Acura MDX SUV Forums banner


12895 Views 48 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  jedi_gras
I just got off the phone with Acura Client Services. This was my 4th call, they actually called me back a couple of times.
The answer and/or bulletin for the THUD problem has been in the works with MDX engineers for a while now. They are well aware and apparently concerned with this issue. They thought it could be an issue with a part in the area of the front struts, but all attempts to come up with a fix failed. They narrowed it down to the STRUTS. Now I know some of you have had struts replaced and they have not solved the problem.. Acura has struts currently on order from the manufacturer now. They are not in as of this date and are admmittedly on a NATIONAL CRITICAL Backorder. It sounds as if SOME (or A LOT) of the original struts were faulty; and since they now narrowed it down, the new ones on order are probably DIFFERENT in some respect. 2 front struts on this current order are tagged for me and will be sent to my dealer. I will report back when they arrive. Estimated 2 weeks. I still love my MDX, have driven Honda products for over 10 years, and based on my experience, they will solve this. It doesn't help that we are driving $35-$40K vehicles with noisy front ends, but they'll get it done.
P.S.: My dad got an MDX 2 months after me. NO THUD at all.
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

I just got my MDX back from the dealer after leaving it for 2 days. After talking with a tech or factory rep about the low speed, front end clunk, they overnighted a "buffer" for the front springs. The work order indicates removal of front springs and installation of buffers on the springs. Having driven it for a few miles tonight it appears to be better but time will tell. I am now curious as to whether they are also going to replace the struts you mentioned.
When I spoke to Client services 2 weeks ago, they told me that they were in the process of creating a bulletin/procedure for the dealers to cure the noise. It involved "something" with the springs.
When I spoke to them yesterday, they said the MDX engineers were not satisfied with that, and they were contacting the strut manufacturer to put a massive order in for "new" struts. It sounds to me like some vehicles are worse than others. Maybe that spring buffer will work on some but not others. Knowing Honda, they will only issue a bulletin with a procedure that is going to solve it in ALL situations. Please let me know how these buffers work for you.
I will post after I get these "NEW" struts, to let all know the results.
phone #, please

Could you be so kind as to post the Phone # for the Client Services?

i had the right front strut changed by acura dealer on my mdx two weeks ago. the thud problem was improved but still there. yesterday acura service rep accompanied my wife and heard thud. now im being advised that they will change spring/coil above strut. whats up. i did not pay $40,000 to have new vehicle front end rebuilt. big disappointment.
We all wanted a first year model of a vehicle that was built from almost the ground up. Honda tests their vehicles EXTENSIVILY, but is still going to miss a few items, as we've found out. They will make good on the problems; they almost always have in the past or we wouldn't even looking at Acuras in the first place.

Or you can take it back and get another one in a few years...but I'm still having too much fun with mine to do that! ;)
No clue...

Well, my dealer just called me. A mechanic AND Acura engineer (!) went on a ride in my car and "easily replicated" the problem I was complaining about. Since I wasn't there, I cannot tell if they "heard" the same things I hear :), but according to the dealership NO repairs will be done at this time until Acura comes up with the solution.
That's the end of it for now, I guess. When I pick the car up later tonight, I will try to find out some more details.


BTW, guys, cosolidate this thread into The Thud thread in this folder.
While I have been reading the various "thud" threads, I thought that my MDX was, so-far, thud-less. Now, I wonder. On Friday as I slowed and changed lanes (to the right) onto an exit ramp, I experienced a sudden noise which sounded to me like I had hit some road debris, though I didn't see any. It seemed to move from the front to the back, on the driver side, and I felt it as much as I heard it. I experienced this once before and was sure that it was just something on the road. (In both instances, I do not see any physical signs of having hit anything) Do any of you thud-pros think this is it?

Does anyone know if the "THUD" problem is related to a certain range of MDX's produced or is this problem across the board. My MDX was delivered to me on 12/13/2000 and I have driven it over the sharpest speedbumps and bad roads I can find and I cannot hear any thud at all.
specific batches?

has acura pinned specific batches that are affected by the thud? vin ranges?
Reproducing the THUD...

I was a victim of the THUD. My MDX was delivered on 12/15/2000, so that may rule out that only some batches were affected, considering rvehock's was picked up on 12/13/2000 and no THUD's been heard yet. I had my left (driver's side) front lower control arms and bushing taken apart, relubed and put back together/retorqued to factory specs. THUD went away. It took an entire week for them to find a cure.

The first day I brought it in, a service rep came with me for a quick ride to try and reproduce the sound. I barely was able to reproduce the THUD. (At first I thought I could only make it happen when accelerating from a complete stop while steering right.) He said he thought he heard it. A couple days later when they thought they might have fixed it, they asked me to drive it again to see if it was fixed, this time I had the Service Rep, and a head Mechanic in the MDX. This time I reproduced it everytime! The first time it was from a complete stop while proceeding to make a right turn and slamming on the accelerator. On the suggestion of the tech, I slammed on the brakes after gaining some speed...THUD! He then asked me to just hit the accelerator while going straight... THUD! Drove a little, slammed on the brakes... THUD! THUD, THUD, THUD, they said "damn... wow". They were surprised. It was incredible, and I was actually quite relieved that I was able to reproduce it like 5 or 6 times in succession, they probably thought I was dreaming this up. The mechanic figured something was shifting, well, apparently it was the bushing and control arms.

In addition, was I not only able to hear the loud THUDs, but I could also feel it in the deadpedal, it felt like a mallet was knocking hard up against the bottom of the floorpanel where your left foot is supposed to rest (I still don't like the placement of the deadpedal, too close, but that's another thread).

Anyways, I suggest that people attempt to duplicate your THUDS, and when you bring it into the dealer, you (hopefully) can reproduce it for them, and show them they're the crazy ones for not believing us.

Actually, I've had good experiences with my service department in San Diego, any problems or concerns and maintenance I've had so far have been handled... AND just yesterday my Service Rep told me that a cure for the weeping/dripping mirrors is in the works!, but that too is another thread. I have over 9,000 miles on my MDX and over 6,000 miles since the THUD!

Good Luck to anyone dealing with the THUD.
See less See more
I have the THUD as well

My experience is that the thud appears when either going through a downward intersection and when the vehicle hits the bottom of the dip it clicks, OR when you hit a speed bump at about 20+ mph, the THUD appears on the compression, or downside of the speedbump. Its not a pretty sound.

Anyhow, I am going to arm myself w/this info, between this spacer/buffer and new struts, I am going to let the svc. dept. know what I expect when I take mine in for its first oil change. Frankly, I am not getting the impression that my front end is going to fall off, so I am not concerned about rushing to the dealer on this one. I am a bit annoyed w/the fact that something like this was not found during prelim testing, it seems very obvious (it should have shown up during some bumpy road testing). My MDX was built in Jan 2001, fyi,
Re: I have the THUD as well

cr said:
My experience is that the thud appears when either going through a downward intersection and when the vehicle hits the bottom of the dip it clicks, OR when you hit a speed bump at about 20+ mph, the THUD appears ...I am a bit annoyed w/the fact that something like this was not found during prelim testing, it seems very obvious (it should have shown up during some bumpy road testing). My MDX was built in Jan 2001, fyi,
I suspect that that there was too little time spent "confirming" that that stuff used for the production run is in fact 100% identical in function to the stuff they used for other prototypes/performance mules/pre-production testing. Further, with demand still (mostly) outstripping supply the engineers are not going to feel real comfortable with pulling "a few off the line" to confirm the problem and facing the wrath of the product manager who wants EVERY vehicle delivered yesterday...

Like all manufacturers, Acura probably gave suppliers the permision to substitute "like kind" components and those are just different enought to go THUD. In college I worked at a bike shop ( and a stereo shop, and a few 'student aide' jobs too...) and the difference between the one-off "demonstrator/preview" bikes from some manufacturers to the production stuff was all about little details that made the production bikes seem rougher, cruder and less "watched over".
Ok; I started this thread, so I figured I should give a status report. First of all, can a moderator or someone please try to combine this thread with the main thread/folder on "THE THUD" to avoid confusion? Sorry to have posted another thread, I was new to this back then.

ANYWAY; I got back in touch with Acura Client Services. It turns out that they are not sending new struts for my MDX. Struts are NOT the problem unless they are leaking (Like on any car, if they leak, they are a problem and will eventually make noise).

The Manager I spoke with admits that the SPRING BUFFERS, (Which are heater hose like rubber things, designed to stop the coils of the springs from bumping in to each other on compression) are not doing it because that's not the problem. They have outlined some procedures for the dealers to check for and areas of the front end to be tightened in each instance. That is not working on all vehicles because their is a possibility that what we are all referring to as the THUD, might be a a bunch of different problems / noises, not one common one. Maybe Not though.

Client Services contacted my Service Manager who then contacted me to bring the car in for another test drive. My Service Manager at the dealership was GREAT today. He spent 2 hours with me driving the car over Bumps near my house which was 15 - 20 minutes away from the dealer, (because I had "known" bumps/dips that i could reproduce the noise on). FINALLY, I was able to reproduce it so someone else could here it. At least he knows I'm not crazy now. He narrowed it down in some respects. (Just a side note, I have the noise in BOTH THE LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT). The reason the noise is inconsistent is that it makes a difeerence if the suspension is LOADED at the time of impact to the dip in road, meaning if the weight is ALREADY shifted to the given side of the car or not BEFORE the car goes into the Dip. He took lots of notes and personally crawled through the wheel wells to see if any thing was making rub marks which they were not. He has some theories (that make a lot of sense but this post is way too long already so I'll spare all of you the details for now) but will call his GURUS at TECH-LINE to discuss and then bring my car in.

He also checked the Part number database for front end parts to see if any one part had different or multiple numbers listed, meaning that they changed the vendor or some aspect of the part in the middle of production. NONE were found.

I was told a field engineer will come out to my dealer if needed. I'll give it another month or so............Then I'll tell them I'm pursuing the LEMON LAW (I know it's tough) and tell them to give me a new car.

My Dad got an MDX after I did. NO THUD. My cousin got one way BEFORE I did, No thud. There goes the theory of a certain batch of VINS having the problem, unless they admit o changing an installation process on the assembly line. That's being checked as well.

I'll let you all know if you care when I know.
See less See more
Re: Reproducing the THUD...

Hey ucsdtriton;

My Service Manager spoke to yours after reading a copy of your reply to my post about the THUD. I'm having the repair performed tomorrow.

I was wondering if the fix they applied to your lower control arm bushings is still working or if the Thud came back. (I hope it did NOT come back). Cush Acura stated they performed this on a few more MDXs since with the same good results.

You stated that it stayed away for 6000 miles at the time of your post so I am wondering if it's still gone.

Thanx in advance.

BACK TO SQUARE 1, as they say! I just had my service manager personally perform the repair that ucdtriton, had performed. He even contacted the service manager and head tech at that dealer in San Diego to get step by step details on what to F--- with in the front end. IT DOESN'T WORK, IT EVEN GOT A LITTLE WORSE. "TECH-LINE", still has no answer, "THEY ARE WORKING ON IT."

Meanwhile, I don't know how many of you bought your MDXs for Cash, but I'll bet most of you, like me are making some pretty hefty monthly payments. In general, I can't complain, this is an awesome vehicle, but this THUD problem is ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I HOPE SOME PEOPLE FROM ACURA ARE READING THESE POSTS.

I'm putting a call through to the Manager I have been in touch with at ACURA CLIENT SERVICES - PETE ANDERSON.
I will be informing him that I am losing my patience to be writing out huge checks each month to drive a $40,000.00 vehicle that makes noise over bumps, with NO CORRECTIVE ACTION WHATSOEVER IN SIGHT.


I'm giving them 60 more days. At that point, I will have owned this vehicle for 6 months and will not accept the "WE'RE WORKING ON IT" Answer any longer. I want the car replaced!!!! I want the car replaced!!!! I want the car replaced!!!! I want the car replaced!!!! I want the car replaced!!!!

I suggest to all who have this same problem to start calling ACURA CLIENT SERVICES AND COMPLAIN....CONSTANTLY. If we don't, they will not move their butts.

Everyone seems to be a little more concerned with the WEEPING MIRROR ISSUE. Come on guys, let's get HARD-NOSED on this Front End issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If they get tired of the calls, they'll put a higher priority on it.

I'll report back after my next contact with Pete Anderson @ ACS.
See less See more
Speedy, I am with you on this one!!!
Speedy...I haven't seen the THUD problem on mine yet but do feel your frustation...Mine
does have the weeping mirror though.

Here are the top 2 issues for Acura engineers to work on:

- the THUD noise
- the weeping mirror

I wonder though...Can you apply the lemon law if you want the car replaced?
The Lemon law is tough because apparently you need to prove that the problem will significantly decrease the resale value of the vehicle. I think this does.

I'm going to attempt to not let it get that far.

What really sucks is that I really do LOVE this car; But the THUD is ABSOLUTLY, POSITIVELY UNACCEPATBLE!
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.