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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a 2g MDX for my wife and the ones that fall into our price range seem to have 120k miles give or take 10k. Im very familiar with the J motor and have even built and swapped a few from the ground up. my concern is the trans, all mine are 6MT and the horror stories of the 1g trans are prolific.

I've been doing research for the past few weeks and have searched this site and many others. the 2g trans seems to be much better but i still had a few questions:

1) the carfax on some of the cars I've gone through are still reporting tq converter "service" which through my research could be replacement or a reflash of the ecu. honda likes to reflash the ECU to make ppl go away in my experience, does the reflash actually help?

2) how prone is the 2g to have tq converter problems? the research Ive found seems conflicting and i dont want to spend 10k if i'm not informed. I like to keep my cars 200k+

3) is the 6AT really more reliable than the 5AT? id like to avoid the VCM motor at all costs if i can, but it seems you cant get a 6AT without VCM, also, they cost more, and i dont want to spend more for something i dont want unless the 6AT really is that much better.

we will be driving a few here shortly. i know maint records are key for these trans, although one prime example (07) had all service records intact for the trans at an acura dealer and still had the tq converter replaced at 75k miles, that scares me. i need to know how common these problems are.

thank you all so much for your input, if i can answer any engine related questions id b happy to help.
 

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Since my dad bought our '07, it's been amazing. The only transmission problem we had was a bad pressure sensor, which i replaced in my driveway. The 5AT seems to be totally solid by a mechanical standpoint, and I can't really complain about much! Got it at 66k, and had it all the way to 120k.

Happy searching!
 

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2) how prone is the 2g to have tq converter problems?
Little to none, Mine is rocking the OG TQ with zero issues and I have a 07 which is closer to the 1G MDX which did have some TQ issues in the later years (05-06).

3) is the 6AT really more reliable than the 5AT?
Who said this? If anything the 6AT is more problematic due to bad software logic making it shift erratically.. The 5AT is smooth as silk and gives zero problems.. As far as reliability go both transmissions in the 2G compare to nothing of the 1st gen MDX which had the hideous 5AT which was prone to early failure.


The 2G Transmission shares absolutely nothing to the design of the 1G MDX. The 2G Transmission was designed with Heavy Duty in mind and was introduced back in the 1G AFTER the 1st gen 5 speed transmission fiasco which were basically Sedan designed transmissions retrofitted for the MDX. This is why the 2 first years of the 1G MDX is crap! they are using sedan designed transmissions.

In 2003-04 Acura introduced the "Heavy Duty" line of transmissions that were vehicle specific for the Pilot and MDX.. For the 2G? they introduced the 3rd generation of 5 Speeds which was the 2nd for the heavy duty line shared with the Pilot/MDX/Ridgeline.
So the 2G MDX is transmission flawless from 07 to 2013.

The main differences are 6AT vs 5AT but they are intrinsically the same transmission with just 1 more low gear added. The problem with the 6AT is bad shift software which made it skip some of the low gears leading to erratic shifting at low speed, Users claim software updates fixes this issue. The 5 Speed does not have this issue.

Ohh and BTW I own an Acura TL-S which had the ****ty OG 5 Speed.. After 2 rebuilds I am now rolling on an AV6 AUTO Swap which fixed my issues.. So I know your concerns very clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
2) Ohh and BTW I own an Acura TL-S which had the ****ty OG 5 Speed.. After 2 rebuilds I am now rolling on an AV6 AUTO Swap which fixed my issues.. So I know your concerns very clearly.


thats awesome man! i built a J36 using your block and a crank from the beloved MDX! the 06-07 accord autos seem better than the others, you know a 6MT swap wouldnt be that much work! lol
 

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thats awesome man! i built a J36 using your block and a crank from the beloved MDX! the 06-07 accord autos seem better than the others, you know a 6MT swap wouldnt be that much work! lol
6MT would be too much job for retrofitting parts specially trim parts, The AV6 was direct bolt on..

My TL-S is pretty modded and is pulling 250whp and the AV6 AUTO pulls nicely with a 0 to 60 in the low 5s basically traction limited all the way. Going wider tires will require some fender rolling so I am pretty happy with the performance as is with the AUTO, No plans on seeking any more performance out of it.

In any case I barely use it anymore since I got the MDX but that is partly because of the ****ty streets here in México.. My TL-S is lowered and the tires are pretty slim for these streets, The MDX just glides all over the pot holes and streets.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
6MT would be too much job for retrofitting parts specially trim parts, The AV6 was direct bolt on..

My TL-S is pretty modded and is pulling 250whp and the AV6 AUTO pulls nicely with a 0 to 60 in the low 5s basically traction limited all the way. Going wider tires will require some fender rolling so I am pretty happy with the performance as is with the AUTO, No plans on seeking any more performance out of it.

In any case I barely use it anymore since I got the MDX but that is partly because of the ****ty streets here in México.. My TL-S is lowered and the tires are pretty slim for these streets, The MDX just glides all over the pot holes and streets.
Ah ic well that makes sense. is there any way to inspect the internal radiator hoses that some ppl mention on these? if not is there anyone who makes a better designed radiator? we live in frozen winter conditions so id like to avoid a total bypass.
 

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There has been good reports from users using SPECTRA Radiators http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1152742&cc=1434516&jsn=386

Sadly there isn´t an easy way to tell if the ATF Warmer inlet or outer tubes in the radiator are corroded internally. It can fail anytime... If you live in a frozen state where there is salt on the roads better replace it as preventive maintenance before its too late...
120 bucks can save you 3K down the road.
 

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My 11 has been great...service is the key
 

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For the AV06 (or similar) swap, besides the 6 cyl accord 3.0 5 speed AT, what other AT can be used, like Odyssey?

6MT would be too much job for retrofitting parts specially trim parts, The AV6 was direct bolt on..

My TL-S is pretty modded and is pulling 250whp and the AV6 AUTO pulls nicely with a 0 to 60 in the low 5s basically traction limited all the way. Going wider tires will require some fender rolling so I am pretty happy with the performance as is with the AUTO, No plans on seeking any more performance out of it.

In any case I barely use it anymore since I got the MDX but that is partly because of the ****ty streets here in México.. My TL-S is lowered and the tires are pretty slim for these streets, The MDX just glides all over the pot holes and streets.
 

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Yeah some users have used the Odyssey transmission too..
There is an upside and a downside to each depending on what TL is going into.

TL-p BASE = Has a speed sensitive P/S rack so there is a Modulator on the transmission which makes the Odyssey transmission 100% Plug and Play with no change to P/S Feel. AV6 Trans has no hole for it so the TL-p modulator has to be by-passed making the P/S stiffer all the times.

TL-S = Has a torque sensitive P/S rack as such there is no modulator on the transmission making the Odyssey transmission have a hole in it that needs to be covered since it directly connects to the differential. The AV6 Swap is 100% Plug and Play since the TL-S has no hole in the transmission for the P/S Modulator.

The AV6 also have the correct gearing ratios for a TL-S.
For a TL-p it gets better acceleration on the swap.
Both get improved MPGs and Acceleration due to a more efficient Torque Converter on the AV6 compared to Stock.
 

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I have an 11 MDX Adv I purchased used in 2014 with 30,000 miles and I now have +103,000 miles. I had to do the 6AT reflash to help smooth out the shifting and it improved my combined mpgs. I think the reflash became standard with the +12 MDXs. The only advantages with the 6AT are:
- a little fast 0-60 times
- extra gears aid in 1-2 or 3 gear downshifts to build up speed faster for passing or maintaining mph on inclines
- 1 mpg better compared to 5AT

99% of the time you wouldn't notice a difference in the 6AT or 5AT in normal driving. Only if you have a heavy foot and want to hear Vtec engagement as much as possible the 6AT helps in performance. The biggest issue with the 10-13 MDXs is the oil consumption issue with the slightly updated 3.7L engine (oil getting by cylinder sleeves). I'm lucky to only use around 2/3 of a quart between 8,000 miles oil changes. Some folks can use 1 quart per 800-1000 miles and Acura will not fix because that falls within the "normal oil consumption" range.

I would double-check to make sure the MDXs that are +100k miles did complete the 105K service. That can cost around $1000-$2000 depending on dealership and what needs to be done. This could be an added cost after purchase or a significant savings if completed if you have the service records. A lot of folks dump their MDXs around 100-120k because they don't want to pay for this service.

The only other thing I would avoid would be the 07-09 Sport models or the 10-13 Adv models with +100,000 miles. The ADS (Active Damper System) uses the magnetic struts/shocks and they can fail at anytime. It can cost $700-$1100 per corner to replace out of pocket if and there are zero aftermarket magnetic shock/strut replacements. A lot of folks convert to regular OEM suspension and disable the ADS alarm. The other 99% of the owners just sell the sport/Adv MDX if they start to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
really good info here thanks all...exactly the stuff im looking for. i will be in no rush to buy bc we both have cars already and this will be a third. my wife has an i4 7.5g accord and i have a 300whp 6-6 7.5g accord i built and swapped and i still daily drive lol. i will get my jollies off in the 6-6 and probably boost it so im not necessarily concerned w the advantages of the 6AT for speed.

i did not know those details about the trans/ps rack interchange, good stuff there. my 6-6 wouldn't benefit from the TLS rack or PS pump would it? i read the entire thread on acurazine w ppl swapping the TLS rack into the base and it seemed like it was confirmed in the end to provide no benefit...correct?
 

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Its easy to tell if the AV6 has a Speed sensitive steering rack.. If you have a P/S Modulator going into the Accord? then its Speed sensitive. But since the AV6 swap comes literally from the Accord my guess would be it has Torque Sensitive since there is no Modulator on the AV6 Trans.

Probably the differences relies on the steering rack ratio? Perhaps the TL-S rack is a little bit faster?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
going off of memory i think the ratio was determined to be the same. ppl were reporting the same number of turns lock to lock BTW base and TLS, thats assuming the steering angle is the same when both vehicles are locked out to one side or the other. i know my accord has a terrible turning radius, one of my few complaints about it.
 

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My TL-S also has terrible turning radius, so perhaps its the same...
My MDX does laps around my TL-S with the wheels fully locked.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
bumping this back up with another question:

every MDX we have looked at has had the following code stored in the message center: "All Wheel Drive:77" followed by the message "your all wheel drive system may not be working properly, your vehicle may not turn as well blah blah. please turn ignition off and restart engine, if problem persists schedule a service appointment". what could this indicate? problems? or no? or no way to tell? r u guys getting this message ever?
 

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SH-AWD code: 77 is a generic deactivation code for the system.. Meaning something else made the system go off.

I had it for my Oxygen Sensor being bad. Other people had it for other reasons Ex: Low Battery voltage due to a faulty HFL, etc.

Code: 77 only means SH-AWD was disabled for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok so as long as the dummy light for the AWD on the dash isnt on this code by itself isnt anything to get concerned about? any way to test the AWD or know its functioning properly during a test drive?
 

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Just leave the MID on the SH-AWD display.. If it gets disabled only the front tires will show any activity.

Ohh and you can tell when SH-AWD is disabled for sure :D
The car gets insta -1s 0 to 60, Front tires will burn through all 1st gear and there will be a TON of Torque Steer.
 

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Torque Steer.
Anytime someone tells me they can't tell the difference between FWD and AWD I instantly know they don't drive the way the engineers intended >:)
 
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