Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 1:46 PM
You are in the Acura MDX
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Acura MDX, SUV
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#160 of 996 2003 MDX and Pilot Transmission Issues
Dec 30, 2009 (6:29 am)
I too own a vehicle with this transmission, but it is a 2003 Honda Pilot. If you go to the Honda Pilot Transmission Issues forum, you will find IDENTICAL issues, since it is after all the IDENTICAL transmission. I have actually serviced my vehicle at the local Acura dealer that is owned by the same person that owns the local Honda dealer. Our Pilot has 94,000 miles on it (bought it new) and about 3,000 miles ago I started feeling a vibration/hesitation at about 39 mph to 49 mph. The RPM's do not settle in during this time. I believe it to be the torque converter failing to lockup. I see some have done flushes and have corrected this issue, others have had to get the entire transmission replaced. I am scared to go to the dealership...it's almost like knowing that you are sick and not wanting to go to the doctor. We have done the transmission fluid drains very regularly. Is it okay to flush this transmission as I thought I had heard that it was not recommended? Anyone know a good class-action lawyer that would want to take something like this? If you think about how well the 03 Pilots sold plus the sales from the 01-03 MDX's, that could be a huge number. Really disappointed with Honda. I also own a Nissan with a CVT and recently received a letter where they are extending my warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles on the CVT for no charge. Not that they've had recent issues with it, but because there WERE issues with it that have been fixed. That's customer service...sorry Honda, I'm not going back to you ever again. Might as well buy a GM Yukon.
#161 of 996 Re: 2003 MDX and Pilot Transmission Issues [12bdriving]
Dec 31, 2009 (12:02 am)
I also have a 2003 Honda Pilot. I bought it new and have been the only owner. After 37000 miles, my tranny went out. I couldn't believe it, 37000 miles!!! I had all of the scheduled maintenance done a the dealer, too. I was just outside of my warranty. I called Honda and they agreed to pay for it anyway. I also own a CR-V and one of the seatbelts wouldn't retract and needed to be replaced. Again, I was just outside the warranty. It was going to cost $400 to fix, so I called Honda and they agreed to pay for it. So, I've had some luck with them, and it definitely doesn't hurt to try.
I have read a lot about being having problems with the transmissions in the 2003 Pilot, Odyssey, and MDX.
#162 of 996 Re: transmission issue [watersdeedee]
Jan 05, 2010 (7:18 pm)
We have a 2001 Acura MDX that we purchased new in Oct 01. The vehicle has 144000 miles and has been the best vehicle we have ever had. Thanksgiving weekend we drove it 250 miles one way to visit family. It started "missing" or slipping" on the way there. Just seemed like the car couldn't find the gear. Only did it 4-5 times over the course of 4 hours. On the way home (another 250 miles) we were in bumper to bumper traffic on I-81, couldn't go more than 35-40 miles an hour with lots of stops and starts. The slipping became more apparent with some lurching and times when the transmission couldn't seem to find the gear at all and would rev really high. Finally about an hour from home 5th gear gave out completely and the car wouldn't go over 45 miles per hour. We got off interstate and took the back roads the rest of the way home. After we got home and unpacked, took it out for a test run and it worked fine, no problems whatsoever until Christmas eve. I drove it 30+ miles to pick up a gift and it was fine until I got into stop and go traffic and it started slipping again. I picked up the gift and headed back home and it was the worst it had been in the lower gears lurching and revving really high. Once I managed to get up to about 40, it was fine. I had to climb a mountain on the way home and on the downward side I lost 5th gear again. I kicked it into neutral and coasted all the way to the bottom, pulled over, shut it off, turned it back on and no more problems.
We were thinking of trading it in on a new Acura and not mentioning the problems if it made it to the dealer but I don't really want a new car payment. I found this forum today and called the local Acura and asked about the assistance from Acura when replacing an out of warranty transmission since their were 100's of posts online from people having this problem. I was told it was a case by case basis and you had to have done all transmission fluid changes at the appropriate time for them to offer assistance. The car had to be in overall good shape with regular Acura service and provide proof of the transmission fluid changes.
We moved to a town without an Acura dealer 4 years ago and have been getting the Acura serviced at the local Honda dealer. I called them to find out when the last transmission fluid change was and they had NEVER done one, although all other service had been performed including the timing belt, water pump and left engine mount along with all belts. Why would they never change the transmission fluid in 4 years of serving the vehicle? Now it seems that that blows any chance of getting assistance from Acura on a transmission replacement.
On another point, do you think that just flushing the transmission may solve the issue since the fluid hasn't been changed in such a long time. Do my issues sound like what you all have been experiencing? I've never noticed the vibrating that several of you have mentioned. And our vehicle seems fine driven close to home, it's when we venture out that the problems start.
Any advice would be appreciated.
#163 of 996 Re: transmission issue [bren_va]
Jan 06, 2010 (6:30 am)
Acura is not saying what the problem is with these transmissions so I can't say if flushing the unit with new fluid will help. Maybe it will or not. I think they charge over $200 for it with no guarantees to fix the problem. I honestly believe it's an electronic problem, or internal plugged fluid filter issue causing this. Transmissions don't just wear out overnight. I think Acura replaces the whole transmission to assure the problem goes away.
Your service issues are common with all repair shops. They only do what you tell them to. Even though you take it in for routine "service", there's no assurance they do what's needed on your maintenance schedule. But use that issue as an argument that the dealer did not do it's job by maintaining your vehicle when you took it to them. "You trusted them to handle all service items" and they failed. They should take some responsibility. I always do my own service work on all our vehicles.
Take your MDX to the Honda dealer, insist they contact Acura in CA regarding reimbursing you for a new transmission based on the dealer's poor maintenance service and the fact that there are reported problems with the transmissions. If they offer anything less then them paying 75% of the replacement cost, go to an independent transmission repair company (one who has experience rebuilding Acura transmissions) and get an estimate. It may be cheaper then giving Acura any more money. Acura's replacement transmission comes with a 3yr./36k warranty. It may not be transferable. I think an independent shop would be $2,000 less then Acura's full price.
Now that I got a new (rebuilt) transmission in our MDX, I will be changing transmission fluid every time I change the engine oil (5k miles). It takes 3 qts of fluid and adds 5 minutes to the oil change job. It's really easy. Use Acura's Z1 fluid but I'll be looking to buy it some place else instead of the dealer. Mobil 1's synthetic fluid is not recommended by Mobil.
#165 of 996 Re: 2003 MDX and Pilot Transmission Issues [gmoney2]
Jan 06, 2010 (8:45 am)
I just got this reply from a guy who sells rebuilt MDX transmissions on ebay;
THERE ARE UPGRADE OPTIONS TO THIS UNIT, THERE IS A COMPANY THAT CREATES UPGRADES FOR FAULTS THAT THE MANUFACTURE DID NOT CATCH AT THE ASSEMBLY LINE. THERE ARE ALSO SHIFT KITS AVAILABLE THAT WILL MAKE THIS UNIT NOT ONLY PERFORM BETTER, BUT HELP THE UNIT DOUBLE ITS LIFE. I HOPE THIS INFO HAS BEEN USEFUL OR HELPFUL FOR YOU.
#166 of 996 2006 MDX Torque Convertor Failing AGAIN
Jan 06, 2010 (5:24 pm)
Two months ago, the torque convertor was replaced at 55K miles. But it never did seem quite right, now it obviously is not right. So it went back to Acura where the service department diagnosed it as a bad torque but they "need to contact the Techline." I'm supposed ot hear back tomorrow. Does anyone know - are the torque convertor and transmission issues related, one in the same, or completely seperate? They do share fluid, it isn't a stretch to think that debris could transfer.
#167 of 996 feeling the pain...
Jan 10, 2010 (10:44 am)
03 Pilot owner. Tranny out at 112K. Calling Honda on monday with lot's of research behind me. I will say that from just the Edmunds threads on Pilot/MDX tranny failures, it seems that the MDX owners fare better for compensation...but I'm crossing my fingers.
Just wanted to note something about Honda/Acura. All of their V6 transmissions have a replaceable filter, yet, it's never replaced during dealer scheduled service and most service desks don't even know about it. I found this out doing my own service on my Acura TL. The parts guy had never heard of anyone replacing this when I ordered it. The filter was as dirty as the fluid and, most will find a small amount of shavings on their magnetic drain plug and I can only assume this accumulates in the filter, too.
Anyone else think that's odd?
#168 of 996 Re: 2006 MDX Torque Converter Failing AGAIN [redhorse1962]
Jan 12, 2010 (5:37 pm)
UPDATE. So the vehicle went in for the Torque Converter. They got it apart and we got the phone call that the torque converter was "missing some teeth" and that they were indeed going to replace the transmission as well. We shall see.
#169 of 996 Re: 04-06 Acura MDX transmission problems [tpulak]
Jan 28, 2010 (11:24 pm)
This is true contact the Corporate headquarters of Acura in California.
I asked my service dealer Acura of Springfield Mo and they flat out lied to me.
There is a recall and thousands of complaints regarding faulty transmission design.
Is there a class action lawyer available out there to help?