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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,550 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.

2003 Acura MDX cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Acura MDX Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 112010


  • 87,100 miles


I just bought an used 2003 Acura MDX on Jan 30th with 87,000 mile on it. Just after 11 days on Feb 11, 2010, I noticed that some brown colored fluid is leaking from the front passenger side. It's not just dipping, there were lot of fluids coming out. I opened the hood and notice that the fluid was overflowing from the radiator reservoir. Next morning when I start the car and tried to run it just stopped in the middle of the road and engine light came on. I had to tow the car to a dealership. They said somehow internally transmission cooler was busted and the transmission coolant was mixed with the engine coolant. Therefore I had to replace the whole radiator, need to flush transmission fluid, and flush the radiator. It cost me $1000. Now, my car is not smooth as it was before. Transmission is not shifting properly. I am really worried driving this car. I saw that MDX has a lot of transmission problem. I think they should change the transmission for free and they should also take care of this fluid mixing problem. I'd appreciate if you guys investigate this problem.

- Blacksburg, VA, USA

problem #1

Jul 172009


  • 68,000 miles
On April 7, 2009 took my 2003 Acura MDX into local dealer for it's 60,000 mile service (odometer read 63,438). No problems brought to my attention. June 16, 2009 (odometer 67,608) A/C stops working. Pay over $1300 to have A/C compressor, clutch, stator & hi pressure hose replaced. Get car back on June 18, 2009. July 1, 2009 check engine light comes on (odometer 68,219). Am told that car needs a "valve realignment" - all gaskets and spark plug seals replaced ($600). Get car back on July 2, 2009. July 3, 2009 burning smell coming through A/C vents. Am told that it's residue from V/C gaskets from the valve realignment job- supposedly residue removed. Get car back July 6, 2009. July 17, 2009 notice oil in front passenger side wheel well. Pop hood, notice radiator overflow container is overflowing, radiator is very mobile and overflow container is black at the bottom. Have car towed to dealership. Am told that the radiator cracked internally and that the coolant and transmission fluid were mixing together - therefore have to flush the transmission and replace radiator for another $900. This just didn't feel right to me. Started researching and am being told that these are not "normal" repairs on this model for so few miles on it and that the burning smell was most likely the mixing of the coolant and transmission oil not residue from the valve realignment. Dealership isn't accepting responsibility. Acura customer services is saying there's nothing they can do either because the dealership has followed all procedures. I really feel like they are trying to covering up a defect or mechanic error.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

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