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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

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.

  • The driver's door latch assembly can break internally, which causes the door to stay closed. The interior and exterior door handles do not work to open the door. Our technicians note that the door panel must be removed while the door is closed (likely damage will occur) and the latch assembly must be drilled in a specific spot for the door to open.

    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.

    Plugged moon roof drains can cause a water leak inside the car. The water will usually leak onto the driver's or passenger's head when the car turns a corner.

    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.

    The engine may develop and oil leak due to a porous engine block casting. The repair procedure is dependent on where the leak is located. Honda has released a service bulletin covering model years 1998-2003. Honda may offer assistance with repairs, determined on a case by case basis.

    Occasionally, the anti-lock brake (ABS) warning light may illuminate. This could be due to a faulty rear wheel speed sensor. The sensor design has been updated and revised parts are available to correct this problem.

     

    Leaking gaskets around the tail lights can allow water entry into the tail light assembly. New gaskets should fix this concern.

    Issues with the air fuel sensor (oxygen sensor) can set a Check Engine Light.  A failed sensor will need to be replaced for this repair.

     

    The 1997-2017 Honda Accord May have problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble code P1457 is stored
  • Engine takes longer than usual to start
  • Fuel mileage decreases noticeably
  • The valve is located on the charcoal canister, and is meant to open and close upon command. It fails due to corrosion breaking one of two internal seals, which allows air to escape the system, signaling the OBD trouble code P1457.

    Correcting the problem can be done by replacing the vent valve, or, in some cases, cleaning and resealing the vent valve has been successful. You can get an estimate for this repair here.

    A worn, missing, or loose gas cap can cause the same issues.

    Excessive oil consumption can cause a low oil level condition, which can result in illumination of the Check Engine Light.

    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.

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