Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • dmd909dmd909 Posts: 1
    I have to vent again as this entire saga is now playing out with my co-worker's 2002 Odyssey. I have both a 2002 MDX (177k miles) and a 2004 Honda Accord LX V6 (98k). His Odyssey is starting to lose 2nd gear and now Honda wants $5k to fix it. I warned him. Now, I know I had a lot of miles on my MDX, but the recall fix didn't work as I had to replace the entore transmission. However, I am worried about the Accord as it is the same POS transmission that I expect to go soon too.

    When I got both cars, brand new, everyone asked me how much I liked the cars. I told them the engine, suspension and steering were great, it was the transmission that always felt bad (mushy). I am vindicated by the fact that there are so many problems with these cars transmission. Honda got in over their engineering heads by bolting 1 transmission to the 4 and 6 cylinder cars. I vow never to buy a Honda product again. I won't even talk about the cd changer in the MDX crapping out. Just happened to another friend's 2010 MDX.
  • We purchased a used Acura MDX a couple of weeks ago and now it is making a unique noise that the dealership cannot figure out. It makes the noise when going forward at about 35 miles an hour and it is a short rubbing/vibrating noise that is quick to start and quick to end. Often only a second or less but happens quite often. They cannot seem to diagnose it since it is short lived and not a continual noise. I am worried that it is something serious and we want it taken care of while it is still under the 30 day warranty. Does anyone have any ideas? When others had trouble with the transmission what were the symptoms?
  • Does the tachometer move during the other words, if you are holding steady MPH on a flat road at 35mph, do the RPMs vary?
  • madmommy3madmommy3 Posts: 28
    I would print out all of this Torque Converter and Tranmsission stuff and go to the dealer with it (armed with info). Get it well documented. They tend to stall on the diagnsosis as not to have to fix it within the warranty. I am dreading that I have a 2008 Honda Oddesy van (in addition to my 01 MDX) as I know what is likely coming. I think I am officially over Honda.
  • signguy2signguy2 Posts: 7
    Return the car and get as far away from it as you can. The Deal knows what
    the problem is, don't let him get away with this. Honda is covering up. Return the Car and buy something other than Honda
  • mdxownrmdxownr Posts: 2
    In my experience, I have found this sound is very difficult to duplicate. I don’t know what causes the sound, but I have spent quite a bit of time understanding the behavior of my vehicle. Here are my findings/suggestions/ideas:

    1) Find a long side street with max speed of 30~35 mph and a very slight uphill slope. Drive in D5.
    a) The street must be long enough to allow for the vehicle to shift through gears 1-5 as you slowly accelerate from 0 to 35mph. If/when you begin hearing the sound, hold your speed steady to sustain. A longer street will give you more time to dial it in.
    b) The uphill slope of the street must consistent and minimal. If the slope is too steep, the transmission will shift back down to 4th gear and you will not be able to duplicate the sound. If the slope is not steep enough, the vehicle will not experience enough loading to recreate the issue.
    c) The street must be free from traffic. If you have to stop, slow down or adjust your speed, it may interfere with your ability to tune in to the conditions described above.

    2) Find a street described above near your dealer and practice recreating the sound before scheduling an appointment. Then take the service tech for a drive and replicate the sound for him/her at the same location.
    a) This may seem time consuming at first, however, if you let the service tech drive on any street at any speed, he may never be able to replicate the sound.
    b) If you are successful replicating the sound before your appointment, then you can schedule an appointment with more confidence that you will achieve a diagnosis.

    3) Eliminate as much ambient noise as possible to help isolate the problem sound.
    a) Turn off radio, climate control / fan, shut windows (reduce wind noise), avoid traffic, etc...

    Please read through all the posts in this thread of the forum. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to search the internet for similar year Honda Pilots and Honda Odysseys to get a feel for general customer satisfaction related to other similar Honda/Acura V6 vehicles. If you have the option to keep or return your vehicle, this information can help you make an informed decision.
  • I will check this afternoon. What does this mean? It always happens on a flat road, never going up hill or down hill. If you feather the gas between 30 and 40 mph. it happens a lot.
  • I have the same problem and my local dealer does not seem to know what's going on either. I hope someone have an answer soon as to what caused this noise. I don't want something to happen while driving.
  • I am able to recreate the sound almost everytime. I have also recreated the sound with an Acura tech in the car. He was not able to figure out the issue. I suspect this is a transmission problem due to the symtom, but I am no expert. I hope someone can figure this out so I can get this issue fix pronto, it is beginning to make me nervous driving on the freeway.
  • It sounds identical to the issue I was having. Check your vin number on There is a recall for the 2005 Acura MDX for torque converter. Most likely that is what the issue is. It sounds identical to my situation and I found out it happens in almost all Acura MDX between 70k and 90k. I would also call Acura customer service to alert them of your issue so they can make record of it. Good luck.
  • tintintintin Posts: 19
    I have 2005 MDX. It has 42000 miles on it. The check engine light has been coming on for the past few months. Other than that it is driving fine. I took it in last week and they cleared the light and said if it came back again they will have to replace the catalytic converters. The light came back again so they have put in an order to replace both CCs. Anyone else have this issue? TIA.
  • I just got off the phone with no help Acura, to find there are no recalls on the 2003 Acura MDX transmission. It will just go out of gear while driving, especially if your going up hill or make a sharp turn.....very scary
    The dealer is unable to duplicate, Acura suggest having a repair person ride around with me until it happens, now there's a thought!!
    any suggestions from anyone?
  • ltran04ltran04 Posts: 4
    Yes, kinda curious to hear your symptoms prior to getting your transmission replaced.

    I just bought a new 2010 MDX tech+enter in N.VA (on 03/09) and it has been in the shop since last Wed. 03/17. The dealer said it needed transmission 'sensor replacements'. They have not worked on it b/c they are awaiting the shipments from the Kentucky and California supply warehouses. I hope these sensors are all that's needed (no new no)

    As for the symptoms in our MDX, when you pressed the gas pedal there seems to be some lag-time in acceleration. We would have brought it in later for our scheduled maintenance appt. but the message came over the NavLink navigation screen system @ 465 miles. Our previous 2006 MDX acceleration response was even quicker.
  • sanjaysdcasanjaysdca Posts: 269
    yes on my 2000 infiniti I30
  • rogerdyrogerdy Posts: 2
    Purchased my 2010 MDX Advance 01/12/10. Noticed a knocking sound at about 600mi. Sound is apparent at 850-900 rpm in gear and under slight load. Best demonstrated with foot on brake and slight increase in throttle off idle. Sound like it's coming from the transmission (left side of engine compartment). Sound disappears as rpm increases. Been to dealer three times, took test rides with dealer technician, dealer service manager and Acura District Manager. All Acura service people state that it's normal. Either they know it's a problem and don't want to admit it or they don;t want to look further until something fails. Have about 6000 mi now and it's gradually getting louder. Looks like last Acura for me. Will probably trade soon.
  • andileaandilea Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Acura MDX and it has 79,000 miles on it and has been making the rumbling noise for months now. One place couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, so I took it to the Acura dealer. It's the torque converter and the mechanic who rode with me told me to drive 28 mph because that's about 1,500 rpms and sure enough the sound happened over and over at that speed. Smart mechanic. He knew instantly what was wrong (could it be that transmissions are a problem with the MDX's? hmmmmm.) It's in the shop now being a tune of $2,300. Now I wonder how long it will last me? I wanted to drive it for 4-5 more years.
  • jslivonjslivon Posts: 57
    That's exactly what happened to our 2003 MDX at 107k miles. Acura paid 90% for a whole new trans., only because were were a good customer, knew of these problems from this website, and had an extended warranty that expired a month before the trans went out.

    After your repairs are done, change tranny oil with Mobile 1 ATF every time you change oil. It's really easy. Maybe it will help.
  • frankf2frankf2 Posts: 17
    Hi Guys,

    I have the same symptom as you mentioned. When I pressed gas pedal hard and quick release the pedal, there is a lag time and then with a sudden speed up, mostly happening in 30-50 mi/hr. Also when I make a quick brake down, there is a lag time with a shaking. Seems like the transmission gear not response smoothly with your foot control. I am going to send to dealer soon. Hope you guys can help to identify this problem. Pretty upset with my 09' MDX Sport-ent, and jusr 12k mi only.
  • tybamtybam Posts: 1
    This is kind of long so bear with me. I own a 04 MDX Touring. I've read all the posts on all of the websites about transmissions and none of them are quite like mine. I did experience the lugging about 10,000 miles ago. The truck currently has 90,000. Transmission started making a whining sound a couple days ago and then today all of a sudden the rpm's would go up but the truck wouldn't move. I checked the fluid and found it about 3 quarts low (girlfriends vehicle). I thought this fixed the problem but we didn't make it 3 miles down the road before it started acting up again. What's funny about the problem is, if I turn the truck off and restart it then it will do fine for a couple miles before the trans starts slipping and the truck starts jerking. If you pull over, shut it off, restart it then the truck will run fine again. Also, I can run around a parking lot fine unless I stop and put it into park and into drive again. If I do that then the transmission immediately drops out and the truck won't move no matter what gear I put it into unless I turn it off and restart it again. We had to keep pulling over, shutting off the truck and restarting it again just to get home. One time when we pulled over the "D" light flashed at us, the engine light came on, another warning light came on that had a hazard sign on it and you couldn't shift it into park until you shut off the truck again. We shut it off, restarted it, all the lights went away and it ran fine for a couple miles again. We never did see all the lights again but we finally made it home. Does it sound like the trans, a trans sensor,TC, main computer or all of the above? I don't know whether to take it to a trans shop or the dealer. I hate the dealer. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • gbredagbreda Posts: 11
    edited April 2010
    The whining sounds like the result of 3 quarts low on fluid. The issue there is why it was low. Transmission fluid does not evaporate, so if it is low, it had to go somewhere. I do not know the inner workings of the Honda/Acura transmission or control systems, but it sounds to me like it can be alot of things from computer control to a bad valve body in the trans to a leak that is resulting in loss of fluid pressure. The fact that you were down 3 quarts indicates a leak somewhere.

    If you are not comfortable with the dealer, find a good transmission shop that knows Honda/Acura. Or find another dealer. You know that you will pay more at Acura.

    I would call around to several shops/dealers and see if anyone recognizes these sypmtoms.

    Just my 2 pennies.
Sign In or Register to comment.