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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • Keep in mind the issue is with the TORQUE CONVERTER, not the entire transmission. Nonetheless, I understand a replacement of the TC would run about $3200. My 2010 TC had to be replaced at 38,000- covered of course under warantty. The dealer told me they had one other '10 needing a replacement.
    It bothers me that the replacement was not a redesign. And where Acura has had problems with these in the past, I would think they would want to nip this in the bud.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited December 2011
    If that Lexus happens to be of the RX variety of 99-00 vintage then you should expect a transaxle failure within 70-100,000 miles. Less probability for the later years of RX300 but higher likelihood than reasonable.

    With the RX330 the VC, Viscous Clutch, F/awd functionality was abandoned and DBW was adopted "to protect the drive train", delayed engine rising torque in response to gas pedal depression in certain downshift requirement instances.

    In the case of the MDX I suspect the failure rate might have a lot to do with just how often a high, but reasonable, acceleration rate is used on a highly tractive roadbed surface. "Driving" both front and rear diff'ls when operating on a highly tractive surface is ALWAYS extra stressful on the drive train components.

    The TC may be the weakest link since nowadays they are generally made less robust now that they are bypassed so much of the time.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..replacement was not a redesign.."

    I doubt if you can be really certain of that. The SH-AWD firmware could have been revised to provide less rear drive functionality and that would be hardly noticeable for most driving conditions.
  • If Acura offered a redesign, it could be taken as an admission of a significant design flaw... on the other hand if there is a design flaw they will gain an image of unreliability. I had a Ford Taurus with a head gasket failure at less than 70,000 miles (not covered under their extended warranty because I had exceeded the allowable time) ... I think it was FelPro that developed a better head gasket to solve the problem, not Ford. I wonder if an independent company can improve Acura's torque converter, which would be worth it if it is a common problem?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why couldn't a reflash be done along without the owner knowledge with a major repair such as this...
  • I have a 2003 Acura MDX with 147,000 miles on it and I performed the scheduled maintenance like clockwork. The car ran in excellent condition up until last night when the transmission went out on the freeway! with no advanced notice or warning signs at all? Seems there are several other people who have had similar issues. Looks like a new transmission is around 4K or I take a loss with my car that is worth at least 11,000
    does anyone else have any similar stories? it just doesn't seem fair that there was no advance warning engine light or nothing just gone... on the freeway and the car hesitated while the gas was pressed and 5 minutes later no power absolutely done so frustrated
  • We have a strange problem with our 20011 MDX with 18,000 miles on it. Here's how we can get it to occur, sometimes:

    After driving the car for a few minutes, shut it off for a few minutes. Then start and drive it away. Sometimes at this point when we accelerate, we can hear this clunky noise from front or under the car that almost sounds like an old diesel bus. The noise goes away a few seconds later.

    We took the car to the dealership but they said they couldn't reproduce it. Any ideas? Does it sound like a transmission issue? If not, what can this be?

  • kinvakinva Posts: 1
    I don't have any statistics for you, but my 09 Acura MDX has been sitting at the Acura dealership since Monday the 12th. It needs a torque converter and I was told at 12:00 today, they can't get their hands on one, but mine is starred in the computer as priority. I guess that is b/c I am driving their 2012 TSX that had 600 miles on it when I drove it off the lot and they want it back. They also ordered me new bushings b/c of the popping noise when I turn the steering wheel. As of today, the bushings have not come in either!!
  • I have 2002 MDX touring w/Navi. My transmission just went out at 150,000 miles. Replaced transmission. Engine light still on with Vtm light. Took back to mechanic 3 times. Each time, replaced or cleaned spark plugs, valves, coil packs, still light on. Drives great. Any one with some ideas please? I am going back to mechanic tomorrow.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited December 2011
    At 150,000 miles the VTM-4 clutches may be worn out. No noticeable driving effect unless you NEED AWD functionality. Unless you have times of/for than need then just drive on.......

    CEL is a different story, what code..?

    On the other hand the CEL may derive from the VTM-4 fault.

    Your mechanic seems to be stumbling around taking your money without knowing the systems.
  • Thank you for the reply. I will ask the mechanic. Luckily, he hasn't charged me anything after I payed $2700 for the new transmission.
  • This happened to me shortly after I brought my Acura MDX 2002 Touring Edition. I brought it in 2006 and after having it for 3 months the transmission went out on me on the interstate without any kind of warning or anything. Lucky for me I purchased the extended warranty so it was covered. I was told by my mechanic that the MDX and TL have known transmission problems. Which upset me because I thought Acura was suppose to be the high end of Honda. I can say that since then I havent had any other issues and I have owned it now for 5 years just wish that it was better on gas. Maybe you should look into rebuilding it, it will save you some money since you are already at almost 150k miles.
  • I have a 2002 MDX Touring edition. I changed my timing belt and water pump at 90K miles. I am now at 160k, when should I change them again?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Converting a FWD base vehicle to F/awd has proven to be tad more problematic than the design engineers expected, look at the early RX failure rate as an example.
  • Its your ABS brake self test nothing to worry about.
  • Thanks for the info. But this only happens when I accelerate and the noise gets louder when I press the gas pedal harder. Hard to imagine it's related to the brakes. How can I be sure it's not a problem?
  • For any of you who have replaced a transmission, how long does the new one last or how long have continued to own the car. I just replaced my transmission at 150K.
  • Mine quit at about 30,000 miles the first time, and now it's happening again in the low 60's. Took about 5 years each time. It's a 2002, and I only put on 6000 - 6500 miles per year.
  • Unfortunately we are seeing many MDX vehicles built in the early 2000s with this major issue. But now Acura has the same problem with vehciles after the re-do in 2010. What is of great concern is that the replacement (which I have after 30,000 miles) has not been redesigned. That, after all the replacements, is unpardonable.
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