NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2002 Acura MDX (Page 2 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
126,132 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Sep 132013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles


Driving on the freeway, transmission disengaged and engine revved up to red line. Car had no power and lost speed. Close call with other vehicles, including semi trucks. Had to pull into far right lane and was only able to go around 30 mph since the car continued to rev and the transmission engaged and disengaged. Engine light came on and D5 light on dash started flashing. Took it to a mechanic who said transmission needs to be replaced. In investigating, this appears to be a common problem with this model year. Car is worth $6500 in good shape, but with this issue, it is now only worth $2000.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #14

Aug 032013


  • 195,239 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated while traveling various speeds, the vehicle jerked. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the transmission needed be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage 195,239.

- Lyns, MA, USA

problem #13

Mar 032013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 171,235 miles
Driving back home from las vegas, nv about 150 miles away (Utah) the A/T light came on. Looked it up online it stated auto/transmission oil temp is high.decided to pull over and let it cool down at the nearest gas station. Decided it was ok since the temp in Utah went down this was around 2 pm. About 10 min later when we got back onto highway the A/T light came on again. Then the car started to smoke from the engine bay. We pulled over took a look at it realized no puncture to the lines and figured the pressure build up from tranny spat out from where you usually pour fluids in. We tried getting off hwy for safety and ended up middle on no where. Then we waited til 5 pm and as the weather cooled down we started the drive again. The engine was fine the transmission wouldn't let me push it pass 3 1/2 RPM so we drove about 50-70 mph. We reached Colorado then spent the night. The next day it started to snow, the transmission decided to stop responding it will go into gears but it will stall and go but it wouldn't let me go past 2 RPM. Check engine light came on then we decided to take the car to autozone. The O2 test stated: Low tranny oil, torque control solenoid sensor, and electrical sensor. Then we had the car tow to nearby transmission shop they ran some diagnostics and said the gears are slipping and the whole transmission needs to be rebuilt. Total cost in rebuilt $4100 out the door. Car in on 3/4/13 car was done on 3/19/13.

- Cottage Grove , MN, USA

problem #12

Dec 232012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


Automatic transmission failed on the drive back to los angeles from las vegas.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 032012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I was driving and there was smoke coming out of the engine compartment. I stopped and had the car towed to an Acura dealer.

- College Station, TX, USA

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problem #10

Sep 012012


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle started to shake violently. The contact maneuvered the vehicle to the shoulder and left it parked. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who referred him to the dealer. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Riverside , CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 192012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 112,300 miles


On my way to home from work, I noticed that my Acura MDX makes grinding and shuddering sound when increasing speed after a stop or from slow speed. While going on state highway at 50/mhp speed, the front wheels locked up. The car dragged on the road for about 25 feet and came to a complete stop in the driving lane as I could not steer the vehicle on to the shoulder due to locked front wheels. The lady behind me driving at the same speed was able to just stop her SUV within six inches of the back of my vehicle. It scary and frightening experience for both of as my vehicle completely stopped in driving lane in about 5 to 7 second from 50/mph to a complete stop. My vehicle could not be pushed over to the side of the road due to locked front wheels. This was a near death experience I had for the first time in my life. I was searching on internet to see if others had similar problem. I was amazed to find hundreds of comments about this problem from the owners of MDX for model years that range from 2002 to 2010. They appear to have the same transmission problem where the second gear just freezes. I am wondering why the sha has not investigated this problem and found faults with Honda's lack of willingness to correct this problem. Some of the comments on internet says that this happened to them on highways..

- Marriottsville, MD, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Nov 302011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2001 Acura MDX with 80K miles. I am in the process of replacing my transmission as it is showing signs of transmission lockage. While I was driving on the highway, I noticed the truck just seemed to make a really hard brake, like someone was pumping the brakes with a lot of pressure. I took it to Acura and they denied any goodwill repair! this will most likely be my last Honda/Acura as I have lost faith in them and their reputation. Would this have happened during rush hour, I am sure I would have gotten in an accident or worse killed. I believe if I drove it any longer the transmission would have completely locked up and other components like the axles, mounts, etc...would have been disabled.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jul 282011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Purchased new, a 2002 Acura MDX. First transmission replaced 2 months shy of 7 year extended warranty at approx. 47,000 miles. Transmission warranty ended with the expiration of the 7 year warranty (2 months). The car would shudder, seize, rendering it a safety issue. Next transmission failure at 87,000 miles. Same symptoms, shudders, gear slippage, seizing, again rendering the car undrivable. The car is currently back in with so. Bay Acura in torrance, California, receiving the third transmission. These same symptoms have been reported by several hundred customers and I don't understand what would constitute a recall. I only searched for like complaints for an hour so I am quite confident I could locate several thousand. This same transmission failure has been reported in the NY times. Six thousand dollars is an excessive amount so I am working on a class action suit with other owners as the car is unsafe as a family vehicle. Also had the car tested extensively at other transmission facilities.

- Palos Verdes Estates, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 262011


  • 134,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The vehicle was repaired by the previous owner under NHTSA recall campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission) for the same failure. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer advised that the torque converter failed in the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage and the current mileage was 134,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #4

Sep 012011


  • 130,127 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that when driving in second or third gears, the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal grinding noise with a vibrating sensation. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but the manager advised that due to the mileage and the year of the vehicle, they would not be able to repair the vehicle under the warranty. The contact stated that the vehicle had been taken to the dealer four times for the same exact transmission failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised that there were no recalls and they were unable to honor the warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,127.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #3

Jul 042010


  • 130,000 miles
I own a 2002 Acura MDX with 130K miles. The transmission failed while I was in vacation 2 hours from my home. The car was towed to the local dealer and I was charged $4700 to have the transmission replaced. After doing some research on-line, I found that transmission failure on Acura Mdxs is a common problem. It is unacceptable that a premium car such as an Acura should have such a high incidence of transmission failure. Acura should have recalled these vehicles given that the transmission could fail while one is driving leading to increased probability of a serious accident.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 162010


  • 93,000 miles
I took the vehicle to the dealer B/C the vehicle was slowing down on the freeway and this noise that comes from the rear of the vehicle. After they inspected it they couldn't find the problem, so they had me take a service tech with me for a test ride. He told me that the torque converter needs to be replaced.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #1

Jun 132005


  • 46,000 miles
2002 MDX transmission needed to be replaced.** answer required***. the sway bars cracked six months after purchasing the vehicle, the supplemental restraint light illuminated and it took 4 months to get it fixed.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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