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Shudder or Vibration While Driving at Speeds Between 35 and 40 MPH on Acura MDX

Problem Description and Possible Solution

A shudder or vibration may develop while driving at speeds between 35 and 40 MPH. Our technicians tell us this condition is commonly caused by a failed automatic transmission torque converter. It is recommend to replace the torque converter and install an updated powertrain control module (PCM) to correct this concern.

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Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 96,851 (3,000–185,000)
13 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
110 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 62 comments
Shuddering usually between 25-40 mph when slightly depressing gas pedal, cruising or slightly accelerating. Shuddering stops when letting off the gas pedal or by de-pressing to accelerate quickly. I called the Acura dealership and my vehicle did not have a recall for a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software update to resolve issue. Acura technician mentioned it could be the torque converter or another software update needed.
I noticed the 'shudder' described here and brought it in to the dealer and told them of this noise. On first visit dealer could not find a problem. After driving some more I detected that this 'shudder' occurred in the 40-50 mile range and brought the car back to the dealer. After two rides in MDX 2nd mechanic finally correctly diagnosed the problem ( one would think that this would be the first thing they should suspect). When paying $1800 repair bill ( that's with 'discount') I complained that the internet had numerous complaints about torrque converter problem and that quite a few customers did not pay for this defect repair. I also voiced my concern over possible future transmission problems. The manager disregarded the numerous internet documentations and claimed the model had no transmission issues. Months later I was at my local mechanics shop with another car & I described the MDX 'shudder' and he immediately told me that it was a torque converter without my telling him anymore. I was not happy with the stonewalling or lack of knowledge that Acura showed in dealing with me. I'd prefer to have my car serviced by Acura however this kind of treatment has driven me away.
Shuttering at low speeds, off and on. Not continuous, nor consistent, but obvious.
shutter, grinding noise @ 35-45 mph... i bought the car used with a 87024 miles... i'm prettty upset
Hesitation upon acceleration. Car studders while accelerating.
2002 MDX upshifts from 4th to 5th gear at 35-45 mph, resulting in lugging, shuddering/vibration and a LOUD, annoying growling/grinding noise. The problem is absolutely gone if I shift to D4 (not allowing it to shift to 5th gear) or if driving over 55 mph (and 5th-gear rpms > 1600).
A shudder happen when it's speed reach 50-55mph.
When I excelerate over 40 there is sometimes a vibration, what is this?
Have the same shutter / washboard sensation when driving at city speeds. This just started last week. We have owned since new and have religiously maintaned the car at Ron Tonkin Acura. Very dissapointing as we researched reliability at the time of purchase and the MDX was highly rated. I will report back when we have a diagnosis and repair. Have read other threads, stating this is a safety issue as the drive wheels (front) can all of a sudden lock up and not spin while driving car. If this happens on a freeway, imagine what would happen.
Car sporadically makes a loud noise like it is out of gear, transmission is slipping, or some sort of supplemental motor has clicked on. Took it to the dealer and they said they didn't know what was causing it and were not able to replicate it. That was two months ago, now it is starting to occur more frequently.
It shudders or vibrates from time to time. Dealer changed the tranny fluid and it would go away for a little while. I think there should be a recall for the transmission.
It has a vibrates when i go 35 and 40
Car seems to have trouble finding gear when traveling in traffic that 's moving between 30-40 mph. It seems to be in higher gear and isn't smoothly adjusting to lower gear when traveling steady at these speeds, and as traffic flow speeds adjust, as is the case with travel around Charlotte city limits.
Hendrick Acura downloaded new software update for transmission but it solved nothing. They told me that there is nothing else they can do or know of doing. Said it's the best it will get, but admitted there was a problem.......hard to believe Acura doesn't have a fix for this. Happy Honda owner for years; thought I would upgrade, but now I wish that I hadn't. Hopefully, Honda/Acura will do the right thing and fix it.
After recent software upgrade for the transmission recall, I am experiencing noise and shudder after car reaches 40 + ml/hour. The noise is disappearing after 75 + ml/hour.
Occasional vibration on country roads normally- havent noticed it on the freeways/highways
Brand new 2015 Acura TLX and having similar issue. Its like its in too high of gear and I am driving a stick and need to downshift. I will be going less than 40 and the car is in 7th gear. I took it in once already before forst oil change and the said the reprogrammed my Transmission Control module (TCM). Its still having the problem. On my way in again.
I've had this exact problem from the first week i had the car. First time I took ed it back to the dealership they told me it's trying to switch gears but is having a hard time and that the best thing to do is depress on the gas pedal and resume normal acceleration. I will not stand for a temporary fix to a permanent problem. So I am taking it back before the year is up and if not fixed before the third time, I'm definitely going to get my money back.
I have a 2004 MDX which has been no issue until last week when the transmission showed vibration around 40 MPH. Now it wont's even start. Is there a lawsuit ongoing? If yes, I would like to jump in.
Same as everyone else. 35-45 MPH, shakes, judders , annoying.
Bought it used but regularly happens
since we bought it 3-4 yrs ago.
the car shutters at speeds around 35-40 mph shortly after it shifts into a higher gear. Dealer wants $3000 to fix it. First we will try changing transmission fluid and filter to see if this helps. Time to trade it in!