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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Chaps,

I am the original owner and I have always maintained and babied the transmission to the point of changing it every other oil change. I have 128,000 miles and I was on the freeway when I noticed the car was revving up a lot put there was no additional movement. I put on the emergency blinkers and proceeded to take the next ramp off the freeway and got to the end where it was red light with no shoulder. I braked the car and put it into park and tried to put it back into gear; however, no gears would move the car…not even the first gear. I turned off the car and started again but still no go. Thankfully, 3 good Samaritans helped me push the car into a nearby parking lot.

Next, I towed the car to my transmission guy. He told me that the torque converter had gone bad, that caused the pump to malfunction and the transmission with the torque converter will need to be rebuilt.

I was quite shaken since there was no safe mode on this Acura tranny. All my other cars where stick and I could always limp to a safe place in first gear. My guy told that Honda doesn't have a safe mode on the automatics. I hope you do not have to experience this on a major freeway like the one I was on in Southern California. :crying2:
 

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What happened to you is what happens to all 01 to 04 MDXs, Failure to the 3rd gear clutch pack by a faulty design flaw (YES, BEEN THERE DONE THAT).

What happens here is very simple, Lack of lubrication to the 3rd gear clutch drum makes the 3rd gear clutch materials to wear out faster than the others. When 3rd gear cannot hold it will slip making the engine to over-REV like you were pushing the clutch in a manual and losing momentum. When the clutch material is about to disappear it violently breaks down and clogs the solenoids that send hydraulic pressure to all other gears, Specially 1st gear and reverse. This is what makes the car unable to engage drive or reverse in some cases the damage is not that ample and it will allow you to drive the car but once the damage is too severe it cannot hold any gear at all.

The transmissions gives you hints before this happen, Usually it will slip (In absolutely no case the transmission should slip) if you felt any slippage before that was the 3rd gear clutch pack acting up. Another hint is a random P0740 code "TC Lock Solenoid" which is the first to clog up.

In your case you were very lucky...
Worse case scenario is the transmission drops to 2nd at +60mph and you crash, People got killed this way. This issue affected most Honda and Acura cars with a V6 and 5 Speed auto from 01 to 04.. Accords, Odysseys, TL, CL, Pilot, MDX they all did the same.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info skirmich! You would think Acura would do a recall or give us a heads up and let us pay to fix this life threatening issue.

At times I felt this automatic was jerking and I took it to various dealers and independent shops but they could not replicate it and suggested that I drive it until tranny gets more symptoms. However, I got the slippage and within 5 minutes the car would not move in any gear that day on the freeway. I also checked for codes with my ODB fusion App right after I was in the parking lot, but I got not codes and no lights on the dashboard, I tried and so did the tow truck driver and the transmission shop I took it to start the car and see if they can use any gears to move it.

The transmission shop rep told me that they use the updated parts when they will rebuilt my transmission / torque converter which will take about 1 week. However, if this is a flawed design and Acura has not "owned up" to it then will my rebuilt tyranny still be at risk of the "worse case scenario" you noted?

Perhaps we should file a compliant with NHSTA and /or other safety regulators?
 
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