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Weak Air Conditioning, Stuffy Seats - 2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in Acura
imageWeak Air Conditioning, Stuffy Seats - 2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

If you don't live in Southern California, you may not have noticed, but we're having a bit of a heat wave. Triple-digits-in-the-day, too-hot-to-even-bother-going-to-the-beach, if-you-need-me-I'll-be-in-a-kiddie-pool-full-of-ice hot.

Our 2014 Acura MDX doesn't play well with this kind of weather.

Read the full story here


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    grijongrijon Member Posts: 147
    edited September 2014
    Excellently written, good sir.
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    cjasiscjasis Member Posts: 274
    I'm really surprised to read this. The HVAC system in the first gen MDX was extremely powerful. A salesman bragged (who knows is this is correct or not) that the system was nearly as powerful as that in a small house. A co-worker has a gen II MDX and even with black leather and a dark exterior, it cools that vehicle off very quickly. Finally, and I know this isn't apples to apples but... the HVAC in our 2012 Honda Ody TE is hugely powerful.
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    zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited September 2014
    I don't think I've driven a modern car that couldn't cool well when starting out when parked out of the sun. Some would struggle when heat soaked but all have kept it nice and cool when starting with a 'room temperature' car; even on 110 degree days.
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    wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    A toilet seat sized steak? Doesn't sound very appetizing. Stewing in your own juices? Thanks Mike, I just lost my appetite.

    I do recall a post a couple years back about pranking someone by leaving the seat heaters on. It might very well have been Derosa.
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    allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    So is the A/C weak or strong. A few post before this an editor was praising the output of the A/C http://www.edmunds.com/acura/mdx/2014/long-term-road-test/2014-acura-mdx-rear-climate-system-works-well.html. I posted a comment detailing how much work Acura and Delphi put into developing the all new HVAC system for the MDX. I don't think there is anything wrong with the A/C. Anyone who considers 62 degrees a normal room temperature is bound to be miserable in 100+ degree heat regardless of what he is driving.
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    agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    I think Mike was caught by what I call the Cabin Temp Sensor Lag Syndrome. Many cars with "auto climate control" suffer from it. You know the interior has suddenly got warm because you have gone out in the Sun, but the temp sensor is buried somewhere that prevents good airflow, leading to a 3-5 minute delay in the climate control system. My XKR suffers from this, so on warm Vegas morning I must crank the temperature down to 72°F to get the air moving and the compressor on. After a mile or so I can put it back up to 76-78°F and the A/C will keep me comfortable. So much for automatic control. Sure, it catches up eventually, but by then your are Sweaty and Cranky, the dwarves Disney left out. ;-) Mike likely had the A/C set at a temperature too low to kick in the compressor and/or crank up the fan.
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    chiney_whalechiney_whale Member Posts: 1
    I have an Accord coupe w/ black leather and sometimes it feels like the seat heater is on and the A/C system is weak. I think its a Honda/Acura thing. On the flip side of things in the winter the seat hearters takes FOREVER to warm up, which is just as annoyiing GM makes the best A/C and seat heaters.
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    tirekickingtirekicking Member Posts: 30
    Mike - what do you mean by "(all unfortunately standard)".
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    chuckie6chuckie6 Member Posts: 15
    Grew up in LA and now live in the Midwest, where it gets pretty toasty with the added benefit of humidity! Bought the same exact Edmunds model (plus heated steering wheel and remote start), so no perforated cooled seats. But I parked outside in 90+ degree sunny days this summer. Never had a problem cooling the car down. In fact, I tried remotely opening all the windows to get some ventilation going. But the car actually cools down faster if you close the windows and crank the AC. Two simple tricks to cooling the seats: turn car on, crank AC, angle vents at seat and wait outside the car for about 3-4 minutes. The seats will practically be cold. You can also start driving and just lean forward a bit to help with airflow on the back of the seat. If all else fails, don't pay the extra $5K for Advance. Not worth it. For $140, buy the Viotek cooled seat cushion. Put that in my wife's 2013 Volvo S60 she parks outside at her work (idiots still don't have cooled seats in the 2015 model) and it works very well.
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    richiwaltrichiwalt Member Posts: 1
    So, My wife and I each bought a Santa Fe. She has a 2015 6 cyl, and I have a 2016 sport. Her air conditioned seats produce air you can feel with your hand held 4 inches over the seat. My car has no air at all felt by the hand, even with it on fan speed three. Her car forces you to turn it off after 10 mins as it gets too cold for you. In my car you can barely feel anything at all - even when traveling on the highway 40 miles to work at 70 mph. If you do feel anything - then your imagination is active!!!

    I took my car to the shop to have it fixed. The tec said it was working fine.

    I then brought my wife's car and turned both vehicles on at the same time, adjusted the temps to the same - turned the cabin air fan to off and the seat fan to 3 (highest setting) on both cars. Ran for 10 minutes and demonstrated that there is a VAST difference. Demonstrated to three people there, the General manager, the tech, and the receptionist ... all could feel a difference.

    So ... they took the car for repair **I guess** ... they do not know how to fix it ... week four and no action has been taken. But there's clearly a difference.

    Most would probably have "accepted" the first response: "It's working fine" as most do not have another car to compare it to.

    However, having the same exact car (just one year older) I know better. Air conditioning seats are great - but when they are broke - techs do not know how to fix them.
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