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Purchased a 2002 MDX Touring new. At 264,000 trouble free miles she is starting to provide some signs that it may be time for retirement.
Looking at a used 2016 MDX SH-AWD with Advance, 40k miles at a pretty good price. I test drove it and detected no concerns. My only hesitancy is the 9 speed transmission. As with many things some stated opinions are don't even get near it, others say it is fine once the TSB is complied with. Just don't want the time investment or hassle in dealing with the issues if there is a likelihood they will occur. If i move to the next step I would have my long time trusted Acura dealer perform a pre buy inspection.
Any and all input on 9 speed transmission or other concerns would be appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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It seems that now its just tied to the specific vehicle for the behavior pattern...
Better test drive the s**** out of it, specially in low throttle inputs around town (Daily Driving it speeds)... Look for hesitation between 4 and 5th, judder and clunk noises.
 

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I haven’t seen a single failure of a 9 speed, yet, that wasn’t due to the atf warmer issue (coolant allowed to mix with atf). So I’d say if you do the TSBs then they seem to hold up fine.

Of course, only time will tell for sure.

Whether you like they way it shifts is personal preference... and seems to be the only real point of contention.

That said, I have a 2017 and — although not a perfect vehicle — I like the MDX. I think it’s the best value in the luxury 7-seater SUV category. Mine doesn’t exhibit most of the issues people complain about. No hesitation. No judders. The exception is I do get a harsh 1-2 shift when the transmission is cold. After a few minutes of driving it’s smooth, though.

I’d say take a long test drive and if you like it, go for it. A CPO 2016 should come with a 100k mile warranty, too!
 

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Well I did almost the same as yourself, we had had a 2007 for almost 9 years, and finally decided time for something new and purchased a 2016 tech with 35K back in November. You can see my story here ( http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/151673-2016-zf9-failure-due-cross-contamination-atf-coolant-tracking-2.html#post1344834 ). I didn't notice the transmission issue until I went for a long highway drive, then it was 100% evident.

The only good thing from the experience is that I know that mine has now been fixed.
 

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As a person that is generally unsatisfied with the ZF, a few things to balance out my poor opinion of it (I have a 2017 SH AWD). You rarely if ever hear of it completely failing and standing people. Outside of the warmer issue, it is generally operating traits that are the complaint (rough shifts, clunks with the transmission cooler, less than stellar performance with hard roll-on acceleration). Still, it does offer great mileage for the size, weight and HP of the MDX. Additionally, the MDX does hit a sweet spot in terms of being better than traditional class SUVs, but less than true luxury SUVs in terms of price/value. As has been mentioned, be sure to take a long test drive and insist on starting with a cold vehicle.
 

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2015 with low miles. Buy the factory 100,000 mile 7 year warranty and you'll be good to go. A little bird in the know answered that same question for me a month ago. Until all the bugs are worked out of the 9-speed he/she said stay away. Once the bugs are worked out you can trade your 2015 for a 2017. From what I understand lots of folks still have issues with the 9-speed. But then who am I to say, I took the advice and avoided the 9-speed.
 

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Advice from someone who can't be named? "Just trust me" Yea, right. No thanks.
 

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...well recognizing forums generally draw more people with issues than those happy, there still seems to be more than a few people that take issue with the ZF for one reason or another. Trust this: google ZF 9 speed problems and see if there is enough there to build confidence enough in the system.
 

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More than a few have an issue with the 9 speed but those are by and large the early adopters of the transmission before the software was sorted. The only meaningful objective things this thread can offer is 1) don't add the transmission cooler (or buy a used unit that has one), and 2), the ZF9 has proven to be a reliable unit insofar as we can tell at this point. Everything else is subjective so I would highly recommend an extended test drive so you don't end up making a choice you'll regret like some folks here do.

A test drive isn't going to reveal everything about a car, but the performance of the HVAC, infotainment/NAV, 2nd and 3rd row access/comfort/ride, all things NVH, and of course the transmission characteristics are all easily evaluated. That IS the point of a test drive and its what I did with mine, hence I can report that I have nothing but minor behavioral critiques of the 9 speed related to roll on acceleration.
 

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More than a few have an issue with the 9 speed but those are by and large the early adopters of the transmission before the software was sorted. The only meaningful objective things this thread can offer is 1) don't add the transmission cooler (or buy a used unit that has one), and 2), the ZF9 has proven to be a reliable unit insofar as we can tell at this point. Everything else is subjective so I would highly recommend an extended test drive so you don't end up making a choice you'll regret like some folks here do....
Reading the TSB the issue was with the 9 speed transmission WARMER was defective and that allowed engine coolant and transmission fluid to mix. This doesn't appear to be related to the transmission cooler in the tow package unless I missed something?
 

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Reading the TSB the issue was with the 9 speed transmission WARMER was defective and that allowed engine coolant and transmission fluid to mix. This doesn't appear to be related to the transmission cooler in the tow package unless I missed something?
The warmer and cooler are two different parts, with two different concerns.

Warmer: There was a production run of defective warmers that allowed coolant/transmission fluid to mix. This affected many 2016 MDXs. Only 5 MDX were affected in the 2017 model year. Acura has a campaign to replace the warmer. http://techinfo.honda.com/Rjanisis/pubs/SB/AH/B17-026/enu/B17-026.PDF

Cooler: The cooler is an accessory that can be dealer-installed. It is not installed at the factory. With the cooler installed, it is possible to hear audible noise during some transmission shift operations. Some owners are not bothered by this. Other owners find the noise extremely annoying. Owner feelings, aside, I am not aware of any cases where the cooler has caused any damage or failures -- the concern seems to be limited to NVH.
 

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The warmer and cooler are two different parts, with two different concerns.

Warmer: There was a production run of defective warmers that allowed coolant/transmission fluid to mix. This affected many 2016 MDXs. Only 5 MDX were affected in the 2017 model year. Acura has a campaign to replace the warmer.

Cooler: The cooler is an accessory that can be dealer-installed. It is not installed at the factory. With the cooler installed, it is possible to hear audible noise during some transmission shift operations. Some owners are not bothered by this. Other owners find the noise extremely annoying. Owner feelings, aside, I am not aware of any cases where the cooler has caused any damage or failures -- the concern seems to be limited to NVH.
Thanks for that info, very helpful. So I'm assuming the 2018 was never impacted by defective warmers and there haven't been any reported incidents?
 

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Thanks for that info, very helpful. So I'm assuming the 2018 was never impacted by defective warmers and there haven't been any reported incidents?
The defective warmer design was corrected almost immediately in production of the 2017 model year -- only five 2017 MDX had the defective design. The overwhelming majority of 2017 and ALL 2018 MDX have the revised warmer.

I haven't seen any reports of warmer issues on the 2018 in any of the forums I frequent.
 
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