Acura 2003 MDX Power steering out less than 30 days after repair

Took the MDX in for power steering issues (heard the noise, suddenly hard to turn- leaking fluid).

Shop replaced the pump, and all the hoses/lines for 800 bones. Then they called and said that the tie rod/rack/tie and pinions needed to be replaced or the power steering pump would fail within weeks. So, paid that to tune of 1300.

The work was done at the end of April- Yesterday, I pulled my car out of the driveway to see the power steering fluid decorating my driveway, and the car acting the same again. Hard to turn, etc etc

I only drive the car to work (which is 15 miles away), and we use the mini van on the weekend with the kids

Any ideas of what this could be? If the repair shop doesnt say “oops, our bad we put something in wrong- here is your repair free”, I think I am going to get rid of it. It does need new shocks/struts. (Another 1k) It also needs a new sway bar (500) (The mechanic told me that when I took it in, but told me I had about 8 months before I needed to do that- and that it would not interfere with the work that had just been done). Add to it tires will need to be replaced come winter (500). Thats around 4k for a car that is worth… 4k. It has only 120k miles on it. I was planning on keeping it until the bitter end (this year MDX tend to live forever) but Im not so sure right now.

Any ideas suggestions?

The repair shop should say “oops, our bad we put something in wrong- here is your repair free.”

Could be as simple as a hose clamp that wasn’t tightened down properly.

120k miles is barely middle-aged in Honda world. Yes, you will have to put some money into it, but you are putting $4,000 in maintenance and repair up against ten times that for a new one.

I hope youre right. Im worried that driving it would have damaged the car. She needs work, but I love that thing- two cross country drives and no car payment. Thats a beautiful thing

Don’t be so rushed to condemn the shop that did the repair.
Stop in and explain to them that you have the same problem again. I’m sure that they will work with you.

It is not unheard of, to get a new part right out of the box that was defective. It is not common, but with the volume of parts that a mechanic goes through, there are bound to be a few dud’s now and then.

Talk to them nicely and they will be glad to help you out, and they should have given you a warranty on the parts.


Absolutely- Im not condemning the shop- Im just hoping they have an easy fix/free fix. Im strapped for cash and I just cant pour more money into the car. I am anxiety ridden about the possibility that there is something else going on that would render the 2k of work done invalid and Ill have to pay for it to be redone AND whatever else went wrong.

Contact the shop and see what they have to say. Also stress that any repairs that might cost you should be approved by you ( that is normal for most places ). Any vehicle of any make can reach appoint where the owners just do not want to spend money on it.

you have a new pump, lines, and rack so nothing else is involved. could be as simple as a loose fitting.

Here’s what I would do- call the shop that did the work. Give them brief explanation of situation; you replaced a rack and pump on my car less than 30 days ago and it’s leaking power steering fluid all over my driveway. Will it be OK to drive it back to your shop for evaluation or would you prefer to send a tow truck? I don’t want to be responsible for any damage that could result from driving it unless you say it’s OK to do so.

See what they say.


My guess is that the replacement pump has failed. Take it back to the shop and if that’s the case they should replace it for you w/o any parts cost, as the pump is probably under the manufacture’s warranty. There may be a labor fee however. I’m showing 1/2 hour labor to replace the pump on the v6 3.5 L. The oem pump parts cost is about $600. If the price you paid for the pump parts cost is considerably less than $600, you probably got an aftermarket version rather than the oem. If you’d prefer the oem (which is the same pump that came with the car originally, new) let the shop know. You may have to pay a little more, but you’ll likely be getting a higher quality part.