Last post on May 06, 2013 at 9:22 AM
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Acura MDX, SUV
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#137 of 967 2003 MDX Transmission Failure
Nov 17, 2009 (8:23 pm)
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.
#138 of 967 Re: 2003 MDX Transmission Failure [jmdeur]
Nov 18, 2009 (7:15 am)
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!
#139 of 967 2003 MDX Transmission Failure II
Nov 19, 2009 (7:12 pm)
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.
#140 of 967 My 2003 Current status
Nov 22, 2009 (4:04 pm)
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!
#141 of 967 Bitten by the MDX Transmission Issue
Nov 30, 2009 (12:05 pm)
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.
#142 of 967 Re: Bitten by the MDX Transmission Issue [raedmunds]
Nov 30, 2009 (12:14 pm)
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.
#143 of 967 2003 MDX Failure III
Dec 02, 2009 (5:04 pm)
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.
Dec 06, 2009 (2:29 pm)
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?
#145 of 967 2005 MDX torque converter replaced - overdrive bearing
Dec 08, 2009 (2:10 pm)
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.
#146 of 967 Re: 2003 MDX Transmission Failure [rednsx]
Dec 08, 2009 (3:05 pm)
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!