Howdy, Stranger!

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

Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • Understand 2010 is new 6 it totally new,or has it been used in other Acura vehicles and if so what is "problem history"?
  • Sudden total transmission failure after having only Acura dealership totally service this car all the time! Replacement cost of is outrageous $5500, only $4400 if one part is not replaced. Will be trying to get them to pay at least half after reading posts. There are way too many failures for the MDX. Apparently they don't value customer loyalty which makes me not want to give them or Honda any future business!!!
  • So I sold my Acura MDX (05) with 49,000 miles on it after the torque convertor went bad and was told I needed a new transmission. Bought a new Nissan Murano. Acura needs to take a lesson from Nissan. Apparently back in 2001 when Nissan first came out with its CVT transmission, there were problems with that year model through the 2004 models where transmissions were needing replaced at 50,000+ miles. Nissan just stepped up to the plate and extended their tranny warrenty to 10 years, or 120,000 for ALL years of any model with the cvt tranny! AND, they are reimbursing anyone who had to put money out to get their tranny fixed even if they don't even own the vehicle anymore!! Talk about customer service!! Acura needs to get a clue or will continue to loose customer loyalty. I for one won't buy another Acura or Honda product until they get their act together.
  • Our 2003 MDX just had a new transmision and two motor mounts installed. I didn't have a transmission problem when we took it in to get a timing belt, tune-up and new motor mounts installed. The dealer claimed that the transmission just wore out while it was in their shop. He must have confused me with some one who is stupid. With 108k miles, we argued and demanded they get Acura technical people involved. Afterward, the dealer said Acura would pay 75%. The next day they offered to pay 90% so we took the offer. It's still a ripoff.

    My suggestion, make the dealer call Acura in CA, tell them you know these transmisions are defective and Acura is paying up to 90%. I threatened to take our car to independant repair shops before agreeing to any work, that's when they came up with the 90%. If your dealer won't budge, find another dealer and try again. If that fails, find an indepenant shop to fix it for less.

    Bottom line, get rid of your Acura MDX when you can and don't buy another Acura. This was our second and our last. Also, report your dealer to the Better Business Bureau if they won't help. Whatever happens, file a complaint with the US gov. agency to help start a recall.
  • 10sfan10sfan Posts: 136
    Based on 45 years multiple vehicle ownership, everyone should be reminded that 50% of a dealership profit is from the service departments in good times. When new vehicle sales are slow, that number may be increased. Always get second and third quotes for this type of expensive work as games are played even more so with up scale/luxury dealerships and their service departments
  • Should dealers be allowed to gouge or ripoff unsuspected customers to maintain their profit? If you are a dealer, and you are selling an inferior product, pay the price or quit.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    ripoff unsuspected customers

    I think you meant "unsuspecting." :)

    But seriously, a customer should arrive at the showroom fully informed and not be vulnerable to the occasional overzealous sales person - as he or she should be in any serious financial endeavor.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Recently purchased a 2002 acura mdx with 112000 mi .4days later the check egine light came on . took 2 auto part store so that they could do a test , it was confirmed that it was a transmission.took 2 a certified acura mechanic also it was confirmed.. I thought acura was a good car .just bought car and cant even enjoy it also when I left off gas u can feel the car start to downshift . I see that is common issue . I sure I wish I would have done my homework.does anyone know if acura has acknowledged this as a recall that they will fix for free.
  • I filed a report on www-odi thanks . I hope that acura will own up to this issue and fix @ no charge .I should have kept my dodge durango .had over 157000 mi no issue transmission pur like a kitten.
  • sorry but I think you are hosed. only a very few got any help with their on an inflated price. don't expect too much from them. many of us have gone to the mat at the dealership and through corporate and came up empty handed. we can all formally complain and then just not ever buy their product again. my friend with a 2003 Honda Accord and 70K miles had her tranny fail today. There was a class action against Acura (TL series cars) and Hondas in the 1990s for tranmission issues. I contacted that legal firm and they said nothing is in the works, try for individual counsel or contact a lemon law attorney to see if you have anything. I am thinking about a Ford next time and up until now have been a very loyal honda/acura customer. no more though. Sorry about your misfortune. It stinks to spend so much on such a beautiful car to only have a pile under the hood. shop around and get an extended warranty on transmission work if you plan to keep the car for a bit. many are on their 3rd transmissions...although new parts, it's the same crappy design. good luck!
  • Go to Acura and ask that they contact their tech support in CA. They may pay some of the cost. Before committing any money to Acura, try and find an independant transmission shop who can testify that they have experience repairing these specific transmissions and get a price. It may be cheaper. Check Better Business before commiting money. The Acura factory refurbished transmission comes with a 3year/36k warranty and costs $4,400 installed. Acura paid 90% of ours but we were 1 month outside of our extended warranty and it was our second Acura purchased from this same dealer. Most people are being offered Acura paying 75%.

    We bought our 2003 MDX used with 50k miles and the trans. broke at 108k. I have all maint records showing the fluid was replaced every 30k miles. I'll replace fluid evey 5k from now on. That's when the oil is changed. It's really easy to change. You must used the Acura Z1 fluid. Enjoy your Acura for 30k miles, then sell it.
  • ashamasham Posts: 1
    i get this car 2 weeks later the trans brook down when i was drving it sliping its only have 74k mile i bought that car as one owner it very clean but with this kind of hiding proplem and costly .what kind business that acura doing ,its very sad to buy acura any more .they have trans proplem 2001 ,2002,ACURA TL ,u should chick the recall and comment befor you buy those acura,its rap off.
    when i want to the dealer they wanna charg me for new trans.
  • If you bought it used from Acura, start complaining to BBB and Acura in CA. Dealers ussually warranty used cars for a short period. If you bought from a private party, you're screwed. Maybe check your state" Lemon Laws.

    If Acura won't pay for a new one, take it to an independant transmision shop and have it rebuilt. You'll save 2 grand over Acura's price and they'll use better parts. Have them change your passenger side and bottom front motor mounts also. Change tranny fluid every time you change oil.

    Your next big expense will be at 100k miles for a timing belt.
  • I too own a vehicle with this transmission, but it is a 2003 Honda Pilot. If you go to the Honda Pilot Transmission Issues forum, you will find IDENTICAL issues, since it is after all the IDENTICAL transmission. I have actually serviced my vehicle at the local Acura dealer that is owned by the same person that owns the local Honda dealer. Our Pilot has 94,000 miles on it (bought it new) and about 3,000 miles ago I started feeling a vibration/hesitation at about 39 mph to 49 mph. The RPM's do not settle in during this time. I believe it to be the torque converter failing to lockup. I see some have done flushes and have corrected this issue, others have had to get the entire transmission replaced. I am scared to go to the's almost like knowing that you are sick and not wanting to go to the doctor. We have done the transmission fluid drains very regularly. Is it okay to flush this transmission as I thought I had heard that it was not recommended? Anyone know a good class-action lawyer that would want to take something like this? If you think about how well the 03 Pilots sold plus the sales from the 01-03 MDX's, that could be a huge number. Really disappointed with Honda. I also own a Nissan with a CVT and recently received a letter where they are extending my warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles on the CVT for no charge. Not that they've had recent issues with it, but because there WERE issues with it that have been fixed. That's customer service...sorry Honda, I'm not going back to you ever again. Might as well buy a GM Yukon.
  • I also have a 2003 Honda Pilot. I bought it new and have been the only owner. After 37000 miles, my tranny went out. I couldn't believe it, 37000 miles!!! I had all of the scheduled maintenance done a the dealer, too. I was just outside of my warranty. I called Honda and they agreed to pay for it anyway. I also own a CR-V and one of the seatbelts wouldn't retract and needed to be replaced. Again, I was just outside the warranty. It was going to cost $400 to fix, so I called Honda and they agreed to pay for it. So, I've had some luck with them, and it definitely doesn't hurt to try.

    I have read a lot about being having problems with the transmissions in the 2003 Pilot, Odyssey, and MDX.
  • We have a 2001 Acura MDX that we purchased new in Oct 01. The vehicle has 144000 miles and has been the best vehicle we have ever had. Thanksgiving weekend we drove it 250 miles one way to visit family. It started "missing" or slipping" on the way there. Just seemed like the car couldn't find the gear. Only did it 4-5 times over the course of 4 hours. On the way home (another 250 miles) we were in bumper to bumper traffic on I-81, couldn't go more than 35-40 miles an hour with lots of stops and starts. The slipping became more apparent with some lurching and times when the transmission couldn't seem to find the gear at all and would rev really high. Finally about an hour from home 5th gear gave out completely and the car wouldn't go over 45 miles per hour. We got off interstate and took the back roads the rest of the way home. After we got home and unpacked, took it out for a test run and it worked fine, no problems whatsoever until Christmas eve. I drove it 30+ miles to pick up a gift and it was fine until I got into stop and go traffic and it started slipping again. I picked up the gift and headed back home and it was the worst it had been in the lower gears lurching and revving really high. Once I managed to get up to about 40, it was fine. I had to climb a mountain on the way home and on the downward side I lost 5th gear again. I kicked it into neutral and coasted all the way to the bottom, pulled over, shut it off, turned it back on and no more problems.
    We were thinking of trading it in on a new Acura and not mentioning the problems if it made it to the dealer but I don't really want a new car payment. I found this forum today and called the local Acura and asked about the assistance from Acura when replacing an out of warranty transmission since their were 100's of posts online from people having this problem. I was told it was a case by case basis and you had to have done all transmission fluid changes at the appropriate time for them to offer assistance. The car had to be in overall good shape with regular Acura service and provide proof of the transmission fluid changes.
    We moved to a town without an Acura dealer 4 years ago and have been getting the Acura serviced at the local Honda dealer. I called them to find out when the last transmission fluid change was and they had NEVER done one, although all other service had been performed including the timing belt, water pump and left engine mount along with all belts. Why would they never change the transmission fluid in 4 years of serving the vehicle? Now it seems that that blows any chance of getting assistance from Acura on a transmission replacement.
    On another point, do you think that just flushing the transmission may solve the issue since the fluid hasn't been changed in such a long time. Do my issues sound like what you all have been experiencing? I've never noticed the vibrating that several of you have mentioned. And our vehicle seems fine driven close to home, it's when we venture out that the problems start.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
  • jslivonjslivon Posts: 57
    Acura is not saying what the problem is with these transmissions so I can't say if flushing the unit with new fluid will help. Maybe it will or not. I think they charge over $200 for it with no guarantees to fix the problem. I honestly believe it's an electronic problem, or internal plugged fluid filter issue causing this. Transmissions don't just wear out overnight. I think Acura replaces the whole transmission to assure the problem goes away.

    Your service issues are common with all repair shops. They only do what you tell them to. Even though you take it in for routine "service", there's no assurance they do what's needed on your maintenance schedule. But use that issue as an argument that the dealer did not do it's job by maintaining your vehicle when you took it to them. "You trusted them to handle all service items" and they failed. They should take some responsibility. I always do my own service work on all our vehicles.

    Take your MDX to the Honda dealer, insist they contact Acura in CA regarding reimbursing you for a new transmission based on the dealer's poor maintenance service and the fact that there are reported problems with the transmissions. If they offer anything less then them paying 75% of the replacement cost, go to an independent transmission repair company (one who has experience rebuilding Acura transmissions) and get an estimate. It may be cheaper then giving Acura any more money. Acura's replacement transmission comes with a 3yr./36k warranty. It may not be transferable. I think an independent shop would be $2,000 less then Acura's full price.

    Now that I got a new (rebuilt) transmission in our MDX, I will be changing transmission fluid every time I change the engine oil (5k miles). It takes 3 qts of fluid and adds 5 minutes to the oil change job. It's really easy. Use Acura's Z1 fluid but I'll be looking to buy it some place else instead of the dealer. Mobil 1's synthetic fluid is not recommended by Mobil.
  • jslivonjslivon Posts: 57
    I just got this reply from a guy who sells rebuilt MDX transmissions on ebay;

  • Two months ago, the torque convertor was replaced at 55K miles. But it never did seem quite right, now it obviously is not right. So it went back to Acura where the service department diagnosed it as a bad torque but they "need to contact the Techline." I'm supposed ot hear back tomorrow. Does anyone know - are the torque convertor and transmission issues related, one in the same, or completely seperate? They do share fluid, it isn't a stretch to think that debris could transfer.
  • 03 Pilot owner. Tranny out at 112K. Calling Honda on monday with lot's of research behind me. I will say that from just the Edmunds threads on Pilot/MDX tranny failures, it seems that the MDX owners fare better for compensation...but I'm crossing my fingers.

    Just wanted to note something about Honda/Acura. All of their V6 transmissions have a replaceable filter, yet, it's never replaced during dealer scheduled service and most service desks don't even know about it. I found this out doing my own service on my Acura TL. The parts guy had never heard of anyone replacing this when I ordered it. The filter was as dirty as the fluid and, most will find a small amount of shavings on their magnetic drain plug and I can only assume this accumulates in the filter, too.

    Anyone else think that's odd?
Sign In or Register to comment.