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Old 12-16-2012, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2003 MDX resistance when in reverse

I'm experiencing a symptom that I'm having a hard time describing and I'm hoping to find some help here.

I have a 2003 MDX with approximately 160,000 miles and within the last year I had my transmission rebuilt, several times actually. After the first time my slipping symptom remained. The root cause ended up being the sprag gear which was not detected the on the first rebuild. So it was opened again to fix the failed gear.

See my post in 2003 MDX Transmission "Drops Out of Drive" at very low speed thread for more details on that.

Now recently I've had problems reversing out of a parking spot or my garage in the morning. I can go in reverse for a short amount of time and then it is as if a resistance builds up until it reaches a threshold and I can go no further. It feels as though I've backed up against a wall and the vehicle will not move another inch.

It feels similar to if I've stepped on the brakes, but the engine doesn't arch so to speak like it would if you stood on the brakes and reved the engine.

I am at a loss, seems like this has to be transmission related, but I'm unable to find anything similar to what I'm experiencing.

When backing out of a spot, I'll make it a few feet at a time before the resistance is too great to go any further. Placing the vehicle in neutral sort of does a reset for lack of a better word - allowing me to then move back into reverse and get a few more feet further. Performing this procedure 2-4 times usually gets me out of most parking spots.

If I put the vehicle and reverse while the foot is on the brake and don't press on the accelerator - but just let it sit for a few moments, when I go to accelerate - I will have already reached the 'threshold' so to speak and I won't be able to go in reverse at all.

If I do the same thing but accelerate immediately without pausing - I'll make it further.

I have taken it in once, and I don't think they recreated the symptom exactly - but going on my attempt to describe the symptom they replaced the fluid in the rear differential. This has not helped - I guess some stuttering symptoms are common on Hondas and this is a common fix.

From my own observation - I'd guess it is not the brakes, and it because I have no issues in forward gears, it seems that the torque converter must be ok? All I have left is to think there is a problem with reverse in the transmission.

Can anyone offer any ideas? I'd at least like to have some ideas before I take it back in.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you ever find out the problem with the car. We are having the exact same issue and are stumped.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know for sure yet - I am just now getting it back in the shop. I had been just living with the symptom and trying to always park places where I didn't have to back up much.

I was told they think it may be that the 'forward and reverse' drum are both engaging at the same time? My terminology may not be accurate - I think that is approximately what they told me.

I should know more specifics this week when I get the vehicle back, I'll report back with the actual findings.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Got my MDX back, the forward and reverse drums were both engaging when I drove in reverse causing it to bind and not move.

I think they ended up replacing the valve body. Hope this helps somebody.
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