Last post on May 06, 2013 at 9:22 AM
You are in the Acura MDX
What is this discussion about?
Acura MDX, SUV
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#540 of 967 Re: Problems with MDX Transmissions
Feb 25, 2011 (1:51 pm)
It is incredible that some Acura service departments pretend they don't know anything about the noise in the MDX transmission and continue to take clients out on a test drive to duplicate it....usually with no success!! It is even more incredible that they pretend not to know about this discussion thread about problems with MDX transmissions. Once I heard the sound in my 2003 MDX I Googled the problem description which led to this discussion thread and others and a link to Acura Service descriptions about this very problem. I followed the directives of others on this list and contacted Honda USA which was polite but gave me no satisfaction. I contacted the service manager of my Acura dealer and told him about the service bulletins about this problem and asked to have the out of warranty transmission replaced. I directed him to call his regional service manager, as others on this list suggested. After a week, he returned my call and offered to pay for half of the cost of a new transmission. I then called Acura USA again, citing the registered defect in their service bullletins as reason to replace the transmission without cost to me. The representative was unduly cordial, kept me on the phone for a half hour, then put me on hold to talk to a supervisor and returned with a nasty attitude (a big change from five minutes earlier!) and said they would only pay for half the job. At that point I contacted my insurance company, since I have a mechanical breakdown warranty with them as well as an extended warranty, and they picked up the rest of the cost. I could have contacted them initially and have them pay for the whole job but I wasn't willing to leave Acura off the hook. Like many of my fellow MDX owners, I feel betrayed by a company that I have promoted to my friends and colleagues for years. I no longer feel that they care about their customers and will return to buying Volvos.
#541 of 967 Re: spark plug exploded or melted, need new engine [ejat]
Feb 25, 2011 (2:25 pm)
Ejat, your problem does not sound related to the transmission. Did they replace all 4 spark plugs? Also you may have a cylinder misfire. Did you get the codes? You need to get the codes and then google the codes to find out what the problem is. Also, before going to acura, take it to another trusty mechanic you can find and ask them. If you go to acura, they'll just charge you for it.
#542 of 967 Re: Solved the whining noise in my 2006 MDX [dc1225]
Feb 25, 2011 (2:59 pm)
It is the shift cable causing the whine noise.It gets corroded and transfers the trans noise into the cabin of the vehicle.Plus some noise from any Honda vehicle may be normal as they do not use planetary gears.It is basically a manually trans with gears that mesh like a manual trans automatically shifted with clutch packs.
Feb 27, 2011 (7:52 pm)
Hi All- I'm thinking about buying a 2002 MDX for a station car. Has 140k miles, really good shape. The tranny was replaced at 110k, do you think it's possible that solved the whole transmission issue? Any replies appreciated -thanks!
#544 of 967 Re: MDX question [laureenm]
Feb 27, 2011 (10:20 pm)
If I were you I would find out where the transmission work was done since the factory installed transmission are under warranty. Also, at 140,000 miles there are tons of other required maintenance items that are called for and you should check and see if the service history shows any of them have been done or not.
My thinking is that at 140,000 miles, you might be buying a lot of headache unless the car has had one owner, serviced regularly and all the required repairs have been done to it. You could be buying someone else's headache.
For our own part, we have lost complete confidence in the Acura brand and are planning to sell our 2004 MDX even though I just replaced the timing belt, water pump.....etc for the tune of $900! We are simply not happy with the quality of the brand. Even the reception on the Bose radio is a disaster and I keep hearing there are service bulletins on that which I should research.....etc. Who has time for this crap!?
Mind you, our expectation of quality and amazing service was set up by Lexus! It's their fault that they have made Acura people look like idiots.
#545 of 967 Re: MDX question [laureenm]
Feb 28, 2011 (7:17 am)
They other reply was right. I wouldn't do it. If you buy it, expect to spend $4,500 for a new tranny. If it doesn't break, then you are ahead. The MDX needed a water pump, timing belt, spark plugs and vavle adjustment at 110k miles. Make sure that was done. Change all fluids every 30k miles, use synthetic fluids when possible. Most car owners NEVR do this.
Personaly, I'd buy a Ford. We're selling our 2003 MDX when the replacement tranny goes out of warranty. I won't even burden my grandaughter by giving it to her. This was our 2nd Acura and I won't buy another because of what I've read on this blog.
#546 of 967 Re: MDX question [laureenm]
Mar 01, 2011 (9:56 am)
Assuming you go forward with the purchase simply remove the fuses that power the rear clutches and you won't encounter any undue driveline wear/stress.
If you have times of need for the VTM-4 system, sustained periods of driving on a low traction surface, then wire a manual switch in series with the fuses in order to activate the VTM-4 system ONLY at times of need.
#547 of 967 Re: MDX question [wwest]
Mar 01, 2011 (10:25 am)
WWEST, with all due respect, what you're saying seems very illogical to a normal everyday person. I understand that you're trying to help but first of all, how do you know that's exactly the problem? How do you know that doesn't mess up anything else? If the fix was that simple, why wouldn't Acura do this?
#548 of 967 Re: MDX question [dc1225]
Mar 01, 2011 (11:41 am)
"..why wouldn't Acura do this?.."
They did, they replaced the VTM-4 system with the SH-AWD system. And who knows, they may have, at any time, provided a firmware revision, factory update or field "reflash" (TSB, there is one) that reduced the overall % of rear drive coupling.
There are basically 2 categories of F/awd systems, pre-emptive and reactive.
Reactive: After the Fact. The system "reacts" only once, AFTER, wheelspin/slip is detected.
These are basically ONE-Wheel drive systems with "virtual" torque proportioning. Virtual LSD and/or "AWD" modes via "after-the-fact" TDC braking of a slipping wheel or wheels. The problem becomes that the engine must also be dethrottled just as INSTANTLY since loss of traction on the front biased front wheels is so life threatening.
That's why many of these same vehicles now have a TDC (Traction/Directional Control) disable switch.
Pre-emptive: Since there really is no way, in this case, to predict the future the next best choice is made. Activate the torque re-apportioning system but ONLY at times when wheelspin/slip is most likely to result.
1. During low speed acceleration, acceleration from a stop, or hard acceleration at "higher", 25MPH, speeds.
2. During a turn, most especially a TIGHT turn, or with moderate to hard acceleration while turning.
Note that these techniques do not, CANNOT, allow for actual roadbed conditions, HIGHLY tractive conditions or not. In the case of technique #2 it is inadviseable to have HIGH engine torque applied SOLELY to the front wheels when a significant level of front tire traction co-efficient must/SHOULD be dedicated to lateral G-force, preventing loss of directional control.
But these compromises can result in highly stressing, even over-stressing, the driveline components if the roadbed happens to be tractive.
Anyone who has driven a true 4WD on a highly tractive roadbed with 4WD engaged will attest to this. In a true 4WD with 4WD engaged in a tight turn on a tractive surface the resulting wheel scrubbing/hop can be so severe as to break thumbs and/or fingers of an unwary or inexperienced driver.
Take a look at the past ten years or so of the history of the Ford Escape F/awd system. Virtually continuous tries by Ford to allevaite/bate the PTO/PTU and rear clutch/diff'l failures as a result of the driveline component stress resulting from pre-emptive engagement of rear torque apportioning on tractive surfaces.
All because the reactive system has been well proven to be unsatisfactory, JUSTIFIABLY so, in the public's "eye".
It seems to me that a good, STELLAR, compromise might be to have these F/awd systems remain in, default into, "reactive" mode for adverse roadbed conditions for which the driver might be unaware, but with a driver operated switch to convert to the system to pre-emptive mode for KNOWN adverse roadbed conditions.
With the advent of the use of this "pre-emptive" F/awd system on the new Ford Explorer (and yes, I intended to use F/awd and Ford Explorer in the same sentence), Ford has adopted a method of using engine coolant to provide continuous cooling of the PTO/PTU assembly. It appeared to me that this may be also true of the rear clutch/diff'l assembly but I have not been able to get a direct answer from Ford on this question.
#549 of 967 Re: spark plug exploded or melted, need new engine [dc1225]
Mar 01, 2011 (12:08 pm)
Service manager says they used a camera to look "inside" (not sure inside what) and saw scorched sides, problem worse then they first told me. Every day I get a new call with a new problem. Repairs starting at $2,000 now up to $6,000+ and counting. That includes new water pump and timing chain. I called a few trusted mechanics and was told they could do that job for around $600 AND that the belt most likely had to be removed to make the repairs I need. Acura offered to do belt and pump for $700 instead of $1,200 as they were "working in the area". I told them the price quotes I got and that I did not expect to be billed twice for a service they had to preform anyways. As the for other problem I need to replace the "seals and head" and I am not sure what else. My hands are tied, I need to repair this car but any suggestions on how to handle anytning including what they want to charge me would be greatly appreciated!