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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2007 MDX Alternator or AC Compressor Problems?

I've looked all over the net and this site to see if anyone else has had his or similar issues. But I have not been able to find anything.

I have a 2007 MDX, base model, bought brand new.
Currently has approximately 75k miles.

After warming up for a couple minutes at idle, a very loud clicking / tapping noise comes from under the hood, and smoke comes up when I pop the hood.

Smoke doesn't appear to be coming the engine. No liquids appear to be leaking / spouting out causing smoke. All liquids are at normal levels when I check, nothing low or empty.

This happened twice after turning the engine on and off twice within a span of about 30 minutes. The 3rd time, the noise and smoke did not come back.

The next day, when I go to start the engine, it doesn't start and the dash lights blink rapidly and clicking rapidly, indicating the battery. So I had it jumped and let it run for a few minutes. As soon as I put the MDX in reverse and started to back up, the clicking/tapping noise from the engine bay came back. Smoke again came up when I popped the hood.

This morning when I went to start the engine it appears the battery is completely dead, no lights, no sounds.

No warning lights or messages ever came up during this whole time.
Haven't had any electrical problems up to this point.
Battery has not been changed.

After taking off the engine cover and looking in with a flashlight, we came to the conclusion that the noise and smoke was coming from either the alternator or air conditioning compressor.

Of course, the dealership wants me to bring to in it to the tune of about $200 for a diagnostic. They won't tell me anything else other than that.

Any advice would help. Thanks!
 

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Something got into the alternator?

Did you get the battery tested at a car shop? Some do this test for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, took it to the dealer to diagnose. I needed an answer ASAP and they were the only ones who could take a look right away. What I thought was the A/C compressor clutch gone bad or worse yet the compressor - it was actually only the AC relay that went bad. So the part only cost $5.00 instead of a few hundred or more.

The tech said he's seen it before - the clicking noise is the compressor trying to keep running, so that's why the battery kept draining. That explains why the battery light didn't come on and the battery/alternator both tested good.

The smoke came for a valve the releases extra pressure when it gets too hot.

Looks like everything's okay - no more noises, no more smoke. The car has been starting fine with plenty of juice.
 

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Thanks for sharing this! I bought a certified used 09 Elite MDX 3 weeks ago and it smoked & clicked 3 hrs after we drove it off the lot! It was a long wknd and hubby thought it was the ac & it stopped ticking after we turned it off, so drove 8 hrs home with it. I had to email this link to the Honda dealer and they made the repair. Now my drivers side blows warm air while the passenger & rear blow cold ac.... All zones set to Lo and any other way makes no difference. Could this be related or something else blown from the original problem? I've read that a refridge recharge has fixed the prob, but 1-1/2 hrs at the dealership last week looking for the problem turned up nothing.... Any suggestions welcome, thanks:)
 

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Thank you SO much for posting your problem here! I had exactly the same thing and unfortunately took it to the dealer a few times with no success. After paying way too much already for this I decided to google it and came across this. I just replaced my ac compressor relay and it seems to be fixed. After hearing the clicking and seeing the smoke I thought I had a serious issue but your post saved me from a lot of wasted time and money. Thanks again I owe you!
 

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Contrary to popular belief, Acura does not make their own Alternator. A third party actually manufactures and sells these factory Alternators directly to Acura. Acura then installs these Alternators in your MDX at the factory assembly line. We sell the same OEM factory Alternators that you would buy directly from the Acura dealer, but at a much more affordable price!
 
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