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Discussion Starter #1
Hi There,

Happy Holiday!
I recently purchased a 2017 SH-AWD tech mdx, the transmission shifts between 1-2 and 2-3 is almost always harsh, it is more noticeable when cold start. I did saw many posts 2 years ago, some forks had the same issue, I am wondering if there was any solution for such issue?
 

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Hi There,

Happy Holiday!
I recently purchased a 2017 SH-AWD tech mdx, the transmission shifts between 1-2 and 2-3 is almost always harsh, it is more noticeable when cold start. I did saw many posts 2 years ago, some forks had the same issue, I am wondering if there was any solution for such issue?
I am the owner of 2015 model, and we have the 6 spd, but I am also experiencing the harsh shift at low gear, but it only happens in stop and go traffic, if I accelerate it all the way to 50/60 mph, it's very smooth. Dealer flushed my transmission, also changed the torque converter, no help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1. Change the transmission fluid. Always the first step with any Honda/Acura transmission. Very easy drain & fill. Just like an engine oil change without the filter. 4 quarts of fluid should be under $40. Use only genuine DW-1 fluid.

2. Fluid should come out cherry red like this:


If it comes out darker, repeat one or two more times until it comes out clean.
Thanks for the suggestion, my car is only 27k miles, is it still necessary to change transmission fluid?
 

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Sorry - just realized you have a '17 model. Somehow (maybe my age) I was thinking it was a '15 with the 6 speed transmission. Skip the fluid change for now. Do a search on this site for problems with the 9 speed transmission.
 

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Sorry - just realized you have a '17 model. Somehow (maybe my age) I was thinking it was a '15 with the 6 speed transmission. Skip the fluid change for now. Do a search on this site for problems with the 9 speed transmission.
no worries, I did research on this site, some say to update the software, some say reset ecu for transmission. Those posts are more from two years ago, I don't know if those forks who had the same issue, got their problem resolved.
 

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I have a '16 with that transmission. Those first two shifts should be super smooth. Do you know the service history of the car? How many miles? If the mileage is right and you do not have any service history on the transmission, it might be worth it to suck it up and head to the dealer for an ATF change and to ensure the tranny software is up to date. Be prepared, the fluid change will be about $400.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a '16 with that transmission. Those first two shifts should be super smooth. Do you know the service history of the car? How many miles? If the mileage is right and you do not have any service history on the transmission, it might be worth it to suck it up and head to the dealer for an ATF change and to ensure the tranny software is up to date. Be prepared, the fluid change will be about $400.
Thanks for your response. It’s around 28k, and haven’t done any transmission service.
 

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You are just about due. The ZF9 doesn't suck. Car should still be under warranty...so have a dealer check it out?
It’s under warranty, I will contact the dealer and see what they can do. Btw ZF9 needs to change oil like every 30k miles or something?
 

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Yes, ATF approximately every 30K miles. Your maintenance minder should let you know, but it is always possible a previous owner reset it.
 

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Yes, ATF approximately every 30K miles. Your maintenance minder should let you know, but it is always possible a previous owner reset it.
 

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So a few points. I had a '17 MDX and now a '19 MDX. They updated the SW and some HW between '17 and '18 to change the shifting behavior. I know my '19 is smoother than my '17 was. But that being said, there are some SW updates that could be applied to your '17 to help - check with the dealer and see what they can apply.

In terms of the tranny fluid, the change interval on the ZF9 is longer than the normal Honda 6-speed (30k miles) - something like 50-60k miles. However, my experience is that with a used car you're never sure how the previous owner drove it, so changing the fluid can remove one variable from the equation to perhaps help the shifting, even after only 28k miles (they could have been "hard" miles - lots of stop-n-go, high heat situations, etc). So if you have the fluid changed and the SW updates applied, it's as good as you'll get. The 1-2 shift is more abrupt when cold in the '17, but it gets better as it warms up.

andy
 

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So a few points. I had a '17 MDX and now a '19 MDX. They updated the SW and some HW between '17 and '18 to change the shifting behavior. I know my '19 is smoother than my '17 was. But that being said, there are some SW updates that could be applied to your '17 to help - check with the dealer and see what they can apply.

In terms of the tranny fluid, the change interval on the ZF9 is longer than the normal Honda 6-speed (30k miles) - something like 50-60k miles. However, my experience is that with a used car you're never sure how the previous owner drove it, so changing the fluid can remove one variable from the equation to perhaps help the shifting, even after only 28k miles (they could have been "hard" miles - lots of stop-n-go, high heat situations, etc). So if you have the fluid changed and the SW updates applied, it's as good as you'll get. The 1-2 shift is more abrupt when cold in the '17, but it gets better as it warms up.

andy
Thanks Andy, I just dropped my car at this dealer today, the technician said the rough shift is normal to 2017 MDX, but they will still send a snapshot to Acura for diagnosis. When slowly accelerate from 1-2, it is really jerky at around 2000 rpm. Both me and the technician’s head were moved forward while it was shifting. I don’t know how they think it is “normal”. I also caught the technician tried to let go the gas a little bit to indicate transmission to shift a bit earlier to get a smoother shift and try to tell me the transmission wasn’t that bad. I told him not doing it, just tap on gas and let the transmission do the shift, then the jerkiness came back. I have asked them to update any software that could improve the jerkiness, they said there were no software updates and I mentioned there were TSB mentioned similar problem, then they said the symptoms are different than my car. They may just reset ECU and give a shot, let’s see what they find out during snapshot later today.
 

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Thanks Andy, I just dropped my car at this dealer today, the technician said the rough shift is normal to 2017 MDX, but they will still send a snapshot to Acura for diagnosis. When slowly accelerate from 1-2, it is really jerky at around 2000 rpm. Both me and the technician’s head were moved forward while it was shifting. I don’t know how they think it is “normal”. I also caught the technician tried to let go the gas a little bit to indicate transmission to shift a bit earlier to get a smoother shift and try to tell me the transmission wasn’t that bad. I told him not doing it, just tap on gas and let the transmission do the shift, then the jerkiness came back. I have asked them to update any software that could improve the jerkiness, they said there were no software updates and I mentioned there were TSB mentioned similar problem, then they said the symptoms are different than my car. They may just reset ECU and give a shot, let’s see what they find out during snapshot later today.
Are you happen to find it became smoother if you give it more gas and let it accelerates all the way to higher gears?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update: after dealer updated the software and reset EUI, so far I can tell the transmission is smoother, hopefully it’s going to last. Knock on the wood.
 
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