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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • lislis Posts: 2
    Update to my story from January 2009, where I initially wrote:

    My MDX has 95,000 miles on it and has the extended warranty to 100,000 miles. Three times in the last two weeks I've started the car in the morning and when it shifts to 2nd gear (going up a slight grade) it's like I put the car in neutral - no pwer but the rpms go way up. Twice it's caught and been fine, yesterday it didn't catch and I shifted down from drive to lowest gear before it would engage.

    When I took it in, they say they can't replicate the problem so can't turn it in as a transmission problem as they don't think there is one. They will charge me $120 every time I bring it in but they can't find anything wrong with it - so I guess I won't be bringing it in every week like I'm tempted to. Any suggestions on how to get this to replicate so I can get it fixed

    Also, something I didn't mention before, the torque converter had been replaced at 76,000 miles. This time, at 95,000 miles they told me it was an imput sensor and replaced that. Shifting is still rough, but it doesn't slip like before. However, at 98,600 miles all the lights came on again - AB, VSA, VMT-4, brake, etc. When I took it in, they said that it was due to a bad cell in the battery and recommended that I have my transmission flushed as the fluid looked "burned". I said that was odd since they'd replaced the fluid when they'd replaced the torque converter, and just changed the transmission fluid at 93,550 miles and that I was taking it to an independent dealer to have them look at the fluid and transmission. They then agreed to contact the Acura care and see if they could get them to agree to replace the tranmission. Today they said that they would replace the transmission under the 100,000 mile warranty.
  • jyao888jyao888 Posts: 32
    Hi thebouncer1,
    Have you find out the jerky issue response from your dealership/
    I had experiencing the same issue since I get my brand new car.
    I am not familar w/ sport seadan concept but feel like you mentioned that someone s on brake and the speed suddenly reduced. It's really bother me all the times druing the low speed. I don't think we should keep step on accelerator to waste more gasoline, right?
  • jyao888jyao888 Posts: 32
    Hi thebouncer1,
    I did bring in my 09MDX for technician to test drive regarding the transmission issue you have and I experience the same at first 4-500mi when I got my car.
    This "jerk" issue had been less and less. I had 1300mi now and feel the transmission change gear when I slow down and speed up. Tenician siad it's normal. The harder you step the accelerator the transmission take more time to shift gear. The soft you step the quicker gear changes. It's the way to design to protect engine for damages due to suddenly speed changes. I am very gentle driver and not sure about this concept.
  • orange5orange5 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Acura MDX that has about 97,000 on it. I have kept it up to date on its services, oil changes, etc...About two months ago, I started noticing at different speeds my car felt like it shifted into neutral and would take a couple of seconds to let me accelerate again. It only happened every once in a while. About a couple of weeks ago it became more frequent and it developed a funny noise. I brought it to my mechanic who said that the transmission was failing and I would need another. Before sinking another $3,000 I started looking at other cars very disappointed that I car I bought because I was told it would last forever needed a new transmission. As I went searching, I met other customers with 2002 Acura MDX's with similar problems. I called the dealership asking if they knew of this and they said they couldn't help me because I hadn't serviced my car there for a couple of years. I told them that I had still been servicing my car but at my mechanics because I was not happy with their service. I started wondering if this was a problem and found out by taking my MDX to the dealer that some of the 2002 MDX's had problems with the torque converter. Needless to say, mine was one of them and it need a new torque that would cost me over $2,000. The dealer told me my warranty was up and I would have to pay for it. I then called Acura back who said I should ask my dealer to contact the district manager to see if they will replace it on goodwill. I called the dealer who was not happy and said that I need to bring them all my receipts from the mechanic and then they would submit it to the warranty manager. Acura told me if they will not help me then they will assign me a case manager to investigate. My question to Acura was how do I know there are no other defects once I fix this problem. Why was there no recall? Why do I have to pay for something that was a know defect? I also found out the TL's had a class action law suit which caused Acura to extend warranties. Any suggestions on how I should proceed?
  • rcross1rcross1 Posts: 1
    I had problems with my 04 MDX Transmission. On the way back from a road trip from TN, the transmission went in Roanoke VA. Mind you, I live in NJ. Granted, my MDX had 153000 miles on but I service the transmission three times since I purchased at 62000 miles ( so that's 90000 miles I had it with three transmission service done by Acura).

    I did contact Acura Care and all they said is that my Warranty has ended. I sent it to Duncan Acura in Roanoke for them to check it out and see if I qualified for a "Good Will" Repair... they cam back with something about Acura is willing to supply a transmission and pay 1%(?????) Not sure what that meant but all in all, I am $3500 less in my bank account.

    Just wanted to let everyone know that get rid of your 04 MDX before you hit 153000. I have a couple of more payments myself and I will be venturing over to Lexus or Infiniti after its paid off.

    I really don't think my transmission should have went so quickly, especially when I took care of it....And I have a 05 TL and a 90 Legend...check this,,no issues with my 90 Legend at all, runs like a champ with 97000 miles on it...
  • mos6mos6 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 MDX as well with 115k on it and have the exact same issue you are describing in your positng. I also took it to my mechanic who said I should contact the dealer and let them know I was not happy with a $40K car that needed a transmission at 100K. Was there any resolution with the case manager in your situation? Taking mine into the dealer tomorrow to see what they say. Any new advice to pass on?

  • Yes, the dealers are well aware of this problem. they were willing to repair
    the trans. for $1000.00, its a $3800. job here in new york, so I had it repaired
    from what I've read on the net, that's the going rate for this repair, I can't afford
    to replace the vehicle so I had it repaired, I had 90,000 miles on it at the time and now have 98,000 its been 10 months now and no problems,
    remember to get in writing the three year warranty which is mostly what you'll be paying for.
    Best of Luck Bob
  • I hear ya. I have a 2001 MDX and I had a similar problem @ 65K. I took it in and they were going to see what "codes" it was giving off. They didn't see any codes in the system but did notice that my trans needed a flush/service. So, I did it and thought I was on my way. Well, for the past 2 mos I have been in traffic and it "slips" loses "grip" and I wait for the R's to come down and then goose it to make it catch. Sometinmes it does and it'll HIT real hard and off we go...but more often won't catch and I'll wait for the R's to come down and shift down a gear and we're good to go. Nevertheless, I explained it to them and they've had it since Saturday. (It currently has 75K)
    Acura called me today and said that it's giving code P1740 (it relates to a "pressure switch" and 4th gear). Also, my two motor mounts (front & right) are cracked. They cannot replicate the slippage and there are no codes to verify anything. Nevertheless they obviously reccomed a new trans and new motor mounts. They want $5,200 ($4,560 p/l for trans and $690 p/l for motor mounts + tax)! I then read these posts and are PO'd. I am going to ask the service manager to hear my case and pass my concerns to the district field representative.
    Finally, I decided to "shop" the job with another Acura within the area and they're quoting me $3,979 ($3,654 p/l trans and $325 p/l motor mounts). So, it may be worth shopping the job around.
  • Just purchased a used 2001 MDX with 180,000 miles. The car was a one owner car which we purchased from a dealer. The car is in very good condition with a very clean interior and the engine is very smooth. We noticed after we brought the car home that there is a whine that sounds like the transmission. We took the car back to the dealer the next day and asked that they check it out. They said that it is normal for a car with that many miles and said nothing about transmission problems with the 2001 - 2002 year MDX's. I know that we should have done our homework a little better but after the fact we really like the car and want the problem resolved. Could this be a recall issue that was never fixed?
  • mos6mos6 Posts: 2
    So here is how my 2002 MDX transmission issue resovled itself. Took it into the dealer and sure enough they confirmed that I had to have tranmission replaced. As a reminder I have 115K miles on it and have kept it serviced on schedule. My mechanic that I went to (not dealer) confirmed that it was a transmission and that I should go back to the dealer and let them know that a $40k car should not need a transmission at 100K. Having done a little investigatin I came across this board and read that the 2001 and 2002 MDX's had transmission issues. Knowing that, I went into the dealer and described my situation. I then asked the service consultant if the 2002 had transmission issues Reluctantly she confirmed that there had been an issue. She said she would see what the issue was and if it was the transmission she would call Honda USA and see what they would do. Sure enough I got a call and she confirmed a transmission. She mentioned the cost would be $4800 l/p and 36 mnth/36,000 mile warranty on the part. Honda agreed to split the cost with me. Still out a substantial amount but not as bad as could have been. Having a little bit of information and letting the service consultant know I was aware of the issue I beleive helped. Squeaky wheel gets the grease I guess. Good luck
  • pejppejp Posts: 2
    Bought '09 MDX two weeks ago. On way home from dealership with only 11 miles on odometer, went gently over speed tables through my neighborhood and heard and felt a grinding sound after going over table and as I started to accelerate at about 25 mph. Only happens on some, and only on speed tables (not humps or bumps). Also, the yellow exclamation dash light flashes on when this happens, but does not stay on. Dealership says this is not a problem. Could not reproduce sound with technician in car with me since at that time I did not realize it was speed tables only and we tried speed bumps. It is loud enough for any passenger in the car to say "what was that?" I don't think I should have to live with "what was that?"given that I can't even leave my neighborhood without going over a few of these tables. After reading the posts, I am afraid I am in for a long fight, but maybe I will get more attention with a car that now has just 300 miles on it!
  • jyao888jyao888 Posts: 32
    I am still feeling the issue of "jerk" a few people discussed.
    I have 1900 mi on my 09 MDX and still have this issue today.
    It is the feeling the speed suddenly reduced like someone step the brake when your foot off the gas paddle. Anyone have this experience? Tecnican can't dupicate it when I bring back to check last month.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Also, the yellow exclamation dash light flashes on when this happens, but does not stay on.

    I think that is to be expected. The (upside down) exclamation indicates a problem with tire pressure. A speed table will cause rapid compression and decompression of the air in the tires depending on how fast you approach the table and thay may trigger the tire pressure monitor.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • roblawroblaw Posts: 17
    From what you describe it also sounds like you are seeing your traction control work, which is normal. Often times when you go over a hump at any speed the tires will temporarily lose contact with the road. The traction control does its job and the light will go on. If this is the only place it happens (maybe on very rough roads as well?), this may be the normal functioning of the traction control.
  • Gotcha Hoss! Good job. I did the same. I took the info I had and explained it to the service manager. I also asked if he could get Acura USA involved and he actually offered it to me before it could get off of my tongue. He called me back within a few hours and agreed to split it 50/50! Not a bad deal. Yeah, it's still $2,500 + tax (and that's nuthin to sneeze at) but it's definitely better than 5G's! Nevertheless, I believe that if you present your case in a civilized manner and have a bit of a track record with a particular may get some consideration and assistance. I've always owned Acura's and intend on always doing so...kinda biased but it is what it is. Good luck everyone!
  • pejppejp Posts: 2
    I was finally able to reproduce the sound today for an Acura technician over a speed table. He had predicted it was the ABS and when he heard it, he immediately said that is what it is. The wheel speeds are not in synch at that point causing the ABS to be briefly activated due to the overly sensitive sensors - ("overly" being my addition here) The upside down exclamation dash light is simply being activated that it is working but is not staying lit to say there is a problem. Perhaps I am too trusting, but I had a very good feel about it after spending 10 minutes with the technician who gave me the brief history of trans probs in the MDXs and a few other issues that he sees more frequently. Time will tell of course, but for now I am satisfied with the ABS explanation.
  • rehan1rehan1 Posts: 1

    Would you please tell me what dealership you went to for the repair?
    does anyone has similar experience in New Jersey and can recommend a dealership?
    Thanks much
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You might find some recommendations if you click the Local Services tab at the top right too.
  • Our 2001 had only 75K miles on it. serviced regularly (through our mechanic not Acura). We found out when it went out about all of the problems. We had it towed to the dealer in hopes of having them help in good faith (out of warranty) and told them how aware we were of all of the issues. They acknowledged the problems. It took almost one week for them to make us an offer: $3500 to replace it....saying it was really a $4800 job but out of good faith we would get 25% paid for. Any tranny shop around can do the same job for $3500. Acura said they had to replace the ECU (the brains), that they do it on all tranny jobs regardless. Our mechanic said that since this is a mechanical and not electrical failure, they didnt' see the need. We went to pick up a loaner (the car won't run so we were stuck) and they had the nerve to tell us if we wanted the tranny sealed, it would be another $175, otherwise the tranny would leak all over the place in about 3 months. I couldn't believe my ears. I am in the process of pulling together alot of info on this and writing acura. we also own our 2nd Odessey (ate dirt with the run flat tires on the first touring) and all in all have owned 4 Honda/Acura products. We are so disgusted by this that we will probably never buy another Honda product again. The dealership did very little to help us and we tried being nice, regular, begging, etc. I don't know what else to do except eat the fix, hope it stays for another year or 2 and then try and ditch the car. and write lots of letters. The also told me "we would be looked badly upon because we didn't service it at an Acura dealer". What? Can someone shed some light here?
  • Don't let them get away with it. My Dealer on Long Island paid 75% and we paid 25%.
    That seems to be the way most dealers work the repair. Good Luck
  • so they were going to stick it to us. when we went to get the loaner they had the nerve to tell us that in addition to the fix, they would charge another $175 to seal the rear something or other so the transmission woudln't leak. they also said they always replace the ECU (the brains) even if there is nothing wrong with that component...oh and the fix is $800 of the total. I called a local reputable tranny shop and we are getting it fixed for $2400. I had my car towed on Friday afternoon and told Acura they were a ripoff. I still intend to write letters and I won't walk into another Acura dealer again. And I will happily rate the dealership on line. What an exercise in frustration. The dealership really didn't care or they wouldn't have done that last maneouver of the $175.
  • It's typical of other dealerships I've dealt with, certainly not specific to Acura. But for their prices, you'd hope they would try harder than some of the cheaper brands out there.
  • Can you please tell what acura dealership you went to?
  • it was in north central texas, why do you ask? i am trying to get another acura dealership to fix my warrantied SRS sensor (I have the letter) and they won't return any of my calls. called twice. I am a bit put out with all of them.
  • Hi all. I own a 2006 acura mdx with funny sounds coming from drivetrain area. If u decelerate to 30-40 mph, then slightly accelerate, there is a vibrating/shuttering sound followed by a clunking sound as attempts to shift gears.

    Local dealer says it needs a new torque converter and an updated pcm module, total bill $2,500. Problem is... with 75,000 miles, the car is just out of the warranty period, so dealer says the repair bill is all my responsibility. Car has never been used for towing,etc. All normal maintenance done by me, with my own notes in manual. Transmission fluid has never been changed.

    Called Acura (national) with an appeal for assistance. Still waiting to hear their decision as to if/how much they would be willing to assist me with.

    Really curious, Is there anyone else out there with 2006 mdx with similar problems or experiences to share?? Thanks much, kobbe.
  • I wrote back in the summer about problems I was having with my Acura MDX 2002. Acura finally agreed to share the cost of replacing the torque converter. I had all the work done including a seven year check up. About a month after I had it back from the dealer it started doing the same thing again. What is happening is from time to time when I am driving (it is not speed dependent) the car shifts itself into neutral and then shifts out. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens and I never know when it will. I have taken it back to the dealer three times now and they can't get it to repeat or come up with a signal on their monitors for the transmission. Then about a week and a half ago I was driving when all of a sudden my radio went dead and lights on my dashboard came on. This happened about 4 times like a power surge and then it stopped. I had the battery checked and everything checked out fine. The dealer took the car for a few days and had the mechanic drive it home every day to see if it would repeat itself. Of course it never did. However, I drive at least 40 miles a day and they only put on about 10 each day. They gave it back to me and basically said oh well! Then, my SRS light came on. They now have the car because my seat belt and front air bags went. I am at my wits end! I don't feel safe driving the car with my kids in it but no one can figure out the problem. I feel like I need a camera in my car to prove that I my speedometer could be at 35 and my rpm's are at 6! Any one with similar experience? I can't really afford a new car but feel that I need one for the safety issue. I would love any suggestions. Thanks.
  • NHTSA can initiate a recall of the 2003 MDX based on numerous consumer complaints. I just checked the NHTSA complaint list and only 14 of us filed complaints!! Yet, there are hundreds of blog comments complaining about the transmission. This does not make sense!! If we are serious about getting this vehicle recalled SO WE EITHER DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE REPAIR OR IF WE PAID FOR THE REPAIR, GET OUR MONEY BACK,then we need to follow the instructions provided by NHTSA in the following link, which explains the recall process:

    or call the NHTSA toll-free number to make a REAL complaint!

    ONLINE: Select the "Begin Form" button to the right.
    BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at
    (888) 327-4236 , TTY: (800) 424-9153.
  • " Transmission fluid has never been changed. "

    Huh? At 75,000 miles it should have been changed at least once, I had our '04 changed @ 50,000 because I have been so paranoid that something was going to happen to the tranny.
  • yeah, I know upstatedoc, my bad....bad kobbe. I've done my own maintenance for many, many years and been sorta ignoring the trannys, at least up until recent years when I started driving acuras and hearing/reading about tranny problems with them. The 2003 I owned (before I bought current 2006) that my daughter now drives has 120,000 miles, still going strong, also never changed atf. Maybe just lucky on that one, huh?

    Interesting the differences out there re changing atf....Crysler minivan manual calls for atf change at 120,000 miles (normal driving conditions). Neighbor's BMW manual calls for atf change every 100,000. Believe GM also 100,000 miles. Yet acura says at 45,000, then every 30,000 after that. Go figure???

    Reading over past threads in this forum re those with mdx owners with tranny problems, doesn't seem to make a difference whether maintenance schedule has been followed religiously or not. I'd be interested in hearing from others on this issue. Along same lines, do tranny problems develop only on cars driven hard/trailering etc. or on those babied as well???
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    I think I am the latest victim of this transmission issue with Acura. My 2003 MDX has 88k miles and I took today to the dealer and they said I need a new transmission and they offer to charge me $3600 for it as being "nice". They said they would charge me only the cost of it I had repair warranty. I have to say that now learning this issue is so common they looked and sounded awfully suspicious to me.
    I read several posts here but I am still confused. Is there a possibility to have this repaired for free or at least much cheaper than $3,600 because of the several transmission issues with this car? My warranty expired at 50k, so I no longer have it.
    Is any good contacting Acura North America? Would they be any help?
    How some of you approach the dealers regarding this?
    My dealer is Kearny Mesa Acura in San Diego.
    I appreciate with any of you can give me any guidance on this headache. Thank you very much!
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