2001 Acura MDX - shake when driving

Hello! I have a 2001 Acura MDX that when hard accelerating from any starting speed, I get a shaking, felt in seat, in steering wheel and in gas pedal, which goes away as soon as I lift off the gas. There is no shake when cruising at any speed. I’ve had local mechanic change trans and engine mounts, checked rear drive (prop shaft) - tested car without prop shaft and shake still occurs - and checked front axels and tie rods for wear (Whilst still on car). They are about to give up; I asked them to check the inner CV joints again and am waiting to hear an update. Help if you can! Thanks, Chris

Did they check the tires and rims?Did you hit a large pothhole recently?How long since you had a wheel alignment done?

Hi! Yes, and rotated tires as well and exact same result! Still stymied. They’re giving it back to me saying to keep an eye on it. When/if it gets worse, we may have something else to go on. Pretty heavy shake now, but again, only during heavier acceleration .

Any check engine light?

Typical symptom for this failure…put new front axles in.

That may be the problem you are having

Thinking it might be an engine miss rather than a suspension problem.

Thank you! I will have them check the plugs and ask if any codes are thrown despite not showing any check engine lights.

Here’s the kit you install to solve your problem.



Given the testing you’ve already done, my guess is a front drive shaft or suspension problem. Your shop has already checked the front wheel bearings for too much play, right? If so, then I expect they checked the suspension parts for play too, so my first guess is a problem w/ the drive shaft assemblies. After that, I’d be thinking of a problem in the front differential. You’ve checked the fluid level in that right? I had a similar problem years ago on a rear wheel drive car which turned out to be the rear differential. Have you checked with the dealership for known problems with this make/model/year, recalls, customer interest bulletins and the like?

Thank you. Yes, they’ve changed the front diff fluid already and they said they’ve checked the bearings, suspension and axels for too much play and all seemed ok. Still, my guess is a worn inner cv joint, based on when and how shake occurs, but my experience is very limited. They are reluctant to replace axels without stronger evidence. I guess I should appreciate the honesty and consideration for my wallet!

different type of car, may still be an idea…

my 2006 Pathfinder did have a shudder/vibration from 60 MPH and up, where I checked bearings, joints, CV shafts, etc…, and it looked like the owner before me was kinda working in the same direction, as all parts were shining sparky new and with Nissan logo :slight_smile:

it ended up that the front driveshaft had a failure in the u-joint, but the failure was apparent only at one certain position: if I tried to check for free-play, it was ok, but if I rotated the driveshaft slowly and continued to shake it, at one point it started to “click” faintly in one of u-joints

the fix was literally $15 in parts, but it took some scouting and a little bit of elbow grease

Hello Barkydog. No, no engine light yet.

Hello Jappy. Don’t recall hitting larger than normal pothole, but here in the northeast, anything smaller than the grand canyon is considered normal. The same speed while coasting creates no shake as opposed to substantial shake while accelerating. Would that discount wheel/tire flat point?

Thanks insightful. That’s the direction of my thinking too.

Thank you, Andriy! I would love this to be a $15 fix!! I will direct my mechanic to rotate the front driveshaft while checking for play in the u-joints. Interestingly, I get no shake at any speed range unless I’m accelerating moderately or more in which case, the shake occurs from zero mph up through higher highway speed.

Shaking during application of power and no shaking when coasting at the same speed indicates most likely a problem somewhere in the drive train. Engine, transmission, axles shafts (which include the cv joints), and (less likely) wheel bearings. If these are the original axle shafts, if I had this problem I’d just replace both of them. The cv boots are probably near their wear limit anyway, and the cv joints’ lube must be close to drying out by now. It’s not always easy to diagnose a faulty CV joint, as the diagnosis is usually based on the sound it makes, rather than vibrations. Worse case you’ll have new axle shafts and new cv boots.

Thank you for your reply! Yes, I think the next move would be to replace the axels which I will do ASAP, while crossing fingers.