Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

21 - 33 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Trans cooling line broke out of radiator

2004 MDX 150K miles, Had my mechanic install aftermarket cooler and just bypassed factory radiator, added 6 quarts of trans fluid and all seems good now. Total cost $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
It does sound early but what the mechanic is describing can happen. Your trans fluid is cooled in your radiator.
Yesterday my MDX lost all acceleration but had plenty of RPM's. The coolant with what appeared to be some oil poured out the front of the car. Apparently, Its time for a new radiator. I have 170,000 Miles on the car. Its in wonderful shape. I would agree with most people about changing the fluid on a regular basis around every 30,000 miles to prevent any issues. My guess is that it was clogged somewhere and the pressure built up and burst one of the lines/coils.:eek: And without the computer sensing pressure in the transmission. The car ultimately refuses to go into gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
The bottom of the radiator across the bottom is where the transmission fluid is cooled. The aluminum tube which has tranny fluid going in snapped right off of the radiator on my MDX yesterday. Drained out like a river flowing. I had plenty of acceleration. But, nothing as far as wheels in motion. scared the crap out of me. The radiator, all fluids, and towing cost $625.00 I'm glad I own this thing out right. Otherwise I'd be a very disappointed person right now. Things happen. But, the mechanic said its a very poor design for a high end car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
check into this

I had an 04 MDX before my current 07 do this same thing while parked in a drive thru...my research after this happened indicated that non manufacture coolant has something or borats...something added in it. Long story short, it causes the corrosion in the radiator. Moral of the story...only use Acura coolant.

I apologize that I can't remember the extra substances in say auto part stores generic coolant...it's been a few years. Just wanted to throw the info I found out, out there for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Same thing just happened to me.

2004 with 108k miles.

"Lucky" it happened in the driveway - less potential for damage but getting the trans fluid out of the pavers is proving to be nearly impossible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I had an 04 MDX before my current 07 do this same thing while parked in a drive thru...my research after this happened indicated that non manufacture coolant has something or borats...something added in it. Long story short, it causes the corrosion in the radiator. Moral of the story...only use Acura coolant.


Acura coolant is not going to save that poor radiator design. It's the corrosion of the aluminum connector. They should have used copper instead. I do change the coolant more often than the factory recommended 100k which is bad for corrosion.
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I was of course out of town and started having issues with shifting my 2004 MDX. Went to Valvoline for quick tips/help as I was in another state and had 5 kids in the car. They recommended a transmission flush. 164.00 later, car drove great for about 2 miles then sputtered and was on the verge of not moving. Manage to get to a parking lot where I stopped. Got out of the car to a pond of transmission fluid and coolant. One of the aluminum fittings at the base of the radiator was blown off, causing the leak. So, the million dollar question: was this the problem described above or due to the transmission flush at Valvoline? Car flipped over to 178,000 miles today ($760 repair bill later for new radiator, trans flush, and multiple radiator flushes). Thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Woooow... I didn't notice this topic until today.
This "coolant+tranny fluid mixture" due to busted cooler line is one of the notorious things that can happen in modern car. This kind of thing never happened on older vehicles (90's) but it looks like this thing seems happening more and more on newer vehicles (2000's)... man, I suspect if it is due to that costsaving culture in big corporate thesesdays....

Anyway, the number one cause of such internal cooler line rupture is suspected to be "prolonged" coolant service duration or incorrect coolant type in the system. Now, can you tell if the coolant color was blue or green or orange type? when you identified this problem? The original acura coolant color should be "blue". by the way.

Now, interesting enough, the acura coolant service interval is about 100k. Can we trust that? At least for me, I would try to replace coolant at least in 3~5 years interval regardless of milege. I do not know what kind of chemical thing is in acura coolant but, in regular practice, auto coolant should be replaced every 30k miles of 3 years. Otherwise, it would start turning to be acidic and starts eat-up from inside. So, from now on, if I were in your situation, I would replace coolant every so often 20~30k miles to be preventative.

Talking about how to remove oil from the system... it is near-impossible to completely remove. No matter what you would probably continue to see at least a little oily residue floating around in coolant resorvior or radiator neck. I would just cycle through with distilled water a few times. Then, topped off with honda coolant then be done with it. Then, replace coolant again at 20~30k miles interval from now on.

The most important part that I would worry is tranny. Did you flush your tranny? Also for tranny fluid, I would replace tranny fluid from now on every 10k miles or so. Anyway, it is good for already weak MDX's tranny anyway. These are my suggestions.... good luck....
3/2015.. seems to be an unusual but almost common problem.. same thing happened to my 2005… I was in the middle of a very busy intersection.. but thank God not like you on a highway..eally stumped my mechanic.. lucky it was just the radiator.. as I see above it could have gone into my tranny as well… oh well still love my Acura.. only rivaled to my Lexus.. that I loved..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have a 2004 MDX with 86,000 miles. I just spent two nights in Michigan because my radiator blew apart on one side while driving home.
I heard a loud screaming noise, noticed that the car wouldn't accelerate, saw smoke and pulled off of the road. The driver's side of the car was coated with transmission fluid. When I stopped, the coolant started pouring out as well.
It stumped the mechanics at first. I pad $650 for the radiator plus two nights and (one day) in a motel.
I've always taken my car to the dealer for oil changes and maintenance.
I'm hoping that the transmission is ok. Seemed a little jerky tonight on the way home. Mechanics said it took 1 qt less transmission fluid than it should have. Suggested I keep an eye on it.
I saw something earlier about adding a cooler. Is that something I should consider to prevent it happening again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Hi,
I have a 2005 MDX and it did the same thing, radiator transmission cooler busted inside and let the transmission oil to mix with the antifreeze
My overflow was filled with trans fluid and was overflowing on the right side of the motor, transmission started to miss shift and then the fluid loss caused the MDX to basically not move.
I know this is an old post but after doing a search here as a new member this identified what occurred in my 2003 MDX last night
I was only a mile from home so fortunately I was able to park it and shut it off quickly
Found this video on YouTube and wondered if the front nose of our MDX has to be removed in order to remove the radiator


https://youtu.be/ytszhcqK_pg?list=PLNRe6N9sgnXL1wamrlh4gphUS0HteR_WC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
My 2003 MDX just had this happened 2 days ago. Wife was driving on the highway. She called me that the car lost power so she pulled over onto an exit ramp.

When I got there, I saw the tranny fluid spreaded all over the pavement and still dripped down under the radiator when I started the engine. The coolant is untouched though. So I realized immediately it's very possible that the tranny cooler adapeter finally failed.

It was 20 miles from home and when I had time to go back there, it's late night. I didn't want to wait for hours for the tow truck and got ripped off by anyone, so I clampped the tranny fluid feed hose to the radiator, added 4 quarts of fluid and drove it home.

Will take a look at the radiator and see if it's repairable. If not, I may replace it or just buy an external cooler.

I would say it's a very bad design :28::28::28:. Acura should have a recall on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
reading this as preventive maintenance (planning to replace Rad ahead with design issue) still there with 07 MDX (mine has 120k). From what I've read, the radiator ATF aluminium connector will leak or break (rust) causing ATF and coolant to mix, possibly causing total transmission failure and $$$!
See https://www.mdxers.org/threads/diy-install-atf-cooler-2g-mdx.124609/ and https://www.mdxers.org/threads/diy-replace-the-radiator-and-flush-a-f-on-2g-mdx.157897/ for picture of the old vs newer design, and how to bypass or change it.
 
21 - 33 of 33 Posts
Top