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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    LOL Im in the same has 71k miles on it and they replaced the TC then PCM adjustment. Car still makes shuttering noise, I asked them to replace the transmission and they will not. Eventhough it makes shuttering noise, they said the transmission is fine. Deny deny deny.

    I am sure everyone would jump on board if someone would start one. I emailed they wanted to know more info but I do not have the time or the energy so I just gave up.

    I am probably going to have to purchase some kind of warranty because I am stuck with this car for 5 years. Are you planning on purchasing warranty?
  • dmortazdmortaz Posts: 26
    edited February 2011
    We experienced something very similar with our 2004 MDX and were told by one dealer that we need new transmission; but the 2nd dealer in San Jose told us that there were no evidence of transmission problems!! The Customer Service folks at Acura offered us to replace the transmission for $1,000 and when I told them that Lexus folks would have done this for FREE; they didn't get it!! Lexus had replaced our TIRES (consumable item) for FREE at 43,000 miles when we complained about the nose. Acura folks didn't get it.

    Lexus folks did NOT have to do this; but they did it; because they get the cost of customer acquisition. No such lessons have been learned by Acura USA!

    It's too bad for a Premium brand not to understand Premium Service. It's too bad because the cars have potential. Acura has a lot of work to do before they come ANYWHERE near Lexus when it comes to "Service".

    It's too bad.
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    It is too bad. I purchased a RL previously and had very good experience with the car and just purchased the mdx and this transmission thing has been nothing but nightmare. Unfortunately, the only thing that we can do is NOT buy another Acura and believe me due to this I will never ever purchase another honda/acura in my lifetime. Lexus is the way to go...I was looking at RX350, X5, MDX and due to my cheapness, I fell prey to that 3rd row seating thing....never again.
  • dmortazdmortaz Posts: 26
    edited February 2011
    When it comes to customer service, Acura Client Services doesn't get it!! They are denser than San Francisco fog on a sunny Summer day! Lexus offered us FREE Michellen tires when we complained about the noise at 43,000 miles after a rotation and service at the dealer! And this was on a leased vehicle and on an item that Lexus doesn't make! Wow, we said!!

    Contrast that to Acura Client Services folks who they refused to cover the $1,014 charge that the dealer wanted to replace our 2004 MDX transmission. Ouch, I said!

    If you are looking for Premium Service; you won't find it at Acura! Acura USA is in the SAME place MBenz folks were before Lexus started kicking their [non-permissible content removed] to the curb. Ironically, MBenz folks have since hired some senior executives from Lexus and they have gotten much better at service.

    But there is no "culture" or "DNA"of servicing luxury customers at Acura at this point. If a class action law suit will straighten them out; more power to us; but I doubt it. I think they need a crisis of confidence like Toyota is going through to clean house.
  • what year is your MDX!? I thought the transmission problems were supposed to have been fixed after the 05 models!?
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    No problem continues...mine is 2006. I think they stopped the Gov. "recalls" at 2004 which is why people think there aren't same problems on 05-06 but I am here to tell you that the problems still do exist on 2006. If anyone's interested in purchasing 01-06, forget it....I'd not purchase 01-06 MDX, don't fall for the 3rd row seating and interior spacing and reliability like I did.

    If you insist on purchasing MDX, look at 07 and on, not anything prior to 07. If you can't afford the 07, I'd look at other brands.
  • mdx32mdx32 Posts: 2
    I have taken my vehicle into the local dealer several times, regarding the whining noise. It became a game several times. I would hear it, take it to the dealer, and they would try to duplicate the noise, and couldn't. The first time or two, I thought I was going crazy. The third time, I was driving to the dealer and the noise was present. I arrive to the dealer, and they sent a senior tech along with me to show the noise. We drove around for about 15 mins, and to my surprise it didn't want to appear. I felt like a fool, and then said I am CRAZY. I drop off the tech, and leave with my tail between my legs. Two weeks ago, I went in for my 75k service. The following evening, the noise was louder now. I made an appointment, and was ready for the dealer to hear it this time. I dropped off the vehicle this time, and was told they will look into it. The next day, I called back to the dealer hoping to hear what was the cause of the problem. I spoke with the service advisor who said he has taken my vehicle out, and also had the senior tech and they can not duplicate the noise. I was ANGRY. I said, I am on my lunch break and I am on my way up there and wanted someone to ride with me to point out the noise. I was given the shop foreman to ride, and to see if he hears anything. As we leave the parking lot, and get onto the highway the noise started. He asked me to take my foot of the gas, which I did and the noise disappeared. He said apply the gas pedal again, and the whining noise came right back. The foreman even said, wow this is annoying (tell me about it). He said I just don't know where it is coming from exactly though. I even showed him when I switch into another gear it would go away. He said yeah, this sounds like a transmission or a bearing issue. This was music to my ear, because I am not crazy now. They are replacing my transmission, and it is being ordered as we speak. I also brought up the torque convertor issue I see on a lot of blogs. They told me that my vehicle would feel like I am going over a rumble stripe if my torque convertor was going out.

    I am happy, I hope with getting a new transmission under warranty. But then again, I wonder if this is going to fix my issue. Based upon other comments, some people are working on the second or third replacement now. With the transmission being replaced, should I also request for the torque convertor to be replaced as well?

    To date, I have had my timing belt replaced, under warranty, my blue tooth under warranty, a serp belt, and a strut all under warranty. I have only had this vehicle for three years. Is this a sign to trade in this piece of junk now?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The symptom you describe, whining noise under acceleration, is most typically (hystorically for me) an indication of a failing rear diff'l. Front Diff'l for you.
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    MDX 32, That's the same god dam whistling noise that my acura dealer says its normal...bearing sound, basturds and won't fix so consider yourself lucky I guess.

    When does your warranty run out? If I were you, I'd keep it til the warranty runs out then dump it.
  • ejatejat Posts: 5
    I have a 2006 MDX and had thought for the past few years there was a transmission problem. I felt vibrations and hesitations between 25-40 MPH when excelerating. Honda sent out a notice in jan. that I needed to bring the car in for a computer program update designed to eliminate the problem I described above. It worked, car was riding smoothly as intended.

    Now I have a new problem.
    will start new message in the hopes someone can advise.
  • ejatejat Posts: 5
    I have felt for the last few weeks as though the car was hesitating and not getting enought oxygen and have been hearing metalic pinging noise. Suddenly Sun. warning lights came on and emissions warning came up. I was close to a mechanic I use for my kids car so I left it with them afraid to drive the MDX. I was told that the spark plug had either melted or imploded, fell apart and was stuck in the chamber. He had to soak it overnight to get it out but still feels a piece is missing and that is what the noise I had been hearing probably was. After working on it a few days he felt I should take it to Acura as all signs point to my needing a new engine. I am waiting for the call from Acura. Has this happened to any one else? How should I handle this as car only has 97k miles and I need an suv for another 3 years until my kids graduate from college. Help!
  • It is incredible that some Acura service departments pretend they don't know anything about the noise in the MDX transmission and continue to take clients out on a test drive to duplicate it....usually with no success!! It is even more incredible that they pretend not to know about this discussion thread about problems with MDX transmissions. Once I heard the sound in my 2003 MDX I Googled the problem description which led to this discussion thread and others and a link to Acura Service descriptions about this very problem. I followed the directives of others on this list and contacted Honda USA which was polite but gave me no satisfaction. I contacted the service manager of my Acura dealer and told him about the service bulletins about this problem and asked to have the out of warranty transmission replaced. I directed him to call his regional service manager, as others on this list suggested. After a week, he returned my call and offered to pay for half of the cost of a new transmission. I then called Acura USA again, citing the registered defect in their service bullletins as reason to replace the transmission without cost to me. The representative was unduly cordial, kept me on the phone for a half hour, then put me on hold to talk to a supervisor and returned with a nasty attitude (a big change from five minutes earlier!) and said they would only pay for half the job. At that point I contacted my insurance company, since I have a mechanical breakdown warranty with them as well as an extended warranty, and they picked up the rest of the cost. I could have contacted them initially and have them pay for the whole job but I wasn't willing to leave Acura off the hook. Like many of my fellow MDX owners, I feel betrayed by a company that I have promoted to my friends and colleagues for years. I no longer feel that they care about their customers and will return to buying Volvos.
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    Ejat, your problem does not sound related to the transmission. Did they replace all 4 spark plugs? Also you may have a cylinder misfire. Did you get the codes? You need to get the codes and then google the codes to find out what the problem is. Also, before going to acura, take it to another trusty mechanic you can find and ask them. If you go to acura, they'll just charge you for it.
  • It is the shift cable causing the whine noise.It gets corroded and transfers the trans noise into the cabin of the vehicle.Plus some noise from any Honda vehicle may be normal as they do not use planetary gears.It is basically a manually trans with gears that mesh like a manual trans automatically shifted with clutch packs.
  • Hi All- I'm thinking about buying a 2002 MDX for a station car. Has 140k miles, really good shape. The tranny was replaced at 110k, do you think it's possible that solved the whole transmission issue? Any replies appreciated -thanks!
  • If I were you I would find out where the transmission work was done since the factory installed transmission are under warranty. Also, at 140,000 miles there are tons of other required maintenance items that are called for and you should check and see if the service history shows any of them have been done or not.

    My thinking is that at 140,000 miles, you might be buying a lot of headache unless the car has had one owner, serviced regularly and all the required repairs have been done to it. You could be buying someone else's headache.

    For our own part, we have lost complete confidence in the Acura brand and are planning to sell our 2004 MDX even though I just replaced the timing belt, water pump.....etc for the tune of $900! We are simply not happy with the quality of the brand. Even the reception on the Bose radio is a disaster and I keep hearing there are service bulletins on that which I should research.....etc. Who has time for this crap!?

    Mind you, our expectation of quality and amazing service was set up by Lexus! It's their fault that they have made Acura people look like idiots.
  • They other reply was right. I wouldn't do it. If you buy it, expect to spend $4,500 for a new tranny. If it doesn't break, then you are ahead. The MDX needed a water pump, timing belt, spark plugs and vavle adjustment at 110k miles. Make sure that was done. Change all fluids every 30k miles, use synthetic fluids when possible. Most car owners NEVR do this.

    Personaly, I'd buy a Ford. We're selling our 2003 MDX when the replacement tranny goes out of warranty. I won't even burden my grandaughter by giving it to her. This was our 2nd Acura and I won't buy another because of what I've read on this blog.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Assuming you go forward with the purchase simply remove the fuses that power the rear clutches and you won't encounter any undue driveline wear/stress.

    If you have times of need for the VTM-4 system, sustained periods of driving on a low traction surface, then wire a manual switch in series with the fuses in order to activate the VTM-4 system ONLY at times of need.
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    WWEST, with all due respect, what you're saying seems very illogical to a normal everyday person. I understand that you're trying to help but first of all, how do you know that's exactly the problem? How do you know that doesn't mess up anything else? If the fix was that simple, why wouldn't Acura do this?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2011
    "..why wouldn't Acura do this?.."

    They did, they replaced the VTM-4 system with the SH-AWD system. And who knows, they may have, at any time, provided a firmware revision, factory update or field "reflash" (TSB, there is one) that reduced the overall % of rear drive coupling.

    There are basically 2 categories of F/awd systems, pre-emptive and reactive.

    Reactive: After the Fact. The system "reacts" only once, AFTER, wheelspin/slip is detected.

    These are basically ONE-Wheel drive systems with "virtual" torque proportioning. Virtual LSD and/or "AWD" modes via "after-the-fact" TDC braking of a slipping wheel or wheels. The problem becomes that the engine must also be dethrottled just as INSTANTLY since loss of traction on the front biased front wheels is so life threatening.

    That's why many of these same vehicles now have a TDC (Traction/Directional Control) disable switch.

    Pre-emptive: Since there really is no way, in this case, to predict the future the next best choice is made. Activate the torque re-apportioning system but ONLY at times when wheelspin/slip is most likely to result.

    1. During low speed acceleration, acceleration from a stop, or hard acceleration at "higher", 25MPH, speeds.

    2. During a turn, most especially a TIGHT turn, or with moderate to hard acceleration while turning.

    Note that these techniques do not, CANNOT, allow for actual roadbed conditions, HIGHLY tractive conditions or not. In the case of technique #2 it is inadviseable to have HIGH engine torque applied SOLELY to the front wheels when a significant level of front tire traction co-efficient must/SHOULD be dedicated to lateral G-force, preventing loss of directional control.

    But these compromises can result in highly stressing, even over-stressing, the driveline components if the roadbed happens to be tractive.

    Anyone who has driven a true 4WD on a highly tractive roadbed with 4WD engaged will attest to this. In a true 4WD with 4WD engaged in a tight turn on a tractive surface the resulting wheel scrubbing/hop can be so severe as to break thumbs and/or fingers of an unwary or inexperienced driver.

    Take a look at the past ten years or so of the history of the Ford Escape F/awd system. Virtually continuous tries by Ford to allevaite/bate the PTO/PTU and rear clutch/diff'l failures as a result of the driveline component stress resulting from pre-emptive engagement of rear torque apportioning on tractive surfaces.

    All because the reactive system has been well proven to be unsatisfactory, JUSTIFIABLY so, in the public's "eye".

    It seems to me that a good, STELLAR, compromise might be to have these F/awd systems remain in, default into, "reactive" mode for adverse roadbed conditions for which the driver might be unaware, but with a driver operated switch to convert to the system to pre-emptive mode for KNOWN adverse roadbed conditions.

    With the advent of the use of this "pre-emptive" F/awd system on the new Ford Explorer (and yes, I intended to use F/awd and Ford Explorer in the same sentence), Ford has adopted a method of using engine coolant to provide continuous cooling of the PTO/PTU assembly. It appeared to me that this may be also true of the rear clutch/diff'l assembly but I have not been able to get a direct answer from Ford on this question.
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