2016 MDX Tech Package Engine Start Issue - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Day Ago Thread Starter
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2016 MDX Tech Package Engine Start Issue

I’m a newbie here so pls forgive if this topic has been covered.. has anyone experienced intermittent starting issues with their MDX? When the start button is pressed all the dash lights blink rapidly & a clicking sound is heard. Battery voltage & amps check out ok.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Day Ago
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How did you check the battery voltage? Simple voltmeter or a proper battery tester capable of sensing a weak battery? Also inspect battery cables and ground straps for good, clean contact and tightness

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Day Ago
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Those, light show/relays clicking/no start, are the identical symptoms I had when the battery finally failed in my 2014 MDX at just over 4 years old. You most likely have a failed battery. Even if you put a voltmeter on it and it reads around 12v that doesn't mean it can sustain a load, which is what needs to occur on startup.

Take the battery to be load tested or if it's over 3-4 years old just go ahead and replace it.

Of course, the problem could also be a poor cable connection due to corrosion, not being tight, etc. but I'll bet the issue's the battery.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Day Ago Thread Starter
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Thanks for quick responses....I had battery tested at local Battery Source store, they checked static voltage & under load..tech said it read OK, although I don’t know actual values
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Day Ago
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Welcome to my world. This issue is super annoying.

I swapped out the battery 3 times now and it still happens from time to time with it becoming more frequent.

I found that jumping it with the negative clamp directly connect to the negative terminal gets the car stated again.

I can sort of tell now when it’s about to happen, the starting is not as strong and there’s a slight hesitation and when that happens I can expect in the next few future starts it will not start.

I bought an external battery jumper and it has been helpful. Now that I can sort of predict when it’s going to happen I will see if I can preemptively surge jump.

My trusted mechanic basically told me if it’s not happening with him he will not be able to know what’s causing it. So this means I have to hope it doesn’t start when I am home and can have it reasonably towed to him and then when he goes to test it doesn’t just decide to start up.

Is this what you experience?


https://youtu.be/el2P3IstPmg
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 23 Hours Ago
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Quote:
I found that jumping it with the negative clamp directly connect to the negative terminal gets the car stated again.
Your statement implies that if you're not directly on the neg terminal it won't start again. Is that true? If so then the issue is with the cable circuit of the starting system rather than the battery.

I said 'cable circuit' since from what you wrote my assumption is that you placed the pos jumper cable directly to the battery pos post and the neg to the neg post. This means it could be the pos cable(s) to the starter, the neg cable from the battery to chassis ground, or a ground strap from the chassis to the engine. If any of these cable connection points are corroded, or if the terminals of the cables aren't all tightly secured to the connection location or even the cable itself (lug loose), in any one of the cables, you could see the symptoms you're seeing.

Quote:
My trusted mechanic basically told me if it’s not happening with him he will not be able to know what’s causing it.
This is only because not all mechanics bother to theorize a bit and want to limit themselves to a brute force approach.

I once flew across the country to work on an IBM mainframe experiencing weird intermittent issues. Others already tried to troubleshoot it and were perplexed. I shot it down to a power buss bar that, although everything was tight, had just enough corrosion in the connector block to create some resistance and every now and then, depending on the power load, which depended on what the mainframe was processing at the time, dropped the voltage enough to cause a failure in one of the circuits, which in turn caused the system to go down.

The moral of that story is that power problems can sometimes be elusive to determine but applying some theory can help resolve the issue - such as proactively disconnecting each power circuit cable, cleaning the mating surfaces, and checking that the lugs are tight and not themselves corroded. This can be a pain since it needs to be done at any connection point including on the starter, the engine grounding strap, and anyplace else that applies.

Localbar - I've seen pics you've posted of your MDX and there appears to be plenty of corrosion on it, given where you live, so I'd be extra suspect of what I stated in that environment. Worst case, you might want to buy new power cables all around and just replace them, but you need to get them all since it only takes one bad connection anywhere in the circuit, both pos and neg, to create the problem.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 22 Hours Ago
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Three year battery life is about average for Gen. 3 MDX.

At that age, my wife was reporting some odd symptoms. I did a load test on the battery and it showed "Fair". After I installed a new battery, the symptoms went away.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 1 Hour Ago Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Localbar View Post
Welcome to my world. This issue is super annoying.

I swapped out the battery 3 times now and it still happens from time to time with it becoming more frequent.

I found that jumping it with the negative clamp directly connect to the negative terminal gets the car stated again.

I can sort of tell now when it’s about to happen, the starting is not as strong and there’s a slight hesitation and when that happens I can expect in the next few future starts it will not start.

I bought an external battery jumper and it has been helpful. Now that I can sort of predict when it’s going to happen I will see if I can preemptively surge jump.

My trusted mechanic basically told me if it’s not happening with him he will not be able to know what’s causing it. So this means I have to hope it doesn’t start when I am home and can have it reasonably towed to him and then when he goes to test it doesn’t just decide to start up.

Is this what you experience?


https://youtu.be/el2P3IstPmg
That pretty well sums up the issue I’m experiencing. Fortunately (maybe) I have some warranty left...talked to dealer service & have an appt today. Oddly enough the issue hasn’t happened since I posted here (about 10 starts). One thing I did do was to change batteries in both key fobs. I read a post on another site stating it could be related to immobilizer signal...dubious..:but cheap.

Will update the post...:
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 13 Minutes Ago
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I don't see how an immobilizer signal would cause the lights blinking and relays clacking. That's almost certainly due to a low voltage. An immobilizer I'd expect to simply not permit starting but wouldn't kill the voltage level.
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