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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Does anyone feel a downshift clunk when stopping at a red light or stop sign. It happens every time I go above 25 mph and then slow down to a stop slowly (which is like every time).

When I come to around 15 mph there is a noticeable clunk as the MDX downshifts from 3rd to 2nd or i guess 2nd to 1st. This is enough to rock the car as it stops and jerk you in you seat.

I have re-set the transmission but that helps only a little, it happens in all driving modes (worst in sport and comfort)

It is a 2019 MDX with Tech Pkg and this i noticed started to happen 1 month after I got it around Jan 2019 and has never gone away.
 

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Took it to the dealer today morning.. he said this is normal? for this vehicle. He said some people feel a clunk/jerk when downshifting at 45mph and some hear it around 15mph (like me). The only solution he said was to brake hard and not come to stops slowly over a distance. He also said this occurs more when in stop and go traffic. Very odd explanation that i need to change the way I have been driving for past 20 years and drive like I was in my teens again.

Everything is normal with the MDX it seems, no matter what. Do you guys think a tranny flush would make things better.. if so how do i convince the dealer to do it under warranty. Open to any suggestions at this point, i'm out of ideas. I don't want to pay out of pocket for the tranny flush since it is a 2019 MDX (only a year old). But i am poor at convincing dealerships to take any action without giving $$
 

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How many miles on the car now?

While a fluid change may help reduce this issue, keep in mind that Honda transmissions have been known over the last 20 years for more pronounced downshifts than other brands, but the 9 speed is a ZF transmission and not even made by Honda. That doesn't mean that Honda didn't write the shift parameters to make it shift the way they want. That said the 9 speed has a rep for clunky shifting unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many miles on the car now?

While a fluid change may help reduce this issue, keep in mind that Honda transmissions have been known over the last 20 years for more pronounced downshifts than other brands, but the 9 speed is a ZF transmission and not even made by Honda. That doesn't mean that Honda didn't write the shift parameters to make it shift the way they want. That said the 9 speed has a rep for clunky shifting unfortunately.
Car has only 7,000 miles and is 1 year old
 

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Car has only 7,000 miles and is 1 year old
Yeah pretty much zero chance it is a fluid issue. Double check with the dealer that any programming updates are done. Other than that there isn't anything that can be done. Individual driving style will definitely bring out certain shift characteristics.
 

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Very strange. I thought the 2019s had the best programming of the ZF9-equipped MDXs. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think from a stop they start in 2nd gear unless the gear selector is in S rather than D.
 

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Very strange. I thought the 2019s had the best programming of the ZF9-equipped MDXs. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think from a stop they start in 2nd gear unless the gear selector is in S rather than D.
That is true in 'Normal' mode from the dynamic mode selector. In 'Sport', it starts in 1st.

I too have had this issue, but it seems to have mellowed out recently (especially after doing a transmission re-learn procedure). It still occasionally does some bizarre stuff, but nothing like it was when it was brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That is true in 'Normal' mode from the dynamic mode selector. In 'Sport', it starts in 1st.

I too have had this issue, but it seems to have mellowed out recently (especially after doing a transmission re-learn procedure). It still occasionally does some bizarre stuff, but nothing like it was when it was brand new.
Glad to hear your's got better.. How did you do the re-learn procedure?

Been 13 months now and it just seems to get worse.. clunking down shifts from 3-2 or 2-1
 

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Mine starts in 2, even with IDS set to Sport, and transmission in Sequential.

If the problem goes away after resetting the ECM/TCM, I'd bet the ATF level is incorrect.
 

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Yes i have tried this about 6 times in the last year. it did make a difference once but it's back to clunking now when down shifting.. just cant win with $50,000
For what it’s worth, I did baby it for about 500 miles after doing so (based on a recommendation I read somewhere). Not sure if that’s a factor for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wish Acura would not indirectly call us fools when we go into the dealership to report such hard downshifts. I went for the third time yesterday for the same issue, nothing was done.

In any of my past cars (non - luxury) i never even knew when the shifts happened.. up or down shifts. But they make you feel like every car has harsh shifts and its a non - issue.

I guess their plan is sell a car .. ignore you for few years wait for warranty to run out and then start to agree with your observations
 

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I wish Acura would not indirectly call us fools when we go into the dealership to report such hard downshifts. I went for the third time yesterday for the same issue, nothing was done.

In any of my past cars (non - luxury) i never even knew when the shifts happened.. up or down shifts. But they make you feel like every car has harsh shifts and its a non - issue.

I guess their plan is sell a car .. ignore you for few years wait for warranty to run out and then start to agree with your observations
As crappy as my dealership is (and to be clear, they are downright awful), they have at least offered to troubleshoot it, even if they can't reproduce the issues. I think it is generally understood to be a poor design and they just placate folks in any way they can.

That said, I am somewhat sympathetic as my issues are not easily reproducible. And trying to troubleshoot an intermittent problem can be absolute hell. I do suspect my issues are related to the VCM system not working properly. Just a hunch, but I think the active engine mounts that are supposed to dampen a lot of the NVH issues that inevitably occur with running the engine without all cylinders, aren't always working optimally. I've often wondered if there's any way to collect diagnostics to justify their replacement. I feel like this is the case because the issue is intermittent, it's usually when the vehicle is fully warmed, and it's ALWAYS during periods of light throttle.
 

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I dont think that is normal. I have a 18 MDX FWD base, whenever it downshift to a complete stop I dont hear any clunking or feel any jerking at all. Since your car is a 2019, take it back and ask for the service manager to fix the problem. Or at least take the car to another Acura dealer. The downshift of this car should be smooth not jerking and rock your body lol. Jerking only appear from 1st to 2nd gear, which I dont mind because I used to own a slammed RL and it made the same jerking.
 
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