Honda Accord Transmission Problems & Overview

In production since 1976, the Honda Accord has been one of the best selling cars in the US since 1979 and was the best selling Japanese car for 15 years between 1982 and 1997. It was the first Japanese car to be manufactured in the United States when production started in Marysville, Ohio in 1982. It has been consistently rated as one of the most reliable vehicles on the market by many road tests over the years. However, a few years have suffered from transmission issues – some of which required recalls. The name “Accord” has been used on a number of different vehicles including crossovers, wagons, coupes and hatchbacks, but the mid-size, four-door car sold in the US is most well known version of the vehicle.

Is there something wrong with your Accord? Let’s look at some of the most common Honda Accord transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

Common Issues/Codes Summary

Coming soon.

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Recalls & Known Problems

2005-2010 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Control Module (TCM, PCM) (NHTSA Recall: 11V395000)

In 2011, Honda recalled 2005-2010 model year Honda Accords, equipped with the automatic transmission. Manufactured between July 1, 2004 and September 3, 2010, these cars had a faulty secondary shaft bearing that could fracture and cause all sorts of damage.

According to the recall, “certain driving styles” (see: driving it like a teenager) could cause the outer brace (the round metal band that contains the ball bearings) to fracture. If this happens:

a) The engine could stall/the Check Engine Light could illuminate, if a piece of the broken bearing gets lodged between the idle gear and a sensor housing, or:
b) Part of the bearing could become lodged in the park prawl (the metal piece that engages Park), causing the car to roll away after it’s shifted into Park.

If the latter happens, your Accord could endanger everything from pedestrians to garden gnomes.

Honda dealers were instructed in 2011 to reprogram the transmission control module to keep this from happening. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy, and refer to Honda recall #: R89

1998 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission Bearing Failure (NHTSA Recall: 98V018000)

Back in 1998, Honda had to recall 33,966 units of the Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe, to fix a problem that prevented the automatic transmission from fully engaging Park.

It seems that a die used to cast the transmission cover, caused an irregularity on the right-side of the cover, which prevented the park prawl (the metal piece that engages Park) actuation lever from properly engaging Park. If this happens, America’s favorite family car would roll after being put in Park – endangering many people, places, and things.

At the time, Honda instructed its dealers to install a collar on the park prawl, which would allow the actuation lever to move freely. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy.

2003-2004 Honda Accord – Automatic Transmission (NHTSA Recall #: 04V176000)

A 1 million+ vehicle recall was issued in 2004, because the automatic transmission that was installed in the 2003-2004 Honda Accord seemed to be prone to early failure. Severe gear damage/breakage could cause the transmission to unexpectedly seize, which could obviously lead to an accident.

Due to insufficient transmission fluid flow, excessive heat can buildup between the countershaft and the secondary shaft second gears (ATF absorbs heat and carries it away from moving parts), which can result in decreased material strength, chipped gear teeth, and in extreme cases, complete gear failure (i.e. it breaks). Unusual noises will typically signal a problem. However, a broken gear can cause the transmission to completely lockup, which would bring the car to a sudden halt.

When the recall was announced, Honda instructed its dealers to do one of two things: 1) Vehicles with less than 15,000 miles received a special ATF oil jet kit, which was installed on a fluid return line. This kit was designed to prevent the problem by injecting cooled transmission fluid directly onto the second gears. 2) If the vehicle had more than 15k miles, the dealer would inspect the gears and either install the jet kit, or install an entire remanufactured transmission. If you’re unsure if the fix was performed on your car, you can call Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009. Be sure to have your VIN number handy, and refer to Honda recall #: P38

What Transmission Does a Honda Accord Have?

YearModelEngineTrans TypeDrive
1999-1998Accord2.3LBAXA/ MAXAFWD
2002-2000Accord2.3LBAXA/ MAXAFWD

How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the Fluid Level
  3. Test Transmission Pressure
  4. Drop the Transmission Pan
  5. Repair, Replace or Rebuild

What to Read Next

Related Forum Discussions


  1. – Recall 11V395000
  2. – Recall 98V018000
  3. – Recall 04V176000

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14 thoughts on “Honda Accord Transmission Problems & Overview

  1. I have a 2000 Accord EX-L that has started to slip when shifting from 1st to 2nd and a little bit from 2nd to 3rd. Once in a while, especially when it’s cold, the transmission won’t shift at all and the check engine light will come on.

    To get the car to shift again, I have to put it in park, shut it off and then start it up again. I looked up the problem and found that there had been a recall notice from Honda. I called the previous owner and he said he never received the notice.

    In this case, is there any way to get financial assistance for the cost of repairs? Honda essentially told me that they couldn’t do anything for me since it’s outside warranty.

  2. Can you tell me this? Did you let the dealership know that there’s an open recall on the car that has never been applied? If so, they are bound by legislation to fix it on their nickel, not yours.

    Any time there is an open recall a dealer has “to inspect and repair” the problem, if it exists in your car, free of charge. There are no way around and and there’s no way “it’s outside warranty.” The dealer has to fix it.

    If they continue to hold you off, contact Honda consumer affairs and asked them to intervene on your behalf. Remind them of the fact that the manufacturer has to honor an open recall on a vehicle no matter when it comes in for repair. As I noted, this isn’t just my opinion, it’s federal law.

  3. 2002 Honda Accord 4 cylinder Automatic transmission slips / jerks while accelerating to pass another car. Just started 2/2/16. The car has 221,000 miles. Transmission solenoids? Or other issues?

  4. I have 02 honda accord coupe 4 cyl. problem the transmission jerks of only when it goes to first gear all the time. whenever i start from park to drive and come to a full stop the car jerks off also reverse to drive it jerks off. everytime i come to stop i always keep distance from vehicle in front of me because of the jerking effect of the car, no check engine light other than that car drives fine . do i need to replace or fix the transmission . any advice will help . thank you

  5. Hey,
    I have a 2000 Honda Accord Ex 4Cyl. the car seems to run good when on Drive. the problem comes in when i put the car in reverse and start to back up slowly, it’ll roll back for a second or two, but it’ll stop rolling back and sits there. If i place the car on (N) and place it back on Reverse and feed it gas quick the car backs up fine like as if it doesn’t have any problem. What could be causing this problem? can any one tell me?

  6. I gave my car (Honda Accord) for repair yesterday as there was something wrong with the starter and the car would not start. They fixed that for me today. But I have a new problem now. I notice that as soon as I shift the gears from PARK to DRIVE4 (D4), the car would not move on it’s own and I would have to hit the gas pedal a great deal before it starts moving. This was not the case before.
    Also, if this is relevant at all, the light that indicates D4 keeps blinking whether the car is on drive, park or reverse mode. This again was not the case until yesterday.
    Also, the car stereo which was working until yesterday, is not working now.
    The car service guys say it’s nothing that they have done and could not troubleshoot it. But the coincidence with all these happenings cause me to think otherwise. Unfortunately, my knowledge with cars is extremely poor and I humbly seek help from all you knowledgeable people out there. Any input would be highly appreciated. Hoping for the best.

    • Hi Jason,

      Wish I was replying to this with answers but unfortunately I am in the same boat as you. My D4 light is blinking and I have to manually work my automatic car through the gears to drive ,as it won’t drive if I go right into D4 from park (without putting my pedal to the floor). Were you able to resolve this problem with your car? If so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you,


  7. Hello Honda enthusiasts Nearly traded my 2004 Accord with 27000 k Bad shifting through first and second. Spotty cruise. Then hard into park, locks in park,and won’t let go the key or start. Screw driver to the park release got me

  8. I have a 1991 Honda Accord Ex that’s a automatic. It does not like to shift so I have to manually shift from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th gear. Any opinions?

  9. my 2006 3 litre v6 Honda can run for approx thirty minutes before the transmission begins to fail and slowly looses momentum . after an hour or so it can continue and repeat all over again. I have a question. Is there an oil pick up in the transmission made of plastic that could melt under heat and prevent fluid being transferred around the box causing poor performance? PS I ask this because I recently learnet of a problem conserning the new mazda bt50 and Ford ranger. I am not mechanically minded so I could use some help. Thank you. Mark Gatehouse

  10. i have a 2000 honda accord ex 2.3 4 cyl vtech auto
    i bought guy said needs a new transmission and its been sitting a lil over a year put a new transmission in it and it starts but when i give it gas it spits and sputters and wants to die i bought a new fuel pump and screen an a new throttle position sensor no vacuum leaks what else could it be

  11. I have a 1998 Honda Accord v-6 automatic it shifts fine until it gets up to temperature the it acts like it is down shifting to 1st gear while at the speed limit. thanks for any advice you can give.

  12. Don’t buy honda.. this is a known issue they keep putting the flaws to generate revenue.

    I have had a Honda DX civic, Honda coup, accord 97 4 cylinder , 2000 accord.
    I changed the engine and transmission twice..
    Spent over 9 grand for nothing. Going to sue honda. Anyone want to join me…email me..
    I am in Canada..

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