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2003 Honda Accord Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Honda Accord based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

A faulty Electric Load Detector (ELD) can cause the head lights to dim and/or illuminate the Check Engine Light. A failed ELD will require replacement.

The computer can misinterpret a low battery voltage and can cause a false Check Engine (MIL) light to come on. Updating the PCM can correct this issue.

Some models have shift quality problems when shifting into third gear. A new "third gear set" from Honda will address this issue.

The 1990-2016 Honda Accord engine oil pressure sensor may leak from normal operation.

More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.

If the engine is knocking or pinging when accelerating, the PCM may need updated software.

The PCM can misinterpret misfire data and set a false Check Engine (MIL) light requiring a PCM update to repair.

The Honda Accord may have issues with the idle air control system, causing:

The idle air bypass system is made up of vacuum lines, an idle air control valve (IACV), the throttle body, and intake manifold, and allows enough air into the engine to idle when the throttle body is closed. The OBD trouble code P0505 refers you to this system to inspect for failures.

The most likely cause is a dirty or failed IACV, but vacuum lines, intake manifold gasket, throttle body gasket, and IACV gasket should be inspected.

In all cases involving the IACV, the throttle body ports should be cleaned prior to installing the IACV onto the throttle body.

 

The 2013-2012 Honda Accord has brake caliper issues, which are known for causing vibration and grinding noises at all times.

The brake rotor is a disk that sits between two brake pads. The brake pads are squeezed against the disk by what is called a brake caliper. When that caliper gets stuck, the brake pads are permanently pressed against the rotor causing:

  • Vibration in brake pedal
  • Vibration on steering wheel
  • Illumination of the ABS or brake warning light
  • Grinding noise from one corner of the vehicle
  • Vehicle pulls to one side of the road
  • Braking requires more pressure on the brake pedal
  • The repair for a seized brake caliper, the brake pads, brake rotor, and brake caliper must be replaced or vibration will remain after the new caliper is installed. Changing the brake fluid and flushing the brake system according to manufacturer specified intervals can help improve longevity of the brake caliper.

    The exhaust recirculation valve (EGR) on the 1990-2007 Honda Accord V6 may fail, causing:

  • Illumination of thecheck engine light
  • OBD trouble codes P0401 and P1491
  • Rough idle
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Engine vibrations
  • Hesitation or stalling
  • Long cranking before engine starts
  • Failure of state or federal smog tests
  • The EGR valve has open and closed positions, and opens or closes on command from the computer.

    Exhaust gases constantly pass through the valve when it is open, leaving carbon deposits on the valve. These carbon deposits may lead the the valve sticking in the open or closed position.

    To correct this issue, sometimes it is sufficient to clean the valve, but replacement is recommended in all cases.

    For further information on your vehicle's issue, try out our diagnostics tool here.

    The Honda Accord is known for premature alternator bearing failure. The alternator shaft bearing alerts of mechanical failure by making a howling or grinding noise, but other symptoms may appear, including:

  • Battery warning light illumination
  • Engine will not start
  • Engine stalling or hesitation
  • Power steering and A/C failure

    Continued use after the alternator makes these noises generally result in loss of the serpentine belt, power steering, air conditioning and battery power.

    The correction is to replace the alternator immediately.

  • If the brake pedal feels hard the first time it is pressed in the morning, it could be due to a problem with the vacuum supply hose for the brake booster. A revised brake booster hose is available to address this concern.

    The ABS modulator (hydraulic unit) can leak air into the brake system and cause a low brake pedal. A new ABS modulator will be needed if it is diagnosed to be the source of the leak.