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Discussion Starter #1
I took my MDX on it's first "real" off-road adventure this weekend and climbed up the Sierra Buttes just north of Lake Tahoe. Most of the climb was on a mild dirt-road, but the last two miles were very steep and technical with a lot of big rocks and switchbacks. The MDX did amazingly well, and the 4-wheel drive worked flawlessly. One tire would often begin to spin but then the others would kick-in and take over.

At about the 1.8 miles I noticed that the ATM TEMP light had come on and I quickly stopped and shut off the engine. (BTW, the outside temp was about 80 degrees). I let it sit for about 20 minutes and still the light stayed on when I started the engine. (The electric fan stayed on for the entire 20 minutes, and yet the engine temp was fine). Then I dug the manual out and read that you should leave the engine running when this happens, so I started the engine and after about another 25 minutes the light went off and I was back on my way.

The only other problem was on the way down there was a really steep section where the truck started sliding (straight forward)and thanks to the anti-lock brakes there was nothing I could do about it. (Can you tell that I'm usually not a big of antilock brakes ;-). I maintained firm constant pressure on the brakes and the car just kept sliding (and accelerating!) down the hill. Although my wife came very close to cardiac arrest, no damage was done. I don't fault the MDX or it's braking system - just antilock brakes in general. In situations like this I think that a trained human being can modulate the brakes better than a computer chip.

Thats all - mostly a very positive experience!

Ben
 

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My cut about leaving the engines on is to circulate the radiator since the tranny cooler is in the radiator.

You are doing right with the ABS brake. Keep constant pressure. However, if you want, you can pump the brake too. But doing so, you just defeat ABS by fooling it, I guess.

While going down a steep hill, did you put the transmission in 1 or 2? This is the key for engine braking while going steep downhill besides braking.
 

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Magnarider,

You said you were climbing for 1.8 miles. How much time did this cover? Based on the conditions/temp, etc, do you feel this was normal? i.e. were these extreme conditions? Or do you feel the resykts were below your expectations?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
TDNONE: I had it in first gear, but when you're descending terrain like this, engine braking isn't a factor for the MDX - you're going too slow. I was trying to maintain a speed of about 3-5 mph which engine braking doesn't even come close to maintaining. My buddy was in a bronco with a low-range gear box and the engine breaking worked well for him.

AtlantaMDX:

I'd say that it overheated after about 20-30 minutes of climbing. Was it normal? If that had happened in my 4runner I would have been pissed, but for the MDX (which is basically a car/minivan) I can't complain. I was impressed that it did as well as it did. Of course I wish that it didn't happen, but I bought the MDX because it wasn't a truck - I was sick of driving around in an unrefined, harsh, loud truck, so I think that given all that I get with the MDX, this is an acceptable compromise.
 

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[raising hand to chime in]
Sounds like fun (til the overheat, of course). DId you have the VTM4 button locked in the whole time, or were you using regular gear?

[/lowers hand]
 

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Actually, you can technically blame the MDX and not the antilock brakes. I believe the X5 and M-class have some kind of hill descent feature that helps out in a case like this. The MDX, only being designed for "light" off-roading, doesn't have this feature, as most of us don't go climbing for 1.8 miles. So I don't find this a fault with the MDX. My idea of offroading is parking on the gravel. ;)
 

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Hi,

Well, if you are ever in trouble because the MDX is sliding forward, then i wonder if you press the parking brake...this would, in theory, lock up the rear wheels...thereby giving you non-ABS stop (again, this is in theory).

Some manufacturers have put in a algorithm for ABS systems by detecting the type of terrain. I think some SUV's decrease the effects of ABS whenever you are in 4-HI or 4-LO (or whenever the center diff is lock), allowing you to modulate the brakes without intervention from the ABS computer.

Thanks.
 

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FYI

From the AAA Chicago site

Note that, under most circumstances, stopping distances with ABS and
non-ABS-equipped vehicles are about the same. Under certain extreme
situations, however, as in deep snow or on loose gravel, a non-ABS vehicle
may actually stop in a slightly shorter distance, according to the Robert
Bosch Corp. (Here, the locked-up brakes could build up a wedge of snow or
gravel that might actually help braking.).
For the descent, this sounds like the scenario, "Hill Descent" *may* not have made any difference.
 

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Just shut off the ABS if you are sure that you can do better.

Either do it via the fuse or leave the e-brake on one or two clicks and drive slowly for about 20 yards or so.
 

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First, can we turn off the ABS electronically (removing the fuse included) without affecting other part of the MDX functions? :confused: (I doubt it).

Second, I think the sliding is exarcebated (spelling or wording?) because of the lack of a lower transfer case (?) :confused:

My off-road is limited to go skiing and camping in well defined parks or resorts:) maybe I will venture a little more later :D
 

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Magnarider:

If your going to continue doing "off-road", you should add the trans-cooler kit in line with radiator trans-cooler (same cooler that is required for tow package). Most Acura dealers will probably sell it separate from tow package. The part number is 06255-PGH-305 and lists for $169. Tim at Hondacuraworld.com will probably sell it for 20-25% less. I've installed it on my MDX and have seen no overheating problems but probably have not taxed my car as much as you did. Good luck!
 

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sideburns said:
Magnarider:

If your going to continue doing "off-road", you should add the trans-cooler kit in line with radiator trans-cooler (same cooler that is required for tow package). Most Acura dealers will probably sell it separate from tow package. The part number is 06255-PGH-305 and lists for $169. Tim at Hondacuraworld.com will probably sell it for 20-25% less. I've installed it on my MDX and have seen no overheating problems but probably have not taxed my car as much as you did. Good luck!
I've always heard these refered to as 'inner coolers'. And seems like that's what they were called in Thermo clas.. FYI.
 

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tdnone said:
First, can we turn off the ABS electronically (removing the fuse included) without affecting other part of the MDX functions? :confused: (I doubt it).

Second, I think the sliding is exarcebated (spelling or wording?) because of the lack of a lower transfer case (?) :confused:

My off-road is limited to go skiing and camping in well defined parks or resorts:) maybe I will venture a little more later :D
Didn't I read somewhere that the VTM-4 uses the ABS sensors to see if there is wheel spin? Wouldn't removing the ABS fuse disable this?
 

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Re: FYI

donsev said:

For the descent, this sounds like the scenario, "Hill Descent" *may* not have made any difference.
FYI, the ML low range mode will lock up the wheels to provide precisely this extra braking in gravel situations. It's also why you should not use low range on the ML in snow since doing the same thing will cause skidding in snow :)

The 2001 also has a controlled slow mode where you use both gas and brake pedals to better control your speed. The old models dropped out of hill descent mode if you hit the brakes and kicked in ABS (not a good thing in gravel).

Just a nuance that most articles totally miss or get wrong ;-)
 

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s2ktaxi said:
Just shut off the ABS if you are sure that you can do better.

Either do it via the fuse or leave the e-brake on one or two clicks and drive slowly for about 20 yards or so.
Hi S2ktaxi.

What is the e-brake you mentioned? I found nowhere in the manual.

Thanks,
 

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e-brake = emergency brake? Tough to do with the MDXs foot operated emergency brake - much easier to control with hand operated ones.
 

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I am not sure if it works on the MDX (have not tried it yet!), but on my Acura Integra GSR you can cause the ABS to shut off. All you have to do is apply the parking brake till the light comes on and drive approx 30 seconds, at which point the ABS light comes on the dash and disables the ABS system. I would not recomend anyone trying this in a real world driving! The brakes still work fine but no ABS assist. The ABS is not returned to normal until the car is restarted.


Greg
 

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ABS

As an insurance claim adjuster of 23 years' experience, I would highly discourage anyone from removal of fuses or tampering with ABS in any fashion whatsoever.

Electronic systems are so unpredictably linked in our modern vehicles that you do not want to pretend your MDX is an old Willy's or CJ series, Power Wagon or Scout. Honor the technology you have paid for and let it work as designed!

LDY
 

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H2

That is why..I said on my other thread that am getting the H2 for this very reason. The MDX is an EXCELLENT vehicle...I love the thing to death..but for the high sierras and other extreme off road conditions...using the MDX is NOT a solution.

Be thankful that your MDX made out of Lake Tahoe. My last few trips up there for fly fishing and hiking using other vehicles were not so lucky, went through two Nissan Xterras, two Ford F150, two Jeeps and a Honda Civic (HAHAHAHA hey my friend said he could do it.)

Well That is why am looking at the H2 for this kind of adventure.
 
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