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So, we have a '16 MDX (Advance) that we bought back in May of '15. The car has about 46K miles on it now. This last week my wife was driving it, and she simply got off of the freeway, stopped, and at that point when she went to go again the car didn't move. She looked down and saw the transmission wasn't "green" anymore, but "red". She tried putting it into park (keep in mind that there are cars behind her waiting for her to go!) and put it back in Drive, still no go. So she shut off the car completely, started it, and was able to get going again. I took the car into the dealership and they checked it out, and of course, nothing could be found. No codes, could not duplicate...blah blah blah. This is the third time since we've had this finicky vehicle that has caused us to be in a "stranded" situation and we are done with it. First time was the wife went to get in the car...it wouldn't even open up for her...like it wouldn't recognize the FOB at the door, nothing. Once we got inside using the physical key, still couldn't get it started. Took getting the battery cable off and back on to get it all going again. That one only happened once. Another "stranded" moment happened during a stop at traffic light. Battery happened to be dying at that moment and we didn't know it and of course if you step on the brake at a stop sometimes the engine will shut off? Well, it wouldn't come back on. In a moment of panic I hit the start button and it did turned over. That was only about 2 years after getting the car. Dealer gave me a new battery but again, the complexity of this vehicle and the lack of diagnostics these people have to fix things on it is astounding. I always equated having a dying battery as something you'd deal with BEFORE you start your car, not while you are out in the middle of traffic. Definitely not liking the auto off feature there...

-Other things less life threatening but equally frustrating: Remote start the car, get in to fully start it and lo and behold the rear windshield light is on. Every...single...time. Dealership? Huh...interesting....

-I'm "Driver 2". Get in the car, it thinks I'm "Driver 1" sometimes. Dealership? Huh...

-My A/C is running when I turn the car off. 19 times out of 20 when you start it again it'll be set right at where it was when you shut it off. That 20th time? Nope, it's completely shut off. You can turn the A/C back on again easily enough but why did this happen? Dealership? Huh...

I can almost get by the little things that happen on this thing. But it's the uncertainty that one time you stop it will not go again that we can't trust anymore. And it's definitely Acura's inability to be able to fix these issues that is making this decision easy. It's a really nice car, I love all the bells and whistles but like the title says on this rather long rant, we are tapping out and am trading this thing in this weekend for something else. I have read many stories of people having issues with their 9 speeds and aside from this latest we haven't had the gearing/clunking issues that others have had. So, it was nice while it lasted but enough is enough...Hasta la visa baby!
 

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I wish I could trade my 15 in, but at 115k miles and Two accidents (one over $14k in damage) I’ll never get a fair market value for it.

While I don’t have the dreaded transmission lock up issue. I have an equally as untrusting vehicle that just may not start for no reason that no one can figure out why.

I figured out the fix to get it going again but it involves making sure the car has a fully charged portable jumpstarter at all times. I have a back up jump cable Incase. But the last time it happen my wife was stuck and couldn’t remember what to do. Luckily I trained my whole family and my 10 year old knew what to do. That’s what this has come to - although I will say I am kinda proud my daughter was able to get it started again.

I am Planning on passing it down to my son and he can live what I lived with my first car A POS unreliable car that may or may not start. Albeit a very nice POS unreliable car.

No way am I buying another Honda in my next one and I am pretty sure my kids lost that loyalty too.
 

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That was the one thing I loved about Honda/Acura of past days of not leaving you stranded. They had their issues; but, got you home or to the dealership majority of the time.

You might have to stay away from any Acura/Honda for a few years since they both share so much tech and powertrains. Usually, the most reliable vehicle is +MMC versions with last 1 and/or 2 model years having the least amount of issues (2019-2020 MDX "should" have the least issues). Unfortunately, you also get outdated styling, tech, and powertrains with that compared to the competition.

Kia Telluride seems to be hottest thing on 4 wheels right now. I wish it came with the 3.3T as an option.
 

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That was the one thing I loved about Honda/Acura of past days of not leaving you stranded. They had their issues; but, got you home or to the dealership majority of the time.

You might have to stay away from any Acura/Honda for a few years since they both share so much tech and powertrains. Usually, the most reliable vehicle is +MMC versions with last 1 and/or 2 model years having the least amount of issues (2019-2020 MDX "should" have the least issues). Unfortunately, you also get outdated styling, tech, and powertrains with that compared to the competition.

Kia Telluride seems to be hottest thing on 4 wheels right now. I wish it came with the 3.3T as an option.
I am thinking Telluride too, Palisade is way too ugly, and I don't like buttons
 

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Op, I've been contemplating the same stuff you have. The dealer experience in the Honda families is pretty poor now. They can never diagnose anything unless you happen to be able to repeat things consistently in front of them and they won't even attempt to try and reproduce it for any considerable duration. Also, videos and audio recordings? Pfft. And even when you do have codes, they just clear it and send you on your way without fixing anything. Only one dealer in the last 4 years has attempted to give a thorough diagnosis process a try and that was Cerritos Acura here in socal. Even Acura Client relations said that my main dealer, DCH Tustin, spends an usually short time on my cases each visit, which always end up with the note "unable to reproduce. Functioning as normal."

For those of you contemplating the Telluride and/or Palisade, you kind of have to contend with dealership quality issues as well. Kia more so than Hyundai though. I had to find a Cadillac/Hyundai dealer to give me decent service, but to Hyundai's credit, they always sent out the regional engineer when the tech couldn't figure it out. You don't get that with the Honda family unless you really, really, annoy the **** out of your case manager at ACR.

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This is the third time since we've had this finicky vehicle that has caused us to be in a "stranded" situation and we are done with it.
I don't blame you. Getting stranded in traffic with no reasonable diagnosis as to why from the supposed experts on the vehicle is troubling and a safety issue.

I am Planning on passing it down to my son and he can live what I lived with my first car A POS unreliable car that may or may not start. Albeit a very nice POS unreliable car.
It'll be a good learning experience for him.

My 2014 MDX (60k+ miles), one of there early 3rd gens off the line, the kind that many here say they avoid, has had no issues that I've needed to take it to a dealer to fix. The only failure was the battery after 4+ years, which is a normal fairly for any car and to be expected. This is the most reliable new car I've ever owned. It's unfortunate not everyone has had as good of an experience with theirs that I've had with mine. I deserve it though because in the past I've had vehicles (not Acura/Honda) that weren't reliable and experienced problems that others with the same model didn't experience.
 

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Oh shoot i got such bad dealer induced ptsd that i forgot to ask you, op, if red means neutral. With an advance model, there was an issue with the start/stop system that caused it to be thrown in neutral and could not be resolved without a vehicle restart. Tsb 15-034 http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/B15-034.PDF. Did you have this done?

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Oh shoot i got such bad dealer induced ptsd that i forgot to ask you, op, if red means neutral. With an advance model, there was an issue with the start/stop system that caused it to be thrown in neutral and could not be resolved without a vehicle restart. Tsb 15-034 http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/B15-034.PDF. Did you have this done?

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Thanks for this Neoshi! I read through it and I think my issue is slightly different. This TSB says something to the effect of not being able to select another gear. My wife was able to put it into park, and then put it back into drive but still had the red circle of death. But this is pretty darned close!
 

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My trusty MDX decided not to start today.

Went to Dunkin’ for some coffee and came back out and it was a failed start / Xmas lights.

Got my battery jump started and it fired right up.

This car is a POS.
 

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Thanks for this Neoshi! I read through it and I think my issue is slightly different. This TSB says something to the effect of not being able to select another gear. My wife was able to put it into park, and then put it back into drive but still had the red circle of death. But this is pretty darned close!
Ahh interesting. Yep that sounds a bit different. I do wonder if going with this tsb and getting them to flash the latest tranny software might solve it anyway.

Red circle of death. That's a good name.

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My trusty MDX decided not to start today.

Went to Dunkin’ for some coffee and came back out and it was a failed start / Xmas lights.
I think you just need a good mechanic to troubleshoot it and fix it since you haven't been able to find the problem yet. You may or may not find one at your Acura dealership. My 2014 has only failed to start once and that's when the battery died after 4 years. I replaced it and it hasn't had an issue in the 2 years since then. There's not a fundamental issue with the MDX - there's a problem in this area with your particular one.
 

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My trusty MDX decided not to start today.

Went to Dunkin’ for some coffee and came back out and it was a failed start / Xmas lights.

Got my battery jump started and it fired right up.

This car is a POS.
When did you last check the battery or the battery cables?
 

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we are done too. The pearl diamond white paint peeling was the last straw for me. I backed into the mailbox and but a small scratch in the car that will require more than touch up. Found the best auto body shop around NorCal by asking people in that trade and guess what - their lot is full of Acura warranty pearl white diamond cars to be repainted. At least Acura is making it right but really - they couldn't even get the paint right. I just added AHA to see what it offered since Pandora is now owned by Sirius. The app kept popping up telling me to add a Facebook account. These people are all snake oil salesmen because they have forgotten their core business. At least Henry Ford knew what people wanted, needed and could afford. Between the rough ride and poor dealer service I'm done. Won't recommend an Acura to anyone. Just to give an idea - the car is a CPO. It was looked at by the CPO people when it came back in and all items checked (many which were not actually done). I took it to my dealer to have them go thru the list and paid them to do it. It has been in for 2 oil changes and the MPG was falling badly. I pulled the air cleaner out and the whole thing was black with debris build up probably since the car was born. Cabin filter which was checked by Acura two weeks before was also dirty, like 25,000 miles worth. If Acura gives people trophies for dealer of the year service I hate to think what the losers' service was like. Maybe they are millennial participation trophies. They should hang their heads in shame in my opinion. Oh I forgot, in this new age we aren't allow to say bad things about people, or have opinions without the thought police saying something.
 

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the car is a CPO. It was looked at by the CPO people when it came back in and all items checked (many which were not actually done).
All CPO is in essence is an insurance policy - i.e. an extended warranty. It would be in Acura's best interest to actually verify the service points on a vehicle before designating it 'CPO' but I can see that some might simply skip that step either due to incompetence or deception, since the vehicle will sell anyway - at the inflated CPO price. Personally I wouldn't trust a dealer on any used car, including CPO, and would check all the maintenance items regardless - i.e. the filters, fluid changes, brakes, and the like. I don't have a problem with buying used cars and have bought some great ones myself - it's just worth really checking them out first.

And if I was you I'd go ahead and let people know to at least stay away from that dealership. When my Ford Exploder stranded me in June Lake I took a pic of it on the back of the tow truck and put the pic on the wall of my office. I don't know if it cost Ford any sales but it might have.

I think sometimes auto manufacturers are like airlines - the more you use them the more you start marking them off the list due to negative experiences until eventually you get to no airline you actually like - or maybe manufacturer you're totally satisfied with.
 

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thanks - yes, when I got the car home from buying it to replace a 2014 that a red light runner totaled, I lowered the spare tire and it was not only coated with thick dirt but there were no prints on it near the schraeder valve. A quick test showed about 15 PSI was in it. The CPO list has an item, "checked spare tire for wear and pressure" or something like that. I added pressure and washed it. Additionally the front rotors were warped but that dealer is an hour away so I took it by my 5 minutes away dealer of almost 30 years and said, "I'd like you to go thru it from front to back to be sure that ALL the CPO items were actually done - and that all the software and TSB's are up to date. The said something like $200 and I paid it. They gave me a list of the items that were done. That was 14,400 miles ago and 2 oil changes. Even though they were not the selling dealer they did the paperwork for Acura to help me get the 2014 CPO policy refunded so I could apply it to the 2015. That said, they must have some bad apples in the service dept. These are the filters I found that were supposed to have been replaced before the car was sold, and checked 3 times before I pulled the air cleaner because the MPG was plummeting. There is no way the air cleaner has only 14,400 miles on it, and that the cabin filter was checked 2100 miles ago and proclaimed was clean. I have serviced cars since I was 16 and I am 69 now. New filters I bought on left.



 

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Car wouldn’t start. Sounds familiar, but not my Acura. I've been through this recently on an Infiniti. Here is my story. It won't help anybody with an Acura starting problem, but it is an indication of what sorts of things go on inside cars these days.

Last summer my Infiniti wouldn’t turn over. New battery needed, but it also threw a code. I ignored the code (codes can be weird when the electrical system is low) and had the battery replaced. One week later the car did the same thing, without the code. My mechanic looked everywhere and found nothing. He even took the starter out and bench tested it for about a zillion cycles.

Intermittents for things that really matter, such as the car starting reliably, really bother me as I know from experience how impossible they can be. I stored the car for the winter, thinking that I might have to get rid of it in the spring because I need cars that actually start. When I got back I learned something new. This model of Infiniti has a circuit in it that prevents the alternator from charging the battery for the first 8 or so miles of driving, every time the car is started. This “feature” was a perfect fit for my problem: Battery goes bad. Replacement battery isn’t fully charged. Short trips for the whole week. Bam, second non-start occurrence.

Nobody has explained to me why Infiniti did this. I suppose that there is an EPA test loop that is about 8 miles long, and they could squeeze an extra 10th of a mile out during a test. For whatever reason, they did it, it caused me a problem, and now I take the long way to the supermarket every now and then. No more problems.
 

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I agree with all of you having 17 which had bunch of NAV and AcuraLink issues .
They only got fixed after numerous complaints to ACR as per dealer they are normal .
Lexus has better service experience than Acura .
 

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Our problem car was a 2007 Lexus RX350 that we got rid of and replaced with the 2015 MDX. We intended to keep it until the three row RX was released for 2018 then replace it with one of those. It didn’t make it. It too had a random no start problem. Occasionally the key would not turn in the ignition (the RX didn’t go keyless until 2010). Happened to my wife a few times and she had to call Lexus roadside for a tow twice. Both of those times the car finally started before the tow truck arrived. Dealer had no solution other than suggesting spraying WD40 in the keyhole. Wasn’t until it happened in the dealer service department’s hands that they fixed it. We were waiting for the dealer’s porter to bring the car around for about 20 minutes when they told us it wouldn’t start. They tried to give us the car back unfixed once they got it started but I refused to take it since it had happened to us a few times prior to that. They replaced the ignition key lock tumbler under warranty and all was well with that part thereafter.

It also went through a leaking steering rack, leaking water pump, leaking transfer case, a leaking engine oil line, and then when the transmission started failing at 102k miles I finally threw in the towel and sold it to a wholesaler. Dealer serviced every 5k miles its entire life. My wife LOVED that car and was even talking about still missing it this past weekend.

Every brand will build a bad one from time to time.
 

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I learned from my 2013 Pathfinder that you never buy a first model year vehicle. I’ve never had so many issues that had to be referred back to engineering for a fix. Granted, the Pathfinder/QX60 still isn’t known for a solid power train, but there are certainly less issues now.

That said, I wouldn’t touch the Palisade/Telluride for at least the next several model years. It will take them at least that long to iron out the inevitable kinks.
 

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I learned from my 2013 Pathfinder that you never buy a first model year vehicle. I’ve never had so many issues that had to be referred back to engineering for a fix. Granted, the Pathfinder/QX60 still isn’t known for a solid power train, but there are certainly less issues now.

That said, I wouldn’t touch the Palisade/Telluride for at least the next several model years. It will take them at least that long to iron out the inevitable kinks.
My brother-in-law works at the Kia design studio in Irvine and he won't buy a Kia even with his employee pricing. Many of his co-worker buy/lease though the company plan and many have issues.
 
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