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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good morning All,

Background: I got my 15 MDX tech used with less than 30k miles.

Issues I have:
1) I noticed when driving in stop and go traffic, upshift from 1st and 2nd there is always a clunk/jerk, like the car actually charges forward at the point you let go of the gas pedal, RPM drops very aggressively
2) Same thing happens when the car is decelerating, when the car is slowing down to around 20mph, regardless you are braking or the car is slowing down on its own, brake pedal will suddenly became very soft, and it feels like the car is applying more brake force on its own, it will causes your body to lean forward, I absolutely hate this feeling, it's the same clunk when it upshift.
3) When you are trying to accelerate from cursing at around 40 mph, it feels like the car is struggling switch back to 6 cylinders, after a second or 2, the car will jerk, then the power comes.

At the dealer:
Right after I bought this car, I brought it to the dealer to have all the fluid replace, and I was lucky, I met a good advisor, he told me he can get me a free tranny flush under TSB(I didn't know what was TSB at that time), but didn't solve the problem, I went to the dealer again to complained the issues above, they said they tested drive it, everything is fine. In the 3rd visit, they replaced the TC under warranty, problems still there!!

VCMTuner 2:
It just arrived last Friday, I installed it on Sunday morning, I won't say it is a day and night change, but at least it is a day and a afternoon difference.
#1 issue: I would say it is 80% gone, it won't charge ahead when you let go of gas, I noticed the RPM drops when shift into 2nd gear is not as aggressive as before, and it will also holds the rpm longer at other gear.
#3 issue: NO MORE! It is completely gone!!!! No more embarrassing when braking.
#2 issue: This issue is 85% fix, there is a very obvious improvement, the rest of the 15% might be the tranny's hesitation.

Conclusion: I am not sure if all the early 3rd gen have these issues, but hopefully my post can give them a option to improve their ownership, Brock is a good seller, because I didn't know if this $120 device can help me or not, he told me I can try it for 10 days, if it didn't help, I can ship it back for refund. I was thinking to trade in this car in 2 yrs after the new highlander is released, but now, me and my wife are planning to keep it longer, and we are a real happen MDX owner now.
 

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Good morning All,

Background: I got my 15 MDX tech used with less than 30k miles.

Issues I have:
1) I noticed when driving in stop and go traffic, upshift from 1st and 2nd there is always a clunk/jerk, like the car actually charges forward at the point you let go of the gas pedal, RPM drops very aggressively
2) Same thing happens when the car is decelerating, when the car is slowing down to around 20mph, regardless you are braking or the car is slowing down on its own, brake pedal will suddenly became very soft, and it feels like the car is applying more brake force on its own, it will causes your body to lean forward, I absolutely hate this feeling, it's the same clunk when it upshift.
3) When you are trying to accelerate from cursing at around 40 mph, it feels like the car is struggling switch back to 6 cylinders, after a second or 2, the car will jerk, then the power comes.

At the dealer:
Right after I bought this car, I brought it to the dealer to have all the fluid replace, and I was lucky, I met a good advisor, he told me he can get me a free tranny flush under TSB(I didn't know what was TSB at that time), but didn't solve the problem, I went to the dealer again to complained the issues above, they said they tested drive it, everything is fine. In the 3rd visit, they replaced the TC under warranty, problems still there!!

VCMTuner 2:
It just arrived last Friday, I installed it on Sunday morning, I won't say it is a day and night change, but at least it is a day and a afternoon difference.
#1 issue: I would say it is 90% gone, it's not noticeable now, I noticed the RPM drops when shift into 2nd gear is not as aggressive as before, and it will also holds the rpm longer at other gear.
#3 issue: NO MORE! It is completely gone!!!! No more embarrassing when braking.
#2 issue: This issue is 85% fix, there is a very obvious improvement, the rest of the 15% might be the tranny's hesitation.

Conclusion: I am not sure if all the early 3rd gen have these issues, but hopefully my post can give them a option to improve their ownership, Brock is a good seller, because I didn't know if this $120 device can help me or not, he told me I can try it for 10 days, if it didn't help, I can ship it back for refund. I was thinking to trade in this car in 2 yrs after the new highlander is released, but now, me and my wife are planning to keep it longer, and we are a real happen MDX owner now.
on my 14,I honestly never knew when the car was on 6 cylinders or 3. Never had an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
on my 14,I honestly never knew when the car was on 6 cylinders or 3. Never had an issue.
That's good, cuz my biggest complaint for this car, it's the clunk/jerk when upshift from 1st to 2nd or downshift from 2nd to 1st, especially in the traffic,and I am driving in traffic every day, it's just making me sick, and I have no idea why a VCM disable device can solve this problem, but it did.
But anyway, it's good to hear you are not suffer by these.
 

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Wow seems like it made a significant difference. Looking forward to long term updates. I hear about these vcm issues on Hondas on forums, but haven't really experienced it myself. Wonder if it becomes more noticeable with age.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow seems like it made a significant difference. Looking forward to long term updates. I hear about these vcm issues on Hondas on forums, but haven't really experienced it myself. Wonder if it becomes more noticeable with age.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
It is, since I am living in the NYC, driving to work or getting home is always a pain, and this car was making it much more painful to me, plus my girlfriend, she always freak out when the car charges forward in the stop and go traffic, it's just not safe to us. And no one can explain why the VCM will kick in in the stop and go traffic.
 

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I muzzled my Accords VCM. I like how smooth it is and how I don’t have to press the gas to approach a red light.

I don’t like how the muzzle works - it’s tricking the computer to make the car think it’s operating under temp so you’ll never know the actual temperature and it will always run lean and can eventually foul your catalytic converter. And I’ve lost considerable gas mileage.

I am thinking about installing a switch for highway driving so that I can unmuzzel it while long distance driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I muzzled my Accords VCM. I like how smooth it is and how I don’t have to press the gas to approach a red light.

I don’t like how the muzzle works - it’s tricking the computer to make the car think it’s operating under temp so you’ll never know the actual temperature and it will always run lean and can eventually foul your catalytic converter. And I’ve lost considerable gas mileage.

I am thinking about installing a switch for highway driving so that I can unmuzzel it while long distance driving.
I don't floor the gas, I guess it should be fine when you are cruising. I do suspect my mpg dropped around 1-1.5, but it is still acceptable, I love this peace of mind. With the VCM working, the car feels powerless when going from a complete stop.
Speaking of switch, S-VCM actually provide a switch for its custom made.
 

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Thanks for sharing. I've given serious thought to using the VCM Tuner 2, though it's pricey for what it is. I'm glad to hear it's made you happier with the nuances of the MDX drivetrain. I'm still getting used to it. As a side note, I came out of a '16 Highlander into my '19 MDX and I miss the Highlander quite a bit. Though it didn't handle as well as the MDX, it sure did have a smooth and completely unobtrusive drivetrain, and zero drama (ever). That's made "upgrading" to the MDX a tough pill to swallow.

I wish I would have held out for the 2020 Highlander redesign -- that and the RX350L will be on my short list when I've had enough of this MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for sharing. I've given serious thought to using the VCM Tuner 2, though it's pricey for what it is. I'm glad to hear it's made you happier with the nuances of the MDX drivetrain. I'm still getting used to it. As a side note, I came out of a '16 Highlander into my '19 MDX and I miss the Highlander quite a bit. Though it didn't handle as well as the MDX, it sure did have a smooth and completely unobtrusive drivetrain, and zero drama (ever). That's made "upgrading" to the MDX a tough pill to swallow.

I wish I would have held out for the 2020 Highlander redesign -- that and the RX350L will be on my short list when I've had enough of this MDX.
I would have waitted for the new highlander to come out if my old Nissan Rogue was running good, the cramp CVT start slipping, I didn't want to pay couple thousands on a junk, so I trade that in for this MDX before the CVT actually stop working.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for sharing. I've given serious thought to using the VCM Tuner 2, though it's pricey for what it is. I'm glad to hear it's made you happier with the nuances of the MDX drivetrain. I'm still getting used to it. As a side note, I came out of a '16 Highlander into my '19 MDX and I miss the Highlander quite a bit. Though it didn't handle as well as the MDX, it sure did have a smooth and completely unobtrusive drivetrain, and zero drama (ever). That's made "upgrading" to the MDX a tough pill to swallow.

I wish I would have held out for the 2020 Highlander redesign -- that and the RX350L will be on my short list when I've had enough of this MDX.
But I had seen so many owner saying the tranny on the 2019 and beyond models has a very good improvement. What is your complaint about the 19?
 

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I would have waitted for the new highlander to come out if my old Nissan Rogue was running good, the cramp CVT start slipping, I didn't want to pay couple thousands on a junk, so I trade that in for this MDX before the CVT actually stop working.
Ah, another Nissan CVT victim I see. It's unfortunate that the Rogue has issues as well - I had a '13 Pathfinder that I traded in on the Highlander. It had to have both its torque converter and transmission replaced in the time I had it. Had issues with the transmission from the day I took delivery of it.
 

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But I had seen so many owner saying the tranny on the 2019 and beyond models has a very good improvement. What is your complaint about the 19?
Clunks and hesitation, slipped shifts, you name it. It's been a little better recently, but it is still rarely smooth. It's a ZF transaxle that Honda adapted for the MDX - this same unit has been troublesome for a number of manufacturers. It's unfortunate that they didn't use Aisin if they didn't want to use their own design.
 

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Ah, another Nissan CVT victim I see. It's unfortunate that the Rogue has issues as well - I had a '13 Pathfinder that I traded in on the Highlander. It had to have both its torque converter and transmission replaced in the time I had it. Had issues with the transmission from the day I took delivery of it.
It's shame that Nissan only extended the 09 and 10 Rogue to 10 yrs transmission warranty, while the 11 and 12 models also have the same crappy CVT, it's just a piece of junk, very loud noise in the winter, took too long to warm up the car, and when going up hill, I always wanted to ask the passenger to get out to help me to push the car.
 

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It's shame that Nissan only extended the 09 and 10 Rogue to 10 yrs transmission warranty, while the 11 and 12 models also have the same crappy CVT, it's just a piece of junk, very loud noise in the winter, took too long to warm up the car, and when going up hill, I always wanted to ask the passenger to get out to help me to push the car.
My Pathfinder was the first year it was offered with a CVT and as a crossover. It was an impressive vehicle generally, but it suffered from a "judder" (kind of sounded like driving over a rumble strip on the highway -- except none was there) intermittently. During the nearly 4 years that I owned it, Nissan was never able to come up with a definitive fix for the problem, though they did acknowledge it. They ended up buying a lot of '13 and '14 Pathfinders back, which just KILLED the resale value. Eventually their moron CEO blamed the issues on "Jatco" (the manufacturer of the CVT, which incidentally also supplies to Subaru and Honda, amongst others). Turns out Jatco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nissan, LOL....

That was my last Nissan product, much like this will likely be my last Honda product. I'm thinking Toyota or possibly the new Explorer next time around (I'll wait a few model years for Ford to shake their typical bugs out).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Clunks and hesitation, slipped shifts, you name it. It's been a little better recently, but it is still rarely smooth. It's a ZF transaxle that Honda adapted for the MDX - this same unit has been troublesome for a number of manufacturers. It's unfortunate that they didn't use Aisin if they didn't want to use their own design.
While my MDX was in the dealer for TC replacement(Back order, everything they fix on my MDX are back order), they gave me a loaner of 19 TLX A-spec, from what I can tell, the TLX also have the same issues that I have on my MDX, but it is not as harsh as I felt in the MDX. Let me put it in this way, after disabling the VCM, driving in Comfort is equal when i drove in Sport with the VCM on.
 

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My Pathfinder was the first year it was offered with a CVT and as a crossover. It was an impressive vehicle generally, but it suffered from a "judder" (kind of sounded like driving over a rumble strip on the highway -- except none was there) intermittently. During the nearly 4 years that I owned it, Nissan was never able to come up with a definitive fix for the problem, though they did acknowledge it. They ended up buying a lot of '13 and '14 Pathfinders back, which just KILLED the resale value. Eventually their moron CEO blamed the issues on "Jatco" (the manufacturer of the CVT, which incidentally also supplies to Subaru and Honda, amongst others). Turns out Jatco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nissan, LOL....

That was my last Nissan product, much like this will likely be my last Honda product. I'm thinking Toyota or possibly the new Explorer next time around (I'll wait a few model years for Ford to shake their typical bugs out).
I heard that too, my neighbor's 13 Pathfinder just replaced the CVT, it just stop working on the highway, car died.
 

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While my MDX was in the dealer for TC replacement(Back order, everything they fix on my MDX are back order), they gave me a loaner of 19 TLX A-spec, from what I can tell, the TLX also have the same issues that I have on my MDX, but it is not as harsh as I felt in the MDX. Let me put it in this way, after disabling the VCM, driving in Comfort is equal when i drove in Sport with the VCM on.
For what it's worth, my wife has an '18 TLX V6 (your loaner likely was a 4 cylinder). As I understand it, it has the same transaxle as the MDX. She's had no problems with it at all. So maybe I just have a lemon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For what it's worth, my wife has an '18 TLX V6 (your loaner likely was a 4 cylinder). As I understand it, it has the same transaxle as the MDX. She's had no problems with it at all. So maybe I just have a lemon.
So after I installed the VCM, every issues became acceptable, they are still there, but didn't bother me anymore. I actually had a good conversation with the guy who invented the vcmtunner, he told me some dealer actually bought the vcmtuner just to claim down the customer, just to let them know their cars are not "Lemon"
 

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I bought a VCMtuner II as a result of reading this thread. It does seem to make the MDX drive smoother. I think it helped with some of the hesitation issues but when highway driving and passing there is still a long hesitation before downshifting and going (probably the result of needing to synch a dog clutch). I'm going to wire in a defeat switch so I can have it both ways.
 

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I bought a VCMtuner II as a result of reading this thread. It does seem to make the MDX drive smoother. I think it helped with some of the hesitation issues but when highway driving and passing there is still a long hesitation before downshifting and going (probably the result of needing to synch a dog clutch). I'm going to wire in a defeat switch so I can have it both ways.
What about using the paddles?

While my MDX was in the dealer for TC replacement(Back order, everything they fix on my MDX are back order), they gave me a loaner of 19 TLX A-spec, from what I can tell, the TLX also have the same issues that I have on my MDX, but it is not as harsh as I felt in the MDX. Let me put it in this way, after disabling the VCM, driving in Comfort is equal when i drove in Sport with the VCM on.
Which dealer do you use?
 
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