2003 Honda Accord EX 2.4 from North America


Drive Accord, I'm driving the third one


There's a vibration when you accelerate or go uphill from 50-70 MPH, that's why I got it for very cheap. Some say it's the axles, some say it's the clutch (I doubt that), and some say it's the differential bearing. I haven't tried fixing it yet, but it's a common problem with many of these 2.4 power-trains (both manual and automatic) on both Accords and CR-Vs.

Had an oil leak from the VTEC solenoid gasket that stopped by using a bottle of stop leak; this stuff usually never works!

The radio backlight wasn't working when I bought it (VERY common problem). Then the CD changer stopped (less common), then the AUX extension stopped working. New: $170 eBay, $900 dealership.

General Comments:

I had 2 98-02 Accords before and this is my third one, so I'm going to compare the car with them.

Great improvement over older Accords in reliability, space, power, and handling.

The 2.4 with DOHC has only 10 more HP over the older 2.3, but it has smooth torque at all RPM, no VTEC kicks :D

I'm going to compare it to 02-06 Camry and 02-07 Altima as they're the top 3 selling in this category.

The 03-05 tail lights are ugly at first, but you appreciate them with time somehow. The car overall looks nicer than other cars in its category (the Altima comes close). The interior is by far the best looking of them all. It's hard plastic everywhere (bad), but it's very durable and very practical. 8 CUPHOLDERS!

Noticeably bigger interior and much more massive trunk. Bigger slightly than the Camry's and a bit smaller than the Altima's.

Better city and hwy MPG, 26/34 EPA vs 22/29 EPA for the old manual one; better than every single car in the competition at that year.

Quieter and smoother on the highway, but a little harsher in the city than the old one. Camry's of same year are better in ride quality though.

Handles great, much better than the old one. Altima's handle better but ride like crap, and Camry's are obviously a joke when it comes to that.

Reliable everywhere, suspension connections doesn't get loose and clunky like the old one, valve cover gaskets don't leak, auto transmissions don't blow every 50k. The car is almost 200k, with good condition stock everything from clutch to springs and shocks, and even rotors!

Overall, it's a good balance for a younger driver. Better MPG than other cars in the category, same reliability as the most reliable but most boring "Camry", and you can't say that about any older Accord, nice handling-comfort balance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2014

2003 Honda Accord LX 2.4L inline 4 cylinder from North America


One of the best cars Honda's ever made!!!


Some of these problems are related to high mileage, so read on at your own discretion:

CD player stopped working around 200,000 miles.

Power button on the radio is broken. Because of this, the car radio will often turn on by itself on when I'm not in the car. Kinda creepy I know. So I have to turn the volume down every time I get out of the car.

At 150,000 miles the catalytic converter needed to be replaced (but that's probably expected for a car with that many miles).

Ceramic brake pads wear out pretty quickly, so I had to replace them often. When I didn't replace them, I started to hear a loud scraping sound coming from the wheels.

There's a lot of road noise inside the car while I was driving. The engine also gets to be pretty loud after 150,000 miles.

General Comments:

My Accord has been incredible. Solid as a rock and unbelievably reliable. Throughout the 11 years I've owned it, I've gotten it up to 261,000 miles on basic maintenance. Easiest (and cheapest) car in the world to maintain. It's been exposed to the fiercest elements of New England weather and has never broken down a single time.

People often hesitate to buy cars over 100,000 miles. But this car is just as reliable at 100,000 miles as it was when I first got it. I'm confident I could buy another Accord at 200,000 miles and still drive it up to about 500,000 with barely any faults.

Radio has had some issues but the sound system is excellent. The only thing I wish is that the 2003 had an aux cable hookup. It's worth looking into getting an aftermarket radio/MP3 system.

It's a family sedan, but the 2.4L VTEC engine isn't anything to be embarrassed about. Honda did a great job with this engine and it shows.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2014

26th Feb 2014, 06:08

"At 150,000 miles the catalytic converter needed to be replaced (but that's probably expected for a car with that many miles)"...

Not really, cat converters usually will never need replacing unless the car has been run with no spark on one or more of the cylinders, which will dump unburnt fuel into the cat and ignite inside it, destroying the inside.

19th Apr 2014, 22:34

Absolutely positively 100% correct!!! As long as the fuel/air mixture stays close to stoichiometric (SP), the cats will last the life of the car. Period. End of story.

20th Apr 2014, 07:38

Unless you ignore an O2 sensor light that's on; that can plug a cat and also it can decrease gas mileage. In our state it will also fail inspection.

When it comes to various maintenance issues, it is never one cure all, end of story. My family has owned an auto repair shop for many years, and have learned to be open minded. Especially with late model cars.

20th Apr 2014, 19:28

What happens if you get bad gas loaded with water run through a cat? End of story.

22nd Apr 2014, 12:52

Cats can fail in certain ice and snow conditions when they are very hot. They can crack.

23rd Apr 2014, 09:52

Cats can fail on speed bumps, and if hit with rocks and debris as well. End of story.

28th Apr 2014, 13:32

Cats can overheat and crack with over zealous use of SeaFoam. End of story.