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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Death song of a 2016 MDX ZF9 Tranny

I purchased my CPO 2016 MDX Advance/Entertainment in January of this year. Took a month or so to get used to the drive and tech, but it is a great car and I would definitely buy it again. I even have grown to like the 2 screen infotainment system (mostly).

But, all has not been great. At about 50,500 miles I noticed a squeak coming from somewhere in the front of the car. Based on the symptoms, the dealer completed the front suspension TSB. This did not help. They were stumped, so I made the following video:


Watch this video and you will hear the squeak that is so commonly discussed here and on Pilot forums. You can hear the squeak at 0:03, 0:33, 0:47, and 1:24. It always happens on a shift. Slow to about 30mph, let the car downshift, and then give it some throttle. Squeak.

I sent the video to my dealer and two days later I learned I was getting a new tranny. I got a 2017 MDX loaner for a week and then got my car back. New tranny is smooth and I am back to loving the car.

I hope this helps others with this problem. If you do have this sound, take a video and send it to your dealer. Hopefully, the experience of getting your new ZF9 will be as painless for you as it was for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for this. Did they say what caused this defect? Was the tranny warmer leaking?


No, they did not, but without doing the autopsy (which they said Acura would do) there is no way to know for sure. I do know Acura asked for an ATF sample. Service rep said there was no sign of coolant contamination.

Also, everyone be sure their maintenance is up to date. If you are at 50,000 miles, cough up for the very expensive ZF9 service. Without this, you might be on your own if your Zf9 decides to fail at a later time.
 

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No, they did not, but without doing the autopsy (which they said Acura would do) there is no way to know for sure. I do know Acura asked for an ATF sample. Service rep said there was no sign of coolant contamination.

Also, everyone be sure their maintenance is up to date. If you are at 50,000 miles, cough up for the very expensive ZF9 service. Without this, you might be on your own if your Zf9 decides to fail at a later time.
At what mileage did you start to hear the chirps? My MDX only has 20,000 miles on it and chirps.
 

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So if the car goes over 50k and problems appear after that, I am assuming it will not be covered due to warranty expiration? Or is this issue falling under some other powertrain warranty?


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So if the car goes over 50k and problems appear after that, I am assuming it will not be covered due to warranty expiration? Or is this issue falling under some other powertrain warranty?


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The powertrain warranty goes longer.
 

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Yeah, should be covered under Acura powertrain warranty, 6 years or 70k miles, whichever comes first.

That noise is earily familiar, but it occurs at a different speed and different acceleration load than the failed unit in my 9-speed Pilot. Interesting.

On the subject of warranty, that Pilot would be long gone if I had not purchased a 7/120k Hondacare warranty at time of vehicle purchase. But I'm over half way to 120k and my tolerance for mechanical misbehavior has limits.
 

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Yeah, should be covered under Acura powertrain warranty, 6 years or 70k miles, whichever comes first.

That noise is earily familiar, but it occurs at a different speed and different acceleration load than the failed unit in my 9-speed Pilot. Interesting.

On the subject of warranty, that Pilot would be long gone if I had not purchased a 7/120k Hondacare warranty at time of vehicle purchase. But I'm over half way to 120k and my tolerance for mechanical misbehavior has limits.
It's weird also that Honda only extended the warranty on just the replaced warmer to 10 years unlimited miles. Like hey, i know this warmer caused contamination that could potentially cause big issues later, but we're only going to cover you for that ****ty warmer mmkbai.

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I was at my local dealership for seat leather replacement and the service manager confirmed the ATF contamination on two 2016 MDX’s this week. They have done 5 tranny replacements in last two weeks


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I started hearing that exact noise in my 2016 MDX Advance/Ent about a month ago at around 28,000 miles. I took it to my dealer this morning and they checked the trans cooler manufacture date, which was 3/26/15, they said that was outside of the issue dates. They said they checked for the trans/coolant mix and found no mixing. On their test drive they heard the noise one time and could not get it to do it again. So they said there's nothing they can do at this time until the noise is "more consistent".

I took the service manager on a drive to show them that I can reproduce the noise myself always. I get up to around 30 mph, then slow down (usually turning corners) and gently accelerate after the turn and at 23-24 mph I hear the squeak always, every time. That seems pretty consistent. The service manager said they would do some more research and get back to me. But does anyone have any other ideas as to what the cause could be? Or does anyone know the manufacture date range of the trans coolers that seem to be problematic?

I love my MDX, best car I've ever owned, but I really worry about this squeak. I'm not sure if it will get worse or more often as the service department is expecting. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I started hearing that exact noise in my 2016 MDX Advance/Ent about a month ago at around 28,000 miles. I took it to my dealer this morning and they checked the trans cooler manufacture date, which was 3/26/15, they said that was outside of the issue dates. They said they checked for the trans/coolant mix and found no mixing. On their test drive they heard the noise one time and could not get it to do it again. So they said there's nothing they can do at this time until the noise is "more consistent".

I took the service manager on a drive to show them that I can reproduce the noise myself always. I get up to around 30 mph, then slow down (usually turning corners) and gently accelerate after the turn and at 23-24 mph I hear the squeak always, every time. That seems pretty consistent. The service manager said they would do some more research and get back to me. But does anyone have any other ideas as to what the cause could be? Or does anyone know the manufacture date range of the trans coolers that seem to be problematic?

I love my MDX, best car I've ever owned, but I really worry about this squeak. I'm not sure if it will get worse or more often as the service department is expecting. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
First, you are not crazy. My tranny went south with no detectable fluid mixing and an ATF heater that is outside of the affected dates.

Do what I did...video the problem and send it to the service manager. If they still refuse start emailing it up the Acura chain. Good luck!
 

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I started hearing that exact noise in my 2016 MDX Advance/Ent about a month ago at around 28,000 miles. I took it to my dealer this morning and they checked the trans cooler manufacture date, which was 3/26/15, they said that was outside of the issue dates. They said they checked for the trans/coolant mix and found no mixing. On their test drive they heard the noise one time and could not get it to do it again. So they said there's nothing they can do at this time until the noise is "more consistent".

I took the service manager on a drive to show them that I can reproduce the noise myself always. I get up to around 30 mph, then slow down (usually turning corners) and gently accelerate after the turn and at 23-24 mph I hear the squeak always, every time. That seems pretty consistent. The service manager said they would do some more research and get back to me. But does anyone have any other ideas as to what the cause could be? Or does anyone know the manufacture date range of the trans coolers that seem to be problematic?

I love my MDX, best car I've ever owned, but I really worry about this squeak. I'm not sure if it will get worse or more often as the service department is expecting. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
I have the same model. I am not worrying about it until they issue a TSB. If the issue is not resolved prior to the warranty expiring I will either sell the car or buy a factory, extended warranty. This is the nice thing about buying a new car with a warranty.
 

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I had the same noise at low speed, but not that kind of noise that you heard from the OP. Mine is more like clicking, or ticking. I am @ 45K on 2016 MDX.
 

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I have the same model. I am not worrying about it until they issue a TSB. If the issue is not resolved prior to the warranty expiring I will either sell the car or buy a factory, extended warranty. This is the nice thing about buying a new car with a warranty.
Start worrying. It's only a matter of time before you Canadians get the tsbs we just got. Lol

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Start worrying. It's only a matter of time before you Canadians get the tsbs we just got. Lol

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Neoshi, How/where do you know whether your car is effective or not? I put my VIN numbers and seem didn't get any recall on this matter. I am very close to 50K lol
 

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Neoshi, How/where do you know whether your car is effective or not? I put my VIN numbers and seem didn't get any recall on this matter. I am very close to 50K lol
Vins are really quite useless here and even the tsb as well for qualifications. There are numerous cases where the warmer falls outside their prescribed "affected range" and you have to just go through the song and dance to convince the dealer that this is indeed the same problem.

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