Howdy, Stranger!

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

Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My guess would be that the torque converter lockup clutch would be the weakest link insofar as driveline component failures resulting from the undue stress of AWD operation on a perfectly dry highly tractive surface.s

    On the other hand the lockup clutch should NEVER be engaged during most times of AWD engagement....during low speed acceleration. Which leaves us with AWD and lockup clutch engagement only in turns, while turning.
  • MHirt1MHirt1 Posts: 6
    I can relate to your problem - replaced the TC on my 2005 MDX about 2 years ago, and now it appears that my transmission cooler has failed, resulting in intermingling of the transmission and radiator fluids and possible transmission failure. I think that your expectations are unreasonable, however. Your car is 9 years old with almost 150,000 miles and you're considering a class action suit because of a failure? You are way, way passed the warranty period. You simply cannot expect there to be NO mechanical failures after that amount of time and mileage.
  • mdxer7mdxer7 Posts: 8
    After much thought, I've decided to take the plunge again. My present MDX is 11 years old w/220K miles. 1st Transmission was replaced around 101K covered by dealer due to the fact I had had all prev maint done by them. I've had other issues over the years but 95% were covered under 7/100 warranty. Needless to say, I will also purchase a 8/120 warranty as I keep my vehicles a long time. Though the MDX has had its issues - there is no SUV out there that doesn't. When you buy a 4WD you will have "issues." I test drove many SUV's before making this decision - Lexus RX350 (thou very lux inside steering felt like an old ladies car) Toyota Limited Highlander (close runner up - still a bit truck-like), Honda CRV (Yuck), and the new 2013 RDX --- very nice, sporty, quick response...but just a tad too small for me. Anyway, nothing compared to the MDX (IMO) at this price here I go again. I've loved my 2001(wh/is once again having minor TC issues) and I figure I'll be pretty happy w/my 2012 with extended warranty of course. :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2012
    "...4WD you will have "issues"..."

    Your term "4WD", at least for me, implies having the ability to put the system in/out of 4WD manually, PB or otherwise. In that case any "issues" would generally be the driver's responsibility, failure to properly manage the system.

    What everyone today seems to be selling, trying to sell, are "automatic" AWD systems that require no driver intervention, thoughfulness, or knowledge.

    These fall into 2 categories, Pre-emptive or passive.

    Most passive systems, after the fact systems, rely on TC braking, along with INSTANTANEOUS engine dethrottling, to "re"-allocate engine torque but only after driven wheelslip/spin is already present. Since this TC function eliminates, totally, the driver's ability to use the old tried and true method of "feathering" the throttle to get up and going initially, most now have a TC "off" capability.

    The HL, WRX, and RX, RX prior to 2010, fall into the above category.

    Then we have the PRE-EMPTIVE systems such as the WRX-Sti, MDX, RX (2010+), and the RDX (both "flavors, the prior RDX, and the new one using the same system as the newer RX).

    We all know, are most certainly SHOULD know, that leaving a true 4WD system engaged on a tractive surface, even for a very short distance, will ALWAYS result in driveline component failure due to the HEAT from the resulting over-stressing.

    So, what these new PRE-EMPTIVE "AWD" systems do is they automatically LOCK ("effectively") the center differential TEMPORARILY but only at/during the specific times, situations, wherein wheelspin/slip would otherwise be most likely to result.

    Those times are:

    1.) During low speed acceleration wherein it could be, were one on a marginally tractive roadbed surface, of great benefit to NOT have the primary drive wheels subject to the full level of drive torque.

    2.) During low speed turns, "tight" turns, or even moreso accelerating during into/during a low speed turn. In turns wherein the lateral forces on the front tires build up substantially one can see it would be wise/best, to not have the front wheels remain the primary "drive" force.

    If these vehicles are primarily driven on low traction surfaces, no harm, no foul. But drive them primarily on highly tractive surfaces or with a leadfoot and you are likely to endure some type of driveline component faillure post-warranty.

    Were I in the market currently I would be seriously considering the base Porsche Cayenne or the VW Toureg. Both make use of the same electromagnetic clutch system as the newer RX and RDX, but in the front driveline vs the rear, R/awd.

    R/awd biased AWD.

    With either of these, F/awd or R/awd, using the electromagnetically controlled clutch, I would add a switch function....OFF/AUTO/ON. The latter state, locked on, would expire automatically, switching back in "AUTO" mode after the initial 30-60 period, or if the vehicle reached 20-25 MPH.

    "OFF"...Extension of driveline component "life" well beyong the warranty period. IMMHO there is no need (Leadfoot = Exception) for any "AWD" functionality except upon driver recognition of adverse roadbed conditions, or the probability, <32F OAT, thereof.
  • eldjsourceeldjsource Posts: 1
  • dc1225dc1225 Posts: 53
    Guys, when I turn my wheel all the way to the left or right to do a u turn, my power steering makes this grinding/whining noise. No it's not tranny judder. Is this rack n pinion or power steering pump issue?
  • wallabyguywallabyguy Posts: 20
    To an extent this can be normal as it places strain on the power steering mechanism. That said, if it sounds louder or worse than normal, it is likely low power steering fluid. This can happen with time or from a leak. Check the level with the car cold. If you need to add fluid, make sure to buy HONDA power steering fluid. DO NOT buy any other type as the weight and make up is unique. It can be purchased at any auto parts retailer or from your dealer. It's only a few bucks for the container. If the sound doesn't go away or returns in short order, you have a leak or some other type of failure and it's time to get the system checked out.
  • lovegmc1lovegmc1 Posts: 37
    We had a 2004 MDX also with the same torque converter problems! Along with ford and Lexus, try gmc the Acadia is beautiful(it's our new car) and they are redesigning it next year :)
  • h30h30 Posts: 1
    I'm the original owner of an MDX 2002. The mileage is 92K. It just got the 90K service from the original dealer where I bought the car. I hear some noise so I think it was related to the brake. I brought the car to the dealer, which performed all the maintenance since day-1. The suggestion is timing belt, then motor mount and I don't know what it is. The dealer fix an transmission electronic switch, but we feel the same problem. We brought the car back. The dealer say it is the transmission issue, and the estimation for fixing it is $6K. Thinking about the motor mount estimation, about the timing belt estimation, and now about the transmission, I declined the suggested transmission fix because all the fixes will cost more than the blue-book price of the car (est. 8k). The engine light is permanently on when I got the car back from the dealer. I drove car back home and park it, very sad and upset. Any suggestion is welcome.
  • lovegmc1lovegmc1 Posts: 37
    We Had an 04 that shuddered! The dealer said it'd cost thousands of dollars to fix! So we took it home, then the problem got worse, to the point that we drove less because every time we hit 30-45 it'd do it again! So glad we sold it! When we got our new car(2012 acadia), I was so happy that it didn't shudder! I feel like the acadia is more luxiourious than the Acura was! And it's been problem free so far! It's so nice to have a break from the shuddering! Acura really needs to fix this issue because there are just SOOO many complaints!
  • lovegmc1lovegmc1 Posts: 37
    What they mean by TC is torque converter(because a lot of MDX's have those issues), not traction control, although one would think so
  • jga5jga5 Posts: 11
    I have 115,000 miles on my 04 and have not had any transmission problems. The A/C went out once but that's about it. My hope is to keep it until 200,000 or so. Hey, its paid for! :) :)
  • I have eliminated the shudder by driving in 4th gear except for the freeway.
  • jslivonjslivon Posts: 57
    Congradulations on the mileage. Don't overlook that your timing belt should have been replaced at this mileage. Also, spark plugs, valve adjustment, and probobly replace two broken motor mounts. Your lower ball joints will be going bad soon. I've got 160k miles on my '03 MDX and know all about it.

    I hope ypou've been changing the transmission, transaxle and rear differential fluids every 60k miles too.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Please explain why you think any of these maintenance items are not normal.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited June 2012
    I just went out and checked the ATF in our '95 LS400 and it still has a slight pinkish color, more brown than pink, and is mostly transparent, do you think that means I should have it changed out.....?

    It only has ~252,000 miles running on the factory fill......

    The only real complaint I have is how hard it pulls against the brakes when stopped with the engine IDLING at ~700RPM, really bad before the engine falls off the high idle mode, ~1100 RPM.

    I often slip it into neutral if the stop appears to be prolonged.

    I did put in new sparkplugs/caps/rotors recently just because....
  • codog3codog3 Posts: 12
    I would not change the fluid. Changing the factory fluid after 252k miles is almost a guarantee of killing your transmission
  • suver8suver8 Posts: 1
    We had a similar problem: our 2001 MDX's transmission died a few years ago (in January 2008) at a little over 100,000 miles and we were told by the Acura dealer that the repairs would cost over $6,000, while the vehicle was worth little more than that, so we reluctantly traded it in for a new vehicle, rather than spend that kind of money on a car with that low a value. Now I'm hearing that there was a transmission recall on these vehicles that the dealer never told us about. Do we have any recourse against Acura under these circumstances? I would not have spent the money on a new vehicle if we could have had the MDX repaired by Acura.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    If there was a recall I wonder why you weren't notified in the mail?
  • Well - I just received the bad news that my transmission has to be replaced in my 2003 MDX.
    I was out of town driving & after stopping at a stoplight - my MDX would not go into gear. I turned off the vehicle & then turned it on. I was able to drive home the 35 miles & now it is at my mechanics. 127,000 miles a little disappointing but cheaper than purchasing a new car.
    In Feb had the timing belt, etc replaced.

    It sure seems that transmissions are a big issue with the Acura MDX with following these postings!
Sign In or Register to comment.