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post #1 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Accord Automatic Transmission failures??

I recently bought my dad's 4 cylinder 03 Accord which has 113,000 on it. It looks great and runs perfectly. Never needed any major repairs aside from tires/brakes and scheduled maintenence.

Since I just bought an 03 Accord I was curious and have been googling it for reviews and such. Our family has always owned Honda's as they have been very reliable but I came across some alarming reviews for the 2003 Accord Transmission...

I've read AT LEAST 400 reviews/complaints about the 2003 Accord's Transmission failures. Some of them have had to replace their transmission 2-3 times.

Now 99% of these reviews were for V6 transmission failures. I literally only remember 2 of those reviews/complaints being about 4 cylinder failures. Do I have anything to worry about with my 4 cylinder transmission or is it just the V6?

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rg1010g View Post
I recently bought my dad's 4 cylinder 03 Accord which has 113,000 on it. It looks great and runs perfectly. Never needed any major repairs aside from tires/brakes and scheduled maintenence.

Since I just bought an 03 Accord I was curious and have been googling it for reviews and such. Our family has always owned Honda's as they have been very reliable but I came across some alarming reviews for the 2003 Accord Transmission...

I've read AT LEAST 400 reviews/complaints about the 2003 Accord's Transmission failures. Some of them have had to replace their transmission 2-3 times.

Now 99% of these reviews were for V6 transmission failures. I literally only remember 2 of those reviews/complaints being about 4 cylinder failures. Do I have anything to worry about with my 4 cylinder transmission or is it just the V6?
Well, you've answered your own question. If 99% were for the V6.... well you understand.

PM is the name of the game. There is a transmission filter you can change. You should also drain and fill with exactly the amount you took out and using the Honda ZR1 fluid. Do the drain and fill every 30K or so and it should last a long time.

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew03Accord View Post
Well, you've answered your own question. If 99% were for the V6.... well you understand.

PM is the name of the game. There is a transmission filter you can change. You should also drain and fill with exactly the amount you took out and using the Honda ZR1 fluid. Do the drain and fill every 30K or so and it should last a long time.
You mean ATF-Z1?

OP, 4-cylinder tranny's don't fail as often supposedly, but you should still change out the fluid if you haven't done so yet. And don't use anything other than Honda ATF-Z1...
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 07:58 AM
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You mean ATF-Z1?
Yes, sorry...been hanging around too many tire guys. LOL
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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OP, 4-cylinder tranny's don't fail as often supposedly, but you should still change out the fluid if you haven't done so yet. And don't use anything other than Honda ATF-Z1...
That just makes me more paranoid haha. I guess I could have a V6 and it could be worse though right?
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 09:04 AM
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^^ Don't be. All cars can have problems. If you search hard enough, you find it. I'm sure there is more than one 2010 I4 transmission that just died. You know what I mean.

Any forum is a good indication. If it's 98% V6 vs 2% I4 trans failures, you know where most likely the problem will be.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Good point.

But I've read that the 4 cylinder and V6 03 trannies have the same inherent problem it's just much more pronounced on the V6's. I guess thats why I'm worried.

But yah from the extremely low occurance of complaints I've seen about the 4 cynlinder in comparison to the V6 I'm probably in pretty good shape I guess.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 11:46 AM
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So has the transmission fluid been changed? If so, did you do it yourself, dealership, or just some shop?

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-20-2010, 01:15 PM
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Seems to be related to power handling capabilities, so your I4 should be good to go.
Why so worried? ;-)
Truth be told, your car shouldn't have a problem. Ask your dad if he had the transmission fluid changed.
The manual calls for a transmission fluid change at 120k or 6 years, whichever comes first. Since it was your dads car, he might have had the service done when it was due - 2009. If he hasn't, you should have it done. Following Honda's recommended maintenance schedule makes sense to me....

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-23-2010, 09:32 AM
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My 2003 Honda Accord 4cylinder transmission just went, but truth be told I wasnt great at doing maintainence ...
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-23-2010, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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^ That ****s man sorry. My dad took care of my accord very well so hopefully I'll be alright.

I just had the 120k service done last week. How often should I change the transmission fluid?
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-24-2010, 11:29 AM
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^ That ****s man sorry. My dad took care of my accord very well so hopefully I'll be alright.

I just had the 120k service done last week. How often should I change the transmission fluid?
120k or 6 years, then 90k or 5 (i believe).
Check your invoice to see if they did that as part of the 120k service....

Since I can't figure out how to cancel my account, this serves as notice that the above user is no longer an active member of this community.

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post #13 of 14 Old 09-08-2010, 12:42 PM
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Got any good places/prices to buy the Z1 fluid? and filter? How much fluid do we need?

Also read about D4 from Redline being good. anyone else heard the same?

Im looking into doing it myself...I imagine Ill need a gasket if I do the filter as well.....
I got a shop that wants to change the fluid and put it on some cycle flush routine while the car is on....to remove old and replenish with new...they swear they're going to use Honda fluid....now I imagine the intent is to replace the converters fluid while its running i guess....but I might be wrong...anyone heard of this before?

03 Honda Accord EX-L I4 Automatic. Uh yea pretty much stock...it's my daily driver.....when i want to hotrod I work on my Z28.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-08-2010, 12:57 PM
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I got a shop that wants to change the fluid and put it on some cycle flush routine while the car is on....to remove old and replenish with new...they swear they're going to use Honda fluid....now I imagine the intent is to replace the converters fluid while its running i guess....but I might be wrong...anyone heard of this before?
Sounds like a power flush. Not a good idea with our transmissions. Honda recommends against it. Do a little searching. I recall there is a pretty good DIY on how to do the filter. It's not in the trans pan.

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