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Old 09-23-2008, 07:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Radiator

MY 2003 MDX TOURING WITH 98,000 MILES EJECTED A LOT OF TRANS FLUID, AND HAD TO BE TOWED. MECHANIC SEZ THAT THE RADIATOR HAS ROTTED OUT ON THE BOTTOM, CAUSING THE ATF THAT FLOWS THROUGH A SECTION OF THE RADIATOR TO SHOOT OUT WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING.
DOES THIS SEEM PLAUSIBLE? ISN'T THIS A LITTLE EARLY TO HAVE A RADIATOR ROT OUT?
I'M THE ORIGINAL OWNER, AND HAVE NEVER DRIVEN IN THE OCEAN OR ANY OTHER BODY OF WATER, AND HAVE KEPT THE CAR WELL MAINTAINED - I THOUGHT.

ANYBODY ELSE HAVE THIS PROBLEM?
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It does sound early but what the mechanic is describing can happen. Your trans fluid is cooled in your radiator.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If the radiator does look rotted, well then theres no arguing that. There could be a ton of reasons why it failed.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would guess the radiator was effected by the winter salt, a real killer.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think you're the first MDX owner to post this issue. I agree that a rotted radiotor on a five year old vehcile is pretty unusual.
Can you tell by looking at it if it rotted from teh inside out, or outside in? From teh inside, you'd probably see paint bubling around the area, From the outside, you'd see generalize rust and corrosion in the whole area.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Radiator

Quote:
Originally posted by ANG BROWNE
MY 2003 MDX TOURING WITH 98,000 MILES EJECTED A LOT OF TRANS FLUID, AND HAD TO BE TOWED. MECHANIC SEZ THAT THE RADIATOR HAS ROTTED OUT ON THE BOTTOM, CAUSING THE ATF THAT FLOWS THROUGH A SECTION OF THE RADIATOR TO SHOOT OUT WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING.
DOES THIS SEEM PLAUSIBLE? ISN'T THIS A LITTLE EARLY TO HAVE A RADIATOR ROT OUT?
I'M THE ORIGINAL OWNER, AND HAVE NEVER DRIVEN IN THE OCEAN OR ANY OTHER BODY OF WATER, AND HAVE KEPT THE CAR WELL MAINTAINED - I THOUGHT.

ANYBODY ELSE HAVE THIS PROBLEM?
Has anyone replaced their radiator and no damage to the transmission. My radiator leaked while going 70+mph, but pulled over within 3miles. I'm going to replace the radiator,but afraid the transmission might be damage.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Radiator

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Originally posted by glyboual


Has anyone replaced their radiator and no damage to the transmission. My radiator leaked while going 70+mph, but pulled over within 3miles. I'm going to replace the radiator,but afraid the transmission might be damage.
You'll have to replace the radiator and see what the trans feels like after.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Re: Radiator

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Originally posted by midnightMDX

You'll have to replace the radiator and see what the trans feels like after.
Great news!!!
After replacing the radiator and flushed the transmission fluid I'm happy to report that there was no damage to the transmission. It shift normally as in the past. The problem turns out to be a 'popped' transmission cooling line going to the radiator.

I'm still not sure how the broken cooling line could have caused the radiator to over heat. The most logical thing could be that something happen inside the radiator to cause it to over heat and in return caused the transmission line to 'popped' out?
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad it worked out.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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transmission/rad

My 03 is in the shop today with what sounds like the very same problem. It has 111,000 km. I'm not even in my home province & had to get a loaner for the weekend. They're replacing the rad & flushing the tran & I'm crossing my fingers the tran is okay. Noticed yesterday it was taking longer to shift between gears & then had trouble accelerating like it was looking for a gear & couldn't find it. Suddenly today still shifting funny & then the temp guage hit the roof & I shut her down. No fluid of any kind on the ground at all. Hoping they find a rad soon.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi,
I have a 2005 MDX and it did the same thing, radiator transmission cooler busted inside and let the transmission oil to mix with the antifreeze ! My overflow was filled with brown liquid, and was overflowing everywhere on the right side of the motor, transmission started to miss shift, and then later, radiator busted for good, emptying itself on the street...

My MDX is out of warranty, and I just bought it back from my rental contract. Acura refuses to help me out, so to save on cost, I decided to change the radiator myself. I got a brand new, warrantied for life, radiator from an eBay seller. It's going well, except to flush the oil from the cooling system !
I have used twice a rad flush liquid.
Then I tried filling with only water, let it heat then empty the radiator many times...
Yesterday I had the idea to let open the radiator cap and let the water get out as it heats up, a lot of the oil was going out with it, and when the water was cooling down (Fans were starting), I filled up the radiator again, letting the motor run. I did this for over an hour...
But unfortunately, there is still transmission oil in the cooling system !!

Any suggestions to get it completely out of the system once and for all ?
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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rad/tran fluids mixing

Hi there, When I had my issue fixed at the dealer in Moncton, they had to replace the rad as they said that it's nearly impossible to get tran fluid out of a rad. However, with many flushes you can remove most of the coolant from the tran. They also said that a tran failure would likely happen in the future as a result of this incident. To postpone a tran failure they advised me to flush the tran with each regular oil change at about $100 per flush. Not wanting to do this or have the worry about a tran failure, I traded the MDX for a TL.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by GTA_Doum
Hi,
I have a 2005 MDX and it did the same thing, radiator transmission cooler busted inside and let the transmission oil to mix with the antifreeze ! My overflow was filled with brown liquid, and was overflowing everywhere on the right side of the motor, transmission started to miss shift, and then later, radiator busted for good, emptying itself on the street...

My MDX is out of warranty, and I just bought it back from my rental contract. Acura refuses to help me out, so to save on cost, I decided to change the radiator myself. I got a brand new, warrantied for life, radiator from an eBay seller. It's going well, except to flush the oil from the cooling system !
I have used twice a rad flush liquid.
Then I tried filling with only water, let it heat then empty the radiator many times...
Yesterday I had the idea to let open the radiator cap and let the water get out as it heats up, a lot of the oil was going out with it, and when the water was cooling down (Fans were starting), I filled up the radiator again, letting the motor run. I did this for over an hour...
But unfortunately, there is still transmission oil in the cooling system !!

Any suggestions to get it completely out of the system once and for all ?

Woooow... I didn't notice this topic until today.
This "coolant+tranny fluid mixture" due to busted cooler line is one of the notorious things that can happen in modern car. This kind of thing never happened on older vehicles (90's) but it looks like this thing seems happening more and more on newer vehicles (2000's)... man, I suspect if it is due to that costsaving culture in big corporate thesesdays....

Anyway, the number one cause of such internal cooler line rupture is suspected to be "prolonged" coolant service duration or incorrect coolant type in the system. Now, can you tell if the coolant color was blue or green or orange type? when you identified this problem? The original acura coolant color should be "blue". by the way.

Now, interesting enough, the acura coolant service interval is about 100k. Can we trust that? At least for me, I would try to replace coolant at least in 3~5 years interval regardless of milege. I do not know what kind of chemical thing is in acura coolant but, in regular practice, auto coolant should be replaced every 30k miles of 3 years. Otherwise, it would start turning to be acidic and starts eat-up from inside. So, from now on, if I were in your situation, I would replace coolant every so often 20~30k miles to be preventative.

Talking about how to remove oil from the system... it is near-impossible to completely remove. No matter what you would probably continue to see at least a little oily residue floating around in coolant resorvior or radiator neck. I would just cycle through with distilled water a few times. Then, topped off with honda coolant then be done with it. Then, replace coolant again at 20~30k miles interval from now on.

The most important part that I would worry is tranny. Did you flush your tranny? Also for tranny fluid, I would replace tranny fluid from now on every 10k miles or so. Anyway, it is good for already weak MDX's tranny anyway. These are my suggestions.... good luck....
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It has just happened to me a couple of hours ago. Transmission fluid has filled the expansion bottle and I lost drive. I was doing about 70mph when it started to rev up so I slowed down to 40mph and crept around the corner off the main highway with smoke comming out of the hood.
Hope the tranny is ok. Well good thing is I have some advise from here to work with.
What is the part number for a 2005 MDX is there ony one type of radiator.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Same thing just happened to my 2004. At a stop light, it seemed to lack power accelerating, and was running ~3,500 RPM, so I immediately pulled off the road, only to have it suddenly dump red and green. (Very festive.) Tranny fluid and rad emptied.
I guess I'm getting a flush and fill and a new rad.
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