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Honda Accord (2003-2007) Maintenance and Repair



  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    Not sure, but I think if you go diving in a car, it could hurt its brakes. Being fully submerged in water isn't something the engineers anticipate. Just a hunch ...
  • My '03 EX-L Navi has had the occasional grinding or "notchy" feeling on the 1-2 shift almost since it was new. Took it in a few times when it was under warranty but was never able to reproduce the problem. I switched to synthetic gear oil which helped tremendously. The problem is much worse in cold weather and before the car/transmission warm up, usually the first drive of the day. Anyway, I have over 135K miles now on the original clutch and although the problem still occurs form time-to-time, the car continues to drive great. I think it may be an issue with the gear synchronizers as rev-matching makes it go away when it does occur.
  • cmigs2cmigs2 Posts: 1
    I replaced mine with Uniroyal Tiger Paws...ride is very similar, but tires cost $90 installed. Glad I made the change!
  • I have a 2003 Honda Accord EX V6 automatic , and it will crank sometimes and then it wont other times. I have checked the starter and battery . I want to check the starter cut relay , but I can't locate it under the dash relay box . Could someone please help me !!!
  • mitsu3mitsu3 Posts: 4
    So my Honda dealer told me that I need to have the starter repleced before Winter. I was quoted a price fo $725.00 plus tax. I find this rather excessive considering i just had the water pump and belt, coolant and spark plugs replace for $900.00 (I find this excessive too but what you gonna do. gotta be fixed). Is this amount about right or should I go to an indedpendent to have it replaced?
    Response much appreciated.
  • you are still going to a dealership for service.. Oh my lord. A starter for 725.. is it gold plated... find a trusted local repair guy though acquaintances... You wont believe how much money you will save.. The minute I was out of warranty I left... They wanted to charge me 100 dollars for a cabin filter.... 5 minutes of labor and 17 dollars for the filter and thats all it took for me to do.. The service department is the profit center for dealerships.. You have been providing them with lots of profit. I am ow at a wonderful local repairman who is fair and does extraordinary work..

    The other question is how does Houdini know that the starter has to be replaced before winter?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    edited July 2011
    You can get an original Honda starter (online) for $375, list price is $480. Remanufactured starters run around $150 but a Honda dealer probably would not install one.

    I just looked at the service manual and it says the intake manifold has to be removed to gain access to the starter. I verifyied by looking at my 04 Accord and yes, the starter is behind the intake manifold. I can't tell for sure if it can be sneaked out somehow, but if it can't, then a good chunk of the $725 is going to be labor removing/replacing just the manifold. The starter only has a couple of bolts and could easly be replaced if the manifold wasn't in the way.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    When the starter went on my Integra I just replaced the brushes. Didn't even have to remove the starter. It worked fine. Total cost about $20.

    Don't know why people want to take the hard route all the time. Oh yeah - profit!

    Be green and save money at the same time. Replace the brushes.
  • cnickiecnickie Posts: 1
    I would try a different dealership. I call 2 in my area, orange county, ca. one quoted 583.00 ther quoted 475.00 + 40.00 off coupon. Actually neg to 400.00 cash total. with genuine Honda Starter and Warranty. Call around. We have both honda serviced there on regular basis for oil change, etc. It pays in the long run.

    In this Economy....CASH speaks volumes..... :)
  • No way taking your car to a dealer for routine service "pays in the long run" other than making the dealer's boat payment. You pay more per/hour for service and there is a much bigger markup on the parts. In my experience they also "offer" a lot of unnecessary services. Find yourself a good local garage and get it done there if you don't want to do it yourself.

    There is a took on the Car Talk website to help you find a reputable local mechanic: Car Talk Mechanics File

    Here is an article from Edmunds on Corner Garage vs. Dealer Service Department
  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    Sockpuppet -- I think you overstate the case for finding someone other than a dealer to work on your car. In fact, the Edmunds article you cite says there are plenty of reasons to go with a dealer, as well as reasons to select an independent mechanic.

    As someone shopping for a used car now, I'm much more inclined to buy one that has a well-documented Carfax showing the car was serviced regularly by a dealer. If the current owner took the car to an independent shop, I have no idea whether that shop knows what it is doing or not.

    As for parts, I've made the mistake of buying after-market struts instead of OEMs, only to have them fail in 25,000 miles. Did I save money? No, I spent A LOT MORE than I would have just by going to the dealer in the first place.
  • sockpuppet1969sockpuppet1969 Posts: 308
    edited August 2011
    There is no guarantee that the dealer mechanic knows what they are doing either so "dealer only" service is meaningless in my opinion when buying used. My mechanic will gladly use OEM parts if I ask, which I usually do. A good, honest independent mechanic is worth their weight in gold. My experience with dealers is that they will try to up-sell you as much as possible on unneeded services/inspections every chance they get. I only take my car to the dealer for repairs covered by warranty or recall.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    No way I'm taking my car to some "would be" independent garage. I have 1 dealer do all my maintenance work,including body work,and state inspection. Harder for them to make mistakes,if they only work on 1 brand of car,and attend brand only tech schools. I get a little goodwill that way and it's worked out well for me.
  • you hit the nail on the head... I yanked out my whole brake system within warrant ty at an independent who did a magnificent job for at least 60% of the dealer cost.. On the brakes I didnt want OEM becuase they were worthless.. I was told my brakes and rotors were shot becuase I didnt know how to drive.. After getting up off the floor I asked the Honda Service Manager If I should take driving lessons after driving for 40 years.. The icing on the cake was when they wanted 100 dollars to change my cabin filter.. Lets see, I bought the filter for 15 dollars and it took me 5 minutes to install... I have a wonderful mechanic who knows Hondas real well.. With the money I save taking my cars tohim instead of the dealers I can put my kid through college.. THe service dept is the only real profit center at a dealer.. I will take my Honda that apparently dont know how ro drive to my mechanic.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    In most suburban areas, you will find more than a few independent shops that specialize in Honda and Acura vehicles. I know of at least five here in the North Metro Atlanta area. They are all owned and operated by former Honda dealership technicians and/or service managers! After seeing how much the dealers were making, they realized that they could offer lower prices and triple or quadruple their earnings at the same time!

    I want someone who knows my car inside and out, but I don't have to pay dealer prices to get it!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ............the Gen7 cabin air filter change price of a C-note at the dealer is really criminal..................

    "Let the buyer beware" would truly seem approprite in this case.

  • I have done my own maintenance on my Accord since the dealer wanted $500 for the 30k service. It was dramatically different than the one listed in the owner's manual. They wouldn't quote a price for the suggested factory service.
    I buy the Honda blessed parts (Majestic Honda or HandA parts online) and fluids (local dealer) and install them myself. The car now has just north of 60k, the coolant has been changed twice, the brake fluid changed twice, the belts and hoses show no cracking the rubber still feels newish, and is about to get its first set of new tires next week.
    Every 18 months or so, I have to spend a Saturday afternoon removing and installing maintenance parts and fluids and taking the old ones to our recycling center. So far, this has been much much cheaper than the dealer and the time investment has been relatively minor.
    I keep all my service records and receipts and mileage for each service. When I am ready to move on from that vehicle, it will either be 1. worthless, or 2. traded so I am less worried about the impact of records that say Honda on them. There isn't any box on the KBB or Edmunds price guides that says "not serviced at dealer" to deduct value from the vehicle.
  • tom017tom017 Posts: 16
    My uncle has a 2004 Accord EX-L V6, a beautifully maintained car. It now has 47,000 miles on it. He's been taking it to the dealer religiously for regular maintenance ever since he bought the car. This last oil change, the dealer is saying to replace the timing belt. He only has 47,000 miles on the car and didn't abuse it, why change the timing belt already? The prescribed maintenance is to change the belt at 100,000 miles. The dealer is saying he has 7 years on the belt, it needs changed or it will break before 100,000 miles. Then the dealer gave my uncle an estimate of close to $1,000 to change the belt, water pump and serpentine belt, coolant, etc... Should the belt be changed at 7 years even though the mileage isn't high? And is $1,000 a reasonable charge to change it? Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If it's not too much trouble I would remove the belt cover and have the belt inspected for cracks, glazing, etc.
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    My Accord 03EXV6 timing belt was replaced last year after 95K miles & 8 years.
    The belt was still in very good shape. No crack, no sign of oil leaked onto the belt.
    I think you can go at least another year. $1K sounds right for the timing belt job at Honda dealership.
  • that sounds ridiculous. i would have them put that recommendation in writing and forward a copy to Honda. what does the service manual recommend?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,419
    I don't have the manual handy for my 2005, but yes, the timing belt is a miles OR time item.

    Tires are actually a replace after certain # of years item too, not that anyone ever pays attention to that!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • altair9altair9 Posts: 10
    In NYC, I paid 130 dollars to replace the cabin filter, until I realized how easy it is (2005)Accord. Now there is no Honda dealer in Manhattan itself, I think because the land value for building is so high, I think the owner of the dealership sold out for that reason. I can understand how dealers need to charge, but some prices are meant to rip off the consumer and pocket a lot of $ with little work. A shame. Trying to find a reliable independent here. I wish Honda national would push to get a dealership back in Manhattan. I would continue with the dealer if they prove to be reliable and HONEST.
  • people should go to jail for that... Dont they call that Highway robbery?
  • I have the same uncertainty. The car is in great shape, 62,000 miles only, a 2003 Exl-v6 model. The engine is literary quiet and super smooth. The car is now 8 years old and I heared the same thing from my dealer (water-pump kit + timing built = $980) last week I was there for oil change. Should I wait till at least 90k, Or go by the year ?
  • tldtld Posts: 37
    I just had my ECM flashed for the transmission recall on my 2005 4 cyl automatic while getting it inspected. I'll be watching this thread closely to see what other see but the second time I drove the vehicle after the flash, the engine stalled when I put it in drive. This has never happened in six years. I wonder what the flash did and if it effects the engine RPM when putting the vehicle in gear.

    Here is a link to the recall announcement: 0024.pdf
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,104
    A reporter is interested in interviewing an individual who recently decided to do routine maintenance or basic car repairs on their own to save money in the struggling economy. The reporter is particularly interested in someone living in California (Southland), but all responses are encouraged. If you would like to comment on your experience, please reply to [email protected] with your name, location and daytime phone number by 5pm Pacific, Wednesday, August 17, 2011.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • tom017tom017 Posts: 16
    My uncle shopped around for a better price to replace the timing belt on his 2004 Accord V6. He felt $1000 was waaaayyyy too much for the job. He found another Honda dealer on the other side of town that was running a coupon special that listed replacement of the timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt and coolant for a V6 Honda Accord for $479 + local tax. It took a day to complete the job but the car is good for another 100,000 or 7 years, but with 47,000 miles currently on it, I don't think he'll put 100,000 miles on the car before the next 7 years. It runs super smooth and has all new Honda parts on it.
  • cepblcepbl Posts: 1
    I have a 04 ex-l coupe with navigation, climate controls didn't work with the original navigation so i bought a used one and they still don't work, any ideas what could be wrong? relay locations? sorry if this isn't the right place to ask.
  • Sounds like you have some serious electrical issues...try to see if you can get it inspected at a indy shop...worst comes worst you might have to get it inspected at the dealer...dont get the work done just pay for the diagnosis/inspection...thought that might be expensive....just my 2 cents...
  • I wanted to give an 2007 Accord EX sedan stick just turned 65k. The Bridgestones were about done and not being a performance size by any stretch, I couldn't bring myself to put new tires in the 205/60R16 back on the car. Turning to eBay, I scored some 17"x7.5" Acura TSX wheels and put 215/50R17 Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires on those rims. This with the Acura TL rear sway bar (thicker) seems to have helped the handling of the car a great deal. The tires are very new so I haven't pushed it yet, but I am happy with the results based on the investment.

    The sway bar and brackets was $60 and another $60 for the end links. The car seems to understeer less and feel more confident on turn in. The tires seem to support that with additional available grip. I can see some shocks and springs around the 100k mi mark and the car should be pretty zippy.

    At 65k, that was its first set of tires. Its still on its first set of brakes (although the fluid has been changed 2x now, 30k and 60k). Trans fluid got changed with Honda MT fluid at 60k. The coolant has been changed at 30/60. Oil gets changed when it tells me to. Oil changes could be easier, but the car is reasonably easy to work on. No real complaints about that.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    I'd like to see your Accord with the TSX wheels. Can you post a link to a photo of your car?
  • Yeah, definitely. I am going to wash it first though :sick:
  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    I dropped my car off at a Honda dealership today for some work.
    They start asking about the maintenance history.
    My car has 79100 miles on it.
    He says, "Have you replaced the serpentine belt it is supposed to be done at 60k?" No I haven't.
    He says, "Did you do the 30k, 60k (90k) maintenace of tire rotation, clean fuel injectors, air cabin filter." I say no, this isn't the manual, but I rotate with each oil change.

    Is the serpentine belt in all actuality, the drive belt?
    My manual says the maintence minder will say when to INSPECT the drive belt, when to replace the air filters, replace the timing belt and replace the transmission fluid.
    The manual says nothing about interval for cleaning the fuel injectors.
    What schedule do you people follow?
    Where are they getting this 30k-60k-90k program from? there is nothing in the manual.
    From time to time I have used an OTC fuel system cleaner - usually LucasOil.

    I hate feeling like the official dealership is giving me a run around....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited August 2011
    Well aside from the fuel injection cleaning, which is just a worthless profit-maker for the dealer, the other suggestions are not a bad idea--especially tire rotation and cabin filter. You can probably do the cabin filter yourself and save $$$. As for the serpentine belt (drive belt), which is not the same as your timing belt (that's not due for a while yet), it would be a good idea to inspect it at least for cracks, glazing (shiny from slippage), etc. If it breaks it won't necessary harm the engine, as long as you pay attention to all the warning lights that will light up when that happens. If you ignored the lights, eventually the car would overheat since the water pump isn't turning.

    I'd also inspect your various coolant hoses at this mileage, and check the driveshaft dust boots, and check the struts/shocks for leakage.

    If you have the original battery in there, you might think about replacing that in 2012 whether it seems to need it or not.

  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    Thank you for taking the time reply.

    I think the hoses, shocks, struts, boots, etc. will all be inspected by the dealer today as part of the "23 point checkup" that the car is undergoing. Thank you for the tips.

    I already do rotate the tires on a regular basis and will look into replacing the cabin filter.

    Is the Serpentine/Drive belt the belt that is (if looking at the engine in the car) the very obvious belt on the left hand side?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yes the passenger side. There is an actual belt tensioner indicator installed on the vehicle and if the belt is out of range of that indicator then it should be replaced.
  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    Thanks again.
  • At the end of my 36,000 mile warranty I never went back to the dealership which will charge you at least double or more for service, some of which you dont even need.. I follow the book that comes along with the Honda and have saved a fortune. Reminder... The service dept is the main profit center of the dealership.. For instance they wanted to charge me I believe 100 dollars for the cabin filter change..Those 23 point inspections are pure profit and remember your service writer is a salesman in disguise and the service tech make more money dependent on what he finds and how quick he can get the job done.. At least thats the way they do it her.. I laughed in disgust.. Cost me 15 for the filter and 5 minutes of my time... Do yourself a favor find a local mechanic who works on Hondas.. They arent hard to work on at all.
  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    Hi Michael, I went to the dealership for service today, but didn't pay for the inspection.

    They sent me a coupon for 15% off up to $500.00 in service, parts, accessories (over the next year) that included a one-time $24.95 oil change/tire rotation and 23 point inspection. So I took advantage of that and had them look for the source of a newly audible sound that had me worried. The mechanic says my car is in excellent shape for the mileage.

    I see your point on the service writer as a salesman with him attempting to sell me on an unnecessary drive-belt replacement and guilt trip me on the 30k-60k-90k extra tire rotations and fuel system cleaning....

    I will certainly attempt the cabin filter replacement.

    Thanks for the tips.
  • robgraverobgrave Posts: 65
    Recall ID #53945

    I just made an appointment to have this work done (dealer called me about it).

    Basic info here:

    The work is a software upgrade, and is free of charge. And that's all I know. I am guessing the module will be more likely to detect the transmission issue before it becomes a real problem, but that's only a guess.

    Comments, anyone?
  • Thank you kindly for the update
  • We have a 2005 Honda Accord that needed a new cruise control switch. Our Odyssey switch bummed out at about the same mileage (90K). The Accord switch is very easy to replace. I would recommend unhooking the battery - more so that the horn does not keep honking than for safety. You will need a 10 mm wrench to undo the battery terminal, a phillips screwdriver, and a #30 torx driver to remove 2 screws/bolts. After you unhook the battery, unscrew the 2 philips screws on the back of the cruise switch, (trying not to let the screws come out completely), then unscrew the torx screws that are located on the side of the steering wheel. I did this with fear and trepidation wondering if the steering wheel would come off or the airbag would deploy. Nothing happened. After taking out the 2 torx screw, the whole center of the steering wheel can be pulled out easily. This center part includes the airbag and horn contacts. The cruise switch can now be easily replaced. Unplug the two plugs on the old switch and plug in the new ones. Screw the switch down on the steering wheel, then replace the center part of the wheel using the 2 torx screws. Hook the battery back up and you are finished.
  • I recently replaced the underhood fuse/relay panel in my 2004 Accord to correct the light dimming problem created by a failing ELD, but now my blower for heat and a/c stays on after ignition is off. Dealership had no clue!!! Any help?
  • Please dont take this in jest.. Find a local mechanic who does have a clue. Bring it preferably to a small place where the owner is involved.... Local dealerships are viper pits. Electrical issues are tough
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    edited August 2011
    Did you replace it yourself, and if so, do you still have the old part/s?

    If it was me, I would reverse what I just replaced, and see if the problem with the blower goes away. If yes, then you know it's something with the new part.

  • Just drove my 2003 EX-L navi manual with almost 140k miles round trip from NC to NY, almost 1400 miles total over 3 days. I've had the car since new and it runs and drives every bit as good as the day I took delivery. What a great car!
  • Oh yeah, I got 34 mpg on the way up with no traffic, and 31.5 mpg overall -all on regular gas. That includes Long Island congestion and DC traffic (about 1 hour of stop-and-go in Northern Virginia on the way back).
  • Hi fellow 7th gen owners,

    I have an 03 Accord 4-cylinder automatic with 115k. There is a "whirring" or constant whistling sound originating from the engine compartment area when I drive over 60mph on the freeway. It is a pretty faint sound (for now) that is easily drowned out by conversation or by cranking up the radio, but it has nonetheless started to worry me.

    I searched the other Honda forums on this type of noise and it sounds like the whirring noise is coming from a worn bearing on the idler pulley/tensioner assembly. Has anyone here heard of a similar sound? The sound occurs when I am stepping on the gas pedal and goes away once I take my foot off the gas. I'd like to get your feedback before I take my car to the shop. I'd like to add that my car drives fine with no other mechanical issues.

    Thank you,

    Yoshi :confuse:
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I have a 2005 Accord with 107000 miles. It still has the original hoses. Any suggestions on when to change them. They don't look broken.
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