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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a 2007 MDX with 184,000 and I am the original owner. I have been following with interest the hands free link parasitic battery drain, the various transmission warnings, and dead battery posts.
In early September I did not drive the MDX for six days. When I came back, it almost started but eventually it needed a jump. I checked my records and found that I had replaced the AAA battery with a new dealer installed Acura battery on 3/15. Starting to research why the car with a fairly new battery might need a jump I read about the HFL. Last week while driving locally, the transmission threw a P1717 code. I did not drive the MDX over the Columbus Day long weekend. On Monday, I removed the HFL module from the rear ac console, using my OBD reader I erased the P1717 code and charged the battery. It took a charge at 10 amps but was fully charged within 1/2 an hour leading me to believe that the battery was not in bad shape. I then drove to the grocery store and everything seemed fine. I came out of the store and tried to start the MDX. The dash lit up as it should but the car did not start. The starter did not even try to engage. I was ...annoyed! I counted to ten and retried. This time the car did start but the check starting system warning appeared. After five local driving start and stops the warning light has turned itself off.
I wonder if I am getting these intermittent issues because of a failing electrical system?
I have read about the starter relay sticking (Can someone tell me exactly which relay is the starter relay on a 2007 MDX?)
I have read about the battery being bad while still passing load tests.
I have read about the alternator failing, though I did not understand how I could test this.
I have read about the A/C relay sticking/failing causing a battery drain. (where is the A/C relay and how can I test this?)
I have also read about the key switch (on other manufacturers, not acura so far) wearing out and not engaging the starter though all other positions work.

I would like to solve this situation however I do not want to indiscriminately start throwing parts at the problem.
Does anyone have a solution to my issue?
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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1. Do not charge batteries at 10 amp. It will kill the battery. Instead, use a battery tender and charger it at very low amp.
2. Go to Autozone or similar to load test battery and alternator first, and then check the battery cables and terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks,
I hadn't thought about going to AutoZone! I will do that this week and post the results here. BTW, I have already inspected the battery cables and terminals. They appear fine, on tight, no corrsion.
R
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I went to Autozone this AM. The battery checked out fine. Maybe as a result of me charging it. The alternator readings were ...vague. It read ok, I believe 14.080 with no load but the reading did not significantly change under full load (brights, a/c, radio, interior lights and anything else i could think of, 14.280). Additionally, the reading did not change when rev'd to 5000. The Auto zone tech stated that the readings while not conclusive point to the alternator.

Anybody have any thoughts?

Anything wrong with buying the Carquest/auto zone branded alternator vs a Bosch (their other option). I am going to research what it means to change the alternator as I am currently thinking of doing it myself. I will replace the serpentine belt while I am at it.
 

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Please post when you find the issue. I have the same issue, my 2007 mdx has about 170000 on it. My mechanic tested the starting system. The starter, alternator and battery were all strong. Had the alternator replaced at about 155000, that had different symptoms than this starting issue. I find that if it doesn't turn over right away and i pull the shift knob back while still in park it starts every time. Seems to be something loose with the shifter not engaging park all the way. The check starting system light will come on for 2 more starts after this and then will disappear until the issue happens again.
 

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Seems that it is a fairly common problem when 07 MDX gets about 170k miles. I have a fairly low mileage MDX, so I am following with great interest. Fixing alternator, if it is the problem, is fairly easy. Typically it is just the brushes are worn, and can be fixed by $10.

Somehow, all the recent posts on gear selector (non-starter, etc) seem to be related. One possibility is the neutral safety switch starts to fail. The device prevents starting in gear. In my 01 Camry, it is a common cause. Once it fails, you can start in neutral, but not in park. Why not try this next time. If it works, the mystery is solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought I would circle back to this thread with some observations. I did not replace the alternator or for that matter anything else. I have only had one reoccurrence of the check starter system light coming on since my original post. After turning the key and not getting a start and based on the answers here, I tried putting the shift lever into neutral. Still no go! I then firmly pushed the shift lever solidly into Park. Started right up and the check starter system light went off, I did not have to wait for it to cycle through a bunch of successful starts. My take on my problem is that the shift selector sensor is getting worn, or possibly dirty. So until I get a chance to inspect and or replace the sensor I will just pay more attention to how I work the shift lever...I would say that this is an anti theft device:laugh: unfortunately I do not think many thieves would steal a 184 K mile car!
 

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Just a notation..
"Check Starting System" means that there is a problem with the Automatic Starting Protocol of the MDX. This is because the MDX Automatically Holds the Starter until the engine Starts (You can test this, just hold the key for half a second and let it go!) in a regular car you have to hold the key in Starting Position until the engine runs.

When the "Check Starting Systems" appears it means that the automatic system will not work for some reason and the starter will not move. To OVERRIDE the system you have to hold the key for +15 seconds in the Starting Position. It will make the car start with no hassle. Once you turn off the engine you don´t have to do anything to start the Automatic Starting system if the problem goes away, but if the issue persist you will have to override it again to start the car.

Some people got lucky by replacing the transmission range switch but some others have to replace the entire ECU since the Automatic Starting System is ran by the ECU.
 

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solved this issue (acura mdx 2010)

After replacing the battery, starter, ignition, alternator I have finally solved my intermittent starting problem! The problem was that the MDX sometimes/often would not start after medium to long drives (more than 20km). It turns out that there is a green connector on the left hand side below the steering column. That green connector was not seated in the socket properly. I pushed it all the way in and my car now starts 100% of the time. I hope this works for all of you who have the same issue. It cost me about $3,000 at my local incompetent Acura dealer. My wife almost killed me during these three months of intermittent starting issues.
 

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After replacing the battery, starter, ignition, alternator I have finally solved my intermittent starting problem! The problem was that the MDX sometimes/often would not start after medium to long drives (more than 20km). It turns out that there is a green connector on the left hand side below the steering column. That green connector was not seated in the socket properly. I pushed it all the way in and my car now starts 100% of the time. I hope this works for all of you who have the same issue. It cost me about $3,000 at my local incompetent Acura dealer. My wife almost killed me during these three months of intermittent starting issues.
Do you have any extra elaboration on where this is green connector is? I'm in the same situation you sound like you were in, insofar as repairs done to no avail, and my wife is currently weighing hiring a hitman so she can get a new car with the life insurance payout.
 

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haha, your nickname should be deathfromabuse.
 

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I have had the exact problem and been troubleshooting, however, the "Check Starter System" warning has never illuminated. I changed the battery and I've pulled the relays and they look sound. Tried waiting after putting the key in hoping maybe it a key fob chip problem as has been reported. (Keys locked in car by auto lock feature this week, not recognizing key fob. Had to call AAA after not breaking in successfully). Have not tried starting in Neutral or the mysterious green wire. Man I love this car. I have had problem after problem after problem. Bought used at 84,000 miles and now have a little under 170,000. Will try and report back.

PS - I'm the angry wife of a mechanic of all things possible. Taking matters into my own hands!
Hitman cancelled....for now.
 
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