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2002 MDX Issue While Stopping in Gear

1927 Views 17 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  travistomp
I have a 2002 Acura MDX with 196,000 miles that has a strange issue. Sometimes when I am stopped (with my foot on the brake) while in gear it will try to lurch forward a little bit and has stalled on me twice when doing this, both times while waiting on a long red light. This only happens when it has been running for a while and it does not happen when running cold or in park/neutral. I think it could be a transmission/transfer case issue. Sometimes I notice a light grinding sound coming from around the transfer case when I put it in gear. The ATF looks full and clean every time I check. All of the gears work fine, there is no slippage whatsoever when shifting. There is no check engine light coming on either. Help me figure this out before I take it to a shop, I am stumped.
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It's a hard one, because it could be caused by the engine idle speed blipping higher or the transmission doing something odd. There could be a lot of possible causes for either, so it's really going to be hard to give you much specific guidance. The fact your tranny fluid looks good (and is changed regularly) is a positive though. It could be you had a bad tank of fuel that caused an odd idle... Basically, if it's not happening now, just do your best to forget it ever happened. ;-)
Be careful - there are "transmission flush machines" that are notorious for causing more problems than they solve. The worst ones move fluid around in an unusual manner, stirring up debris that's been happily and inertly lounging in the crevices of your tranny. This burst of metal-laden gunk distributed throughout your transmission's internals - particularly getting into the shift solenoids, which are electromagnets - can cause loads of new problems. If their "flush" consists of disconnecting one of the transmission cooler hoses and draining / refilling simultaneously until all that's left in the tranny is new fluid, then fine... But even just a humble drain-and-fill (easier and cheaper than an oil change) can pay big dividends, and is a dead easy DIY.
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I'll save you some time - it's not the plugs or coils or injectors. They don't fail simultaneously like that - the idle would just get a little lumpy as one cut out and in... the engine wouldn't just conk out.

Have you tried to read codes? Have to believe that anything that caused the engine to die would show up...
This is where starter fluid is your best friend. Shoot a couple seconds shot into the air box and crank the engine. If it fires right up and then dies, you know you have a fuel problem. If it doesn't fire, you've got another (spark?) problem.
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