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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • I am extremely interested to see how you may have resolved your issue, did you have the torque converter replaced and did it fix the issue? Did you have to pay? I also bought a new 2001MDX in Feb2001 and after 45,000 miles I had the EXACT same vibration problem, for us it always occurred when accelerating slightly and at low speeds, between 20-25 mph. We complained for 2 years before the dealer actually admitted they "experienced" the vibration (they contented they never had before in a few other service visits). Although just out of warranty (60,000 miles) they stepped up and replaced the whole transmission...... so they say! The new transmission went only 30k miles or so before THE SAME VIBRATION began. Now we have 106K miles and are still experiencing the problem. I am wondering wether to take it on a 3,000 mile vacation to go skiing?? Help !
  • I have the same car as you.
    I decided to sell or trade it beginning of next year.
    So far my transmission is hanging in there and the car runs fine, but there is eventually noise and vibration. I just listening too many horror stories about it and I feel fixing it it will not solve the issue in the long run.
    I guess I learned my lesson about Acura and they (Dealer/Acura NA) of course did not help me much since my car is out of warranty.

    My suggestion to anyone encountering the same issue is to get rid of the car eventually. It's a pity because it is a nice car overall, but if such a huge mechanical failure being so common among it, I would never keep the car without warranty.
    Bye, bye Acura. :lemon:
  • I resolved the problem by getting rid of the vehicle! I wasn't going to give Acura a dime of my money to fix a problem that they won't even acknowledge exsists in their line of vehicles. I wasn't confident either that by getting a new tranny it would fix the problem long term. Seems like after 30,000 miles the same problem pops up again. :mad:
  • Add me to those with torque covertor issues It's an '06 with 55k miles. It must be a common problem as service was able to diagnose it over the phone (and had the part in stock). But it is not just the torque convertor, two sway bar links have cured just some of the noise coming from the front and now service is saying that it may need motor mounts. HMMMM, they just dropped the front sub-frame and no one looked at that. The coloring on the leather is peeling, window lift motor came loose - does this sound premium? My Town and Counrty may have been too soccer mom and it had a few gremlins (tempermental power sliding door) but nothing like this. Based on my own experience and what I am reading here, the Honda/ Acura reputation of quality and reliability is a bit mythical.

    And to answer the question, I was concerned that I might be at the beginning of failures and was hoping to not get the same design that failed. so I asked that question. According to the service guy, the TC has been redesigned.
  • I wanted to add that when the tran shop (not the dealership who I left with a big, bad attitude) fixed my transmission. During the fix, they said that the radiator was clogged with all sorts of junk and they couldn't flush it out even with their super flusher. They said we needed to replace the radiator b/c when they hooked the new tranny up to the plumbing (however that works), only clogged junk would be passing through to the new tranny and it would go out quickly. They don't do radiators so it wasn't an upsell sort of thing and after discussing it, it made sense. So I guess the message is make sure you radiators are in good shape and clean as that may in fact kill your tranny sooner. Please forgive the non-car language, I was not pre-mechanic in school :) Car seems fine so far but we have only had it on a few minor jaunts around town and one mini trip about 100 miles round trip. We plan to trade it in in 2-3 years when I pay off my (Honda) mini-van. Maybe a Ford Explorer is in the wind. I despise Acura and all they stand for for not backing up their problem. And, I will share the news with the world about Acura, Goodson Acura (my experience), etc. etc.
  • Also, my back window of my Acura is leaking water when it rains, my rear A/C motor is out and the CD player pooped out a long time ago, supposedly was replaced and went out again just after warranty. It is useless. Isn't that all happiness?!
  • I have a 2002 MDX that I purchased in new in 2001. The transmission was replaced once under warranty in 2005 (I think). At about 115,000 miles and less than two years ago I started to get a shuddering vibration and noise from the transmission at slower speeds and after the transmission was warm. I took the car to the dealer and they determined that the torque converter was bad and that the entire transmission would have to be replaced. Not wanting to spend $3K, I just kept driving the car and started exploring alternatives. I was able to get quotes from independent shops to replace just the torque converter, but the cost was still too high. About one month ago I took the car in to the local Honda service for new rear brakes and and oil change, and explained the transmission problem to the service guy. He suggested flushing the transmission fluid, because sometimes the small pumps and orifices can get clogged, which can cause problems for the torque converter. I paid $150 to have the transmission flushed and new fluid added, and guess what? It solved the problem! No more shuddering or vibrations and the car runs like a charm at 167K!
    Recommendation: keep the transmission fluid clean and change it regularly.
  • Hi,

    I have similar problems with my 2006 Acura MDX. I have 103,000 miles on my MDX and have been hearing that shuttering noise when accelerating to 30-40 mph. My check engine light came on and I was told it was the catalytic converter.

    I took it to the shop and they performed a Induction Service and cleaned the throttle body. The engine light is off and I don't hear the noise at the moment so I am waiting to see if the light and noise return. It's funny how we're having similar problems and the dealership told me my problem is with the catalytic converter.
  • My wife's MDX (88,000 miles) transmission would not engage while in a drive-thru. After restarting the car, it became drivable. I drove the vehicle to the mechanic that normally work's on my work truck. He advised me of Acura/Honda transmission problems and suggested I contact the local dealer regarding a possible Acura factory extended warranty. Of course, the service writer I spoke with at the dealership said there was no transmission recall for this year MDX but would contact me with the repair cost. The following day I was notified the replacement cost of the trans. would be $3545.00. I was not amused. After reading several post on this forum, I contacted Acura Corp. Office. They indicated I would need to have the local dealership service manager request a decision from the Acura Area Service rep. Within an hour they offered to reduce the repair cost to $1733.00. Although not cheap, it was still $1812.00 less and was repaired in 3 days (with a free loaner car). I asked the manager what affects the decision in these matters. He said they consider regular maintenance ( at the dealership), condition of the vehicle (not abused) when offering repair assistance. I also believe Acura knows there are issues with their trans. and on a case by case situation will offer assistance. Although it's disappointing to have a major problem at this milage, Acura (in my case) made things a little more acceptable. Would I buy another MDX? Probably not.

    PS Thanks to all of the people who post on Edmunds. I have learned much in the past regarding other vehicles and wanted to add my experience to the discussion.
  • I had a similar issue as you. The dealer contact me and offer to reduce it to $2500.
    I declined the service. I took my 2003 MDX and did a major flush and transmission oil clean up. For my surprise the noise and vibration that I was felling earlier is pretty much gone. But I already decided to sell/trade in the car before year's end.
    I was very disappointed by Acura and I feel even if I paid for the transmission job, hey would only offer 36k for the service and I think at this point there is no guarantees that at 37k the same issue will arise again reading most of posts here.
    I will only consider an Acura again if I have at least 100k miles warranty on it.
  • My MDX lost its transmission today at around 94,000. No noises, etc. - just stopped applying power to the wheels while driving down the street. There's no Acura dealer in town, so had it towed to the local Honda dealer. After the perfunctionary "did you get the transmission fluid changed per schedule" (yes), he started looking up replacement prices for new transmissions. Looks like some folks have been successful in resurrecting their MDX transmissions by getting a flush - any consensus on that? Looks like others have gotten some assistance in the past from Acura in splitting replacement costs for what would appear to be a fatal design flaw (or flaws) - has anyone had success recently in this (and what approach worked - call their 800 number, etc.)? It's astounding to see that even on just one board that half a dozen or more MDX owners have lost transmissions in just the last couple of weeks. After dropping nearly $1000 on a new starter earlier this year, $3000+ for a transmission is likely to lead to quick disposal of this rapidly aging POS - especially with the timing belt replacement looming in the near future. First and last Honda/Acura product for me.
  • bummer. more and more failures keep cropping up. I did do a 3 year/36K mile warranty on my new transmission but reality is, it's the same transmission. So we too will have a limited life on this car. We could start a class action chain and see where it gets us. I too have the timing belt looming. We still figured though, why fix a $4000 problem with a $30,000 solution (new car minimum). So we licked our wounds and are keeping it until our van is paid off. What a waste of money. it's beautiful still but we know that trouble is looming. We found the radiator problem AFTER the tranny failed so not sure which came first (if we would have flushed or replaced radiator first, perhaps no tranny failture) but that does't seem to be the case in the overall design. Ours choked at 70K miles. I too will never buy another Acura. But I have been loyal to Honda for years so I am not sure if I will completely give up on Honda but will certainly entertain other options where before it would be a no brainer. Stay tuned and let's see where this all goes!
  • Just an update on post from a couple days back. The next morning after having the now transmission challenged MDX towed to the local Honda dealer, got a call from their service manager. He'd contacted the nearest Acura dealer (about 30 miles away) and learned from his counterpart there that Acura would likely cover most, if not all of the cost of replacing the transmission. Called the Acura dealer and spoke to this guy. Of course, his first question was whether this MDX had ever been in for service there - hell yes, just had a starter replaced there earlier this year. He said he'd have to call Acura to see what they would offer. A couple hours later he called back and said they'd cover 90% of the cost for the replacement, if we could get the MDX up to their shop. He'd also give us a loaner for the duration (unlike the Honda dealer). So, rode up in the tow truck with the MDX ($95 tow charge, but that's less than car rental would be down here, so no complaints). It may be early next week before they can get to it - yep, another MDX with a broken tranny is ahead of us (this poor soul was driving down from Chicago on his way to a funeral when his 2001 lost it while tooling down the interstate - geez, these things must be dropping like flies). Anyway, feeling better than a couple days ago, but still wondering what they were drinking when they designed this beast.
  • Bought my 2003 MDX new in June 03. Very reliable until about 95K. Then I am getting a slight vibration about 40-45mph. Have had flush at about 40K. Took it to dealer. Said needs a new torque converter. About $1750. Said I woul wait. However said I had 2 motor mounts cracked. Dealer replaced for $600.00! Talked to several mechanics about trans. Suggested a power flush and add a bottle of Lucas trans fix. Merlins did it for me and now no problems up to 101,000. Cost me $99.00.
    Coming up on timing belt at 105K. Dealer said $2150 including water pump. My Merlins shop has done these before, 6.6 hours labor, $660.00 plus parts. Looks like timing belt kit and water pump part kit are $325.00. Suggested new plugs and wires at same time. Its a shame on the trans issues, I really like this car!
  • Broke down on Thanksgiving with signs of transmission issue. My wife's car is an '03 MDX with 110k miles. Garage kept and well serviced including all manufacturer suggested maintenance. Car was fine and then a minute later, transmission started slipping and became inoperable. Got it towed to my local Acura dealer. $4000 for a new transmission. Oh by the way - must align the car after the trans replacement - that will be another $99. Requested Acura to help offset the costs to no avail. Tried both via dealer and via Acura Customer Care directly. Bottom line - they would rather lose a customer for life then to share in the cost of the repair. :mad:
  • welcome to the unfortunate club. at least you are not alone! we had to do the alignment, radiator and tranny in our fail swoop. Note that they charge $4000 to also include the new tranmission brain (computer) even if it's not broken. You might try a local tranny shop and get a better deal and an extended warranty if you choose to keep the car. Sorry you have to face it at Christmas. We shopped and got it for $2500, not $4000 plus the radiator and alignment came to about $3K plus $200 for extra warranty. Now we just don't drive it much. We decided not to reward Acura for bad behavior.
  • One final update on the story from posts 137 and 139. Our MDX was returned last Monday evening (told dealer that we'd be gone Thanksgiving week, so guess they decided to put off the work until we got back). As promised, Acura picked up 90% of the charges, so the bill at the dealer was around $350 (plus $45 for the first tow to the local Honda dealer, $95 for the second tow up to the Acura dealer 30 miles away, and the $100 for the car rental while the MDX was at the Honda dealer - the Acura dealer provided a loaner for the duration of its stay with them). Not exactly cheap, but not as bad as originally anticipated. Now, what to do with it before it needs to have the timing belt replaced next year...up until this year, it performed well with no maintenance other than new tires, a brake job, and the scheduled checkups/fluid changes, but after $1000 for a new starter in Jan and now $600 for the transmission, the $ are starting to pile up.
  • Have a 2006 MDX with 38000 miles on it. When coming to a stop it has started to make a hard downshift between 40 - 30 mph. Had a 2000 Odyssey that went through three transmissions so I am a little paranoid. Any suggestions?
  • My 2005 MDX began giving me problems in 2007 (at around 43k miles). I heard grinding noise coming from the transmission when slowing down. The dealership concurred that there was a problem and replaced the torque converter under the warranty. Since then, I've heard a very high pitch noise coming from the transmission that has gotten louder over time. I took the vehicle to the dealership this summer to have it looked at. The dealership stated that they heard the noise but it was normal given the age of the car. Frustrated, I drove the car until last week after being driven nuts by this high pitch sound. I took the car to a different dealership and explained that the noise was too loud to be considered normal. The service rep stated that his mechanic agreed that the noise was normal for the age/mileage of the car and that my only recourse would be to speak with an Acura manufacturers rep. I plan on doing that if the dealership ever calls me back to schedule an appoinitment. The service rep did, however, state that there is a design flaw in the transmission and that the problem in my case is likely the "over-drive bearing". The MDX is a beautiful vehicle but I doubt I would buy another - at least for a while. I'll likely got back to Infiniti.
  • In order to get Acura to acknowledge the problem with the MDX's transmission and catalytic converter we must report the problem. I was so disappointed when I went online to make a complaint there were only 2 other reports made on this! Please contact and file a complaint. Acura is getting over big time with this!
  • Understand 2010 is new 6 it totally new,or has it been used in other Acura vehicles and if so what is "problem history"?
  • Sudden total transmission failure after having only Acura dealership totally service this car all the time! Replacement cost of is outrageous $5500, only $4400 if one part is not replaced. Will be trying to get them to pay at least half after reading posts. There are way too many failures for the MDX. Apparently they don't value customer loyalty which makes me not want to give them or Honda any future business!!!
  • So I sold my Acura MDX (05) with 49,000 miles on it after the torque convertor went bad and was told I needed a new transmission. Bought a new Nissan Murano. Acura needs to take a lesson from Nissan. Apparently back in 2001 when Nissan first came out with its CVT transmission, there were problems with that year model through the 2004 models where transmissions were needing replaced at 50,000+ miles. Nissan just stepped up to the plate and extended their tranny warrenty to 10 years, or 120,000 for ALL years of any model with the cvt tranny! AND, they are reimbursing anyone who had to put money out to get their tranny fixed even if they don't even own the vehicle anymore!! Talk about customer service!! Acura needs to get a clue or will continue to loose customer loyalty. I for one won't buy another Acura or Honda product until they get their act together.
  • Our 2003 MDX just had a new transmision and two motor mounts installed. I didn't have a transmission problem when we took it in to get a timing belt, tune-up and new motor mounts installed. The dealer claimed that the transmission just wore out while it was in their shop. He must have confused me with some one who is stupid. With 108k miles, we argued and demanded they get Acura technical people involved. Afterward, the dealer said Acura would pay 75%. The next day they offered to pay 90% so we took the offer. It's still a ripoff.

    My suggestion, make the dealer call Acura in CA, tell them you know these transmisions are defective and Acura is paying up to 90%. I threatened to take our car to independant repair shops before agreeing to any work, that's when they came up with the 90%. If your dealer won't budge, find another dealer and try again. If that fails, find an indepenant shop to fix it for less.

    Bottom line, get rid of your Acura MDX when you can and don't buy another Acura. This was our second and our last. Also, report your dealer to the Better Business Bureau if they won't help. Whatever happens, file a complaint with the US gov. agency to help start a recall.
  • 10sfan10sfan Posts: 136
    Based on 45 years multiple vehicle ownership, everyone should be reminded that 50% of a dealership profit is from the service departments in good times. When new vehicle sales are slow, that number may be increased. Always get second and third quotes for this type of expensive work as games are played even more so with up scale/luxury dealerships and their service departments
  • Should dealers be allowed to gouge or ripoff unsuspected customers to maintain their profit? If you are a dealer, and you are selling an inferior product, pay the price or quit.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ripoff unsuspected customers

    I think you meant "unsuspecting." :)

    But seriously, a customer should arrive at the showroom fully informed and not be vulnerable to the occasional overzealous sales person - as he or she should be in any serious financial endeavor.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Recently purchased a 2002 acura mdx with 112000 mi .4days later the check egine light came on . took 2 auto part store so that they could do a test , it was confirmed that it was a transmission.took 2 a certified acura mechanic also it was confirmed.. I thought acura was a good car .just bought car and cant even enjoy it also when I left off gas u can feel the car start to downshift . I see that is common issue . I sure I wish I would have done my homework.does anyone know if acura has acknowledged this as a recall that they will fix for free.
  • I filed a report on www-odi thanks . I hope that acura will own up to this issue and fix @ no charge .I should have kept my dodge durango .had over 157000 mi no issue transmission pur like a kitten.
  • sorry but I think you are hosed. only a very few got any help with their on an inflated price. don't expect too much from them. many of us have gone to the mat at the dealership and through corporate and came up empty handed. we can all formally complain and then just not ever buy their product again. my friend with a 2003 Honda Accord and 70K miles had her tranny fail today. There was a class action against Acura (TL series cars) and Hondas in the 1990s for tranmission issues. I contacted that legal firm and they said nothing is in the works, try for individual counsel or contact a lemon law attorney to see if you have anything. I am thinking about a Ford next time and up until now have been a very loyal honda/acura customer. no more though. Sorry about your misfortune. It stinks to spend so much on such a beautiful car to only have a pile under the hood. shop around and get an extended warranty on transmission work if you plan to keep the car for a bit. many are on their 3rd transmissions...although new parts, it's the same crappy design. good luck!
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