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2015 Acura MDX clunks between 2nd and 3rd gear

My car is making a clunking noise between the 2nd and third gear. Very noticeable when it happens but not all the time.

How many miles on it? FWD or AWD? Have you checked the transmission fluid? The description sounds like a transmission issue.

When’s the last time you had the transmission fluid exchanged? At 3 years you probably have close to 50k on it by now, so it’s due.

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It has 87,500 miles and is FWD. Fluids usually checked during oil change but had an independent mechanic check it so feel sure he checked the fluid. He could not get it to clunk the way it did for me however between gears the RPM’s jumped considerably.

I’d agree that it is overdue for a fluid change. I’d rather you know the fluid level was checked than feel like it has. Even though most manufacturers seem to think automatic transmission fluid is forever, most of us here agree it prolongs the life to change it regularly. Change it and see if it still clunks.

Well Honda/Acura transmissions do not have a real good history. I have the trans fluid changed in my Acura every 30,000 miles at the dealer without fail. They are not cheap either so I don’t know what else to say except let the dealer diagnose the issue and change the fluid. They don’t fix these things but only replace.

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I’m going to set up appointment with dealer net week so will have it all checked out. thanks for the info.

Good luck. Please let us know what is found.

I took the car to the dealership and naturally on the test drive nothing happened. They changed out the transmission fluid and took a test drive. This time there was a little hesitation so they checked further. They are going to replace the transmission. I did not know it at the time but the car has a 100,000 mile power train warranty so it will be on their dollar!

Now would be a good time to read that manual and see what else you do not know. The service schedule might be one of the things you don’t know.


Not a bad idea. I know the service manager mentioned the timing chain at 100,000.


He likely meant the Timing BELT as timing chains often last the life of the vehicle.

Good for Acura for honoring their new-car warranty. I expect you’ll continue to be a Honda/Acura customer b/c of that. I’m not seeing very many problems reported as technical service bulletins for this transmission. Sounds like you are good to go. Presumably Honda will have your old transmission taken apart & rebuilt and kept on hand to install in another customer’s MDX should that be necessary.

BTW, while the transmission work is being done ask them to make sure all the recalls are checked, particularly the one for the fuel tank inspection.

He did. I wish it were a chain because I understand timing chains are not cheap!

Not sure what you mean. Typo? Did you mean to say you’d prefer your car was configured w/a long-life timing chain b/c “timing belt replacement jobs are not cheap”?

Belts and chains require about the same labor to replace them so cost should be similar. A chain though would be a repair but a belt would be a maintenance item. Interesting though that Acura replaced my belt once at about 30,000 miles. I changed the serpentine belt but developed a noise. Don’t know if my work was faulty or not and don’t see how it could be, but at any rate, they ended up doing the timing belt, and a new serpentine belt, etc. to get rid of the noise. The thing with Acura is that there is never a hassle to doing warranty work. Anything that breaks, they fix, no problem, no question.