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2017 MDX Problems: What You Should Know!

2017 MDX Problems

The 2017 MDX problems gave it a subpar predicted reliability despite its superb value having top-notch safety scores and tons of standard features. Some of its issues include an awkward infotainment system bringing the 2017 MDX down to a midpack ranking. Some consumers also reported check engine and D4 lights flashing, erratic engine idle speed, transmission problems and said they were not very happy with its lift back alignment as it’s“not up to luxury standards.” Here are just a few 2017 MDX problems we hope to look into in this article.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

2017 MDX Problems: 2017 Acura MDX Overview


The Acura MDX is the best-selling luxury three-row SUV of all time, and the 2017 model year sees a major refresh. The most noticeable upgrades include an optional second-row captain's chairs, revised beak, 20-inch wheels, and an updated interior with leathers and wood trim.


Acura keeps it straightforward by only providing two MDX variants. A 3.5-liter naturally aspirated, direct-injection V-6 with 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm is the volume seller. 


In this MDX, the only transmission option is a nine-speed ZF transmission. It sends power to the front wheels on entry-level models. Acura also offers Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which transfers power to all four wheels.


In a configuration known as Hybrid Sport Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, a hybrid MDX is powered by a combination of one conventional internal combustion engine and three electric motors (HS-SHAWD).


The 2017 Acura MDX receives a slew of upgrades, including the AcuraWatch package for safety and driver-assist features as standard, a restyled exterior with a new grille, and luxurious 6-passenger seating in top-line MDX Advance trims. The Sport Hybrid integrates technology developed for the Acura NSX supercar, setting a new benchmark for the MDX's performance.


When including the destination fee, the 2017 Acura MDX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $45,000. All-wheel drive adds $2,000 to the price, and adding bundles will add thousands more. A fully fitted 2017 MDX will cost upwards of $60,000.


2017 MDX Problems: Top 3 from Carcomplaints.com


  1. Poor Acceleration and Hesitation


Tony with MDX Tech 3.5L Automatic transmission 23,500 miles said that when he tries to accelerate after braking the vehicle would have a massive hesitation and just sits doing nothing for a solid second. He describes this one 2017 MDX problems not only very frustrating but also very dangerous. If he was getting on a highway from a parking lot or was trying to switch lanes in traffic, etc the vehicle would just bog down and do nothing for 1-2 seconds. 


Sambit with MDX V6 Automatic Transmission at 12,000 miles observed from day 1 taking the car from the dealer lot the transmission jumped from 1st to 2nd gear. And upto 3rd gear it felt like the auto transmission was behaving like manual transmission and transmission jump happened when the engine was cold. It almost felt like a gear slipped and the consumer could feel the jerk. Driving 20-25 miles it would not be very noticeable, but downshift jerk was always noticeable. After taking back the car after a month to the dealership and dealership keeping the car for 3 days the car was returned back and the dealership said no issues were found. 


David with MDX V6 Automatic Transmission at 12,000 miles said transmission chokes, stalls or jerks when starting from stop to go. Cars would fly by him and he had been honked from behind. His transmission got a code of p287a. 


  1. Automatic Braking Malfunction


Mark with MDX Tech V6 Automatic transmission at 10,200 miles reported that while driving and was slowing down for another vehicle upfront which was making a right turn off the road at a distance of 100FT the braking light braking light and crash avoidance system started initiating a serious skidding or almost a complete stop. 


Rebecca with MDX Automatic transmission at 1,000 miles said it was already her 5th MDX and the issues were never addressed. She stopped letting her new driver son use the car. Her husband nearly had an accident with the auto brake going off randomly, and she also had an accident in Feb 2017.  So this autobrake malfunction could potentially be one of the most serious 2017 MDX problems


Buckeyecal with MDX Automatic Transmission at 9, 900 miles came to lane expansion and moved to the carpool lane when the camera picked up the lane strips and braked the vehicle. It would not accelerate and the car almost stopped! Getting off the lane markings the car eventually accelerated! As the consumer goes up a winding hill the front camera detects oncoming cars and tries to brake, jacking up the car. It almost caused a rear-end collision several times,


  1. Misleading MPG of 2017 Acura MDX


A consumer with MDX Hybrid Automatic transmission at 5,000 miles reported consistently getting ~22 mpg while city driving (Approx 5000 miles). Benchmarking results against other MDX hybrids has seen 24-25 mpg. Acura reportedly refuses to further look into the issue. 


Another consumer with MDX Sport Hybrid 3.0L V6 24 valve Automatic transmission at 2,300 miles has a window sticker on 2017 Acura Sport Hybrid claiming 27 MPH highway, 26 MPH city. But the average all-city driving has been 19 to 20 MPH, 25% less than the sticker. The average all highway mpg is better at 24 MPH and dealers couldn't fix it. Acura highly depends on their sales pitch of yearly savings using the Acura Hybrid, which was said to be totally false.

2017 MDX Problems:  From Consumer Reports


  1. In-car Electronics 2017 MDX Problems


  • Consumer reported issues with their radio, CD or DVD players, speakers, GPS, communication system like OnStar saying it wouldn’t play. Display screen either freezes or goes blank. They also have issues with phone pairing, voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface like iPod/MP3 player) as well as with their backup or other camera/sensors.


  1. Transmission Minor 2017 MDX Problems


  • Consumer reported transmission gear selector buttons to be a clear safety hazard as they are not intuitive, are poorly shaped and unfamiliar to most (like for valet parking). These have caused several near parking accidents. 


  • Another consumer said that the new transmission is inconsistent when shifting in the lower gears. The consumer had it checked and there were no problems found with software. These shifting problems were said to have been reported by other Acura owners. Definitely not what they expected for a $55k auto. Reports were also collected that alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery and its cables, engine harness, coil and ignition switch failed as well as electronic ignition, distributor or rotor, spark plugs and wires failure.


  • Report that while driving at highway speeds with the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) on, the car would approach the vehicle in front and would maintain the predetermined following distance. So should the car in front ever slow down to a speed where passing is appropriate, then moving the MDX to the left lane would not engage the ACC. So ACC does not adapt to the left lane speed conditions at a rate that is safe. With this the driver was forced to intervene and step on the accelerator.


  1. Electric System Problems


  • Acura has issued a recall on the 2017 MDX rear light assembly where water may seep into the rear lights causing them to short out. The repair is being covered under warranty. There were also recalls for wirings. Moisture was reported in left headlight. Replaced under warranty by dealer.


  • The whole dashboard illuminating with all the error lights activated. 


  • All warning lights coming on due to outdated software.


  • A consumer reported Keyless entry which used to work flawlessly began to malfunction towards the end of one consumer’s lease.
  • Another consumer said keyless entry doesn't always work properly and the sensor needs may have to be replaced. 


  1. Exhaust Issues


  • A consumer reported random brake alerts as one of 2017 MDX problems, even without obstruction or even when sitting still. Dealer reportedly said no error codes and brakes were working as designed. When the alerts came up at highway speed the consumer became concerned the system would fail with an abrupt braking event at speed.


  • Another consumer reported the 2017 MDX problems of not maintaining speed.


  • Third consumer said forward collision warning shows up randomly for no apparent reason and the auto braking would not always work when engaged. There’s a major problem with the software for the navigation but no fix available. So the consumer felt stuck with an unreliable navigation system that malfunctions frequently. 


  1. Issues with Paint/Trim


  • Paint was reported to be fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling. 
  • Reports show 2017 MDX problems include loose interior and exterior trim or moldings under window or right rear passenger side window, and issues with rust.


  1. Fuel System Issues


  • Issues with the Check engine light as well as sensors including O2 or oxygen sensor. Issues with emission control devices, including EGR, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel pump, fuel injection system and fuel leaks that cause stalling or hesitation.


  • A consumer reported being unable to fuel the MDX because the system rejected nozzles at various pumps.


  1. Brake System Issues


  • Issues with Anti Lock Brake system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.
  • Warped rotors reported at ~25k miles, which is not unusual for an SUV, having brakes that are too small. What is not good is that it wasn't covered under warranty… 


  1. Body Hardware Issues


  • Issues with Power or manual windows locks and latches
  • Issues with tailgate, hatch or trunk
  • Issues with doors or sliding doors closing hard
  • Issues with mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof and convertible top.
  • Crack in front windshield. 
  • Audible wind noises
  • Intermittent annoying squeak from the cover to the inside passenger and the pillar cover. 


  1. Drive System Problems


  • A consumer reported transmission or a component elsewhere in the drivetrain is not shifting in a positive manner. It shifts in an erratic fashion when cruising downhill.
  • Kept on getting warnings that the Stability Control (ESC) system was not working properly. But consumer reported it was repaired under warranty


  1. Suspension Issues


  • 2017 MDX problems include issues with shocks or struts, tie rods, ball joints, wheel bearings
  • Wheels shaking issues and consumer reportedly pulled to the right extremely bad
  • A consumer reported a defective bushing but fortunately it was fixed under warranty.


  1. Climate system issues


  • Other consumers also reported 2017 MDX problems with the climate system – consisting of Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, evaporator, condenser, heater system, refrigerant leakage, automatic climate control and electrical failure.
  • A consumer reported that the fan in the front seems to be weak, and it takes a long time for the vehicle to heat up in the winter.


2017 MDX Problems: Frequently Asked Questions


What year MDX have transmission problems?


The worst model, according to Car Complaints, was the 2003 model. This is due to the fact that this is the first year with the torque converter problem. There were 16 complaints registered to Car Complaints, but the NHTSA received 46 more. This model also had a lot of electrical issues. The heated seats, door locks, ignition, and rear-view auto-dimming feature all had electrical problems.


The 2001 model is the second-worst. The Acura MDX was introduced in 2000 for the 2001 model year. It was the very first model for this car, so it's not shocking that it has some flaws.


The transmission was the most serious concern, with nine reports on the site and 36 more submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  


In the end, the transmission issues were mostly fixed by 2008, with a few issues resurfacing in later model years. Except for 2014, when the engine had a poor year, the Acura MDX received less complaints than the other versions. Aside from that, it recovered pretty well and is still going strong today.

What is the best year for Acura MDX?


The best deal is the 2017 Acura MDX. It has much of the same features as the 2019 model and is just $26,083 on average. You'll be driving a high-end vehicle without breaking the bank.


Knowing that 2017 is a good model year for Acura MDX and informed of potential problems you may encounter with this vehicle you can now better weigh in if 2017 Acura MDX is also the best deal for you despite the 2017 MDX problems presented.

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