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Hello,

I have 2016 MDX AWD Tech, last night I was trying to help a friend with a dead battery and when i opened the hood it was rather disappointing to see the battery on my MDX (specially -ve port) hidden under a plastic panel and is not accessible at all!!....is this bad engineering from Acura or am i missing something?

Thanks,
SKMohan.
 

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Hello,

I have 2016 MDX AWD Tech, last night I was trying to help a friend with a dead battery and when i opened the hood it was rather disappointing to see the battery on my MDX (specially -ve port) hidden under a plastic panel and is not accessible at all!!....is this bad engineering from Acura or am i missing something?

Thanks,
SKMohan.
Passenger car batteries in general aren't really supposed to be accessible on a daily basis, so I believe that's why Acura has started covering it up with the plastic bits. It looks like the engineers felt their intake design (which partially covers the battery) had some kind of benefit, so they went with it. It doesn't look like it's all that hard to get the plastic covers off, as I believe they're only secured with a couple of push-in plastic clips. If you want to see how to remove them, check out the first two minutes of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj6-MDQBSHs

Other cars have their batteries mounted in different spots. Lots of German cars have them in the trunk or under the back seat. I'd bet though that they have remote access terminals in the engine bay. I haven't checked yet for the MDX, but I don't think it has remote terminal connections.
 

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Didn't get the memo? Premium+ market drivers don't like to help other drivers in need! LOL

But yeah pretty crappy choice by their engineers.
 

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Yes indeed a crappy design. The Germans are way ahead on this. The 3rd Gen MDX battery accessibility is garbage. I'm glad the first time I accessed it, I was at home with my tools. They could have at lease created a remote terminal where you could clamp cables to make it easier for a jump start. It's not too bad of a design if you are removing the battery but its a complete garbage design if you have to remove some intake just to jump a car.

Acura MDX is a near-luxury car, its not exactly a premium vehicle.
 

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Yes indeed a crappy design. The Germans are way ahead on this. The 3rd Gen MDX battery accessibility is garbage. I'm glad the first time I accessed it, I was at home with my tools. They could have at lease created a remote terminal where you could clamp cables to make it easier for a jump start. It's not too bad of a design if you are removing the battery but its a complete garbage design if you have to remove some intake just to jump a car.

Acura MDX is a near-luxury car, its not exactly a premium vehicle.
Isn't premium < luxury? At least that's how the industry has been calling it (e.g. the new CLA/GLA segment is Premium Compact, as opposed to the E-Class Luxury Sedan). I consider Acura way less than luxury, which is why I called it premium. It's about par with say.. the Genesis lineup of Hyundai.

Remote terminals should have been automatically considered for any covered engine bay. Not sure why Acura/Honda can't seem to understand basic needs.
 

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Counterpoint - How long did it take you to uncover the battery and how frequently do you really jump start cars? My guess is that it took only a few minutes to uncover the battery and you only jump start cars infrequently. If this is the case then this design is no big deal.

Did you actually need a tool to remove and install the cover?

And - I don't see what this has to do with so called 'luxury' or 'premium'. Those terms relate to the type of leather, power this and that, etc. - not a mechanical item like whether the battery is covered by a piece of plastic or not.
 

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Your counterpoint is a good one. It only requires pulling with hands and a key at most to remove the intake tract.

Though you have to admit in our segment, i don't think the manufacturers think we do our own maintenance or even care about tinkering. But access to the battery has commonly been addressed in the premium+ market by remote terminals. Just something you get used to with European cars i guess. Maybe my expectations of Honda+ are too high.

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
 

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Though you have to admit in our segment, i don't think the manufacturers think we do our own maintenance or even care about tinkering.
You're right, and in a counterpoint to myself, I'm one of those tinkerers who has jump started many a vehicle and have a battery charger readily available and use it (due to having some vehicles not driven real frequently). One of the first things I did after getting the MDX was check where the key components are, especially the battery, and I was at least annoyed that it was covered like this but then I counterpointed myself again with the logic I just stated about the time it takes to remove the cover versus the times I'll actually need to access the battery - which I hope will be rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Emmt, Thanks for the video,that helps!

Yeah...they could have given easy access likr other do or put it in a different place and give remote terminals like the German's do...instead they decided to give only half the access and left it to customers to deal with it the tedious way!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
neoshi, now that I got the memo I would avoid such circumstances and avoid me some embarrassment :p ;)
 

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neoshi, now that I got the memo I would avoid such circumstances and avoid me some embarrassment :p ;)
Lol yanno the other day I needed to jump my wife's car in a Costco lot and was waiting for a friend to pick me up to go grab my MDX to jump, but luckily a nice guy in his Range Rover came by after a dozen or so people in other luxury brands (that's all they drive around my town) drove around me just staring at us (hood was open too to signify "HELP!"). Admittedly, Range Rover can be considered more luxury than the usual luxury players, but this RR a Discovery Classic from the 80s, so I guess it is actually a beater more than a luxury vehicle.
 

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As far as jump starting an MDX goes, there is a very simple answer: RTFM. To summarize, all car manufacturers, including Acura, say that you should NOT jump start your car using the +ve and -ve terminals of the dead battery. Instead, you should use the +ve terminal of the dead battery and a grounding point on the engine. New MDXes have easy access to those two things. Pull off the plastic engine cover and you'll see the grounding terminal on the left side (passenger side) of the engine. This cover is much easier to get on and off than the parts covering the -ve battery terminal.

If you need to replace your MDX battery then yes it's a little bit of a pain.
 

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As far as jump starting an MDX goes, there is a very simple answer: RTFM. To summarize, all car manufacturers, including Acura, say that you should NOT jump start your car using the +ve and -ve terminals of the dead battery. Instead, you should use the +ve terminal of the dead battery and a grounding point on the engine. New MDXes have easy access to those two things. Pull off the plastic engine cover and you'll see the grounding terminal on the left side (passenger side) of the engine. This cover is much easier to get on and off than the parts covering the -ve battery terminal.

If you need to replace your MDX battery then yes it's a little bit of a pain.
If all you are doing is jump starting then you don’t have to pull off the engine cover to access the [+] terminal of the battery It’s right below the neck of the air filter box. It has a flapped cover that you can lift up with no tools and connect the red [+] jumper clamp and you just ground the black [-] to an exposed metal part (hood latch always works well for me)

I did not remove any covers to get the [+] terminal exposed for this photo.

I have to change my battery now as it’s cranking slow - 3 years / 70k miles with lots of kids charging devices.

Maybe I’ll do a video from beginning to end.
 

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Localbar is correct.
Simply remove the small covering flap to access the +terminal and ground to the chassis. No tools, no fuss. If you carry one of the small Lithium battery starters it is a lot easier than jumper cables as you don't need the second vehicle. These small Lithium jumpers make wonder gifts.
 

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I had to access both the + and - terminals tonight to connect a charger to complete TSB 15-036. It literally took about 3 minutes to remove the plastic cover that runs across the entire front (you just pull it up, for crying out loud, no tools needed), then remove the two plastic locking clips (granted, some sort of prying device is needed) to remove the section of the intake that blocks the battery.

I don't see what all the hoopla is about over this and people claiming that it's a HUGE design flaw, and the Germans do it better, and if I'd known this before buying the vehicle I'd have bought a Lada, and blah blah blah. Honestly, it might even have only taken 2 minutes.
 

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I had to access both the + and - terminals tonight to connect a charger to complete TSB 15-036. It literally took about 3 minutes to remove the plastic cover that runs across the entire front (you just pull it up, for crying out loud, no tools needed), then remove the two plastic locking clips (granted, some sort of prying device is needed) to remove the section of the intake that blocks the battery.

I don't see what all the hoopla is about over this and people claiming that it's a HUGE design flaw, and the Germans do it better, and if I'd known this before buying the vehicle I'd have bought a Lada, and blah blah blah. Honestly, it might even have only taken 2 minutes.
For folks like you and me sure - but a lot of folks come here because they just don’t know and need some guidance. There’s limited videos on Youtube for 3rd gens which means folks are going to the dealer for service. And when you pop open the hood and you see these strange covers and no battery it’s intimidating. It actually takes less than 30 seconds to take off the cover and put it to the side and another 15 to remove the intake but if one of those cover posts fall off - it will take 5-15 min to find it.

Folks like seeing their exact vehicle being worked on. I hope to help with videos.
 

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I agree with the points made in both of the above posts. On the one hand, removing the large engine bay plastic covers takes just seconds and people making a big deal out of it are reaching an unwarranted conclusion, and on the other hand having a specific Youtube video for a procedure is very nice and handy to be able to preview before proceeding with the action yourself.

Helpful hint - before ever 'needing' to take off the push pin clips for the intake I checked them out and bought a special tool to make it easier to remove and keep the tool in the MDX. It's not absolutely required but it cost only $16 or so and was worth that to make it even easier to remove. The tool is a Lisle 41250 Push Pin Pliers.
 

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The "+" battery terminal just requires flipping a lid, as already discussed, and there is a nice big ground bolt on the front engine bay frame, just in front of the much maligned air intake. The ground bolt has one of the main ground ( "-" ) leads from the battery attached to it, and it is accessible without removing anything. Popping off the "shroud" at the front of the engine bay would make it even easier, and that requires no tools to detach or reattach.

ground_bolt.jpg
 
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