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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are the original owners of our 2002 MDX, now with 220,000 miles on it.

It currently runs well, though perhaps a bit more sluggish and a little noisier than originally. There does seem to be a rough spot when shifting, which we think is the torque converter or transmission. The transmission was replaced at one point.

We love the car and are in no rush to replace it. But we're not sure what is realistic here.

Anyone have any thoughts on what is realistic? Are we on completely borrowed time? And if so, what are the likely events? Do these engines self destruct with thrown rods or broken valves? Or will it just wear away? When the tranny's fully fail, any warning?

I should add that we are due for a timing belt replacement and the radiator is showing cracks in the plastic sides.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Jay
 

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Hello and Welcome!!!

I would not say you are on borrowed time exactly, but the 2002, did have some very nasty transmission problems, and to my knowledge, there really were no true fixes, just band aids. Sounds like engine wise, she just needs a good solid tune up, have you done the second round of major maintenance, such as plugs, valve adjust, etc.? I see you mention you are due for the timing belt, that needs to be done soon as well.

Have you kept up with excessive oil changes on the trans? What about the VTM-4 fluid changes?

To be realistic, the Acura/Honda line runs almost forever, but they do require maintenance to get there. I have routinely put over 200K miles on my vehicles, and except for transmission issues, they just keep going.

Bottom line, if it's paid for, the maintenance can sure be less than a newer car payment, but that is your call there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If anything, this car has been OVER serviced! My wife diligently takes it to a local independent Honda service place every time they call.

She does tend to park on our slanted driveway by stopping, putting it in park and THEN putting on the parking brake. I tell her constantly that she should put it in N, put on the brake, release the brake pedal, then put it in park. But she just won't do it. So it regularly gets parked with torque through the tranny or torque converter. That's why I assume it is not doing all that well. The car has a bit of a vibration, maybe a bit of a stutter, when it is floating at a shifting point like at 4th gear and up.
 

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If anything, this car has been OVER serviced! My wife diligently takes it to a local independent Honda service place every time they call.

She does tend to park on our slanted driveway by stopping, putting it in park and THEN putting on the parking brake. I tell her constantly that she should put it in N, put on the brake, release the brake pedal, then put it in park. But she just won't do it. So it regularly gets parked with torque through the tranny or torque converter. That's why I assume it is not doing all that well. The car has a bit of a vibration, maybe a bit of a stutter, when it is floating at a shifting point like at 4th gear and up.
Ah, the wife and the Park SNAFU.

And then she says I don't listen!:D


Based on the fact that is a well maintained vehicle, you *may* get another 50 to 100K miles without a major failure. If reliability is very important, or you will be driving far from home (vacations, etc.) it may be better to get a newer vehicle. You have to evaluate your own risk tolerance and the possible hassle of an unplanned replacement.




Just remember "Yellow line, Right Side"
 

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A close friend of mine has a 2003 mdx. no issues until 285k not even transmission. other than 1 timing belt change at 105k and regular brake pads/tires/oil/wipers nothing fancy has been done to it. and it has engine light on for last 20k miles and has to top up oil every 2k miles. its not quitting, runs fine as a daily driver. In fact that was a reason for my buy of a high mile mdx. Truly he hasn't done any differential/tranny/gear oil maintenance that i know of. He has been buying tires that are 6/32 for 30 bucks a [email protected] tires (san bernadino) for last 2 tire changes(3 years) as he thought it was not worth spending 700 on a set of new tires on a car which could die but the mdx wont quit. so given your care i think it will keep running another 100k. replace the radiator (aftermarket). timing belt can go another 20-40k unless you are in a zone with extreme temperature fluctuations. and do check the motor mount as suggested earlier. and Thanks for parking tip, I have been parking just as your wife not knowing the right way. got to change that starting tomorrow.
 

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Mine died on Tuesday, took it to the dealer, crankshaft seized, needs a new engine, it lasted 320,000km.

last month I got new tires and brakes, sure hate throwing away money.
 

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My 2006 is started to rust decently but I do live in the rust belt and the last 2 winters have been brutal. Getting rust around the rear driver side wheel well and the gas door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the great info guys! I'll check on the motor mount. I think I recall hearing that one went. But I think we had it changed.
 

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Thanks for the great info guys! I'll check on the motor mount. I think I recall hearing that one went. But I think we had it changed.
the reason I brought it up is that I just had the front mount replaced in my 04 MDX with 100k miles on it. I notice that it's smoother now when it shifts - It wasn't all that bad before the mount was replaced but there is a an improvement. I paid $400 at an independent shop with an OEM mount (The Acura Dealer wanted $600 to do it).

I was going to replace it myself but it looked to be quite a lot of trouble for me to do it. I've seen that others here on the forum have changed it themselves.....but I was not up to the task!
 

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I was going to replace it myself but it looked to be quite a lot of trouble for me to do it. I've seen that others here on the forum have changed it themselves.....but I was not up to the task!
Much easier than replacing a timing belt :)
 

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Much easier than replacing a timing belt :)
Yeah....I'm sure it is. Not sure I will attempt to change the second timing belt if and when the time comes. I'm kicking myself, I replaced the radiator last year and I should have just changed the front mount out then....it would have been super easy to do. Live an learn!!!!...I guess.:1pat:
 

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I have 400K KM or 240K miles on our 2004 MDX. No major issues and runs really nice. We are the original owners and the car refuses to die :). In 2015 when it was running rough because the valves needed adjusting we thought the end was coming. We purchased a new car to replace it and my daughter and son took it over and it is still running great 6 years later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Well I raised concerns above about our torque converter or transmission. It's a 2002 MDX, now with 274,000 miles. Looks like the transmission just went. CEL went off with TC error that the internet seems to say it means the trans is really about to go.

I'm struggling with if we fix it. We've always gone above and beyond keeping this car going, always Acura/Honda parts. It's a tank. I have a bunch of MUCH older classic cars that I certainly keep going. So I'm not allergic to that idea - and in fact it's making me struggle with the decision. But still at 274,000, at some point maybe I have to give up.
 

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Jay, first describe what (if any) transmission service you've done to the vehicle. That'll give us an idea of what you're dealing with...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Habbyguy. FWIW, the transmission was slipping, keeping rpm up high, low on power, funny smell and threw P0740 codes. It was sporadic during the drive, and did go away. But seems there are quite a few posts online saying that means the transmission is pretty much about to fail completely.

I have a quote from the local dealer to put in a rebuilt transmission for $3,500. Ironically the local independent wants $3,700 - though they say they will go to only one rebuilder only. We like the dealer better. But, if the independent truly knows of a rebuilder who does a better job on these fickle transmissions, perhaps that is a better idea.

That said, when researching the code, I did come across a post that someone said the 2006 Accord V6 transmission is a stronger transmission, and a bolt in swap. The problem is that I can't find that post again. I just posted a separate thread to see if anyone can give more details on that.
 

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You didn't answer my (important, critical, crucial) question. You have a 274,000 mile MDX and we don't know if anyone ever did any maintenance at all the transmission.

OTOH, if it's easier to read a few posts on the (very generic) error code and conclude you need a new transmission, that's fine, too.

There are several "poor maintenance issues" that can cause the problem you're having. But a new transmission is certainly one way to get the maintenance up to speed... ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You didn't answer my (important, critical, crucial) question. You have a 274,000 mile MDX and we don't know if anyone ever did any maintenance at all the transmission.

OTOH, if it's easier to read a few posts on the (very generic) error code and conclude you need a new transmission, that's fine, too.

There are several "poor maintenance issues" that can cause the problem you're having. But a new transmission is certainly one way to get the maintenance up to speed... ;-)
Thanks again. The car has been steadfastly maintained by the dealer since day one. Every time that dang light went on, my wife took it in. I starting thinking the car was shortening the periods between oil changes! But we have had 274,000 great miles with the car - and my hobby of working on old sports cars (Porsche, Sunbeam and Elva) has been left completely alone as the MDX kept doing its thing. :).

This is the second transmission. It's been a little odd over the last umpteen 1,000 miles. They have changed the fluid a number of times. If there is a chance that those symptoms don't mean that the transmission is done, great. But as I said, just about every online thread I found had someone chiming in that it really means it's on its last leg. Of course I'd like them to be wrong.
 

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Here's a resource I found in a quick (and not deep...) 'net search, and it does a good job of hitting the high points on the P0740 error code. All of the "non-fatal" things are a whole lot cheaper and easier to replace than the transmission! ;-) The link seems to have a pretty good "severity hierarchy" (starts cheap and easy, and works down toward fiddly and expensive)... https://www.700r4transmissionhq.com/p0740-acura-mdx/

I wonder what the dealer used as the transmission fluid change interval. Most of the DIYers here seemed to fall into an "every other oil change" routine. After all, it's easier to do a transmission fluid drain-and-fill than it is to change the oil (and 10x easier than changing almost anything on a Porsche). ;-)

To oversimplify MDX transmissions - if it doesn't slip IN gear, and shifts OK sometimes (even if "extra-hard"), chances are the internals are good and it's a "control problem" (shift solenoids, pressure switches, or worst case, valve body).

And FWIW, I (and several others here) have had good luck with the LubeGard Platinum additive. I probably sound like a shill for the stuff (I'm not...) but have had really good luck with it fixing Honda and one Subaru transmissions (with "fix" being a strong word, but a working transmission is a working transmission). I'd certainly try it before pricing new trannies. ;-)
 

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Interesting thread ... my 05 MDX has the common rad blow out issue a while back that resulted in car being stranded by the side of the road. Fixed the radiator and did the major trans fill/drain and it lasted for a while but torque converter finally started making major noise (driving d5 between 30 and 40 mph was impossible, and ended up using d4 instead ... and over the last few days the tc whine was much more noticeable). Took it to tranny shop and their tech noticed a lot of noise on their test drive and recommended reman unit (they don't rebuild due to their iffy experience in the past rebuilding Honda transmissions in house). I have it booked in for reman trans/torque converter combo for later this month. Most likely be around $5.5k (CAD), but given how all the 2nd gen MDX options locally have such high km and still fetch a decent 10+k dollar I decided to keep the 05 and go with the reman. Just my 2 cents.
 
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