Sharing its platform with giant lineups like the Honda Civic and the Honda CRV, the Acura RDX has been in production since 2006 and is currently in its 3rd generation.
With over 15 models, each with various trims, you would think that Acura would have a grip on the car’s production.
Unfortunately, despite a good launch and plenty of good models post-launch, the Acura RDX transmission problems only increased.
The company has been putting out good quality cars in the lineup with little to n-o issues. That being said, here is just a small list of the many issues that you can face in the Acura RDX when it comes to transmission issues:
- Slipping Gears
- Difficulty Shifting Gears
- Transmission Slamming Into Gear
- Gears Hesitating
- Hesitation When Accelerating
- Fluid Leaks
If you want to get on top of these issues and learn more about them, then it might be beneficial to read this article until completion. I will also discuss the models that have these problems the most so you can do your best to avoid them.
6 Signs Of Transmission Problems In An Acura RDX
The first thing to understand is that not all signs are easily visible. Some problems and signs are easily identifiable due to their signature sounds and smell.
Others are very quiet, and you must pay close attention to your Acura RDX to notice something wrong.
Regular maintenance should be able to aid you in figuring out what is wrong with your vehicle. If you do not, keep an eye out for these signs below.
1. Slipping Gears
One of the more common issues that you will face in a bad transmission is gear slippage. This is an issue where the Acura RDX will slip into gear but not at its current speed. As you can imagine, this can be quite unsettling and a sign that your car needs maintenance.
Additional signs that you may be dealing with this issue are general jerkiness and gears not engaging. You should get this issue checked out immediately. Otherwise, it can ruin your transmission.
2. Difficulty Shifting Gears
There can be plenty of reasons you are facing difficulty shifting the gears of your Acura RDX. It can stem from simple issues such as a lack of transmission fluid or issues in the electronics or car clutch.
In any case, you will deal with a lot of trouble shifting gears which should be immediately noticeable to you. Since this can make it easy to get into an accident and troublesome to drive, you should have this fixed as soon as possible.
3. Transmission Slamming Into Gear
This problem is quite easy to diagnose due to the symptoms it can produce. You can tell when your transmission slams into gear by paying attention to how the vehicle behaves when you shift gears.
Usually, you may hear a loud clunk or banging noise when the transmission shifts into gear. The vehicle will sometimes jerk forward or backward when the transmission shifts into gear.
Damaged parts of the transmission and issues with the clutch or pressure plate mostly cause this issue. If left unresolved, you will soon be dealing with transmission failure, so best to get it checked out as soon as possible.
4. Gears Hesitating
Usually caused by a low amount of lubricating agent or transmission fluid, gear hesitation is another obvious sign that you should be able to tell just by driving.
If you attempt to switch to another gear or put the car into gear, but it does not engage, you can be sure you have this issue.
Your transmission components have likely worn out; however, this should not be the case until the end of the car’s lifespan.
This issue should be taken care of as soon as possible, as if left unchecked; it can seriously devolve the condition of your transmission.
5. Hesitation When Accelerating
Hesitation when accelerating your Acura RDX can become quite common once you reach a certain mileage.
This is usually at the tail end of its lifespan, however, so if you are facing it early on, your transmission is faulty. This could either be damaged components or a lack of transmission fluid.
There will be a distinct lack of power when accelerating. This sign is quite easy to tell as you can feel the jerkiness of the vehicle itself, especially if you are driving it. This issue can easily lead to more issues like transmission failure or gear slippage.
6. Fluid Leaks
While not specifically stated below, fluid leaks are quite common in most cars. While they are not a major problem when it comes to transmission, they can easily lead to many of the problems mentioned above.
The transmission fluid is extremely important as it keeps the transmission cool, along with protecting the component of the transmission via its lubrication.
A lack of transmission fluid can easily lead to transmission damage over time. This can lead to additional wear and tear, leading to more gear slipping. Over time, this can even lead to the transmission failing altogether.
Is It Risky To Buy A Used Transmission For An Acura RDX?
If given the opportunity, you should try your hardest to get a new transmission for your Acura RDX.
Unless you are dealing with a trusted seller or know exactly how much the transmission has been used, you should aim for a new component instead of a used one.
Your decision should also vary based on how much the transmission has been used. If it is less than 20,000 miles, you can consider buying it. If it is higher, you should avoid the purchase outright, especially if it has been used more than 150,000 miles.
Acura RDX Transmission In Extreme Weather
The weather can greatly affect the lifespan and working of your car’s transmission. This is doubly so for the Acura RDX, especially if you use one of the models listed below.
Most importantly, when dealing with extreme weather, you should avoid driving your car altogether. This can include heavy rainfall, blizzards, sand storms, and days involving great heat.
All of these can have a major impact on the health and integrity of the transmission and can lead to more issues down the line. While there may be some protection, you should avoid long drives if you know bad weather.
Which Year Did Acura RDX Have Transmission Issues?
Upon viewing the signs above, you may think that the Acura RDX is a bad car. This is certainly not the case. You should stay away from certain models as they have much more complaints when it comes to transmission issues.
Overall, the Acura RDX is a pretty solid car all around. It has displayed minimal issues, and any problems have been localized in several models.
Here are all the models of the Acura RDX that you are better off avoiding due to their bad reputation regarding their transmission.
1. 2017 Acura RDX
Starting off this list is the 2017 Acura RDX. This model is probably the most infamous when it comes to transmission issues.
Once you get into this particular car, the first thing that you will feel is the hard and extremely sluggish gear shifts. This makes driving the car very annoying and difficult.
Often, this is accompanied by the transmission hesitating and slamming into gear. Additional car owners have reported that the car would have a rough and jerky downshifting.
All this led to a very annoying and lackluster experience when driving or simply riding in the vehicle.
2. 2016 Acura RDX
You would think that the model after 2016 Acura RDX would be better, but this is the rare case where the predecessor is better.
Unlike the 2017 Acura RDX, the 2016 model had only major issues. The drawback was that the problem was much more common all around.
Many people complained about the car hesitating when being accelerated. This would make it very irritating to drive the car as the vehicle would struggle to speed up. This can easily get you in an accident or an undesirable situation with other drivers.
3. 2010 Acura RDX
When it comes to the 2010 Acura RDX, there are a few different problems that people have to deal with. This was not as much compared to the 2017 Acura RDX, which is why this model is below it.
Additionally, most problems surrounding the model were not as prominent as in the previous models.
Regardless, they could easily grow and cause even more problems. The first thing people noticed was the transmission leaking its fluid.
Soon after, people also started to see the torque converter seal leaking. This amount of leakage and loss of needed fluid could easily lead to more major issues if left untouched.
4. 2019 Acura RDX
Dealing with the 2019 Acura RDX was even more difficult because it is the worst model in the entire lineup.
It may not have the most issues regarding transmission, but it has a lot of problems overall, so it should be no surprise why it is on this list.
The main source of the problem is mostly unknown, but many suspect it has something to do with the transmission.
The worst thing about the vehicle model is that it would often throw a driver cycle code. This issue is mostly accompanied by rough shifting and hesitation during acceleration, which aggravates.
5. 2007 Acura RDX
The 2007 Acura RDX was a great car. The issues that it had were nothing too major for the most part. Overall, it was a nice launch for a lineup that would soon become extremely well-established.
The main issue that the car faced in the transmission was a faulty gear sensor. From the issue’s name alone, you can imagine that the car was incredibly janky when shifting.
This issue is usually caused by wear and tear, but it was obvious that the issue was a manufacturing fault. Since the issue was not that common, it did not hurt the reputation of the lineup that much.
6. 2015 Acura RDX
2015 was another okay year for the listing, as the 2015 Acura RDX only launched with a few issues.
Most of these were not even in the transmission but were found in other critical systems of the vehicle. That being said, there is one major issue that you should know about when dealing with the model in question.
Many people had reported that the car would give out huge jerks when shifting, which is disheartening.
It was closing towards a decade for the lineup, but issues like this still persisted. This may not have been very common, but those who dealt with the problem were unhappy.
7. 2018 Acura RDX
As mentioned above, the 2019 model is likely the worst in the entire Aura RDX lineup. This is extremely surprising as the 2018 Acura RDX was a great vehicle with only a few issues to its name.
This included a major issue in the transmission, which was not as common as other problems mentioned above but just as annoying.
A fair amount of people had reported the transmission shuddering. It would happen randomly, regardless of whether the car was accelerating, decelerating, or at a steady pace. Aside from this, there were no other issues that people talked about.
Now that the article has ended, you should have a good idea of the Acura RDX transmission problems status and how prevalent they are throughout the lineup.
That being said, purchasing a well-renowned and rated model can easily avoid any transmission issues. All models after 2019 are completely reliable and have little to no issues in the car, so you can purchase those without any regrets.
For models before 2019, you should avoid the ones mentioned above. This way, you can get your hands on a reliable Acura RDX that can last a long time.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.