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Discussion Starter #1
I'm really really unimpressed with the ride quality of this MDX.
Having about 46k miles on the OD now, I sat in the back seat for the first time today and it felt like I was riding in a go cart. Simply terrible.
I've read through some of the posts regarding shocks and dampers,
I'm not interested in replacing anything now but, wow, what a bad ride!:crying2:
 

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I'm really really unimpressed with the ride quality of this MDX.
Having about 46k miles on the OD now, I sat in the back seat for the first time today and it felt like I was riding in a go cart. Simply terrible.
I've read through some of the posts regarding shocks and dampers,
I'm not interested in replacing anything now but, wow, what a bad ride!:crying2:
I’d hurry up and take it in under warranty to see if a shock may have gone bad. I’d find it unusual that after almost 50,000 miles you suddenly decide the ride sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No the ride always sucked. It just sucks more so in the back seat.
 

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the only thing that helped my ride was slightly less pressure in the tires, and a trailer hitch. That is around town. I use factory pressure on the freeway at speed. The Honda factory air pressure gauge was 2 PSI high when I had it sent to calibration - 35 PSI was really 33 PSI. I set the tires at 32 PSI around town but it is a real 32 psi. Most gauges are 3 - 6 PSI off.
 

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As I have commented elsewhere, why on earth would you expect a car fitted with 50% ratio low profile tires to ride comfortably? The short sidewalls pretty much guarantee harshness, as well as more flats and damaged wheels from potholes. And usually lower load ratings as well. Great for handling, and possibly fashionable, but not wonderful for a family hauler. Instead of the stock 245/50R20 tires consider switching to the wheels and tires on the Base model (245/60R18). Before that you might see if your dealer can let you drive a Base model demo for comparison.
 

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You should not really expect any quality kind of a ride over bumpy roads from MacPherson strut based suspension without double wishbone setup and or hydraulic/magnetic/air option.
 

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How does the ride compare to your previous 2010 MDX? I purchased my 2011 MDX Adv used with 30K and worn OEM tires and I was very disappointed in the ride and handling at first. My MDX felt a little squirrelly on the curves, didn't track straight at hwy speeds, and just an unsettling ride as you drove faster. I did some tweaking and found some issues like:
- worn OEM tires out of balance (replaced with 20" Conti DWS+aftermarket rims and did road force balance)
- played with the PSI and settled with 34-36 range as the best ride with my tire and suspension set-up for hwy speeds.
- alignment was in the red for a lot of the adjustments (did Firestone lifetime warranty for alignment)
- had a torn endlink boot (fix for free under warranty)
- had knocking ADS front passenger struts that needed to be replaced (fix for free under warranty)

My MDX is now solid as a rock on the hwy. I've set the ACC at 80-90 mph at times and she is solid as a rock and smooth at those speeds. You can feel it when the balance and/or alignment is getting out of whack at +80 mph for a 8 hour trip. I get the tires rebalance/rotated every oil change and check the alignment 2X a year (free lifetime at Discount and Firestone). You might have to give the suspension and tires a once over to make sure they are A-OK.
 

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Instead of the stock 245/50R20 tires consider switching to the wheels and tires on the Base model (245/60R18). Before that you might see if your dealer can let you drive a Base model demo for comparison.

I have had several Base MDX's (loaner cars) and have not found the ride to be improved a lot. Maybe a slight amount less harshness, but still rather "unrefined". I live in Eastern PA, where the roads are terrible, and the ride can get quite annoying. It's not just the perceived harshness, but also the amount of suspension noise that I can hear. In other posts I have compared the ride to that of a new 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe that my buddy & I drove back when he was shopping for a vehicle. Like a banging over bumps. Hyundai has since upped their suspension design quite a bit. I just had the rear dampers replaced under warranty because the left rear was making a loud hollow-sounding banging, and that went away with the new dampers, but the ride is still quite harsh over less-than-smooth roads, which we have a lot of. I have looked online to see if there are 3rd party replacement shocks, but haven't really found anything of merit so far. Running 30psi in the tires did make a pretty big difference, but that is too close to the alarm point of the TP sensors, and they would trip too often when air temp dropped a bit. So that isn't the answer. The point about changing to base wheels and tires is probably the most useful solution, short of getting rid of the car. I would get rid of my 17, but am not willing to take the hit on the depreciation at this time.
 

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Just one data point. My '17 MDX SH-AWD Tech with the 20" summer tires/wheels gets switch in the winter with a set of 17" snow tires. The tires are XL rated Nokians, so the sidewall is pretty stiff - but essentially you're getting 1.5 inches more sidewall in the winter. I will say the ride is less jarring in the winter than the summer. Cornering isn't as precise, but definitely not bad at all. I run the Dynamic Mode in "S" year round, so it's a fairly solid apples-to-apples comparison. I'll agree with others that Honda suspensions generally aren't the best for a smooth ride, especially over bumps. But the taller sidewall definitely does help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the only thing that helped my ride was slightly less pressure in the tires, and a trailer hitch. That is around town. I use factory pressure on the freeway at speed. The Honda factory air pressure gauge was 2 PSI high when I had it sent to calibration - 35 PSI was really 33 PSI. I set the tires at 32 PSI around town but it is a real 32 psi. Most gauges are 3 - 6 PSI off.
That's a great idea. I'll let a couple lbs out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As I have commented elsewhere, why on earth would you expect a car fitted with 50% ratio low profile tires to ride comfortably? The short sidewalls pretty much guarantee harshness, as well as more flats and damaged wheels from potholes. And usually lower load ratings as well. Great for handling, and possibly fashionable, but not wonderful for a family hauler. Instead of the stock 245/50R20 tires consider switching to the wheels and tires on the Base model (245/60R18). Before that you might see if your dealer can let you drive a Base model demo for comparison.
I think you have a very good point. But it's 46k miles too late I'm afraid. :surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You should not really expect any quality kind of a ride over bumpy roads from MacPherson strut based suspension without double wishbone setup and or hydraulic/magnetic/air option.[/QUOTE

Too bad :crying2:the Acura Integra is not the MDX.
 

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I think you have a very good point. But it's 46k miles too late I'm afraid. :surprise:

Not necessarily. You could offer a straight swap of tires + wheels to a 2017 Base owner. Many owners prefer the slightly better handling with the slightly harsher ride. You might get a swap with a 2018, but do not go earlier as the bolt pattern is different for 2014-2016.


Edit: The higher profile tires will be cheaper to replace as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How does the ride compare to your previous 2010 MDX? I purchased my 2011 MDX Adv used with 30K and worn OEM tires and I was very disappointed in the ride and handling at first. My MDX felt a little squirrelly on the curves, didn't track straight at hwy speeds, and just an unsettling ride as you drove faster. I did some tweaking and found some issues like:
- worn OEM tires out of balance (replaced with 20" Conti DWS+aftermarket rims and did road force balance)
- played with the PSI and settled with 34-36 range as the best ride with my tire and suspension set-up for hwy speeds.
- alignment was in the red for a lot of the adjustments (did Firestone lifetime warranty for alignment)
- had a torn endlink boot (fix for free under warranty)
- had knocking ADS front passenger struts that needed to be replaced (fix for free under warranty)

My MDX is now solid as a rock on the hwy. I've set the ACC at 80-90 mph at times and she is solid as a rock and smooth at those speeds. You can feel it when the balance and/or alignment is getting out of whack at +80 mph for a 8 hour trip. I get the tires rebalance/rotated every oil change and check the alignment 2X a year (free lifetime at Discount and Firestone). You might have to give the suspension and tires a once over to make sure they are A-OK.
The 10 was awesome and the reason for purchasing the 17. Never took into consideration the tire/ wheel size though. I might take it into the dealer and get their 2 cents. Maybe they will find something, maybe/probably not.
 

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I'm happy with the ride and handling on my 2014 MDX. I wanted an SUV with 'better' handling than the others I've had and don't like a sloppy or floaty/soft feel. The attributes of 'ride' and handling are intertwined and I knew this when I bought it. Perhaps surprisingly, prior to the 3rd gen coming out I remember test driving a 2nd gen and on that one I noticed a harsh ride for some reason - harsher than I feel on the 3rd gen, but this is absolutely an unfair comparison since they were nowhere near side by side in the testing.

What's important is that when I test drove the 2014 MDX I paid special attention to the ride and handling. I did the test drive with the radio off (salespeople always want to blast it - which affects sensing other things like the ride/handling/noises) and purposely went over some bumpy areas, dips, speed bumps, etc. The subjective seat of the pants 'feel' compared to what 'I' wanted in this vehicle was a good match so I bought it. But there's no absolute on this - what one person wants isn't necessarily going to be the same as what someone else wants which is why there are so many different makes/models out there that people purchase. The important point is to pay a lot of attention to the actual test drive of the particular vehicle rather than focusing too much on the make/model such as buying it because it's an Acura/Honda or something.

I wouldn't use the low tire pressure as a solution for this. Remember the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire controversy where Ford lowered the pressure in the tires as a way to have a smoother ride - in a time when many people were switching from cushy sedans to their first (truck based) SUV and hence were complaining about harsher rides? There were plenty of problems as a result with crashes and injuries/deaths and premature tire wear. Even though one can expect a smoother ride from the lower tire pressures handling will suffer and tire wear will suffer and potentially there could be blowouts, etc. It's best to leave it at the recommended 35psi IMO.

The 'ride' could be affected by the tire itself, including a difference between a new tire versus one with 45k miles on it and even with different brands due to differences in the tire construction and sidewall stiffness. One can research the 'ride comfort' of various tires to try to pick one that might be more consistently comfortable in this area than another.
 

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Before you shoot off half cocked you might do the math on the tires using what the tire industry does for determining tire pressure. There is not a "One tire pressure is perfect" pressure. The weight of a car and the speeds traveled determine what kind of load is on a set tire size of a specific design and rating. Acura has chosen about a 120% rating at speed and gross weight. That allows actually an over pressure situation. They allow that you might not check the tire pressure all the time, and that gauge you are holding might read high so the tire pressure is actually lower. My dealer told me that I could lower the pressure to 32 -33 PSI. That also is equal to what the industry calculator says the pressure should be at about 110% - 114% the load at speed on a 245/55/19 tire rated at 103H at 65 MPH. Below are the calculations. The ETRTO engineering tables are available online. The 10% allows for braking and cornering too. If someone is fully at gross, racing around and driving like a maniac in a MDX, the fault is on them if they crash, not the tires.



32 PSI Tire Pressure Calc based on ETRTO Tables
For Daily Driver <= 65 mph
Michelin 245/55/19 103H 8” wide rim
Load 103, H=130 MPH
Curb 4270 lb / GVRW 5368 lb
At GVRW 58%/42% = 1556 lb/1106 lb single tire
32 PSI = 2.2 bar = 790 kg = max 1741 lbs single tire
Which is 90% of ETRTO max using ETRTO Calc/tables*
Use 35/35 PSI for any high-speed long trips


*meaning that if you Acura MDX is loaded to the GVWR listed on the pillar, that you should never exceed, the tires are only handling 90% of the load that 32 PSI is designed to handle. That gives you a 10% weight safety margin according to the engineering tables.
 

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Before you shoot off half cocked
Gee, thanks for the civil discourse (sarcasm).

I'm just saying that playing around too much with the air pressure in the tires in the pursuit of one attribute (cushy ride) can affect other attributes (handling, safety). And as stated in your post, there needs to be some allowance for higher/lower pressures that'll inevitably result from changing temperatures and driver inattention to the pressures and there could be the result of more frequent tpms warnings as stated by another poster.

More to the point - I wouldn't take the advice of a random poster on a forum like this (such as me...or you) when it comes to a potential safety item like this. My advice was none other than the manufacturer's stated spec, so not really my advice. I did read that you said your dealer said the 32 was okay but that's a few steps away from the manufacturer spec and if it came from a 'service advisor' it means nothing at all.

I don't want to get in a debate on this - you stated your point and I stated my perspective and the OP can pay attention to whichever of these, or neither, as they wish.
 

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Gee, thanks for the civil discourse (sarcasm).

I'm just saying that playing around too much with the air pressure in the tires in the pursuit of one attribute (cushy ride) can affect other attributes (handling, safety). And as stated in your post, there needs to be some allowance for higher/lower pressures that'll inevitably result from changing temperatures and driver inattention to the pressures and there could be the result of more frequent tpms warnings as stated by another poster.

More to the point - I wouldn't take the advice of a random poster on a forum like this (such as me...or you) when it comes to a potential safety item like this. My advice was none other than the manufacturer's stated spec, so not really my advice. I did read that you said your dealer said the 32 was okay but that's a few steps away from the manufacturer spec and if it came from a 'service advisor' it means nothing at all.

I don't want to get in a debate on this - you stated your point and I stated my perspective and the OP can pay attention to whichever of these, or neither, as they wish.
As evidenced by the title being terrible ride and post #18 complaining about the ride being too soft.
 
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