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Old 11-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2012 LOVES to upshift

So we've had our 2012 for two months/5,000 miles and overall pleased. One issue that has been bothering me.....and I thought perhaps it would get better but really seems to be getting worse: the programming of the transmission. The goal is clearly to always be in the highest gear possible. While that's ok for gas mileage (we're averaging higher than I expected) it makes this thing feel like an underpowered lump particularly around town. We have several steep hills around here and at times it almost feels like it would rather stall than downshift to go up the hills.
One is a steep uphill into the school parking lot where we turn in...so it's probably in 2nd/3rd gear while making the turn and it stays in that gear all the way up the hill unless you really gun it. Obviously we can hit the shifter padals but really...that just shouldn't be necessary when driving around town like a normal person.

Has anyone else encountered something like this and found a resolution? We're not due for service yet but I plan to complain when we do go in. I know sometimes you can reset the transmission programming but wasn't sure if that did anything for this or not.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Skinny,

Two things you should/can do:
Make sure your X has had the transmission software update and fluid change, TSB on this, the only way to be certain if the X needs it, is to have your dealer run your VIN #

You might want to use the "S" sport mode around town, make a big difference on shift points.

Do these two things and I think you will be a happy camper
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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FWIW, there are times we use the S mode and it is far better...but then it also doesn't seem to operate properly either. I have had instances where it refuses to upshift after a certain point. So we've driven around town in S mode and then pulled onto the 4-lane highway and we're rolling along at 55mph at 4krpm....and only way to upshift is to shift back to D. Now...I'm not going to badmouth my wife too much...but she's not going to bother with having to shift all the time and remember. She's a point and shoot type of person...not intersted in "driving". So far the comment is this thing feels more underpowered than our last minivan...and honestly it feels very sluggish unless you're really pushing it. I can find ways around it and tend to hammer the go-pedal far more anyway. So I'm just trying to diplomatically get around this and hopefully make her happier with the vehicle overall.

I'll be complaining when we go in for the first service so hopefully they'll check the TSB/fluid/etc. I would think something built in July would have all the latest updates, but you never know.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Get a loaner from the dealer when you take your X for service and check if the issues are the same.

The 2012 X, as you know, has the "D" transmission mode and the "S" transmission mode. The "S" transmission mode has two sub-modes. When you first shift to "S" the transmission will still be automatic. That is, it will automatically shift up or down. But if you press the paddle shifters, then the "S" transmission mode will fall into manual mode, and it will not shift up until you press the paddles. To change it back to automatic "S", you need to put it back to "D" and then back to "S".

I normally don't use my paddle shifters at all. I just use "D" on the highway and or normal city driving and "S" on up/down hills and on rush hour since the engine braking comes very handy and with no gas impact. The "S" transmission mode always keeps my X engine in the right rpms for quick response.

Don't use the paddle shifters but just use "D" or "S".. If this is what you were doing and you have trouble, I would take the vehicle to the dealer for a check.

AC

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinny2 View Post
FWIW, there are times we use the S mode and it is far better...but then it also doesn't seem to operate properly either. I have had instances where it refuses to upshift after a certain point. So we've driven around town in S mode and then pulled onto the 4-lane highway and we're rolling along at 55mph at 4krpm....and only way to upshift is to shift back to D. Now...I'm not going to badmouth my wife too much...but she's not going to bother with having to shift all the time and remember. She's a point and shoot type of person...not intersted in "driving". So far the comment is this thing feels more underpowered than our last minivan...and honestly it feels very sluggish unless you're really pushing it. I can find ways around it and tend to hammer the go-pedal far more anyway. So I'm just trying to diplomatically get around this and hopefully make her happier with the vehicle overall.

I'll be complaining when we go in for the first service so hopefully they'll check the TSB/fluid/etc. I would think something built in July would have all the latest updates, but you never know.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That may be the issue...we could have shifted with the paddles. The way I read the book was if there was no changes to throttle after a certain period, it would go back to auto mode. Maybe that's only when in "D". I'll play around with it more...but I really wish D mode would at least downshift on a bloody hill instead of lugging the engine. I don't think that's really any better on fuel than downshifting.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That may be the issue...we could have shifted with the paddles. The way I read the book was if there was no changes to throttle after a certain period, it would go back to auto mode. Maybe that's only when in "D". I'll play around with it more...but I really wish D mode would at least downshift on a bloody hill instead of lugging the engine. I don't think that's really any better on fuel than downshifting.
That's strange since MDXs have grade logic in which it should know when to keep a gear in lower gear on grades.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe that's only when in "D". .
Yes, after you touch the paddle shifters, only in "D" it will return to automatic after any acceleration. It you don't accelerate, it will keep it in the lower gear, which is good for down slopes.

Just think of your MDX as having two modes: "D" and "S" and don't touch the paddle shifters. It just works nicely and soon you will realize that you don't need to do any paddle shifting at all.

AC
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would call the service manager, have them run your VIN, and if your X is one that needs the software update, get it done ASAP. There is no need to complain to dealer about it, your X either needs the update, or it doesn't.

It sounds like you are discounting the benefit of this, it made a world of difference on mine.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Tsturbo. I'm not discounting your recommendation...it's just not convenient to run to the dealer since they're over an hour a way. I'll wait for my first service and work around the issue for now by trying S mode more often around town. Do you know when the TSB was originally issued? That was the only thing I was discounting because typically once a TSB is issued they apply it to the new models as they're being built. Of course if this TSB would blow up the EPA mpg test they may not offer it on the new builds in order to maintain their current Monroney sticker.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can type your vin on Acura's web site where they have a search feature for open recalls. I bet yours won't have any recalls.
I have the same complaint for mine. I swear this tranny will shift into 4th gear by 25 MPH. The software for this 6 speed sucks.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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FWIW, there are times we use the S mode and it is far better...but then it also doesn't seem to operate properly either. I have had instances where it refuses to upshift after a certain point. So we've driven around town in S mode and then pulled onto the 4-lane highway and we're rolling along at 55mph at 4krpm....and only way to upshift is to shift back to D.
I believe it's by design that when operating in S mode, without operating the shift paddles, the car will adjust its shift points, and will additionally not shift past 3rd gear. That is likely why you're seeing high RPMs when traveling at highway speeds; you'll need to either re-enter D mode or use your paddles to shift into 4 and beyond.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks Tsturbo. I'm not discounting your recommendation...it's just not convenient to run to the dealer since they're over an hour a way. I'll wait for my first service and work around the issue for now by trying S mode more often around town. Do you know when the TSB was originally issued? That was the only thing I was discounting because typically once a TSB is issued they apply it to the new models as they're being built. Of course if this TSB would blow up the EPA mpg test they may not offer it on the new builds in order to maintain their current Monroney sticker.
Here is the link to the TSB
http://www.mdxers.org/forums/attachm...er-b12-007.pdf
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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.......Do you know when the TSB was originally issued? That was the only thing I was discounting because typically once a TSB is issued they apply it to the new models as they're being built. Of course if this TSB would blow up the EPA mpg test they may not offer it on the new builds in order to maintain their current Monroney sticker.
I bought my 2012 Tech in May and about six weeks later or so they called for the software update/tranny fluid change. It depends on when your X was built. Mine was built about 3 months before I bought it, so they hadn't performed this during the build (wasn't out yet).
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just knocked out a quick 450 mile jaunt and played around a bit while in traffic and around town. Indeed if you start out in S mode it will not shift past 3rd gear without getting the paddles involved. S is much better in traffic or around town but you just have to remember to go back to D once the speeds build. I think what will work best for us is to just leave it in D and if it's lugging up the hill just downshift with the paddle and forget it. It will go back to auto mode soon enough on its own. I have no doubt the wife will forget and leave it in S mode and get on the highway...with the stereo cranked an no idea it's in 3rd gear.

The upside to this shifting is good mileage...we averaged 21.4mpg (according to MID) today..still showing 20 miles until empty. I think the real math will work out better than the MID because even if it takes 20 gallons to fill right now that's 22.5mpg. I don't think I've ever squeezed in more than 19 gallons.

Our build date was May 2012 so it's possible the update applies. I'll check in with the dealer for sure.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Strange, I was testing my 2011 X 6-speed transmission this morning and my "S" mode goes up to 4th automatically. It does 60 mph at 3000 rpm in "S" mode in 4th gear.

And if I am in "D" in 5th at higher rpms and I shift to "S" mode, my 2011 X will maintain 5th with no problem.

My 2011 transmission works very smooth and nice. Did they change the transmission settings on the 2012?

AC
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