A midsize FWD automobile that has been built by Honda since 1976, and is sold as a sedan and coupe, although the majority are sedans. It has developed a reputation for high quality, and its very agreeable balance of ride comfort, handling, performance, and price has propelled it to the top of the bestseller lists. I wrote the first paragraph 2 years ago, after owning my Honda Accord for a mere 2 months. I have had the car now for 2 years and have put nearly 65,000 miles on it as a service technician and can elaborate a bit more on its strengths and faults. I spend a lot of time behind the wheel, so I have pretty well figured out the Accord's personality. Strengths:
Roomy and has good ergonomics
Good visibility.
Comfortable seats, even for a big guy like me
Few rattles or squeaks, even after 65,000 miles
Crisp, but predictable handling
Good acceleration for a 4 cylinder, very smooth power.
Ride is is very well-balanced
Good life from tires and brakes, very few problems
Front end was in perfect alignment after 60,000 miles
Weaknesses
The one real problem I had was a doozy. The transmission failed at only 48,000 miles. It was out of warranty, but Honda repaired it for free after some nagging. God help me if it fails again, it would have cost $4,600 to fix. Apparently, there were a few problems with some of the automatic transmissions in 6th generation Accords. That being said, most of the other faults I found were minor. These include:

Tire noise on concrete roads. The standard Michelin MXV4's handled well and were durable, but they were quite noisy on concrete highways. When they wore out I replaced them with Dunlop AS radials. The Dunlops were highly rated and much cheaper than the Michelins. They seem to be wearing well, are quieter, but seem to have a little less traction than the Michelins.

Crappy speakers with the factory 6 speaker sound system. The Head Unit in my Honda was made by Alpine and I wanted to keep it. The factory speakers were what you might find in a $50 boombox.


I remedied the mediocre sound system with some speaker upgrades, courtesy of Crutchfield. I put some nice Polk Audio 6 1/2 inch two ways in the front doors, and some 6 by 9 Infinity Reference two ways in the back. I liked what I heard, but I decided that this middle-aged rock and roller wanted a few more cojones in the drum solos and bass guitar riffs, so I added a nice little 10 inch subwoofer and a power amp to run it. I also added a matching CD player into the dash. It has a complete factory look for when I have to park downtown, but much better sound. Conclusion: The Honda Accord is a good car for a road warrior like myself, and I hope it gives me several hundred thousand miles of troublefree service. Hopefully the transmission problems were just an isolated thing, but they do cast a shadow over the car.

Honda has extended the warranty to 100,000 miles on the transmissions on the affected 2000 and 2001 Accords. Hopefully my rebuilt unit fixed the original weaknesses.


106,000 mile update

With 2 payments to go and 106,000 miles on the clock, here is a list of problems and repairs I have done since my 65,000 mile update, with the exception of oil changes every 4,000 - 5,000 miles:

Front Brakes were serviced at about 88,000 miles. The brake rotors had developed a slight warp, causing an annoying shake when applying the brakes at high speed. The brake pads were about shot anyway, so one afternoon I installed new front rotors and brake pads.

The Timing Belt and both lower ball joints were replaced at about 103,000 miles. This was a fairly major service, with not only the timing belt, with the water pump and balancer belt getting renewed at the same time as the timing belt. No failure, but Honda recommends replacement at 105,000 miles. The ball joints were replaced because of clunking noises in the front suspension. New ball joints only partially resolved the noises, but I will have to wait until I am finished moving to investigate the cause of the noises further.

Oil consumption continues to be miniscule, about 1 pint (500 ml) in a 5,000 mile oil change interval. Engine continues to quiet and smooth, though the new timing belt has introduced a slight whine it didn't have before. Nothing serious though.

I am still running the Dunlop AS Radials I installed at 58,000 miles. They are wearing well with almost 50,000 miles on them, but I will probably replace them this fall, so I have fresh rubber going into winter.


March 13, 2005: 130,000 Mile Update

The Accord is still running well, but I have experienced a couple of problems in the last year. First was a whine in the front end that was starting to become noticeable right after having the ball joints replaced. The whine gradually got louder, and I took it to my local mechanic, who replaced the front wheel bearings. I also had to replace the oxygen sensor after the check wallet light came on. At about 125,000 miles, I also had to replace the right hand control arm to fix a clunk that had developed.

I will occasionally update my experience with the car as the miles pile up.

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