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2022 Type S Roadside Breakdown

1238 Views 22 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  MDX4TMR
So, long time lurker, first time poster…

2022 Type S Advance, 17,100 mi currently, purchased Apr 2022

This past Sunday afternoon we had a major breakdown that was worsened by the intersection of 2 other ‘problems’.

1. The actual breakdown…driving down a multi-lane road and everything appears perfectly normal and as I proceeded from a stop in traffic and pressed the gas pedal, a sound I would liken to a T-Shirt Air Cannon going off, followed by much louder turbo spool-up sound and then a Christmas light show on the dash and very reduced power from the vehicle.
I managed to get to a turn lane and a safe side street, with my 5 passengers onboard.
I thought that maybe a shutdown and restart might help, but the very mechanical nature of the breakdown sounds made me very skeptical. Restart simple resulted in a normal ignition, climb to 1000rpm and then 5 seconds later it would just die with weird turbo spool noises and then the Christmas Tree light show ensued again. Onscreen warnings were basically as follows…they were either about equipment no longer working, or warning it was malfunctioning, and to see the dealer…

Air suspension
Emergency brake
Emissions system
Power steering
Braking system
Hill start assist
Trailer stability control
Adaptive cruise
Road departure
Low speed braking
Auto high beam

Obviously, not all, or likely any, are actually failed in this moment, but the vehicle is having some sort cascade controls meltdown on the side of the road.
So, I press the button for roadside assistance and pop the hood…while making arrangements for my 5 passengers to get a ride to our ultimate destination.

2. Roadside Assistance…this is where the real fun begins. So, Acura uses AAA for roadside towing/carrier emergencies, fair enough, or so I thought. Told them in advance that it was AWD and would not shift into Neutral (FYI - because engine not running and crappy 10spd tranny design). Apparently, the local contract towing company had a broken tow truck and wasn’t available and others weren’t picking up the phone. So, they had to look further afield and apparently it was a busy towing day in Greater Atlanta and nothing was available on short notice. I even tried calling private tow companies and AAA directly, no luck on either front there either. Acura Roadside wasn’t good at calling me back or getting results, which ended up with me (on my own) waiting for about 7 hours until a truck came. Not their fault about local tow situation but they weren’t so good on communication due to lack of call back comment above..but also because of how they communicated tow pick up times…’estimated arrive time’ in texts and phone conversations only means exactly that. It also means they don’t have a tow actually booked, it’s just their ‘estimate’ after putting a request out into their booking system…actual times may vary…by a lot…in my case the 90 minute ‘estimate’ turned into 7.5 hrs to be precise. My ignorance here I guess…lessons learned, but Acura NEVER volunteered updates on arrival times or the estimate vs actual, I had to pretty much beat that out of them myself, figuratively…tho as time went on I did want to hurt them, just a little bit, or maybe a lot as 330pm turned into 1030pm.

3. The Pick-up…first truck was a flat bed, not good…needed a tow with dolly because of the Neutral issue. Simple reality here, and it has been discussed on this site I know…which was why I told folks upfront that the vehicle won’t go into Neutral. If the engine won’t run, or stay running in this case, it will not go into N and it cannot be pulled onto a flatbed. There is some rotatable bolt on the side of the bell-housing but that’s a joke and it’s not helpful at all. So, if you need a tow and your MDX is a brick, gotta insist on a tow w/dollies and be sure to set your suspension to Tow Mode and High for the shut off setting…if you are actually able to do so.

4. The fix…as it sounded like, it was the outlet of the turbo, loose clamps gave out and the hose blew off. It’s on the underside of the engine, or thereabouts, not visible from above and need to get it on a hoist, remove the underside tray and then can quickly see it. Took them 40 minutes to get the car in the bay and running again. That’s it. 😐

Runs fine, no light show, no hose damage and no visible towing damage. Drama over…for now…sigh.
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Previous versions prior to the 10spd transmission had a mechanical shift lock override capability right on the center console beside the shifter. I guess with this push button crap they clearly don’t have the ability to put that in…and they were too cheap or not inventive enough to come up with a better option than the bolt in the engine compartment…can I get a big woo-hoo for technological improvements at the expense of user friendliness and emergency contingency options when the sh!t hits the fan…🥳🥳🥳 😐 👎🏻 🤬

What a dumb idea, not being able to change to neutral when the engine is off. Has this always been the case. How about the 2014s.
Oh yeah it’s far down out of reach. They made a tool for the previous generation (locks in neutral) but just as I’ve complained about the oil filter after-thought, they did the same for the neutral release.
Even if the old tool could be reused ( probably different shape) , it’s in such a bad location on the MDX, you would have to remove the battery to gain access to it. Not much room from the bottom wheel well.

They need to get this figured out .
One of the serpentine belt removal tool ($51 Advance Auto) that helps push the tensioner pulley might work.
It’s narrow, reaches down and you will be able to hold it from above.
Just a thought…
My 2023 Owner’s Manual, page 455 in has instructions on keeping it in N as long as it will start, presumably even if for only a few seconds. It is called car wash mode. On the side bar it mentions some things that will keep it from working but at least there are some times when it can be left in neutral with the engine off & stay that way for 15 minutes. There is a you tube showing this too.

How to put Honda or Acura in neutral hold mode. (with push button shifter).

As for manually setting it in N, there is an external shaft on the side of the trans which has been reported that can be turned to get it into N. It has a flat part which I believe is 6mm thick so if you can get a wrench on it that would do it. Of course it is positioned in an almost impossible place to reach let alone swing a wrench as needed.

I have been working on this since getting the MDX including a lot of research. The 9 speed has a similar shaft but sticks through the top of the trans making it somewhat easier to access. That one was reported to need a so called double D (shaped) socket made for some shock absorber work & sized 6mm x 8mm. There is also a special tool that locks in place when turned to N position so that would be ideal for that trans. However besides being on the side & with very limited space I tried that socket & it did not fit. The best I can tell the shaft is about 9 mm & appears to be 6mm across the flats.

Two things on that front of note. From some information I have accumulated it only needs to be turned about 20° & possibly better yet is it appears to me from information I have seen, not actual experience, that there is a so called “rooster comb” inside the transmission so when turned it will stay in that position (in neutral) until turned back to the original position.

I hope this is helpful & clears up how this process works.

I also found a cable operated park release tool that bolts to the side of GM 10 speed transmissions. The cable can be routed up into the interior & driver operated if needed. It would be great if Acura or some after market company would make something like that for our 10 speeds. Lets hope.

Also from a Honda teckinfo article this (in part):

For the vehicle equipped with the neutral position holding mode

Neutral Position Holding Mode is automatically canceled after several minutes.

For the vehicle equipped with the park lock

If the transmission cannot shift from the P position/mode to the N position/mode because of an electrical problem or severe vehicle damage, shift to the N position/mode manually, and transport the vehicle by a flat-bed tow truck. See more information on "How to Release Park Lock."
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