transmission failure
frustrated with acura

Vallejo, CA

#103 Aug 31, 2009
Wow, I can't believe how many forums there are about MDX transmission problems! We'll be sure to mention this to Acura as we are currently talking to them about our mdx's transmission problems (in addition to a brake problem with our new TSX, already!).

A few weeks ago our transmission blew, a very scary thing to happen with your family in tow. This is after we have taken our car in for transmission problems 3 times in the first 4 years. Previously, Acura fixed or replaced the transmission for free. Now that we hit 7 years, they wanted to charge us $3800 for a refurbished transmission, claiming they no longer replace with 'new' transmissions. After my husband complained about this ongoing problem and how they should treat loyal customers better, they reduced it to $2200, which we paid.

This weekend I talked to my cousin who has a 2003 MDX. Low and behold, in early 2008 she too had her transmission blow up. Her dealership quoted $6K for a new one. After she complained, they said they had to contact Acura for a better solution. The dealership came back agreeing that she had been a loyal customer and offered a free transmission with an out of pocket cost of $250 for a warranty. This warranty covers the lifetime of the new transmission. If any problems arise between 100,000 miles or the next 7 years, she's covered FREE. This means, between the years 2003 and 2015 she will have paid $250 for all transmission problems.

Every dealership has their own solution, or what 'they' call a solution. But I wanted to point out my cousin's story in hopes that some of you can use this to your benefit.

Winston Salem, NC

#104 Sep 6, 2009
I have a 2002 MDX. Replaced first transmission at 140k and second transmission at 200k. What i have learned: flush the fluid every 30k, used Honda fluid. It is a great car with an average transmission.

Defiance, OH

#105 Sep 23, 2009
David jassal wrote:
i had similar problems gears pushing like jerking at 2 to 3 . Went to dealership and my transmission was replaced without any fouther ouestions and no cost to me.
I have a 2003 TL-S with 91.5k miles. Took it to the dealership for a 90k service and mentioned the trans had a shudder or shake in the 2-3 gear range. Dealership confirmed the problem and told me the trans would have to be replaced. The service advisor already submitted a goodwill request and Honda agreed to pay 80%. The dealership has been excellent to work with. They even gave me a 09 TL as a loaner. Also, I've had all my service work done there. I believe that helped.

Bristow, VA

#106 Sep 27, 2009
We have an 06 MDX with 64,500 miles, which apparently has a 70k powertrain warranty. A few weeks ago noticed this shudder/vibration in high gear around 40mph. I thought maybe it was a heat shield or something, but upon searching the web I discovered this thread and wanted to chime in because I don't see any others here with 06's having this issue. The MDX is at the dealership now and I referenced the Acura Service Bulletin 05-024 and also told them the maintenance required light was on temporarily yesterday but oddly was off today. I'll reply back when I have a response/solution.

Bristow, VA

#107 Sep 27, 2009
Well sure enough the dealership said that indeed the torque converter needs replaced. The service adviser said the work would be complete by tomorrow afternoon and covered under the powertrain warranty. I wonder why the 06 MDX's have a 70k powertrain warranty vs all previous years with 50k. (scratches head)

Towson, MD

#108 Sep 29, 2009
With the known DEFECTS of the 2003 MDX transmission, I recommend that each of us who has this vehicle, file a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NTHSA might be able to force Acura to recall the vehicles and repair the transmission/torque converter.

Report Unsafe Automobiles, Tires, Trucks, Motorcycles, and Child Restraint Systems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has jurisdiction over automobiles, tires (and all automobile parts), trucks and motorcycles, and child restraint systems.

Of particular importance are your experiences with the MDX surging, stalling in traffic and hitting other objects!!

This might be one way to get Acura to recall the vehicles for that we should not have to pay for!

Here is the link to the NHTSA complaint form. You can also call the 1-888 number.

United States

#109 Oct 8, 2009
I am having problems getting acura 2002 mdx 2nd transmission replaced at 108K miles. I have been complaining since 65k miles of gear slippage. i had 1st transmission replacement at 45K miles
Jeff in Boston wrote:
My 2002 MDX Touring model has been experiencing transmission slippage between 2nd and 3rd gears for 2 months now. I just went on a long trip to Vriginia and it happened twice in 2 days. The check engine light came one as well It has 90K for mileage.
I brough it to an Acura dealer in Virginia and they told me the fault code was an incorrect gear ratio which means the tranny needs to be replaced. I decided to take my chances and drive back to Boston. I brought to to an Acura dealer Peabody and they confirmed the transmission needs to be replaced. They called Acura and are replacing the tranny for free. I was very relieved to hear this as I was expecting a huge bill. I have always been diligent with service and has it done at the Acura dealer. If I had not done this, I doubt they would have picked-up the tab.
Obvisiously, this is a problem with the 2002 MDX that acrua is aware of.

Bethesda, MD

#110 Oct 14, 2009
They replaced the transmission under warranty back in 2004. I am having the same problem with the transmission in 2009. I am being told the new transmission is not under the extended warranty since it is retro from the purchase of the car back in 2001.

Seems to me the new transmission replaced back in 2004 should be the new start date of the 7/100,000 warranty.


Leavenworth, KS

#111 Oct 22, 2009
never buy an Acura again wrote:
when will Honda/Acura replace all transmissions on their Odyssy/Acura vehicles which have failed at high speed? Are they waiting for the death toll to climb? They know about the trasnmission failure but will not replace the transmissions.
I have a 2001 MDX that I purchased new...presently 348k only complaint is that I have had to replace the transmission 3 times...ouch

Long Beach, CA

#112 Oct 28, 2009
David J wrote:
I have a 2002 MDX with 61K miles. Engine Malfunction light came on 09-15-06 and I went to my dealer. They have ordered me a new transmission under warranty. Please note that I followed the required maintenance schedule for the transmission. In fact I had just had the 60K mile service done four weeks ago. Prior to the MIL light coming on I was experiencing gear slipping between 2nd and 3rd. The dealer told me that Acura was replacing all of these transmissions.
I have been on top of my maintance and that didnt keep my transmission from going bad twice. I have an ACURA MDX 2002 and I had to have the transmission replaced at 55,000- YES, it was under warranty but I also bought an extended warranty which expired in Aug 2009. In Sept 2009, the engine light came on and now I have a bad transmission AGAIN!!! With out warranty... Where am I going to come up with the $3500 to replace the transmission... this is not acceptable

Denver, CO

#113 Oct 29, 2009
I had to replace the transmission on my 2004 Acura MDX at 65,000. I think this is a real problem with these cars. The dealership paid for the part, but I had to pay for the service. And now I worry about having to do it all over again, without the dealer copay at 130,000.

Massillon, OH

#114 Oct 31, 2009
Had the same problem with my 2001 MDX with 130,000 miles on it. Rumble strip noise between 40-45 mph. Once I noticed it I searched the web and found many people with the same problem. I also found a post from a guy that said he drives his in D4 and doesn't hear the noise, which I immediately did as well. I do not hear the noise either but took it to the dealer for other servicing and had them check out the noise. As expected they pinpointed the torque converter as a problem. I explained the driving in D4 strategy and they said that in doing so the torque converter is never engaged and essentially 'goes along for the ride' and that's why you don't hear the noise. Outside of a slight drop in gas mileage they said I would do no damage to the tranny by continuing to drive in D4 and in fact, could probably shift into D5 with no problem on the highway after reaching 50-55mph. For me, I can live with driving in D4 and shifting into D5 later for a higher mileage MDX rather than paying thousands of dollars to fix the torque converter and replace the transmission...just thought I'd share my experiences for those suffering from the same problem. Good luck!

United States

#115 Nov 13, 2009
I have the same exact shudder on my 2001 MDX with 80K miles on it. What other information do you have about this reacall.
Mark wrote:
<quoted text>
Dona and all, I just have had a transmission lock up at higher speed on the highway and almost lost my family, I also learned that there is a recall for that transmission on all MDX's build in 2001 and 2002.
The dealer says that it is only recall for inspection but in fact if as a result of inspection they will see some indicators on the gears they must replace the whole transmission.
I have more if you are interested.
Ryan - Watertown

Cambridge, MA

#116 Nov 16, 2009
How did you convince them to split it? With the dealer or with Acura/Honda directly?
Alan wrote:
<quoted text>
I have an MDX with 70000 miles on it and the check engine light came on last week. My dealer said it needs a new torque converter and the cost is $4500 however Acura agreed to split half. I still have to pay $2250. Any suggestions?
Ryan - Watertown

Cambridge, MA

#117 Nov 16, 2009
Also, why am I finding conflicting warranty reports for my 2006? Does it or does it not have a longer powertrain warranty?(70k). Which is it and where can I confirm this?
Stan J - PA

Warrington, PA

#118 Dec 31, 2009
My 2002 MDX started having trouble shifting into 3rd gear. I made it to the dealership and am awaiting a call from service dept on damage. Had the torque converter repaired a little over a year ago. Only has 87k mi. I bought this car thinking that if I spend a little more on a higher quality product, I will get over 100k out of it. Should have known this would not be the case when Acura service recommended replacement of the timing belt ($1200) at 85k instead of the factory listed 110k. Starting to research a new vehicle but reading all the posts on Honda/Acura transmission issues, I don't think Acura or Honda are going to be on my list. Why spend over $40k when I can spend $30k on a GM car and get the same life span?
TWA in So Cal

Laguna Niguel, CA

#119 Jan 3, 2010
Same same same issue re: the MDX 2002 tranny. Had the jet kit put on 9/9/04 per recall. Now have 93k on the org. transmission and I'm having the 2nd to 3rd gear slippage when cold (slightly better when warm/no load). Took it to the dealer today. I'm org. owner and have only gone to Acura dlrs (have only used 2 dlrshps for repairs/maint. Had motor mounts replaced too).
The service dept is aware and of course it's well documented there have been issues with this make/model re: trans. problems from the start. Hoping for the best with Acura as the dlr said they will contact the west coast rep for Acura, start the process for approval repairs, and see what Acura will do. It's crazy that a car of this caliber is even having issues, especially since it's gone on for so long (the trans problem). There are lots of other brands out there (even though I'm a loyal Honda/Acura guy), however, Infiniti, BMW, etc. are my vote going forward.
Stan J - PA

Warrington, PA

#120 Jan 6, 2010
New transmission is $5000 list price. Being told I can get a 50% discount since I've been a good customer and did all scheduled maintenance at the dealer. Called Acura customer service to plead my case. Said that $2500 is the best offer. All that 2004 recall did was prolong the failure beyond the warranty period. Decided to forego the rest of the maintenance (timing belt & brakes) do the bare minimum to get it running ($2500) and trade in the MDX for Ford Flex. American car from a company that has turned itself around and deserves my business.
Lake Tahoe Mike

Oakland, CA

#121 Jan 6, 2010
My 2001 trans. died.. high speed failure - lots of fun. Reno Acura wanted $6k after we were almost killed!

They called Corp.. and the price went down to $2800 installed.
Stan J - PA

Warrington, PA

#122 Jan 8, 2010
I have to hand it to Acura Customer Service and my local Acura service dept.

They were responsive, polite, and accomodating. My case was escalated and reviewed, they engaged my local dealership and service manager. My argument was logical - I have done all recommended maintenance at the dealership, there is a known issue with the 2nd gear re heat build up and excessive wear, and a car of this quality and price should not have a major component fail at 87k mi.

In the end, Acura picked up 80% of the new transmission cost and the service dept kicked in another 10% so I only have to pick up 10% of the cost ($480). Now that is customer service and Acura has just retained a customer. Needless to say, I am not in the market for a new car, and when it comes time to trade in my Maxima, I am getting a TL.

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