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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At about 3,000 miles, I brought my wife's MDX in to have the service department take a look at a popping noise that is coming from the engine bay. I was told it was normal. It's very annoying, and I don't recall Acura mentioning this in their sales brochure. I took it back in two weeks ago because the noise is driving me nuts, and after two weeks they say it's normal. They took me on a drive in another MDX and said it was the same...except that MDX wasn't making this popping sound. Has anyone else experienced this? I have uploaded a video but since this is my first post i guess I cannot imbed the link. I'll try again soon - or you can search for "2017 acura mdx transmission popping noise."



Granted, I took this with my iPhone and plan to get some better ones - but you get an idea at the end.
 

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I assume you're talking about this video?

There's lots of other noises going on, and I'm not sure which you're really worrying about. Can you get a better video?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, thank you for posting that! At the end you'll hear this pop/thud. It is very sporadic. I do have the 5k tow package with the trans cooler if that makes any difference.

I'm going to make another video showing it this weekend....but the noise is about 2-3 seconds before this video ends.
 

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I do have the 5k tow package with the trans cooler if that makes any difference.
Does the popping correspond with a gear shift?

I'd be most suspect of a 4->5 or 5->4 shift, since that's when dog clutch F is toggled between free-spinning and braking operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does the popping correspond with a gear shift?

I'd be most suspect of a 4->5 or 5->4 shift, since that's when dog clutch F is toggled between free-spinning and braking operation.
I'm told they did an exhaustive analysis on the transmission and claim that the noise is not coming from there. They did hook up some microphones and what not and say they believe the noise is coming from the intake - which I don't think makes any sense.
 

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I'm far from an expert, but experienced significant issues with my 2017 AWD Tech and the transmission cooler. Not much more that I can add that has not already been covered in previous posts, but p07r0457 has it right in my opinion. There is a very good youtube video on the ZF transmission by a professor from Weber State university that has a ZF on a bench and runs through the functioning and shows how the dog clutch could produce the clunk as it engages. My clunk was just as stated, that is mostly on the 4-5 upshift, but also on the same downshift in certain circumstances. The noise was duplicated after several trips to the dealer initially where they could not replicate. I believe in part because the transmission must be fully warm to produce the issues and my unit had cooled before the tech drove it. Once I was able to demonstrate the issue, the Regional representative was called in (or whatever they call them). I was told that when that Acura person became involved they determined my issue to be consistent with a KNOWN issue with the ZF and the cooler. I was also informed that the presence of the cooler and noise will not harm the transmission and that even with the noise they consider it to be functioning as designed. Further, I was told that since there are so few MDXs sold with the cooler, no fix was planned. Since this was the case, the offer was to live with it or have it removed at their cost. Since my cooler has been removed the noise is gone and the transmission performs better as a whole. I am still more than disappointed because I bought the vehicle needing 5000lb capacity in the first place and was not told that if I chose that option that I would need to be ok with a clunking transmission. Even with the fix I would say the transmission is less than what I would expect from an Acura and if I were not completely disgusted and exhausted by the situation I would continue to pursue additional remedy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I love to hear Acura deems this "functioning as designed." WTF?! I bought mine for towing too, and would have bought a 4Runner or GX460 had I known Acura deemed a clunk as normal. I didn't read any of this in the brochure regarding it either. Since I paid for the cooler, I would expect a refund of the cooler not just a free removal.

Did you get a chance to review the video I posted to hear if that was the same sound as you?
 

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It is so hard to tell and diagnose from phone video over the internet, but it sounds like it could be the same issue. as for 4-5 at 30 MPH, when you have 9 gears it is completely normal. The first 2 gears essentially get the rig moving and I'm through 3d before I'm on the opposite side of a stoplight.
 
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