2018 Electrical Gremlins - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019 Thread Starter
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2018 Electrical Gremlins

Love the car but.....
So far,
Radio display dims randomly. Stop and restart,the engine will restore it.
Sirius display sticks on the album cover for multiple songs. Change stations seems to bring it current.
Passanger door will unlock, but alarm goes off if you try to get back out. Happened twice on passangers door with fob2. Hummmmm?
All this is random so its hard to determine exactly what is going on. I suspect one of the computers is wonky. I simply refuse to believe mine is the only car with these issues. I understand how hard it can be to troubleshoot random issues, and how expensive it can be to just throw parts at the problem, but geeze for a 50K suppose luxury can division this is getting scary. All I can say is Im glad we bought the extended warranty.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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No,of course you are not! Many do not want to admit it after spending $50000.00 plus on a vehicle and instead turn to the dealer for help! The extended warranty if you get it for a good price is well worth it. This is especially true with the electrical and deciphering computer issues to get to the bottom of problems that are multi layered and become more difficult to diagnose properly.

It is presently at the point that you must purchase the electrical diagram service manual for the vehicle to have a chance to diagnose the electrical problems and understand how 1 problem seems to effectively become 10 potential problems that must be traced,tested and removed until the correct fix is determined. If you have no skills in this area and are not mechanically inclined than you unfortunately are at the mercy of the dealership and must pay the piper and deal with the issues that follow.

As someone mentioned they were impressed that the dealership owner drove their car home to see if they could find the problem? What they did not know is he needed a ride home so he took a customers car! Doh. Let the mechanic drive it home maybe who might have a better chance of diagnosis!! As you say replace parts till they get it right or till it breaks down entirely and then replace the whole engine, trans or better yet sell you a new car!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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Before we jump off the deep end, what you describe sound like possible software issues not "electrical gremlins", which would imply electrical components shorting out or stop working completely intermittently. For the radio display dimming, does it have anything to do with ambient light sensor or the headlights turning on/off? Could you describe in better detail what's going on with passenger door/lock/unlock behavior and what you specifically were doing? To try and pinpoint and replicate the problems(s) try to keep a mental log of step by step exactly what you were doing that led up to the issue, and if you can notice any similarities between what you were doing each time the issue occurs. That will help the dealer to replicate the issue and hopefully pinpoint what's going wrong.



Every car has hiccups with technology, even $100,000+ ones. I understand it can be annoying if when tech doesn't work properly, but hopefully you realize by now there is no such thing as perfect tech. No matter if it's an iPhone/Android/Tablet/PC/Car Infotainment, they all experience hiccups now and then and don't work 100% perfectly 100% of the time. There are varying degrees and some are worse then others.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Oh I totally understand. Like I mentioned before 27 years in field service. Trouble shooting random issues can be a long tedious affair. In the end you may never know what caused it or what fixed it.
Car locked, mirrors folded. Wife takes ahold of passangers door handle, opens door gets in, closes door. Wife opens door alarm goes off. Remember door opened, but mirrors remained folded. Thats the clue.
Radio display dims when vehicle is started. As I back out of the garage it should return to normal bright, but nope. Dim almost to the point of black out.
Drivers memory, which I forgot to mention. Start car, hook seat belt, release ebrake, put in reverse. Dirvers memory does not move into place. Press driver 1 button on the door and everything moves into position. Drive off.
BTW, I agree this is possibly all software issues. But, in my mind this is still electrical gremlins. Either the software is misreading information, a sensor or two are failing, a computer is failing, a HD is not cycling as its suppose to. Something. Its still all electrical related.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn0128 View Post
Love the car but.....
So far,
Radio display dims randomly. Stop and restart,the engine will restore it.
Sirius display sticks on the album cover for multiple songs. Change stations seems to bring it current.
Passanger door will unlock, but alarm goes off if you try to get back out. Happened twice on passangers door with fob2. Hummmmm?
All this is random so its hard to determine exactly what is going on. I suspect one of the computers is wonky. I simply refuse to believe mine is the only car with these issues. I understand how hard it can be to troubleshoot random issues, and how expensive it can be to just throw parts at the problem, but geeze for a 50K suppose luxury can division this is getting scary. All I can say is Im glad we bought the extended warranty.
On the issue of the alarm triggering when you get out of the car, I would suggest the following: Go into settings and set to OFF the function that automatically locks the car when you walk away with the key fob. If this is only happening with fob 2, the two fobs probably have different settings. I find the function a nuisance anyway, for example when I get out of the car to gas it up, unless I remember to take the fob out of my pocket and leave it in the car. On the infotainment system, I don't know what to say. They're a bit of a mess in many ways, but it sounds like yours needs to be replaced under warranty.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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The screen being dim happened a lot on my 2008 MDX. It would be annoying coming out of the garage on a bright day and not able to see the backup cam.

But... itís happened on my 2019 MDX as well, granted only a couple times in 5 months of owning it, but this is most certainly a software bug that Acura has improved on over the years, but still has glitches.

All the other issues youíve described I havenít seen yet though.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019 Thread Starter
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HAHA, if I cant use the functions the car offers and I want to use I might as well have kept my 2007 Suzuki. I bought this vehicle over a Toy Highlander for a variety of reasons. Now Im starting to wish I had listened to the wife. I understand some people dont like every feature a car offers. Thats the reason the mfg allows some things to be turned off. But if I want it on, like its reason and choose to use it I should be able to expect it to work correctly.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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HAHA, if I cant use the functions the car offers and I want to use I might as well have kept my 2007 Suzuki. I bought this vehicle over a Toy Highlander for a variety of reasons. Now Im starting to wish I had listened to the wife. I understand some people dont like every feature a car offers. Thats the reason the mfg allows some things to be turned off. But if I want it on, like its reason and choose to use it I should be able to expect it to work correctly.
Well I'd think there is a very, very long list of things to recommend the new MDX over the 2007 Suzuki. If you want to use the "walk away" automatic locking, then you simply have to learn to use it. Electronically, the MDX is not the very best available, but it's a very good car. There is a lot of technology in the car, and most of it works fine, and the things that don't stand out.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019
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All I can say is Im glad we bought the extended warranty.
Why? It doesn't help you with any of the issues you have now since those would be covered by the normal warranty. Moreover, make sure you read the fine print on the extended warranty because they usually aren't 'bumper to bumper' and are very limited in what they cover. Extended warranties are a very poor purchase for the majority of people who buy them - i.e. they cost more than they cover for the vast majority of purchasers, which is why it's a big profit item and they're pushed by dealers so much.

Mine's a 2014, so not exactly the same as yours, but I haven't had any of the issues you've indicated. At least one issue though, that about Sirius, I don't recall since I only used the Sirius/XM during the initial period and not since then and don't know if I would have noticed or cared about the album art one way or the other since IMO it's a trivial and useless feature anyway.

There actually haven't been many posts with similar issues to yours and people don't seem shy about posting their issues on this forum.

If you have issues just bring it back to Acura to investigate them. You paid plenty for the vehicle, everything on it should work as-designed, and if it doesn't then Acura should fix it. Regardless of postings here maybe the tech will have seen the same problem before and know the resolution right away but of course they'll likely reply with 'never seen this before' if not 'that's how it's supposed to work - they all do it'. Good luck with it.
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Note, for the keyfob there are settings about when to lock vs unlock. Also, any chance both you and the wife both have your key fobs (1 and 2) on you at the same time? The vehicle could get confused if both are present. As to they key fob automatically resetting the seat/mirror/wheel position at unlock, there is a setting i believe that links this to the fob, make sure it's enabled and again that only 1 fob is present (not 2 or it can get confused). Agreed to try disabling auto lock when you walk away, I manually lock mine and i have it set to unlock every door when i grab the door handle. I'd have to test the seat change functionality as I'm the only driver so technically when I lock/unlock the settings shouldn't change and always stay in the same position
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Called my dealer yesterday after the screen failed again to order a new screen. Funny thing dealer told me they have another MDX in for the exact same issue. Guess Im not crazy. The screens do have a higher than expected failure rate. Suppose to take about a week to get, so I assume its coming from factory stock not local warehouse.
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Welcome to the club. Most of the cost you're paying is to get shawd
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$100 million dollar commercial airliners have software issues too. Mechanical things can have issues, the price you pay means nothing.

If there are genuine issues, no legitimate dealer is going to leave you in a lurch. Additionally, there are ways to escalate the issue, if needed. Modern cars have very complicated systems, be patient as the dealer works through the trouble tree. Getting all bent out of shape/expressing frustration at the service desk almost never improves the situation.

Have you tried rebooting? :-)

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Of course. That helped all of three days. Never got "bent out of shape". Spend over 25 years in field service. Troubleshooting random issues is the most fruatrating thing in machinery repair. Believe me I know all about trying to work thru the issues. But, since the auto industry build thousands of cars a year, and 2018 is at the end of this models life cycle Honda should have the bugs pretty much worked out. I also realize that they buy a lot of components like displays from third party suppliers. But again those suppliers make literally thousands of these displays a month. When something happens like this it should be pretty fast to diagnose. When a single small dealer has two of them failing in the exact same way that tells me a lot.
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2018 was when they introduced a slightly revamped infotainment with different touch screen, android auto/apple car play and new menu navigation structure. So if there were some problems with this it wouldn't be surprising to see it in 2018 as that's when they implemented these changes. However it definitely sounds like the outlier rather than the norm from what I've read as most people with 2018+ haven't had issues with their infotainment (outside of perhaps not liking the design)
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