Honda Accord (2003-2007) Maintenance and Repair



  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    I believe that 5-sp AT, new in the Accords in 2003, had been available previously in Acura TLs since those Acuras were also part of the recall for the 2nd gear overheating failure that could lead to total front wheel lockup and loss of steering control. A lot of Acura TL owners were, and still are, hopping mad - sweating over even with the "fix", their transmissions will still be subject to premature failure. Only more time'll tell whether Honda finally got this particular problem behind them. At least Honda has a reputation for sticking like a leach on a problem 'till they're confident it's really fixed.
  • zakimanzakiman Member Posts: 71
    My 02 accord is approaching the 90K miles, and therefore the 90 K service is coming soon. Most dealers in the Dc area are asking $400+ for the service. My question is: Is it better to take the car to the dealer for this service or can I just take it to a local shop ( although I don't trust local shops too much). Or should I just follow the Owner's manual, although people say the Manufacturer suggested maintenance is the minimum that could be done. Is it true ? I am a believer in prev maint but I don't want to help the dealer make that boat payment of his/hers :-)
    any feedback is appreciated
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    I own a Honda Accord and a Ford Mustang. Both vehicles are serviced by the dealer every 3,000 miles. I also believe in high quality preventive maintenance, using original parts and fluids. Preventive maintenance has a price tag. If you have an extended warranty, and you have all your service performed at the dealer, all your service records are in one location should a problem arise. -----Best regards. -----Dwayne ;)
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    I've always felt the "take-yer-money-ships" promote their padded make-work "service" to enhance their bottom line - any benefit to the car or its owner is purely coincidental. I go strictly by the owner's manual, but always use the "severe service" schedule. That's always been preventive maintenance enough for my cars.
  • joe122joe122 Member Posts: 68
    For an '05 Accord LX automatic, is 2,600 to 2,700 RPM's correct for 5th gear at or just above 80mph?

  • zakimanzakiman Member Posts: 71
    those are two interesting different views [haefr] & [djm2] . I got a quote from a local dealer for the 90K service @ $470. They included (7) Replace items , (24) Inspect items, (1) Rotate and (2) rotate items. Here is the Replaces:
    - replace engine oil
    - replace oil filter
    - replace oil drain washer
    - replace transmission fluid
    - replace engine air filter
    - replace distributor ignition cap and rotor
    - replace brake fluid
    - replace spark-plugs
    - replace HVAC filters

    is this worth $470 ?
  • crankkycrankky Member Posts: 45
    The OEM Michelins on my 2004 EX Sedan are absolutely the worst tires I've ever had. Horrible wet traction and cornerning.

    I'd like to replace them but am a bit confused as to what to get. Anyone here replaced their OEM tires yet? Not interested in plus sizing; just want to stick with the original size.

    Over in the Tire Rack forum, a Tire Rack representative stated that Honda only requires H rated tires for 2003+ generation Accords, not V rated like I have now. Can anyone confirm that? There are many more choices available in H rated tires, and at better prices too.

    Just wondering. Thanks.
  • zakimanzakiman Member Posts: 71
    I replaced my OEM last year ( Turanza EL41) which were so so tires. Now I have BF Goodrich Traction T/A H which are a better improvement and are @ a reasonable price too. Expect the MPG to go down a bit with these tires though. I also recommend Bridgestone RE950s.
  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    What size are your BF Goodrich....any problems balancing and tracking ?
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    I have the oil and filter changed every 3,000 miles, and I have the automatic trans fluid changed in the Accord once a year. At 90,000 miles, I would think that you would want someone who knows the vehicle, to check & inspect some items on the vehicle. YES, I think this service is "ok"! Isn't your life worth $470.00? :confuse:
  • zakimanzakiman Member Posts: 71
    > I think this service is "ok"! Isn't your life worth $470.00?

    I definetly agree with you [djm2]. Thanks for the help
  • zakimanzakiman Member Posts: 71
    what did you mean by tracking ? No problem balancing, but did you hear otherwise ? I find myself doing an allignement every 15K miles with these tires(not sure if this is normal). the size I have is: P185/65/R15. My other choice was the RE950s, but went for the BF T/A for the price.
  • tom71tom71 Member Posts: 46
    What about 03 thru 05 Accords with manual 5 speed
    tranny? Any better reliability?
  • crankkycrankky Member Posts: 45
    Any problems putting H rated tires on it? I can't find any confirmation that Honda only requires H rated tires and not V's on the Accord. But, that's what I heard from a Tirerack person.

    Some local shops will refuse to put tires on that don't meet the OEM specs.
  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    "what did you mean by tracking ?"

    I find that with some tires specially Michelin's car seems to wonder all over and other tires will track as though they are on railroad tracks.
    The reason I asked you the size is that a lot of times you will get the tire mismatched with the vehicle and therefore performance will vary.....that is typical of reviews in Tire Rack reviews...same tire with different feedback.
    I find that BMW knows how to match tires and Honda has no idea.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    EX sedans original equipment tires were specified as 205/60VR16. You should not "downsize" to H speed-rated tires.

    LX sedans were equipped with 205/65HR15 tires. Taller profile, smaller diameter, and lower speed rating.
  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    o "Occasional vibration is gas pedal, especially in hilly drive"....have you tried different brand of gas ?

    o "Weak acceleration in short-ramp fast freeways (--I was able to remedy this by using D3 gear initially and then at the right moment shift to D; now I'm also incorporating the "2" gear when making sharp turns that go uphill, shifting from D to D3 then "2", then D3, D depending on the slope; yeah this automatic transmission can be operated as a "stick" without having to worry about depressing a clutch!)" .....not normal, real HP comes at 5200 RPM but you should have enough power and not have to go to the D3 mode....not normal

    o" Low MPG in mixed city-highway (60%-40%) driving -- only averaging 23.9 miles per gallon!" .....I have not calculated mine yet but I know it is not good.

    o "Obnoxious engine sound when running between 40 to 50 miles on a hilly road (is this what they call "gear hunting"?)" ...again not normal...try another brand of gas ?

    o" Noticeable "rough" auto transmission shifting, especially the first drive in the morning."....not normal...mine is smooth regardless of outside temp and how long the car has been sitting outside
  • ramidaramida Member Posts: 67
    Hi webby1,

    Thanks for your reply.

    So you think there are many abnormal observations with this car. What I find interesting is your assertion that the real HP comes at 5200 RPM! Do I need to be that aggressive on the gas pedal when trying to merge on short-ramp fast freeways? I seldom exceed 3000 RPM, if at all!

    Another interesting point you made is the possibility of eliminating some of my problems by using another brand of gas! Really? What brand of gas would you recommend?

    Regarding the auto transmission, there are really times when the shifting is kind of "noticeable" or "rough", but most of the time it's smooth.

    As for the MPGs, other owners think that they're representative of my driving conditions and driving habit.

    Regards, ramida
  • vu2000vu2000 Member Posts: 58
    Hi, I have been on this forum before talking about my 2005 Accord Ex 4cyl cold start noise. When the weather is 50F degrees or below and the car is started. When you shift to Drive or Reverse and start moving, the engine sounds like a deisel engine or an engine that is knocking on cheap gas. This noise would last up to 10 minutes(depending on how cold it is outside). This is not a gas issue because I tried different grade and brand of gas. The engine sounds like it is not getting enough oil lubrication(the oil level is OK and I am using 5W20 oil).
    I took the car to a Honda dealership, at first they said their tech did not hear this noise and this is normal noise for a Honda 4cyl. I told the service manager that I have owned 12 cars since I've been driving, including 4 Honda Accords(4 and 6cyl models) and I did not hear this type of noise from any of them on cold starts and gentle driving. So he took a ride in my car and another 4cyl Accord on the lot. He did admit he heard the noise from my car and not the other car. He finally agreed to keep the car another day and have the tech adjust the valve clearance on the car.
    The car was returned to me the next day still making the same noise on cold startup. I did not keep the car at the dealership longer or argued with them, because it was 3 days before Christmas an I needed my car.
    I think the car is not getting enough oil circulation (oil pump problem) because after the car warms up in 10 minutes the motor is nice and smooth. I did mention this to the service advisor, which she denies is not the problem. My car only has 11,000 miles on it.
    If anyone has a clue to this or has a 2003-2005 Accord 4cyl with this issue please let me know and if this issue was fixed by Honda so I can get my dealership to fix it. I don't want to wait until the warrantee is expired and shell out big money for this. Thanks.
  • geraldp1geraldp1 Member Posts: 14
    We discoverd a paint problem on my wife's 2004 Accord with 11000 miles last June. The folks at Honda did not want to have anything to do with it----stated the flaking Eruptions & peeling were caused by outside sources. Of course we demanded a complete paint job by an ASE Pro or either replace it with a new one. To make a long story short, We went through BBB to try to justly retify the problem & even had a tech expert to examine the vehicle. The expert ruled in our favor stating the paint failure was initially caused by sub surface eruptions having to do with the lousey paint job at the factory. Honda still denied it was their problem. Any 2004 Accord owners out there with a similar problem?
  • sashmochsashmoch Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I have a 2004 Honda Accord V6 4-door. My car currently has 22K miles and I already have to change the factory tires. I had to do an alignment after 10K miles and then at 15K miles. My car has been pulling to the right since the beginning and it continues to do so. The dealer tells me to do another alignment. I was smart enough and went to NHTSA's website at and found a bulletin on 2003-2005 Honda Accords that it pulls to the right. The bulletin says that the front frame of the car needs to be adjusted to correct the pulling problem. Honda is misleading its consumers and tells us to do alignments when alignment is not fixing the problem. I would like to expose Honda to the media. I am interested in talking to you. Please e-mail me at [email protected]
  • hermannhermann Member Posts: 38
    I doubt if my problem is as severe as yours. But I do notice that on cold mornings, say less than 40 degrees F, that I do hear more valve clatter than when temps are warmer or I park in the garage. I have the same car as yours and same year. The deeper or more growling noise is possibly your A/C compressor kicking in, if you have your defroster on, or in the defroster mix setting. When the compressor is on, the RPM's will be lower and the idle will not be as smooth.

  • hermannhermann Member Posts: 38
    That is pretty close to mine. Rarely drive that fast. But yesterday at 78 MPH it was about 2600 RPM.

  • hermannhermann Member Posts: 38

    Will a 2005 I4 EX go faster than a 2005 LX I4 with the same transmission. I doubt it, the 2 tires have virtually the same rolling diameter(815 & 816 revs per mile) so I can't see why it would make any difference..

  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    " and found a bulletin on 2003-2005 Honda Accords that it pulls to the right. The bulletin says that the"

    Very interesting !....can not find the bulletin on the web.
    Can you please attach the link or copy the article.
    I would love to take this to my dealer and have them contact Honda HQ.
  • hermannhermann Member Posts: 38

    I find that when merging or needing a burst of forward momentum, being decisive with the gas pedal makes a big difference. Don't slowly depress the pedal, you need to create a downshift and depressing the pedal quickly really helps. You don't have to floor it, about halfway will do it. You have a marvelous powertrain (best part of the car) don't be scared to use it. Honda's love to rev. Turn the radio down, and enjoy the marvelous engine sounds. I passed a car yesterday doing 45 in a blink by just pulling the lever back to third, and giving it about 3/4 throttle and letting it rev to 5500 or so. Then shift to regular drive. The only things you will lose is a little bit of gas.

  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    Tried to E mail your address correct ?
  • webby1webby1 Member Posts: 209
    "So you think there are many abnormal observations with this car. What I find interesting is your assertion that the real HP comes at 5200 RPM! Do I need to be that aggressive on the gas pedal when trying to merge on short-ramp fast freeways? I seldom exceed 3000 RPM, if at all! "

    ....give it a try, can not hurt anything !

    "Another interesting point you made is the possibility of eliminating some of my problems by using another brand of gas! Really? What brand of gas would you recommend?"

    ......I use Sunoco and Shell ( in Canada ) if can not find Sunoco 330i had nothing but Sunoco and is running like a turbine....I am putting Sunoco in the Accord but to few miles to have an unbiased opinion.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    When I wrote:

    "EX sedans original equipment tires were specified as 205/60VR16. You should not "downsize" to H speed-rated tires.

    LX sedans were equipped with 205/65HR15 tires. Taller profile, smaller diameter, and lower speed rating."

    I did not imply that the EX would go "faster" than the LX. It is a fact that a 60-series V-rated tire will make a vehicle handle much better than a 65-series H-rated tire. That's why the best handling, cars are specified by their manufacturers to use the lowest aspect ratio tires. For example, Corvettes, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, etc. use 30, 35 and 40 series tires.

    Paraphrasing the Tire Rack: "The 65 indicates that this tire size's sidewall height (from rim to tread) is 65% of its section width. The measurement is the tire's section height, and also referred to as the tire's series, profile or aspect ratio. The higher the number, the taller the sidewall; the lower the number, the lower the sidewall."
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Ride qality also deteriorates proportionately with a reduction in tire sidewall aspect ratio. A shift from 65 series to 60 series tires will result in noticeably harsher ride characteristics. A shift to 50 series tires will be a truly butt-pounding experience over expansion strips. Enjoy.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    This thread started with a response to crankky's post #65. Please read there.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    I was responding to your post, blane, so I started there. ;)
  • ja1ja1 Member Posts: 1
    My 1 month old 2006 EX is at the dealer today, and they have not found the problem. Maybe my expectations are too high for this 4 cyl car.

    When the headlights are on and I stop moving,after about 5 to 10 seconds, the headlights dim. It is as though something turns on and drains the electrical system. The AC and heat are off. I used to see this in older american cars, and it coincided with an AC compressor turning on.

    Do any of you experience this? We do not have this condition with a 2000 civic.

    Also, the dealer is adding a foam strip to keep the light in the glove box from seeping through the crack at the top of the door. The glove box light is always on when the headlights are on. I guess it's cheaper than adding a switch.

  • lamdalamda Member Posts: 1
    Hi. The radio light on my wife's 2003 Accord went out on us today out of the blue. We took the car to Norm Reeves Honda of Huntington Beach and were told that this was a known issue, according to the service manager there. This dealership told us the replacement part (the entire head unit) would cost around $600 but they were willing to offer to charge us labor ($90) only and the part would be covered by Honda (we first thought our car was out of warranty at 44k, more later). Since we were actually out of town (from the Bay Area), we thought of taking the car to a closer dealership to my parents' house in Arcadia. We drove the car to Norm Reeves Honda of Cerritos. This dealer told us that we would have to pay for both the head unit and labor. How funny that these two dealerships were telling us different stories even though they were owned by the same company. We then took it Sierra Honda in Monronvia where my brother knew one of the guys there. They offered to replace the head unit for free and just charged us the labor. We then since found out that my wife actually bought the 84 months/75k service contract when she first bought the car so everything should be free.

    The moral of the story: 1) Take your car to more than two or three dealers to get more answers and don't take no for an answer; 2) Buy extended service contract since it covers literally everything; Honda cars don't make them like they used to be.

    Hope this helps.
  • atlantabennyatlantabenny Member Posts: 735
    First my 03 Coupe's headunit blacked out at 45k/2.5 years. Dealer tried to charge for replacement and labor but I said it's a known problem, and that other folks have gotten goodwill replacements. Dealer relented and I paid $45 labor; no charge for headunit replacement.

    Over these Christmas holidays, wife's 03 Sedan's headunit also blacked out. Dealer yesterday made a big deal of it, I waited 1.5 hours while they "got clearance from Honda of America," and said "...good news, we'll pick up the tab on the replacement and you just pay $95 for installation."

    Got it down to $42.00, but without Advisor stressing that an "excellent" satisfaction survey was the least I could do in return.

    Honda of America issued a TSB last year, clearly saying that they'll foot the entire bill.

    Other Accord owners can take the cue from this post, and to car dealers/salespeople on the forum: honesty builds loyalty.
  • nash123nash123 Member Posts: 82

    I have the exact same thing on my second car (99 Civic EX) and it started at 40K miles. I took it to the dealer multiple times and they said it is normal. The last time I went they did a valve clearance adjustment just like yours but it did not help at all.

    I KNOW that it is not normal, and would appreciate if somebody sheds some light on this issue. I gave the car to my brother to get a 05 Accord LX and hope that I do not have the same problem with my new car in the future.

  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    why don't you contact corporate? the number is in the owner's manual. you've had 2 identical failures in 2 vehicles. ask them why your dealer isn't honoring the TSB.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Dealers don't have to perform the TSB. This is their option and they aren't under any obligation to the buyer, is my understanding. The TSB is for the dealer's FYI.
  • vu2000vu2000 Member Posts: 58

    In another month after the holiday, I will take my Accord to another Honda dealership to see what they have to say about this problem. I will post here if I can get this problem fixed. My ca is under warrantee and it has been making this noise as far as I know at approximately 8,500 miles.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    i understand, but if a TSB indicates that a vehicle is covered and that corporate is going to pay, to have the customer be forced to pay is... not necessarily consistent with the desires of corporate.

    also we know that TSBs are sometimes used to circumvent the need for announced recalls...
  • atlantabennyatlantabenny Member Posts: 735
    "The TSB is for the dealer's FYI."

    I imagine a TSB - where Honda of America fully absorbs the attendant costs - to be somewhat stronger than a simple advisory.

    But you're right, almost everyone would agree that from a legal standpoint, it's the dealer's option.

    That the dealer opted not to take the high road (they're getting full compensation from H of A anyway) means the win-lose game between dealer and customer continues. Unfortunately, imo.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I see your point of course. I was thinking in strict legal terms---the dealer could pretty much throw them in the wastebasket. Not good business though.
  • camphorcamphor Member Posts: 7
    I had the same problem and took it to the dealer. They replaced it for free under warranty. No questions asked. Didn't have to pay for anything.
  • steve58steve58 Member Posts: 24
    ger i hope honda gets some other paint shop to repaint your car , or you will just get another lousy paint job! honda has a reputation for soft, thin and super orange peely paint. i havent heard of it actually peeling off , but it doesnt surprise me. ps watch what you complain about around here if it isnt about the popular problems like trannys or brakes or radio displays, the watchdogs might get ya. i know this for a fact! stevieboy
  • colocolo Member Posts: 1
    I don't think it is normal. I came in here to see if someone else was having the same problem and my 2003 Honda Accord EX v6 does the exact same thing. Honda locally doesn't know what it is and Acura doesn't either. I noticed when I let off the gas and when the auto trans. downshifts, that is when the lights flick or dim a little. I have had 5 Honda's and non of them has ever done this. I actually turned everything off thinking that I was drawing to much power. I am scheduled to take my car in again in about a week. The problem is more annoying then a hazard.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    Can you fully and accurately document your claim that "honda has a reputation for soft, thin and super orange peely paint."? That would probably be news to the vast majority of Honda owners.
  • fanshawe23fanshawe23 Member Posts: 9
    The paint job in my 2006 Accord has a pretty high amount of orange peel all over the car. But I don't think it's something the average consumer will notice; I certainly didn't until I read a few people complaining about it on another forum and I took a better look at my car. A little annoying, but I don't think I'll care all that much if the car lasts as long as I expect it to.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    The operative words in your message are "a few people". While if the problem is yours or mine, we consider it to be serious. However, that doesn't necessarily make it widespread, as steve58 implied.

    The only paint problem on my 2004 Accord is where some careless person slightly ding'd it when opening their door in a parking lot. Otherwise, I'd consider it perfect.
  • fanshawe23fanshawe23 Member Posts: 9
    I never said or implied that steve58's assertion that "Honda is known for poor paint" was correct. I was just chiming in with my own experiences.

    I have no idea whether Honda has a paint problem or not, and it's not something I really even care about. My last car was a Civic I had for over 10 years, and I can count on one hand how many times I even washed that car in that time span.
  • dhoffdhoff Member Posts: 282
    Had my first actual mechanical problem with my 05 Accord. The auto up & down feature on the power driver's side window stopped working. The power window still works, it will go up & down but I have to hold the switch like an "old fashioned" power window. (Isn't it funny how you get used to features like this; it wasn't that long ago I bought a new car with crank windows).

    Anyone else have this problem? Mine is still under warranty so I'll get it fixed, just curious if it's the switch or what, and if it's a common problem.

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