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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 MDX with 21,000 miles. I noticed a little oil leak on the bottom of the car, and took it to the dealer. Now they want to replace my entire transmission, because according to them it takes too much time to find the leak.

Has anyone had this problem? Can't the dealer just replace the seals, rather than the whole tranny.

Help!!!

ps: Tim, you will need to update your statistics about the number of transmissions replaced by Acura on MDX.
 

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What am i missing? It's under warranty...take the new tranny and run!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Problem

Problem is that the dealer has to replace to entire tranny using a technician that is perhaps certified, but does not have much experience in installing full transmissions. At the factory it is mostly automated, with robots & workers that follow exacting standards.

If there is a way to fix the leak without the replacement, I would prefer it. However, I am not sure just ripping out tranny's and replacing them is a good practice. Usually, results in a number of follow up problems that have been well documented in these forums.
 

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They will not tear down trannys under warranty. They are typically done on an exchange basis.
There have been cases where they replaced "relatively" easy things to access like shift-solenoids from the outside. They have to get an okay from Acura in any case.
Maybe they could do a seal if it is very accessible, but I would not count on it.
This has been a very emotional topic on here, but with all the ranting and raving, transmissions got replaced in the end. Have not heard much feedback how the replacements worked out. That could be a good thing....then again...
Since the leak is small I would ask if you could continue to drive it (if you want of course) until they have a replacement ready to go, and then they have plenty of time to get you a good loaner also.
Just remember to top off the ATF.
 

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You could always seek a "second opinion" (i.e. another dealer - there are plenty around here) on the resolution, couldn't you?

I do agree that finding and replacing the leaking seal, assuming it is external, would be preferable.

However, if finding the leak requires tearing down the tranny (which, as DaleB mentioned, they're not supposed to do) then IMO an entirely new (eh, remanned) tranny (clean, sealed unit) would be preferable to a teardown in the shop.

As you obviously know, the more stuff they unscrew and take apart, the more likely it won't go back together quite right.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
my fear exactly

That is what I am worried about, that once they take things apart, surely they are not going to be perfectly put back in again.

I called a few other dealers, and they all seem to support the original dealers assessment. I guess the dealer are like pack animals, they stick together.

I think I will consider taking it to another dealer for them too look at. Maybe they will come up with some thing else.

Here is another fear: Would dealers just replace transmissions because of the profit margin? I mean they do make a crap load of money from the service dept.
 

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Well, Acura policy is no teardowns, just replacements, for INTERNAL failures. Here's the link to that policy: http://www.acuramdx.org/images/pdf/Tranny Exchange Info.pdf

I think that's probably preferable to the teardown -- less chance of contamination, mistorquing, misalignment, or leftover parts :) Less time consuming, too. The tranny is inspected when it's returned to corporate. So, if it was found to be without problems, the dealer would have some serious explaining to do - so I doubt they're just anxious to make a couple extra bucks in this case.

I would assume that the dealer cleaned and checked for any external signs of leakage and didn't find any. Hence, out comes the old and in goes the new.

You didn't mention any other symptoms -- just noticing the leak. No rough shifts or slips or anything?

Ya might mention the dealer to get some feedback (if anybody has some) on their experiences w/that specific service department. Meantime, we'll be pulling for ya.
 

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Interesting, I notice they reference a document an Information Bulletin it looks like (PIB) in order to get the in-line filter kit part number.
Would it not be nice to install such a filter on existing 'good' transmissions?
At a minimum you would think they could install it when you bring it in for a transmission service. I don't know how easy it is to install in a transmission that is not removed from the vehicle. Looks like it just screws in series with a cooler line right on the tranny body, according to the service manual.
Apparently it designed to filter out any residue that may have been left following the failure of the original transmssion, anything the flushing did not get.
 

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TheWorm - thanks for the Service Bulletin. I just had my TL-S's transmission replaced at 14,000 miles, and the remanufactured one is much, much better. It took 19 days for the replacement to come in and be installed!

ootyboy -- take the remanned tranny. I can't imagine getting all up in arms about the dealer doing some warranty work for you. I understand that it'd be nice if our prized possessions never needed major repair work like this, but when the work needs to be done, well, just let it happen. Just keep the process under close scrutiny. Keep track of the time it takes them to order and replace the tranny. Get a loaner car right now, if possible (I'd insist on one if I were you) so they have the vehicle while waiting for the parts. Get a full, detailed description in writing of what they are going to do and get one when they are done so you know what they did. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Service Bulletin that TheWorm mentioned above so you can make sure the dealer does all the required maintenance and not just a quick swap. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
 

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My .02

If your dealer wants to go ahead and replace the transmission, let them do it. They're the ones who have to get it bought by Acura once the job is done.

With every transmission comes a warranty exchange form that must be filled out completely, I don't see how a small leak can warrant a whole unit replacement (but then again I don't know the surrounding circumstances), but you're certainly not going to be worse off for it.

As far as the technician not having done a transmission replacement in an MDX before, remember that this is not a coronary bypass operation we're talking about here. Not that the work doesn't require skill and knowledge to do, but a technician that's Acura certified and has been working on these vehicles will likely be more than competent enough to perform the work. That would be the last of my concerns, don't sweat it in the least. Remember, if there were technicians that were experienced in MDX transmission replacement, chances are a lot of people here wouldn't OWN an MDX.

If it were my vehicle, I'd be very happy that they were replacing the whole unit rather than just the seal, honestly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks

Thanks for all the supporting messages. I guess I was quite upset at the fact that they had to rip out the transmission and replace it at such as young age!!.

We are also off to a road trip (SF to Denver to Kansas City) later next week. I am not sure if I feel really confident taking the X on such a road trip after such a major operation. Any ideas?
 

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Even with all the support and valid advice given here, you may still be hesitant about your dealer's tech's experience. Consider another dealer in your area with more experience in transmission replacement.

I, too, favor the new tranny so why not have the best guy around install it for you?

Good luck.
 

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There's no way to feel good about your baby needing work. If they wanted to just replace some seals, you (or anyone else) would probably be upset that they didn't give you a whole new ("eh, remanned") tranny.

I personally think replacing the entire thing is the most satisfactory way to go. The previous poster mentioned shopping around for a tech with experience on trannies. If TheRobSJ's posts from a few months ago are any indication, at least one dealer in you area has some experience...
 

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ootyboy said:
I have a 2001 MDX with 21,000 miles. I noticed a little oil leak on the bottom of the car, and took it to the dealer. Now they want to replace my entire transmission, because according to them it takes too much time to find the leak.

Has anyone had this problem? Can't the dealer just replace the seals, rather than the whole tranny.

Help!!!

ps: Tim, you will need to update your statistics about the number of transmissions replaced by Acura on MDX.
How bad is the leak? Do you loose alot of trarnsmission fluid? I have a very slight leak back where the rear drive shaft meets the tranny. It just stays wet and never actually drips to the ground?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
leak

rvehock -- Yes, the leak I had was very small. In fact I did not notice anything on the garage floor. I only noticed a streak of oil between the engine and transmission when I was under the car changing the oil.

I ran my finger through it and figured it was Transmission fluid. I can tell you that for a week after I put while paper under the car, and did not even get a drop. So to answer your question the leak is very small.

Also, the other warning sign I had was the dark color of the transmission fluid.

I hope this helps.
 

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Re: leak

ootyboy said:
rvehock -- Yes, the leak I had was very small. In fact I did not notice anything on the garage floor. I only noticed a streak of oil between the engine and transmission when I was under the car changing the oil.

I ran my finger through it and figured it was Transmission fluid. I can tell you that for a week after I put while paper under the car, and did not even get a drop. So to answer your question the leak is very small.

Also, the other warning sign I had was the dark color of the transmission fluid.

I hope this helps.
Transmission fluid is not typically 'dark' unless it's burnt. It should be almost invisible on the dipstick, but put on a paper towel will look pinkish but clear.
Are you sure it's not motor oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It was dark

Yes, I am positive it was not engine oil. I even took a piece of white paper towel and took a couple of drops from the dip stick. It was the same color -- Which explains my visit to the dealer in the first place.

I even checked it against my Subaru, and it was much darker in color. The Subaru was light reddish color, and the MDX was light brown.

In case you are wondering I have never towed anything.
 

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Just curious, mine is 'light brown' I guess...I don't know. Its very light and transparent not really pink anymore. I only have just under 8000 miles.
You have 21,000 miles so I would expect it would be darker.
I guess it time to change the fluid, but what the heck, let Acura change the whole tranny! :rolleyes:

What keyed me on the engine oil is the leak was between the engine and trans. but it's obvisouly not engine oil. Good luck, let us know the outcome!
 

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Hey ... not to beat the horse again ... but WHY is tranny fluid brown after 8,000 miles (DaleB)... or 21,000 miles (ootyboy).

This is simply NOT right. Oh, maybe it's like the swaybar link, an imaginary problem.
 

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srpbep said:
Hey ... not to beat the horse again ... but WHY is tranny fluid brown after 8,000 miles (DaleB)... or 21,000 miles (ootyboy).

This is simply NOT right. Oh, maybe it's like the swaybar link, an imaginary problem.
I don't know, and don't really care that much anymore. It's under warranty and I plan to extend the warranty. I figure in time enough will fail ( or not ) and there will be some kind of fix ( or not?).
Sounds like a fatalist attitude, but really what's the alternative? I don't have the time to worry to about it.
 
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