NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2004 Acura MDX (Page 1 of 3)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,858 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.

2004 Acura MDX drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Jul 262018


  • 201,000 miles


Similar to a complaint from Virginia in 2012 I had an issue with stuttering and a lack of acceleration and one day I stopped at a stop sign and my car shut off and when I turned it back on would not move from park and has not moved since I had it towed to my house

- Norwich, CT, USA

problem #46

Sep 222018


  • 167,000 miles
Hose connection failure between radiator and transmission cooler causing radiator fluid to mix with tranny fluid with no dash indicator of problem.. in motion lost power and would not move from 1st gear. Broke down completely in need of transmission work and new coolant system due to hose connect failure.

- Caledonia, OH, USA

problem #45

Sep 212017


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura MDX. The contact stated that when the vehicle was parked at the drive way, the vehicle suddenly began to reverse independently. The contact stopped the vehicle by putting rocks behind the tires. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted at 800-999-1009 and was made aware of the failure. The manufacturer informed the contact to call the dealer. The manufacturer stated that the contact would have to pay for the vehicle to be towed to the dealer and also a diagnostic fee. A case number 06320658 was provided. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #44

Jul 162017


  • 131,000 miles


This car has 131,000 miles on it and the transmission went out. After reading 37 pages from other owners on edmonds they complained about the same thing. This transmission should not have gone bad. There should be a class action lawsuit because so many other people have had the same problem from the 2003 on. I expect some recourse on paying for this transmission. The cost is almost $5000

- West Hurley, NY, USA

problem #43

Sep 052015


  • 176,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura MDX. While driving various speeds, the transmission would not shift properly. An independent mechanic diagnosed that the transmission needed to be rebuilt. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred after approximately 50 miles. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 176,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #42

Nov 112016


  • 123,034 miles
Transmission failed today 123K. Called customer service what a joke. Emissions light on and air bags are faulty. What a lemon. Nevet buy Acura. On a city street car just down shifted and stopped. Needless to say it was 20 degree's outside. Acura doesnt see thus as a safety hazard? confused and mad really mad. I cant believe they are still getting away with this. I've had my fill with foreign junk. I froze walking home think I have frost bite on my fingers.

- Decatur, IN, USA

problem #41

Aug 232016


  • miles


Torque converter issues. Looks like the widely known complaint about the torque converter and transmission issue in Honda Pilot and Acura MDX. My Acura MDX 2004 clearly has the grinding sound (intermittent) when driving 35-40 mph. The issue was known by Acura in Apr 2004 (recall), we bought the car new in May 2004 and were never told. We now have 150K miles on it but we have had the issue for a while - when asking the dealer they said they could not hear it (it is intermittent) and ignored it - yes, it is commonly known to car owners but not the dealerships. I now have my kids driving this car but as of today I will take it back and give them my other car. Not safe for them to drive it. I know I have a lot of miles on mine, but the issue has been known by Acura officially since 2004. It is all about the money. What to do - recall is closed, class action in ca is closed, dealers and Acura/Honda ignoring it. Help please.

- Wilton, CT, USA

problem #40

Apr 012016

MDX 6-cyl

  • 5 miles
Hi I'm seeking guidance my mom purchased a used 2004 MDX and she only drives it to and from work about a five min drive and one morning after she arrived to work ten mins later her car caught in flames fire fighter investigators stated it was an electrical issue what can I do. About this VIN # [xxx] 2004 Acura MDX incident date of April 1,2016 around 630 am in the parking lot of lompoc hospital ca 93435 we received recall notice three weeks later Saturday April 23,2016 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #39

Jan 012014


  • 58,000 miles
There is a shudder and vibration between gears 4 and 5 when driving 40-50 mph. This is very commonly reported problem on several blogs and problems are ascribed to torque converter. The frequency of such occurence is high and the cost of repair close to 2000 usd is alos quite burdensome for such an expensive car. There is an Acura tsb 05-024 for this problem that applies to earlier model years 2002, but Acura tells me that for 2004 it does not apply. It seems very clear that this problem has persisted in 2004 my. I am requesting the Acura be required to fix this problem as they have in earlier models

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #38

Jul 012015


  • miles
There is a grinding noise when the car is driven between 35 and 45 mph. It has trouble accelerating.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #37

Oct 152015


  • 96,000 miles


Driving 30 to 45 miles I am getting a grown in my gas pedal and when I go pass 65 to 70 miles I get vibration. In my steering wheel. I had my wheels road force balance I had wheel alignment done I had suspension struts and shocks change. I am still having the same promblem with the transmission

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #36

Nov 102015

MDX 6-cyl

  • miles
Had shift lock recall installed couple years ago. Was a little stiff shifting afterwards. It has steadily got worse. Does not shift through all gears and very hard putting in gear. Wife passed away shortly afterward and did not go back to dealership. I returned for air bag recall and mentioned the shift problem but dealership gave it no attention at that time. I must return for an adjustment on the shift mechanism as im sure that's all it is. Thank you, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #35

Mar 272015


  • 125,000 miles
2004 Acura MDX. Consumer writes in regards to electromagnetic coil and differential carrier assembly failure. The consumer stated he took the vehicle to the dealerm because the vtm-4 light illuminated. He was informed the differential needed to be repalaced because there was an open circuit between the left electromagnetci co and the differential carrier assembly. The problem prevented the vehicle from being able to drive in vtm-4 mode.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #34

Sep 022014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura MDX. After shifting into park, the gear failed to engage and allowed the vehicle to roll. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred several times in the past. The contact managed to engage the gear by rocking the lever back and forth. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician made the contact aware of NHTSA campaign number: 12V573000 (electrical system), which was directly related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and explained that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available.

- Mashpee, MA, USA

problem #33

Apr 302013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
There is a grind/ roaring sound when I am going about 40 mph. It definitely sounds like the transmission. I researched it on line and have determined that thousand of people like my self are experiencing the same issues, but Honda has not recalled these cars. My question is does someone's transmission have to cause an accident and possibly a fatality before this issue is handled. Most people have had to have the torque converter replaced at their own expense, some after threatening lawsuits have received some assistance. What can we do?

- Mount Olive, AL, USA

problem #32

Jan 062012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 102,912 miles
Over a period of time, beginning about the date and vehicle mileage stated above, I experienced a shudder and corresponding noise as the transmission tried to shift gears. Similar to the sensation of driving across closely-spaced rumble strips, the shudder and noise seemed to vary in length of time depending on speed. This occurred many times before I became concerned and started researching during which I found dozens of similar accounts in various on-line forums. Eventually I took my MDX to the dealership for a diagnosis. Disappointingly similar to many accounts I read on the internet, and despite my description of the problem, the Acura dealership was unable to reproduce the problem, further noting all 19 items on their multi-point inspection report as "checked and ok", including the transmission. Soon thereafter, the drive train completely froze up as I discovered after starting the car in my driveway (thankfully, not while driving the car). Despite using the transmission shift lock release button (coincidentally -?- the subject of a recall for which I have received a notice from Acura), the car remains immobile because I am unable to get the car out of park and put it into gear to return to the dealership for further diagnosis. My local Acura dealership has been unresponsive to my numerous complaints and calls attempting to remedy the problem. The consumer stated the water pump, timing belt, air conditioner, motor mount, front axle seal, rear HVAC blower transistor all failed. Upadted 03/11/15

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #31

Apr 022012

MDX 6-cyl

  • miles
When driving at speeds about 30-50 mph. The car shudders, rumbles, and makes a grinding noise when I accelerate. I need to take my foot off the accelerator to make it stop. It happen all the time and has been happening for a couple of years now and has gotten worse. Acura/Honda are aware of the issue which is caused by torque converter, PCM and sometimes the whole transmission needs to be replaced. There are numerous complaints about this and it's odd that it has not been recalled yet, which can be fatal if the transmission fails on the road.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #30

Sep 012014

MDX 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I bought a brand new Acura MDX from bill vince showroom in bridgewater, NJ. I was extremely happy with the cars performance until a couple of years ago. When the car hit 75,000 miles, the service manager at the dealership informed me that the car needed a new transmission in the near future. the service manager did not put in a new transmission at that time. Now, the car needs a new transmission as it is slipping gears and sounds terrible when the car is traveling between 25 and 40 miles per hour. It needs a new transmission. I contacted Acura customer service. They are ready to give me 50% off on a new transmission.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #29

Nov 232008

MDX 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Reproducibly at automatic transmission shifting speeds between 20-25mph, 30-35mph and 40-45mph there is an audible and palpable shudder as the transmission hesitates prior to shifting. Have brought vehicle to Acura dealer 3 times over the past 5 years, every time stating the same complaint, and every time referencing a convincing multitude of Acura MDX owners noting a similar problem. Every time Acura service states they could not reproduce the problem and nothing is wrong with the vehicle. The last time I even drove the car with their chief mechanic, who verified the problem and stated it must be the torque converter, but Acura only performed an automatic transmission flush and reset the transmission computer settings that they charged me for, and neither solved the problem. This is a serious dangerous problem and eventually someone is going to get seriously hurt. Links with multiple owners experiencing the same problem and frustration: www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2005/Acura/MDX/automatic+transmission repairpal.com/debris-in-transmission-due-to-failed-torque-converter-clutch-006 forums.edmunds.com/discussion/12576/Acura/MDX/Acura-MDX-torque-converter-scam/P3 I also have in my possession an internal Acura memo detailing this problem. Many thanks in advance for what I am certain will be a thorough investigation!

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 202014

MDX 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
On the highway going 65 mph when the acceleration suddenly froze up, rpms shot up to 4000 -5000, the car started shaking and I had to quickly pull to the side of the highway to avoid being crashed into by other cars. After I pulled over, I turned off the engine, then re-started, so I resumed driving but after driving two miles my car did the same thing once it hit 2500 rpms. Again I pulled over. I restarted my car again and slowly drove my car home. The next day, I called an Acura dealership, explained the situation to a service provider. They said they couldn't diagnosis over the phone and said they did not know about a relevant recall. I then had my car towed to a nearby repair shop where they told me that the car would not reverse or accelerate. The service man said he thinks the transmission is broken. I'm now reading how this is very common problem with the '04 MDX. My mother called Acura to say that I have read that this issue seems to be a very common occurrence with '04 Mdxs but was told that they would not help and were not aware of this make/model having issues with anything other than the rear differential torque converter. The woman she spoke with was very rude and very dismissive. Said my car was too old for Acura to be responsible for any mechanical issues and that I had never had the car serviced (which I have.) she was very condescending in her speech to my mother despite the fact that this is a known common problem and which almost killed me. They should make people aware that the torque converter problem is only the "tip of the iceberg" within a potentially much broader scope problem. Had I known, I sure would have addressed this before almost getting killed!! how many people didn't get their torque converter replaced because they did not know the big picture??

- Columbus, OH, USA

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