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Acura MDX Maintenance and Repair



  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I don't have a problem with my '02.

    However, try leaving it in the "on" position for a few seconds and then give it a shot of gas before cranking. I understand sometimes the fuel injectors in all cars need to get primed prior to starting, much like pausing and then giving a old flooded carburated car 3 slow shots of gas and then starting.

    Do you run high test? Try stp gas treatment and switching stations.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    How are you sure? Did yours fail?
  • jmw4jmw4 Posts: 67
    I have an 03 MDX and also have had the brake clunk and the gas tank sloshing. Had the brake caliper fix done on it, but the clunk comes back after a while. I tend to be very cognizant of car noises, but neither of these is really that troublesome for me. The brake noise is usually heard when just starting a drive in the morning, and sloshing sound is infrequent and not very loud. Personally, I am more concerned with interior rattles and squeaks during constant driving, which this vehicle does not exhibit.
  • kcmoore11kcmoore11 Posts: 1
    Same problem here. Purchased a 2002 MDX new in January 2002. Transmission failed at around 30K miles in July 2003 (first day of vacation, away from home, would not shift up from 2nd gear). Acura acknowledged that the 2001 and 2002 transmission have a problem with 2nd gear overheating. There is a recall notice (which I received after returning home from vacation...). They either add a fluid injection kit (if they determine the transmission is not damaged) to help keep 2nd gear cooler or they replace the transmission (if there is damage, which was my case). Seems fine since. Now 47K miles.
  • irishwheatirishwheat Posts: 30
    I would love some advice. My 200 MDX has had problems almost from day one. First the navigation system did not work, and Honda could not fix it. Customer service at Acura was rude and offered a "oil change" for my trouble. Then the electrical system wouldn't work right. The On Star shorted out. Now the heater will not work, Only the a/c is on all the time. I am thinking its best to cut my losses and sell the car, and buy a new tribeca or x3, any thoughts? Thanks :mad:
  • redbarettaredbaretta Posts: 22
    To everyone who has a trouble-free MDX ... congrats! The MDX is a safe, good performing and practical SUV. It is easily a top pick compared to the competition in its price range. I consider myself a car-guy and researched this purchase extensively prior to plunking down the cash. I was convinced I was spending my money wisely in buying a new family mobile for the wife and kiddies.

    Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way I planned. My 2004 MDX Touring has all the little(?) problems that equal up to a very irritating ownership experience. As I have written previously, I have the tank sloshing and brake clunking issues so prevalent on this board. Also, my "X" came to me with numerous initial defects. But my biggest gripe is with the rattling noise coming from the driver's window area. I've tried fixing this over six times with the dealership. I’ve now escalated the issue to Acura and their "factory-rep" and met with one of two responses each time: #1 "I don't hear it" or #2 "That is a normal sound". It is amazing how much Acura is NOT a luxury car dealer. This $40K SUV has more problems in year one than my 1989 Dodge Dynasty had in its 14 year run. And that car was my NYC commuter car (read beater.) I am positive I can go get a Kia Rio tonight for $10K that will have less NVH than this MDX.

    I'm one of those people on this board that feel cheated and want to lash out at Acura by selling this thing and thus taking a financial bath after less than one year. But I won't. I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. I'll keep this thing 3-5 years then unload it onto someone who is deaf so I don't feel bad about myself. And until that glorious day when I am unburdened by this squeaky, rattling, clunking, sloshing mess ... I plan on letting everyone know how unsatisfied I am with this product and Acura/Honda's ignorance of customer complaints regarding their lapses in "engineering brilliance."
  • henrywuhenrywu Posts: 2
    Sorry to hear your story regarding your MDX.

    My experience with Acura services is that they always try the easiest and least expensive fixes first on your car. When the customer comes back with repeated problems, more diagnostic and testing will then follow. The key for any debugging process must begin with repeating the problem (by the technician, specifically). If they keep replying that the problem is not present in their hands and it did occur in your hands, ask them to ride with you and show the proof of your problem.

    If the problem actually exist, I don't see any one, here means Acura, can get away and have to deal with the problem. If there is no cure for an identified problem, you should talk to their General Manager (GM) and ask for remedy. I believe that GM will be happy to bring this up to Acura since this is a car problem rather than a service problem.

    Talking to Acura directly, in my case, did very little to solve the problem.
  • mdx846mdx846 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 MDX which I love to drive, but at times my car smells like rotten eggs. This especially happens when I accelerate to highway speed. The Dealer tells me to empty the existing gas which I did a couple of times but still no luck. Have anyone experience the same or have any suggestions?
  • irishwheatirishwheat Posts: 30
    I feel exactly the same way. Acura has really let me down, Im going to lose a chunk of money trading in my 2005 butIm going to! maybe a tribeca maybe an x3 but i am sure they will be better than this fiasco
  • mdtamdta Posts: 27
    Read my earlier post, the gear does not engage smoothly, you feel a shudder at the point of gear change. I have the feeling that the transmission is worn out. This car is only three year old!!!
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    Just to balance things out a bit as it is expected that most posters here will be providing negative comments because that this the purpose and nature of this forum, but I have been very pleased with out 04 MDX Touring. No problems at all. We could not be more pleased with it and also the quality of the dealership experience including the routine service.

    Looking forward to the inevitable redesign at some point and assuming that goes well will probably trade in then for the new design. Probably the wrong forum for this so will search others to find out when a redesign is expected. I appreciate the information in this forum as it certainly provides valuable perspectives to keep my ears and eyes focused on as our 04 gains more miles.
  • shell7shell7 Posts: 7
    i agree with wen. i've been working for a toyota dealer for nine years now and have seen the extended warranties pay for virtually everything (not wear and tear of course) for many people, including tax, parts and labor. Factory-backed warranties cover almost every repair and save people thousands upon thousands of dollars, (not to mention substitute transportation, towing, travel protection, etc). Sometimes laying out the $1500 for the warranty may save you $3000+ down the road. If you hang on to your cars a long time or do quite a bit of mileage per year, considering the extension on the warranty seems sensible. It's the aftermarket warranty companies that really have the fine print. So, if purchasing an extended warranty, make sure it is given by the factory. (That way you know you are covered for everything.)
  • shell7shell7 Posts: 7
    I am down to two car choices for my new car purchase this week (the Acura MDX or the Acura RL) and am slightly concerned after reading all these forums about the MDX. Overall, would you guys recommend the MDX (2005) or would you suggest going with another model? I am hoping that everything negative i have read about on the MDX's have been squared away in the 2005 models...but would love some helpful feedback from those of you out there that own an MDX, (especially for those of you that own a '05). Has Acura finally gotten it together and fixed the problems as stated in previous forums or are these cars still experiencing the same problems? I am trading out of a '02 TL because had to replace the transmission for the 2nd time in 6 months; so I am getting out of one headache and just don't want to take on another. Any advice would be helpful.
  • irishwheatirishwheat Posts: 30
    read my earlier posts, I own a 2005 Mdx with 7000 miles , loaded, and I cant wait to get rid of my earlier posts....dont do it!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This is an issue that is not specific to one make/model. Although this discussion is archived, perhaps it will give some insight to the problem.

    Rotten Egg smell exhaust

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  • shell7shell7 Posts: 7
    I have read your posts and that is what is frightening me! I was hoping other's besides yourself might have some input as well. Have you spoken to other MDX owners and do they all seem to have the same problems? I really don't need another car that will put me through hell; that is why i am getting out of my '02 TL. I might as well hang on to it since the only problem i am having at the current time is with the trainy. Better than taking on a vehicle that is going to have more problems than the one i am in now! What are you thinking about replacing your MDX with?

    Thanks for the advice!
  • irishwheatirishwheat Posts: 30
    Im looking at the Tribeca and the X3 Its a hard decision
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    My 2004 MDX has 8200 flawless miles.... Heard the sloshing noise once and have the brake noise once in the morning backing out of the driveway and that's it. Very smooth automobile.

    The Tribeca and X3 are not comparable to the larger MDX - different animals. Tribeca is new model year (although Subies are very reliable) and X3 is a Consumer Reports black dot special (you'll get to know the BMW service manager whether you want to or not)...
  • henrywhenryw Posts: 4
    Since you have some many problems with your new MDX, have you read your state's Lemon Law?

    My state's Lemon Law's requirements are (should be common):

    1. More 4 fixes for the same issue.
    2. More than 2 fixes on same critical issue. (like break)
    3. In service department for more than 30 days during the first 18 months of ownership.

    Document your problems and service records and see where you are. You then discuss your case with your dealer (Management level) and ask them to talk to Acura. You do not need to wait until your car becomes a full Lemon before talking to them. If Acura is willing to stand behind their products and your car is really in bad shape, they have to act and respond.

    Everyone want a perfect new car especially it comes to be the MDX. Have you seen Lexus and VW owners forums? There are unhappy RX, GX, Touareg owners just like we saw here. If it happens that you got a bad one, work with all parties (yourself, law, dealer, and Acura) to resolve the problem and save your investment.
  • bluenoser2bluenoser2 Posts: 7
    I have a 2004 MDX Touring with Navigation and am experiencing a high pitch whistle or beep periodically which sounds like it is coming from inside the cabin. I’ve heard the sound while driving at various speeds both on the highway and on local streets. I’ve also heard it while stopped at a signal light and after stopping in my driveway (not while stopping but after being stopped). I was wondering if anyone else has heard a similar noise and if you could give me some ideas what it might be before I bring it to the dealership. Thanks.
  • irishwheatirishwheat Posts: 30
    Arbitration is where we are at.Acura Customer service was just plain mean.I even wrote a letter to the president of Honda, believe me, after 6 Hondas this is my last
  • mdxownermdxowner Posts: 2
    1500 Miles into my new 2005 MDX and my only complaint is a little rattle from the DVD overhead screen, it may just need to be tightened up. I had a Lexus RX330 for 4 days and then returned it to get the MDX. I love the Navigation, voice commands, XM Radio. Kids love the DVD player and the wife loves the fact that the kids are quiet watching Spongebob. The vehicle rides nice and seem to get pretty good gas mileage.

    Good Luck
  • hondaloverhondalover Posts: 1
    Go for the MDX. I have been a honda/acura owner for 17 years. With the exception of replacing a timing belt, a few minor warranty things and recalls I have never had any problems with my cars.I am surprised so many have. I recently traded in my 2002 TL for an MDX. I did not have to do anything to my TL except regular maintenance. I am hoping for the same quality witht the MDX One of things that I don't do with my Acuras is take it to the Acura dealer for service, I go to a Honda dealer. They have all the parts ( filters etc) and they are about 2/3 the price and not nearly as arrogant as the Acura service, The Honda dealer gives me a car for the day( free) if they are doing something like a longer service or will take me to work. The Acura dealer charges to rent a car. You Acura owners ought to check out your Honda dealer, They are more honest about what you need to have done and diagnosing a problem. They will tell you if it is warranty then you can go back to the Acura dealer and get it serviced there. Honda can't do Acura warranty or recall work.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    We had a problem free '01 MDX we kept for 3 years and 47K miles before trading it for an '04 - which we have had for nearly 1.5 years and a trouble free 20K miles. I highly endorse the MDX as a well experienced owner :) :shades:
  • redbarettaredbaretta Posts: 22
    Seeing as how I wrote the original post I thought I'd update it. To recap: I have the small nit pick problems lots of people have plus one really annoying and rattling drivers window. I only tried to get the window fixed as I could live with the other issues (though they are disconcerting on a car I paid 36K for.) Okay so the good news. After months (like 9) of going back and forth to the dealer and escalating to Acura I FINALLY got my MDX fixed. I really have to thank my wife who like a pit bull bothered Acura every week for the last 3 months strait to get them to replace literally every part in the drivers door. It didn't hurt that I had a good and free attorney in the family to help advise me on what to say to get Acura's attention. Realistically this wasn't a big enough issue for a lemon law but I got traction with breach of warranty threats. That seemed to be the angle that forced Acura to try and solve my rattling window when they refused for months saying it was "acceptable."

    So they did the work. The window works great and doesn't make a sound now. I'm very happy with the car once that giant annoyance was fixed. I'll live with the gas sloshing and brake clunks which in the grand scheme of things don't really amount to much. Like I originally said, the X is a comfortable, safe, well-performing SUV that I was pysch'd about being able to purchase. After 9 months of torture by Acura they finally allowed me to force them to do the right thing and I have the SUV I thought I was buying originally. I am happy with it now and since mechanically it has been perfect I can recommend it to others.

    Hope everyone else's issues get resolved one way or another as well.
  • leonivleoniv Posts: 120
    Just picked up a new 05 MDX Premium (13 miles on the odo.) and noticed air will not flow from the rear vents unless I press the "RR A/C Manual" button to give the rear passengers control. If I press the button again so that it's light is off, the airflow stops. Am I doing something wrong, am I missing a step, or is something wrong with the climate control system?

    Also, where's the sticker that shows the date the truck was built? I tried under the hood and opening the doors and didn't find it.

    Last, did anyone pick up a MDX and notice the leather on the seats was already starting to wrinkle? Is that a sign of poor quality leather or the truck sitting for a while on the lot (hence my question above)? Thanks.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    The rear A/C works off the rear control panel, thus they will need manual control.
  • acannitoacannito Posts: 1
    I am having a similar problem.. Every now and then I turn the key and my 2003 MDX sounds like it will start but does not.. Had to be pushed out of the way at a gas station once another time I was at work and it would not start.. Both times I waited 5-10 mins then it started.. Brought to the dealer and they tell me it could be fuel related.. I dont think so. Please let me know if you have found a solution so I can bring it back to them . Also have you had any problem with the key being stuck in the ignition as I cannot get the key out sometimes.... Its very strange and am wondering if its at all related.

    Thank you.
  • henrywhenryw Posts: 4
    Try increase or decrease AC temperature (toward HI or LO) and see if there is warm or cold air come out from the rear AC vent. When AC is set in Auto mode, the controller (computer) is taking control with the temperature and fan speed of all vents in the MDX. I found sometime the air comes out from front side vents but not from others (include rear ones). I also found once that the front vent is brewing cold air while the rear ones are with warm air for some time period (occurred when drove out from the garage) . All the above cases are with auto or full auto mode.

    We found ourselves constantly switch to real manual mode to reduce fan speed or turn off the rear AC because we have a little baby in the second raw. The rear upper vents blew air right on my baby daughter's face. We also found that fan speed is usually a bit too strong in AC auto mode.
  • leonivleoniv Posts: 120
    Thanks for the reply. Sounds like a game of guess-and-check with the rear controls. I have a little card that came with the X stating that to keep control of the rear air using front controls, the button needs to be pressed so that the button light is off. Very odd since the light is always off unless pressed. Oh well, I'll keep playing with it. If I can't get any air to come out via a combination of controls up front, I'll take it in.
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