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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • I am having the same problems I have been reading about in these forums with my transmissions--the 'rumble strip noise', the torque converter, bad shifting-- I have 136k miles, local dealer says trans needs to be replaced, and Acura is telling me they can't help because of the mileage. What is my best course of action? Please help, I need links, history of trouble with 2001's, any experiences you may have had that can help me push this through. Thanks...
  • I don't have a rumble strip noise, but I have a rough downshift at about 30mph. I have less than 50k on my 2005 MDX. It has been to Acura 4 times and the problem still persists. I don't know if Acura can do anything for you as far as cost since you are out of your warranty period. Did Acura check for software updates?
  • I had my transmission replaced at 47k! I have a 2005 MDX. I am still having the same problem that I had before the transmission was replaced (rough downshift at about 30mph) :mad: . Correct me if I'm wrong, but a shifting issue would be the transmission? So if I really had a new transmission, the problem should not still exist. Right??
  • After reading about the problems other people have been having with their MDX's, I went back to my dealer that I have always had work done on the car there, and they told me that the torque converter needed to be replaced. They did all work FREE of charge!!. This is the second problem with this transmission in only 86,000 miles. The service manager told me that there has been a problem with the computer working the shifting of the transmission which has lead to problems with the tranmissions. However they believe they have solved the computer problem and I should be O.K. I honestly believe that if you have had problems in the past with your MDX, and were faithful to your dealership, that they will take care of you.
    Good Luck!!!!
  • Do they believe that the issues werew solved through the replacement of the torque converter? Or through the updates to your computer? :confuse:
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 43
    Just a few days ago, I had that same "jerking sensation" that many Acura MDX owners were reporting relating to the transmission problem. I was at 20mph, and accelerating, when a sudden jerking came. It went on jerking for about 10 seconds, then it went back to normal. I wasn't able to duplicate this problem.. I am hoping this doesn't have to do anything with the torque converter, or transmission. I have 70k miles on the MDX, and it is a 2004 model, the one that is not included in the 2001-2003 recall of transmissions. My friend had his transmission replaced with my local dealer, for a price of $4800, which is outrageous for He was able to make acura pay for about $1000 dollars of it, but the rest came out of his pocket
  • My "jerk" is when I am decelerating.

    Someone also said that the 04-06 MDX has the same transmission as the 01-03... Does anyone know if this is true? If so, what about the recall?
  • '03 gets the revised transmission. Much more reliable but still owners of '03-'05 models have had issues posted on the web.
    If the "jerk" you feel is at 35 MPH when decelerating and engine RPM is below 1000 it's just the trans down shifting. (assuming it's not a violent down shift) You can watch the tach bump up slightly under these conditions. If your engine speed is above 1000 RPM when decelerating you shouldn't feel the down shift or see the RPM increase..
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 43
    All the MDX, from 01-06 have the same basic 5 speed transmission. This is the transmission shared with the 2nd gen odyssey, and 6th gen accord. All these cars suffer some sort of transmission problem. I am wondering though, that in 2003, that revised transmission (as skoobahead1 said) really made a significant difference, because, I saw that lots of 03 owners also have the tranny problem. But the 04,05,&06 have very limited amounts of problems with the tranny, according to users. This really doesn't make sense to me, especially because the tranny in 03, 04, 05, & 06 are same. The only difference from the latter models is a revised exhaust. Does someone know more about this? I am really confused :confuse:
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 43
    whoops, also, the honda accord isn't sixth gen, it is the seventh gen that has the prob, because it is the one that has the 5 speed automatic. The 6th gen has the 4 speed automatic
  • It just seems to me that I shouldn't be able to feel the downshift, no matter what the RPM. The tach doesn't bump either. I am so frustrated with this whole thing - I have a new transmission!!! :mad:
  • We haven't heard yet if Acura will step up and cover us. The first transmission on our 02 MDX went out at 35000 miles in 2004. Acura handled that with alacrity. Now, the replacement transmission is bad at 88000 miles. So, with less than 90000 miles, we are to have transmission #3.

    Consumer Reports still speaks glowingly about the MDX, I don't see how.

    CR trashes the Dodge Grand Caravan, but I just sold my hoopti 1996 Grand Caravan with 206000 miles and it never needed transmission work. What are they smoking at Consumer Reports?

    I sure hope Acura does step forward since this is obviously a chronic and ubiquitous problem.

    I also cannot recommend the MDX to anyone who keeps a car more than 3 years. I guess we'll look at Jeep next time since they have a lifetime powertrain warranty.

  • jkotlar,

    My downshift on my '05 is very suttle at 35MPH when the engine speed is below 1000 RPM. The tach jumps up maybe 300 rpm..This is the only time I feel a downshift. If my engine speed is above 1000 RPM I feel nothing and the tach does not move while decelerating through 35MPH.
    When is your "rough' downshift happening? What speed and what engine RPM?
  • That is exactly what I feel and exactly the same RPM and speed (30-35mph). I don't know if I'd consider it "subtle," though.. the car jerks a little. I can definitely feel it. Have you taken yours to the dealership?
  • A 300 RPM downshift increase under those conditions is not a transmission problem.The transmission is downshifting. Its completely normal for this vehicle. It's not a CVT. I can't speak for your MDX but my downshift is subtle. A harsh downshift would cause your RPM increase to be much higher. If another owner has one that doesn't have this downshift characteristic please chime in. I'd be surprised.
  • My only issue with that is that the dealership apparently is unaware that this is a normal thing with the MDX. They said that the tech was able to duplicate the problem - and the first time I had it in the shop, they replaced the transmission! The car has less than 50k miles on it!
  • If the 300 RPM "bump" happened on your original transmission and it happens on your rebuilt it sure seems more than coincidental.Perhaps other MDX owners will chime in with what their vehicle does in the same situation. If I were you and had spent all this time on this issue I think I would ask your dealership to drive another '05 MDX on their lot and see for sure. Keep us posted as it sure is a tough decision to keep this nice vehicle past it's warranty if we have to shell out $4500.00 for transmission work.
  • Well, the nice thing is that I do have the new transmission, so the transmission itself has another 3 years, 36k mile warranty. This has been my only issue with this car. I'm not giving up on it yet! ;)
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 43
    Well, maybe I am the lucky one for now, because the only problem I suppose I had with the tranny was that 1 jolt I had for 5 sec. Besides that, this car is as good as new. So maybe this was just a momentary slip I had that day. So hopefully, this car will run properly in the years to come.
  • '05 MDX Touring
    53,000 miles (just out of warranty)
    Ocasional growl noticed when above 30 mph and you let off the gas to let RPMs drop below 1.5.

    '02 TL-S with 103,000 miles - Tranny replaced under warrenty at 35k miles, and replaced AGAIN at 99k miles (also covered under warranty). Then had the 105mile maintenance done: plugs, water pump, & timing belt =$1200 (Oh, by the way, my old timing belt looked brand new-probably could've gone another 50k without the maintenance)
    All performed at an Acura dealership (1st tranny was at a diff't dealer)

    Problem arose with the MDX and the guy at Acura dealership said sounds like a Torque Converter problem, Acura might cover some of the repair since I'm close to warranty and have had most of my work done there. I was a little insistent that Acura should take full responsibility for a problem like this, and he said he'd talk to the rep and plead my case.
    Torque converter replaced, transmission flushed, Acura covered all repairs.
    I'm just a bit regretful that I didn't have the tranny replaced too.
    Any thoughts or results from people who've only had the TC replaced?
    These vehicles and service at Acura dealerships are great, I just wish the engineers could get their transmissions right, the first or second time.
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