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Acura MDX Air Vent Clips

my04mdxmy04mdx Posts: 4
edited December 2013 in Acura
I have an 04 Acura MDX and the air vent clips (the clip that allows you to move the vents)keep breaking. Is anyone else out there having this problem?


  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I have an 06... mine have not broken. :confuse:
  • my04mdxmy04mdx Posts: 4
    I should hope you don't have any problems with the 2006 model. I was hoping I wouldn't have issues at all. When you do be advised the entire panel needs to be replaced not just the clip...and it's not cheap. :(
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Yeah, mine('04) broke a while ago, haven't fixed it yet, use a pencil to direct the air flow. Is that covered under warranty? It's the vent directly to the drivers right, probably gets used the most.
  • my04mdxmy04mdx Posts: 4
    It's covered under the original manufactures warranty of 4yrs/50k miles...the dealership replaced the passenger's vent under the warranty last August and now the middle vent clip broke. The entire panel needs to be replaced (apparently you cannot just buy the clip). Now it's outside of the warranty coverage and the dealership is trying to determine if they are going to fix this problem, free of charge. The panel alone is $120.00.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Took my '04 to the dealer to have a look at the vents. They said the center air vent panel was put together wrong (I assume at the factory) What!? So they found some spare parts and then reassembled it, works fine. My passenger side mirror has also been on the fritz for quite a while, it won't tilt down in reverse, They said its not in the mirror housing, but in the wiring. They have to order parts and take the dash apart (yikes!) All covered under warranty however.
  • jmfleschjmflesch Posts: 1
    I have an 03' Acura MDX and 2 of the vents--actually the ones on the right side just broke off. We are over the 50,000 mile warranty mark.

    Are these available anywhere? It seems like you could put them in without removing the panels!
  • my04mdxmy04mdx Posts: 4
    I was not able to locate an auto store that just carried the clips. You would think that something so small would be sold separately however after much research it is the entire panel that needs replacing. And it's not cheap :(
  • 3 out of 4 on my 2003 MDX have broken. My extended warranty from Acura doesn't cover "trim pieces". As above, the center console is about $130 the side ones are $40 + labor+ =over $250. I called Acura in Torrance CA and they said it is not a replaceable part..the clip.. have to replace the whole vent piece. They said I should try a Junk Yard.. for this $.50 part. The problem is 1 side small tab used to clip it at assembly breaks off. I repaired #1 w/super glue but a car wash sucked up 1/2 of it before I could fix #2. Last Acura I'll ever own!
  • I'm an automobile dealer and specialize in Honda and Acura. We sell quite a few MDX's, both from trade-in and lease turn-in sources. This problem is consistent and appears in over 80% of the MDX's I get in for sale. I searched high and low for a replacement part and any other option without having to replace the full vent - and found none. Clearly an engineering defect in the product. Very, very disappointing. As most of you have found, replacing the center vents is outrageously expense, and almost cost prohibitive.

    Please let me know if anybody finds another option.

  • lknslkns Posts: 8
    My '04 MDX had a center air vent clip break, too (it literally just fell off in my hand when I went to move it - I was not being rough with it at all). As you all can attest, it is VERY expensive to fix, as the entire panel needs to be replaced. The service manager's response was to "wait until the other one breaks" and then replace it all. HUH??? It's out of warranty, so I'm not about to pony up hundreds of $$ to fix something that costs pennies. Not sure what to do, but it really makes me mad! I've never had this happen on any other car (including "lesser" brands and ones that were much older).
    If anyone hears of a solution (or way to have it repaired free), let me know!
  • See my post #6. However my '04 was still under warranty. I don't know how much they would have charged me to "dig up some spare parts" :sick:
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 43
    Yup...its true. I own a 2004 mdx, and when I was trying to move one vent, it just fell out . I saw that there are two pieces of plastic(very cheap plastic by the way), that is glued together by adhesive, and over time, the adhesive dries, and the vent starts getting weak, and breaks apart. This is very embarrasing for a 4 year vehicle that costs 40k+. My 10 year old camry did not have this problem.
  • jrgearjrgear Posts: 1
    Here is my story - my second vent clip broke and took it to the dealer to fix. While I was demoing the problem/operation on a different vent, that vent clip broke in my hand in front of the service agent. So I just fixed two more ($225+). The design is garbage. On my 2004 MDX I also have had three of four window motors break, headlights craze so bad they needed to be replaced, AC compressor die, front bumper seperate from other plastic trim, right window seal inproperly installed, and front NAV dash panel plastic break. Not sure if I actually got an Acura when I bought my MDX.
  • JR-

    Well, sorry about the bad luck with your MDX. Our '04 has been bulletproof with the exception of the darn vent clips. Three of the four front ones have broken. One was fixed under warranty the other two I just use a pencil to move them.

    It's coming up on 60k miles, two months shy of 5 years old and only 3 more easy monthly payments. Woo Hoo...
  • jbkjjbkj Posts: 1
    I bought a '04 MDX (just over 50k miles) about a month ago. The car was sold under a pre-certified warranty (12K mile/12 mths). Last week when I turned on the heater and moved the vent tab on the driver's side, it helplessly fell off in my hand. Just then I noticed on the passenger's side, the vent tab is already missing. Called the dealer the next day and was told it's a wear and tear item and NOT covered by the "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. To replace one vent is going to cost $150.

    By looking at the broken vent tab, it's a very cheap two-piece of plastic with a flawed design. The weak part is the two clips on the back of the top piece, which sooner or later will break unless you never use the tab to adjust the vent. From many posts I found on the Internet, this seems like a prevalent problem for MDX and the usual breaking point (depending on how much you use the vent tab) is about 4 years. I guess you probably will see increasing complaints form '03 and 04' MDX owners pretty soon. But why does Acura never want to address a problem like this?

    In my opinion, there got to be some easy and cheap alternatives to just "replacing the whole vent". If you have the two broken pieces, I think you can super glue them together but like some posters said, you have to be very careful not to glue the other parts to make the vent practically unmovable. For some people that have lost the broken pieces, Acura should really consider selling the plastic tab, not just the whole vent. It's $5 vs. $150. I understand it’s the owners' responsibility if they screw up. But isn't it true for all other parts if the owners decide to “do it yourself”? Acura can also provide guidance to its dealer technicians about how to replace the plastic tab. It should be a very easy and normal procedure. I bet if some vendors (maybe somewhere in China) start producing some kind of knockoffs for the plastic tab and selling them on eBay, they would be sold like hot potatoes.

    It’s very disappointing that such poor workmanship is discovered on a $40K plus car. It’s even more irresponsible on the Acura part to simply tell many of its loyal car owners just to suck it up or pay it up. I’m not talking about a recall or something. But a prestigious car manufacturer like Acura should be able to find a solution to address a design and quality problem like this. Don’t make the MDX the last Acura I own!!!
  • I feel your pain...$150 is absolute nonsense to fix them. I guess in the big picture though it won't stop me from buying Hondas. ;)
  • tpricetprice Posts: 46
    We just traded our '03 MDX for an '08 - the clips were the main point of frustration for me - we were missing 2 out 4! I thought it may just have been bad luck for us until I came across this discussion. We also have an RL and now the new MDX - with what appear to be the same design...will be interesting to see if they pop off down the road. Acura should do something to help with a pretty loyal owners group..especially since seems to be widely documented issue at this point + with state of the auto industry now more important than ever to retain repeat customers ..otherwise, have no complaints - our '03 was bulletproof..hoping for a repeat experience.
  • I'm posting to see if there has been any further info on this issue. All four vent clips on our '04 are broken. It seems as if the "pencil" method is the only solution without paying the exorbitant replacement price. No surprise that Acura does not include this item in the FAQs on their site. No mention of it on the few parts houses that I questioned either.
  • dasmitdasmit Posts: 1
    I just bought an '05 MDX which had 3 vent clips missing. I happened to find this forum and was amazed at how many this has happened to. The "pencil method" didn't work on mine because the vents were so loose they just flopped back shut!

    I have found a cheap solution that works, at least for now--it's in the air freshener section of the auto parts department. They make air fresheners that are actually clips that you stick into the vents, and all that shows is the very end--it isn't noticeable at all. I paid $2.50 for four of them, and so far they work fine. They move the inside part of the vent as well as the outer (up and down) slats. I didn't like the scent of them that well, so had put them outside to lose the smell before I actually started using them.
    It's worth a try!
  • 10sfan10sfan Posts: 136
    I have an 05 MDX but have not had this problem to date. Congratulations on the fix idea. Maybe you can patent this idea and save other MDX owners from paying their "rip-off" prices. Thanks you for sharing this information.
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