interior is amazinglyl clean for a seven year old car. It’s Taffeta White with Ivory interior.

    There is nothing wrong with this car, but she sold it to us for $3,500 because she knew we wanted it for my poor old step-dad. =) His ’92 Accord EX just passed 300k miles and it’s going to need major engine work soon. He lets my mom get a new Grand Cherokee or Explorer or whatever she wants every three years and he drives the same thing over 70 miles round trip every day for more than a decade.

    I’ve been driving it for the past week or so and hiding it at my house so we can surprise him…but driving it is making me REALLY want another Accord! My last one was a ’99 EX 4-door 5-speed, also Taffeta White.

    But there are a few minor quirks that annoy me and I want to fix them if I can- that’s where you guys come in! =)

    1- There is no beep when you leave the key in the ignition and open the door, even if the key is in the OFF position, it makes no sound at all. It should be making the normal Honda ‘key-in-ignition’ sound, right?

    2- There is no chime to warn you when you leave the headlights ON even after you often the driver’s door and remove the key, it doesn’t make a peep. It should be making the little ding-dong sound like other Accords, right?

    3- To be blunt, the audio system is pretty crappy! =( Honda has a habit of putting weak stereos in all but the very highest trim line. If I’m not mistaken, the LX has a 120-watt system and the EX has the same thing??? Even on the 2011 models, you just get a 160-watt, 6-speaker system on the LX, LX-P, SE, EX and EX V-6. Only by choosing the EX-L or EX-L V6 do you get the 270-watt, 7-speaker system! Is there some sort of connection between leather fetishists and audiophiles that I’m missing? =)

    Anyway, being serious, the reception of radio stations is really the issue. I know that the antenna is embedded in the rear window, but is there any way to boost the signal or improve it in any way?

    Those are the only issues and they’re all relatively minor….did I mention that I got it for $3,500? Hehe =)
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    "I totally agree about the tail lights looking better, although I think the car overall doesn't look as good as the 1999-2002 version. And the 2008+ are best viewed from the interior of the car." ]

    Do you mean the 1998-2002 version? =) I had a 1999 EX 4-door 5-speed in Taffeta White and I loved that thing! It looked just like this one-

    99 Accord EX 4dr

    As for the current model being best viewed from the interior- have you seen the ergonomic nightmare that is the current Accord's interior? There are so many buttons that I don't see how elderly folks that I often see driving them can figure out how to operate anything??? Maybe they're driving around in silence, with no A/C or heat and that would explain why they don't use turn signals and forget to turn their lights on....

    I'd say the 2008+ is best viewed with a tarp over it, or a bag over your head....it's what we'd refer to as a "double bagger"!

    There has only been one other generation of Accord that I absolutely hated- the '94-'97 models. I had a '96 and it was truly a 'lemon' and had some major issues. But I was stuck with it for three long years and a lady ran a light and nailed me in the right rear corner- my heart was racing, adrenaline flowing but even then I started grinning knowing that I was finally rid of that thing!

    My '99 EX 4-door 5-speed was perfection compared to the model before it! I adored that car and I was heartbroken when I rear-ended an Impala on I-75 stop-and-go one evening during rush hour and it was totaled. It was almost seven years old and had 232,000 miles on it- didn't burn a drop of oil, was always ready to rev to the redline if I wanted to scoot and it had one of the best manual shifter and clutch combo I've ever experienced. The original clutch made it past 165k, which amazed me. But it was a helluva car...
  • amy911amy911 Posts: 2
    I am sorry to say, but I own a manual 2005 Honda Accord LX and it is NOT going to see any other owners for several years! I love it. I have had no problems with this vehicle - it's amazing.

    With that said, I will never, ever, bring my vehicle to a Honda dealer for service again. When it was new, and I was naive, I did bring it to the dealer. What did I hear every time? Yup, "you need...". Yeah...no,just change the oil like I asked, wash it and give me my keys. I found a local garage, with a gruffy old owner who feels if a car needs something, fix it. He told me that if he serviced the car according to the manual, I should just drop off my paycheck to him every week! He just shakes his head at dealer garages. But, it is true, that IS where they make most of their money.

    Oh and another thing. I feel that one of the reasons that my car has lasted so long (85,000 miles) is that it is an LX model and doesn't have all of the extra stuff that strains electrical systems that many of todays cars do.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    CEL has been on for the last week. tried gas cap, nothing. So, took it to mechanic today (local guy, not dealer for 1st time). Coded out as "evap vent control solenoid". Dumb little part, probably makes no difference at all to the engine,mileage or performance, but costs a lot of money!

    Probably could ignore it, but the light bothers me, and it won't pass inspection at the end of the year anyway. SO, getting it fixed. First problem though in 5.5 years and 62K. Other than the rear brakes of course.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    My 2007 Honda Accord EX 5spd just turned 60k and no Honda based issues to speak of, just a fender bender and it got keyed at work, nothing I can fault Honda. My commute is 90% highway and the car is in the low-mid 30s for fuel economy. I have found it to be a reliable, economical way to get to work and back and tote a small family (both in terms of number, just 3 of us, and size, 5'7", 5'2" and a 4 year old).
    Its not the most interesting or exciting car on the road, but its been very reliable and reasonably economical to operate. I have been following the maintenance minder and maintenance schedule and I've used Honda parts, so it should last a long time to come. I did the trans fluid at 60k with Honda MTL, coolant at 30 & 90 with Honda anti-freeze, and I use Honda filters when I change the oil (with Mobil 1). I do have a K&N air filter now, though. I even got the Honda replacement wiper inserts.
    The next thing up is tires. I am thinking of getting the HPF 17" wheels (or Acura TSX 17") and a performance oriented 215/50R17 for 3 seasons and put snows on the old wheels. I am hoping that will help me whine less about the car being dull.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    since my car has to go back in for the part replacement on monday, I was thinking of having the transaxle fluid changed. Not sure if it needs to be anything exotic though. Worry more about that at an indy mechanic vs. the dealer.

    might just do it at my next oil change. which at this pace could be next year!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • I have a 2007 Accord LX- MT about 3 months ago. It is the light blue color. I think its the first year they made that color. Anyway, I've had the following cars in stick shift. 82 Supra, 86 300zx, 95 Pathfinder, 97 Tiburon, 01 Echo. After the 01 Echo (which I gave up in 02), I started a family and now have 3 kids. 10 years later, I got the itch for a stick shift again. I bought the Accord used from a Kia dealership who had trouble selling it due to the MT, and got a sweet deal. It has 54K on it currently and is in near mint condition with the exceptions of a few paint scratches. I'm still trying to find the best strategy to engage the clutch and accelerate into 1st gear from complete stop. Its been so long, and I'm very rusty. Can do everything else fine...shifting, reverse, but going into 1st is shaky still. Lets just say I'm a pro at giving it gas, while being at some random point on the clutch that isn't the sweet spot. Other than that, the car is very well rounded. Can have fun, haul the family, and enjoy Honda reliability. But darn it if I can just get off to a smooth start every time without the dash shaking...lol I know I'll get it....practice, practice, practice...commute is mostly highway
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Have any of you with a manual transmission started using a synthetic transmission fluid/oil instead of the conventional type? The only issue I ever experienced prior to 100k with any Honda 5-speed was a aversion to shifting easily into Reverse. Around 200k, my '93 Accord started balking at quick shifts into 3rd, but double-clutching did the trick when necessary.

    In 2006, I jumped ship and bought my first non-Honda vehicle, a 2006 Mazda3. While shift-quality never approached the level of near-perfection of most Hondas, I adapted and it didn't really bother me. Eventually, around 40k miles, it started grinding going into 3rd gear, especially so on the 2-3 upshift. I took it to the dealer and they gave me a loaner to drive for the day (a base model 2008 Mazda3 5-speed) and I realized how much easier it shifted than my '06. The dealership said the issue was normal wear and/or due to aggressive driving (I'm an insurance agent, we're almost as wild behind the wheel as librarians). But I digress...

    I did some research and found a lot of other manual drivers online who had similar issues, to varying degrees, on Mazdas and most other makes as well. Many of them tried switching to synthetic gear oil and the vast majority were pleased with the results. I switched to Red Line MT-90 and it did wonders for the shift quality and the 3rd gear grinding issue. It's been over 40k miles since I switched and it's still doing great!

    I highly recommend it to anyone having issues or planning to drive their car well past 100k! While I used Red Line MT-90, no major stores carry it (in most areas) and it has to be ordered online. Royal Purple synthetic manual transmission fluid/oil is available in some auto parts stores and is top-notch quality. Just thought I'd share.
  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    I'll take your word on the interior of the '08s+ being a nightmare--haven't spent that much time in them. What I don't get is why Honda has lost all sense of what looks good externally--the '07 CR-V is uglier than the '06, the '03 Odyssey is uglier than the '02 and the '11 is an incoherant design exercise, the new TL is an absurd-looking car, earlier ones weren't, etc. Honda's slogan used to be "We make it simple" and their cars' exteriors reflected that philosophy. While they still make good vehicles, the design is befuddling. Today, their slogan should be "We make it weird."
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I agree with you about Honda styles. I have an '05 Accord EX-L Coupe which I really love. However, I don't think the style is that great. After I saw the new 2012 Civic four door, I posted a comment in that forum about Honda's lousy designs. I was "blasted" for saying anything negative about Honda. I do think Honda's styles are in the negative. The 2008+ Accord Couple looks awful.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I have an '05 Accord 5 speed EX-L. This is the first car that I have followed Honda's recommended service to the letter and then some. I have 107,000 trouble free miles. I believe that when you keep it serviced like they recommend that you keep it in top operating condition and that it will pay off. I really don't consider that I have wasted money on that.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    I have 106,000 trouble free miles and the car has never been to a honda dealer (aside from minor warranty adjustments in the first few months). I have done all maintenance myself - so far only oil and filter changes. Will probably change the spark plugs soon though - or at least inspect them.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    Since my '05 (62K) is in having the faulty solenoid replaced, I am having the manual trans fluid changed also. I pretty much qualify as the severe schedule, and this falls into my "cheap insurance" catagory. Should be good to go for another year or so (coolant probably should be done by then). Only thing in the distant horizon is the plugs. Already changed the air filter and brake fluid, so nothing left that qualifies as 60K maintenance I don't think.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    So the sway bar is swapped. The Honda End Links, well, suck. They are a one-time use part. To remove them, the instructions say to slip a 5mm allen key into the bolt and then use a 14mm wrench on the nut. The bolt is of less than stellar quality and corrodes to the point you can't get the nut off without excessive force...which invariably strips out the allen head in the end of the bolt. A Dremel with a cut-off wheel is the only way to go. I'm amazed at how much more difficult the 2007 is to work on than the 1993 (although we will see when I do front brakes). Anyway, I now have Moog end links and an Acura TL rear sway bar.
    At ~62k the tires are finishing up. I scored some Acura TSX 17x7 wheels off eBay and will be installing 215/50R17 tires. I am hoping those upgrades (tires/wheels/sway bar) help the car feel a little more lively. Now I just have to figure out what 3-season tires I want; the stock rims (or 15" steels) will have winter tires.
  • what year and make and when did you change the timing belt or dare I ask have you? :)
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    It is an Accord as per this thread. Model year is 2007 and it does not have a timing belt. The car runs perfectly, brakes have more than 50% all around. Clutch is still like new, mpg is stellar. I did add a little bit of coolant - may change that out soon, but it still looks like new when you open the cap.

    I exclusively use Mobil 1 0w-20 with Pur 1 synthetic oil filters, and change at the maintenance minders reccomendation - about 8 or 9k. Not sure I am going to change the brake fluid anytime soon. I am pretty easy on brakes so the fuild never gets hot - it should last indefinately. I am almost more worried about contaminates getting in when it is changed than I am about older fluid. In some of my past cars I never had any brake issues until shortly after the fluid was changed - VW Scirocco to name one.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 818
    edited June 2011
    The concern with brake fluid is not how hard you use your brakes, it's the fact that the fluid is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. Humidity and the absorbtion of water is the issue, not wear and tear from use.

    Mrbill
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    For the brake fluid, I would think not getting them hot might be worse, since it won't get rid of the water! But I could be wrong there.

    anyway, had they evap valve solenoid (which was actually a fairly large size box) replaced. Took a return trip, since the CEL came back on as soon as I got home. Turns out that when the old one failed, something shredded inside, and some debris got into the line and was blocking the airflow, so the computer flagged it again. Took off the line and blew it out, and seems to be fine now.

    Also seems to shift smoother, but that could all be in my head. The real test will be how easy it is to get into reverse (occasionally that could be balky), but that might not have anything to do with the fluid.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,251
    >the brake fluid, I would think not getting them hot might be worse, since it won't get rid of the water!

    The brake fluid is a closed system. No water can escape. The brake fluid and water together are called an azeotrope IIRC: water in the fluid lowers the boiling point of the fluid. So if brakes are used hard and the fluid in the caliper or wheel cylinder gets hot enough, the combination boils causing loss of ability to compress the fluid and apply the friction material--loss of braking--just like an air bubble would do if the brakes weren't bled. When the fluid cools, the bubble of water vapor condenses back into the fluid.
  • my front rotors on my 2007 went at 7500, brake pads soon to follow.. service manager said it was my fault.. turned my rotors and 3,000 miles later warped again... to find out so many people were having the same problem.. my rear pads were also shot at 10k.... I ripped out the whole brake system, rotors, calipers, pads, you name it put in non OEM parts and what a difference.. I didnt have Honda service do it and have never gone back .. I now feel relieved that my wife wont kill herself in that piece of junk car. never again will I buy a Honda.. I rather buy a moped with a top on it.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I didnt have Honda service do it and have never gone back .. I now feel relieved that my wife wont kill herself in that piece of junk car. never again will I buy a Honda.. I rather buy a moped with a top on it.

    You realize that was a 3 year old post and no significant complaints since? My '07 Accord has 62,000 on the original pads and rotors.

    Oh and the Acura TSX wheels I got off eBay came today. I have a truck from work tonight so I will have to wait until Friday or Monday to get them on the car. They have 3 pretty okay looking Avid A4 tires with 1 really sorry looking one. They description said the tires are shot, but they should get me to the shop to get new ones mounted.
  • Can anyone recommend replacement tires for this car? I have 55K on the stock tires, and the tread is starting to crack. I think they are Bridgestone Veranzas. The size is 205, 65, 15. Don't want to spend a whole lot of coin.....thanks
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,629
    look for a sale at a local place. Costco and BJs can be a good deal too if you are a member.

    Yokohamas are good tires at a reasonable price. I put BFG advantage tourings on my Acura TL (same size as my accord) from BJs and they are very good.

    always good to read reviews at tirerack.com, even if you don't order from them (some people like to, I prefer to buy local)

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • If you are looking for good inexpensive tires look at Kumho or Falken.. I love Falken. Really wonderful tires.. They have a cult following. They hardly advertise so they are less money , unlike a Michelin where you pay for all that advertising
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Kumho and Falken are both very good quality, value-priced tires. If you live near a Discount Tire Co. location, they are the exclusive distributors of a brand called Barum. They're high quality and I've never had an issue with them in past. I used them on my '92 and '96 Accords and my dad had them for the last six years or so on his '92 Accord EX. They're priced at $62/each plus installation at Discount Tire.

    I'm a BIG fan of Dunlop SP Sport Signature tires and I've had them on Mazda3 for the last 52k miles and they've still got some life left in them. For your car, they run $94 each at Discount Tire, but there's a $40 Dunlop/Goodyear rebate if you buy a set of 4, so that's really $84/tire. They come with a 6yr/60k mile treadwear warranty. They also improved ride quality without sacrificing handling. The ones for my car are closer to $140 each! My 17" wheels/tires look good, but they also cost a ton to replace...be glad with your 15" ones!

    Dunlop is owned by Goodyear, so Goodyear stores also sell their products. If you don't have a Discount Tire nearby, I'd start calling a few Goodyear dealers and have them price a set of Dunlops. Goodyear also owns Kelly Tires and most Goodyear shops sell them as well. My sister has had Kellys on her '04 Explorer for over 60k miles!

    Good luck and hope this helps!
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