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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • Piratejoe: Did you ever get any satisfaction from Acura? While slowing down, my 2009 holds 3rd gear until I am pretty much stopped. So, when slowing for corner, for example, it is in 3rd gear when I try to accelerate out of the corner. Since it is going too slow for 3rd, it shifts down to 2nd, but only after quite a pause. According to the owner's manual, it should shift into 2nd while slowing down, so it is in the right gear to accelerate. I've taken it into the dealer twice and spoken to Acura Canada. I'm told that the manual is simply wrong and that the transmission is shifting as it is supposed to.
    I'm told, too, that the shift pattern can be changed, but Acura won't authorize the dealer to do it.
    It's very maddening to find this in a vehicle that is supposed to be high end. Between this, and the fact that many of the electronic stuff doesn't work in our Canadian winters, it's time to go back to Subaru, I think.
  • referring to my post in Sept 2010. (transmission replaced at 112K miles)

    We finally traded in the MDX for a Ford F-350 - an MDX cannot tote a truck camper. :-)

    At turn in time, at had 186K miles and the replacement transmission was starting to make the same noises the original one did at around 100K. The good news, I guess, is that I got about 75K miles out of the rebuilt transmission. The bad news is that if the transmission had not been showing signs of giving up, again, I would have kept the MDX and traded in the 2001 MBenz.

    I suppose it is telling that instead of designing their own transmission, Acura bought one from Garbage Motors.

    At any rate, the whole experience of owning a 2005 MDX has been a positive one with kudos to Sunnyside Acura Customer Service.


  • @ckpc said:
    82,402 miles on our 03 MDX and transmission is shot. Car is my wife's and only driven in town and to take kids to school. We have owned it since new and followed dealer recommended service using the same dealer for all service. Dealer said $4500 but agreed to call Acura Corp and called back with a $2400 price. The Cat Converter also went out another $900!!!

    I am done with Acura I have spent all kinds of money on a vehicle I mistakenly thought was a quality product.

    I have the 2003 Acura MDX and the transmission has gone bad at 150,000 miles. This is a car that I've always serviced at the Acura of Tempe dealership. They are quoting me $5200 for the repair. Other smaller Honda mechanics in town are around $4200. I've made my plea with the dealer to help me out since we've been so loyal there. I didn't know there were so many problems with 2003 transmissions until I came here! Wonder if the Corporate Acura route may help me.

  • Well, I am victim # 4080 to the faulty 03 MDX transmission issue. I have never had my car serviced anywhere except the dealer and now, without ANY warning, my transmission is out. Completely gone and need a new one. Yes I have 160K, but check this out. My car started leaking oil so i took it in to get the leak fixed. I was told it would be close to 1k to fix, since it was leaking from the rear main. They woud have to take the transmission out and move the engine to get to the part to fix. I said go ahead and fix it, since I felt pretty good about my car (I've given it to my son) They fix the rear main ($800+) and two weeks later i now have bad motor mounts. Tehy never told me the mounts were bad when they removed them (since they had to remove the engne) nor did they tell me when they put them back on. ($400 to fix) So now that i have new motor mounts and a newly repaird rear main, a month later the transmission gives out. My son was driving it and it just stopped accelerating. No slipping of the trany, no pulling, no lights, no nothing -as a warning. The car would not drive in D5, D4 or D3. I had to drive it to the dealership in D1 and it would go in reverse. They looked at it and said $5200 for a new tranny. I got on here and read all the post, I called Acura in CA ( they claim to know nothing about 02/03 tranny issues in MDX's) and offered NO help. The dealer (since I'm on my 3rd Acura with them) offered some help (about 1/2) but I dissappointed in Acura overall. They have an issue with 02/03 Tranny and are turning a blind eye. If you own an MDX 02/03 and have not had this issue.. GET RID OF IT NOW!!!!!!! you will be posting on here at some point.

  • My 2003 MDX has been great other than numerous transmission problems. Had my transmission initially rebuilt at 116,000 miles. Cost me $3,500. Drove it for about 10,000 miles and it started having serious issues where it wouldn't drive (slipping- step on gas pedal and engine just revs without car moving while in drive) and my D5 light was flashing. Took it back in and the shop "fixed" it under the warranty from the transmission. Less than a month later, had the same or similar issues. They rebuilt it again and said one of the transmission solenoids needed replacing. Had that repaired under warranty. Still didn't fix the issue. Long story short, I had my mdx in the shop 5 different times with 3 rebuilt transmissions before the shop finally completely replaced the transmission with a brand new one. I spent weeks without a vehicle and this all took place over the course of 8 months. 8 months without a reliable vehicle and in and out of the shop! What a pain!! That was 35,000 miles ago but I still fear I'm going to have problems again!! My transmission still sometimes does this weird rev thing after I let off the accelerator where the rpms drop way down and flick back up before evening out around 2,000rpms. I baby the heck out of it out of fear. Ready to get a new vehicle which is unfortunate because I haven't had my car in the shop for any other repairs since I've owned it at 100,000 miles.
  • chaos666chaos666 Posts: 1

    Just read 7 years of posts, lol, WEEW! Unbelievable!! After being a lifelong HONDA driver, I decided I'm almost 40 now, time for a nice "Luxury" car, ACURA! the "High End" HONDA, LOL! Boy was I surprised, this seems to be the most poorly designed car by Honda ever. Purchased a 2003 MDX, drained and Filled the Trans 4X, did the Transfer Case, Rear Diff, Oil and Filter, Air Filter and Cabin Filter etc... Seems Amazing; then 1,000 Miles later, CEL comes on and guess who "P0741". Car has been driving and shifting amazing ?
    I am so angry at everything I'm reading about this vehicle, the radiator fiasco, Torque Converter BS etc... I mean c'mon my 2002 CR-V had a timing chain, for shame... I thought I was moving UP, lol. I have already begun sending full page letters in email and snail mail to ACURA Client Relations, in case I need to get this fixed, I will not give up, even if it has 140k and I'm the second owner, this is bull.

    Quick Question, can I really drive like this and ignore the CEL, or will it eventually fail ? Should I drive around town in D4 ?

    Here's some info if anyone cares:

    Acura Client Relations

    1919 Torrance Blvd.

    M/S 500-2N7E

    Torrance, CA 90501-2746

    Phone: (800) 382-2238

    Fax: (310) 783-3535

  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 44
    Hi all,

    I originally started this thread nearly 10 years ago. It is staggering to see how many people have posted their responses over the years. Not sure why after 2014, there was a sudden stop to the posts though!

    I just wanted to update - I still have the 2004 MDX - it currently has about 130K miles on it. It DOES shudder between 30-40 mph when cruising gently on D5 setting. The rpms dip quite low when allowed to shift up to D5, and when you accelerate, the car "grinds" and tends to lack power.

    Driving in D4, you don't hear the noises at all. The transmission shifts at all the right points. At this point, my MDX isn't worth much - and I don't feel it's worth it to spend $2.5K-3K + on a solution that isn't even permanent (most of the people I've seen that replace their torque converters end up having the same problem 30-40K miles later).

    I've been driving in D4 for the past few years, and the car has held up great. Yes, the fuel economy has suffered a bit (~13 in the city, ~19-20 in the highway) - but it never was great to begin with (don't recall getting more than ~15 mpg in the city ever...). With gas being as cheap as it is today, it is definitely worth the fuel economy hit versus replacing the entire torque converter. advice to y'all owning 2004-2006 MDXs is to drive in D4. By this point, many of our MDXs are probably in the 140-170K mileage range or more - at this point, we should focus on squeezing out the most miles remaining in these cars without spending significant $$$ in them. For those owning 2003 and lower models....I don't really know what to recommend, as the problems seem to be more in the transmissions themselves, rather than the torque converters.

    For now, I intend on driving my 2004 MDX up until it starts causing problems in other areas, and these problems start costing amounts that aren't justifiable anymore. But for now, I can say, that my MDX has had basically zero problems with anything, asides from the rumbling issues when driving in D5. Just regular oil changes have been the main source of maintenance for this car - being a 13+ year old car, I give kudos to Acura for that.



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