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Acura MDX (pre-2007)

pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
edited August 2014 in Acura
Here is the new place to discuss the Acura MDX.
Below are links to previous Acura MDX forums:

- Acura MDX, Part IV

- Acura MDX, Part III

- Acura MDX, Part II

- Acura MDX, Part I

Happy Motoring. ;-)

Pocahontas, Host


  • Please excuse the typo "acur" above. ;-)

    Pocahontas, Host
  • GLeenGLeen Posts: 46
    Ok. Here is my story. I decided to take a ride down to see the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey with my wife and two kids today. There is something about lighthouses that draws me to see them and read about them. Anyway, we decided to stop off at a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch I could not start the car. I noticed that the green key indicator was flashing. In other words the key was not being recognized by the car. Thus, we could not start it. I called Acura's road side assistance and they were going to send a flat bed to tow the car to a safe place for over-night storage. They were then going to tow it to the nearest dealer to my house. They also told me that I was responsible for finding my own way home. How is that for service. i went off on them for that one. I cannot start my brand new car and they want me to lay out some bucks.

    I then went back into the restaurant to use the rest-room since I knew we were going to be standing by for a while. As I came out of the restaurant, I noticed another Silver MDX parked in front. I also noticed that my wife was in the drivers seat. She was able to start it? Yes! She said that when I left the car, she put the key in the ignition and left it there for about a minute. She tried it and it started. The car now accepted the key.

    I do not know what caused the problem on my 5 day old MDX. I am very nervous though. I will call my dealer tomorrow and post what he says.

    Be careful folks. Please post if you had a similar experience.

  • alingaling Posts: 598
    Hmm, interesting. It sounds like a faulty immobiliser, so either the key or the immobiliser computer, or both may have a problem. I recommend that you bring along the other key/keyfob, just in case the your MDX fails to start again. This way, you will at least be able to do some testing.

    Good luck!
    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • GLeenGLeen Posts: 46
    Just wanted to give you a shout out.
  • alingaling Posts: 598
    You will have to transfer the pictures from your private "Incoming" folder to the "MDX" folder.

    William, FWIW, full resolution pictures were available in Photopoint before September.

    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • railrrailr Posts: 36
    For a bulletin about NO STARTS with an Acura, check out

    Basically - you may have too many keys or a large metal object on your key ring which interferes with the immobilizer signal in the key.

  • jdfordjdford Posts: 10
    Link now should work...Thanks for the tutoring.

    I HAD a few close ups too, but the file transfer software apparently over wrote them since I had two copies of two pictures. I swear I am not really that technically challenged, but there is nothing like learning something new to make you feel like a complete rookie!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    jdford, the ProStripe looks great on your (black) vehicle! Nice job, and thanks for the pictures.

    railr, that explains it. Though it's pretty stupid. I think about the fancy Acura keychain that comes with the owner's manual and snicker that it's not to be used with your Acura car key.
  • jdford -


    You have just created a new $500 option for Acura dealers!

    Looks great.
  • Hey guys and gals. Vacation for a week or so, so I've been off-line- took an hour to catch up with the posts...

    Am I missing something, or does Acura reference the wrong service procedure in the Service Manual for the VTM fluid change?

    For both the VTM differential service AND the automatic transmission service, they reference page 14-138.

    I found the VTM-4 procedure on page 15-39

    Also, anybody know off hand what size driver this takes? Looks like a 6 point hex driver.(I'm being lazy.)

    Found the circuit for keeping the power outlet in the center console on always- can't easily do it without the audio and display being live. I believe I need to get at the splice where all the circuits attach to the accessory relay. (The rear outlet can be "hot-wired" by getting at a relay. If I was travelling on a multi-day/multi-stop trip with an electric cooler, I'd consider this.)

    Also, someone asked where the EXTERNAL temperature sensor was located. It is just in front of the radiators on the rear of the front bumper. It is NOT below the windshield.

  • Nope, still MDX-less, but I have a deposit down and the dealer says I should have it sometime in December or January. Keep us posted on the running boards - I'd like to hear how useful/annoying/attractive people think they are. Same query goes out to anyone who has a tailgate deflector. Incidentally, I know some folks have remarked about the MDX looking like a MV, but it doesn't come across that way to me.

    As far as your non-start problem and what causes it, I'm glad it wasn't something in need of a fix. I'd freak if my 5-day old car wouldn't start up. Sure am glad I'm learning all this stuff now.

    P.S. Yeah, lighthouses are pretty cool, aren't they?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    One part of the Car & Driver $40k luxury SUV comparison not discussed here was cargo room. They applied the usual interior volume measurements, but also stacked cases of beer as a barometer of "usable" cargo room. The cases were not stacked higher than 6" above the side window line.

    The ML320 won the test when the cases were stacked with the second and third row seats down or out of the way (only the MDX and Montero had the third rows in the test, though the ML320 is available with a very flexible third row, at extra cost). It stacked 36 cases. The MDX was a close second with 34. Only the RX300 (!) had at least 30 (exactly 30).

    The MDX finished first when the cases were stacked behind the second row, with the third row (if any) folded down. It fit 20 cases, significantly more than the others (X5 with 13, QX4 with 16, Disco II with 13, RX300 with 13, ML320 with 15, and Montero with 16).

    Behind the third row, the MDX fit 5 cases, the Montero 2; don't know how many the ML320 would have fit if it had the third row, probably not many.

    What always makes these type of measurements interesting is how they compare to cargo room measured in cubic feet. E.g. the QX4 boasts 85 cubic feet but could only accommodate 27 cases behind the first row. The Montero 96 cubic feet, but only 24 cases (this one seems weird to me).
  • Noticed a discussion on the question of a ball being included or not on the trailer hitch.

    According to the Acura Installation Instructions, no ball is included. (As someone pointed out, how could they, there are many different sizes.)

    What is included is as follows:

    A ball mount. (This has a square end for the hitch and a hole for the ball.) A pin and cotter key also.

    A square "receiver cover", rubber, which is used when the ball mount is not in.

    Also, the heavy-duty tow hook which is removed from the chassis should be returned to you or placed into the storage area. The instructions state; "save the tow hook for the customer." (If I didn't have a hitch, a hock on both the left and right side might be nice...a market for spare tow hitches?)

    If you are going to leave in the ball mount, pick up a cheap lock to keep the pin in place. Too easy for somebody to swipe. (I've never locked wheels, tires or pins, but then again I'm a little out of town...)

    Someone was asking about horse trailers with an MDX... Few horse trailers are 3500lbs loaded. Heck, two horses plus tack are almost 25-2800. (A horse trailer is not a boat and doesn't qualify for the 4500lb rating- no aerodynamics.) Again, don't wanna be towing near any vehicle's capacity...(But i've seen folks pulling 3 horse trailers with Durangos, albeit at 40 mph)

  • luvsuvluvsuv Posts: 31

    Nice job! How did you make it so straight? Did you use a hair-dryer/heat gun to make sure that it sicks well?
  • ardvarkus,
    We are picking up our MDX (mb touring- no nav in hawaii) tomorrow at the harbor (it's been sitting there for 2 1/2 days due to rough seas) at Kahului, Maui. Our salesman called and said there is a NEW servce bulletin from Acura re: the VTR fluid change. He says the new change interval is every 7500 miles. I don't have the manual so I don't know the differential.
    Terrified that the car will have many more than the 22 miles we left it with over a week ago. We flew to Oahu 3x's before we found (through the luck of the original buyer "...not being ready for it.")ours. Would have bought the Lexus 470 except we scanned these forums and found out about the MDX. Good Luck.
  • jdfordjdford Posts: 10
    Jeffmust2....Too bad I can't get a commission!

    Luvsuv: I put the molding on in my is supposed to be 55 degrees or higher to stick properly; my experience has been that, once it sticks and you press on it, it sticks.

    I used a torpedo level on a fairly thick piece of string. I stuck the string to masking tape just beyond the rear bumper/body line. My wife held it with her finger while I pulled the string as tight as I could get it, then put masking tape on the other end of the string, just behind the front wheel well. I took the level off the string (so it would not sag when my wife let go of the rear piece of tape)and put a few pieces of masking tape along the doors (using the string as a guide). I removed the string and stretched a piece of masking tape from the rear to the front, using the guide pieces. I made sure it looked level, then I gently pressed the edge of the masking tape down along the entire side.

    Next, measure and cut the pieces (I used a Craftsman tool - name escapes me, but it looks like a pruning shear). Make sure to cut the molding at a 45 degree angle for the front part of both doors, or it will rub when you open the door) Take the tape off the molding about 1 foot at a time, stick the front edge of the molding on (using the masking tape bottom as the guide), bend the rest of the molding back so you can see the tape line and just slowly peel and stick and press. The Prostripe web site has a few tips also (

    I am sure this is probably more than you wanted to know! I took my time and it took me a little more than 1 hour - the molding only cost $60. A good trim person can do it less than 30 minutes.
  • quirkquirk Posts: 5
    we have been waiting to see a mahogany mdx before ordering, it was this or black. got a call from the dealer that they are unloading two of them. get there the next day, one was already picked up. wife decides on the mahogany over the black, as we are writing up the order ( february delivery), the sales manager pops in and tells us he just got a call and that the financing fell through on the one we just looked at, are we interested??? we sprung for the touring package and are picking it up on tuesday!!!!!!! we paid MSRP on the mdx and accesorries. i hate to think what they are making on us. driving to long island on thanksgiving, can't wait. ( this dealer has about 40 people on a waiting list)
  • rmc33rmc33 Posts: 3
    1600 miles , no complaints
    just drove in about 0.5 inch of fresh snow today
    mdx did wonderful. I even tested its limits safely
    very sure footed. love this vehicle!
  • Unexpectedly, I picked on my MDX last Friday. Here's why I said 'unexpectedly'. I put in my deposit in July. At that time, every dealer was saying MSRP no markup until in September MDX started to win all kinds of awards/comparison tests. Sunnyvale Acura simply added $2k quietly until I showed up in Oct for test drive. I was very disappointed and called at least 5 other dealers in SF bay area and did find a couple that don't charge MSRP but has a long(6 mons) wait list.

    Just when I was thinking dropping my deposit and wait for 6 months. My sales at Sunnyvale called me and said a someone gave up his order and the markup is negotiable. I showed up. The color(Mahogany) is not mine(beige) and the package(navi) is not mine(touring) either. But I still went directly to the price and pointed out for my case Sunnyvale has been dishonest and this will damage their reputation on the net. Surprise! They accepted it. Well, I had to buy $1200 goodies from them(steps, racks, mud guards and wheel locks).

    BTW, the sales(Matt) convinced me navi is worth it and I got what I wanted from the touring(rack). He's the nicest sales I've ever met.

    It's a great SUV in every way.
  • bphdbphd Posts: 9
    Hey Folks,

    I am most certainly not a Yahoo rah-rah, but I can't take scrolling through all these messages, linking to other websites to see photos and trying to remember which section of the MDX board (now on topic V and going strong) that someone posted some useful info.

    There is now a club on yahoo. You can reach it from here:

    You can receive messages via e-mail, you can search the entire list, you can search for members, you can see who is online, and you can even chat with members. There are even photo albums for those who want to show off their babies....

    Anyway, check it out and hopefully we can have a continuous useful discussion.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I guess overpriced options are better than paying over MSRP for nothing. I'd still consider it a rip, especially for jerking you around like that and not getting you the color combo you wanted. Hmmm. Oops. This was supposed to be a post of moral support. Guess I get ticked when car salesmen do this...not that you wouldn't get the same treatment at other valley dealers..
  • Picked up my Beige MDX Touring Navi on Friday with no dealer markup in Northern NJ. As far as options, I got the rear mud guards, wheel locks, ashtray and lighter, wood steering wheel, burlwood knob, plood meter panel, extra plood trimming, cargo cover, cargo net. Never having owned an SUV or Truck before, driving it was definitely an interesting experience.

    The vehicle is outstanding. The engine and nimbleness is very car-like; the space is certainly not (in a good sense). The wood steering wheel makes the interior look amazingly rich. I am still considering other accessories to prevent other vehicles from rubbing against me. In this regard, does the tow hitch help? Also, are there any metal trimmings I can put in the front? What about running boards or side steps, do they help? I am especially concerned about New Yorkers squeezing into parking spaces and rubbing bumpers.

    The dead foot pedal and the driver's seat were a little uncomfortable over the weekend. I hope that I can find better seating positions. The Climate Control takes some getting used to, especially in the back. It was not intuitive to get the right temperature to my 18-month old in the back and my wife and I in the front.

    These are minor issues that I am sure that I will resolve.

    By the way, if you are having trouble using memory seats with your key fob, here is what I found out. This was not working when I asked the salesman to show me how it works. When the technician came out, he said that the factory settings on the fob are to NOT send the seat command. In order for the fob to send the extra signal to set the seat position (to 1 or 2 corresponding to the number on the fob), you should hold the lock and unlock buttons on your fob for a few seconds. This is NOT in the owner's manual!!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I know I should have acted on the tow hitch thing a bit sooner, but I've been very busy.

    Called Acura Client Services to ask them about the requirement to have coolers installed. They played a little song and dance about how the bulletin that coolers were required was sent out BEFORE any MDX actually shipped. Too bad my dealer knew nothing of it, and the original owner's manual also did not indicate this.

    I pointedly told them how they've fixed this situation for others, but they insisted that I work through my dealership's service department to resolve this. They were very polite but kept saying that Acura dealers are now required to install both coolers with the tow hitch (I guess this is why they have this "promotion" to get the steering cooler free, which they would only semi-acknowledge in saying that there has been some "agreements" but I could only resolve that through my dealership). And that this was known before MDX's shipped!

    I asked to speak to a field rep but they referred me to my dealership.

    Anyway, looks like I'll have to see how this game works. Called my dealership's service department, explained the situation, and they're supposed to do some research and call me back. We'll see.
  • GLeenGLeen Posts: 46
    I tried the same route you are taking. Acura HQ was of no heal. I finally broke down and bought the hitch and coolers with installation for $770.
  • dagilldagill Posts: 13
    I guess this is not a forum for me. I wanted an SUV forum not a car like CSUV. Enjoy your Bmxs guys, oops I mean Mdxs. I have been told the lady(Mdx)drives smooth and well. Have fun.
  • Just talked with a local Service Manager.

    First visit is Oil change (29.95) plus VTM-4 change ($55.00). Figure $90 out the door.

    Claims the VTM-4 is a half hour, and requires "hand filling". It's only 2.9 quarts, how long can that take? Plus 2 new filler/check plug seals.

    Turns out it is easier for me to do it one evening (instead of logging in with you folks) than it is to drive the 100 miles for two round trips. I may let them do the first, but I really don't have a valid reason for this...probably let them look at the "hissy brake pedal" and they can replace the bumper trim the other dealer (Solano) trashed when Solano installed the trailer hitch.

    Anybody else get quotes on the VTM fluid change?

    I asked about any revised schedule, he wasn't aware of any, but would check.


    PS. The "special hitch deal" really requires some work and attitude on the owner's part. Acura and the dealership will not just fold, especially if it looks like you're prepared to spend the $$$ either way.
  • Dave;

    Sorry to see you leave.

    I was so looking forward to you wise input on travel tips in Asia.

    Don't write-

  • Yes, p. 3-4 of the Service Manual says to see p. 14-138 for info on the Honda VTM-4 Differential Fluid. The index (under Differential Fluid, Rear) says p. 15-39. The index is correct.

    The requirement to change the VTM-4 fluid every 7500 miles is for severe service only (unless the Owner's and Service Manuals have been overridden by a service bulletin--which would certainly be disconcerting.) Both the filler plug and the drain plug are torqued to 35 lbf-ft. No size is indicated (but plug shape is circular not hexagonal), so just go through your tool box until you find the right 12-point socket. As the Service Manual says, be sure to use a new sealing washer.

    Some good news: my dealer rep called me today with my VIN! ETA is Saturday, so I should be able to pick up my prepped MDX on Tuesday next week. I've ordered some accessories (discussed in a previous post) from A & H Motors, so I may be able to get them installed the same afternoon.

    Also, on the review front, the WSJ had a piece called "Acura SUV: Late to the Party, Ready to Rock" last Friday. Nothing new, but the author closed with "There's no mistaking it for a minivan." So, take that C & D! The MDX is not a m*n*v*n.

  • Thanks TP. (Isn't the service manual well done, all in all?)

    From the drawing it looked like the drain plug has a hex indentation, indicating I'd need a hex driver, not a socket. I'll check it out when I'm under it.

    Congrats on the impending new arrival. Have fun.

  • I missed the MT SUV of the Year episode this morning and forgot to set the VCR. :-[

    I noticed that Speedvision is airing Motor Trend TV on Wednesday at 7:30pm EST. Does anyone know if this is a re-broadcast of the SUV of the Year show?
This discussion has been closed.