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Hi All,

I have looked through the existing postings on this topic and can't find a definitive answer or recommendation.

We like our MDX a lot, but we haven't been able to adjust to the stiffer ride. Nothing wrong with the car, I'm sure it was designed this way. We talked about it on the test drives and thought we'd be OK with it, but maybe we're just too old for the stiffer suspension. :)

I've tried the different IDS modes and they don't seem to make too much difference on the ride.

Is replacing the shocks with a 'softer' model a viable option? I know I'll give up some handling but it is a trade-off we're willing to make for a better ride. If so, can anyone recommend a specific brand or model?

Thanks!

Roger
 

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The MDX uses rather complicated dampers, they are basically a 2 in 1 design to simultaneously absorb small road imperfections while remaining stiff in corners. Im not sure replacing them with a single shock will benefit you the way you think it will.

As to why they are rather stiff, its the sign of the times, people seem to purchase cars that are 'sportier' even if they never use or appreciate the more sporting aspects of the design. So manufacturers give them what they want. Maybe its due to car reviewers panning cars and SUVs that have soft cushy suspensions.
 

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I've tried the different IDS modes and they don't seem to make too much difference on the ride.
Just to confirm, IDS does not impact ride quality at all. The MDX doesn't have adjustable dampers like other cars where settings can soften/firm the ride. I just wanted to make you aware that fiddling with IDS won't change any aspect of that.

To my knowledge, IDS includes:
- Steering Wheel firmness adjustment
- Throttle aggressiveness
- Shifting points
- Engine Noise

It may include more, but for sure suspension isn't in there. My Audi has three modes as well which does adjust the suspension. There's a 4th mode called "Individual" which allows you to customize your program. It's very handy if you want stiff steering but a soft ride with normal throttle aggressiveness. It's a very well thought out out system.
 

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In 2016, they decreased the diameter of the rear sway bar to help the ride quality. Shocks, however, stayed the same. Sadly, for me, decreasing the diameter does little but increase understeer, but I'm pretty tolerant of stiff suspension (NVH is another issue, albeit related depending on how they insulated the vehicle).

Sadly, right now, I haven't seen any alternative shocks. I've only seen coil overs, which I doubt you would want.
 

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Hi All,

I have looked through the existing postings on this topic and can't find a definitive answer or recommendation.

We like our MDX a lot, but we haven't been able to adjust to the stiffer ride. Nothing wrong with the car, I'm sure it was designed this way. We talked about it on the test drives and thought we'd be OK with it, but maybe we're just too old for the stiffer suspension. :)

I've tried the different IDS modes and they don't seem to make too much difference on the ride.

Is replacing the shocks with a 'softer' model a viable option? I know I'll give up some handling but it is a trade-off we're willing to make for a better ride. If so, can anyone recommend a specific brand or model?

Thanks!

Roger
As mentioned,there are cars with adjustable suspension. Acura is not one of then. I don't think you can just replace shocks like you used to.
 

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You can, and the process is quite straight-forward on the MDX. It's just that there is really not much in terms of aftermarket support for the MDX because our market group is mostly the "set it and forget it" crowd (mm rotisserie chicken!).
 

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You should have bought the QX60 or Highlander and saved a lot of cash. Coming from a BMW 3 series, in Sport mode, the MDX handles really well for a 7 seats SUV. I really like it.

I think you bought the wrong SUV. The only reason to get the MDX is because it drives like a tall sedan.
 

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You should have bought the QX60 or Highlander and saved a lot of cash. Coming from a BMW 3 series, in Sport mode, the MDX handles really well for a 7 seats SUV. I really like it.

I think you bought the wrong SUV. The only reason to get the MDX is because it drives like a tall sedan.
Think ya hit the nail on the head :p
 

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I have a MDX also 2015. Lousy ride on bumpy roads for sure. Im retired SFFD Firemen with 4 back operations.
It appears I bought the wrong vehicle. Im going to put softer tires in the rear and 4 cases of Cosco Water to help the smoothness problem. Great forum...
 

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I have a MDX also 2015. Lousy ride on bumpy roads for sure. Im retired SFFD Firemen with 4 back operations.
It appears I bought the wrong vehicle. Im going to put softer tires in the rear and 4 cases of Cosco Water to help the smoothness problem. Great forum...
FWD or SH-AWD? As a former tire guy I can't stress enough the importance of keeping the same diameter tires all the way around if it's an AWD and even if it's a FWD you might be surprised at how weird a car can feel if you have different tires on the rear from the front. That said, tell me which tire size you have and I'll tell you what the best riding tire choices are. Tires can make a huge difference is how the MDX rides.
 

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ok, if you want a softer ride, nothing comes for free. what aspect ratio tires do you have? Lower aspect ratio tires often increase ride stiffness and with often less sidewall flex improve cornering. So...... If you have 20" low profile tires, (50 series) consider going to the 18" rims with higher profile tires. Going to possibly cost more than softer shocks. Or do you by chance have run flat tires? Again, downside of run flats often is much stiffer sidewalls, stiffer ride.
 

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ok, if you want a softer ride, nothing comes for free. what aspect ratio tires do you have? Lower aspect ratio tires often increase ride stiffness and with often less sidewall flex improve cornering. So...... If you have 20" low profile tires, (50 series) consider going to the 18" rims with higher profile tires. Going to possibly cost more than softer shocks. Or do you by chance have run flat tires? Again, downside of run flats often is much stiffer sidewalls, stiffer ride.
I presume the Active Dampers available on more recent model years/trim levels would help alleviate some of this.


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I presume the Active Dampers available on more recent model years/trim levels would help alleviate some of this.


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The active dampers are a feature on the early Gen2 Sport models that later became known as the Advance model. Pretty sure the new A-Spec would have it also. The rest have normal struts/shocks. The active suspension cars are stupid expensive to replace those items when they break, like $1,200-$1,500 a corner based on other threads here.
 

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I presume the Active Dampers available on more recent model years/trim levels would help alleviate some of this.


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""some" is the key word. Yes, on my sports hybrid the various modes do offer different ride characteristics. But the difference while noticeable isn't a "pillow soft ride" to "track ready",
 

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I found lowering tire pressures to 31 psi helped a lot, but on cooler mornings, the warning light comes on. I've been running at 33 cold, but don't notice that much improvement. 31 was really better, though.
 

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I called Acura today and they told me struts don't need to be replaced until there is something wrong with them...They should "last" lifetime of the car. What a bunch of ****!

Total estimated cost for parts and labor $1300
What part of that statement do you disagree with? Obviously "lifetime" depends on your definition, but my '07 Honda Odyssey still has the original struts and shocks at 220K with no noticeable issues while I did the struts on my '06 Ody at 130K due to upper mounts rattling. My '07 X has all original components at 175K with no issues. Yes, you could argue that it's not as tight as it was brand new, but none of them leak, rattle, or bounce excessively and I am having no tire wear issues. My Ody just got new rubber last week bc of a sidewall puncture, but the tires had 80K on them with 7/32" left. My X is showing no issue with tire wear either. I don't know of anyone who know anything about cars that subscribes to the old Monroe marketing campaign that every car needs new components at 50K miles and I've had my share of cars that were well over 100K (and obviously 1 over 200K) that were still fine, so out of curiosity what is your criteria for determining it's time to replace struts or shocks?
 

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What part of that statement do you disagree with? Obviously "lifetime" depends on your definition, but my '07 Honda Odyssey still has the original struts and shocks at 220K with no noticeable issues while I did the struts on my '06 Ody at 130K due to upper mounts rattling. My '07 X has all original components at 175K with no issues. Yes, you could argue that it's not as tight as it was brand new, but none of them leak, rattle, or bounce excessively and I am having no tire wear issues. My Ody just got new rubber last week bc of a sidewall puncture, but the tires had 80K on them with 7/32" left. My X is showing no issue with tire wear either. I don't know of anyone who know anything about cars that subscribes to the old Monroe marketing campaign that every car needs new components at 50K miles and I've had my share of cars that were well over 100K (and obviously 1 over 200K) that were still fine, so out of curiosity what is your criteria for determining it's time to replace struts or shocks?
I am guessing the guy you are replying to was mad when he posted, and that something may have failed. Hopefully not though- we obviously need more info.


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Remember the explorers with the tire issues...

Only way to fix the ride as mentioned before is to increase tire height, I would agree switch to an 18” rime and match the existing height of the oem tires. I had a Lincoln with 275/55/20s and changed to 275/60/20s and had a noticeable difference in ride. You could also if you have 20” rims go to a 245/55/20s it will throw of speedo but not by much. I am going wider when I get tires this spring 265/50/20 bcs I am fine with the ride quality, but I did ponder going up in height just for improved ride softness. But would rather have the wider tires. Taller tires is cheaper than shocks and if you don’t like them you can take them back...
 
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