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We took delivery of a 2002 MDX in December of 2001 and the tranny is starting to act up at 21K miles. Intermittently while driving in D5, the motor will race as if the car is in neutral and then the transmission will re-engage. This occasionally happens from a standstill. My wife informed the dealer about and their response was they will take no action until they can reproduce the problem on a test drive. As the problem is intermittent, I fear the (inevitable) complete failure will happen outside of warranty period.

I know a debate has ensued on this board with Rob and others on the Honda 5-speed - but are there any suggestions on how to proceed and are others experiencing this problem?
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems.

My '95 Integra's transmission failed at 27k miles. For a long time (probably within months of purchase) it would occasionally -- and I mean maybe once every two months -- race while in a drive gear. The rpm's would go very high, while the transmission tried to get things into the proper gear. Since the problem was intermittent the service techs were never able to reproduce it so did not do anything to the vehicle.

The vehicle was never abused or run very hard, either.

This continued until one day when it finally broke down. Fortunately on a relatively busy street but not on the highway. Had to be towed back to Acura and had its transmission replaced, and it was fine until we traded it in at about 80k miles.

I realize the 95 Integra has a different transmission, but your comments reminded me of its issues, and are probably shared along a lot of transmission failure stories regardless of brand.

Moral of the story is that if the tranny is acting funny, I don't think it will cure itself and it may eventually fail. I would recommend getting an extended warranty if you are going beyond the warranty period. Obviously if many MDX transmissions fail out of warranty, Acura may extend the transmission portion of the warranty as they have done to the currently admitted problem transmissions (TL's, CL's, Accord V6's and Odyssey), but right now that hasn't happened yet. Just as there hasn't been enough of a pattern of MDX transmission failures to conclude that there is a problem (it'll probably take more time).

I have had a few burps with my 2001's transmission as well. On inclines, it will sometimes thud and even shudder when going into and out of reverse. Have my fingers crossed!
 

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Have you actually left it @ the dealer and received a Service Order? You need documentation.

I would take it to the dealer, tell them the tranny is slipping in D5, and let them deal with it. You'll get the "can't duplicate" stuff at the end of the day, but you'll also have written documentation that you brought it to the dealer for the issue. Then, if it ends up dying after the warranty is up, you can point to the fact that you had it in and they didn't bother with it, and they'll have to fix it for free.

Slipping is a classic early sign of tranny failure.
 

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It seems that Honda/Acura can't make an automatic tranny to save their lives. You're lucky you didn't buy a TL/CL. Over at Acura-CL.com, we have a forum dedicated to transmission failures! :( :eek:

From what you are describing, it sounds exactly like what happens before the tranny fails completely. Did the dealer check for codes???

This link shows what can happen when a tranny fails in a CL. Just terrible...

http://www.acura-cl.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=91566


It's sad to see a company like Honda/Acura such wonderful cars with a suspect transmission. Sad. Truly sad...
 

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A great many people do not know this but the Honda/Acura automatic transmission design is the result of design work of the same company that did work on the original design of the Chrysler adaptive automatic transmission. As you are well aware Chrysler transmissions have a "reputation" for failing. One problem with the Chrysler transmissions is that the seals on the output shafts give out and the fluid leaks out. Unfortunately there is no "tell-tale" of dripping fluid because it only leaks out under pressure when the output shafts are spinning at who knows what RPM. The fluid gets spun off into space so you never see it. If you don't check your transmission fluid regularly you would never find this problem until it was too late ie. transmission failure. If you check it infrequently you might top it up not realizing that the level is going to start going down again as soon as you drive the next time. I suppose if my transmission were slipping in my Acura I might check the fluid levels and the seals on the output shafts.


"The Japanese influence of the A604 is something that was told to me by a visitor to my site some time ago. He said that while Honda itself didn't have a hand in its design, the same outside company that handles much of their trans designing did the 604 [Ultradrive], and we know that automatic transaxles are a weak link in Hondas as well. He also said that Chrysler badly screwed up when coming up with a maintenance schedule, and didn't properly inform buyers that a special trans fluid, Type 7176, was required. Many of these trannies have failed because people added Dexron III, which is akin to putting a time bomb in your trans."
 

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Another reason to stick by the flushing of the tranny fluid on a regular basis. When I did the triple flush at 15,000 miles it was very bad and I bet I would have troubles down the road if I didn't do that flush. I might just do one flush every other oil change to see how it holds up.
 

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Tranny Failures:

I'm reading these tranny post in utter amazement!The book says 45,000 miles till the first service.Most dealers try and sell a 30,000 mile service cause its a big money maker for them.They use a machine that recirculates and replaces at the same time,and is easy to implement if you have the equipment.I've owned 3 Acuras and 4 Hondas and always felt that the transmissions were pretty tough.While I woulde NEVER go 7500 before an oil change I will change the trans fluid at the suggested interval.If it goes then Acura will be putting in a new one.I am going to take out the extended warranty just in case.I hate reading these posts with trans problems on new Xs.If theres a real problem with them I'm sure Acura will get it fixed.
AS far as the Chrysler trans problems,I can attest to those problems I've had four company Mini vans and lost the trans in all but the first one ,a 94.Its ironic but the big three warrants these to the company for 100,000 miles with NO service interval.They usually would let loose about 50,000 miles.Being a sales rep I always had about 400 to 500 pounds of literature and samples in the back.I always felt this contributed to the problem.
Tom
 

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For admin re tranmissions-

Admin--Is there some way to consolidate the tranny links and posts for ready reference and posting? As I have followed this it has struck me as a $hit happens issue that won't happen to me but after reading the CL posts in the links I am taking this much more seriously.

For those experiencing the problem and find their service people non responsive, start making book now by keeping a diary, taking the X for repair everytime there is a problem to at least document the complaint and I would even suggest printing posts from here and the CL site and sending a brief letter, attaching posts and demanding immediate repair. Remind them that this is Acura's responsibility to repair and that Acura will be responsible for the consequences of their neglect. If applicable remind them that your X is a family car and you use it to transport children.
 

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Re: For admin re tranmissions-

bomo said:
Admin--Is there some way to consolidate the tranny links and posts for ready reference and posting? As I have followed this it has struck me as a $hit happens issue that won't happen to me but after reading the CL posts in the links I am taking this much more seriously.

For those experiencing the problem and find their service people non responsive, start making book now by keeping a diary, taking the X for repair everytime there is a problem to at least document the complaint and I would even suggest printing posts from here and the CL site and sending a brief letter, attaching posts and demanding immediate repair. Remind them that this is Acura's responsibility to repair and that Acura will be responsible for the consequences of their neglect. If applicable remind them that your X is a family car and you use it to transport children.
Excellent points, bomo! I know it's been suggested before, but subcategories for 'Problems" would be a good idea.
 

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Re: Re: For admin re tranmissions-

Done. I'm slowly going through the board and aggregating all the xmission threads into a subforum I created in the Problems forum.

DaleB said:


Excellent points, bomo! I know it's been suggested before, but subcategories for 'Problems" would be a good idea.
 

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Hi All:

___This is the kind of thread I dislike reading … I saw an 03 owner post of a failed tranny also. I had hoped Honda had gotten the right message and did the redesign properly in regards to past tranny failures. The one saving grace is that the X tranny is not the same as found on the CL/TL’s, Ody’s. The very few 01/02 X’s that have problems are indeed few but now I have my doubts once again for the 03’s. Remember that the 01/02 tranny replacements happened to a very small minority of X owners and I will guess a small minority will be plagued with a problematic tranny for the 01 – 03’s moving forward.

___In any case, if an X tranny goes out by 50K, Honda/Acura replaces the defective unit and hopefully adds a 100K warranty or the unfortunate individual with the recently replaced tranny will be buying the 7 Yr./100K mile extended warranty as an afterthought. Sure makes it tough to think of an X as a 10 – 15 yr. vehicle when you read threads like this time and time again.

___Good Luck to you all.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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Re: Tranny Failures:

tommyleon said:
...They use a machine that recirculates and replaces at the same time,and is easy to implement if you have the equipment.I
Tom
What ACURA dealership are you using?

I've found Acura to be somewhat opposed to flush machines...

I'm personally convinced it is the way to go....


In any case, if an X tranny goes out by 50K, Honda/Acura replaces the defective unit and hopefully adds a 100K warranty..

HA
HA

I'd venture that the 'free extended warranty' is the rarity, and will be only offered if the dealler really screws up the customer service/the customer yells/the trans fails under 10k....

Oh, or if 3% of the vehicles start showing that failure mode

My 2 cents

Ard
 

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Tranny Problems

Hi Ard:

Actually the Acura dealer here doesn't use it.Alot of dealers do however,mostly from a company called BG.They either buy the hardware up front or the dealer pays a higher price for a two pack of "elixir"as I call it!One is a cleaner the others a conditioner until he sells 200 kits and then the machine is his.The dealers sell it it because the BG "spiffs" the hell out of the service writers and the techs.They push this stuff hard at 30,000 miles.I agree it makes sense because it pumps the old out and puts new in getting all of it.There are alternative machines out there and some dealers go that route.Most dealers will charge you $95.00 for that service.I don't think the conditioner is recommended by Acura but the rest makes sense.
Tom:4:
 

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If Acura has not fixed the tranny problem as experienced by some '01-02 X owners for the '03 model, this could create major concerns and worry for those new owners as well as those who are still standing in line waiting for their delivery.

Are we all stupid waiting in line to buy something that we know that are not going to last, or with known problem? Do you think Acura is not aware of the defect and producing a product to fail itself and/or receive bad reputation in the auto industry and weakening consumer confidence to buy any new Xs now and in the future ?

If the tranny problem is ture for '03 model, why did Acura spent time and $ to re-design the tranny for the '03 model in the first place, and still not fixing the defect ? Please take a look at the Parts Content Information section of the X's window sticker in which it indicates that the country of origin for the transmission is Japan, and the engine is USA. Now knowing that the tranny is from Japan,
I do not know why ealier thread says it is from USA. Are '01-02 tranny made in US or Japan? "01-02 owners can verify that. Does it matter where the tranny is designed and manufactured?

We all know that no cars are perfect even brand new models. It depends on how you drive and how much your car is driven within a reasonable period of time, any material that is abused or overused within short period of time is subject to premature failure.:rolleyes:
 

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Tranny Posts

Hey its Saturday night and I for one have had a few adult beverages.Lets not panick here.Hopefully someone from the factory i.e. engineering will read these posts and shed some light.Too much history and quality for this kinda thing to happen.Like I said in a previous post I've owned more than one Acua/Honda all with automatics with the exception of the 90 Integra LS Never a trans problem.All were solid and I abused em by driving them HARD and not changing fluid until 50,000 miles!!
Hope to hear from the factory!!
Tom :4:
 

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Hello Tom-

I know a few dealers, and am familiar with BG.

Believe what you like, but the stuff works- sure, they make money on it, but if you've got a sludged trans it *can* help.

I'd agree that dealers push 'the chemical treatment' when it isn't needed: if you are changing the fluid regularly, I'd just recommend changes- if you've got burnt fluid or shift issues, a cleaning is called for.

To me, the use of the term "Dealers" here on an Aucra board 'usually' means Acura dealers...My opinion is that the majority of Acura dealers do NOT offer flush machines.

All my local ones don't- One claims "Acura doesn't recommend any kind of flush".

Any body other than Dale find an Acura dealer that offers tihis? I'd be interested to see how widespread flush machines are within the Acura dealer network- my sense is that Acura doesn't want transmissions messed with- drain 3 quarts every 30k, otherwise swap it out for a factory remannned unit.

(PS Dale- there are perhaps 6 Acura dealers within 50 miles of you, is Acura of the Desert -300 miles away- the closest that does flushes?)


Ard

Tom- You're kidding about "hearing from the factory", right? Adult beverages talking, eh?
 

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ardvarkus said:

(PS Dale- there are perhaps 6 Acura dealers within 50 miles of you, is Acura of the Desert -300 miles away- the closest that does flushes?)


Ard

I have not checked closer ones yet, I guess because I am a ways yet from having it done.
When I move to Clovis I will check with University Acura down there.
I will ask Los Gatos Acura if I go there before I leave. For that matter we could all just send emails from dealers' websites.
 
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