Last post on Nov 04, 2013 at 9:10 AM
You are in the Acura MDX
What is this discussion about?
Acura MDX, SUV
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#667 of 995 2004 MDX Transmission shot
Sep 27, 2011 (5:08 am)
Thank god I found this post. We own a 2004 MDX with 150,000 miles highway miles. No stop and go or rush hour driving- my wife's commute is an easy 45 minute highway shot with no traffic. About 3 months ago we began experiencing many of the same issues detailed on this post: delay in engaging, sudden rpm loss, etc. We use a reliable local mechanic who is awesome and has serviced all our vehicles. We over service our cars like others here have detailed. In other words we buy "quality" vehicles, service them and historically have had few if any major problems.
This is our first and last Acura. For years, actually decades I owned Hondas and routinely put 200,000 miles plus on them. All were 4 cylinders. One of our mid 1980's Acccord we sold with 450,000 miles on it, still running strong.
My wife took her MDX to the dealership right around the corner that we have used for some service- but we all know why most of us use reliable repair shops instead of dealerships. Who wants to spend $650 on basic service that a reliable independent will do for $350 or $400??? And when all is said and done, many here who have paid dealership rates to maintain their Acura's have been abandoned by the same people they've been feeding, who go on to act as if their transmission failure is a one time, unexpected, bad luck issue.
Our local dealership is right in the line with the others chronicled here: "gee that's too bad". "we can replace it for $6,000". All spoken as if they've never seen this issue before and they're doing you a favor.
Interesting side note: my wife's business partner drives the same exact vehicle with 100,000 miles and guess what- he started having transmission slippage and engagement issues about a month ago. Any one want to guess what he's going to be told by the dealership??
Clearly the drivetrain/transmissions in these vehicles are flawed. I'm shocked that we haven't heard more "disgruntled" reviews of Acura products. We intend to document our dismay and outrage at a $45,000 vehicle having this type of failure. Unacceptable and to the fellow who made it sound like any car is toast after 100,000 miles- obviously you haven't driven many cars. We're mid 50 year olds and have had owned Toyota & Hondas that have ALL gone hundreds of thousands with minor and normal wear and tear repair.
What to do about it? First my wife is going to tell the dealer that she has no intention of paying them for a major replacement/repair that is clearly something they are well aware of and doing nothing about. Second, we'll dump our car and make a point of letting Honda and Accura know that it will be our last with their brand name on it. Third, we'll do our very best to make other consumers we know aware of our experience- and we both deal with hundreds of upscale clients in our line of work.
Reliability is the cornerstone of Honda's success. Their vehicles are overpriced as we all know. The tradeoff is most knowledgeable consumers will pay a little more upfront to avoid being gouged by repairs over the life of the vehicle. This is a bad sign for Honda. Having owned Toyota products that were promoted as "bullet proof" and then watching them mishandle PR surrounding recalls, it won't be long before something similar befalls Honda. Reputations are hard earned and easily tarnished when companies resolve to put their heads in the sand and pretend all is well in the face of a major issue like this. Hard to believe that any dealership wouldn't be well versed in this transmission issue if they're selling and servicing Accura's. Too many complaints and failures to simply be a case of bad luck.
#668 of 995 Re: 2004 MDX Transmission shot [brianm7]
Sep 27, 2011 (6:13 am)
Before you dunp the vehicle, go back to the dealership, tell them about this blog and you know for a fact that Acura will pay 90% replacement cost if they call the CA office. If they refuse, find another dealer or file a complaint with the BBB.
At this stage, you may have to replace the tranny before you can sell it. Whatever the outcome of who is paying for it, buy a Ford next time. We will when we are ready for another vehicle, no more Acuras for us, even though our dealer paid 90%. Acura showed us their "bad side" on this deal.
#669 of 995 Re: 2004 MDX Transmission shot [brianm7]
Sep 27, 2011 (7:28 am)
150,000 miles, you should consider yourself lucky. The VTM-4 system used in the early models was undoubtedly a bit too "robust" for the otherwise light duty transaxle. It appears that switching to the SH-AWD system in the later models alleviated the problem.....or maybe it was just re-programming of the firmware to make less use of the rear drive aspects.
#670 of 995 Re: 2004 MDX Transmission shot [brianm7]
Sep 27, 2011 (8:58 am)
If you realllllly want to shove it to Acura, you should start by starting a class action lawsuit which all of us will participate in.
Acura will only listen to attorneys(theirs or ours) doesn't matter. Your letter won't make it past the mail room where the clerk will piss on it and throw it in the trash bin.
#671 of 995 Follow up to transmission issues in MDX
Sep 27, 2011 (5:06 pm)
Thanks for weighing in. I agree with all of the comments passed on.
JSlivon- thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate the advice and will follow up and update you on their reaction ( which while I hate being cynical, believing that a car dealership will do the right thing is like expecting politicians to tell the truth.)
WWest- yeah given the experience of others one has to wonder how we made it this far. I am however appalled at the number of people on this site who have experienced the same failure with a fraction of the miles???!! How does a $45,000 luxury vehicle sell with that track record? Further, I'd be EXCEPTIONALLY skeptical of buying a "used" one. You'd think that if more people were aware of the MDX's transmission track record that their resale value would be severely discounted. Specifically I'd have to believe a private party sale would be a lot tougher to make since there is no recourse if the vehicle fails once it exchanges hands. And it's highly likely that even a good mechanic or dealership that was paid to assess it's condition wouldn't detect pending transmission failure.
I know a lot of car buyers who save a fair bit of $$$ being the 2nd owner of reliable higher end
vehicles, but obviously experience would eliminate the MDX from that category.
DC1225- I'm actually surprised that Accura has been able to avoid litigation on this issue given how many complaints I've read. Is it because they just lie their way out of it by denying culpability on their part and footing the bill for only the most egregious cases to try and prevent more bad PR???
#672 of 995 Just Got a New Torque Converter
Sep 28, 2011 (1:49 am)
I have a 2008 MDX Tech with 32,000 miles and occasionally encountered the dreaded shudder at 35mph around town as early as a year ago or so. This behavior began to surface with more regularity recently and (tired of punching the gas pedal to arrest the shudder), took it to the dealer last Thursday to let them have a look-see. Naturally, they needed me to demonstrate the shudder with a tech and wouldnchaknowit I was unable to demonstrate it. Dejected and headed back to the dealer, the tech mentioned that this wasn't an uncommon complaint among MDX owners and that he'd look at it but suggested I leave it for the day.
Well, 2 hours later the dealer calls and--whoopeee!--confirms the shudder and faults the torque converter (all covered under the factory 6yr powertrain warranty) and that I am to keep my loaner (a 2011 MDX, btw) until they can source the part and intall it. I got it back yesterday and I absolutely love my MDX more than before it that's even possible. The dealership here in the DC, Rosenthal Acura, couldn't have been more professional. I've got no complaints here. The service advisor called with daily updates and even offered to take me back to the service bay as work was progressing; an offer I took him up on (I'm lame, I know) and let me tell you, this type of first-person open-heart surgery is not for the faint of, ahem, heart. It kinda takes your breath away. I walked away never to return again to the sausage factory.
It's crazy, too, because I was expecting an ordeal judging by the numerous posts this longstanding topic. I'm happy to report here happy times! I wish this karma on everyone else here and your beloved MDXs. True Story.
#673 of 995 Re: Just Got a New Torque Converter [washingtongc]
Sep 28, 2011 (7:49 am)
2008...32,000 miles...Now that's worrisome.
Unless you make highly regular use, high TORQUE use, if the rear wheel drive aspects of the SH-AWD system.
Off-road, dirt/gravel road..?
#674 of 995 Re: Just Got a New Torque Converter [washingtongc]
Sep 28, 2011 (7:55 am)
What are you so happy about? That you got the warranty at 32k which should be normally covered? That they gave you a loaner? That your tranny/tc only lasted 32k? we'll see how happy you are when in another 32k you'll need a brand new tranny. You'll probably be doing quadriple double dragon flips by then I'm sure.
#675 of 995 Transmission shudder issue
Sep 28, 2011 (9:26 am)
I have a 2002 with 117K miles that has a mild case of the shudder/vibration issue. I talked to a co-worker who also has a MDX and he said his also has had the issue for the past 50K miles and his car now has 170K miles. He had extensive discussions with the dealer about it and one time a service person was very open about the problem. He was told that eventually he should replace the torque converter and transmission but only when the issue gets too annoying to deal with. It's not something you need to take action on immediately once the symptoms start. Apparently after 50K miles it hasn't gotten to this point yet. So my strategy will also be to wait and see. I only need to get a couple more years out of the car and the symptoms for me are not severe nor very frequent. I might experience it once during a day while driving and it's more of a noise issue - I don't notice much vibration or power loss. If you want to get another 100K from your car, then it may make strategic sense to do the work sooner than later. For me, I only need to get another 20K so I'm going to wait and see. Supposedly the rest of the car is solid and will make it to 200K without problem.
#676 of 995 Re: 03 Acura MDX transmission [madmommy3]
Sep 28, 2011 (11:43 am)
I cannot access the link. It does not work. I replaced the torque converter last November. Now my transmission wont shift. How do I join the lawsuit?