Acura MDX Transmission Problems & Overview

The Acura MDX was equipped with the MDKA, BDGA, BYFA, BDKA and MT4A transmission. Based on the same “Global Midsize” platform that underpins the Honda Accord, the first-gen Acura MDX debuted in 2000 for the 2001 model year. This was Acura’s first SUV to be designed and built in-house (their Acura SLX was based on the Isuzu Trooper), and it used a more powerful version of the Accord’s V6. The 2nd-gen 2007-2013 Acura MDX got a powerful 300-hp 3.7L V6, along with the option of Acura’s much lauded Super-Handling AWD (SH-AWD) system. The 3rd generation debuted in the summer of 2013, at which point a staggering 692,710 MDX’s had been sold since 2000. This impressive sales tally made it “the best-selling three-row luxury crossover of all time”, and it continues to be the second best-selling midsize luxury CUV behind the Lexus RX. Does something seem wrong with your MDX? Let’s look at some of the most common transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your SUV back on the road.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Acura MDX Transmission Models

Acura MDX Transmissions: MDKA, MT4A, BDKA, BYDA and BDGA

Acura MDX Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by exact engine size and year. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

What are the DTC codes related to Acura MDX transmission problems?

P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.

Acura MDX Recalls

2014 MDX AWD – 13V571000 / JC8


American Honda Motor Co., Inc. recalled certain 2014 MDX AWD models that were manufactured between May 6, 2013, through October 14, 2013. It seems that the bolts that attach the drive shaft to the automatic transmission transfer assembly may not have been properly tightened. As a result, the bolts could loosen possibly allowing the shaft to detach.


If the drive shaft detaches while driving it could cause excessive noise and possibly damage the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.


Honda began notifying owners in December 2013, and dealers were instructed to inspect and tighten the drive shaft attaching bolts as necessary, free of charge. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009 or visit their website at Be sure to refer to Honda’s recall number: JC8. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236

2003-2006 MDX – 12V573000 / S74


Honda is recalling certain 2003-2006 Acura MDX SUVs that were manufactured from November 26, 2001, through August 30, 2006. It seems that the interlock lever of the ignition switch may deform, which can allow the interlock function of a vehicle with an automatic transmission to be defeated.


Removal of the ignition key when the gear selector of a vehicle with an automatic transmission has not been shifted to the park position can allow the vehicle to roll away, increasing the risk of a crash that could result in serious injury and/or property damage.


Honda began notifying owners in February 2013, and instructed their dealers to install an updated shift interlock lever and, if necessary, replace the ignition switch, free of charge.  Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009, be sure to refer to the Acura recall number: S74.

2001-2002 MDX – 04V176000 / P31


According to the recall, certain operating conditions can result in heat build-up between the countershaft and secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission, eventually leading to gear tooth chipping or gear breakage.


Gear failure could result in transmission lockup, which could result in a crash.


This recall began on April 21, 2004, and Honda issued the following repair procedures: On vehicles with 15,000 miles or less, the dealer was instructed to update the transmission with a simple revision to the oil cooler return line to increase lubrication to the second gear. On vehicles with more than 15,000 miles, the dealer was supposed to inspect the transmission to identify gears that have already experienced discoloration due to overheating. If discoloration exists, the transmission was to be replaced. If discoloration is not present, the dealer will perform the revision to the oil cooler return line.

Owners can contact Acura at 1-800-382-2238, referring to recall number: P31. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s auto safety hotline at 1-888-dash-2-dot (1-888-327-4236).

Acura MDX Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2007-2009 MDX – TSB 12-029


A shudder from the torque converter lock-up clutch may be felt while driving between 20–45 mph. To minimize the opportunity for the judder to occur, a software update for the transmission is available.


This AT software update is available free of charge to all affected vehicles regardless of its age or mileage. However, if the judder returns after the transmission software is updated, the torque converter may need to be replaced. American Honda did extend the warranty on the torque converter in affected vehicles to 8 years from the original date of purchase or 105,000 miles, whichever comes first.

If you have any questions about this warranty extension, please call Acura Client Relations at 1-800-382-2238, and select option 4. US owners can also locate a dealer online at Owners in US territories, please contact your local dealer/distributor.

2003-2004 MDX – TSB 06-003


If your MDX shudders or vibrates between 35 and 40 mph, there’s a good chance that the torque converter is faulty.


Replace the torque converter, or the torque converter and the transmission, and update the PCM with the HDS. NOTE: The PCM software must be updated in order to complete the repair.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Transmission Does an Acura MDX Have?


What to Read Next

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What Problem Does Your MDX Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Larry Murri
5 months ago

2007 MDX transmission won’t stay in drive, it will drop down to d3

Last edited 5 months ago by Larry Murri
7 months ago

2003 Acura mdx doesn’t go back

Lanny provience
9 months ago

2016 mdx 109000 po 2729 won’t go into drive until engine warms up

Christopher Parker
10 months ago

I changed the fluid and filter in my 02 MDX and now have no reverse

1 year ago

Update on the 2020 Acura with 499 miles on it. The transmission is no good and it needs a new one. So, I’m stuck since it will take a week to get it done. Not happy!

1 year ago

I have a 2020 Acura MDX with 499 miles(yes, brand new). The transmission would go from drive to neutral and after many tries it finally went. Dash lights showed the drive indicator flashing and error messages covering ‘major transmission problems’ and lane violation lights flashing(I’m standing still) and others. It’s now been towed to the dealer and they say it probably needs a new transmission. I should know today. Unbelievable!

1 year ago

I have an 05 acura mdx. It has 205 thousand miles. The transmission was running great with no noise or problems. I went to leave for work one morning and didnt make it even two minutes from home. It suddenly started to slip and erratically shift into random gears. Shut it off for 1 minute and it’s good to go again running great for about 2 miles then right back to slipping and shifting irratically

1 year ago
Reply to  Wayne

So I also have a 2005 Acura MDX with 445,405 miles and had the dame issues about a year ago. Ended up replacing the TCM and everything has been great since.

Jerry Weston
1 year ago

I have a03 mdx that is noisey in d5 and the RPM drops about fifty rpms on and off as the noise acures. Drop down to D4 and everything is fine

Rodrigo Marin
1 year ago

Hello I have a 20p3 acura mdx 4×4 goes in to gears good. While driving the car cold shifts ok. After 3 – 4 minutes I’m driving on D up to 40 mph it neutralizes and rpms go hinge but wont run until I turn of the car wait like 30 seconds and then hit drive and same thing over and over till I get to my destination what can I do to fix it. Thanks for your time

Joaquin Hernandez
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodrigo Marin

Did you find what’s wrong with you MDX thanks

1 year ago

I have a 07 mdx car won’t start so I replace the starter and it started but a check transmission came on the dash and my car won’t go into reverse look online and see several people replace the starter the car immediately won’t go into reverse

1 year ago

I have a 2017 mdx 53,000 kilometres transmission clunky at 40,60 and over 100 in D and S

Haris Ahmed Talal
2 years ago

hey so I have a 2007 Acura mdx and for some reason it has a stiff steering wheel but there is no leakage of power fluid, there is something that leaks out of the car but i do not know what it is, recently when im driving, the “check engine oil level” randomly pops up 3-4 times in under 10 seconds and then dissapears but when I check the level its completely fine. When i am parallel parking, the “check transmission light comes on but there is absolutely no problem with the transmission. I was wondering if anybody has experienced this before on a 2007-2013 mdx and if you have any tips on fixing this, thanks.

2 years ago

Tengo ese problema en mi mdx 2007, intermitentemente me dice que debo chequear el nivel de aceite, pero cuando lo chequeo el nivel está bien.

2 years ago

my 07 steering was also very had (over the years) and when I got back after a month out my steering started making high pinch noise (air causing cavitation). Shop told me I needed new power steering arm (they showed me a little oil leakage under body) for like $900. Instead I bought pump in/out o-ring ($2) and flush the fluid out (very black with new stuff – directed return line to gallon jug, plugged reservoir and poured while my wife turns on car and steered side to side until clear) and both issues are solved!. $10. done.

Jordan R.
2 years ago

I have a 2001 MDX that has had shifting problems between 2-3 and sometimes 3-5 in the past. Today when put in park; the transmission made a grinding noise. I suspect the torque converter but I also feel like it may be time for a new transmission. anybody have any idea? thanks

J .mdx Massachusetts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jordan R.

1st make sure your fluid llevels are correct, my problem was/ valve solenoid a stuck on….there is a secret door that houses the shift solenoids….a,b,c,d…you can change those …if not its cud be there is fluid mixn from radiator….hayden trans cooler will eliminate that from happening again…i need a rebuild because my valve body is bad…2800 for the rebuild…or get used jdm tranny..1000.00 and install cooler 65.00 …call it a lifetime

joanne gaffey
2 years ago

2004 mdx drives great for the first 40kms then i lose all drive sit the car for a short time it comes back to life for a time and stopes again but i love the car 96000 kms

2 years ago

I have a 2009 Acura MDX 3.7 that is not upshifting when on the freeway. It is an intermittent problem but the mechanic did feel it. No codes and fluid is full and clean

2 years ago

I have a 2003 mdx with about 180k. When i drive it for about 5 minutes it won’t go it starts revving Like it’s in neutral. I have to cut it off for a few minutes then cut it back on and it will drive for another 5 minutes maybe. I tried changing the neutral safety switch and it’s still doing the same thing. What else could it be?

Christopher Benjamin
2 years ago
Reply to  Charkie

There are solenoids on the trans itself, if one of those goes bad the trans will not work properly, now finding which one it is, time to get yourself a person handy with a multimeter.

Rodrigo marin
1 year ago
Reply to  Charkie

Did you find the solution ? Have the same problem

Trevar Sledge
2 years ago

I have a 2003 mdx with about 180k. When i drive it for about 5 minutes it won’t go it starts revving Like it’s in neutral. I have to cut it off for a few minutes then cut it back on and it will drive for another 5 minutes maybe. I tried changing the neutral safety switch and it’s still doing the same thing. What else could it be?

2 years ago
Reply to  Trevar Sledge

I have the same problem took it to first mechanic said it was trans selenoid C bought installed it and the problem came back again. Tested the seleniod by it self and it worked. Really busting my head with this problem

2 years ago

My o3 Acura MDX won’t move while in any gear n the d5 lite came on in the dashboard. What is the problem

4 years ago

I have a 2004 acura mdx. I can feel my gears switching when I drive <40mph and my dashboards lights pop on. the vtm-4, engine light and vsa light all come on. It feels like I'm driving in 4 wheel drive at this point. Its been going on for some time. Transmission? Any ideas would really help

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