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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased an MDX last weekend. Despite taking a long test drive, as soon as i took it off the lot, I started experiencing transmission issues:
1) Jerking while coming to a stop
2) Thuds and noise in the cabin when switching from park to drive etc
3) Car stopped reversing
4) Engine would rev to 7000rpm even though the car was crawling

I was under the impression that the transmission issues were resolved in 2008. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? The dealership was kind enough to order a new mdx for me but im starting to question the reliability of the vehicle. Wanted thoughts....
 

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That's unfortunate. No, the MDX has been plagued by transmission issues for quite some time and they continued into the third generation when they switched to a notorious ZF design starting in 2016, if I'm not mistaken . I think most of us were hoping that by going back to a Honda design, things would improve... sounds like that may not be the case.

Not a whole lot you can do really, besides register the concern with the dealer. I assume you've done that already. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's unfortunate. No, the MDX has been plagued by transmission issues for quite some time and they continued into the third generation when they switched to a notorious ZF design starting in 2016, if I'm not mistaken . I think most of us were hoping that by going back to a Honda design, things would improve... sounds like that may not be the case.

Not a whole lot you can do really, besides register the concern with the dealer. I assume you've done that already. Good luck and keep us posted.
Would you know how long these cars normally last without transmission issues? I would hate to purchase it only to have to replace the transmission after X many miles/years...my intention was to use it as a family daily driver. I have a 2014 Accord with over 111K miles and it has had no issues. I'm struggling to figure out how the "luxury" brand of honda let something like this slip by...

The dealership has been really nice and have me on the waitlist for when the new stock comes in. They told me that the part that was defective on the transmission was not available so they have had to order a completely new transmission that they'll bolt down and use the car as a loaner for the time being.
 

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Would you know how long these cars normally last without transmission issues? I would hate to purchase it only to have to replace the transmission after X many miles/years...my intention was to use it as a family daily driver. I have a 2014 Accord with over 111K miles and it has had no issues.
150K miles is a pretty typical lifespan for any automatic transmission. Anything beyond that is borrowed time, in my experience.

I'm struggling to figure out how the "luxury" brand of honda let something like this slip by...
You and me both. As a long time Honda buyer (I've bought several Accords, Pilots, TLX and now this MDX), it never occurred to me that by "upgrading" to an Acura I'd be getting a vehicle with significant quality and design issues. And my '19 was pretty close to the end of the model generation run, so it's not as if they didn't have time to work these things out. I'm still dumbfounded by it to be honest, but this is a discussion for a different thread.

The dealership has been really nice and have me on the waitlist for when the new stock comes in. They told me that the part that was defective on the transmission was not available so they have had to order a completely new transmission that they'll bolt down and use the car as a loaner for the time being.
So, they're buying your vehicle back in essence? Man, you found a unicorn in that dealer. Mine has been a nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
150K miles is a pretty typical lifespan for any automatic transmission. Anything beyond that is borrowed time, in my experience.



You and me both. As a long time Honda buyer (I've bought several Accords, Pilots, TLX and now this MDX), it never occurred to me that by "upgrading" to an Acura I'd be getting a vehicle with significant quality and design issues. And my '19 was pretty close to the end of the model generation run, so it's not as if they didn't have time to work these things out. I'm still dumbfounded by it to be honest, but this is a discussion for a different thread.



So, they're buying your vehicle back in essence? Man, you found a unicorn in that dealer. Mine has been a nightmare.
They cancelled the entire sale - so in a way yes they bought it back. That dealership definitely earned my business due to how they handled the entire situation. Apparently I was the first person EVER to bring back a vehicle to them after it was sold. Seems like maybe going the route of a Q7 or XC90 might be better than an MDX. The transmission issues have always plagued Honda not sure why they haven't been able to work out the kinks in over a decade!
 

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They cancelled the entire sale - so in a way yes they bought it back. That dealership definitely earned my business due to how they handled the entire situation. Apparently I was the first person EVER to bring back a vehicle to them after it was sold. Seems like maybe going the route of a Q7 or XC90 might be better than an MDX. The transmission issues have always plagued Honda not sure why they haven't been able to work out the kinks in over a decade!
If you go with a European vehicle, lease... do NOT buy. Otherwise, you'll be jumping out of the frying pan and into the frier.
 

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They cancelled the entire sale - so in a way yes they bought it back. That dealership definitely earned my business due to how they handled the entire situation.
This is a hallmark of a 'luxury dealer'. When it comes to the vehicle itself the Acura is really a Honda but sometimes with leather and more features. The engine and tranny as well as many other core components are the same between the Acura and the Honda, as they are between a Lexus and a Toyota, etc. You don't buy an Acura because you think it might have a better transmission than a Honda.

There'll always be some anecdotes of vehicles that have some issues (like yours) and they'll be more likely than the norm to post it online but it doesn't mean 'all' or 'most' or even a significant percentage of the vehicles exhibit that issue. If you search (name of model vehicle) and (transmission problem) you'll always find hits. The MDX isn't unique in this regard. If you search on the ZF transmission, used my a plethora of manufacturers, you'll see lots of hits. Your 2022 doesn't have the ZF trans so hopefully it'll end up to be fine.

As one anecdote, my almost 8 year old 2014 MDX (with a 6 speed Honda trans) at around 73K miles has not had any issues with the trans, engine, transfer case, rear end, or anything else. I hope your new MDX will be as trouble free and reliable as mine has been.

It sure is disappointing and discouraging to have a trans fail right away as you experienced but better to fail immediately like that than 3 or 6 months from now when the dealer would likely not offer a swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is a hallmark of a 'luxury dealer'. When it comes to the vehicle itself the Acura is really a Honda but sometimes with leather and more features. The engine and tranny as well as many other core components are the same between the Acura and the Honda, as they are between a Lexus and a Toyota, etc. You don't buy an Acura because you think it might have a better transmission than a Honda.

There'll always be some anecdotes of vehicles that have some issues (like yours) and they'll be more likely than the norm to post it online but it doesn't mean 'all' or 'most' or even a significant percentage of the vehicles exhibit that issue. If you search (name of model vehicle) and (transmission problem) you'll always find hits. The MDX isn't unique in this regard. If you search on the ZF transmission, used my a plethora of manufacturers, you'll see lots of hits. Your 2022 doesn't have the ZF trans so hopefully it'll end up to be fine.

As one anecdote, my almost 8 year old 2014 MDX (with a 6 speed Honda trans) at around 73K miles has not had any issues with the trans, engine, transfer case, rear end, or anything else. I hope your new MDX will be as trouble free and reliable as mine has been.
I hope so too...although i am aware of the company structure, i suppose i was expecting higher QA from the luxury division. But to your point it's all the same guts just in a different packaging so what wouldn't have been caught for an accord wouldn't be caught for an mdx.
 

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I just purchased an MDX last weekend. Despite taking a long test drive, as soon as i took it off the lot, I started experiencing transmission issues:
1) Jerking while coming to a stop
2) Thuds and noise in the cabin when switching from park to drive etc
3) Car stopped reversing
4) Engine would rev to 7000rpm even though the car was crawling

I was under the impression that the transmission issues were resolved in 2008. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? The dealership was kind enough to order a new mdx for me but im starting to question the reliability of the vehicle. Wanted thoughts....

I too had a transmission problem with my then 22' MDX Advance. Look up transmission clunk. I think the problems is that they designed this in house and it worked great for the Odyssey. But when they decided to put this on a much heavier AWD system, it gives it too much stress. I highly suggest you test drive a Tesla or other EV vehicle as they don't have a transmission. Constant power anytime at any speed, no shifting. Rivian is a big player that will be coming out soon if you can wing $7x,xxx with a 3 seater. I was a Acura fan for at least 15 years with 6 MDX's over those years. Look at the ZF-9, it took years of failures until they were able to update it in 2019 when the car was release in 2015. I was not about to wait around for them to get it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I too had a transmission problem with my then 22' MDX Advance. Look up transmission clunk. I think the problems is that they designed this in house and it worked great for the Odyssey. But when they decided to put this on a much heavier AWD system, it gives it too much stress. I highly suggest you test drive a Tesla or other EV vehicle as they don't have a transmission. Constant power anytime at any speed, no shifting. Rivian is a big player that will be coming out soon if you can wing $7x,xxx with a 3 seater. I was a Acura fan for at least 15 years with 6 MDX's over those years. Look at the ZF-9, it took years of failures until they were able to update it in 2019 when the car was release in 2015. I was not about to wait around for them to get it right.
Do you have any links that i can check out? Everywhere i google it says that the transmission issues were resolved and the later gens didn't have the same issues...
Additionally, are you located in California? Illinois does not have the infrastructure for EVs yet.
 

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Do you have any links that i can check out? Everywhere i google it says that the transmission issues were resolved and the later gens didn't have the same issues...
Additionally, are you located in California? Illinois does not have the infrastructure for EVs yet.
If reliability is a concern for you, buying a first model year anything is usually a bad idea. You generally want to wait 2-3 model years for the manufacturer to shake out the bugs. The Japanese and Koreans are usually pretty quick to do this, the Americans not so much... and pretty much anything made by a European marque is a crapshoot at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
If reliability is a concern for you, buying a first model year anything is usually a bad idea. You generally want to wait 2-3 model years for the manufacturer to shake out the bugs. The Japanese and Koreans are usually pretty quick to do this, the Americans not so much... and pretty much anything made by a European marque is a crapshoot at best.
I thought that the redesign was just the interior re-packaging and some exterior design mods and the double wishbone suspension...was there more?
 

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I thought that the redesign was just the interior re-packaging and some exterior design mods and not so much the guts of the vehicle.
This is considered the 4th generation and a major redesign. Though the engine is largely carryover, I think most of the chassis, electronics, and powertrain are new or significantly updated. Certainly the transaxle is completely new.

More thorough overview here: 2022 Acura MDX Review, Pricing, and Specs
 

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I highly suggest you test drive a Tesla or other EV vehicle as they don't have a transmission.
Going to great lengths and expense just to avoid a conventional automatic transmission makes no practical sense at all. The transmissions in most vehicles, including Hondas, generally last quite a long time (150K+ miles), the first many years and miles of ownership the trans is covered under warranty, and they're generally reliable.

Even my Dodge Durango that I donated at 235K miles was still on its original trans. It only had one issue in that timeframe and I diagnosed and fixed it myself by replacing a $40 solenoid in it but even that was at 180K or so miles.

In addition, there are no electric vehicles on the market today that can reasonably replace an MDX for many people. I couldn't reasonably do coast to coast trips in an electric vehicle and that's one of the uses of the MDX. By 'reasonably' I mean not needing to hang around forever waiting for the thing to charge up while on the road as well as having potential range anxiety when driving it in the middle of nowhere, especially in the western half of the country, and getting low on charge, perhaps at night, perhaps far from a charging station.
 

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If reliability is a concern for you, buying a first model year anything is usually a bad idea. You generally want to wait 2-3 model years for the manufacturer to shake out the bugs.
While there's some logic and sometimes practical aspects to this I bought the first year of the 3rd gen, an early one built June 2013, and it's been a very reliable vehicle with virtually no issues (73K miles so far). I know some others had some issues but most of the common issues were still being experienced on 2015 models and in some cases 2016 and beyond and then of course they introduced a new transmission in 2016 which seems to have caused more issues for people than the outgoing 6 speed I have in mine.

A main point is that any of the early issues should generally be fixed under warranty at no cost other than perhaps hassle and disappointment to the owner and that buying a 2nd, 3rd, etc. year isn't much of a guarantee of no problems since some problems linger for multiple model years and other problems get introduced with changes (like the 9 sp trans).

I'm saying this so the OP won't get too concerned about buying an early 4th gen but your point is a good one regarding expectations - it's a new design with some new components (like the 10 sp trans) and there may be some early hiccups. That said, I wouldn't view the failed trans casually - that's a major hit that shouldn't have happened and hopefully will be uncommon.
 

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If you go with a European vehicle, lease... do NOT buy. Otherwise, you'll be jumping out of the frying pan and into the frier.
I’m buying a MB. I’ll keep it 4 years then Trade or sell. If I really like it I’ll buy the extended warranty. I don’t understand “lease don’t buy”. The warranty is the same.
 

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I’m buying a MB. I’ll keep it 4 years then Trade or sell. If I really like it I’ll buy the extended warranty. I don’t understand “lease don’t buy”. The warranty is the same.
if you’re only keeping it during the warranty period, sure - but the context of the thread was long term reliability. European vehicles are money pits once the warranty ends. And since everyone knows this, the resale falls through the floor. With a lease their problem never becomes yours.
 
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