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Honda Accord (1998-2002) Maintenance and Repair

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
edited December 2013 in Honda
In order to make the original and highly popular “Honda Accord Owners: Problems and Solutions” forum more manageable, we are dividing that forum into “Accord generations”.

Please make sure you are in the right generation for your Accord, and then post your questions concerning any maintenance or repair item.

Thank you again for helping to make the Accord forums so great here at Edmunds!



  • tmaliktmalik Member Posts: 27
    Hi there,
    I own a 2002 Accord EX with about 45k miles on it. Lately when driving at night I've noticed a slight fading in the brightness of the instrument panel readouts, sort of in the center. The markings near the end of the tach and the beginning of the odometer are fading a bit. Any ideas/suggestions? Is this an easy fix? An expensive one? Unfortunately, the car is out of warranty now, but has been trouble-free so far.
  • the_dthe_d Member Posts: 1
    2000 Honda Accord LX 4cyl Manual, Hi, I have a low Rpm when I'm stopped at a red light or stop sign, and 10 seconds later it resumes to normal idle, but it's rough at times and I get a vibrating sound as a result...it been going on for the last 2 1/2 weeks...I thought it could be the oil viscosity was warn out...changed the oil no difference...
  • freddie2freddie2 Member Posts: 2
    1998 Honda Accord EX 4cyl Automatic, Engine dies without any warning. But it will re-start again. It happens once in awhile. I visit Mel-rapton Honda, if it has a recall on the igniton switch, but according to vin#,they said no recall on it. Don't know what to do,

    Some guys say just replace ignition switch, or main relay.
  • kuldskulds Member Posts: 4
    Hi everyone.
    Bought a 98 accord lx about 8 days ago from a dealer. Seemed fine. had 93k on it. the transmission failed yesterday. I have no warranty. Is the dealer liable or responsible for any expenses? The car stopped in the middle of the road, the mechanic said that the axle had popped. Please advice.
    I had not checked the car with a mechanic before buying it (should have), trusted his word that it was fine. And I do not have any warranty, the dealer sold it as is. Now I am not sure which way to go. I haven't spoken to the dealer yet. Should I go to 'Better Business Bureau' if the dealer does not help? It is not even 10 days since I bought it.
    Please advice.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    A calm talk with the dealer may help with a "goodwill" fix, but "as is" clears them of any responsibility.

    Axles normally don't just pop out unless something is really worn, or the car just had an axle replaced, and the installer didn't correctly lock it into the transmission. If it's the latter, then it may just need to be reinstalled if nothing was damaged.

    You may want to have the car inspected by a mechanic to see what failed, and if an axle was just serviced, you could argue the dealer incorrectly repair the car.

    Good luck

  • kuldskulds Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the advice.
    I dont know as to why the axle failed yet. It may have worn out. I am getting it inspected by a mechanic. thanks.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    if you bought a vehicle used from a dealer, did it come with a 30day warranty? what did the window sticker say?
  • engmanengman Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Honda Accord LX- The right headlight does not work- does anyone know how to fix this? -Do I need to replace the bulb or the whole headlight? Asked Dealer and they told me they had to take off the Front bumpber to fix this. is this true?
  • nlsnls Member Posts: 65
    Even though my car has only 60,000 miles on it, I will be getting the timing belt replaced, as Honda recommends it because of the age. I will also be getting the water pump and the balance shaft belt replaced at the same time. One dealer said that they typically replace all belts at this time, and another said that they recommend replacement of some seals, and perhaps the tensioners as well. Dealer price quotes are anywhere from $700 to $900 or more, based on the things that are being replaced. What is the general consensus?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    The biggest cost of replacing the timing belt is getting to the belt. Once everything is disassembled, replacing the other items at this time is very easy since their exposed.

    Obviously, the only thing necessary is the timing belt. If that fails, it will damage the engine. Replacing the rest of the parts, well, how much are you willing to gamble? They could last till the car need another timing belt, but if they don't, you will be paying alot for labor at that time to have them replaced.

    Since I do my own belt, I did it all except for the seals.
    ($70 total for non Honda parts) You can see where the cost comes from, LABOR.

    Tough call

  • nlsnls Member Posts: 65
    Labor is supposed to be around 4 to 5 hours, so even at $100 per hour, it will be $400-$500. So unless the genuine Honda parts are at a premium, there is probably a big mark up on parts as well, perhaps to cover the warranty. Is there a big quality difference between Honda parts and the after market parts?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    Yes, Honda parts are more costly then aftermarket. Since I'm not planning on keeping the car for another 100k, I didn't purchase the most expensive aftermarket parts. If I did, it would have run another $25-$30.

    I'm sure like anything else, there is a quality difference between the brands of aftermarket parts. I would think that brand name aftermarket parts would be just as good as Honda parts, they may even be the actual supplier of the Honda part. In some cases with aftermarket parts, you can save $$ with rebuilt parts. Water pumps are a good example. they save castings and just replace the wear items. It was interesting though, I was able to purchase a new water pump for less then some of the rebuilt units. I suppose that it came from somewhere overseas. 30k miles so far with no problems.

    That's the one thing that bothers me about going to the dealer to have service work done. They get a premium price for labor, and a premium price for parts as well.

  • blinked999blinked999 Member Posts: 1
    can you buy a blank 2005 honda accord key and have it cut and the remote programmed to work for your 2001 honda accord?
  • djuangdjuang Member Posts: 3
    I got same problem on my 1999 Accord LX 4 cyl auto wih 63k miles. My problem comes once in a while. The engine stops at the redlight or stop sign. I wonder if the idle controller went bad. I drove to a mechanic but the car went back to normal at that time. Will appreciate if any idea.
  • rie0628rie0628 Member Posts: 1
    I have issues with the throttle sticking upon first start of the day or after sitting for many hours. Had repaired with recalls in past at no cost. Last time dealer charged $75 at same time of fixing recall issue. I feel it is a saftey issue and do not think I should be charged to fix this (oxidation build-up on the throttle over period of 1 1/2 to 2 yrs) as I was told it is a known problem on Hondas. Can anyone shed information on the situation?

    Second question is that the light behind my milage/trip-ometer is not working. Honda book does not cover fixing this. The fuses have been checked and seem fine, therefore I assume it is a bulb. Anyone have an idea of how to get to this or how to repair it without going to the dealership?
  • 9accord99accord9 Member Posts: 1
    Hello, i have a 99' Honda Accord LX 4cl with 87K.

    I purchased this car used at a dealership. Before taking it in to them i want to see if i can take care of the problem myself. When accelerating to about 40mph and 2k rpm's the rpm needle begins to fluctuate up and down. The vehicle/engine feels as if it choking or stalling. When it is past this point i dont experience this problem any longer. Also, when it is below this speed i dont experience the problem either. The check engine light is now on as well.

    I would really appreciate the help.
  • cannell3cannell3 Member Posts: 45
    I own a 2000 Accord with 95K miles on it. The clock works, but the back light doesn't, so I can't see it at night. Do I have to replace the bulb, or the clock, and is possible for me to replace it myself? Thanks! :confuse:
  • vu2000vu2000 Member Posts: 58
    I used to own a 99 Accord and now a 2005 Accord. The key blanks are different. On the 2005, the keyless entry remote is build into the key. The Fcc ID number for the 2005 remote is different than the 99. A dealership I went to in DE wants $165 to cut the key and program the remote for the 2005 Accord. If you just need the remote for the 2001 Accord, you can buy it on Ebay for under $20 + shipping. Some seller on Ebay will also provide you with the programming instruction for the remote. As for the key, the Honda dealer is the only one I know that could program the key(the transponder chip embedded in the key has to be programmed by a Honda dealership).
  • inkieinkie Member Posts: 281
    You can pry the entire clock [non-permissible content removed]'y out to get to the bulb. Be careful use tape on prying tool
  • dano37dano37 Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 2000 Honda Accord LX 4 door sedan 7 months ago. It only has 57,000 original miles on it. Two weeks ago, I began hearing a slight growling noise when accelerating. There was also a small oil/grease spot noticed on the garage floor on the front right quarter of the car. My long-time mechanic inspected it and said that the front right axle was unusually rusted, and needed to be replaced as it had too much play in it. After completing the job, he said that the noise was still there, and unfortunately it's coming from the transmission. He's been in business nearly 25 years, and can't recall having a Honda Accord transmission ever going with just 57,000 miles on it. He specializes in foreign car repairs, and said I should check to see if there were any posted Honda recalls on the differential / transmission! I checked a number of sights on the web, and found none!
    He says the part will run around $1100.00 and around $450 in labor for the job! This is my first Honda, and the way it's going, it may be my last! Your thoughts??!
  • tthomastthomas Member Posts: 2
    I just replaced a headlight bulb on a 2001 Accord EX. It covers it in the owners manual. It was relatively easy. No bumper removal involved on my 2001. There was an access panel that you turned the bulb from inside the engine compartment. The only tricky part was releasing the plastic electrical switch that held the bulb. Check the owners manual.
  • chestnutchestnut Member Posts: 19
    I have a 2000 Accord and Honda extended the warranty on the automatics to 7 years or 100,000 miles.
  • dano37dano37 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response!
    I'll check with my local Honda representative if there is similar coverage on my vehicle!
    Have a great New Year!
  • djuangdjuang Member Posts: 3
    the d,

    One of my friends said his car had same problem. He simply found a leak on the fuel pressure regulator. Reeplace it, the problem was solved.

    Another person with same problem solve it by replacing the torque converter clutch solenoid. When the converter clutch is engaged, it provides a mechanical link between the engine's crankshaft and transaxle input shaft, eliminating converter slip and increasing fuel economy 3-4 mpg. Very common on GM fwd 3 speed transaxles (occasionally affects overdrive models) for the solenoid to become contaminated with ferrous wear particles and bind in the applied position. The clutch can't release, and the net result is the same as stopping a manual transmission vehicle without depressing the clutch pedal.

    I am just quoting others' suggestion for your reference. Keep up posted about your problem.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    "When accelerating to about 40mph and 2k rpm's the rpm needle begins to fluctuate up and down. The vehicle/engine feels as if it choking or stalling. When it is past this point i dont experience this problem any longer."

    Does your car have an automatic transmission? If so, the engine speed fluctuations around 40 mph may be the torque converter lockup "hunting" - especially if you're ascending a slight grade. Either slow down below 40 mph or speed up faster than 42 mph. (Once locked to vehicle speed, the engine speed will decrease around 200 RPM, so I suspect that's all it is.) If the former owner or the dealer changed out the automatic transmission fluid with non-Honda fluid, a condition known as "juddering" can occur, too. It's the same process but more pronounced due to non-Honda fluids not having the proprietary friction modifier chemistry for smoothest possible TC engagement in Hondamatic transmissions.
  • sooner_chotsooner_chot Member Posts: 28
    I have 71K on my Accord. Brakes were making a high pitched squeeling noise. Took the car to the dealership, which stated that I need to get front pads replaced. I did that and got the rear pads replaced too.

    Car still has the high-pitched squeel. It seems as if it goes away when I accelerate. I think it can also be heard when the car is stopped with brakes pressed. Any thoughts?
  • bpeters75bpeters75 Member Posts: 2
    I own an '02 Accord coupe with the 2.3l 4-cyl and 5-spd manual...about 37,000 miles. Any time it's been sitting long enough to be fully "cold" (and this seems to be almost totally independent of the outside temperature), the engine, beginning within 5-10 seconds after start, makes what I can only describe as a "clattering" sound. It lasts a minute or two, then quiets down.

    The only thing to which I can compare it is my old Ford Bronco II, which with 100,000-plus miles started making a similar noise for a few seconds on cold starts (valve lifters leaking down and having to refill with oil, or so I understand).

    Anyway, I've had the car to the dealership for this issue (I bought it certified used). They adjusted the valves, but it made no difference.

    Anyone have any ideas? Similar experiences? This can't be normal; it's not a subtle noise. It bugs me that my well maintained, low-mileage Honda makes this kind of a racket--particularly when other Honda 4-cylinder engines I've heard sound like sewing machines in comparison.

  • bpeters75bpeters75 Member Posts: 2
    For what it's worth, this sounds exactly like a problem I used to have with my '98 Acura 3.0CL (mechanically, an Accord V6). Automatic transmission. Always happened at 40mph...the entire car would start to shudder as the engine seemed to die, then catch, then die again repeatedly.

    Never got anything but "could not duplicate" from the dealership. It was a leased vehicle that I returned shortly afterward, so never really had to deal with it. In my case, at least, it seems unlikely to have had anything to do with the transmission fluid, as I leased the car new and know it was never hanged (car only had about 28,000 miles when this started).
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    What viscosity motor oil and what brand oil filter are you using? Have you checked the oil level recently with the motor fully warmed, shut off, and on level ground? I believe Honda recommends only 5W-20 viscosity for your model year. If some idiot put 10W-40, or 20W-50 motor oil in that motor, normal leakdown overnight and cold start would combine to leave the top end oil starved initially due to too viscous oil not readily flowing initially. FRAM oil filters have been implicated by some as prone to causing startup noise, too, due to alleged improper bypass valve operation that's supposed to direct cold, unfiltered oil directly into the engine until oil pressure settles down as the oil heats up (unfiltered oil being better than no oil). I have no personal basis for believing that FRAM and FRAM-made oil filters are the oil filter equivalent of original sin, but most Honda oil filters sold by dealerships in North America are actually made in a Canadian FRAM factory for Honda. (If it's the FRAM-made unit, it'll say "Made in Canada" on the filter.) Given the noise your car's motor makes soon after startup, I would first verify that the hot oil level is within the "Full" and "Add Oil" markings. If that checks out, I'd drain the current motor oil and replace it with 5W-20 or 5W-30 motor oil - any brand of your choice, just make sure it's listed as "SL" or, preferably, "SM" in the API "donut" on the back of the bottle. (Ford Motorcraft and Phillips 66 are synthetic blends at very low prices when purchased at WalMart.) I'd also change the oil filter to a fresh Purolator "PremiumPLUS" 14459 (This is Purolator's equivalent for your model year Honda applications. Don't worry about using a Purolator product - they also supply OEM and aftermarket filters to Chrysler, and some aftermarket Ford Motorcraft brand oil filters sold through Ford and national discount chains.). If starting afresh with the proper viscosity quality motor oil and a quality oil filter doesn't cure the initial cold start noise, I'd then go to a different Honda dealer's service department and/or contact American Honda on their toll-free phone number in the warranty supplement booklet that came packed in your owner's manual portfolio.

    As an aside, I don't own a Honda. I own a Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai came out with a technical service bulletin about six months ago implicating unnamed aftermarket oil filters in a knocking noise at idle. Word on the street is that FRAMs were involved, though I have no way of verifying that allegation. Still it's curious. I haven't used FRAMs for over a decade. FRAM was acquired by Honeywell Systems a few years ago and that's about when the rumors started about their declining quality. Yet the fact that Honda trusts FRAM to make their OEM and service filters for the north American market has to count for something, too, I would think. Please keep us posted.
  • marty1968marty1968 Member Posts: 1
    I have started noticing on my 2001 Accord that the plastic headlights are starting to fade/dull at the top of both. The car is always parked outside. I have always hand washed since I bought it new. Does anyone know of way to stop the progression?
  • bugs3bugs3 Member Posts: 1
    I think 98-02 accords had transmission problems. Mine went out at 50k...it used to shift hard from 2-3 gear. Went to the dealer and they diagnosed it ordered a new tranny and replaced it for free. Honda has given some tranny' ext warranty through 100k since they were aware of the problem
  • bigwilliesjeepbigwilliesjeep Member Posts: 19
    Wow, For once i have actually heard people who have had problems with there hondas. I have a 98 accord 2.3L VTEC, with manual trans. Its got 150,000 or so and i have the same problem but it lasts a little longer and really doesnt quite down untill it gets hot. I am a mechanic for GM, and believe that it is exactly what you say, the lifters drain out and need a litte time to refill. Chevy have that same problem on the 3.1 engine especially if they sit for a while. I have adjusted the valvues on mine as well and did a new timing chain due to the high miles on the vehicle and still have that little noise. Very annoying sometimes, but i feel as if it is not a problem for me. The engine runs great and i do have a couple of other problems that baffle me, but as long as its not a loud clanking of knocking i would not worry bout it...
  • whitecloud1whitecloud1 Member Posts: 268
    Are you talking about a '98 Accord? I thought they all have belts.
  • dushyantwdushyantw Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I own a manual 1999 Honda Accord LX with 4 cylinders under the hood. Its done about 102000 on the clock and has been running fine until now. On my recent interstate trip, i noticed that as i accelerated from zero to interstate speeds, the car begins to shake quite prominently between 40 to 60 mph. Surprising the vibration and shaking stops as i go higher. I tried 100 and it seemed fine. I am suspecting a natural frequency issue.
    Can some one shed some light on this, please?
  • whitecloud1whitecloud1 Member Posts: 268
    I have plastic covers on a '90 Mazda. "Tar/debris remover" helped remove most of the film buildup on the headlights.
  • bigwilliesjeepbigwilliesjeep Member Posts: 19
    Sorry for the mix up, Yes it is a timing BELT, It is not a chain force of habit to me they all the do the same thing. One is dry and one is wet......
  • vincejizimvincejizim Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 honda and my tranny has gone out at 80K. I bought mine used though, with no warranty. Does Honda have any solution for me, or am I just screwed?
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    This is a Alignment/Suspension/Tire issue. I would take the vehicle to a good Front End Alignment/Tire Shop and have it checked.

    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    I am contemplating buying a used Honda Accord in the future, maybe six years old, because they are supposed to be so reliable, but I would be REALLY upset, I mean REALLY REALLY upset if the automatic transmission went out at 80,000 miles! I will properly maintain the vehicle, I would expect to drive the car for 6 years, up until about 200,000 miles and not have to repair the ENGINE or the TRANSMISSION. Is that reasonable? I am doing that now with my wifes 97 Ford Explorer V8 5.0L(145,000 miles) and my 00 Ford Explorer V8 5.0L(115,000 miles). I just need the better gas milage.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    Hey, What's up with these car manufacturer's? Why don't they put an ELECTRIC OIL PUMP in the engine compartment connected to the engine with hoses, so that when the ignition key is turned on the ELECTRIC OIL PUMP primes the engine with oil BEFORE it turns over and while cranking. An electric control circuit would keep the ELECTRIC OIL PUMP from running while the engine is running. A check valve would keep oil pressure from flowing back though the ELECTRIC OIL PUMP when it is not running.
    Does that sound like a reasonable idea? Why don't they do it, Cost or to keep you coming back to buy new cars?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    I seem to recall something exactly like your mentioning being sold years ago, maybe it's still available.

    It was something you could swith on just before starting the engine. I think they only circulated oil in a low pressure, just enough to lube bearings and other parts, but would do nothing for things like valve lifters since they have to pressurize themselves.

    Have you searched for an electric oil pump?

    UPDATE: http://www.emp-corp.com/html/products/advanced/oil_mgmt/electric_oil_pump.htm

  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    Or something like this:


    But my ORIGINAL question was, Why don't the Vehicle MANUFACTURER'S put a prelube system in their cars?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    With good maintenance, an engine should go 150k+ (many go alot more) without a major rebuild. Something like that would only please someone that wants their car to last a long time. I doubt the average car owner would be willing to go the extra $$ to have it come as standard equipment.

    It's just one of those things that's probably best left for the aftermarket installers.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    it's simply not necessary. Overkill engineering.
  • corluckcorluck Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 Accord EXV6 sedan 3 weeks ago with 217,000 miles on it and have had no problems. I went in for an oil change and they told me that i need my rear brakes replaced and i should get my timing belt replaced (nothing wrong with it just passed the change interval)however i have read about transmission problems and my car does lightly shutter when cruising. Is it because my timing belt needs replaced or the early stages of transmission problem? The shuttering feels the way it does when i press on the brakes because my rear rotors are warped. I thought it might be the feeling from the brakes but i dont kno. Anybody with any kind of direction is appreciated!
  • winchester62winchester62 Member Posts: 2
    Just purchased, (1-6-06); a 98 Accord LX with 99,000 miles on it. Motor runs great but CEL was on. I read the thread from the prior group and have one print out from the Service bulletin 01-011.
    It looks as though I will probably be replacing this unit myself or with the guidance of a mechanic buddy of mine.
    I didn't hear much on the difficulty of a left front wheel bearing r&r...
    A horrible raspy growl starts at about 15 mph and gets louder with higher speeds. It maintains noise level according to rate of speed regardless of gear shifts or rpm level. I suspect the wheel bearing. Any advice of which manual to purchase for these services would be appreciated.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    may be something other than transmission or the timing belt.

    google: +shudder +egr +honda
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,148
    The bearings in the motor have oil on them from when it was shut down. Only if it's been sitting a long time might the pump up before explosions put greater force on the bearings be helpful. In the "good old day" if a car had been sitting many days, I could just not touch the gas pedal which kept the choke off and then crank the engine for several seconds to pump up the oil pressure. Then push on the gas pedal allowing the choke plate to close and the motor would start with oil pressure already present.

    The preprime oil pump would be neat as a part of a cabin heater that uses the oil for heat. Quick heat on cold winter mornings. My college roommate had one in his car.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • whitecloud1whitecloud1 Member Posts: 268
    Just checking. I certainly don't know-it-all.
  • roxaneroxane Member Posts: 1
    Hi, any help would be appreciated. I just bought a used 98 Accord EX V6 with current mileage being 112K...Prior to the sale the previous owner had all belts replaced, water pump replaced and a few other things (the standard 90K tune up). No problems until 2 days ago I noticed a humming/buzzing/whining noise. It seems to be loudest when I am idling, checked my power steering fluid and its full, dont have any loss in steering control but it does seem to have a bit more play in the wheel (I just replaced both rear tires and I dont know if thats whats causing the "weirdness" in the response and handling) .. So my question is could it be the power steering pump beginning to fail? Could it be a pulley problem? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for any help... :blush:
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