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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • Gugy68, good luck. We ended up going to a local tranny shop and changing it for $2500 for 3 year/3K warranty. when they opened it up, there was metal or something in the radiator so that needed to go as well for another $350. They tried and tried flushing to no avail.
    The dealership knows all about it and yet they smile and deny. But, the fact that they made a good will offer shows the issue is clear. Let me save you some frustration. First, we declined Acura's "offer" to fix at an inflated price. They put on the paperwork "customer declined goodwill offer" to cover themselves. And, they did not put in our paperwork for a customer service survery afterwards like all dealership do. I had to fix the SRS sensor the next week and took it to a 2nd dealer. i told them they needed to fix it and not report other "issues" they somehow stumbled upon while fixing the SRS. The service manager called and i explained the entire issue with the other dealership and tranny. She said I was mishandled and told me to file a complaint with Acura in CA. Acura in CA said that it was a dealership issue since they are owned and operation independently of Acura. She said she would not my complaints in a file/complaint to the dealerhsip and that (after much prodding) it would basically amount to nothing and I would not get any feedback or closure. I told her why waste my breath and blood pressure. I gave up. You can ask to speak to the regional director who is over your dealership for the area. You may be able to talk him into more but don't hold your breath.
    I guess many traded their cars just to get out from under the problem. If Acura does the repair, don't be surprised if other things crop up while they attempt to fix it. And get maximum warranty if you are keeping the car. The new tranny doesn't fix the old tranny design issues. some are on their 3rd tranny. Good luck!
    To the person who asked if the cars had been babied or not, mine was babied. it took some road trips from TX to FL but never hauled anything and has been our 2nd car and garaged 85% of the time. It is treated better than me! So, it doesn't matter. they have issues and we are stuck with it.
  • Please file a complaint with NHTSA (National Transportation Safety Administration)so that they can get enough complaints to start a recall. If the vehicle is recalled, we either do not have to pay for the repair or can get our money back for repairs made. It is easy to file complaint and you might be able to get something out of it.
  • My car was experiencing an unusual grinding sound while accelerating slowly to about 40MPH. It has about 75,000 miles on it but the noise was noticed much earlier than this but could not be detected by the dealership until now. I was told that the torque converter needed to be replaced. Fortunately I have a warranty that was purchased at the time of the sale and so I did not incur any expense. It was replaced last week and then the D2 light started blinking while driving. I called for service again and was told that the 4th gear pressure switch needed to be replaced. Supposedly this was replaced last week when the torque converter was put in but the part must have been defective. It was replaced yesterday and so far the light has not come back on. My concern, after reading these blogs, is that my trasnsmission might go. Any advice?
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice.
    I will take my car to an independent shop to double check the transmission. I just have a really bad feeling about the dealer.
    I did contact Acura Care and they said only the dealer could help me, so they were not of much help at all. I mentioned that I heard many Acura's were recalled due the transmission issue and they denied my 2003 being part of the ones with this issue.
    Then the dealer did contact me back and offered reducing the transmission job to $2500 and if I decide to fix my brake pads plus rotors they would do the whole thing for $3k.
    I am not sure if I am going to do this. Since I lost a lot of confidence on the Acura brand. I just do not want to be in the vicious cycle of fixing one thing and another problems waiting to happen in a car with expired warranty.
    I am weighting my options at this time but I feel I should move on sell the car and buy another brand WITH warranty. We'll see.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • kobbekobbe Posts: 4
    OK, so what's different with acura's trannys that they require atf change at 45,000 miles, then every 30,000 ??? Or is it a CYA (cover your ---) strategy? Most of the others I checked on are good for at least 100,000 miles. Any comments or opinions out there? Thanks....
  • I own a 2002 MDX and experienced transmission problems around 50,000 and kept getting various codes until around 70,000 I finally went to Norris Acura in Ellicott City, MD. Their wonderful staff worked with me and contacted Acura North America who agreed to give me a new transmission. I still had to pay the labor to install (around $650) but at least I have a new transmission. Now at 110,000 miles my front-end is loose and starting to make clunking noises when I make a hard turn. I've realigned and balanced but the car still has a shake to it. Anybody know what that could be? Also anybody have issues with the SRS light? Mine has just turned on but I haven't made a trip to the dealer yet.
  • you are lucky you got a new tranny and they weren't jerks like they were to me. the SRS light had a recall a few years back. Call your dealer and check. I just had mine fixed. The light means you have no side air bag in a crash so you will want to fix it. The dealer told me there are about 8 or so reasons for the SRS light failure, only one of them covered under warranty. Mine wasn't covered but because I told them how sensitive I was to the transmission issue and how another dealership treated the issue, they needed to tread carefully. So, they called and said it was a "grey area" but would fix it at no charge. You can google and find the SRS recall on line. Can't help on the other clunking issue. Good luck!
  • gugy68gugy68 Posts: 6
    Acura won't budge, they are basically saying they would take care of my transmission for $2500. I asked for a better deal, since I am appalled that a premium brand car with less than 100k miles need a total transmission replacement. They seem not to care.

    I guess, I will just move on and trade it and say bye, bye to Acura brand forever.
  • kobbekobbe Posts: 4
    Did your new torque converter come with a warranty?? If so, how much, how long? Thanks
  • bbaer1bbaer1 Posts: 1
    At 56000 miles my Transmission went out for the first time on my 2002 MDX. At this time, the dealer was able to get the factory to "goodwill" the repair. Great right? No. Here I am 23k miles later and the transmission they replaced is now toast. I went to the dealer and they told me that since the last repair was covered for free, it wasn't under any sort of a warranty and I should be thanking them that they are only charging me half price this time. Unbelievable! How can you look at me straight faced and tell me that I would need to pay to fix the work that you did poorly just 23k miles ago? I have never been this angry with any other company in my life. I will never buy an Acura again.

    I think the dealer is lying to you (or let's hope misinformed) because my re-manufactured transmission came with 3 yrs/36,000 miles. I was told this directly from Amer Honda. The service manager confirmed it verbally, but when I looked at the completed repair order/receipt there was NOTHING on there about a warranty.
    So I MADE him type up a separate work order that specifically states the warranty.

  • We have a 2002 as well and had the tranny & clunking noise. I think the clunking is the sway-bar bushings. It's a cheap fix. Our dealer fixed those for free when we had it in for the tranny replacement. FYI, we had the SRS problem too. And we too got the "labor only" deal when our tranny was replaced in May 2008.

    So far things are ok... I am hesitant to say that because there were a few times last winter when hubby said he felt there may be a problem. He NEVER warms his car up in the morning (during the winter) so he just takes off. Well our driveway to the main road is about .3 miles, you have to stop, then turn to get onto the highway.

    Well a few times when he was turning onto the highway and accelerating he felt like the car was in neutral and "did not want to go" but after a few seconds it "kicked it" then was fine for the rest of the day.

    This only seemed to be a problem when the weather was under 40 degrees outside. I drove it several times and could not get the problem to duplicate. We even took it to the dealer and they drove it for an hour - nothing.

    What did we do? In Feb, we bought a van and are just letting this one sit and be used as a backup. You see my husband used the MDX for his business and we NEED something that is going to be dependable. We still love it, but do not drive it on long trips anymore. I think we may sell it.
  • jk05mdxjk05mdx Posts: 16
    Hi folks!

    I need advice on a 2005 MDX I am planning to buy soon. The problem is that the mileage is over 137K miles. I was wondering if this is not unusual for a 2005 vehicle.
    Thanks Fellas for the help.

    John Kester
  • You will have a problem with the transmission which will cost your $3K plus! The Acura has a different definition of "fix" which means they "looked" at it under warranty and it didn't seem to have a problem.

    When the transmission has a problem (which it will) it will no longer be under warranty and you will pay to replace it.

    After two Acura's and three transmission; I would go with a Lexus. Acura is no longer a realiable, dependable car. They are now digging in on the issue since they are losing their shirts on transmission issues.

    We need another class action law suit to make them disclose these issues before purchase!
  • There was a class action law suit here the Acura's were recalled but Acura has a different deffinition of "fix" than we do. There term "fix" means it was "looked" at and found not to have a problem. A few yeards or 1,000 miles later it dies and you have to pay!

    Another class action law suit is need to have Acura really FIX the problem and notify potential buyers of the problem.
  • jk05mdxjk05mdx Posts: 16
    RPM at 6 with speedometer at 35 sounds like what I was experiencing with my 1999 Odyssey before the transmission finally gave up. I had it rebuilt and have enjoyed the car since then. Goodluck!
  • Add my name to the list of MDX owners with a failed transmission. I have a 2003 MDX with 92,000 miles on it when it failed. The clunking brake noise I came to live with,but a transmission failure on a vehicle such as this is ridiculous. I agree with another post that scheduled maintenance at 50,000 miles is a cya move by Acura.
    Acura will never get another dollar from me and I have reported the failure to the feds.
  • cding5cding5 Posts: 3
    I too have a 2003 MDX. The transmission is still good. But it has a very annoying problem. My driveway is a bit uphill (30 degrees angle). Every time I start my engine and move the gear from P to R to back out my car, the front part of my car will make a very noticeable jump. I guess this would also be transmission related. I never had seen a car/truck do that. I too will not buy another Acura truck. Come to think about it, Honda is very unique in that they don't even have 8 cylinder engines. I have to think this is the biggest transmission they have built or what. I don't want to sit on their technology and experience envelope. I am really thinking I should get rid of it before the transmission fails on me.
  • tfbdatfbda Posts: 1
    I also just had my torque converter, starter and engine mount replaced. I have a 2003 MDX with only 57,000 miles. Since it happened just before my extended warranty was up, they replaced everything gratis. When I purchased this vehicle, I planned to keep it as long as it would last (hey, this was an expensive truck for me and I thought I was getting quality engineering) but after reading this forum, I am having second thoughts. There is no way these part should be failing after 57,000 miles. Tranny next? I hope not.
  • I'm so disgusted with my MDX right now. '05 touring with 49,100 miles & was just told by the dealer I need a new torque converter because it is "slipping". Just missed warranty by 3 months even though mileage wise I am under 50,000. This is just not acceptable for a car that is only 4 years old and doesn't even have 50,000 miles on it!! Called Acura client services to complain and they basically won't help! The regional service manager said they will not do any "good will" work nor will they even split the cost with me! I am SICK! This vehicle has been garage kept, babied and jhas had oil changes every 3,000 miles. I planned on keeping it for a really long time as I thought Acura was a reliable brand name. Not any more. I am selling it and will never buy another Acura again. Their poor client services and unacceptable tranny problems made my decision clear. So sad too, because I LOVED that vehicle :(
  • benneybbenneyb New JerseyPosts: 16
    Wow, this is disheartening seeing all these messages. We have an '06 MDX - were any tranny changes made to avoid these issues, or are we likely to have problems as well?

    We just hit 50500 miles, so are out of warranty. I did have the fluid changed at 15k miles (I'm kinda anal about preventative maintenance) and am about to bring the vehicle in for various fluid changes etc. Maybe I should just trade it in?
  • 10sfan10sfan Posts: 136
    I had my 05 MDX in for service and had the technician run all possible diagnostic tests on the transmission and test drive the vehicle with me prior to the expiration of the warranty at the 4 year mark. Although no problems were found at 35,000 miles, this was to document its condition. I still did not trust some Acura factory service representative who would have the final word on covering the repair bill. Both my wife and I love the vehicle. Although it was leased, I purchased it off lease along with an Acura Care Warranty which will cost me about $400.00 per year.
    I did not want to take any chances since I plan on keeping for at least three more years.
  • We babied ours and had it in for oil changes every 3,000 miles and routine maintenance done according to schedule knowing we wanted to keep the car for a very long time. Makes me SICK that it now needs a new transmission and Acura won't stand behind the vehicle. I am done with it and will not keep it. No changes have been made to the Tranny's so it very well could happen to yours. That is the sad thing, there it no way to will just start making a noise (sounds like a heat sheild vibrating) in my case. Car was fine then boom.....needs a new tranny. :mad:
  • snapdasnapda Posts: 11
    were you ever able to get this diagnosed?

    thank you
  • Yes, per Acura the torque converter is slipping and will eventually cause damage to the transmission.
  • ebogsebogs Posts: 4
    I think that I have read your complaint on all of the sites I have read this evening. I am now starting my compaint campaign, too and I am wondering where this will get me. I have a 2002 MDX and at 55,000 the tranny went. Considering that when I bought the car, the dealership pushed the extended warranty on me for the tranny... yes, they replaced the first tranny for me (probably with a refurbished piece of JUNK, SAME AS THE PREVIOUS ONE) but NOW, AT ONLY 90,000!!!!
    I am having the same tranny issues and my warranty expired AUG 2009... in Sept 2009, the check engine light went on. ONLY 1 MONTH AFTER THE EXPIRATION... SOOOOO, now I am looking at having to pay for a new tranny, out of pocket at $3500. Well, the dealership said that I need to go in person, cause a scene, so that they may pay for half. I am wondering if thats even worth it. They know full well what they are doing. This is ACURA'S BIG BUSINESS PLAN.

    THIS CAR IS A PIECE OF JUNK!! Acura is "SUPPOSED" to be a LUXURY brand car... I was better off buying a FORD because at least I can OWN THE FACT THAT IT'S JUNK!! We pay so much money for an ACURA and the company cant stand behind their product. YES, if you are ready to start a CLASS ACT SUIT I am ready to go at it with you. ANYONE ELSE ON BOARD!!?? What's the point on just complaining if WE ARE ALL SITTING BACK AND WE ARE STILL PAYING FOR JUNK... Email me and let's get our homework done. There are Lawyers out there that are ready to work. Rather than pay $4000 on a tranny... I'd buy a VESPA so I spend less on gas, at least. IM DONE WITH JAPANESE MADE CARS AND I'M KEEPING IT GERMAN. I NEVER had issues with my VW or my mercedez- THEY ARE TANKS that NEVER die!!!
  • ebogsebogs Posts: 4
    At 55,000 miles my tranny went, was covered by my warranty that I PAID FOR ANYWAY!!! and now... 45,000 miles later... I need another one that I am going to have to pay for. I am being treated as if I shoudl tell them thank you for paying for HALF of the tranny... They can GO EFFF themselves. I am not going down without my fists FLYING!!! The EFFF bomb is going to be dropped all over that dealership... I am waving down new customers down to tell them not to do it!!!!...
    I should just print out all of the complaints about ACURA TRANNY ISSUES.., and toss them all over the parking lot of the GLENDALE CALIFORNIA ACURA DEALERSHIP LOCATED ON BRAND AVE......
  • ebogsebogs Posts: 4
    DONT DO IT!!! DONT BUY IT!!! I REGRET IT!!! It's a waste of money and theres HUGE chance that it will SHOCK YOU IN THE FUTURE.... I used to love my MDX, now I am an IRRATE owner that it going to put a bumper sticker on the back of the trunk warning others of the big mistake they'd make if they bought one...
  • ebogsebogs Posts: 4
    i'm on board with you if you want to start a CAMPAIGN AGAINST ACURA! chECK OUT MY OTHER comments on this site... "EBOGS"...
  • I have a 2003 MDX that I had major transmission problems. The transmission shop told me that there was a design flaw that Acura will not address. He talked to an Acura rep who told him once they were out of warranty, it was not his problem.

    I have heard that they did change them somewhat after 03, but not so sure about that. Does anyone know for sure? I was test driving a 2005 MDX this weekend, but got home and started reading these comments and had serious second thoughts about this or any other Acura.
    The transmission shop says there is still a problem. Even though my 2003 has been rebuilt, I still have doubts about the reliability of it.
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