Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New Jersey
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03 EX Audio/HVAC Display Repair Procedure
First off, thanks to everyone who posted their stories of this problem here and on other boards, now I'd like to share my story.
If you don't already know, the 03-04 Accord EX's have a defect in the audio unit that results in the radio display as well as the backlighting for the HVAC controls to go out. Honda was aware of this a long time ago and issued a Service Bulletin that calls for the replacement of the audio unit ($486.30 at slhondaparts.com).
Now donít go out and spend $486 if you are out of warranty, there is an excellent chance that you can get a replacement radio for free from Honda.
I have an 03 EX and had this problem occur about a month ago. I searched the boards and found the SB. After reading how other people called Honda Customer Service and were able to get their radio replaced even when they were out of the warranty, I gave it a shot. I called HCS and told them about my problem and how I found the SB and that I wanted to have the audio unit replaced for free. They gave me a claim number and said I would be contacted within a few days. Someone did call in a few days and they said I needed to have a dealer diagnose the problem, then they would let me know what they were going to do. I brought the car in to my dealer and told them I have this problem with the audio/hvac display and I called HCS and they said to bring it in for a diagnosis. I thought someone could look at it real quick and I'd be on my way. Well, an hour later they hand me my key and the security code for the new radio! They had one in stock and they went ahead and replaced it. I asked if they wanted my claim number with HCS, they said "sure, if you have it."
Bottom line, don't despair, call HCS first and make them aware of your case. Honda is obviously aware that this is a major problem affecting a lot of vehicles. How many dealers stock a $400+ replacement audio unit?
Now how many people would love to see the Service Bulletins posted to the Honda Owner-Link site?