2004 Acura MDX Problems – Everything You Need To Know

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Everything You Need To Know

You may be wondering about the 2004 Acura MDX. One thing about the Acura is that it is a practical and highly reliable car. The interior of the car boasts luxurious trims and there is plenty of cargo and passenger space. But how about the 2004 Acura MDX problems?

On the flip side, the Acura doesn’t hold its value well and loses up to 53% of its value in just  5 years. Many experts will recommend getting a Mercedes or a Lexus instead to avoid depreciation.

That said, the Acura is a pretty reliable car and the 2020 model received a reliability score of 78/100 by J.D Power. RepairPal, on the other hand, gave Acura a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 on reliability. Out of 14 vehicles evaluated by RepairPal, the Acura came in second.

It is also not expensive to maintain the Acura and has an average annual cost of repair of about $571. Comparing this to the average cost of maintaining other mid-size SUVs at $807 as well as the average cost of maintaining any other vehicle $652 and the Acura seems like a great choice.

Unscheduled repairs for the Acura will require you to take your vehicle to the mechanic 0.4 times a year. There is also an 8% chance that the issue is going to be severe. With good care and driving, the Acura can last upwards of 200,000 miles.

Let’s take a closer look at the Acura and see why it may just be the car for you. For easier navigation throughout this post, you can use our table of contents below.

2004 Acura MDX

The 2004 Acura MDX features seven seats, a V6 engine as well as a four-wheel drive system. It also has stunning styling as well as great crash protection. Not to mention that the 2004 Acura comes at a competitive price.

The Acura MDX first came out in 2001. It has been named the “North American Truck of the Year” and since it came out, the Acura has continuously been improved.

The car’s body is rigid to be able to absorb the vibrations during driving. There was also a boost in power while coming with a much smaller 5-speed automatic transmission. This smaller transmission offers super-smooth shifting.

Then there is the four-wheel drive system that works seamlessly with the vehicle stability assist resulting in better stability and off-road grip.

The 2004 Acura MDX also comes with an optional navigation system and a rearview camera that automatically turns on whenever the reverse gear is engaged.

There is also a boost in horsepower and torque as a result of a dual exhaust system. Other features include new alloy wheels and an airbag system with a dual curtain design that protects passengers in all rows.

The Model Lineup

Since the MDX is an Acura, customers expect the brand’s pricing strategy that is all-inclusive and also comes with several options. The 2004 Acura MDX however comes in just one trim. It has a 35 liter V6 under the hood and connects to a 5-speed automatic transmission.

2004 Acura MDX

The 2004 Acura comes with plenty of luxury features such as leather seats, power tilt and slide moon roof, keyless entry, front seats that are power-adjustable, and a tire pressure monitoring system to mention but a few.

If you choose the Touring package, you will get an eight-speaker 200-watt Boss sound system with a six-disc CD player. For an extra $1500 on the 2004 Acura MDX, you can get a DVD player with a 7-inch display, which you can control using a button and have it flip down from the ceiling.

A Walk Around

Okay sure, the 2004 Acura MDX isn’t going to get top marks for beauty or a unique design. That said, it does feature a sturdy build. The Acura grille has a satin finish and the headlights have a more angular design.

Limited overhangs located on both sides of the Acura give it a more compact yet dense look.

But the most interesting feature of the Acura MDX is the dual body design which comes as both unibody and body on frame. This hybrid design results in a highly sturdy frame. This rigidity results in reduced vibrations and noise.

Interior Features

There is plenty of passenger and cargo space with the Acura 2004 MDX. This model also comes with a neat finish and titanium trim.

The seats have perforated leather and there is also leather on the steering wheel and the side panels. The instrument panel is simple to read and control. The large knobs make it simple to access and control.

The car comes standard with automatic headlights and the reverse view camera feature a fish eye lens which requires some getting used to.

Then there are the third-row seats which strangely, are pretty simple to get into thanks to the ability of the second-row seats to slide forward. Folding down the third row and the front row seats however gives you up to 81.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Other great features worth noting are the split air conditioning system and the satellite navigation system.

How It Drives

One thing you will likely notice about the 2004 Acura MDX is how well it drives and how stable it is especially around the corners. The powertrain produces 265 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Well, not exactly the same as a Super Snake but decent enough for everyday use.

Compared to many midsized SUVs in its class, the 2004 Acura MDX does pretty well as far as fuel economy goes offering up to 17mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway.

It is not the quickest midsize SUV, especially by today’s standards but it is pretty impressive. The Acura is able to move from 0-60 mph in 8 seconds.

It also has a maximum towing capacity of 4500 pounds. The Acura will drive in the front-wheel drive system for the majority of the time which helps to save on costs. That said. The rear wheel will automatically engage whenever the car’s sensors detect that the front wheels are spinning.

The rear wheels will also engage when the driver steps on the gas pedal and asks the car for more acceleration.

Another feature of the Acura MDX is the firm suspension. That said, the steering tends to feel heavier than what you would find on say a Lexus.

As for the brakes, they are top quality, highly responsive, and very secure.

Acura MDX Reliability

Many people often wonder if the Acura MDX is a good car. The simple answer is yes, the Acura MDX is a good car. Not only does it handle well, but it also has a powerful V6 under the hood which offers excellent gas mileage.

Moreover, the Acura is a seven-seater and has plenty of cargo space.

One of its major drawbacks is the infotainment system. The touchpad is set at the center control which is very simple to use. And sure the car has many luxurious features but there are also several brands that outperform the Acura and feel more classy.

That said the Acura MDX is a more affordable option when compared to many of the models in its category.

Acura MDX Years To Avoid

You are better off staying away from the 2001 to 2005 models of the Acura MDX as well as the 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2017 models.

The major issue with the Acura MDX is problems with the transmission. The 2004 Acura MDX problems tend to be more expensive than other model years.

As for the 2010 model, the most expensive problem includes excessive consumption of oil. The 2014 and the 2016 Acura MDX tends to have more issues earlier on than later on.

But the model year of the Acura MDX that has the most issues is the 2014 Acura MDX. Due to issues with the transmissions and the powertrain, it is best to avoid these Acura MDX models.

Best Acura MDX Year

One of the Acura MDX vehicles that stands out is the 2018 MDX Sports Hybrid. The fuel efficiency is quite impressive as this model year is able to do 26miles per gallon in the city as well as 27miles per gallon on the highway.

This 2018 model features a V6 3.0-liter engine that produces 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque.

Thanks to the all-wheel drive system, the Acura 2018 model maintains a firm grip on the road including on wet surfaces roads. It will also go from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

The 2019 Acura MDX is also worth noting. It comes with a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pounds-feet of torque.

That said the 2019 Acura MDX doesn’t come with the best infotainment system. While it is responsive, it feels complicated and many simple features are bundled up in packages.

This means that you will have to press the system multiple times to get to the feature that you want.

The 2015 Acura MDX is also one of the best models years to go for if you are searching for a second-hand Acura MDX.

It features state-of-the-art driver-assist features that give this model of the Acura MDX great performance. With the V6 engine, the 2015 Acura MDX produces 290 horsepower.

2004 Acura MDX Transmission Problems

2004 Acura MDX Transmission Problems

Owners complained over a variety of 2004 Acura MDX problems. This also occurred with other earlier models of the Acura MDX. This was especially so when it came to the transmission. Some of the more common transmission issues included gear slippage and vibrations while driving at higher speeds.

Drivers often complained about high levels of shaking when driving at 25-50mph. By not pressing on the accelerator, the shaking and shuddering would stop. This would however stop for a while and then resume even without pressing on the gas pedal.

For some drivers, there was a growling noise that came with the shuddering. This would be accompanied by weak and slow acceleration. That said there were drivers who discovered that by switching to fourth gear, the issue would stop and they would continue to drive effectively.

Many other drivers, however, did not find a solution to the problem and they were only left with the option of taking the car to the mechanic.

Repairs Required For Transmissions Issues

For drivers and car owners who took their car to the mechanic, the problem often came from the torque converter.  Some car owners preferred to replace the torque coveter while others opted to have it rebuilt.

There were some instances where the whole transmission needed to be rebuilt. In other instances, the entire transmission needed to be replaced as a result of the transmission receiving debris from the torque converter.

A repair of the transmission as well as the converter would amount to around $5000. This issue was common with the Acura MDX models from 2003 to 2007.

When it comes to gear slippage, the models that were most prone to this issue included the Acura MDX from 2001 to 2003. There was a large volume of complaints on just this problem alone. The issue could only be resolved through a complete rebuild or replacement of the transmission.

Very often the car owner had to deal with the issue without a warranty. This would end up setting the owner back $2000 – $4000. The cost of replacing the transmission would depend on the individual repair shop and mechanic.

2004 Acura MDX Air Conditioning Problems

There are several causes of issues with the 2004 Acura MDX air conditioning. Let’s take a closer look at these 2004 Acura MDX problems and see how to fix them.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Dirty Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter or the pollen filter is one of the most critical components of the entire car’s ventilation system. If the air filter is dirty the condition of the air in the cabin is likely to deteriorate.

This will cause ineffective heating. It will also result in extra heat on the AC which will affect your vehicle fuel consumption negatively.

While there is no set time where you need to replace the air filter, the recommendation is every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. If you are often driving off-road or over dusty terrain, then you will need to replace the air filter sooner than this.

Begin by having a look at the air filter. Before you can even replace it, you should clean the air filter which you can easily do with the help of a vacuum cleaner. This will help take out the larger dust particles.

However, you will not be able to access style deeper sections of the air filter. This will therefore mean that the filter still won’t perform at its optimum. However, it can buy you time before you replace the filer. Eventually, you will need to clean the air filter.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Dirty Condenser

This part of your 2004 Acura MDX will be located at the front of the vehicle. Its role is to pass the heat from the radiator and send it to the air.

When dirt and debris accumulate on the surface of the air condenser and in the mesh, this lowers the air condenser’s ability to pass heat. Eventually, this results in a malfunction of the condenser.

Cleaning the air condenser is the easiest and quickest way to deal with the issue. Often time to access the condenser you will require to take out the front bumper. To clean the dirty air condenser you can use a prewash.

Ensure, however, that the prewash is set at low to ensure that you do not damage the delicate air condenser fins.

The issue could also be due to a clogged air condenser. Other times the issue could occur due to a leak in the air condenser. This could cause the refrigerant to leak out which then brings down its performance.

If you suspect that there is a leak in the air condenser, take the vehicle to a mechanic’s shop. He will likely use a foaming gas to identify the leak.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Refrigerant Leak

2004 Acura MDX Air Conditioning Problems

The major cause of issues and improper functioning of the AC is a leak in the refrigerant. Losing about 15% of the AC refrigerant in a car such as an Acura can be considered normal. Having the refrigerant refilled every so often by a mechanic is important to ensure it remains at optimum levels.

Otherwise, the level of the refrigerant could drop so low that the AC is unable to send in cold air. If after refilling you notice that the refrigerant is still unable to cool the vehicle, then there is a good chance of a leak of the refrigerant.

Another reason that could cause a leak in the refrigerant is defective components. A damaged condenser or a faulty seal ring, for instance, could be behind the refrigerant leaks.

Often it is not simple to find those small leaks. The mechanic however can fill up the system using a special gas to make finding the location of the leaks much easier. Other times the mechanic could use a gas detector to find even smaller holes.

After locating the holes, they will then be closed up often by replacing the condenser.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – A Dirty Evaporator

Another issue that could cause 2004 Acura MDX problems with the AC is an evaporator that is clogged or dirty. The majority of the dirt will be caught and sieved by the air filter. However, there are those particles that escape and find their way onto the evaporator.

When the dust particle builds up on the evaporator they will clog up the fins. This will result in insufficient cooling.

In order to tell if the evaporator is clogged, you may find that the airflow is choppy and isn’t consistent.

You may also notice a smell coming from the inside of your car.

This problem can be fixed by cleaning the evaporator. However, this is not going to be easy as you will need to remove the entire dashboard. It is best therefore to take your vehicle to a mechanic.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Failure Of The Compressor

The main component of your 2004 Acura MDX is the air compressor. It is made up of several moving parts that help turn the coolant from a gas form to a liquid form.

It is often impossible to repair a broken compressor. One thing to note is that if you use your air conditioning system often, then the various moving parts of the air compressor will not stick. However, if it takes you a long time to turn on the air compressor, then there is a likelihood of the moving parts sticking.

At this point, you will need to replace the entire air compressor.

The air compressor could also damage the various moving parts as a result of a lack of lubrication of the moving parts. This could result in metal chips that get distributed throughout the faulty AC system.

At this point, the entire AC system will need to be replaced.

2004 Acura MDX Problems – Faulty Blower Motor

If you notice that the air blowing through the vents of your 2004 Acura MDX has gone down significantly, then you may have a bad blower motor. A faulty blower motor could also result in abnormal noises whenever you turn on the AC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Acuras Good Cars

Yes, Acuras are good cars and among the more reliable vehicles on the market. After getting your new Acura, you can drive it for a good long while before you notice any issues that require you to take the car to a mechanic.

Are Acuras Reliable

Acuras get a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0. This was after Acuras were compared to over 345 different car models. Acuras have an annual repair cost of around $501 which is above average.

Are Acuras Expensive To Maintain

Acura’s are not expensive to maintain. As per yourmechanic.com the model is ranked 11 out of 30 on the list of the most expensive venues to maintain. This is based on the vehicle estimated total vehicle maintenance costs for over a decade.

How Much Is A Acura MDX

The base model front wheel drive 2023 Acura’s have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $49,050.

leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *