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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an 04 MDX with ~175k miles. Just started noticing the transmission slips when I try to fully accelerate. Engine revs out and when I let off the gas it catches. If I go easy on the gas it works fine.

Any suggestions on how to approach this? I'm not going to swap the tranny (not worth the money IMO).
 

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Good advice. Checking the fluid level is job one. Also, it would be good input to hear what the fluid looks / smells like. It should have be a clear(ish), red(dish) fluid that smells like ... well, tranny fluid (a strange smell that's really not like anything else, IMHO). If it smells "burnt" or "acidic", it's not good news. If the clutch packs are actually bad, there's really no option but to rebuild the tranny or replace it (or sell the car, of course).
 

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I'll check the fluid this afternoon and see what's going on with it.

So let's assume it's low, I'll just add more fluid and monitor it from there.

If the fluid is good to go, then I'm considering adding the Lucas Oil Trans Fix. I've read good things about it online and people said it seems to assist with correcting slippage problems. At least it's a good bandage to get it working and sell it. Thoughts on this?
 

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I'll check the fluid this afternoon and see what's going on with it.

So let's assume it's low, I'll just add more fluid and monitor it from there.

If the fluid is good to go, then I'm considering adding the Lucas Oil Trans Fix. I've read good things about it online and people said it seems to assist with correcting slippage problems. At least it's a good bandage to get it working and sell it. Thoughts on this?

PLEASE TELL ME I MISUNDERSTOOD YOUR POST!!!!

If not.......

Please don't put some damned gunk in the trans just to sell it, and pass the problem on to the next owner.

With that kind of miles, you won't get that much more, than just being honest.
 

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PLEASE TELL ME I MISUNDERSTOOD YOUR POST!!!!

If not.......

Please don't put some damned gunk in the trans just to sell it, and pass the problem on to the next owner.

With that kind of miles, you won't get that much more, than just being honest.
No where in my message did I state that I wouldn't disclose the issues to the buyer, so please don't jump to conclusions.

I put the car on a level surface, ran the engine to normal operating temp, shut the engine off, pulled the trans dipstick, wiped it clean, reinserted, pulled it out, and here's what we have. No unusual smells, looks like red trans fluid to me, and is a little above the low mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You need to check it again. This time look at both sides of the dipstick and take the lower level as your true level.
Ok, will do. You really think if the fluid was low that it would be the cause of it slipping when trying to fully accelerate? It's only when I floor it, not when I accelerate smoothly.
 

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It is more the case of eliminating the obvious first. If the fluid is very low, you will feel that the transmission is slow to engage gear, and yes slippage can occur due to lower fluid pressure to the clutch packs.
 

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It can be pretty tough to get a solid reading on a tranny fluid dipstick. The "tunnel" it lives in gets coated with the fluid, so the dipstick squeegees it off onto itself when you pull it back out. If I'm not misinterpreting the photo, it looks like the lower hole is filled, but that the entire width of the dipstick isn't coated with fluid - and that should happen if the fluid really IS "just above the fill line". I'd try doing the test again, but this time, pull the dipstick and wait 5-10 minutes for the tranny fluid to slide down the dipstick tube. Then re-insert the dipstick and see where you're at.

Alternatively, you can just park the vehicle on level ground and pull the fill bolt out. The fluid should be JUST below the opening (I've never done this on an MDX, but on most cars you can stick your pinky through the hole to see if the fluid is right at the level of the opening or not). If it's not there, you can just add fluid until it starts dribbling out the fill hole (easy to do if you buy one of the little pumps that fit on top of a quart tranny fluid bottle).

And FWIW, I'd say the fluid on the dipstick does look reasonably good, but is a bit dirty. Not bad enough that I'd get my panties in a wad worrying about blown clutch packs, but bad enough that doing a drain and fill would be called for.
 

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Mike,

It looks like you are low on fluid and the color of the fluid is not great either. It really does look kind of brownish.

When you remove the drain plug, there is a magnet at the end of the plug and it should have a ton of muck on it. If there are big bits of metal in there, then it would be bad.

Moreover, if you see blobs of muck coming out of the drain hole, then it's definitely bad news.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I pulled the drain plug. Fluid is dirty with a brownish red tint. No thick blobs came out, just smooth flowing fluid and there weren't any metal shavings, just the muck on the drain plug that you mentioned. I'm going to add three quarts, drive it for a little bit, then drain again, refill 3 quarts, drive, drain, and refill again. I'll replace the drain/fill bolt washers with new ones on the final fill.

Ill report back with an update tomorrow.
 

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Sounds like you might just have it under control. I really hope that the tranny fluid "change" does the trick for you. When it cools off here (i.e., double digits) I'm going to try to do a full fluid change on my MDX (break the cooler line, pump out 2 quarts, put in two quarts, pump out two quarts, put in two quarts - repeat until the fluid looks like new).

I'd say the most important thing at this point is to make doubly sure that the fluid level is right... new fluid might help, but having the right level is necessary if you want the tranny to work right (and last a long time).
 

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Good way to check the color of the fluid is to use a white paper towel. Rub some off from the dipstick or compare when you do the 3x drain and fill. You'll see a HUGE difference between the old and new on the white paper towel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well...this is getting interesting...

I replaced the fluid using the 3x3 method I mentioned above. After the final fill I checked the level (good to go) and then took it for a test drive. I noticed some slippage when I punched it on the freeway on ramp, but not as bad as it was. I got on the freeway and went up to about 80-85. Then all of a sudden every damn light on the gauge cluster came on (see attached). It still drove (I had to go very easy on the throttle or else it would slip and the engine would rev). Got it back in the garage and grabbed the OBD2 reader. Pulled code P2646 (A Rocker Arm Actuator System Performance or Stuck Off Bank 1).

Thoughts on this?

IMG_2458.jpg

IMG_2460.jpg
 

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Check the fluid level again. After you drain the fluid, some would leak out from the Torque Converter (not supposed to do that, but well, old cars ...). To check the true level, you need to run the engine for a few minutes, cycling through all gears, shut the engine and check fluid level then.

As for the code, it has nothing to do with the transmission. It's your engine, and I suspect some VTEC problem. Check out this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PknGSpDsmiI

The VTEC filter is fairly easy to replace.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Check the fluid level again. After you drain the fluid, some would leak out from the Torque Converter (not supposed to do that, but well, old cars ...). To check the true level, you need to run the engine for a few minutes, cycling through all gears, shut the engine and check fluid level then.

As for the code, it has nothing to do with the transmission. It's your engine, and I suspect some VTEC problem. Check out this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PknGSpDsmiI

The VTEC filter is fairly easy to replace.

Good luck.
Ok, so do you think this is the problem I've been having the whole time and it wasn't the transmission? I mean, the transmission would shift fine, it's just when I get into high RPM's that it was revving out. Maybe it's been the VTEC filter all along and has nothing to do with the transmission?
 

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I looked for the housing with the screen (like mentioned in the video), but didn't see that on my engine. Where the heck is the VTEC filter(s) on the MDX?
 
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