Acura MDX Towing

natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
Thanks for the info about the additional engine and transmission coolers. The latest word from the dealer is that there is no info on the hitch/harness etc for the 2007 model yet. The $800.00 quote was for the 2006 model. Dealer hopes to have updated information soon.

I'm going to call acura service departments tomorrow to see if I can find any more information.

Thanks again.


  • natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    My dad negotiated an OK deal for a 2007 MDX with Tech and Ent package over a week ago. Was told it would arrive in 4-6 weeks. It arrived on Monday. The problem is they claim they don't have the hitch in stock and my dad is refusing to take delivery without the hitch (as per the negotiated trade/deal). Dealer has called everyday to come pick up - apparently they say they are losing money on the deal and need his trade in ASAP (2005 Highlander w/22k).
    Question is has anyone had trouble aquiring a hitch? Dealer says they haven't received any yet. My dad wont take delivery without the hitch (he's always towing something around; atv,lawn mower, stuff my mom doesn't want around the house anymore). The dealer response is "we'll just call you when the hitch arrives and install at that time" (no eta on that).
    Price for the hitch is $800.00
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Ethically, father knows best. If the dealer promised a hitch and is losing money because they can't deliver on that promise, it's their problem, not his.

    However, losing a good deal on an expensive vehicle just to prevent being without a hitch for a while seems like a Pyrrhic victory.

    I can't imagine it would take more than a few weeks to get the proper hitch. Is it possible for him to be without a tow vehicle that long, but he just doesn't want the bother? Or does he need to tow and cannot do without? If he can wait, I'd try to weasel some free stuff from the dealer based on how long it takes to get the hitch. One free oil change coupon for every week he has to wait, or something like that.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The dealer can give you a "Due Bill" for the missing hitch.

    My concern would be the wait time - seems like someone had to wait months for an OEM hitch (or harness?) around here for their SUV. Been searching for the post but can't find it though; this isn't quite what I thought I remembered:

    darrylj, "RAV4 Towing Options" #10, 26 Jul 2006 5:55 am
  • natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Appreciate the responses on this issue. The concern is "what if the hitch wont be available for months" and unfortunatley it is an accessory he can't live without in the coming months. You know how it goes - you always need something when you don't have it.

    I think the biggest factor has been the dealer response. They didn't notify him about the hitch till he went to the dealer to check out the car. He had to remind them to "install the hitch" and that's how he found out it was going to be delayed. They're not interested in any concessions, in their words - these cars are in high demand. So no free oil changes, no free car washes. nada. My dad doesn't go for that stuff anyway. He told them, If you want my car so bad give me a car to use while were waiting for the hitch. By the time it arrives you'll have another MDX like I requested. When the dealer heard that suddenly they think the hitch will be available Nov 13 - but not guarenteed. Of course the dealer declined the loaner car suggestion.

    I'm really curious if others have had similar trouble getting a hitch (I couldn't find it listed as an accessory or option on the website). Apparently the harness etc is specific to this model so it's not like and aftermarket product will do (something about voiding warrenty etc).
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    You might want to call around other Acura dealers or check out the Web for Acura Accessories.

    But I agree with you and your Dad's concern. We looked into getting a trailer hitch for our 2005 MDX, primarily to use with the rear bike carrier. As it turns out, we had a heck of a time finding a dealer that stocked them and they would only install it with the additional engine and transmission coolers that Acura requires. Failure to do so would have invalidated the warranty.

    Very few MDX's have trailer hitches. I have only seen 1-2 in our area. If the redesigned 2007 required a new hitch design, I wouldn't be surprised if you had to wait a long time to get one. And be sure to check if you don't also still need the engine and transmission coolers for the 2007.
  • sysweisyswei Member Posts: 1,804
    2007 hitch price should be less than the 2006 because there is no need for the extra coolers.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    2007 hitch price should be less than the 2006 because there is no need for the extra coolers.

    Is that official fact from Acura, or speculation?

    According to the Acura regional representative I spoke with last year, they determined that so few customers use the MDX for serious towing, that they elected to not make the engine and transmission oriented towards that purpose, hence the need for extra coolers. The 2007, although more horsepower, is still well below the torque of many of it's V8 competitors (GX470, LR3, X5 V8, Cayenne) and it's still a FWD based AWD system (more stressed under towing conditions). I have no actual knowledge on what the hitch/cooler issue is for 2007, and neither does my dealer who I called yesterday. He was going to look into it and get back to me. What is the source of information for your statement?
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Member Posts: 167
    Actually, according to the dealer where I got my 07 MDX from ~ the extra large cooler and trans capability have already been built into it and that the towing capacity has been increased from 3,500 lbs. to 5,000 lbs.

    It's hard to believe they would go through all that trouble just not to have a trailer hitch available!
  • sysweisyswei Member Posts: 1,804
    That's according to a salesperson at my local dealer. Not the best source, I'll agree. He didn't have specific pricing, though.
  • natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Thanks everyone for responding, the feedback has been really helpful.
    I called around to a few dealers. They all said the hitch is scheduled to hit dealers on Nov 10th. The hitch info is listed on the acura mdx site under "Features and Options," and then "Utility" It does say that the tranny "was designed with towing in mind.."

    So looks like this deal may live after all. Dealer even called offering a loaner car while we wait for the hitch.

    Thanks again for all the responses.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    "Is that official fact from Acura, or speculation?" - Habitat1

    It's official from Acura. Here's snippet from their press/news site.

    With a towing capacity of 5000 pounds the 2007 MDX can tow boat and/or camper trailers with equal confidence. Standard towing equipment includes a high-capacity radiator with twin 160-watt fans, an automatic transmission fluid cooler, a heavy-duty power-steering cooler and pre-wiring for an electric brake controller. A Towing Package is available as dealer-installed accessory, and includes a hitch, receiver, ball and wiring harness.

    "According to the Acura regional representative I spoke with last year, they determined that so few customers use the MDX for serious towing, that they elected to not make the engine and transmission oriented towards that purpose, hence the need for extra coolers." - Habitat1

    It looks like your rep has got his/her wires crossed. They did add the coolers, they upped the capacity (slightly), and they reprogrammed the VSA to react specifically to towing situations. Scroll down to the bottom of this press release for details.

    On a related note, Acura is starting to play the same games as other manufactuers.

    From 2001-2006, the MDX was rated to tow a max weight of 4,500 lbs. That weight also allowed for up to four passengers (600 lbs) and enough luggage for a weekend (200 lbs). Most all other manufactuers publish the towing caacity with only the driver (150 lbs) and absolutely no cargo.

    With the Ridgeline and MDX, towing is now based on a vehicle with only two passengers and the 200 lbs of gear.

    So, if you compare the old MDX with the new one (both loaded with four passengers and gear) the difference in max towing is only 200 lbs. 4,500 vs 4,700 lbs.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    It looks like your rep has got his/her wires crossed.

    Maybe I wasn't clear, I spoke with the Acura rep last year regarding our 2005 MDX. That's very good news for the 2007 that you don't have to go to hell and back with installing engine and power steering coolers just to add a trailer hitch. All we wanted to do wass add a bike rack and possibly tow a light boat (under 3,000 lbs) short distances.

    As for the 2001-2006 MDX towing capacity of 4,500 lbs, my hometown dealer recommended against the MDX for anything over 3,000 lbs, especially the pre-2005 model and especially for long distances on highways with some topography. The previous MDX (and TL) automatic transmissions were already a weak link in the car and that additional stress could cause problems down the road. My dealer also sold Mercedes and towing is the one area that the ML500 had a significant practical performance advantage over the MDX.

    Thansks for the official info and link on the 2007. I still don't think I'd push it to its capacity limit as a boat hauler, but at least for lighter duty towing it will be a lot more practical that the previous model.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    "Maybe I wasn't clear, I spoke with the Acura rep last year regarding our 2005 MDX."

    My bad! I thought the rep was giving you his assessment of the (at the time) upcoming 2007 MDX.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    if you compare the old MDX with the new one (both loaded with four passengers and gear) the difference in max towing is only 200 lbs. 4,500 vs 4,700 lbs

    While the standard to rate towing capacity seems to have changed (two occupants as opposed to four), the older 4500-lb towing was recommended only for boats, 3500 lb for trailers/campers. The new 5000 lb towing capacity is claimed to be good for trailers/campers.
  • burtsburts Member Posts: 6
    Anyone have an update on the availability of the '07 MDX trailer hitch? The dealer mentioned December, but had no details. Thanks
  • natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Just got a call from my dad who is waiting for the hitch also. The hitch is in production now. Well not the hitch exactly, apparently there needs to be a metal plate installed behind the bumper inorder to add the hitch and it's still being developed/manufactured somewhere in LA. My dad's been driving an RDX loaner for about 2 weeks and this is the latest news he has heard from his dealer. Is anyone being told something else?
  • natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Got a call. The hitch has arrived and the MDX should be ready Saturday.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    How is the MDX for towing with the Acura towing package? Can someone comment on their experience and how much weight they are pulling?
  • jimjackjimjack Member Posts: 43
    Just purchased the MDX with the towing Pkg. I did hook up my boat to check its ability but only pulled it for about a mile in areas that would be of certain concerns as to it handling. A bit premature but it seemed to handle pretty good. Acceleration from a stop was good. More noise than I expected at the hitch area from the inside. I'm acustomed to my Suburban. But it did remind me of my buddy's Tahoe which is a bit shorter than the Suburban..
    I'll be doing more fairly soon.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    jimjack, curious as to the noise you are hearing - is this the bar moving inside the receiver? Also my current setup (using FX45) is too low and I am looking for a little more height from the tow bar to the ground. If you get a chance could you measure yours when you have your boat hooked up? Thanks.
  • jimjackjimjack Member Posts: 43
    I get the typical slide sound from the square tubing of the receiver and hitch from the stop and go perspective. I really hadn't spent the time to figure the other sound as yet. I have not measured the height but can say that the rear dropped down about the same as my Suburban did. I store my boat on my driveway and need to back it in. The grade is upward from the street to the house (22' long and 24" high). It handled pretty well. No more info at present.

  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    Jim, thanks for the additional info. I have a pretty good grade from the street to my garage, and since having my driveway re-done last year, it's now steeper down by the street. This now causes the hitch to scrap as it passes over this angle, either coming or going. The factory FX45 hitch is angled down to where the ball mounts, and I am thinking of trying to reverse the direction of the ball mount to provide more clearance. But I'm not sure if this is recommended and/or safe to do (?) until I buy a new vehicle (probably MDX).

    Anyway, thanks again and please report back once you've taken your MDX and boat on a trip.

  • kbergholzkbergholz Member Posts: 1
    Need a hitch to tow an (as yet) imaginary boat. Simple class 3 is $1100. at the dealer, and $350 at an experienced local place(for hitch, ball and wiring).
    Please tell me if I am silly to save the money and risk ruining my new Acura! What is different at the dealer that they can charge so much more?
    Thanks, Kat
  • wendyrakuswendyrakus Member Posts: 3
    I know that both the older MDXes and the Pilots are towing rated at 4500 lb for boats and 3500 lb for "other" trailers. What I want to know is how much they can really tow. We have an "other" trailer that weighs about 4000 lb. We don't tow often...maybe 10 days a year tops, and rarely more than a couple of hours per trip.

    Would either a Pilot or an older MDX be able to handle that amount of towing? Has anyone had experience with towing slightly outside the ratings?
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    Go to the local trailer place. They know more re towing than your dealer. The savings is just a plus. Be sure the trailer tongue is roughly parallel with the vehicle when attached. They make variable height hitch balls and/or adjustable height hitches to get it right. Hope this helps.
  • anthonyoanthonyo Member Posts: 3

    Looking for additional ideas for the best Aftermarket Hitch w/ wiring harness to add to an 08 MDX that I will be leasing soon.

    Dealer wants $995 (anyone getting a better price from a dealer?)

    I've seen some of the hitches available (Hidden Hitch) but they don't look as integrated as the Acura Hitch kit. (pretty crummy actually).

    Looks like I may be able to get the Acura hitch kit for $500 direct but it looks difficult to install myself.

    BTW I am towing a moderate sized boat but only twice per year.

    Thanks in advance!

    Anthony O
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    Anthony, sorry can't offer any suggestions but please report back after you decide what to do.
  • anthonyoanthonyo Member Posts: 3
    I found a great post on - &threadid=28975&highlight=hitch

    Once I get the car I think I will be going with the Valley Hitch from - 2007&h=

    Looks like the Hitch and Wiring Harness can be had for about $150

    This looks just as nice as the $1000 Acura Dealer installed Hitch!

    I'll post my experience once I get this all installed..


    Anthony O
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    Very cool, and very reasonable too. Looks like the way to go - good luck!
  • arnold10arnold10 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 MDX. I am looking to buy a 3200lb (dry weight) camper. The manual says 3500lb towing capacity and 4500lb capacity on a boat trailer. I called the dealer who advised me that 4500lb. is the capacity with the towing package (coolers etc.). Looking for anyone who has an experience towing with this kind of weight and any comments on whether the vehicle would be capable of handling this load.
  • newfie86newfie86 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 MDX and I tow a 4400LB boat and trailer that I bought late last year. (20ft bow rider with inboard). Other than excessive fuel consumption I have not noticed any negative effects on the MDX. I did not install the transmission cooler yet, however I will do that this year to be on the safe side. On a straight run I can do 120km/h without too much strain, however I notice a steep drop in speed on an incline but the transmission will kick down a gear but I do feel the MDX work hard to get to the top of the incline. I expect this to be normal considering I am close to the max towing weight.
    I wouldn't worry too much if you are going short distances, however for long distances I would get the cooler. My trailer has tandem wheels with surge brakes. I don't notice the weight when I stop due to the trailer brakes.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  • arnold10arnold10 Member Posts: 2
    This helps a lot Thanks. The fact that you are at the top end of the boat towing capacity without much difficulty gives me confidence I can pull this camper. I went and bought the camper this weekend. I am planning on getting the trans cooler installed along with a sway control as Acura does not receomend a weight distributing hitch. The camper is a single axle with surge brakes so I'll go with that. Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I plan on pulling it about 150 miles in April, I'll post how it went.
  • eegeekydudeeegeekydude Member Posts: 3
    We're planning to tow a 2007 Rockwood HW258G pop-up (2436 dry axle weight) with our 2003 MDX. Does anyone know why a power steering cooler is required for the 2003 MDX towing package? I understand the transmission cooler, but not the power steering cooler. Also, if anyone has any experience towing with a 2003 MDX please reply your experiences. Thanks!
  • morozmoroz Member Posts: 1
    Lots of great information on the site, however I have a question that has not been addressed. I am looking to buy a seadoo islandia, dry weight with trailer of 5100lbs. I know the acura is rated at 4500lbs, however I will not have 600lbs in passengers nor 200lbs in luggage and will only drive 2hrs. Will it do it? Usually the dealer underrates it to be safe and not spur any lawsuits etc. Thoughts? I would put a tranny cooler on it.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    You might find this discussion interesting while waiting for MDX responses:

    Utility Trailers are Dangerous
  • perktdperktd Member Posts: 2
    I was able to get a Valley Hitch plus the wiring harness installed in Portland, Oregon for approximately $325. I think it looks as nice as the Acura hitch and I am very pleased with the entire package. Don
  • raymdx2raymdx2 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Don -

    I live in Portland and just got a 2009 MDX. Where did you buy your hitch and get it installed?


  • cromwellsquarecromwellsquare Member Posts: 7
    I just got my Valley Hitch and wiring kit in the mail. Everything looks good. Did you get one installed? If so where did they run the wiring harness? I can hook it up but then they want me to just pull it out and lay it out the back of the trunk. Id rather get it under the MDX if i can. Any info would help.
  • eegeekydudeeegeekydude Member Posts: 3
    I purchased a Reese Hitch and installed it myself on our 2003 MDX. There's a tow loop on the drivers side that must be removed. I installed the bolts on the tow loop side without any trouble, but I ended up snapping off the nut that's welded in the frame for one of the bolts on the passinger side since the threaded holes on that side were rusty. You shouldn't have this issue with a newer MDX.

    As I recall, I removed the storage panel to access a few screws to remove the rear molding panel and the harness connector is under the panel and has a dummy connector connected to it. The supplied harness plugs into the connector under the panel and then goes thru an access hole that has a rubber plug.

    I ended up selling my MDX and got a GMC Yukon with auto-adjusting rear air-shocks to pull our camper. The rear suspension on the MDX was way to soft to pull our 3000 lb highwall pop-up.
  • shall2shall2 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2008 Acura MDX and need to tow a car from NY to NC this summer. We should be just under the 5000 lb advertised limit. ANy suggestions on where to get/rent a tow package? Any pre-cautions to take?
  • 1924peter1924peter Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have a 09 MDX. I am considering buying a Uhaul Hitches (~$300 installed). Does anyone have any experience with Uhaul hitches? Any watch out or alternatives? Thanks.
  • dougsokodougsoko Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Acura MDX and just got a hitch installed. I found a great way to save! I bought the hitch at - part 08L92-S3V-200A. I paid $228 for the original Acura part +$40 for FedEx ground shipping. I called my local mechanic to see if he could install the hitch (because two dealers in CT were asking $770 and $820 to install the hitch with wiring). My mechanic said he could do it, but the best place was U-haul. I called up my local Uhaul (happens to be a very big Uhaul with it's own hitch install department) and spoke to the owner. They only install Uhaul hitches, but put me in touch with their hitch mechanic directly. He had been installing hitches for 15 years and knew everything about the hitch I had purchased and about the install specific to the MDX (he knew about lowering the exhaust, heat shields, etc).

    Because I would only be towing a trailer 1 time/year max, he recommended that I keep the wiring for the trailer in the trunk and not keep it on the outside of the car where it would corrode. I also did not have to pay for the expensive OEM wiring kit. With the MDX (2004) the dealer instructions say to remove the plastic piece below the bumper. He asked right away if I owned the car and if I planned to keep the hitch on indefinitely. When I said "yes" to both, he said that he can make it look nice by cutting the plastic sqaure hole (for the hitch receiver). He installed the hitch that way and it looks great! Much better than any dealer installs when you see all the metal hitch tubing beneath the car! I am surprised the dealers don't do this! In the event that the hitch accumulates some rust over the years, you won't even see it!

    Also, for the wiring, he ran the wire into my storage compartment of the trunk. Inside the compartment, he left 4 ft of wire with the connector on the end. When I do tow, he showed me how you can pull the wire out and close the trunk on it without causing any damage to the wires.

    Best of all - the hitch install only cost me $120 for install, wiring, everything..All in, I got the OEM hitch with install and wiring for $388! What a bargain.

    I would recommend other people to guy my route. For the savings and aesthetics it is a no-brainer!

    FYI - i did not have coolers installed since I would only be towing a single motorcycle over short distances, i mainly got it for a bike rack
  • rputtaguntarputtagunta Member Posts: 20

    I have a question.

    I was planning on moving a ping pong (table tennis) table using my friend's Acura MDX. Has anyone been able to move it successfully? Or should I find a pick up truck for moving the table?

    Thank you.
  • barrelled1979barrelled1979 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 MDX and I am going to be pulling a uhaul 6x12 tandem axle trailer cross country. Has anyone installed an aftermarket Trannny cooler in their 01'-04' MDX. It seems pretty easy, just wanted to get some more info. Thanks!!
  • eegeekydudeeegeekydude Member Posts: 3
    We had the dealer install the tranny and power steering coolers to tow a 2800 lb camper for one season. We ended up selling the MDX and got a GMC Yukon because the tongue weight was too much for the MDX to handle. You probably won't have the same issue, but before you spend the money to install the coolers I suggest that you test the weight of the uhaul on the rear end to see if you're happy with how it look/handles. In hindsight, I wish I would have tried driving the camper around the area BEFORE I spent the $$$ for the coolers.
  • mdxer2010mdxer2010 Member Posts: 1
    Hey.. I just got a 2010 MDX. So it says a max towing capacity of 5000lbs, and i have a boat that weighs just about that. How max is this max? Is this totally a bad idea.. anyone outhere with similar experience willing to feed me some feed back?
  • inat3inat3 Member Posts: 1
    I tow a boat that hovers just under the 5k limit with an '08 MDX with the factory tow package. I do not tow long distances but in the past 2.5 years I've never had a problem.
  • epchuepchu Member Posts: 1
    I have problem with the U-hual. I have a 2006 MDX and after they order and installed the Hitch for me , the told me they can't put the heat shields back and
    now it look very odd from behind. they told me they can't do anything about it.
    I think the problem is the hitch they ordered or may be they did not instal right and not wanting to correct it.

    Any advise? Thanks!

  • parajumperparajumper Member Posts: 1
    Hi All; Can anyone give me direction as to the validity of the chart on page 357 as to the max drop in hitch clearance to ground once a trailer is hooked up? I tried numerous times with two different trailers of different weights and configurations. It seems that in all instances the drop down with a trailer hooked up was significantly more than the max of 1.50". The statement below the chart states that the tongue weight would be over the 450 lbs recommended. I do know that one of my trailers comes in at 3200 lbs. This does not seem right even with the possibility of a 15% possible tongue weight. Any help would be highly appreciated.
  • nh_patnh_pat Member Posts: 1
    We want to install a trailer hitch on my Acura MDX 2006 to tow an aluminum trailer weighing 750 lbs. It is basically to go to the dump and maybe to take branches to the dump too. The Acura dealer insists we need a power steering coolant and a transmission coolant. Between the hitch (and we have the ball part), wiring harness, and the two coolants and FOUR hours of labor to install it is $1350.!! The trailer only cost $1350. Would anyone have any suggestions? Aftermarket installation? We are in NH if anyone has any suggestions in this area. thanks
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