Honda Accord Years To Avoid: Best/Worst Years Of A Great Car

by Conner Mckay

If you want a reliable, fun, and economical midsize family car, the Honda Accord is one of the best options out on the market today. Ever since its introduction, this sedan has been one of the best sellers in its segment. However, if you want the best experience, there are some Honda Accord years to avoid. And After going through this article, you will know everything about them!

During its 46-year production run, the Accord has built up a legacy of being one of the most dependable cars money can buy. Although most model years of the Accord have a great reliability record, there are some engines, transmissions, and model years that are known to be troublesome.

With several generations of the Accord already out on the market, it can be difficult for potential buyers to differentiate the good model years from the and ones. Fear not, as we have included everything you need to know in this article. Let’s start off by taking a look at the history of this popular Japanese family car.

Honda Accord

As of 2022, there have been ten generations of the Honda Accord. However, almost all these generations have one or more Honda Accord years to avoid. Here, we will tell you what to expect from each of these generations in detail.

1. First Generation

The origin of the Accord can be traced back all the way back to 1976. Initially, it was launched as a two-door hatchback powered by a 1.6-liter engine. This CVCC engine made 68 horsepower and pushed the little Honda to 60 mph in a respectable 13.8 seconds.

Although it was slow, the first-generation Accord was a fun car to drive. The steering was precise and the handling was sharp. On top of that, the car had great fuel economy too. In the beginning, the Accord was offered with two transmission options, a two-speed automatic and a five-speed manual.

Inside, this Honda had a comfortable interior which was praised by the passengers. Furthermore, it came with some impressive technological features for the time. Starting at just $3995, the Accord was one of the most affordable cars of its time too.

In 1978, Honda fitted the Accord with creature comforts such as power steering and air conditioning, which were rare options in imported cars back then. 1979 saw the introduction of the Accord sedan, a body style that has become synonymous with the model since. Further improvements were carried out in later model years, like the addition of power windows, leather seats, and a three-speed automatic transmission for the 1980 model year.

2. Second Generation

Honda introduced the second-generation Accord to the public in 1982. With this new model, the Accord grew in every dimension. The interior gained more space, while the powertrain got more powerful, efficient, and refined.

This was also the first Honda Accord to be built in the USA. The second-generation Accord was produced at the Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio. Accords are produced at this plant even to this day.

The 1984 model brought a slight redesign along with a new 86-horsepower engine. However, the 1985 Accord came with the most powerful engine offered by the model up to that point. This 1.8-liter fuel-injected engine was only offered in the Accord SE-i, and it produced an ample 101 horsepower.

3. Third Generation

The third-generation Accord went on sale for the 1986 model year. It was larger than its predecessor, and its styling was inspired by the Prelude, which was Hondas’ sports coupe at the time. The most distinctive styling queue was the pop-up headlights at the front.

With this generation, a new body style joined the Accord lineup in the form of a two-door notchback coupe. This version first made its appearance in 1988. The engines were made more powerful as well. The engine size was increased to 2.0 liters and came in either fuel-injected or carbureted form.

4. Fourth Generation

The Accord officially graduated to the midsize car segment with the fourth generation. It debuted in 1990, and the body was five inches longer than the previous generation. However, the beloved pop-up headlights, as well as the hatchback, were discontinued in this new generation Accord.

Under the hood was a new 2.2 liter, 16 valve engine that produced 125 horsepower. Not only that, the suspension received an upgrade as well. All these features added up to make the Accord even more fun to drive.

This generation of the Accord was a massive sales success for Honda. It became the best-selling car in America, beating the massively popular Ford Taurus of the era. The Accord wagon joined the lineup in 1991, followed by the powerful Accord SE. The fourth-generation Accord also received a mid-cycle facelift in 1992.

5. Fifth Generation

For the fifth generation in 1993, The Accord sedan, coupe, and wagon all were reworked to give them a rounder shape. Moreover, the body grew slightly wider as well. The power of the 2.2-liter engine was increased up to 145 horsepower. However, Honda also introduced a new 170-horsepower V6 for the gearheads out there.

6. Sixth Generation

The Accord wagon got the ax with the sixth generation Accord that debuted in 1998. However, the sedan grew in size, while the coupe got a new handling setup suited for sportier driving. Two new engines were on offer with this generation. The first was a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine good enough for 140 horsepower.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid

For buyers seeking even more power, there was the option of the new 3.0 liter V6. This was a complete revision of the old V6 and now produced an impressive 200 horsepower. On top of that, the price tag was lowered as well. The sixth-gen Accord got a design refresh in 2001, and it was replaced by the seventh generation in 2003.

7. Seventh Generation

With the seventh generation, America got a significantly different Accord from the rest of the world. However, the global version of the Accord was later imported to the USA as the Acura TSX.

With this new generation, the Accord got more powerful than ever. A160 horsepower inline-four or a 240 horsepower V6 was the engine option available. Not only that, the Accord coupe even had a manual transmission option.

A hybrid model joined the Accord lineup for the first time in 2005. This version paired the V6 engine with an electric motor assist system, which gave it a total power output of 255 horsepower. The Accord received some minor styling updates in the following year.

8. Eighth Generation

The Accord moved to the full-size segment with the introduction of its eighth generation. This version was larger, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than the previous generations. However, the Accord Hybrid was discontinued for this generation. The Accord Crosstour first made its appearance in 2010. This four-door hatchback was based on the Accord, but it had similar proportions to an SUV.

9. Ninth Generation

For the first time in history, the ninth-generation Honda Accord grew smaller than the previous one. The car had also undergone some technological changes, with electronic power steering and an all-strut suspension making their first appearance in an Accord.

The engines gained even more power, and the transmission options were revised. Accords with a four-cylinder engine could be had with either a six-speed manual or a CVT. On the other hand, the six-speed automatic was reserved only for cars with the 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The Accord Hybrid made its comeback in 2014, this time bringing a plug-in version along for the ride too. The new hybrid was more fuel efficient than the seventh generation’s one.

10. Tenth Generation

The latest generation Honda Accord entered the market in 2018. However,  it was only offered in sedan form as the coupe was discontinued. Several turbocharged engines made their way under the Accords hood, replacing the V6 in the process.

A CVT and a 10-speed automatic are the only two transmissions on offer. This generation of the Accord is the most fuel-efficient and best-driving one yet, and it remains to be seen what Honda will do with its flagship sedan going forward.

So, those are all the Honda Accord generations so far. Before telling you about the Honda Accord years to avoid, we thought of discussing the best Honda Accord year with you. Well, without further ado, let’s move on to that section, shall we?

Best Year For Honda Accord

Throughout the decades, the Honda Accord has had some great model years. But, most car enthusiasts agree that 2013 is the best year of the Accord so far. Although it lacks the bells and whistles of the latest models, the 2013 Honda Accord comes with some great features. It can be had for prices as low as $13,000 thanks to depreciation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Accord Coupe a high safety rating, establishing it as one of the safest vehicles on the road. Not only that, features like a lane departure warning system, backup camera, and forward collision warning enhance the safety of this model.

Moreover, the 2013 Accord received great praise for its reliability as well. This model lacks some of the issues that plagued the older years of the vehicle. Some 2013 Accords have been documented to run free of issues for over 300,000 miles.

Apart from the 2013 model, Honda Accords from 2017 to 2019 are also great choices if you are looking for a reliable family sedan.

Now, we have come to the most important part of our discussion. In the next section, we will tell you about all the Honda Accord years to avoid, as well as some general reliability concerns with the model.

Honda Accord Reliability

Despite the fact that the Accord is world famous for its reliability, there are some model years of this vehicle you should refrain from buying. The most problematic Honda Accord years to avoid are,

  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2005
  • 2008
  • 2014

In the next sections, we will talk in detail about what factors make these years the worst out of all.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid #1 – 1998 Honda Accord

The sixth generation of the Accord is known to be unreliable, and 1998 is considered by many to be the worst. The transmission was the main area of concern with this Accord.

Gears would slip between shifts and sometimes the transmission would fail entirely. Peeling of the clear coat from exterior body panels was another common issue with this model year.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid #2 – 2000 Honda Accord

Excessive fuel consumption issues plagued the 2000 Accord, which caused it to have a dreadful fuel economy. On top of that, transmission problems from the 1998 model still remained. Not only that, fuel system issues, brake problems, and malfunctioning electrical systems were also reported.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid #3 – 2005 Honda Accord

The transmission system of the Accord continued to be a headache to the owners in 2005 as well. Engine failure, excessive fuel consumption, and electrical problems were the other common issues with this model year.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid #4 – 2008 Honda Accord

In terms of reliability, 2008 is ranked by many as one of the worst Honda Accord years to date. This model falls victim to several issues like engine oil leaks, transmission problems, paint issues, and faults with the interior and exterior accessories.

However, the most severe issue with the 2008 Honda Accord lies with the braking mechanism. The brakes would wear out prematurely, and this issue was one of the major complaints from customers at the time. Honda even had to recall some vehicles to fix this issue.

However, the issues with this Accord didn’t end there. The climate control system of some models malfunctioned frequently, and paired with uncomfortable seats, made the interior a dreadful place to be.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid #5 – 2014 Honda Accord

By the time 2014 rolled around, most issues found in previous Accords had been remedied. Sadly, this model brought forward its own set of issues. At the top of the list were electrical system failures, caused by poor design.

This mainly impacted the starter motor of the Accord, leaving owners unable to start their vehicles. The suspension of the sedan had its own set of issues. On top of all that, the 2014 Accord is infamous for having the worst lumbar support out of all model years (made a bit better with a proper lumbar support cushion for car).

If you planning to buy an Accord from any of these model years, our advice for you is to avoid making that purchase at all costs. The vehicle might be fine now, but you will surely encounter at least one or more of these issues down the line.

Honda Accord Problems

Honda Accord Years To Avoid

As we mentioned earlier, there are some well-known problems with the Honda Accord. Let’s now take a look at some of the most prominent ones.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #1. Transmission Issues

Transmission problems are one of the most widespread issues with the Honda Accord. These issues plague several generations of the family sedan and have accounted for a chunk of complaints so far.

Most model years between 1998 to 2016 were affected by this issue to some degree. Common symptoms included slipping between gears, jerking during shifts, power loss, hard gear shifts, leaking of transmission fluid, and on some occasions, complete transmission failure.

These symptoms mainly started to appear around the 90,000 – 98,000 mile mark. Typically, transmission slipping happens first, followed by unusual noises and transmission fluid leaks. On most occasions, the only fix for this issue is replacing the entire transmission.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #2. Engine Issues

Accords made between 2001 and 2013 all suffered from some form of an engine issue. These included the likes of the high engine temperature, abrupt stalls, grinding or clicking noises, motor mount failure, and the engine dying while idling.

If the check engine light is illuminated on your Accords’ dashboard, that is the first indication of an engine problem. Some unlucky owners have encountered catastrophic engine failure, sudden engine fires, and stretched timing chains too.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid

If you are planning to buy an Accord as your next daily driver, be sure to get the engine inspected by a qualified mechanic before making the purchase.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #3. Uncomfortable Seating Position

Poor lumbar support paired with uncomfortable seat cushions made some owners feel back and neck pains. 2008 and 2009 were the Honda Accord model years most affected by this problem.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #4. Brake Issues

Premature brake wear was a common problem found in Accords made from 2001 all the way to 2009. However, 2008 and 2009 were the two years where this issue became the most severe.

Along with excessive wear, there were other issues with the Accords’ brakes as well. Warping of the brake rotors, squeaking brakes. knocking noises, vibrations while braking, and complete brake loss were among the most concerning.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #5. Faulty Door Locks

The Accord comes with power door locks, and some owners experienced malfunctions with this system. As a result, these poor souls were left unable to enter their vehicles. This was an intermittent issue that was hard to diagnose. Ultimately, it was discovered that the door actuators were the main culprit that caused the locks to malfunction.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #6. Electrical Problems

Starter motor failure and excessive battery drain were common issues with some Honda Accord model years. Furthermore, multiple electrical connection errors were also reported by some owners. If you own a Honda Accord made in 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, or 2018, look out for these problems.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #7. Excessive Oil Burn

An issue with the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system caused Accords made in 2008 and 2009 to consume oil excessively. This had the effect of increasing engine wear and reducing efficiency.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #8. Suspension Issues

Suspension problems started to become more noticeable in Accords from the early 2000s. Owners complained of a rough ride, clunking noises, and premature tire wear. Additionally, some owners noticed uneven tire wear, indicating problems with the alignment or the suspension components themselves. Most of the issues revolved around the strut assemblies and bushings.

When you’re driving, especially over bumpy roads, and you notice a decrease in ride comfort or hear unusual sounds, it might be a sign of a suspension problem. It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to ensure safety and optimal vehicle performance.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #9. Climate Control Malfunctions

A significant number of Accords, particularly from 2003 to 2007, had complaints regarding the climate control system. Issues ranged from the air conditioning not blowing cold air, to the heater malfunctioning during colder months. Additionally, blower motors and air conditioner compressors were among the top culprits for these malfunctions.

When your Accord’s cabin doesn’t stay cool in the summer or warm in the winter, it’s not just a comfort issue but also a safety concern, especially if the defrost function isn’t working properly.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #10. Radio and Infotainment Glitches

Some Accords, especially the 2013 and 2014 models, faced issues related to the infotainment system. Owners reported unresponsive touchscreens, issues with Bluetooth connectivity, and even the radio spontaneously turning off. In the age of tech reliance, these problems can be particularly frustrating for drivers.

Always ensure that the software for your infotainment system is up-to-date. It can solve many of these glitches. However, hardware problems might require a visit to the dealer.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #11. Power Steering Failures

The Accord’s power steering system wasn’t immune to issues either. Models from 2004 through 2012 had reported problems. Symptoms included stiff steering, unusual noises when turning, and in some extreme cases, a complete loss of power steering. Often, the power steering pump or the power steering rack were found to be the root causes.

Driving without proper steering assistance can be strenuous and dangerous, especially at lower speeds. If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, it’s essential to get them checked immediately.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid, Problems #12. Paint and Clear Coat Issues

Starting from the late 1990s and continuing into the 2000s, some Accords developed paint and clear coat issues. This was evident when the paint started to fade, peel, or bubble, particularly on the roof, hood, and trunk. Unfortunately, paint problems not only affect the car’s aesthetics but can also lead to more severe issues like rusting if not addressed.

If you notice the paint on your Accord deteriorating, consider getting it professionally assessed. A proper repaint can restore your car’s appearance and protect it from potential rust problems.

In conclusion, while the Honda Accord remains a popular and generally reliable choice among sedans, potential buyers should be aware of these issues. Always conduct thorough research, get a pre-purchase inspection, and ensure that any Accord you’re considering hasn’t been affected by these prevalent problems.

Facts about Honda Accord: Model Years to Avoid and Common Problems

  • The Honda Accord has been in production since 1976 and has ten generations of models.
  • The sixth generation and parts of the seventh, eighth, and ninth generations had model years to avoid due to problems such as transmission slipping, engine stalling, and poor build quality.
  • Accord model years to avoid include 1998-2005, 2008-2010, 2013, and 2014.
  • The first five generations of the Accord were built with the highest quality, making them reliable cars.
  • The 2006 and 2007 models are reliable on a lower budget despite complaints about transmission, brakes, and paint.
  • The 2011 and 2012 models corrected earlier issues but had uncomfortable seats.
  • From 2015 onwards, there haven’t been any Accord model years to avoid.
  • Common problems reported with the Honda Accord include uncomfortable seating, electrical issues, excessive oil consumption, and faulty power door locks.
  • The Honda Accord has an excellent reputation for reliability, but some of its components may fail or break down.
  • Testing a used Honda Accord before buying it and looking for its service history can help you avoid potential problems.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid: In Conclusion…

The Honda Accord is one of the most popular family sedans in the world today. It is known for its reliable powertrain, fuel efficiency, and most importantly, its affordable price. However, there are some model years of the Accord with known reliability issues.

1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2014 are our picks for the Honda Accord years to avoid. Accords made in these years are plagued by issues with their transmission system, engine, the electrical system as well and some interior components.

In contrast, 2013 is recommended by us and many other gearheads to be the best year of the Accord ever. Anyway, as long as you avoid buying a vehicle from the aforementioned worst years, an Accord is one of the best family cars you can buy, and it will serve you reliably for years to come.

Honda Accord Years To Avoid: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some popular FAQs:

Are Hondas Reliable

Honda is the eighth largest car manufacturer in the world, and they make some of the most reliable ones too. The company has had a great track record of reliability for many years. In fact, the failure rate of Honda is just 1 in 344, which accounts for 0.29%. The Accord, CR-V, and Jazz are some of the most reliable Honda models out today.

How Long Do Honda Accords Last

The Honda Accord is regarded as one of the longest-lasting cars ever made. With proper maintenance, these Japanese family cars can last between 200,000 – 300,000 miles. In other words, you can use an Accord for 15 to 20 years without thinking about a replacement. The durable construction of these vehicles also plays a part in making them last this long.

How Many Miles Does A Honda Accord Last

Honda Accords have been recorded to last over 300,000 miles. However, proper maintenance is a must if you want your Accord to last that far. Carrying out regular oil changes, sticking to the scheduled service routine, and treating your vehicle with mechanical sympathy go a long way in making it last longer.

Are Hondas Good Cars

Hondas are some of the most fun and reliable cars out on the market today. The company goes through a lot of research and development before relating a new model. As a result, these vehicles are well built, efficient, and most importantly very reliable. These factors have contributed to making Honda a go-to brand for buyers looking to get a reliable and long-lasting vehicle.

Where Is Honda Accord Made

The Accord is one of the best-selling vehicles in the Honda lineup. Because of that, the sedan is manufactured in several plants scattered around the world. Accords bound for the American market are produced at the Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio. Honda factories in Wuhan and Guangzhou produce Accords for China. Not only that, Honda Accords are produced at Honda plants in Malaysia and Thailand too.

Did Honda Fix The Oil Dilution Problem For 2021

2021 was a troublesome year for Honda as various models were found to have oil dilution issues. Although the company issued a software update to combat the issue, it still remains in some models like the 2021 CR-V and Civic.

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