The 2017 Acura MDX is a mid-size luxury SUV ideal for consumers who desire that third extra row seating to accommodate their growing family. This MDX crossover is cheaper than its competitor the 2017 Audi Q7. However, when it comes to its reliability rating it’s below average. Although the MDX line is known for its super handling the 2017 model has a host of problems. Many consumers have reported experiencing constant check engine light issues and vibrations when stepping down onto the gas pedal.
2017 Acura MDX Problems – Transmission Related Issues
The MDX uses a nine speed automatic transmission that according to consumers isn’t great shifting between gears. Hard shifting and severe jerking while switching gears is common in these crossovers. Some drivers have complained that the vehicle completely loses power while driving due to a transmission error. The car wouldn’t go into park or drive. Oftentimes when this happens the driver has to get the vehicle towed to be serviced.
Although the 2017 Acura MDX is known for being rampant with transmission problems its predecessors such as 2003-2009 also had complaints about the crossover's transmission. When the 2017 Acura MDX is bought in to be serviced by the dealer the transmission computer system is adjusted. This temporarily fixes the transmission failure issues.
Unexpected Gear Shift
It’s also common for drivers to experience an unexpected gear shift. Many drivers have reported that their transmission automatically shifted to neutral without any warning. As a result, the vehicle loses all ability to move forward and all the lights will illuminate on the dash. This is usually remedied by turning off the car and then restarting it.
Most of the electrical problems in the 2017 Acura MDX can be repaired by having the transmission reflashed. The MDX’s automatic transmission is linked to the solenoids and sensors that communicate with the car’s computer. If there isn’t an actual problem within the transmission itself a reflashing can help. Acura has also provided a software update for the transmission.
This process involves reprogramming the transmission which costs about $75-$250. The higher end of this rate tends to be dealership prices. Replacing the transmission on your MDX could cost as much as $3500.
Failed Torque Converter
The torque converter in the automatic transmission is known to fail in the 2017 Acura MDX. The torque converter is a fluid coupling that transports rotating power. The torque converter links the power source to the load. This problem can affect vehicles that have 25,000 – 169,000 miles.
Unfortunately, the 2017 Acura MDX isn’t a stranger to electrical problems. For instance, many owners have reported that the rear camera has a one minute delay before activating when in reverse. Crow traffic warning and collision avoidance also had a one minute delay. The delay in these safety features makes this vehicle unsafe to drive.
Some dealers have claimed that this delay in the vehicle’s safety system is because the battery in them isn’t sufficiently charged which can happen if the owner isn’t driving the car enough. The collision avoidance system is known to kick in randomly, bringing the car to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. This can also be very dangerous.
There have been several complaints about the electrical system going completely haywire. The dashboard starts flashing a variety of error codes. This prevents the cruise control from activating and the vehicle won’t be able to shut off. Electrical issues are known to occur early on in the ownership process such as in the first 5000-10,000 miles.
Can you drive if you are having Acura MDX 2017 and have electrical problems? Electrical problems that affect your vehicle’s driveability and safety it’s not safe to drive the car until these issues have been resolved. This can result in you losing control while driving and can potentially cause an accident.
For some owners, the power liftgate stops working rather quickly. Owners have reported not being able to activate the liftgate anymore. While some have complained that the power liftgate stops working when activating and suddenly drops.
An electrical inspection is typically performed for problems like this to determine the root cause of the electrical problems. During an electrical inspection, the circuits are tested as well to help diagnose the issue. An electrical inspection can run up to $150.
There have been some complaints about the braking malfunction in the 2017 Acura MDX. Owners have reported that the automatic braking system shut off randomly while driving causing the driver to be unable to use the brakes. Some have reported that the front camera keeps detecting an object which causes the automatic braking to keep trying to activate which can be dangerous.
Acura MDX 2017 Problems Exhaust System
The exhaust recirculating valve failure is common in the MDX 2017 as well as in models manufactured in 2002-2017. The exhaust recirculating valve is the component that returns a small portion of the engine’s exhaust gas right to the motor’s combustion chambers. It works with the intake manifold system to lower temperatures.
When the exhaust recirculation valve fails or gets stuck open it can lead to a host of performance-based issues such as decreased power when accelerating and poor fuel efficiency. Evaporative emission control is another component that tends to fail on the Acura MDX 2017.
The EVAP system seals the fuel system to prevent fuel vapors and other emissions from escaping the fuel tank and seeping into the atmosphere. An EVAP leak allows potentially harmful vapors to permeate the interior of the vehicle. The average cost to repair the Acura MDX 2017exhaust recirculation valve or evaporative emission control is approximately $235-$304.
2017 Acura MDX Problems – Engine Performance Issues
Numerous consumers have complained that the engine sometimes shudders or vibrates when driving between the speeds of 35mph – 40mph. Acura technicians report that this is due to a failed automatic transmission torque converter. Installing a new torque converter and updating the powertrain module can fix this issue.
When it comes to acceleration, the 2017 Acura MDX falls short. Many owners claim to experience very poor acceleration when taking off from a stopped position. The slow acceleration makes it difficult to merge into lanes. The acceleration gets worse when adaptive cruise control is enabled.
Sometimes the engine loses complete power and the push to start won’t start the car. Oftentimes the engine stalls and loses power when accelerating at higher speeds. Most of the engine-related problems are related to the faulty transmission that the 2017 Acura MDX uses. Therefore, reflashing the transmission or updating the software can help fix any engine related problems.
2017 Acura MDX Problems – Safety Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced three major safety recalls for the 2017 Acura MDX. American Honda Motor Co. which manufactures the Acura line of vehicles is recalling over sixty thousand vehicles due to faulty rear brakes.
July 2018 Recall
The rear brake caliper supplier informed Honda in 2018 that there may be some issues regarding the quality of the products they were sold. Honda launched an investigation to explore the problem and found that there were over 170 warranty claims at this time point and 90 field reports of this issue.
According to the NHTSA, the affected units may all have insufficient brake caliper coating. Lack of coating on the caliper brakes reduces braking performance which can ultimately lead to a crash. It also causes gas pockets to form on the brake calipers which is a common issue on the 2017 Acura MDX.
Due to the faulty braking system, these vehicles fail to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which is why a recall was issued. Owners can take the vehicle into a Honda or Acura dealership to have the rear brakes bled free of charge.
January 2019 Recall
In 2019, several MDX models from 2016-2018 were recalled, particularly ones that were equipped with a 3.5 Liter V6 engine for fuel pump related problems. Reduced fuel pump performance has caused engine stalling which also increases the driver risk of a crash.
Honda released a statement, letting 2017 Acura MDX owners know that sodium particles contained in a lot of the gasoline sold in the United States can interfere with certain internal components within the fuel pump. This has been known to increase mechanical and electrical resistance. In addition, this has affected the fuel pump performance under the original programming which has led to failure in several units.
According to the statement, car owners will typically experience such issues when operating the vehicle in areas of high temperature. The fuel pump performance decreases, significantly reducing acceleration, and sometimes this causes the engine to stall. Over 400,000 vehicles in the United States have been affected by this problem.
March 2019 Recall
On March 28, 2019, recalled certain MDX units from 2017-2019 due to malfunctioning exterior lights. Moisture can make its way into the tailgate lid lights and the tailgate light. This can possibly cause the tailgates light to completely stop working which becomes a safety hazard because it reduces the driver’s visibility.
If any of the aforementioned recalls apply to your vehicle you should have your MDX serviced as soon as possible. Fortunately, recalls can last for several years. If you’re just finding out that your vehicle has been affected by a fault within the manufacturing process you still have the opportunity to have it repaired free of charge by the dealer.
Is the 2017 Acura MDX A Good Car?
Unfortunately, the 2017 Acura MDX isn’t known for its reliability. The rampant transmission issues make this vehicle a risky investment. As previously mentioned, many owners have reported difficulties shifting gears, especially when moving from third to fourth gear.
Also, faulty transmission in the 2017 Acura MDX is known to produce an error code that randomly flashes and causes the car to go into neutral making it unable to move. Some have complained that when this happens the car completely loses power and they have to coast to the side of the road until the vehicle is able to restart and function properly.
Engine stalling and reduced acceleration have also been tied to the MDX’s awkward transmission system. It has been difficult for the dealer to pinpoint the exact cause of this problem, so they reflash or reprogram the automatic transmission system. For some owners, this has eliminated the problem.
Numerous owners have reported that even after the transmission is reprogrammed or the software is updated that the problem persists a few months later. Since Honda has yet to issue a recall on the vehicle s transmission system, numerous owners are stuck driving the vehicle with an unreliable and unsafe transmission.
Besides the 2017 Acura MDX transmission problems, the electrical issues also make this vehicle unsafe. From the delays in the backup camera and collision avoidance, drivers shouldn’t rely on these safety features when driving. In fact, doing so can lead to an accident. If you purchased the MDX for the cool safety features advertised by the automaker you might want to reconsider your decision.
See what other 2017 Acura MDX owners have to say about their vehicle:
Worst experience with a car ever. This was my 5th MDX and the problems were never addressed. We stopped letting my new driver son use this car. My husband nearly had an accident when the auto brake went off randomly. I had an accident in Feb 2017. This week we turned in the lease 3 mos early, feeling like we were just waiting for something terrible to happen in this car.
My 2017 is driving me nuts. The shift between 1-2 and 2-3 is almost always delayed and then harsh. I don't feel confident when pulling out of places. It wasn't like this when i test drove.
What are other people doing to fix or manage it? I was told by my dealer that there is no TSB for the 2017.
I love the MDX except for this. I regret my purchase a few times a week.
2017 Acura MDX Problems – Cash Car Buyers Purchases All Vehicles
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