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Acura MDX Transmission Problems



  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited May 2010
    Did you find this new spot for your post ok? (if not, I guess we'll never know, lol).
  • wallabyguywallabyguy Posts: 20
    Count me in too. I have a 2005 MDX with 94k. I'm closely watching this thread as I can only assume the worst is around the corner.
  • jbwivjbwiv Posts: 2

    We bought a 2003 MDX from a local reseller with 61K miles. The warranty expired at 60K. It now has 99K

    A month after we bought it, we experienced transmission slips on occasion...often when turning but sometimes just moving straight on. The car would come out of gear, rev up in RPMs, then catch with a loud bang. I took it to the local dealership here and they charged me $550 to flush the transmission and a bunch of other fluids saying that that should fix it. It didn't. They then said they just couldn't repeat it.

    We've lived with it ever since. However, last week my wife said it simply wouldn't go over 5 miles an hour, yet RPMs were going up.

    I came home and checked the transmission fluid. Instead of the pink I'm used to, it was chalky white. I went to the dealership, bought some fluid, came home and put it in. The car drove fine for the next 30 minutes. Parked it and saw fluid dripping out of the bottom.

    I called my local dealership and asked for help. He was a bit of a jerk, saying that he couldn't help me because:

    1. I didn't buy the car there.
    2. I didn't use them regularly for maintenance. I change all my own oil and fluids typically, so oh well.

    So I took it to the local Cottman's. They said that a heat transfer from the transmission to the radiator had breached, and that the radiator coolant and transmission fluid had become mixed. This is why it looked chalky when I checked the fluid. They said a radiator replacement and transmission flush might just fix the issue. So, I paid them $650 and they did it.

    Drove ok for about a week, although it did seem to be shifting a bit rougher. Yesterday, it started slipping on my wife again after she had been waiting on my daughter at school (in gear). I drove it around today, and couldn't get it to repeat for myself *until* I stopped at a drive through. Suddenly, when moving from the first drive thru window to the next, I got the slip. It just goes up in RPMs but doesn't move forward as fast as you'd expect it to.

    I called Cottman's, and they said the suspected there was still some coolant in the transmission and that I should come out for another flush. If that didn't do it, it would need a replacement transmission. $2500.

    I called Aamco...the quoted $1400.

    I took it to a local Honda (non-dealer) service place, and they said $4K. They said that if I went with Cottman's or Aamco, I'd just be replacing the transmission with another transmission with the same defect and that the $4K would insure I get a factory-rebuilt tranmission with the defect resolved.

    I'm usure what to do, and hope you can help me.

    1. Is it worth trying to call and complain again to Acura? I hate to do it, but I'm in the leadership of a company with over 5000 people, so I'd think that my word my carry some weight, but probably not. What should I do? Who should I complain to?
    2. Is it really risky to go with Aamco?
    3. Anything else you can tell me that would help? This thing is *sinking* me financially.

    Thanks guys! I appreciate it!
  • b30b30 Posts: 2
    Wow, I have the same story, only my 2001 MDX had 230K miles when it started. It only slips in between first and second gear at slow speeds and only after taking my foot off the gas, coasting a bit and then pressing the gas again. If I accelerate without backing off, it never slips. I also can not make it happen when I try.

    I did get a new tranny from Aamco at $3500 after both the dealer and Aamco both said it was a tranny problem. Aamco offer a by far better warrenty on the new tranny. Now I have a new tranny and still have the problem. Now Aamco says it is the power control board and they can fix for additional $1200. I am going to take to the dealer for their opinion.

    Anyone know what the power control board does and what are the symptoms when it goes bad?

    Need help!
  • madmommy3madmommy3 Posts: 28
    If you are stuck with it, go to a reputable tranmission dealer that has a 3 year warranty on their work. We did so (they are members of some transmission dealer network so if it busts on the road, supposedly any tranny shop in their network will fix it. We paid $2500 plus a new radiator which was full of metal or something for another $350. So far so good but we only drive it as our second car and not very far. No road trips other than 100 miles or so. You can complain to Acura but it goes on deaf ears. They don't care. You can hire a lawyer but again, they will play the "not properly maintained game. Some of the big tranny shops low ball the cost up front and go up from there. My mechanic who was not going to get the work warned me of that. You will get a reused tranny with new guts. $1400 doesn't really cover that so beware. Check around. $4K at honda is steep b/c they automatically change the brains of it as well (I forget the term for it's $3000 or so plus another $800 for the brains plus some sealing stuff). You may or may not need the brains, but you will get a 36K 3 year warranty, or you should and given that many have recurring tranny issues, that is worth gold. You can ditch it just before it expires. Sad but ture, sorry you had to join our club.
  • junaid5junaid5 Posts: 1
    My 2001 MDX has 132k miles on it and last Friday started to slip gears.

    Went to Acura and it is the Transmission. Scanner code was P0730. Talked to service manager and Acura CS, both did not offer any assistance. Cost to repair by dealer is $4100.00

    Any advice. (I still do not want to sell it)
  • My car is at the dealer for an intermittent problem that started even when the car was still under warranty. The car would shudder when coasting at around 50mph but once it starts accelerating, it is fine. I was told that the problem is with a torque converter and was quoted $2500 (parts $1100 plus labor).

    They said that it is no longer under warranty and so I have to pay the full amount.

    The car only has less than 75k miles on it. What course of action can we take since looking through the Internet postings, this seems to be a common problem with Acura and I feel that they should take responsibility for fixing the problems at their cost.
  • signguy2signguy2 Posts: 7
    Don't accept their proposal. I had the same problem with the torque converter, here
    on Long Island in New York, the dealer charged me $1000. and Acura picked up the rest. My vehicle had 92,000 miles at the time. Acura knows that they make a
    lousy product and want to pass along the buck. Make some noise, insist to speak
    to an Acura rep. Don't accept what they are trying to do to you. These are expensive autos and they should stand behind their product. Good Luck
  • I have a 2006 acura mdx that just turned 70000 miles. While driving at 15 to 30 mph it makes a high pitch grinding sound. Let me know what you have learned and if the dealer compensated you for anything. Thank You,

    Nick email
  • I have a 2003 MDX, which had a transmission failure when I was driving it last week. It was a terrible experience, since I stopped in the express way. I had to drive it to the curb using the 12 gear and had it towed to the dealer.

    The dealer said the transmission has a internal failure, so it has to be replaced. They offered $4,700 for the service.
    I am very disappointed with Acura. The millage of my car is only around 70,000 miles. As a luxury brand, this is intolerable.
    The dealer is negotiating with Acura right now and I hope they can offer a little discount, because $4700 is totally over my budget.
    But no matter what, I don't think I will ever buy another Acura.
  • jslivonjslivon Posts: 57
    Our '03 MDX transmission failed at 107k miles. We had an extended warranty that expired a month before the failure. It was our second Acura from this dealer. I argued to the dealer's service rep. that paying the $4,500 for a new transmission was unacceptable considering Acura's reputation of a premium quality vehicle. We found this blog on Edmunds and told them we were aware Acura was covering up a defect.

    They called Acura in CA a few times, Acura first offering to pay 75% then a few days later to pay 90%. We took that offer.

    Acura will pay for some costs. Make the dealer call Acura in CA. Tell them that you know these transmissions are defective. Report them to the Better Busness Bureau if they won't reduce the charges. Print out some of these blogs for documentation.

    PS...your new Acura transmission will have a 3yr./36 month warranty. Use it up, then buy a Ford. That's what we'll do.

  • lushlifelushlife Posts: 3
    Well done...They are clearly aware they have a problem on their hands with the 2003 MDX transmissions but they are still trying to keep it quiet by settling with individuals who complain. It is just a matter of time before someone is killed in an accident because of this. Meanwhile, evazhang should follow your advice.

  • lushlifelushlife Posts: 3
    See John's reply and follow his advice. Good luck...and let us know the outcome.

  • ilesanilesan Posts: 2
    My 2001 transmission (115k miles) presents a similar problem since 80k miles. It goes to neutral when I'm slowly accelerating. It commonly happens after a stop due to congested traffic, speed bumps, on slightly uphill surfaces, etc. To continue I need to manually shift it to first or second gear.

    My Acura dealer has never found the problem, as it doesn't happen when the employee test the vehicle.

    I have had the transmission repaired three times since then (by an Honda certified mechanic). That fix the problem for a day or two and then it starts to slip again.

    Any ideas how to fix the problem?
  • jbwivjbwiv Posts: 2
    Good news and bad news. My dealership finally came around, offering to pay 50%. Not being the original owner (I've heard that Acura gives better treatment to original owners) I opted to take it. Now, after reading what others have gotten, I feel I might have not gotten the best deal. Still, it cost me $2080 out the door, and that's far better than the $4500 they originally quoted. Guess I can't complain *that* much.
  • evazhang21evazhang21 Posts: 2
    edited June 2010
    Thanks to you all.

    The dealer just called and offered 80% off of the total service. That's $1200 plus tax. It is much better than $5000, so I took it.

    He first called yesterday afternoon and offered $1800, and I told him the information I got from John, but he asked me to offer the record of the proper maintenance, which I don't have. I insisted that the problem is their defective transmission which is even on the Wiki("The 2003 - 2006 models transmissions have so far shown the same failure rates and costs thousands to repair".) and I would complain if they don't offer better number.

    I think it's their stratagem to budge a little bit every time until you get tired and give up. If anybody has the same situation, just remember to argue with them. The information from this website sure can help.

    I hope Acura could be honest with their products and recall the defective parts as soon as possible before any tragedy happens. Again, I will never buy another car from Acura in the future. I just paid $1200 tuition to learn that.
  • gigagirlgigagirl Posts: 21
    Hi All, I have been following all the posts here and had to respond! First, I am now the owner of a 2010 MDX,- husband thereafter got himself the TL - both very nice! Secondly I was the previous owner of a Jeep Commander - bought it brand-spanking new in '07 and truthfully right out of the box, if you will, had one 'major' issue after another with it and not minor issues either over-all. Unloaded it in perfect body shape and low-low miles this past March buying the MDX. Anyway I took myself off the jeep repair and maintenance forums happily - of which I was one of the many forum stars almost weekly writing in about this or that and placed myself on the acura one. Over-all happily the acura forum seems a tad boring in comparison in that there are not tonnes of daily problems and reports, of that I am delighted! My purpose for sharing here is due to one of the many major problem's I'd had with the commander people started asking me how it was remedied and eventually it was. Equally asking where it was taken care of etc. - the dealership and manager began getting telephone calls and appointments being set up for their same problem to be fixed even for out-of-state folks (I should have requested commission) and the dealership began reading - big-time ALL the forums (which in my opinion I believe they should anyway) !!! That, in my opinion, is a good thing over-all and when you've really got issues - send them to the forum to read on all others with the same problems. At least that's our take! Anyway as acura seems mild in comparison - I am now believing I should sign up for another make I'm eventually going to be looking to get in trouble with - and start following the forums on that - might make me realize (which i didn't when buying the jeep) that looks can be deceiving - loved the look of the commander but boy oh boy what a mobile it was and the color should have been yellow for sure - in shop more than with me at times! Anyway glad you got a better deal due to help w/in - mobile networking works well!! Best,
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    Starting around 30,000 miles, I began to notice a vibration/grinding noise while accelerating through 35 to 40 mph. The noise would last for 10 to 15 seconds and then stop. I took my MDX into my Acura dealer at 35,000 miles while it was under warranty and they said they could not reproduce the problem. The problem continued to worsen however I was now out of warranty. I did some research on the internet and found 14 reports of the exact same problem on the NHTSA ( Out of 30 total complaints, 14 were this specific transmission problem. I also found a 2004 MDX service bulletin (#6003; NHTSA # 10022468) that states "Torque converter shudder or vibration between 35 and 40 mph". I presented this info to the Acura dealer and they acknowledged the problem and agreed to pay for 75% of the torque converter replacement (the care is 6 years old and has 45,000 miles). Why hasn't someone started a class action law suit regarding this problem given the significant amount of data pointing to a general problem?
  • mjwdmjwd Posts: 5
    Sounds like everyone else's problems, except that the used car dealer from which I bought this car has gone to great lengths over the past 10 months to avoid diagnosing, avoid fixing and even cover up that there even IS a problem! Taking it to an authorized Acura dealer this week and plan to specifically ask them to check out and fix the torque converter and/or transmission. Only 1200 miles left before warranty expires so in panic mode at this point. Hopefully Acura makes good on this issue. :(
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    If Acura dealer says they cannot reproduce the problem, point them to the NHTSA complaints for 2004, 2005 and 2006 MDX's. There was also a TSB (technical service bulliten) issued for the 2004 model year for this exact same problem. Good luck.
  • mjwdmjwd Posts: 5
    Thanks for the suggestion...I'll do that. I did call the Acura customer service line yesterday so there's a record of my issue in the system, and hopefully the dealership will take care of the problem tomorrow. If not, I won't drive the car until I find a dealer who WILL fix the problem!
  • ncanandncanand Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 MDX, which also got its trasmission problem. I have just 70K miles on it
    Acura dealer came up with a price of $5000 in Houston Texas.
    They agreed to pay 50% of the cost.
    How can i make them to offer me more.
  • lori24lori24 Posts: 20
    I have the same problem, It's at dealer now replacing torque converter and transmission. Did it fix your problem, very curious to know if this is the solution. I had my car 2months when it started acting up so after 8 months of owning car its back in for 2nd torque and a new transmission.let me know how yours is acting.
  • mjwdmjwd Posts: 5
    Yes, it was the torque converter/ the dealership getting fixed right now. I'm hopeful that it will take care of the problem, but will let you know if it doesn't! Luckily the dealership has been great to work the car right in, gave me a loaner car, acknowledged this is a common problem, has been extremely pleasant about the whole thing (unlike some of the horror stories I've read on this and other online forums!). I did ask what happens if/when the noise comes back in another 10,000 miles and they said that Acura is usually very accommodating about that even when the car is no longer under warranty. Fingers crossed I don't need to find out first-hand, but sorry to hear yours has been a problem for you!
  • lori24lori24 Posts: 20
    Why did it take them so long to get yours back in, I noticed your original post was from Jan? How many miles does yours have on it? Mine has 59000, I have been tempted to unload this car, because I don't have any faith in it. I've heard tons of horror stories also. Not sure yet what to do or think about Acura. Good luck lets keep each other posted!
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    To those that are interested, I just recieved word from Honda International that they will be covering 100% of the cost of replacing the torque converter even though the vehicle is out of warranty. It took many phone calls, establishing a case file with Honda and the threat of a class action suit to get them to do this. Given the number of MDXs and Honda Pilots with with very specific problem, I do not understand why a recall has not occured. In preparing my case to Honda, I counted over 100 reports of the 30-40 mph grinding/vibration problem and in almost all cases it was the transmission torque converter. If anyone is experiencing this problem, either in warranty or out our warranty, I would really push the issue with Honda to get 100% reimbursement.
  • mjwdmjwd Posts: 5
    My original post was actually from June, but the car has had the problem since the day I bought it back in August '09. Long story short, the dealer from which I bought it (not an authorized Acura dealer) lied to me about the cause of the noise and covered up the problem for close to 10 months! Luckily I caught onto them when I had 68,800 miles on the car...just 1200 miles from my warranty expiring! I'm mixed about my MDX as well, but going to hold onto it for now and see how it goes. Good luck to you! :o)
  • myshell4myshell4 Posts: 1
    Did you have any luck when you contacted Honda or confront the dealer with the massive torque converter issues.
  • mjwdmjwd Posts: 5
    Fortunately, the Acura dealer near me has been a pleasure to work with. They immediately admitted there is a known issue, fixed the problem under warranty with no questions asked, even gave me a loaner for 2 days while they did so.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    edited July 2010
    Just picked up my 2005 MDX from dealer after replacing the torque converter. It appears that the vibration/grinding between 35-40 mph has now been eliminated. For background, I reported this problem in March 2009, a couple of months prior to the expiration of my warranty. The service tech stated that he/she could not reproduce the noise I was hearing. Over a year later, the noise was now continuous. I took the vehicle in and this time the service tech could hear the noise. I was told that the vehicle was out of warranty (45,000 miles, but over 60 months) and that it would cost $2,000 to $3,000 to fix the problem. I opened up a case file with Honda America. After several calls, I was offered a repair for $500. I continued to complain and mentioned that I had uncovered over 100 complaints for the exact same issue. The Honda rep. still would not budge on the $500 cost to me. Finally, I mentioned that I might pursue a "class action suit". He said he would speak to the district supervisor. Miraculously, he came back and said that Honda America could cover 100% of the repair. I would suggest that anyone battling this issue out with Honda America mention "class action suit". There attitude seems to change quite significantly! Good luck!
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