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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • so they were going to stick it to us. when we went to get the loaner they had the nerve to tell us that in addition to the fix, they would charge another $175 to seal the rear something or other so the transmission woudln't leak. they also said they always replace the ECU (the brains) even if there is nothing wrong with that component...oh and the fix is $800 of the total. I called a local reputable tranny shop and we are getting it fixed for $2400. I had my car towed on Friday afternoon and told Acura they were a ripoff. I still intend to write letters and I won't walk into another Acura dealer again. And I will happily rate the dealership on line. What an exercise in frustration. The dealership really didn't care or they wouldn't have done that last maneouver of the $175.
  • It's typical of other dealerships I've dealt with, certainly not specific to Acura. But for their prices, you'd hope they would try harder than some of the cheaper brands out there.
  • Can you please tell what acura dealership you went to?
  • it was in north central texas, why do you ask? i am trying to get another acura dealership to fix my warrantied SRS sensor (I have the letter) and they won't return any of my calls. called twice. I am a bit put out with all of them.
  • Hi all. I own a 2006 acura mdx with funny sounds coming from drivetrain area. If u decelerate to 30-40 mph, then slightly accelerate, there is a vibrating/shuttering sound followed by a clunking sound as attempts to shift gears.

    Local dealer says it needs a new torque converter and an updated pcm module, total bill $2,500. Problem is... with 75,000 miles, the car is just out of the warranty period, so dealer says the repair bill is all my responsibility. Car has never been used for towing,etc. All normal maintenance done by me, with my own notes in manual. Transmission fluid has never been changed.

    Called Acura (national) with an appeal for assistance. Still waiting to hear their decision as to if/how much they would be willing to assist me with.

    Really curious, Is there anyone else out there with 2006 mdx with similar problems or experiences to share?? Thanks much, kobbe.
  • I wrote back in the summer about problems I was having with my Acura MDX 2002. Acura finally agreed to share the cost of replacing the torque converter. I had all the work done including a seven year check up. About a month after I had it back from the dealer it started doing the same thing again. What is happening is from time to time when I am driving (it is not speed dependent) the car shifts itself into neutral and then shifts out. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens and I never know when it will. I have taken it back to the dealer three times now and they can't get it to repeat or come up with a signal on their monitors for the transmission. Then about a week and a half ago I was driving when all of a sudden my radio went dead and lights on my dashboard came on. This happened about 4 times like a power surge and then it stopped. I had the battery checked and everything checked out fine. The dealer took the car for a few days and had the mechanic drive it home every day to see if it would repeat itself. Of course it never did. However, I drive at least 40 miles a day and they only put on about 10 each day. They gave it back to me and basically said oh well! Then, my SRS light came on. They now have the car because my seat belt and front air bags went. I am at my wits end! I don't feel safe driving the car with my kids in it but no one can figure out the problem. I feel like I need a camera in my car to prove that I my speedometer could be at 35 and my rpm's are at 6! Any one with similar experience? I can't really afford a new car but feel that I need one for the safety issue. I would love any suggestions. Thanks.
  • NHTSA can initiate a recall of the 2003 MDX based on numerous consumer complaints. I just checked the NHTSA complaint list and only 14 of us filed complaints!! Yet, there are hundreds of blog comments complaining about the transmission. This does not make sense!! If we are serious about getting this vehicle recalled SO WE EITHER DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE REPAIR OR IF WE PAID FOR THE REPAIR, GET OUR MONEY BACK,then we need to follow the instructions provided by NHTSA in the following link, which explains the recall process:

    or call the NHTSA toll-free number to make a REAL complaint!

    ONLINE: Select the "Begin Form" button to the right.
    BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at
    (888) 327-4236 , TTY: (800) 424-9153.
  • " Transmission fluid has never been changed. "

    Huh? At 75,000 miles it should have been changed at least once, I had our '04 changed @ 50,000 because I have been so paranoid that something was going to happen to the tranny.
  • yeah, I know upstatedoc, my bad....bad kobbe. I've done my own maintenance for many, many years and been sorta ignoring the trannys, at least up until recent years when I started driving acuras and hearing/reading about tranny problems with them. The 2003 I owned (before I bought current 2006) that my daughter now drives has 120,000 miles, still going strong, also never changed atf. Maybe just lucky on that one, huh?

    Interesting the differences out there re changing atf....Crysler minivan manual calls for atf change at 120,000 miles (normal driving conditions). Neighbor's BMW manual calls for atf change every 100,000. Believe GM also 100,000 miles. Yet acura says at 45,000, then every 30,000 after that. Go figure???

    Reading over past threads in this forum re those with mdx owners with tranny problems, doesn't seem to make a difference whether maintenance schedule has been followed religiously or not. I'd be interested in hearing from others on this issue. Along same lines, do tranny problems develop only on cars driven hard/trailering etc. or on those babied as well???
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    I think I am the latest victim of this transmission issue with Acura. My 2003 MDX has 88k miles and I took today to the dealer and they said I need a new transmission and they offer to charge me $3600 for it as being "nice". They said they would charge me only the cost of it I had repair warranty. I have to say that now learning this issue is so common they looked and sounded awfully suspicious to me.
    I read several posts here but I am still confused. Is there a possibility to have this repaired for free or at least much cheaper than $3,600 because of the several transmission issues with this car? My warranty expired at 50k, so I no longer have it.
    Is any good contacting Acura North America? Would they be any help?
    How some of you approach the dealers regarding this?
    My dealer is Kearny Mesa Acura in San Diego.
    I appreciate with any of you can give me any guidance on this headache. Thank you very much!
  • Gugy68, good luck. We ended up going to a local tranny shop and changing it for $2500 for 3 year/3K warranty. when they opened it up, there was metal or something in the radiator so that needed to go as well for another $350. They tried and tried flushing to no avail.
    The dealership knows all about it and yet they smile and deny. But, the fact that they made a good will offer shows the issue is clear. Let me save you some frustration. First, we declined Acura's "offer" to fix at an inflated price. They put on the paperwork "customer declined goodwill offer" to cover themselves. And, they did not put in our paperwork for a customer service survery afterwards like all dealership do. I had to fix the SRS sensor the next week and took it to a 2nd dealer. i told them they needed to fix it and not report other "issues" they somehow stumbled upon while fixing the SRS. The service manager called and i explained the entire issue with the other dealership and tranny. She said I was mishandled and told me to file a complaint with Acura in CA. Acura in CA said that it was a dealership issue since they are owned and operation independently of Acura. She said she would not my complaints in a file/complaint to the dealerhsip and that (after much prodding) it would basically amount to nothing and I would not get any feedback or closure. I told her why waste my breath and blood pressure. I gave up. You can ask to speak to the regional director who is over your dealership for the area. You may be able to talk him into more but don't hold your breath.
    I guess many traded their cars just to get out from under the problem. If Acura does the repair, don't be surprised if other things crop up while they attempt to fix it. And get maximum warranty if you are keeping the car. The new tranny doesn't fix the old tranny design issues. some are on their 3rd tranny. Good luck!
    To the person who asked if the cars had been babied or not, mine was babied. it took some road trips from TX to FL but never hauled anything and has been our 2nd car and garaged 85% of the time. It is treated better than me! So, it doesn't matter. they have issues and we are stuck with it.
  • Please file a complaint with NHTSA (National Transportation Safety Administration)so that they can get enough complaints to start a recall. If the vehicle is recalled, we either do not have to pay for the repair or can get our money back for repairs made. It is easy to file complaint and you might be able to get something out of it.
  • My car was experiencing an unusual grinding sound while accelerating slowly to about 40MPH. It has about 75,000 miles on it but the noise was noticed much earlier than this but could not be detected by the dealership until now. I was told that the torque converter needed to be replaced. Fortunately I have a warranty that was purchased at the time of the sale and so I did not incur any expense. It was replaced last week and then the D2 light started blinking while driving. I called for service again and was told that the 4th gear pressure switch needed to be replaced. Supposedly this was replaced last week when the torque converter was put in but the part must have been defective. It was replaced yesterday and so far the light has not come back on. My concern, after reading these blogs, is that my trasnsmission might go. Any advice?
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice.
    I will take my car to an independent shop to double check the transmission. I just have a really bad feeling about the dealer.
    I did contact Acura Care and they said only the dealer could help me, so they were not of much help at all. I mentioned that I heard many Acura's were recalled due the transmission issue and they denied my 2003 being part of the ones with this issue.
    Then the dealer did contact me back and offered reducing the transmission job to $2500 and if I decide to fix my brake pads plus rotors they would do the whole thing for $3k.
    I am not sure if I am going to do this. Since I lost a lot of confidence on the Acura brand. I just do not want to be in the vicious cycle of fixing one thing and another problems waiting to happen in a car with expired warranty.
    I am weighting my options at this time but I feel I should move on sell the car and buy another brand WITH warranty. We'll see.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • kobbekobbe Posts: 4
    OK, so what's different with acura's trannys that they require atf change at 45,000 miles, then every 30,000 ??? Or is it a CYA (cover your ---) strategy? Most of the others I checked on are good for at least 100,000 miles. Any comments or opinions out there? Thanks....
  • I own a 2002 MDX and experienced transmission problems around 50,000 and kept getting various codes until around 70,000 I finally went to Norris Acura in Ellicott City, MD. Their wonderful staff worked with me and contacted Acura North America who agreed to give me a new transmission. I still had to pay the labor to install (around $650) but at least I have a new transmission. Now at 110,000 miles my front-end is loose and starting to make clunking noises when I make a hard turn. I've realigned and balanced but the car still has a shake to it. Anybody know what that could be? Also anybody have issues with the SRS light? Mine has just turned on but I haven't made a trip to the dealer yet.
  • you are lucky you got a new tranny and they weren't jerks like they were to me. the SRS light had a recall a few years back. Call your dealer and check. I just had mine fixed. The light means you have no side air bag in a crash so you will want to fix it. The dealer told me there are about 8 or so reasons for the SRS light failure, only one of them covered under warranty. Mine wasn't covered but because I told them how sensitive I was to the transmission issue and how another dealership treated the issue, they needed to tread carefully. So, they called and said it was a "grey area" but would fix it at no charge. You can google and find the SRS recall on line. Can't help on the other clunking issue. Good luck!
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    Acura won't budge, they are basically saying they would take care of my transmission for $2500. I asked for a better deal, since I am appalled that a premium brand car with less than 100k miles need a total transmission replacement. They seem not to care.

    I guess, I will just move on and trade it and say bye, bye to Acura brand forever.
  • kobbekobbe Posts: 4
    Did your new torque converter come with a warranty?? If so, how much, how long? Thanks
  • bbaer1bbaer1 Posts: 1
    At 56000 miles my Transmission went out for the first time on my 2002 MDX. At this time, the dealer was able to get the factory to "goodwill" the repair. Great right? No. Here I am 23k miles later and the transmission they replaced is now toast. I went to the dealer and they told me that since the last repair was covered for free, it wasn't under any sort of a warranty and I should be thanking them that they are only charging me half price this time. Unbelievable! How can you look at me straight faced and tell me that I would need to pay to fix the work that you did poorly just 23k miles ago? I have never been this angry with any other company in my life. I will never buy an Acura again.
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