Honda Accord Problems

Check Engine Light and D4 Light Flashing on Honda Accord

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Honda Accord models may develop shifting issues with the automatic transmission accompanied by warning lights.  

Rough shifting may occur, and the “D4” light and check engine may begin to blink. The check engine light will also illuminate, and OBD trouble codes P0700, P0730, P0740, P0780, P1768 and/or P1768 will be stored in the computer.

If the transmission shifts roughly, the failure is very likely mechanical failure of the transmission. If the transmission performs normally, a faulty sensor, or dirty transmission fluid may be the case.

In most cases, it is necessary to use professional diagnostic equipment to provide a diagnosis, and complete the repair.

The longevity of the transmission is dependent on strict adherence to the manufacturer's recommendation for ATF replacement intervals and procedure.

(646 people reported this problem)

Honda Accord Vehicles With This Problem

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 133,056 (42,000–325,000)
Drive Trains affected: 4WD, Automatic Transmission, Manual Transmission
25 model years affected: 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, more1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
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Viewing 1-20 of 359 comments

Four speed automatic transmission completely failed prematurely for my 1997 Honda Accord LX, 4-door, with only 69,550 miles despite required Honda maintenance, to include automatic transmission fluid changes by the Honda dealer.
The "Check Engine" light illuminated, while the "D4" automatic transmission indicator on the dashboard flashed off and on at the same time. The Honda Accord would not drive in fourth gear and acted as it was "slipping", finally failing to engage in any gear.
Vehicle was towed to Ed Voyles Honda dealership, Cobb Parkway, Marietta, Georgia on September 13, 2011 for diagnosis.
Honda technician(s) advised that the "ECM Code" disclosed that the transmission had completely failed and required replacement.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the Honda Accord with automatic transmissions has an EXTENSIVE history of premature automatic transmission failures at early mileage requiring a total rebuilt transmission and/or new Honda Accord automatic transmission.
Further investigation through interviews with certified transmission mechanics revealed that this "known" premature automatic transmission failure is due to an engineering design flaw. This design flaw consists of the Honda Accord automatic transmission not having outside access to the metal screen internal transmission filter which becomes clogged with gunk and metal shavings, thus starving the transmission, which causes overheating, and further deterioration and premature automatic transmission failure.
Both Honda and specialized transmission dealerships recommend an auxiliary transmission cooler be added in "series" to the existing radiator/transmission cooler to enhance further cooling of the transmission fluid and help extend the life of the automatic transmission by maintaining a lower transmission fluid temperature.
NOTE: This is the second premature automatic transmission failure this writer has experienced with the past year. First was this 1997 Honda Accord, and the second was a 1998 Honda Accord.



I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX, 4- Door, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission. At approximately 91,000 miles, I noticed that the automatic transmission started to "slip" shifting from first gear into second gear, especially right after the vehicle was just started. This issue would get worse under medium to heavy acceleration.

Having had another 1997 Honda Accord LX, 2 door, automatic transmission, that failed at 69,550 miles, I suspected that the transmission was failing on this 1998 Honda Accord LX. The vehicle was taken to Cottman Transmission for evaluation, and the technician test drove the vehicle immediately after starting up the vehicle in the morning. The technician confirmed the severe "slippage" from first into second gear and ran diagnostic tests on all the electric components, including automatic transmission solenoids. Upon completion and additional examination of the problem, the technician stated that the automatic transmission was failing, and required a total rebuild.

Once the Honda Accord automatic transmission was removed from the Honda Accord and taken apart, it was noted that the internal metal filter was plugged with metal savings, the clutch bands were burned, and an internal electric switch was defective.

Cottman Transmission has a reputable reputation for specializing on rebuilding transmissions, and is very familiar with premature automatic transmission failures on Honda Accords involving numerous years of manufacture. The transmission failures generally occur between 80,000 to 130,000 miles. Yes, Honda Corporation is aware of this major issue, but fails to correct the cause.

The technician explained that there is no way to gain access to the metal automatic transmission filter because there is no transmission pan to unbolt and allow access. Therefore, the metal filter gets plugged up with metal savings and other gunk, plugging the filter, thus starving the transmission of vital transmission fluid, while over-heating the transmission fluid, which further accelerates transmission failure, as heat is an enemy of the automatic transmission.

Cottman Transmission recommends to have the automatic transmission fluid properly flushed between 25,000 to 30,000 miles, while installing an add-on transmission cooler to assist in reducing excessive heat. Hyden makes reputable add-on automatic transmission coolers that will fit Honda Accords and are reasonably priced. Approximately $75.00. Well worth preventive and costly repairs.

Lastly, and most importantly, having the transmission properly flushed is imperative. Most service stations use a detergent mixture during a transmission flush which can actually exacerbate premature transmission failure for the Honda Accords. This causes metal shavings and gunk to further cling to the internal metal transmission filter. Instead, specialized dealers, such as Cottman Transmission, utilize a high pressure flush with their own filters to observe the clarity and accumulation of gunk and metal savings before refilling the automatic transmission with fresh fluid. They do not use a degergent during their flush for the aforementioned reasons.

Sadly, after owning two (2) Honda Accords, 1997 and 1998, I will NOT purchase another Hcnda Accord that are prone to costly transmission repairs. Furthermore, Honda Corporation in California are aware of this major defect, but stll manufacture the Honda Accord with an automatic transmission in which one cannot access the internal automatic transmission to change and/or clean out.

Expect no help and/or compensation from Honda Corporation as pursing that route has been futile. It would seem that Honda Corporation had been over confident in the sale of Hondas in the United States, that the "quality" of their product now suffers.


1. Call American Honda Motor Company, Inc.. 1919 Torrence Blvd., MS 500-2C-6D, Torrence, California 90501 at 1-(800) 999-1009 to lodge a complaint. Even though it is doubtful American Honda Motor Company will offer any relief, it creates a written record of all the complaints regarding premature Honda Accord transmission failures;

2. Submit an on-line complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) having jurisdiction in this matter. The proper website is:;

3. Initiate and submit a "Certified mail - Return Receipt" letter to American Honda Motor Company, Inc., at the above address explaining the problem, including any invoices, relief requested, and that should American Honda Motor Company, Inc., be non-receptive to any relief, inform them that you will no longer purchase Hondas, and will recommend that any of your friends do so also because of the poor quality and American Honda Motor Company failing to handle this widespread known issue in an acceptable mannner;

4. Report this to the U.S. Government National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) via on-line website, declaring this a major safety hazard;

5. Initiate a civil suit and/or hope some legal firm picks up on this and files a class action lawsuit.

These are just some suggestions. The more customers that complain, the higher probability some type of relief will materialize.
my transmission when accelerating is skipping. its like it goes to 1 gear skips the next and goes to the 3rd gear. its weird. and when i stop and go it sticks then clicks in and works. any ideas what this is.
Transmission flares between 1st and 2nd. occasionally between 2nd and 3rd as well.
Honda Accord 4 door, SE, automatic, showed signs of transmission trouble when the RPMs increased, but the spped of the vehicle remained at idle when taking off from a stop. Took vehicle to a mechanic 3 miles away. Mechanic stated that Honda manufactured bad transmissions. If I pay for cost, it will take $2200 to repair. Vehicle was purchased new and we are still the owner and have had kept this vehicle in excellent condition. Honda of America (1-800-999-1009) according to a lot of reports on the internet have been aware of this issue, and have helped some owners pay for the costs of replacing or repairing the transmission. However, there is a liability and responsibility issue here and we, as well as every Honda owner should have been made aware that there vehicles may have transmission defects which could lead to technical and safety problems. Honda should have sent notices to Honda owners alerting them to take their vehicles to nearby dealerships to have them inspected. It is apparent that Honda was and is aware of this issue and by not issuing a Recall or an Alert, then they are avoiding liability and responsibility to correct their deficiency and are handling these issues on a cases by case basis, hoping that they can steer clear of a national recall. I recommend you contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009 and tell them to cover the cost of repair for the transmission to include parts, labor, and rental vehicle or that you are going to file a lawsuit to recover damages that are the clear result of Honda's negligence and attempts to conceal a matter for which they have knowedge of and for which that have already admitted to by assisting customers on a cases by case basis... (which by the way, Honda conducts a stall and delay tactic in an effort to "wear-down" the owner of the vehicle in order to get the owner to accept a payment of between $750 - $2000)... clearly this does not cover the entire cost of having the vehicle fixed or the cost of a rental vehicle in order to allow you to go to work or school.
The transmission in my 2000 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 slips when going from first to second gear and slightly from second to third, especially when cold. Sometimes it won't shift at all and the 'check engine' light comes on and the D4 light starts blinking. I have to stop, put it in park, shut off the car and then start it again to continue driving. I contacted the original owner and was
told he never recieved a recall notice from Honda even though there has been one. Now I wonder if there is anything I can do to get financial help with repair costs. I called honda and was basically told 'to bad for you'. They said because it is outside of warranty that they "could not do anything for me" Yes, they can, they just won't. Frustrating.
Had this problem since about 80K. Hard shift from 1st to 2nd. When cold temperatures outside transmission slips going into 3rd as well. Worse when cold.
My problem started at about 60000, but because I am a woman and didn't recognize that there was a problem when I finally contacted honda my car was at 140000 and of course theu refuse to honor the law suit so the car has been parked in my drive way for two years. 26,000 dollars down tnhe drain. the car is a ex v6. I will never buy another honda. The car grinds really loud when you are in park and it won't back up any more.
I have 98 4 door accord, garage kept, with 54,000 miles now, at 51,000 or so miles it started slipping from 1 st to 2 nd gear, it has been getting worse and worse... Afraid to drive it now, only use it to go to work 3 miles up the road from my house.. Haven't had it fixed, Honda wants $ 3,500 dollars to fix it... That is ridiculous, they should have to fix it, it is their sorry transmission defect....
my car is slipping and appearing to go into neutral while in drive until it "grabs".. I have had the ATF changed but this did not correct the problem. I am hoping to get some cooperation from the Honda dealer in my town. in 2001 I bought the Honda Care extended warranty for 1300.00 dollars... Honda extended the factory transmission warranty from 3 years to 7, so i hope that my extended warranty will be honored... i love Honda, have owned them almost exclusively. If they do not fix this for free, I will never speak well of them, or buy another Honda ever again.
I purchased a 2002 Honda Accord Sedan off the showroom floor in 2002; I've had vehicle for 12 years putting an adverage of 7000 miles on the vehicle per year the car has 84200 mile on it now its 2014. I have all of the paperwork on the car for the most part maintaince, oil change every 3000 miles etc.
The transmission just died. I think its time for a class action suit, while investigating my problem I have found there to be hundreds of people that has had this problem. In 2004 Honda had a recall but not on this particular year same model though.
My Honda Accord is now in the shop to have the 3rd transmission replacement. These rebuilt transmissions they install are a piece of crap. It's absolutely ridiculous to be on the 4th transmission since manufacture of the car with only 98000 miles on the car. I am a 77 year old man and I drive very carefully. These failures are a Honda quality problem. I will never purchase another Honda.
Automatic transmission started slipping. When a traffic light would turn green, sometimes the
car would not go right away, or it would go and then slip while going into second gear,
sometimes banging into the next gear. My mechanic found me a used transmission, put it
in, and 30000 miles later it is still working like it should. The Honda dealer wanted about
3000 to fix it. (They really wanted me to buy a new car.) The used transmission cost me about
$1400 installed and out the door, including tax.
tried to drive out my driveway and noticed lack of power. Also D4 light was flickering as well as check engine and TCS lights on. D3 same lack of power but D2 and 1 were in drivable condition. called my dealership and they claimed a new tranny was needed at a cost of nearly $4000. inquired about past tranny problems with 02's and they said they were problematic and at one time honda was offering goodwill replacements or big discounts, but that was then. now there is no such thing and last 6-7 submissions for tranny problems at dealership were denied and these were vehicles completely serviced there. only recourse was to look elsewhere (on internet) and call around to find cheapest price. there are wholesale dealers where you buy remanufactured tranny with wrty for cheap and ask your garage or specialist to install (he will up his labor charge to reflect loss) but this is still a savings of $2500-3000 in some cases. it pays to shop!
Big thanks to the guy at Post #46! Internet research indicates that lots of Honda owners have very similar problems (maybe I should be grateful for 137K miles instead of failing earlier). I had intermittent hard downshifting for about 20,000 miles (I should have had the trans overhauled during that time). Instead, I had a complete trans failure at about 137K (including loud noises from metal breaking and crunching that could be heard a block away) with total loss of power at the wheels. I want to take it to Chino Hills Transmission (they do great work), but they're over 100 miles away!
Transmission failure with no indicator light warning. Honda Accord stopped like it hit a wall and had to be towed to Midas. The mechanic said the internal transmission filter exploded sending gunk everywhere causing a completely ruined transmission. The Honda was in our family from the time it was bought new. Me and my husband took great care of it. I would have been a New Honda buyer for the rest of my life. Not anymore. I will always warn others of Honda's engineers stupid mistake of designing an internal filter that can't be changed.
Yep me too, tranny failed. Hard shifting from 1st to 2nd and wouldn't go into 3rd.
Had Honda put in a rebuilt, they only covered 20%.