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


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,590 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Acura MDX Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 162014

MDX 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles


While driving my 03 MDX at 20 mph around a corner, it just stopped accelerating. There were no warning signs that my car would stop, it just stopped accelerating. I would not move in D5, D4 or D3, so I had to drive it in D1to the dealership and left it overnight. The next day they tell me I need a new transmission. Two months before that, my car was leaking oil and I took it in to get the leak fixed. They told me there was a leak in the rear main and it would cost $1000 to fix. It was such a high cost due to they had to remove the transmission and the engine to get to it. Two weeks after it was fixed, I hear a knocking noise under my hood and find out I need new motor mounts (hmmm.. Acura had to move the mounts to get the engine out).. $400 later, after I replaced the mounts., I was good to go. A month later, now the transmission that Acura had to remove is now completely shot and needs to be replaced ($5200) are you kidding me Acura. I have no faith in their service dept or my 03 MDX which is always serviced at the dealership. Everything that has ever been done to that car has been done at the dealership from oil change to timing belt replacement, and it feels like I'm getting screwed.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #7

May 182013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 179,622 miles
I was driving my 2003 Acura MDX at 30-35mph all of a sudden there was a flicking noise like a belt hitting against the car. I pulled over right away and notice that my serpentine belt was not on the pulleys. I turn off my engine right away and start inspecting my pulley and notice the crank pulley was still there but the threaded part of the pulley has unwelded itself off the pulley and it was laying in the middle of the road. Because this is a family car this incident is dangerous if traveling at highway speed. I feel the need to report it. Thank you

- Portland , OR, USA

problem #6

Dec 192010

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Acura MDX. Consumer writes in regards to transmission failure while driving. The consumer stated while driving 75 mph on the highway, the vehicle suddenly went into neutral. The consumer stated he/she tried every gear, but the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where the he/she was informed the transmission had indeed failed. The second incident occurred two years later, when all of a sudden, the consumer heard a noise coming from the vehicle. The next day while on the way to the dealer, the vehicle went into neutral again and the consumer had to pull over. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where they replaced the transmission, torque converter, timing belt, water pump and engine valves.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012010


  • 120,000 miles


Motor mounts cracked on 2003 Acura MDX, obviously a design flaw, since this happens to every vehicle.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #4

Aug 012010


  • 90,000 miles
The vehicle starts shaking, feeling like I am running over metal bumps in the road. I believe that the torque converter is the problem and that all of the larger Honda/Acura vehicles have a defective torque converter. It needs to be recalled before engine failure occurs and injuries/death are imminent.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Nov 262008


  • 105,000 miles
During regular service dealer inspection reports front motor mount is leaking and the side motor mount is cracked. Never heard of a 5-year old car needing motor mounts replaced. Especially when car is driven 100% on paved roads by a conservative 40+ year-old driver.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 192007

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Acura MDX year 2003. Dealer discovered during regular maintenace that two of engine mounts broke. Parts were relaced at total of $650. I think thiswas a defective design, and noticed many similar problems on the website. Acura should replace all engine mounts with updated design at no cost to customers. I owned many other vehicles and I never had to replace engine mounts.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

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