Last post on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM
You are in the Acura MDX
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Acura MDX, Transmission, SUV
#44 of 89 NHSTA Transmission Statistics
Oct 07, 2010 (4:49 pm)
The NHSTA (National Highway Safety & Transportation Administration) tracks reported issues by category. It is recognized that only a very small fraction of vehicle owners take the time to file an online complaint. You can imagine that the "real" numbers are significantly higher. That being said, here are the statistics by year for complaints mentioning "shudder/vibration/torque converter for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. There was only one transmission problem reported for 2007, 2008 and 2009 (looks like Acura fixed the problem):
Year.......Total Complaints.......All Tranny Complaints.........Shudder/Vibration
2004................42............................17 (41%)........................13 (77%)
2005................51............................30 (59%)........................27 (90%)
2006................23............................14 (61%)..........................8 (57%)
Totals............116.............................61 (53%)........................48 (77%)
Transmission complaints by far out numbered all other complaints for Acura MDX. The Shudder/Vibration/Torque Converter issue comprised 77% of all transmission complaints. It is obvious that there was a "defect" for several years that was ignored by Acura. To speculate a little, if 48 vehicle owners reported the shudder/vibration/torque converter problem to NHSTA, and only 2% of owners with with problem actually took the time to file a complaint, that would extrapolate out to over 2,000 (2,400) vehicles that could potentially have the problem. I am sure Acura has done these numbers and has decided to address this problem one on one as owners complain (and I am sure Acura is hopefully that their vehicles are out of warranty). Also, think of all the owners that had this problem and their vehicles "were" within warranty and we would not hear from those owners in a forum such as this!
PS - Honda Pilot owners (same transmission at Acura MDX) have similar statistics in the NHSTA database.
#45 of 89 Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam
Oct 08, 2010 (4:51 am)
I haven't posted a message on here since the end of July, just giving everyone an update on my experience. Noticed transmission shudder on my 2005 Acura MDX at 107,000 miles. Gradually got worse, I let everyone know on here that Acura wouldn't do a thing about the problem, and all of my local Acura dealerships wanted anywhere from $2,700 to $4,500 to replace the torque converter (the root of the problem). What a joke too, that the Acura dealerships are all over the place with their prices to do the exact same job as the other. Anyway I got a small transmission shop in Atlanta to order an aftermarket torque converter instead of replacing one faulty mdx t.c. with another, and so far after putting 5k miles on the aftermarket converter it seems to be working just fine. Good luck to all dealing with this problem; hopefully one day Acura will make everything right because they are obviously knowingly selling a faulty product!
#46 of 89 2006 MDX torque converter
Oct 27, 2010 (9:13 am)
i just had my TC replaced. it was $1500 from a private mechanic. Problem is, i got the car back and the VSA light is on and the VTM button won't engage( nor the VSA button). I brought it back to him and i'm waiting to see what happens. It's sad that such a nice car has such an expensive problem.
#47 of 89 Re: 2006 MDX torque converter [mumbless89]
Oct 27, 2010 (9:26 am)
I agree, it really is a shame... i had mine replaced last year, and i can already tell it is getting ready to go again. I love my car...I have test driven many other cars that are in my price range...but none compare to the drive i get from my MDX when it is running correctly. Mine as 78K miles on it now, and i want to trade it in before the TC goes bad again....but cant afford a new MDX right now...and Im afraid to get a used one, due to the fact it may have the same problem!
#48 of 89 Re: 2006 MDX torque converter [vabbey]
Oct 27, 2010 (9:53 am)
I've had a lot of cars in my life. I really like the mdx but i'm so disappointed with it. I'm considering trading it for something else. I had a new vw jetta that ii traded for the mdx thinking that in the long run the acura will outshine the vw but i think i was wrong. After reading all the stuff on here i'm ready to let it go. although, i spoke with another gentleman that has a 2001 mdx and besides the TC he had no other problems with it besides the regular wear and tear.
#49 of 89 Re: Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam [jcagle24]
Oct 27, 2010 (3:56 pm)
I've said this before, somewhere thereabouts, but the problem is most likely not really the torque converter, the torque converter just happens to be the weakest link in a drive train that is being abused, over-stressed, by factory design.
With the advent of the use of the lockup clutch in ALL of the higher gear ratios, above 2nd, modern day torque converters are simply not as robust, strong, as in yesteryear. That's one of the reasons most vehicles now have "hill-start" capability, use the brakes to "hill-hold" since the TC does not couple enough torque at engine idle to do so.
A long standing edict of 4WD is NEVER have the system engaged on a highly traction surface. Additionally any 4WD owner with experience will tell you that an easy way, QUICK way, to end up with busted knuckles and/or broken fingers is to have a 4WD system engaged when turning tightly or in an acelerating turn.
Yet here we are today with all these F/awd systems ignoring that edict. Engage the rear drive capability on a highly tractive surface. Even worse yet, engage the rear drive in an accelerating turn. So it's really no surprise to me that all of these Ford F/awd systems have prematively failing PTOs and now here we are with prematurely failing torque converters on the MDX.
Both for the very same reason.
Overstressing the drive train.
Disable the F/awd system, SH-AWD system, except in times of suspected need and these weakest link failures will go away.
#50 of 89 Re: Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam [wwest]
Nov 12, 2010 (10:43 am)
My 2006 MDX is currently sitting at an Acura dealership in need of a new TC (per their service department). This is my second opinion, the first from an independent transmission shop of good reputation, which diagnosed it as needing a whole new transmission. The car is only 9,000 miles out of the Powertrain warranty (it has 79,000 miles on it), so I am now awaiting news of whether Acura will offer me assistance. Luckily we can get by being a one car family for awhile, so I can wait them out and use the appeal process, if necessary.
Now that I read that the problem comes back due to ill design, I am seriously considering trading it in and getting a new, different car. I hate to do this since I loved the MDX, but now it is tainted.
If I get the TC replaced (at Acura's expense, hopefully), is there anything i can do the better care for the car to reduce the likelihood of recurrence?
Really glad I found this forum before I paid the bill myself or paid to replace the entire transmission!
#51 of 89 Re: Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam [jmr29]
Nov 12, 2010 (11:17 am)
I dont think there is anyway to better take care of it...
I know that when my problem came back less than a year later...it wasnt so much the TC as it was the transmission this time around. Sometimes it takes you so long to figure out that your TC has gone bad...that it has already messed up the transmission (which i think is what has happened i my case). The guy who said you need a new transmission, was probably correct. Mine happened at EXACTLY 60K miles... so i was under warranty the first time it was fixed.
Although right now, you are probably just experiencing the sounds and feel of a bad TC...later on you will probably have the transmission go bad like I did. I traded it in for a Mazda...so sad I had to do that...but i was afraid to get another honda/acura ...and couldnt afford to try out a new Acura to see if it was gonna be any better. I LOVED MY MDX... I cried when i traded it in...and may NEVER like this new car ever as much as i did that car...but cannot afford to risk getting another one...
#52 of 89 Re: Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam [vabbey]
Nov 13, 2010 (9:53 am)
It appears to me that virtually all of these new "pre-emptive" F/awd systems are encountering some sort or another of pre-mature drive train component failure. For as long as I can remember the edict for 4WD was to NEVER engage both rear and front drives simultaneously EXCEPT on a known low traction, slippery, roadbed/driving surface.
And now here we are with these new pre-emptive F/awd systems engaging the rear drive along with the front even in the worse possible circumstance, accelerating into a turn, insofar as driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing, over-stressing of the drive train components, is concerned.
Now it looks as if the new F/awd 2011 Ford Explorer (yes, that's F/awd and Ford Explorer in the same sentence) might be using engine coolant for cooling the transaxle, PTO, and the rear differential drive coupling assembly.
I hope that works otherwise we'll soon be seeing even more F/awd component failures.
#53 of 89 Re: Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam [jcagle24]
Nov 16, 2010 (9:59 am)
We have exactly the same problem, and have received the same quotes from Acura, although our quote is $2,500. Would you mind letting me know what the total cost of your repair was and the manufacturer of the aftermarket converter?
Thanks for your post and we would greatly appreciate a response.
P.S. We are in Macon, so your input is even more relevant.