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Acura MDX Maintenance and Repair



  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    When Acura introduced the 2003 MDX, they announced that they had redesigned the transmission with a newer, "compact" model.

    On another forum a couple of years back, someone got a hold of images from the mechanics manuals and it confirmed the transmission was a new design. The schematics werre much different.

    The 2001-2002 MDX transmission was an offshoot of the same design that had problems in other Honda/Acura vehicles. I wouldn't buy a used 2002 over a used 2003 for this reason.
  • Acura has agreed to replace our failed transmission as well. We have a 2002 MDX with 64000 miles. Just had to show we had done all the scheduled maintenence work.
  • I took mine back to the dealer. The standard warranty covers rattles for a year. Anyway, the tech who worked on the car told me this is a common issue. One of the drain tubes for the sunroof runs behind that panel and the fluid feed for the rear wiper is routed directly above the sub. He pulled the panel and zip tied the drain hose and the fluid feed and placed insulation around the whole thing. I don't have any problems any more.
  • I had this same problem with my 2003 MDX at around 21011 miles. The 1st time the dealer told me the same thing, but that did not solve the problem. 2nd time they reset the computer interface control and that help for a couple of week. 3rd time they replace a part(which I can't remember what it was called. Need to lookup my report). That seem to solve the problem for about 3 months. Now it is back again and the same dealer are having difficulty figuring what is causing this problem.
  • My wife's 05 MDX had new remote starter installed when car was new. Worked fine for a year then starter quit working. Soon after she started with battery going dead. Acura said 99% it was the remote starter. Sure enough. Starter dealer put brand new remote starter in and battery still running dead. Starter dealer says problem may be with car. Anyone with any info on this? Is the remote starter doomed in this car?
  • kcmdxkcmdx Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 MDX Touring and Navigation and am experiencing a high pitch whistle too. It happens at about 60 MPH and can here it on the highway. My dealer couldn't find it but I plan on having the service rep ride with me to here it. Never heard it while at a complete stop. It goes away at low speeds. Did you find anything?
  • I have an 02 with 53000 miles, had the tran recall done around 30,000. Mostly highway miles on this vehicle. I now hear a "grind" type noise going up small hills between 30 and 40 mph. Is this a transmission problem? I am nervous about this. I took to the dealer once and was told they could not duplicate the problem.
  • inemerinemer Posts: 44
    They change "goos neck" for gas tank in my MDX - never had this problem again.
  • bkunbkun Posts: 11
    Hi all, My MDX - NightHawk is 3 weeks young. wondering whats good for cleaning / waxing . How do MDX owners clean their vehicles.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I don't know how the Acura transmission problems play out, but I have driven a few that have gone bad. I say loss of drive power, whether higher rpms to get similar power or overall resistance would be a better indicator. I have heard of them stopping shifting altogeher. Grind could be a lot of things. I have gotten grinding from struts in car before.

    At 53K maybe you could negotiate for a 70 or 100K mile extended warranty due to "known transmission problems"? If your lucky the dealer might go to Acura and plead your case...there is a good chance with the right negotiation you could easily get your warranty extended. You can call the regional customer support rep. If you really think there is an issue fight it. It isn't that hard and you can get a fair trade, extended warranty and they let a potential problem ride to see if it causes an issue.

    I wouldn't take word of mouth though...if they say OK then ask for it in writing.

    I understand from a co-worker with a TL that disconnecting the battery "resets" the transimission if it stops shifting long enough to get to a dealer.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I use Meguiars wax/cleaner. It works well to clean and it says protect. I have read say modern cars/finishes don't need wax anymore, but I try to do each vehicle once before winter and if we go on a big family vacation. Meguiars cleans/hides any scratches in the finish very well so you can barely see them...until it wears off in a month and then the scratches are back, but it can clean it up very nicely.

    3 weeks old, just get a soft cloth car wash...I think you have at least a year before you need to wax it in my opinion.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I've only put 1,500 or so miles on my new-to-me 2004 MDX-t. Figured I would report in on a few things I've read about here.

    Sloshing tank: I was finally able to reproduce this the other day. It required something of a jackrabbit start and equally abrupt stop, but, not only could I hear it, I felt it. Not posting this to antagonize anyone who hears it regularly, but unless it gets worse (how? I dunno) this won't be a problem for me.

    I've been more intrigued by the sloshing issue, so I haven't checked for brake clunk. Suffice it to say, I haven't heard it, yet. I'm sorta leary about listening for it. Once you hear this things, you can never "un-hear" them.

    Wind noise: I should preface by saying that I'm coming from a 1999 CR-V as my last ute. There are few vehicles less noisy than the old CR-V. Having said that, my MDX suffers from a bit of wind noise at speeds over 60mph. Really odd because this Acura is fairly quiet until I hit 60. It's like someone throws a switch. My 2001 TL (year before they modified the side mirrors) has similar wind noise. But in the TL the sound increases gradually.

    Interior rattles: None so far. The vehicle has 35K miles on it. I can force the sub woof cover to vibrate a wee bit with the radio turned way up, but not the same calamity as described by others here. I really have to listen for it. I'm wondering if the folks who have reported this noise have teens who crank the radio way up when they drive (or do so themselves). Perhaps the noise increases over time as the sub cover is subjected to repetitive vibration (?)

    MPG: I'm averaging about 20-21 mpg in my normal mixed commute. Got 23.8 on an all highway trip this past weekend. Wonder if it'll go higher when they switch back to the summer blend. I always got about 2 mpg higher in the summer months when drving my CR-V.

    Here's a new one (I think)... My oil dipstick is stuck. It feels like it's been soldered to the engine block. I can turn/spin the plastic handle, but the little bugger won't come out. Am I missing some sort of secret handshake or magic word for this thing? I didn't read anything in the OM.
  • Well, I just got back from the dealer.....I had the shop foreman ride with me so he could hear the noise - to verify that it exists. Guess what?? Torque Converter - $1700. Anyone experience similar problem? Could it be related to the trans recall???? Acura says they will try to get it covered for me.
  • ss75ss75 Posts: 5
    Just bought my MDX 3 days ago...Nice Scratch in the bumper already (paint chipped). Do you recommend a little touch up paint
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    Yes, you can put the touch - up paint from any Acura dealer.
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    I have had this problem twice now. The solution for me has been a new driveshaft. Now its happened a second time and the MDX is at the dealer as we speak, getting its second new driveshaft. It was diagnosed when the tech disconnected the driveshaft (to the rear wheels, so the front wheels are still powered) and the noise disappeared. Mine happens at 61-64 mph. Hope this helps
  • I run a mobile detail business - and use meguiars. I highly recommend waxing your car after the first car wash. There are too many contaminants in the air today to not protect the finish. I recommend waxing AT LEAST 2x/yr. (Spring and Fall). More often in the southeast b/c of humidity and heat. Also, get a bottle of touch up paint from Acura and immediately fill in chips. As the old saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
  • I am glad to see that you were able to convince the dealer to "do the right thing." You know, you have to fight hard with the dealer, but if you push hard enough, they will ultimately provide a new transmission. I question whether it is really a "good will" gesture or a known problem that Acura has not really been willing to admit to. Oh well. Hopefully our new transmissions will last another 100 K.
  • I am curious about the Check Engine light. I have a 04 MDX and my check engine light as come on for the 5th time. I have brought my car in 4 times within the past 2 months to have them correct it and it still perists. It has gone from tighten your gas cap to replacing the gas cap. The to replacing the cap again along with the filler hose. Then to replacing a solenoid and still I have the check engine light coming on. It will be in this week for the 5th time. I am curious to see whether anything you have had done might replicate my problem. I am beginning to think it might come under the Ct. lemon law. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • I got back from the dealer Davis Acura in Langhorne PA. They replaced the Torque Converter for free even though I am 4000 miles out of warranty. I asked them if the rest of the trans is going to konk out...they said Acura told them most of the problems were torque converters. So the fix is allegedly to replace the torque converter. If you have an 02, please turn the radio off once in a while and listen carefully for "rumble strip" noise while running b/w 30 and 40 miles an hour. This could signify serious expensive trouble. good luck
  • Just bought 2006 MDX 3 weeks ago, there is thud noise when I brake. went to 2 dealers to check this problem, both said it is normal and noise comes from brake pad shifting. Can't be convinced. Any thought or experience?
  • I have brought my 04 MDX in to the shop 5 times in the last 2 months for the Check Engine Light. Tomorrow will be the 6th time. They can not figure it out even after replacing half of the evap system along with 2 gas caps and filler hose. I think it is a lemon! :lemon:
  • We have a 2002 MDX with 39,000 miles and agree about feeling every bump, especially going over bridge and expansion joints. Our car has Michelin Cross Terrain tires and I have also often wondered if there were better tires to help this. Has your question received answers? I couldn't find any. Thanks.
  • ok, honda uses a floating caliper system. the brake pads will shift or float, especially if you go from forward to reverse or vice versa. yes, it makes noise, but the brakes don't rust tight or freeze into a locked position. i have 60k miles, and just checked the brakes. they look like new. live with the noise, it is normal, and honda engineers know what they are doing. also, you can use pads for the odyssey (like an 2002) for the MDX. i guess they use the same brakes.
  • i noticed a lot of debris when changing the cabin air filter, which is a big air filter, located below the glove box. there was a lot of leaf parts, maple tree whirl-a-gigs, and stems and stalks in the filter, and in the A/C evap coil, which is next to the filter. it seems to me, that the air intake has very large openings, that let all this trash into the system. i took a piece of plastic window screen, cut it with a scissors to fit over the intake grill (under the hood near the windshield)and used some clear silicone caulk to "tack" the screen into place.
    WORKS GREAT. you still should eyeball the intake area to check for stuff clogging the area.
  • nmpnmp Posts: 19
    "question - when i take my foot off the accelerator, say to coast up to a light, I feel a noticable drag from the transmission (in D5)........quite a bit different from our other cars, an Expediton and an this normal? "

    I just bought a 2006 Black/Saddle/Ebony Touring and noticed the same behavior. It is obviously downshifting. First I thought it was just air drag as the MDX cuts a big slice through the wind at highway speeds. But I have also noticed it at slower speeds (30mph) where drag would not be such a strong factor. Anyone have any comments?

    Btw, it is a nice truck all around. First impressions are that the interior is not as meticulously built with quality trim as my 2001.5 VW Passat. It also does not feel as structurally tight or rattle free. But the seats are far nicer, the ride is quieter, and no doubt the MDX will statistically have better long-term reliability. The MDX/Honda Pilot are the best compromises as family SUV's.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I don't notice it on my '02, however if you tap the brake and then coast that seems consistent with the hill decent control.
  • I have noticed the same lurch or downshift when taking foot off accelerator. I believe there are other posts also describing this.
  • I was told in December that my torque converter on my MDX is also going out. My MDX is a 2001. Is this an a big problem with MDX?? Do you think I should contact Acura?
  • I was told my Torque Converter is also going out. This seems to be a very big problem with is cars.
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