I have the same issue - the whine/whistle is there all the time, however from about 30-50 sounds like you'd expect a transmission to sound, it's very soft and subtle, however as 55-60 approaches the sound seems to just reonsate through the car very loudly.
Also, as I just noted in my other post it goes away if you accelerate or let off the pedal regardless of speed.
It is loud enough to clearly be heard over the radio which bothers me more than anything.
I have it too on my '05 MDX (67,000 miles) and '06 RL (31,000 miles). All fluids are changed religiously with Mobil 1 synthetics and Honda ATF-Z1/VTM-4, where appropriate. The dealer attempted to repair it on the RL but only suggested a rear-differential fluid change. Fluid was changed but noise still exists, so I count this as a repair attempt. Acura Service News (B061000 - Oct. 2006) makes the case that, "Front-wheel-drive vehicles have a transaxle instead of a conventional A/T with a rear differential. The transaxle combines A/T and differential gears, shafts, and bearings into a compact package that’s mounted right next to the passenger compartment. Because the transaxle is so close to the passenger compartment, the noise from the transaxle is more evident than the noise from a conventional A/T with a rear differential.
Front-wheel-drive vehicles can transmit wheel bearing, tire, and transaxle noises into the passenger compartment more readily than vehicles with rear wheel drive."
That being said, there is a lot of talk of this over in the Acurazine.com RL group: RL Whine
and there is a case number that someone has submitted to Acura.
I spoke with Bryan Harrison at Acura Client Services.
I was pretty much “Shined on”.
He did say that normal drive line noise mitigation measures are designed into the vehicle which has been proven effective and only the Dealer can assess if mine is beyond spec. This is without having the specs. on hand.
Do they use a SPL meter or something?
He said my options were:
• Take it to my original Dealer to see if their “This is normal” opinion has changed.
• Take it to another Dealer and see if their opinion differs.
• Live with it.
• …And if not satisfied to call him back; for what reason I don’t know.
I will take it back to my original Dealer and ask for an escalation of some sort upon their “This is normal” evaluation.
I understand those members with serious transmission problems may find this petty, but gear noise is not normal without defect.
Took it to the Dealer this morning for an oil change and asked for a reassessment of the Whine.
Much to my surprise the Tech reported Whine to be borderline *acceptable. He also found some O-rings somewhere leaking a bit of Trans fluid. Replacement of these and a refill were recommended to see if this improved the situation.
I was in not long ago for the 60K service at which time the Trans fluid was changed. I explained to the advisor that the Whine was present before & after the fluid change to the same degree.
The advisor said “Yes, this would seem a waste of time but we have to exhaust all likely and unlikely measures before taking this further with Acura”.
Without knowing how this will end, I credit the Dealer for thinking ahead – maybe they’ve been there before?
Also, the oil change included a multi-point inspection. I considered these inspections no more than claptrap, but this time did reveal a slightly leaking rear shock.
Much to my shock, the O-rings and both rear shocks (absorbers) will be replaced N/C. This a 63K+ mi, CPO, w/o CPO Wrap vehicle.
*borderline acceptable vs. borderline unacceptable = Glass half full or empty?
All of this is through the Service Advisor. He is the person I have dealt with since buying the car and have no reason to distrust his reports.
• The above mentioned o-rings were replaced and Trans refilled.
• After further road tests, the Tech now reports the Whine to be, without a doubt, beyond acceptable.
• Tech contacted Acura with my Case # for further instructions.
• Acura came back with the recommendation of disconnecting the shifter cable and retest. The thought being that it was somehow too tight allowing it to transmit this noise into the cabin. To further illustrate their theory, Acura said “Just like when you put a string between two tin cans for a toy telephone”.
As long as the Dealer is willing I am too, but this sounds plain ridiculous. Is Acura jerking the Dealer around until they just quit? Don’t know.
• The shift cable experiment produced little to no improvement.
• Acura agreed to install a remanufactured transmission with the caveat that they could not guarantee the replacement would be better nor develop the same noise.
• According to Acura, remanufactured units reuse only the housing. All innards are new.
I am astonished and incredulous of these comments and can’t begin to list in how many ways this is wrong.
I can’t imagine why Acura would pay for something this extensive then turn around and admit it may not work. I’d expect this from a government agency, but from a for profit business?
Anyway, the Service Advisor apologized and said he would try to contact someone there who truly understood exactly what causes this and recommend an effective and permanent remedy.
I mean Geeze-O, it is speed related which means output (Final drive), and from what I can see in the Service Manual there is one gear set in play.
As this still plays out, what experience or problems have others had, with replacement transmissions? Functional issues, noises, rattles, vibrations, short life, anything otherwise Jacked-Up or damaged, etc.?
At 15K miles the dealer replaced the transfer assembly and broken exhaust mount (really? ), and the noise still exists.
In our case it is not too intruding, and only happens while vehicle is under load, so we have been ignoring it.
Now at 45K, I finally had a transmission fluid change at the dealership. I think they attempted to fix the noise once by changing out the transmission fluid, and over filled it way past the full mark. I told the service rep at the Acura dealership about the fluid level, and he said: "to check the transmission fluid level, it has to be warm and the transmission has to be in neutral, not park". I can hardly believe what he said...