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2013 MDX broken sub frame bolt collar weld - creak when braking?

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2013 MDX broken sub frame bolt collar weld - creak when braking?

Old 08-12-2018, 02:02 AM
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2013 MDX broken sub frame bolt collar weld - creak when braking?

Has anyone else here experienced a broken bolt collar weld on the floor panel which connects to the sub frame on an MDX (mine is 2013)? The problem manifested itself as a creak that sounds similar to the creak of a floor board in a haunted mansion during breaking of the vehicle. I thought it might be a brake problem and started with a local trusted mechanic. My MDX had 88,000 miles and was well cared for. The breaks looked great and had 50% of the pads left. Thinking this was struts and knowing they were due, I had the mechanic put on new struts. The mechanic admitted it might not solve it, but agreed they needed to be done and thought it was a good first shot. This didn't solve it. He inspected everything else to the best of his ability and felt there was a broken weld somewhere in the firewall or some other problem he could not find. He recommended the dealer use something he referred to as "electronic ears" (remote wireless microphone) to isolate the creak. The dealer naturally put together an astronomically large estimate of things needing to be done with the vehicle that had already been done (four different fluid changes (all done at my mechanic recently), sway bars, and a axle boot (mildly leaking grease)). When pressed, they said the sway bars were the real cause of the creak. I authorized the replacement of just the sway bars as I could see the tear. They said the noise had now changed to a squeak (total bs it was the same noise) and my mechanic installed the struts wrong saying the torque must be off or claiming they probably didn't replace the strut mounts, without even looking to see if this was done. My mechanic double checked all the torque on the bolts and clearly showed me the new strut mounts. I escalated and took it back to the dealer and a new mechanic found the broken collar weld to the sub frame bolt in the floor board of the vehicle. They handed me a very detailed four page printout of what looks like a quality service bulletin titled "13 MDX Sub Frame Bolt Collar Repair Procedure". It involves cutting through the floor panel to access this collar, repairing the welds to the collar, and closing the panel back up. A body shop has to do this. This is going to cost me $1,600 as the dash has to be removed due to sparks from the TIG welding which could catch the dash on fire due to it's close proximity. Given the detailed instructions provided, I felt there might be a quality problem and escalated to Acura to help cover the cost, to no avail. Just wondering if someone else here has experienced this? The dealer said this was the first time they had seen it.

Sub frame linkage, bolt, and collar


Detailed procedure showing cuts
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:09 AM
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quality service bulletin titled "13 MDX Sub Frame Bolt Collar Repair Procedure

What is the TSB number?
I've never seen a TSB printed in color.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:38 AM
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Unfortunately, there was no TSB number on the document. I think this is something internal to Acura. This doesn’t appear to be something filed with NHTSA.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:04 AM
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If Acura has already "named" the issue, but doesn't want to add it to their TSB list, it's either super rare or it's a possible class action law suite.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:43 PM
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Yeah, suspecting it's rare, but not super rare, otherwise they wouldn't have such a detailed document. That is the main reason for this post to see if there are others out there. No find on googling class action lawsuits for the MDX other than the known transmission issues. I'm now $3,200 into this current money pit, praying the transmission will hold, and dreaming of trading it back in for a Toyota. Like the ride and performance of the MDX, but really hate the maintenance and total cost of ownership. Feels like a Japanese "Chevy" to me :P.
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