Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,785 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Acura MDX engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 122004

MDX 6-cyl

  • 34,264 miles


I purchased the 2002 MDX on 12, January 2004. At that time I questioned the hard shifting from first into second. It would lurch, shudder, and jump from standing still to first gear, all the way through the gears. I was worried that the transmission would be damaged as well as other parts. On 27 July, 2004 the transmission began to rock front and back, with loud grinding and metal to metal sound. The dealer explained there was a recall on the at and an oil jet cooler was needed. Over the next 7 years I had my MDX serviced at the dealership. Each time I would complain about the noise at speeds between 20-30 and 35-45. Again I was told nothing could be done. The engine broke the side motor mount, again I was told that nothing could be done. Finally on 6 July 2011 while driving 75 on interstate 71, my transmission revved into the red area on the gauge, atf was blowing out the back and covered the back window. I pulled over and the transmission seized on the spot. The MDX was towed to the dealership were I was told the oil jet cooler had a drain nut, that came out, thus releasing the atf. The drain plug and atf was replaced, but again I was told there was nothing could be done as the defect was a part and not covered. The shop manager told me that the shock and spring was rusted and leaking fluid. I was told that both motor, the timing belt, the shifter cable and connection, outer tire rod, boots needed to be replaced. I searched the internet for 5 minutes and discovered thousands of complaints related to the transmission. I confirmed the recalls on the shocks coils transmission, and multitude of other components. I had the timing belt, every belt, water pump, and motor mounts replace at another dealership in town. This is a dangerous problem. As long as there are 2002 MDX's on the road and Honda Acura ignore or deny the problem. The risk of death is great.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #8

May 102011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
The car will make a vibration sound at random intervals. It does not matter what speed you are driving at or the type of road. Additionally, it feels as though you are being pushed back by the wind when the vibration sound occurs. At this time no work has been completed on the car for the new noise. One repair shop concluded that it was the entire transmission that needed to be replaced. Another place feels it is the torque converter. The torque converter was already replaced once on this car due to a different noise. The car had to go to the shop three times to fix the first noise. The car was finally repaired after a week and after a new timing belt, tensioner and pulley, which had already been replaced. They also replaced the drive shaft, idler pulley and compressor belt.

- Woodstock, MD, USA

problem #7

Sep 152010


  • miles
I bought a 2002 Acura MDX in 8/2005. The recall was never performed, the vehicle started having issues in 2010. When I took the vehicle to get it checked I was informed that a recall had been done on 2001-2002 Acura MDX for 2nd gear issues. After taking the vehicle to a dealership, Acura customer service stated the transmission failure that the vehicle was having had nothing to do with the recall. Stated that there was no discoloration of the 2nd gear and that the vehicle is way past warranty so they will not assist with the repair. I believe the issue with the transmission is a result of the issues with the recall. When driving the vehicle stalls when going into 3rd gear, almost coming to a complete stop.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 012010


  • 82,000 miles


I had just traveled 19 miles on the freeway and had stopped at the red light on the offramp. Shortly after making the turn, the car stalled without warning, the engine just stopped. I coasted, all the warning lights were on. I had to stop, put car in gear, and eventually restarted the car. This is the second incident when the car engine stopped without warning (first was pulling into an underground parking structure). The power steering goes out making driving difficult. I took it to the dealer and they indicated that there was nothing wrong as it could not be replicated. Their idea to resolve was to blindly start replacing expensive parts of the engine. I feel I am playing russian roulette each time I drive the car and the next time may result in a collision.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 072007


  • 60,000 miles
Early replacement failure/need for motor mounts in 2002 Acura MDX with under 70,000 miles.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #4

Nov 122008


  • miles
Motor mount failure.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 162007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,800 miles


During routine service visit, dealer informed me that the front and side engine mounts are worn and need replacement. Vehicle has only 60K miles, no accidents and dealer serviced. This seems to be a common (NHTSA complaint # 10186944) problem with the MDX and numerous issues noted by owners on Acura says they have no tsb on this issue.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #2

Apr 032007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
Two motor mounts have been identified as broken (1) or cracked (1). These are the right and front motor mounts on an Acura MDX 2002. The vehicle has only 61,000 miles on it. Based on an internet search and check of the consumer reports web site, this appears to be a common problem for the Acura MDX.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 312002


  • miles
On four separate occasions the engine races when the vehicle was started, the vehicle has been taken to the dealer but they have been unable to duplicate the problem.

- Cypress, CA, USA

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