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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 2019 MDX with Advance Package. I find putting the car into Sport Dynamic mode makes tge car much more responsive as indicated on reviews and in the manual. However, i find that with 45 ratio tires on the Advance model, the ride is really harsh. I know the mode affects the shock / strut damping, but it is hard. When i had a non advance loaner, it was better. The loaner had same 20 inch wheels but with 50 ratio tires. With 7500 miles on my car, i am going to inquire through the dealer , if they would allow me to switch to 50 ratio tires for some sort of swap charge. If that is not doable, i will keep what i have and change tires at the time the OEMs wear out. Anybody agree with my assessment. Drive Safe.
 

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Swapping tires is the easiest and cheapest way to solve ride harshness. I am doing the same to mine when I get new tires I am going from a 245/50/20 to a 255/55/20. Also of note usually if you drop down a speed rating for example from a Z rating to an H rating the sidewalls will not be as stiff and you can get a better ride. Tire manufacturers also have different rides for example Mich is usually softer than Pirelli or Continental. I've up sized the tires on almost all my vehicles as I don't put a premium on economy but on ride quality. So for this switch I would recommend going with a 265/50/20 (it will throw off speedo a little) or you could even go to a 265/55/20 (but it will throw off speedometer even more, but I always mentally compensate or use my GPS). just my opinion of course and a couple of decades of experience upsizing tires and rims...

Obtained from Discount Tire Calculator:
Original Size 265/45/20
New size 265/50/20 If your speedometer reads 65 mph, you are going about 67.3 mph
New size 265/55/20 If your speedometer reads 65 mph, you are going about 69.6 mph
 

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A couple of comments, having moved from a '17 Tech to a '19 Advance model:

1. The only current MDX model that does any shock/strut dampening adjustment is the Sport Hybrid model. The normal SH-AWD does not do any manipulation of the shock dampening - there is no electrical connection there. The Dynamic Mode adjustments play with shift points, steering feel, and in the case of sport mode, changes the SH-AWD bias settings and plays with the dynamic noise control... So, in terms of roughness of the ride, dynamic mode doesn't really come into play.
2. I run 17" snow tires in the winter. This past weekend I swapped the 20" stock Advance setup for my 17" winter setup (which I've run on my other MDX previously). I had anticipated a change in the ride quality in terms of a softer feel over the bumps. I was wrong. It felt identical in terms of the transmission of the road feel and bumps/manhole covers/potholes/etc to the wheel and passenger area.
3. When I compare the ride in my '17 Tech vs the '19 Advance, I too noticed a "roughness" to the ride in the '19, and attributed it to the tire/wheel difference. Swapping the wheels/tires proved that it may not be the wheels/tires. The snow tires on the '17 had a similar feel to the OEM 20" setup with the slightly narrower continental tires. So to have the '19 not change ride with these same snows tells me it's something else in the '19 setup that's causing the change. I don't know what it is. Just my observation.

Overall, putting narrower tires on the 8.5" Advance wheels may provide ride quality benefits - but it will definitely be a "see how it does after you make the change" things. If you do, let us know. :)

andy
 

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It would seem a waste to add the active damper system to the 3.5L MDX Advance and it didn't adjust in the IDS modes? The Acura website and 19 MDX owner's manual doesn't make a lot of updates for the IDS drive modes with the addition of active dampers to 3.5L MDX Adv. Could it be Acura didn't update the manuals/website? I can feel the difference in suspension from comfort/normal compared to sport/sport+ on my hybrid (I leave it in sport mode because I like the tighter suspension feeling).
 

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A couple of comments, having moved from a '17 Tech to a '19 Advance model:

1. The only current MDX model that does any shock/strut dampening adjustment is the Sport Hybrid model. The normal SH-AWD does not do any manipulation of the shock dampening - there is no electrical connection there. The Dynamic Mode adjustments play with shift points, steering feel, and in the case of sport mode, changes the SH-AWD bias settings and plays with the dynamic noise control... So, in terms of roughness of the ride, dynamic mode doesn't really come into play.
2. I run 17" snow tires in the winter. This past weekend I swapped the 20" stock Advance setup for my 17" winter setup (which I've run on my other MDX previously). I had anticipated a change in the ride quality in terms of a softer feel over the bumps. I was wrong. It felt identical in terms of the transmission of the road feel and bumps/manhole covers/potholes/etc to the wheel and passenger area.
3. When I compare the ride in my '17 Tech vs the '19 Advance, I too noticed a "roughness" to the ride in the '19, and attributed it to the tire/wheel difference. Swapping the wheels/tires proved that it may not be the wheels/tires. The snow tires on the '17 had a similar feel to the OEM 20" setup with the slightly narrower continental tires. So to have the '19 not change ride with these same snows tells me it's something else in the '19 setup that's causing the change. I don't know what it is. Just my observation.

Overall, putting narrower tires on the 8.5" Advance wheels may provide ride quality benefits - but it will definitely be a "see how it does after you make the change" things. If you do, let us know. :)

andy
Hi Andy, I was under the impression that Acura added the Active Dampening system to the 2019 Advance Non-Hybrid as well. Is that not correct? Per the Acura's 2019 MDX Master Fact sheet and the 2019 MDX brochure, they mentioned Active Dampening system is standard on Advance model:



Bob
 

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Well, I'm going to have to fall on my sword and state that you're correct. When I first got my '19 I was curious as to whether it did have active dampers or not, since earlier 3rd gen Advanced didn't. At the time I got mine the online parts systems were spotty and inconsistent about Acura 2019 models generally - and when I was able to look at the parts, it showed the shocks for only the hybrid advanced has having the active dampers. Today I went back and checked, and low and behold, the parts for a '19 Advance now show the active dampers. I then went outside to check mine, and after prying up a few plastic cover pieces in the engine compartment, I can see the wires running from each front strut, which indicates active dampers. I was definitely wrong.

So what does that mean? Not sure. The 2019 owners manual doesn't reference the dynamic modes and the relationship to active dampers - only about shift points and other things I listed above. So while the '19 Advance seems to have active dampers, the dynamic mode doesn't get changed by them. What's interesting is that in the hybrid, they have an extra dynamic mode - Sport+ - which seems to have the impact on the active dampers......

andy
 

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My hybrid active dampers adjust to the stiffer settings in Sport and Sport+ modes. I don't really feel the difference when the road is smooth in city or hwy driving. Noticed Comfort/Normal can feel more "bouncy" compared to Sport once the roads cause more suspension travel like over railroad tracks, uneven/wavy/undulating paved roads, or speed bumps. Haven't tried Comfort/Normal modes with spirited driving on curves like with mountain switchbacks (Sport mode 99.999999% of the time).

My guess is Sport mode is the stiffer setting for the active dampers for the +19 3.5L Adv MDX along with the more responsive steering feel and 9AT shifting.
 

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I found this today: https://www.acura.com/mdx/modals/active-damper-system it talks about the hybrid mdx active dampers. Sorry youll have to cut and past it to open the site. I bought a 2017 a few weeks ago. I can't find info on them at all so I am assuming that only the older models or the new hybrid have the active dampers, is that a correct assumption?

Thanks
 

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The +17 hybrid MDX tech or Adv come with active dampers and Acura added active dampers to the +19 MDX Advance models. Only the MDX hybrid models get the Sport+ IDS setting, no sh-awd display in M.I.D., EV battery meter in dash, added power distribution display on navi screen, painted bumpers, no spare tire, and no auto stop/start button at all.
 

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The +17 hybrid MDX tech or Adv come with active dampers and Acura added active dampers to the +19 MDX Advance models. Only the MDX hybrid models get the Sport+ IDS setting, no sh-awd display in M.I.D., EV battery meter in dash, added power distribution display on navi screen, painted bumpers, no spare tire, and no auto stop/start button at all.
Thanks for info, I don't really need the active dampers and was going a different direction with my MDX anyway (raising it a little to get bigger tires). So I can easily just add spacers to existing non-adjusting front and rear shocks/struts to eventually raise the vehicle. I don't want to mess with the suspension if it has electronic components. I popped off the strut cover access ports today and looked and there were no wires, the top of strut looked like a normal Honda set up. Nothing crazy we just need the vehicle to be able to handle off pavement roads and trails with heavier duty tires.

Thanks
 

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My 2017 MDX Hybrid has active dampers, usually run them comfort or normal, anything more is pretty harsh unless you are on a really twisty mountain road then Sport seems helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It would seem a waste to add the active damper system to the 3.5L MDX Advance and it didn't adjust in the IDS modes? The Acura website and 19 MDX owner's manual doesn't make a lot of updates for the IDS drive modes with the addition of active dampers to 3.5L MDX Adv. Could it be Acura didn't update the manuals/website? I can feel the difference in suspension from comfort/normal compared to sport/sport+ on my hybrid (I leave it in sport mode because I like the tighter suspension feeling).
Yeah I feel difference in dynamic mode changes immediately. It changes throttle response, steering gets a little stiffer, and the Suspension Damping is very noticeable. I am still having wheel balancing issues, the car was delivered with a bent rim. First the dealer repaired the rim which I thought was very tacky. The bad initial shimmy was better after they repaired tge rim and rebalanced the wheels. Then I brought the car in to the dealer for oil change and tire rotation , now the car has a slight shimmy again at highway speeds. Going back on Wednesday to have them re balance the wheels again. I want to check that the dealer is using Road Force machines to balance wheels. Thats the best in the business.
 

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I did the upgraded black Berlina 20" rims at the dealership and I had an issue with feeling vibration at hwy speeds like a tire being out of balanced. Paid the extra money and had it road force balanced at Discount Tire and one wheel was out of specs road force machine. Decided to bite the bullet again and took it down to Firestone to double-check the alignment. Half of the adjustment specs were in the yellow or red for my MDX with under 2000 miles.

Those adjustment made a big difference and the MDX rides sooooo much smoother at any speeds (sometimes up to 90 mph for passing speeds on 2 lane highways).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It would seem a waste to add the active damper system to the 3.5L MDX Advance and it didn't adjust in the IDS modes? The Acura website and 19 MDX owner's manual doesn't make a lot of updates for the IDS drive modes with the addition of active dampers to 3.5L MDX Adv. Could it be Acura didn't update the manuals/website? I can feel the difference in suspension from comfort/normal compared to sport/sport+ on my hybrid (I leave it in sport mode because I like the tighter suspension feeling).
I do completely agree. I switch the dynamic modes while driving just to "feel" the difference and it is definitely felt. The Brochure for the MDX advance model does specify auto damping of the suspension. What it doesn't emphasize that it affected by the Dynamic Mode system. I thought ot meant that it was truly fully automatic and the Dynamic Mode would and does affect throttle , steering and handling responses. Throttle difference is felt immediately with more steering response which is achieved by dumbing down the electric steering.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I do completely agree. I switch the dynamic modes while driving just to "feel" the difference and it is definitely felt. The Brochure for the MDX advance model does specify auto damping of the suspension. What it doesn't emphasize that it affected by the Dynamic Mode system. I thought ot meant that it was truly fully automatic and the Dynamic Mode would and does affect throttle , steering and handling responses. Throttle difference is felt immediately with more steering response which is achieved by dumbing down the electric steering.
PS. As mentioned in the start of the thread, when I had a non advance model as a loaner, it had 20 inch wheels but 50 ratio tires. The dynamic mode switch was there and it did affect the ride in the same manner, BUT a little less harsh in Sport mode because of the less stiff sidewalls on the tires.
 

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Active dampers are on the 19-20 MDX Adv and +17 Sport Hybrid tech or Adv.
 

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As far as I can tell only the +19 RDX Adv, +19 MDX Adv, and +17 MDX hybrids have the electronic active damper system. I would think active dampers would be used in the Adv versions of the sedans? I think the base/tech get a 2 piston Amplitude Reactive Dampers that can provide comfort and react to sporty driving as needed.

I think the differences are the electronic dampers will are more proactive stay in either comfort or sport. I've noticed the hybrid MDX can get a little bouncy over bumps or undulating roadways in Comfort/Normals modes (the extra +400lbs probably doesn't help either). I just leave it in Sport mode for less bounce because of the usual poor road conditions in New Mexico.
 
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