Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,everyone, did anyone tried to improve their acura ride quality with some aftermarket suspension : i have a 2008 mdx ( bought last year with 47K miles)and the ride and handling leave a ton of room for improvement...it is bouncy,floaty, and when a highways turns i have to drive like a grandma 10/2 so to keep the car going straight! I had Fx35 and ( regardless how much people here trash it) that suv's ride was its best asset! : at 95 mph on the highway the car sits solid thru all twists and turns,and even if u hit a pothole wasnt terrible). I googled the found nothing with coilovers or shocks/springs sets.. So is there hope??! Plz , if anybody knows let me know. great regards, Roman
P.S.i found a few posts regarding acura SHaWD,and i thought exactly the same: it should improve stability at highway driving but it doesnt,mdx was my second choice of an suv,after the x5,but taking into the accound x5' reliability,i bought the mdx. my rother bought the X5 and happy as a clam,i still thing mdx is a better vehicle,its just doesnt drive better,and so i want to make it to. it really deserves it!
Thanx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
First up, AWD on any vehicle isn't going to do squat for "highway stability". In fact, most systems revert to FWD or RWD when the car is pointed straight at highway speeds. It may transfer some power during hard acceleration but SH-AWD and most all other systems only improves handling on curving roads, particularly when pushed hard.

I have some seat time in the FX35 and I like the vehicle. I'm an old-school Nissan guy though and have always appreciated the more performance-based characteristics of their older vehicles. The FX is kind of a scrappy SUV as it really handles quite well and likes to be pushed. It's also considerably smaller all the way around and about 600# lighter than an MDX so you're really dealing with a difference class of vehicle. That said, the MDX should offer a much more impressive combination of ride and handling than you've described. I would first look at worn struts/bushings/etc. Tires also make a big difference on this vehicle so it would be helpful to know what type of tires you have installed. It might be worth you driving a newer MDX with non-worn components and OEM tires to get a feel for how it should drive and then reverse engineer from there.

Here's a link for a comparison of the MDX to other cars at that time. As you can see, it should be performing at or better than anything else in its class.

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2007-acura-mdx-sport-page-9
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
I have the Adv model I purchased used from out of state. I was disappointed with the hwy ride on the 5 hour drive home compared to my TSX with A-spec suspension and RDX with Eibach springs. It took effort to keep it between the lines, would not track straight, and felt squirrelly on the curves. I changed out the tires to 20" Conti DWS, found a worn front endlink because of a torn boot, and did an alignment to get everything back into the green. Now the big girl is performing to standard and she can handle pretty good for a +4600lb SUV.

I would ensure:
- the suspension is A-OK (shocks, struts, endlinks, stabilizer bushings, etc...)
- check alignment
- check type/conditions of your current tires. Review your tires on Tire Rack or Discount tires to see how they rate for your driving style
- Check PSI (I do 32psi summer and 36 psi winter because to TPMS and +5200ft altitude)
- Check out some high or ultra performance all season tires that is speed rated at or preferably above an "H" rating (H=130mph, V=149mph, W=168mph, Y=186mph). Assuming you can or want one jack of all trades tire for year round driving. I can do this because we mostly get only 3 seasons in the southwest.

Remember, the MDX is still a +4600lbs top heavy SUV. You have to be on gas to make the MDX handle with sh-awd engaged. When I want to have some fun with the X I usually downshift before a curve to slow down a bit using little to no brake and using the gas pedal with light to heavy application to power through and out the curve with sh-awd fully engaged the entire time. I leave a lot of smaller vehicles on the curves that do the traditional ride the brakes on curves and power out when going straight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanx guys,when i boughtit last year it had 47K miles and the dealer put brand new michelin tires and new brakes.it had some minor steering vibration so i took it to the acura dealer and they balanced all the tires and it took care of the problem.the dealership never mentioned to me any suspension related issues ( and i am sure they would love to make some extra money regardless!!!) so i just assumed its the way the this car drives,period... but i think u right and the alignment and the GOOD suspension chick is in order. I will check out the link,skinny2,i JUST A SEC!) and as of FX the ride quility is the only thing i liked about.. it was cramped inside,horrible in snow(at least on 20s). BTW i really liked the FX's 20 wheels would they fit the MDX?!? ty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
I have 20" RonJon Legacy Type II with 5x120 bolt pattern and +40 offset. Just have to double-check the FX rims to see if they would fit. Sometimes it is cheaper to go aftermarket compared to purchasing OEM.

LINK: RonJon Sport Design
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
With aftermarket wheels where do u get the tpms and how much are they?
I just transferred the TPMS from the OEM rims to the new aftermarket with no problems. I think you find them for about $35-$50 each on eBay if you have winter/summer tire combo. I also saved one OEM rim and best looking tire to use as a full size spare (don't like donut spares). I also had to keep the lugs from the OEM rims for the spare tire. The aftermarket rims use different lugs compared to OEM rims.

Another thing I forgot to mention to help with the ride is doing a road force balance with the tires. They apply up to 1200lbs to the tire to simulate the tire under a load. Then they can adjusts the tire and rim for the least amount of weights and balance. I have this done when I get new tires and most of the time it is free at places like Discount Tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
It sounds like you need new shocks and good alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
see,as far as shocks go car rides the same now at 60k miles as it were at 47K. when is there a time to change them on mdx.?!? on my 545 they were due at 120k,on m5 at 82K. had infiniti i30 longest time ago changed shocks at 70k. i dont think regular shock due at 47 k miles,do they?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
alpine003,do u have more pix of ur car?? i really want to see what it looks like on 20 AND 2 inches lowered! ty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
First up, AWD on any vehicle isn't going to do squat for "highway stability". In fact, most systems revert to FWD or RWD when the car is pointed straight at highway speeds. It may transfer some power during hard acceleration but SH-AWD and most all other systems only improves handling on curving roads, particularly when pushed hard.

I have some seat time in the FX35 and I like the vehicle. I'm an old-school Nissan guy though and have always appreciated the more performance-based characteristics of their older vehicles. The FX is kind of a scrappy SUV as it really handles quite well and likes to be pushed. It's also considerably smaller all the way around and about 600# lighter than an MDX so you're really dealing with a difference class of vehicle. That said, the MDX should offer a much more impressive combination of ride and handling than you've described. I would first look at worn struts/bushings/etc. Tires also make a big difference on this vehicle so it would be helpful to know what type of tires you have installed. It might be worth you driving a newer MDX with non-worn components and OEM tires to get a feel for how it should drive and then reverse engineer from there.

Here's a link for a comparison of the MDX to other cars at that time. As you can see, it should be performing at or better than anything else in its class.

BMW X5 vs. Acura MDX, Cadillac SRX, M-B ML350, Lexus GX470, Volvo XC90, VW Touareg, Land Rover LR3 Comparison Tests - Page 9 - Car and Driver
I am super jelous cause my MDX drives NOTHING LIKE it described here....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
see,as far as shocks go car rides the same now at 60k miles as it were at 47K. when is there a time to change them on mdx.?!? on my 545 they were due at 120k,on m5 at 82K. had infiniti i30 longest time ago changed shocks at 70k. i dont think regular shock due at 47 k miles,do they?!
Shock/strut (damper) replacement isn't a scheduled item for any manufacturer. The quality of the components and how the vehicle is used will significantly impact the life. If your MDX was used in rough conditions by the original owner, it's possible a host of suspension parts are worn. While these are well made vehicles, they're not designed for off-road use or even constant rough roads where the dampers are consistently used to extremes. I recall one of the car magazines killing the suspension in a Ridgeline in a matter of days while off-roading and I believe Honda's response was...well it's not really designed for that.

So it's hard to say how long they should last. Our '12 has 65k miles and still feels as good as new. It's mainly only used for long highway trips and never off-road or even on rough roads really. I drive other vehicles off-road regularly for my business and it's not uncommon to destroy OEM dampers in less than 20k miles. Some of our fleet vehicles, we'll even upgrade the dampers when the vehicle is brand new.

Inspect the dampers for leakage, test them for excess bounce, confirm the sway bars are connected and bushings are good, etc. If nothing seems out of place, I'd recommend driving a newer lower mileage MDX and compare how it drives. If that still seems sloppy, perhaps your expectations are just too high for a nearly 5,000# 3-row SUV...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
see,as far as shocks go car rides the same now at 60k miles as it were at 47K. when is there a time to change them on mdx.?!? on my 545 they were due at 120k,on m5 at 82K. had infiniti i30 longest time ago changed shocks at 70k. i dont think regular shock due at 47 k miles,do they?!
not unless the previous owner was driving on bumpy, uneven, tough roads all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
The OP has done the first thing. The MDX is very balance sensitive, so a roadforce balance isn't an option. Sounds like the dealer did this. I learned the hard way with cheap tires.

Next, you need end links and sway bar bushings. These parts are over-stressed.... Swaybar bushings in the X are small for the weight of the car and they are a hard rubber, which IS DEFINITELY deformed if you have over 50k on the car. If you DIY the links and bushings are two hours in the driveway working slowly....the cost is not much. I have found (120k) that the sway bar bushings last about 40k or so. This clears the vague-slop feeling.

If you replaced struts, be sure to have replaced the rubber mount at the top. This is a bad place to save money. Acura sells a fully assembled strut and spring. Since sadly there is zero aftermarket for this car, I could not go Koni or Bilstein, and the OE choice turned out to be least objectionable, and you now have the suspension solution of 2014, not 2008

Lastly, the X is intolerant of bad tires. I've had the OE Michelins, Coopers, cheap OE Contis from another truck, and now Conti LX20 tires. You can't cheap out there, even though the stock size is more expensive. I do love the Conti LX20....quiet, sticky, good in corners, keeping in mind this isn't a 911.

I've 120k on my X. With fresh shocks, (110k) links and sway bushings, and roadforced tires, my only issue was with the nice man from the New York State Police this weekend. Smooooth at 80.

The suspension bits are marginal for the weight and performance target of the X. They wear quickly, but fortunately aren't too hard to DIY, save the front struts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
MDX is one of the best handling SUV's, if yours doesn't handle well there's something wrong

Check in order of cost & hassle:
Tire pressure
Wheel alignment
Suspension & steering wear / damage (bushings / shocks / springs / tie rods / etc)
Frame geometry. Maybe it was hit and the unibody is tweaked
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
The OP has done the first thing. The MDX is very balance sensitive, so a roadforce balance isn't an option. Sounds like the dealer did this. I learned the hard way with cheap tires.

Next, you need end links and sway bar bushings. These parts are over-stressed.... Swaybar bushings in the X are small for the weight of the car and they are a hard rubber, which IS DEFINITELY deformed if you have over 50k on the car. If you DIY the links and bushings are two hours in the driveway working slowly....the cost is not much. I have found (120k) that the sway bar bushings last about 40k or so. This clears the vague-slop feeling.

If you replaced struts, be sure to have replaced the rubber mount at the top. This is a bad place to save money. Acura sells a fully assembled strut and spring. Since sadly there is zero aftermarket for this car, I could not go Koni or Bilstein, and the OE choice turned out to be least objectionable, and you now have the suspension solution of 2014, not 2008

Lastly, the X is intolerant of bad tires. I've had the OE Michelins, Coopers, cheap OE Contis from another truck, and now Conti LX20 tires. You can't cheap out there, even though the stock size is more expensive. I do love the Conti LX20....quiet, sticky, good in corners, keeping in mind this isn't a 911.

I've 120k on my X. With fresh shocks, (110k) links and sway bushings, and roadforced tires, my only issue was with the nice man from the New York State Police this weekend. Smooooth at 80.

The suspension bits are marginal for the weight and performance target of the X. They wear quickly, but fortunately aren't too hard to DIY, save the front struts.
Great post speedlaw! Any tips on loosening the retaining nuts on each end of the sway bar end links (with the Threaded stud in the middle that must be restrained with an Allen wrench). I have ordered new bushings and end links but they have not come in yet. Just for fun, I tried to loosen one of the existing end link nuts with a 17 mm boxed end wrench while trying to hold the threaded stud in place with an Allen wrench. I could not get the nut to loosen or budge even after spraying the nut and stud with WD-40 penetrating oil an hour or so earlier. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
LOEzell
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Great replys thatx everyone. Next week i am going to maine and after we"ll go to acura for full check up.last night i decided to speed up the on ramp and the car performed marvelously! Oh, another thing, when i bought the car the steering had some shake, so i took it to the dealership to balance- shave was completele gone but the car still retains some kind of vibration.- my that this is my second acura that does the same thing.. Anyways two weeks from now dealership and hopefully they can find smth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Several of us has had this problem with several degrees of severity. In my case, the rotors were warped and they remained warped even after turning the rotors.

I always kept balancing all my wheels every couple of weeks/months, but it did not last long before I had some shaking/vibration.

Since I put new rotors in the front, my MDX has no vibration at all and it brakes very smoothly. The rotors are easy to change, and there are posts to help you.

If you cannot find the source of the shacking/vibration, and you know your rotors were warped and/or are warped, then try changing the rotors. It only cost you $50.00 each front rotor.

You know you have warped rotors if you have balanced your wheels, aligned your vehicle, have new tires, have checked the suspension elements, etc. and you are riding at different speeds and brake very slightly and you begin to get different types of vibrations. Some can be very strong (some people's vehicle shaked like crazy) while others was just a very annoying shaking of the vehicle that got worst when braking.

I had my rotors turned by my Acura dealer (which does it in-place without needing to take the rotors out) and it did not last much. They charged me $400.00, which I shouldn't have done that. The rotors are so cheap and so easy to change that for $100.00 you can change the 2 front rotors for 1/4 the dealers cost.

Now myself and some others that tried all the normal shaking/vibration fixing solutions that did not work, are now 100% shake free.

There is something wrong with "certain" MDX's brake rotors that causes them to be from moderate to severely unbalanced. One of my friends sold his MDX because it shaked like crazy since new and the Acura dealer was not able to fix it. They changed tires, balanced them continuously, aligned it several times, etc. I bet that his problem was warped rotors too causing the wheel/car assembly to shake.. Too bad that he sold it before we knew about the rotors possible solution...

Make sure you torque your wheel lugs correctly (I think the torque is 95 lbs/ft..?) because if you over-tighten then you will warped your rotors eventually and/or after a very hard brake.

AC


Great replys thatx everyone. Next week i am going to maine and after we"ll go to acura for full check up.last night i decided to speed up the on ramp and the car performed marvelously! Oh, another thing, when i bought the car the steering had some shake, so i took it to the dealership to balance- shave was completele gone but the car still retains some kind of vibration.- my that this is my second acura that does the same thing.. Anyways two weeks from now dealership and hopefully they can find smth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Follow up to my post:
Just out of the dealership and the alignment was a bit off,but the rest of the suspension checked out just fine. so i guess its either a SPORTS PACKAGE for me,or just like some one previously stated my expectations are too high for this vehicle. the dealer i went to did not have any sport package ones on the lot so i could not test drive one.
tho in time i started this thread and until now i got to appreciate MDX more than i did before thanx to u guy,especially slowing down before the curve and then just power thru it- AMAZING TIP! thank u very much:)
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top