2010 acura mdx transmission problems

2010 acura mdx transmission problems DEFAULT

The first model rolled off the Honda production line for the Acura MDX for the season. For the most part, we have known Honda for its reliability, with many of its vehicles. But, as with any automaker, they struggled with a few of their car designs.

The Acura MDX was one that they struggled with during the earliest years. As time went on, they improved and revamped their designs to bring back their reliable reputation. But, before that happened, they had to endure numerous owner complaints. CarComplaints.com posts some of the many reports they received for the transmission.

What are the transmission problems on the older Acura MDX vehicles?

A view of the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD during Sundance Film Festival

The earlier models of the Acura MDX brought owners tons of headaches with the transmission. Some owners experienced slippage in the gears, while others felt a distinct vibration while driving at certain speeds. Going anywhere from 25 to 50 mph, drivers would feel a tremendous shuddering within the steering column.

If they took their foot off the gas pedal, the sensation would stop. They could continue for a bit without issue, but the shuddering would come back after a while. Some complaints described the shuddering as if you were driving over the rumble strips you often see on the road alerting you to the centerline or the shoulder.

Some owners reported a loud growling noise that accompanied the shuddering. Acceleration during these times would be weak and slow. Shifting into fourth gear, in some cases, helped, and they could continue driving with no problems. Others weren&#;t able to find any resolution to the issues and took the car in to their local dealers or their own mechanics. Acura often denied there were any issues and refused to help unless it was covered under warranty.

What repairs were needed for the transmission problem?

For those dealing with the shuddering problem, mechanics were able to pinpoint the issue to a failure with the torque converter. Some owners had it replaced or rebuilt, but some mechanics said that the transmission would also have to be replaced, because of debris from the converter getting into the transmission. Repairing it would mean the replacement of both the transmission and the converter together, which would cost around $5, This turned out to be a common issue with the Acura MDX from the years

The model years saw the slippage of the gears in the transmission. Numerous complaints were reported over this. The only way to resolve this problem was to replace or rebuild the transmission. In most cases, it was at the cost of the owners. The cost for this kind of repair was reported to be $2,$4,, depending on where the owners went to get it done.

Which Acura MDX models are the worst of the bunch?

Car Complaints listed the model as the worst one made. The reason for this has to do with being the first year of the torque converter problem. There were 16 complaints reported on Car Complaints, but there were 46 more reported to the NHTSA. This model also had many electric problems as well. There were electrical malfunctions with the heated seats, door locks, ignition, and the rear-view auto-dimming feature.

The second-worst model appears to be the version. The Acura MDX came off the production line in for the year. It was the first model ever built for this car, so it&#;s not surprising to see some issues with it. The transmission was the worst problem, having nine complaints on the site and 36 more reported to the NHTSA. There were also issues with misfiring cylinders. Even though the spark plugs, coils, and wires were replaced, the cylinders would still continue to misfire. The problem didn&#;t appear to be resolved.

In the end, the transmission problems were pretty much resolved by , with some issues creeping back in a few later year models. The Acura MDX saw fewer complaints overall in the other models, except for , which was their bad year for the engine. Other than that, it bounced back fairly well and continues to go strong today.

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Acura MDX Problems: What Went Wrong

The Acura MDX was introduced in with the model year. Since it was the first model for the MDX, it should not come as a big shock that there were some Acura MDX problems with the vehicle. Transmission problems were the most prominent, and sometimes they remained an issue even in the later models.

Misfiring cylinders, failure in the electrical system, excessive oil consumption, and engine failure are some of the Acura MDX problems seen over the years.

Most of the transmission issues in the Acura MDX were resolved by , but a few bumps kept resurfacing in the later models. But Acura MDX is still a highly sought-out SUV among car owners. So they must be doing something right!

Now, let’s dig deeper into Acura MDX problems so you have a better idea of how to handle them. A little self-diagnosing shouldn’t hurt.

Older Acura MDX Problems With Their Transmissions

Acura MDX Problems

The transmission problem in older Acura MDX models could turn out to be severe. Let’s find out which models suffer this most.

How Does A Car Transmission Work?

Before discussing the transmission on Acura MDX models, let’s have a little session on how a transmission works in a car. The transmission is also referred to as the gearbox. It basically turns the power from the engine into controlled torque that can be applied to move a vehicle. A car cannot run without a transmission.

There are two types of car transmissions:

Automatic Transmission

With the automatic transmission in a vehicle, there is no need to shift gears by hand (through a gear stick). As the car runs, the transmission helps the gear shift as needed.

Manual Transmission

Manual transmission requires the drivers to shift the gears in the car by using a gear stick.

The Acura MDX comes with automatic transmissions.

Which MDX Had Transmission Problems?

Honda might be reliable when it comes to their vehicles. However, the Acura MDX problems are quite severe in their older models. They had quite some setbacks, especially with the transmission problems. Many owners complained about facing transmission woes with their Acura MDX. The issue was the most prominent in the models.

The owners had to either repair or rebuild their entire transmission system to save their beloved SUV. This sort of repairing costs around $3,$ So yes, the owners were not happy about it.

Signs Of Transmission Problems

How to know if your car is having transmission issues? Look out for these signs. Acura MDX problems extend to transmission issues that the owners also had to suffer.

  • Overheating transmission
  • Fluid leaks
  • A failed transmission (can also be felt like a delayed reaction)
  • Smelly transmission fluid
  • Burning smells
  • Screeching or gurgling sounds
  • Some trouble with shifting gears

Some minor transmission issues can be solved pretty quickly. Changing the transmission fluid is something you can do yourself. But it’s better to get your car checked at the workshop hence there are other problems lingering beneath the hood.

Diagnosing Common Acura MDX Problems With Transmission

How Much Is A Transmission

Keeping the car transmission in good working order is the best way to avoid transmission issues. Monitor the fluid levels on a regular basis and look out for any changes that might occur as you drive.

Identifying the nature of your vehicle’s transmission problem may look like a challenging task, particularly to someone with untrained eyes.

When you notice that something isn’t quite right with the car’s performance, it’s time to start thinking about the issue and figuring out how to solve it.

Lack Of Response

Have you ever noticed your car spluttering or refusing to shift gears while driving? If yes, then it might be a sign of trouble. When a driver switches from park to drive, the vehicle should quickly shift into the appropriate gear.  When changing gears in an automatic transmission, you may notice a lag before feeling the gear shift.

Unusual Sounds

It’s hard to tell just what your car would sound like if the transmission fails. But the sound(s) would be nothing that your gearbox makes all the time that is for sure.

The noises emitted vary a lot across different makes and models of cars, but the simplest way to explain them is that you will most likely hear a whirring, crackling, or screeching noise.

Fluid Leaks

A fluid leak is the most obvious sign of transmission issues.  Automatic transmission fluid is the transmission’s oil. Without the fluid, or when it becomes too low, the engine will stall and stop operating altogether.

To see whether your car is low on transmission fluid, take it out for a brief drive to warm the engine. Then open the hood and inspect the dipstick. Transmission fluid, unlike engine oil, is not burnt up. So if the fluid level is indeed low, there is a leak someplace that must be repaired.

Even with a leak, you should still keep the fluid filled up to make sure the transmission remains as operational as possible. Do not keep the fluid empty or too low until the leak is fixed.

Something Is Burning

Any burning odor emitting from your vehicle is a good reason to be alarmed. One of the reasons for a burning smell is overheating transmission fluid.

Transmission fluid keeps the parts greased and chilled so they don’t wear out and breaks down. If the fluid fails, the system becomes excessively hot, resulting in increased friction and corrosive behavior, along with the accumulation of more muck and debris.

If it is not addressed, the transmission will ultimately sustain enough wear to fail altogether. As a result, a costly replacement will be in your future.

Watch this video to learn more about identifying a bad transmission.

Acura MDX Problems: Car Seats

Designing a universally comfortable seat for car owners might be an impossible feat. But they shouldn’t be a complete failure as well. With proper reclining options, almost everyone can find their perfect seat settings to enjoy a long drive without straining their back or tumble out of the car with aching legs.

Honda always had pretty solid complaints regarding their seats. Tons of complaints have been filed over the years regarding the extremely uncomfortable seats of Honda vehicles. Honda Accord probably had the worst burn for having uncomfortable seats, but the Acura MDX is not that far behind.

Many Honda owners have complained that their legs get tired, their hips feel stiff, and their lower backs begin to ache after only minutes of driving. Alas, many users only discovered this issue after purchasing the vehicle, claiming that the test drive was not long enough for them to detect the issue.

Most current automobiles include head restraints to avoid whiplash in the case of a car crash, but not all restraints are treated equally. Honda has utilized a head restraint layout that is too far forward. A lot of users claim that they cannot possibly have a comfortable headrest position for long trips. Having your chin almost touching the chest cannot be comfortable, right?

You are bound to experience discomforts in your neck and back. This would reduce your desire to hitch long rides in the Acura MDX. Many users have also complained about the rock-hard seats which made them feel like they were sitting on cement blocks.

Many owners have actually opted to change their cars to avoid uncomfortable trips in their Honda SUVs.

Acura MDX Problems: Excessive Oil Consumption

Acura MDX owners have a difficult time keeping their engines up to an appropriate service level. The biggest Acura engine problem to surface is the car consuming excessive oil. While you may believe that changing the oil at the standard 3, to 5, intervals will suffice for the vehicle, Acura MDX models require constant monitoring of the oil tank at all times.

The Acura engine, also known as the J-Series V6 engine, is notorious for using enormous quantities of oil. There have been instances of the engine consuming far more oil than Honda claimed.

The manufacturers state that the oil consumption is within normal norms, ranging from 1, to 1, miles, although it is not ideal when you look at other similar vehicles on the road.

Excessive oil consumption is very common in Acura vehicles equipped with a J37 engine, resulting in very extreme Acura engine maintenance costs. This engine is found in the Acura MDX models.

The Blame Game

Acura went so far as to criticize users for their driving behaviors, stating that dangerous driving practices like rapid acceleration and braking had led the cars’ oil consumption to rise. Users, on the other hand, noticed that something else must be amiss with the engine system to induce heavy oil consumption.

Acura resolved a lawsuit in without accepting responsibility, and perhaps by providing owners with payment alternatives.

In general, the manufacturer has been quick to denounce concerns about excessive oil use and instead blamed the consequences on poor maintenance and reckless drivers.

If an owner objects, service centers are recommended to undertake an oil consumption test, since a low oil level combined with a blockage in the system might pose a major risk to the engine.

Acura agreed to come to a settlement for an oil consumption lawsuit for their J37 engine owners in May

Takata Airbag Problems

As time passes, the inflators in your car airbags can become unstable and can burst during airbag deployment. This can result in spraying metal shards into the cabin and cause serious injuries for the passengers.

Takata’s inflators contain ammonium nitrate to inflate their airbag during an accident. When subjected to temperature changes or excessive humidity, the ammonium nitrate can become unreliable. This can lead to inflators bursting with unexpected ferocity.

How much power can you expect? Enough force that can cause the metal canister to shatter upon deployment and to shoot cutting metal pieces into the cabin after a collision.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reports of around 15 deaths from Takata airbag accidents.

Certain Honda and Acura automobiles from to have been identified as having a “high risk” of airbag inflator blasts. The NHTSA issued a warning to owners of these vehicles in late June to cease driving their cars immediately.

Biggest Safety Recall

Over million earlier Honda, Acura, and Isuzu cars have been recalled since their Takata airbags might injure or kill vehicle passengers.

Recalls for these airbags are because of inadequately sealed inflators, according to the NHTSA. So, such airbags might allow excessive moisture to invade.

This can cause the airbags to release with insufficient force to shield passengers in case of a crash. Or the airbags can burst and spew pointy metal shards directly at the individuals seated in front of them. Both situations have the potential to cause significant injury or death.

According to Honda and the NHTSA, one person was injured as a result of these defective airbags in a collision driving a Honda Civic in Houston.

NHTSA has dubbed the continuing recall of Takata airbags “the biggest and most complicated safety recall in U.S. history.” Because of the defective airbags, almost million cars have been recalled.

Acura MDX Problems: Paint Job

When you buy a luxury SUV, you are paying for a nice appearance inside and out; not just for comfort. Luxury vehicles are more likely to use more expensive paints than normal vehicles. As a result, repairing paint concerns on a car like the Acura MDX might be quite pricey.

The paintwork on the Acura MDX model was the source of several complaints. Customers claimed that when the car became damp, the paint would bubble. The most prevalent location for bubbling paint was between the roof and the windscreen. Some people also mentioned witnessing paint peeling from around the car’s chrome grille.

Several Acura MDX owners reported that the bubbling paint appeared only after the car was already washed just following a rainfall. The issue apparently went away by itself after the car was dry again. As a result, it was difficult for workshops to imitate the problem and find a suitable solution.

Some dealerships were also unable to resolve the issue due to an outdated warranty. Some buyers had extended warranties, but the paint job on the MDX was not protected. In most instances, drivers had to pay for fresh clear coatings and paint jobs out of their own wallets.

Acura MDX Electrical Failures

The Acura MDX faced some major complaints regarding the car’s electrical system.

The battery does not just start the engine, but it also powers the vehicle’s entire amenity functions, including air conditioning, parking sensors, and the radio.

The battery delivers the whole electrical current to the car prior to starting the engine. It also ignites fuel and ignition circuits that are required for starting the car.

Once the engine starts, the alternator takes over and keeps the electrical system running. A car with a defective alternator may start, but it will not run for long.

Why Does the System Fail?

Battery: If the car does not even splutter, the battery is most likely the source of the problem. Most cars feature a battery warning light that glows if there is a problem with the battery or another part of the electrical system. In many situations, a low battery is caused by leaving the lights on. Batteries degrade with time and must be changed.

Alternator: The alternator transforms the power generated by the crankshaft into electric power, which is then used to charge a battery. The battery can die if the alternator does not produce enough voltage.

Battery Cables: The battery cables are responsible for carrying current from the battery to the car’s electronic systems. If the car does not start, produces a cracking noise, or the radio and other electrical components malfunction, it might be due to damaged battery cables.

Fuse: If any specific function keeps failing, (i.e. radio, power window), then it’s most likely a fuse is blown.

How Long Should An Acura MDX Last?

Potential customers should not be surprised that the Acura MDX is designed to survive a very long time.

Honda has a well-deserved reputation for producing long-lasting vehicles, and the MDX is no exception. With a predicted lifespan of , – , miles, an MDX can easily cover some good years.

Several owners have claimed their MDX to run well over , miles in their lifetime. A few were recorded more than , miles.

While such high mileages are undoubtedly feasible, you should not assume to receive the exact numbers from your vehicle.

Finally, making the most out of your Acura MDX will be determined by a few vital factors, such as:

  • Monitoring of factory-scheduled services
  • Driving cautiously, with smooth, regulated acceleration and braking
  • Standard routine maintenance, like inspecting fluid levels
  • Changing transmission fluids
  • Checking for tire pressures

Which Acura MDX Models To Avoid?

Take a quick look at the most problematic Acura MDX models:

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura MDX

Transmission failure is the most common issue with the Acura MDX, alongside other minor and major issues. The model suffers earlier and more expensive breakdowns than most other MDX vehicles.

Total transmission failure affects , , , and MDX models, even though they arrived a little late. The model has a very expensive excessive oil consumption issue. And with the and models, there has been a slew of engine problems noticed quite early.

Furthermore, the model of the MDX has received the most complaints of any model year. The transmission in the model year may not collapse entirely from the start, but it causes problems for its owners pretty early on. If you wish to avoid problematic gearboxes and engines with Acura MDX vehicles, then refrain from buying these models.

The worst model year to buy is the model year, with transmission difficulties being the most serious concern. That isn’t surprising given that numerous Honda and Acura cars from the same era, equipped with the same transmission, had the same breakdowns and problems. These cars ended up costing their owners around $4, for the initial repair.

The MDX has had a few ups and downs throughout its history, and not all of them will meet your requirements. Certain versions should be avoided if you want to appreciate the luxury of the Acura MDX yet eliminating the problems that several of them are susceptible to.

Some Are Better Than Others

The Acura MDX’s initial five-year versions from to had severe difficulties with total transmission breakdown at some time in their lifespan. They generally happen between , and ,mile marks, so it isn’t too early on.

But owners are not happy about spending $4,, on repairs so soon in their ownership. The model is probably the worst performing in this scenario since it faced breakdowns under the 90, miles mark.

Most of the issues regarding the MDX are about its high oil consumption, which occurs around 90, miles. This may not be a turnoff in other vehicles, but it is quite expensive to repair and can cost as high as $7,

But if we are counting the most complaints filed against the Acura MDX models, MDX takes the crown. This model features the most complaints overall, including a slew of engine problems that appear pretty early. You would probably notice unusual sounds coming from the engine and experience some staling or jerking while accelerating.

Even the and MDX models have faced similar issues. The transmission problem seems to be a constant in most MDX vehicles.

So before buying a new or used Acura MDX, make sure you check their reliability. Also, it would be a good idea to check some of the best Acura MDX cars before actually investing in one.

Acura MDX Problems – Final Thoughts

Buying a car means a long-term investment. No matter how much you care for your automobile, it is impossible to avoid certain costs (oil change, paint jobs, transmission fuel change, new seat covers, taillights, and so on). So, before investing in the car, make sure you are prepared to handle the Acura MDX problems.

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Engine (17%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (13%)

Brakes and Traction Control (8%)

Suspension and Steering (11%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (36%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (10%)

Other (5%)

Chart based on 92 repairs.

See TSBs and recalls for the Acura MDX.

$+ (0%)

$ - $ (9%)

$ - $ (18%)

$ - $ (9%)

< $ (64%)

Chart based on 11 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

kmBad CV joint at  

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kmReported rattle/diesel sounding noise. Flagged as possible Torque Converter issue 

US $
Rattle noiser reported was low rear differential fluid. Proper service completed, rectified noise. 
kmRecall to update transmission software as transmission started to slip after engine software update to fix pinging. Now fuel consumption has increases from L per kms (combined) to L. Dealer to look at next week. 

US $
Car was in to replace Timing Belt as scheduled maintenance and I reported that car would not shift into reverse at times. Entire Transmission was replaced under Extended Warranty. Also had some seals replaced/repaired. Repair cost only TB. 

US $
Transmission oil, transfer fluid 
kmupdated transmission software to reduce vibration 
kmReplaced pressure switch "B" (3rd gear). 
kmDealer performed "Software Update for Lock-up Clutch" as recommended by Acura. 

US $
Torque converter went out and had to be replaced. 
kmSoftware update to fix a "juddering" (Acura's term) in the transmission. I never perceived any problem. 
kmTorque converter issue, software updated and transmission fluid replaced. 

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The Acura MDX is a mid-size three-row luxury crossover that has been produced by Honda under the Acura luxury nameplate since the beginning of the century. The MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury crossover of all time, with the sales passing , units by  

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


This was the first crossover SUV to have third-row seating and share a platform with the similar Honda Pilot. This car seats eight, while the MDX seats just one less, with two seating positions in the third row. The MDX was first introduced as a model, replacing the Isuzu Trooper. 


The Acura MDX has the overall worst problem category of the transmission category, with the model having the most overall complaints and being the worst rated model due to the prevalence of issues, the onset of the problems, and the price it takes to fix the issues. The most reported problem in this Acura involves the transmission failure which is a very costly repair. 

Acura MDX Problems


The main category of concern for the Acura MDX in the model is the transmission for the users and NHTSA, who lodged early 90 complaints in this category. The top user problems deal with transmission failure, the transmission jerking, the torque converter and the column shift. The transmission shift has a typical repair cost of around $4, and occurs at around , miles, with the most common solution being complete transmission replacement. 

Acura MDX Problems


The Acura MDX had similar problems as the previous year, with the main user complaints dealing with the transmission category. The top user issues deal with transmission failure, dangerous and erratic shifting, torque converter, and the automatic transmission powertrain. The typical repair cost of the transmission failure comes in at around $4, and occurs at around , miles, with the most common solution being to replace the transmission. 

Acura MDX Problems


The top categories of concern regarding this year were also the transmission along with the engine, with this model year having more issues than the previous two years. The Acura also had substantial NHTSA complaints regarding the seat belts and the air bags. The top concerns regarding the transmission deal with the transmission failure, the torque converter failure, and the reverse gear locking out. The typical repair cost comes in at around $4,, with the most common solution being to replace the ranking occurring at around , miles. 


The top concerns from the NHTSA in the seatbelts and airbags category involve the seat belt shortening out, the SRS Failing to deploy if the seatbelt is unbuckled, air bag issues, and the front buckle assembly. These issues have resulted in 2 crashes, 1 fire, 4 injuries, occur at around 39, miles, and have users stating that the air bag lights turn on and the air bags might not deploy during a crash. 

Acura MDX Problems 


The otp concerns in the Acura MDX involve the transmission category and the interior accessories. Users state that in the transmission category, the top complaints are the rumble strip noise, transmission failure grinding noises, and jerking sounds coming from the transmission. This problem occurs at around , miles and has users stating that the torque converter makes loud noises and a rumbling noise occurs at around 45, miles.


The top concerns in the interior accessories involve the leather seats cracking, the door lock not working, and the blower adjusters breaking. 

Acura MDX Problems


The top concerns for these car model years have many fewer issues than the previous years. Regarding the Acura, the top category of concern was the same as the previous years, with the transmission being the highest complaint, having users stating that they experienced total transmission failure, there was anti-freeze leaking into the transmission, and there was a vibration and shudder the transmission. The transmission failure typical repair cost comes out to around $4, and occurs at around , miles. 


The also had transmission problems, but had much fewer problems than any of the previous model years, with there just being relatively few complaints regarding the transmission that occurred at around , miles. 

Acura MDX Problems


The main complaint regarding the Acura MDX involves the electrical system, instead of the typical transmission issues that have plagued the early years. The electrical system had numerous complaints regarding the battery draining, the battery dying, and the car losing all electrical power while driving. The slow drain on the battery involves a typical repair cost of around $ and occurs at around , miles. 

Acura MDX Problems


The model had fewer problems than the model year, with the main category of complaints focusing on the AC and heater and the suspension, with the top user complaints focusing on the front and rear active damper failure and the struts failing over time regarding the suspension, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $2, and occurring at around , miles. 


The main air conditioning problems focus on the AC not working properly, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $ and occurring at around , miles, with the most user complaints focusing on the high pressure line replacement. 

Acura MDX Problems


The MDX had more issues than the previous year, with the main category of complaints focusing on the interior accessories and the electrical system. The interior accessories issues focus on the sat nav unit malfunctioning, the Bluetooth draining the battery, the dye coming off of the leather seats, and the short-in audio system. The typical repair time to fix the sat nav malfunction is around 59, miles, with the users stating that they typically have to repair and replace the sat nav unit. 

Acura MDX Problems


The Acura MDX had the most issues with the engine, with users stating that they had excessive oil consumption and occurring at around 77, miles, with users stating that they have to get frequent oil changes and their check engine light turns on frequently. 


The second category that had the most complaints in the Acura MDX focused on the electrical system, with some minor issues of the battery going dead and the replaced battery light frequently turning on during use. Although this problem is not extremely severe, it is annoying and can cause you to spend some extra money on battery repairs. 

Acura MDX Problems 


The Acura MDX had more problems than all of the previous years, with the highest problem category involving the engine, the body and paint, and the brakes. The highest category for NHTSA complaints focus on the engine, the steering, and the electrical system. The top complaints regarding the engine focus on the car lurching or stalling when the car accelerates, the engine noise occurring, a ticking noise coming from the engine, unusual noises at rough idle, and a vibrating whistling engine noise. The problem of the engine stalling or lurching occurs at around 29, miles and has users stating that the vehicle hesitates at acceleration. 


The body and paint problems prevalent in the Acura MDX involve the paint issues and the misaligned doors, with the most usual problems coming in at around 34, miles and users stating that the water can come into the windshield, the paint bubbles on the roof between the windshield and the sunroof, and there is corrosion forming on the bottom of one of the doors. 


Along with the engine and the body and paint issues, the brakes have also caused some NHTSA concerns and user complaints, with the most common issues dealing with the rotors warping, the service brakes causing issues, and the electronic stability control having some problems. The typical repair cost comes in at around $ to fix the rotors warping and occurs at an average of around 17, miles. 

Acura MDX Problems


The Acura had much fewer problems than the year, with the being one of the best in terms of the prevalence of user issues. The main category of complaint focused on the transmission, with users stating that the transmission doesn't shift properly and makes a humming noise, costing around $90 to fix and occurring at an average of around 43, miles. 

Acura MDX Problems


One of the latest models that had significant problems compared to the model years wa the year, with the main category of complaints focusing on the transmission, with users stating that the car hesitates on acceleration, the car lurches, the transmission shifts erratically, the transmission slips, there is harmonic vibration, and the car jerks while shifting. To fix the hesitation on acceleration, some of the common solutions is to replace the transmission control module or to update their software at around 9, miles. 

Acura MDX Reliability


The Acura MDX earned the #7 spot in the Luxury Midsize SUVs category and earned the #9 in Used Luxury Midsize SUVs $30K to $40K category. The pros of the Acura involve the sample technical features, the good gas mileage and fuel economy, and the composed and smooth handling. The cons of the Acura MDX include the competition interiors feeling more luxurious, the ride not being as smooth as some other rivals, and the subpar predicted reliability rating. 


The Car US News Scorecard for the Acura MDX involve the from critics’ rating, the performance rating, the interior rating, the cost of ownership, and the safety rating out of 10 with the JD Power Reliability rating coming out to around out of 5 stars. 


The Acura MDX earned the #4 ranking in the Luxury Midsize SUVs category when compared to the competition, with the car also earning favorable rankings in two other categories. The Acura MDX earned the #15 ranking in the Luxury Crossover SUVs category and earned the #7 place in the Luxury SUVs with 3 Rows category. 


The pros of the Acura MDX focus on the robust engine and the engine performance, the excellent fuel economy estimates and miles per gallon, and the smooth handling. The cons of the Acura MDX involve the rivals and competitors having more luxurious and nicer cabins, with no real changes occurring for the model year. 


The Car US News Scorecard gave the Acura MDX a total of 8,1 out of 10, with the critics’ rating earning a out of 10, performance earning a , interior gaining a 7, and the safety earning a out of 10, with the total JD Power REliability only earning a 3 out of 5 stars. 

Acura MDX Recalls 


The Acura MDX included various recalls throughout each year of production, with the model earning 35 recalls for the entire lifespan of the vehicle. One of the earlier recalls was in and dealt with the mechanical equipment, the carrier and rack. Over 2, Acura MDX cars had to be recalled as the pinch bolt between the bike arm bracket and the upright assembly of the hitch style bicycle rack was faulty. When moving the bike arm bracket to the down position, this pinch bolt could cause severe laceration or damage to the user’s fingertips or hand.


A middle of the road recall that dealt with the Acura MDX vehicles dealt with the service brakes and the anti lock, traction control, and electronic limited slip mechanism, and was released in An electrical capacitor might be damaged during the manufacturing of the vehicle stability assist motor module, resulting in brake application. However, if the driver applies the brakes while the VSA is not working correctly, the vehicle can come to an abrupt stop. Sudden inadvertent braking can cause the increase of a risk of a crash. 


One of the more modern recalls deals with the exterior lighting and the tail lights, with the recall date occurring in and resulting in affecting various models. Msotirue could enter the tailgate lid lights, causing a loss of the lights and reducing the visibility. 

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Acura problems 2010 mdx transmission

The Acura MDX also known as the Honda MDX in Japan and Australia offers consumers mid-size three-row luxury crossover performance. The vehicle is produced by the Japanese automaker Honda and has fallen under the Acura luxury nameplate since  

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

The Acura MDX, the first crossover SUV was the first in its class to offer third-row seating. Additionally, the MDX also shares its platform with the Honda Pilot. Known for performance, the MDX also has its share of issues. So, if the question, “Do Acura MDX Have Transmission Problems?” is part of your Google search these days, we can provide an answer as well as more. 


What is a transmission and what function does it serve? 

Before we delve into the transmission issues of an Acura MDX, let’s define what a transmission is and its function. A transmission can easily go by the name of gearbox for a car. It is the car part that is responsible for turning the engine’s power into something the car can utilize. Without a transmission, you would sit in your car with the engine running and going nowhere. 

What’s a manual transmission? 

 A manual transmission is also known as a manual gearbox. This type of transmission is a kind of multi-speed transmission and is utilized in vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. This kind of transmission requires that the driver select the gears by using a gear stick. 

What’s an automatic transmission? 

An automatic transmission is one that automatically changes the gear ratio as the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver is not responsible for shifting gears. Similar to other kinds of transmission systems on vehicles, the automatic transmission allows for an internal combustion engine. 

What kind of transmission does the Acura MDX have? 

Acura MDX vehicles have automatic transmissions.

What year MDX have transmission problems?

Universally known for its durability as well as reliability, Honda is offers substantial performance to consumers. But as with any automaker, the brand has struggled with a few of their car designs; The MDX is no exception. The Acura MDX counted several hiccups and setbacks in the earliest years. But as time progressed the automaker revamped, improved and recreated designs in an effort to return to its reliable reputation. But before doing such, there were a lot of complaints about the car. Many of those complaints were cited in the CarComplaints.com website&#; and lots of consumers noted issues with the MDX’s transmission. 


Is the Acura MDX a reliable car?

The answer would depend on who you ask. 

According to a complaint that appears on the CarComplaints.com website, one owner cited transmission issues: “I have experienced recent transmission problems and have read other accounts of other owners having the same problem. The transmission does not engage properly. I will be driving and the throttle skips in and out or completely disengages and leaves me without any power. The car remains on, but I cannot get the drivetrain to engage. Usually, if I turn the car off and back on the transmission will engage for a very short time before going out again. From my research online, other drivers of the MDX in this year range have experienced this exact same problem. Not what people expect from a Honda vehicle!!!” 

Another Honda MDX owneralso cited issues with the transmission: “Transmission failed, fixed by repair shop. Also, one of the catalytic converters needed replacement.

Acura Reliability Rating 

According to the repairpal.com website, the Acura MDX reliability rating, “…is out of , which ranks it 2nd out of 14 for luxury midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $ which means it has average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is low while frequency of those issues is average, so major issues are uncommon for the MDX.” When it comes to costs, repairpal.com adds: “The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Acura MDX is $, compared to an average of $ for luxury midsize SUVs and $ for all vehicle models.” 

What does a failing transmission sound like?

We’ve all been behind the wheel, only to turn our cars on and hear grinding, hissing, screeching and other kinds of noises that can turn a pleasant day into a dreadful one. When it comes to the sound of a failed transmission, you can count on hearing and noticing an array of problems. Some of the most common include: 

  • Slipping transmission- this may also feel like a delayed reaction or delayed engagement. 
  • Strange as well as awful smells
  • A warning light from your transmission indicator
  • Rough and tough shifts- you are literally struggling to shift gears. 
  • Fluids leaking from your transmission fluid leak
  • Screeching as well as grinding sounds or sounds that just seem odd and weird. 

Can you drive a car with a bad transmission? 

A vehicle with a bad, grinding or even a slipping transmission should not be driven- as you can compromise your safety as well as well-being. Once you have noticeable signs of a bad transmission in your midst, it’s time to call a mechanic.  If you choose to drive your car with the bad transmission, you risk spontaneously shifting into various gears. This can cause a rough as well as harsh kick that could lunge your car right smack dab into another one. Now, you’re looking at an accident. The bottom line- call a mechanic and describe your issue and leave the car somewhere safe. 


What are some of the transmission problems on the older Acura MDX vehicles? 

Some of the earlier models of the Acura MDX gave owners lots of grief as well as headaches with the transmission.  Some owners experienced slippage in the gears, while other owners felt their MDX vehicle vibrate during road trips at certain speeds.  Anywhere from miles per hour caused lots of MDX owners to feel their cars shake. 


What other problems did MDX owners cite? 

Additionally, some MDX owners noted loud and weird growling noises alongside the shaking of their Acura vehicles. If they accelerated, it would lack power and be slow as well as weak. 

There was a time that lots of owners took their cars to the Acura dealerships- but some mechanics there often denied there were any problems with the cars. Sometimes owners would not be able to get their cars repaired, if the car was no longer under warranty. 

But there was a glimmer of hope for some MDX owners 

Even though some MDX owners were met with opposition when trying to get their Acura MDX’s transmissions fixed, there was hope for those dealing with the shaking and shuddering problem. MDX mechanics were able to locate the cause of the issue to a failure and pinpointed it to a torque converter. While some MDX owners had their cars fixed, other mechanics told owners that the transmissions would also have to be replaced with new ones. This was due to debris from the converter entering into the transmission. 


In order for the fix to happen, this meant that both the transmission and the converter had to be replaced together, which would cost around $5, This issue was an all-too common one, for MDX models manufactured between the years of


Which Acura MDX model was the worst when it came to transmissions? 

According to the CarComplaints.com website: “Although the Acura MDX has the most overall complaints, we rate the model year as worse because of other possible factors such as higher repair cost or more problems at lower mileage. The most-reported problem is with the Acura MDX for transmission failure.”  

Right behind the MDX model, was the MDX manufactured in that caused the worst problems for drivers. The was the first model MDX model year ever built so, some issues were to be expected. 

In addition to transmission issues, MDX owners also cited issues with misfiring cylinders. 

Were the MDX transmission problems ever resolved? 

When it was all said and done, many of the MDX’s transmission issues were resolved by But there were a few owners that noticed some lingering transmission problems. Additionally, the Acura MDX had fewer complaints overall in other models. But the MDX vehicles manufactured in , saw hefty complaints for engines. Besides that, the Acura brand continues to thrive today. 

Signs that your transmission is failing 

While you may hear some noises coming from your Acura MDX transmission, here are some signs that you need to see a mechanic fast: 

Not able to switch gears 

If your vehicle struggles to change gears, then chances are you are facing a problem with your transmission system. The wrong kind of transmission fluid or even low fluid is oftentimes to blame in this situation as well. 

The smell of something burning 

Do you smell something burning? This may be because of a transmission issue too. Once you notice that burning smell, it’s time to head to an auto shop right away. This burning stench is often an indication that your transmission is overheating. The smell could also mean that the transmission fluid is worn and old- and burning.

Odd & weird noises 

Odd and weird noises coming from your vehicle when your car is in neutral is a tell-tale sign that you have some transmission problems. While the noises may indicate that you need new transmission oil, the noises could also mean that your car requires a part replacement because of wear and tear. 

Want to learn more and find out other signs that you have a bad transmission? Click here!

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Acura MDX common problems to LOOK for before you buy one

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