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MDX steering wheel vibration at highway speed



  • lb08730lb08730 Posts: 2
    I have 08 MDX base model and having same vibration issues. Car has been to dealer at least 7 times, first time 2 days after purchase. First dealer said it was balancing issue. Still not fixed. Second dealer replaced rotors, bearings, shocks, and brakes. Still vibration. Dealer then replaced Bridgestone's with Michelin's, better but still vibration, now rattles all over the car especially in passenger side door, sunroof, headliner, and dashboard. When stopping or starting can hear screws rolling around in doors and roof, very annoying!!! Dealer can't seem to fix these problems. Anyone had any luck with the lemon law on these cars. Contacted Acura but they did nothing.
  • rar2rar2 Posts: 13
    I realize this is an MDX forum, which is a car I am contemplating purchasing in the near future. I really appreciate all the information here, as everything on Edmunds. I feel it's necessary to cross this one off the list.

    I have had the shake everyone here describes in my '08 Camry from day one and am doing my best to purchase a vehicle that does not have it. Always had Honda/Acura and didn't have the shake until my '05 Pilot - the shake started after 2 years. Honda wanted me to spend thousand to figure out what could be the issue on a 2yr old car. They had a wheel bearing TSB which might have been the issue, but neglected to let me know about it - found out years later.

    Was told what all these postings say, with respect to Toyota, live with it, that's how it was designed. Even went to arbitration - they did nothing. I am debating between an RX350 and Acura MDX.

    I test drove an '09 MDX that had been traded for a Lexus RX350 - had the shake on the highway. this saying buy the Lexus? Are you referring to Lexus Rx330, when you say 330?

    It's a very annoying thing...I am finally able to get rid of my '08 Camry but with all the recalls can't sell on my own and a bit hesitant about a Lexus purchase.
  • stma1stma1 Posts: 39
    This worked for me, first of all just because the dealer has a Hunter road force machine doesn't mean they know how to use it, the machine needs to be calibrated
    and also EACH time the machine is used the proper setting has to be chosen or else that balance will not be done correctly, my 2007 had an issue, I took the vehicle to my
    local trusted small tire guy with the same equipment and he spent the time to roadforce match AND balance the tires and absolutely NO vibration at all speeds, I never rotated the tires at all and the tires lasted 40k, my 2010 which I picked up had the same issue, I took it to the same shop and guess what , no VIBRATION, I did give the dealer a shot but the mechanics do not want to spend the time dealing with the tires and MADE the vibration worse by improper use of the Hunter machine, I was reimbursed by the dealer and I will never rotate tires as I do not want to deal with any vibration issues and tire wear issues have been non existent without rotation, I would say that 95% of these vibrations can be traced to improper operation of the Hunter roadforce balancer and not a tire issue.
  • ebraun49ebraun49 Posts: 1
    I have been experiencing the same vibration problems as well. I just complained to Acura,#800-382-2238. I hope all of the posts do the same and anyone who reads this as well. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling. please call asap.
  • mtmdxmtmdx Posts: 3
    My 07 would vibrate so bad it felt as though the tires were coming off, but it was very intermittent, as in months apart. Went through the entire wheel rotate and balance act a couple times, then at 20k had to replace brake pads and turn rotors. My driving style is not such that this should have occured and of course brakes are not covered under warranty. Still every so often at highway speeds the terrible vibration would begin, so bad you have to pull over. I've owned several pieces of crap over my 40 plus years of driving and even the worst never acted like that. Get back on the road and it was fine. Then I began having problems around town, car did not seem to accelerate properly (felt like clutch slippage or emergency brake on) engine would rev but car would barely move. Pratically every warning indicator began coming on.......AWD-Brakes-Transmission-Traction Control, at the same time, I was on the phone constantly; nearest Acura dealer is nearly 500 miles. Then I noticed if I let off the gas the car would simply stop just as if the brakes had been applied. Sure enough, got out and rotors were smoking hot and I had not applied the brakes. Had our local Honda service department drive it and finally it happened to him. Honda had them replace the brake switch and problem has not happened since. On my last call to the Acura corporate service advisor, I told him I new what was wrong the brakes seem to be applying themselves and I related the most recent incident; he replied "we are not going to take an amateur approach to this". Doesn't take an Acura factory trained mechanic to realize brakes should not be hot when you haven't used them. After badgering Acura reimbursed me for brake switch repair but refused to admit this could have caused the pads and rotors to wear so quickly. As much as I like Honda as a company and their vehicles this was my second and last MDX. No one was willing to give me the benefit of doubt, not Lyle Pearson in Boise, not Acura client services, not road side assistance........the only help I got, was from my Honda dealer. For the record, road side assistance would not cover shipping the car to Boise because it was driveable. Do not listen to this nonsense about out of round tires, wheel balancing, ice buildup and the rest. A $50K vehicle should not behave like this, in their defense however they do not know what is wrong.........I know what was wrong with mine! Good luck folks.
  • Interesting. I have noticed that mine is vibrating mostly when I have just started driving the car and I get right on a highway and am pulling uphill a bit. The car has a definite vibration, but it goes away after about 3 or 4 minutes. I have tried shifting it into different gears to see if maybe the engine is just straining, but that doesn't help.

    It almost feels like the car needs a tune-up. I service it at the regular intervals, but I wonder if they need to be doing something more.
  • lb08730lb08730 Posts: 2
    I continue to have problems with my '08 MDX with vibrations. The other day the car was shaking so bad it felt like the wheels were going to come off, had to pull over. Started up again, still vibration that you can feel in the seats. I can't stand getting in the car anymore and I have a long commute each day. Acura has done nothing for me and the tech says that it is supposed to do that. Are they crazy?

    Has anyone had any issues with the 2010 models? I have only heard about years prior to the new models. I need to get rid of this thing but not sure what to get in its place.

    I know a couple of other people with this SUV and they are not experiencing the problems that I am. I also read that others are having serious vibration problems intermittently. That is how mine is as well, always a vibration but some days worse than others. I really don't know what to do, the dealer does not know what to do for the problem. It is very frustrating to say the least.
  • stma1stma1 Posts: 39
    Please see my post at # 34, I had the same thing done to my 2007 which had a slight vibration and my 2010 also, it is a simple fix if the operator KNOWS how to use the Hunter Roadforce 9700, look on the tire rack website to find an authorized installer in your area, it is worth the 100-125 dollars spent to fix this issue and have a smooth as silk ride and NEVER rotate the tires after the 'fix' is applied, I never rotated mine and got 40k out of my tires.
  • mtmdxmtmdx Posts: 3
    Hi Barb.......does this happen only occasionally, for example is everything fine one minute and all hell breaks loose the next? Please see my post #37 and have them check your brakes, I'll bet they are wearing prematurely. If you are having the same problem I did the symptom is violent and spooky, far worse than any balancing issue could cause. Anxious to hear what you find.
  • It is certainly not consistent as to when it will happen, but when it does happen, it is always after I have just started driving it and I am pulling up a hill at highway speeds. It feels like the engine is straining and is causing the vibration. After a few miles, it's almost as if the car has warmed up enough and the vibration goes away.

    It is going to be very hard to have the dealer experience this because the closest highway where this has happened is about a 30-minute drive away and the car needs to have been off for a few hours to make this happen, and again, it isn't consistent.

    Hoping that when I go in for my next service, they will understand my explanation, but my experience has been that if they can't reproduce it, they won't fix it.
  • I have had this issue with vibration a short time after I bought my 2007 MDX. I took it back several times over 3 yrs for re-balance which helped some but the problem came back after a short period of time and always after a scheduled service with rotation. Dealer said it was the tires and offered to split the cost which I agreed to do, but again it was a temporary fix. Took the car back on Sept 3rd and drove a used 2007 from their lot with a technician. It had the same problem and the technician felt it as well. We tested 4 new 2010 MDX's and a ZDX. All had the same problem. At least I know now that I am not crazy. Baffled by the fact that no other customers have complained about this to my local dealer. Thanks for your post #34. I will take my car to a local shop using a Hunter GSP 9700 and show them your post. Thanks again for your post.
  • I have a '08 MDX. I never had a vibration issue until I just got new Michelin tires at 39,000 miles. Now, in the morning I have a vibration (mild) for 3-4 minutes at 75-80 mph. I agree the issue is improperly balanced tires at high speeds. Why else would I have no problems until the new tires got installed? The problem is mild and only once a day so I will wait until I get 7-8,000 miles on my new tires. Then, I will follow your advice as posted above.
  • See my post #43 and refer to post #34. I just took my 2007 MDX to a local tire dealer that has the Hunter GSP 9700 balancing unit. The technician is very well versed on the operation. He was very meticulous when doing the re-balance. He said my wheels were only out about 1/2 ounce out. Well it did not solve the problem. Vibration starts at around 65mph and gets worse as I increase speed. My vibration is not felt so much in the steering wheel but the whole car seems to vibrate. Next step is to try to find someone locally that can still balance the wheels on the hub. Then the battle begins with Acura.
  • Not the good kind of vibrations, my radar detector bangs against the windshield and I'm worried that my mechanical wrist watch may get damaged from the steering wheel shakes. New set of tires replaced at 30K miles didn't help. Definitely coming from the front, I assume it's the suspension and not the wheels. The very helpfull Acura service rep dismissed the problem by stating - Oh, we can't recreate the problem because we can't drive at that speed for fear of getting a ticket! Probably just my imagination. And that's after dropping 1K for a new set of tires, at $45k a pop I'd expect a near damn perfection. Can't imagine a BMW dealer insulting his customer like this...
  • With my 07 it could be months between incidents, did become much more frequent though as mentioned in post 37. How are your brakes wearing and are you getting any warning indicators when this happens.
  • "my radar detector bangs against the windshield "

    "Oh, we can't recreate the problem because we can't drive at that speed for fear of getting a ticket!"

    Well, the RD may protect them somewhat depending on what kind it is. :P

    Our '07 had the SW vibration and it turned out to be the L front strut. They replaced it under warranty. It seemed odd that the warranty would cover a wear-and-tear item but I didn't argue because it didn't cost me a thing. Perhaps there is a secret TSB out on this. :confuse:
  • srs149srs149 Posts: 35
    I just picked up my brand-new MDX today from a dealer in MD. I live in the philly area, so had plenty of time to evaluate it at highway speed (minus the beltway in DC and the entire Baltimore area)... but i digress.

    there is a definite vibration in the wheel at speed, but no pulling of the wheel. My brother suggested it might be my tire balancing but was baffled that Quality Control at Acura wouldl allow their tires / wheels to get out the door not properly balanced.

    Should I start there? Could it be my alignment already? Any help would be greatly appreciated as my 14 year old Lexus ES and my Honda Odyssey both drive smoothly at highway speed.

  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I would take it to a dealer in the Philly close to where you live and see if they can diagnose. Since you'll probably need to form a service relationship, use this as a test to find one that's willing to work with you to diagnose the problem, using a second or a third dealer if necessary. That's what I would do.
  • srs149srs149 Posts: 35
    Thanks for the tip. I called my local dealer and they think its probably a front wheel balance issue. They've agreed to do the balance free of charge although its typically not a warrantable item and i did not purchase the car at their dealership.
  • I've been having the same problem for 2 months 5500 miles. I don't believe there is a fix. I've had my tires and wheels road force matched and balanced. Still a bad vibration at 70+ MPH. Dealer installed new tires, and did not correct the problem. Tomorrow is the second visit to dealership to meet with ACURA manufacturer rep. My 08 MDX sport had no problems and our 05 Lexus and my old 06 lexus never had this problem.

    I hope they can fix it but, these service visits are becoming a hardship for me. I may go the lemon law route and get another vehicle (Lexus) 2010 may be a bad model year for the MDX.
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    Have had the exact problem for 2 months with my 2010 MDX Tech. Tires/wheels have been Hunter Road Force balanced multiple times, tires swapped around, even 1 tire replaced to dial in balance and tire/wheel dynamics as accurately as possible. Failing all of that, will now start case with Acura Client Services. All dealer and zone people that have driven the vehicle admit they feel the vibration. Getting the feeling that Acura is justifying it as a "characteristic" of the vehicle. Don't think so--not in a $45k vehicle that touts high quality.
  • i just bought it 2 days ago my moms choice and i also noticed when i hit to 70 my steering wheel vibrates but just the steering wheel, so i was wondering what i should do i bought it used and from toyota, and i onli got a 30 day warranty which is for engine only so idk what i should do ? and if possible i was jw does it matter bout the vibrations like in a matter of time will sumthing break or anything ?
  • Can I ask where this small tire guy is in the event they are somewhere close to Wisconsin? I'm so fed up with my '08 MDX that i'm seriously considering getting rid of it. I just got new Michellin's and the vibration has become significantly worse compared to the Bridgestones that originally came with the car.
  • lvsuvslvsuvs Posts: 3
    I had vibration after 65m, it was usually bad for 4 to 5 minutes in the morning as soon as I hit the freeway and was okay after that. I had recently done a road force balance at acura of reno, I felt much better after that. The regular balancing at costco didn't help much. But I should really appreciate Chris at carson costco tire shop for being very friendly and listening to my concerns all the time.

    Just do only the road force balancing if you can. They charged me around 50. I guess the rotation and balancing is around 90.
  • I've inquired about getting my 08 MDX hub balanced but the two places I asked both said it wasn't possible due to the fact that the car is all wheel drive. Do you know how they were able to do it? I've tried the road force balancer but it didn't help but perhaps I need to try another shop.
  • 07mdx107mdx1 Posts: 4
    sorry, I don't know all about the balance process. I just rotated tires and they balanced them again in the same manner.( on hub). No vibrations.

    I 'll call the shop this week and see what specifics they can provide. I will post a follow up reply.

    i have heard of sports car folks buying their tires and then taking their car to the local alignment/ balance specialist to get them "dialed in"...which is what i have to do for future tires.

    also, I recommend you look up an alignment/balance specialist in your area. This type of shop is not a typical tire store.
  • 07mdx107mdx1 Posts: 4
    ok ,

    i called my alignment's what he does on my 07 MDX

    1. true tires...shaves them round..(i have the high end michelins and they still needed rounded...)

    2. dynamic balance tire on rim.

    3. MOST IMPORTANT...Hoffman Finish balancer...which computer/laser balances the tires on the car...he spins in up to 80 MPH on the car and the lasers and computers tell where to put the weight..

    as far as the all wheel drive issue..not a factor..whom ever you asked doesn't know what he is talking about.

    please note: i am not a mechanic and can not guarnatee this will fix your individual car..however, this is what fixed my vibrations in my MDX.

    hope this helps in some way
  • jseppy1jseppy1 Posts: 1
    I see that the posting hasn't changed much. I have a 2003 MDX... same issue. I've pretty much have given up on Ferman Acura because every time I go in they would ding me for $1400 worth of repairs that got me no where. The last was this one which I brought back to them so many times I've lost count. I had the wheels replaced, rotor replaced, wheels replaced again at my cost and I can't remember how many alignments and wheel balances with no success.

    I have taken it in Tire plus for their honest approach but they seem to be having the same issue even after they balanced and took a look at the alignment....
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