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2018 Rough Initial Shift

 
Old 12-10-2018, 10:07 AM
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2018 Rough Initial Shift

I have a late model 2018 MDX Advance bought in Feb of this year. While I like the car a lot, I'm having some issues with rough shift on start from 1st to 2nd gear. I can manually compensate by using the paddle shifters to start on 2nd but would rather not have to. Went to the dealer once but the problem is hard to replicate once the car is warmed up. Any solutions? Given the fact that Acura recognized this as a problem and fixed it on both the pilot and MDX for MY19 models, it is really frustrating that they are not providing a solution for us since this is not an enhancement but a defect correction.

A class action may be for MY 16-18 models to get them to update the transmission? Just thinking out loud...
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:12 AM
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In normal mode it is suppose to start in second. Take it back to your dealer and explain the concern. They should be able to replicate if. They may keep it overnight, but they should figure it out. My 18 is smooth as silk. But I only have 3500 miles on it.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Donn0128 View Post
In normal mode it is suppose to start in second. Take it back to your dealer and explain the concern. They should be able to replicate if. They may keep it overnight, but they should figure it out. My 18 is smooth as silk. But I only have 3500 miles on it.
I thought that was something they programmed in the MY2019 ones.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:41 AM
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Update: called client relations they suggested leaving it overnight at the dealer to diagnose, may just end up doing that.
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:52 AM
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WE got our 2018 Advance at the end of August and so far smooth, however I have only 1500 miles so far.....The ZF9 likes to warm up that's for sure.... so yes leave it over night so they can test it when its been sitting in the cold weather... Keep us posted !
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:23 PM
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Good to know, scheduled an appt for this Friday. Also did an ECU reset to see if that helps stuff. IMHO they should update all the 9 speed MDXs to start in second gear by software which will reduce 60-70% of the complaints with this transmission. On a side note, I miss my Murano's CVT.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by undertaker2k8 View Post
I thought that was something they programmed in the MY2019 ones.
It is, although I believe the 2019 had more than just simple software changes as they reference refinements to make it much more smooth in addition to starting in 2nd gear in certain situations. The 2019 pilot also got the improved zf9 and also makes mention of substantial refinements to the transmission in addition to the software change to start in 2nd gear.

So for differences between 2019 and prior year zf9 it certainly sounds like there are additional more substantial refinements above and beyond just starting off in 2nd gear, but Acura and Honda haven't qualified exactly what "refinements" were made for 2019.

For what it's worth my 2019 is very smooth I don't even really notice the zf9, although I haven't really got on it yet on the freeway as I just rolled over the initial 600 mile break in period.

Last edited by bobby2478; 12-12-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:45 AM
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Yeah, I'm prepping for battle mentally if things are not corrected soon, including contacting attorneys. A poor shifting transmission in a luxury SUV is a no no, I will push for a complete replacement of the transmission with an updated version or a replacement for the vehicle.
While I'm a bit miffed about the active damper addition in the MY2019 advance (and the entire hybrid availability issue here in CA), I realize that is just buyer's remorse and the price I paid for the car (52k for the 2018 Advance in March) makes it tolerable but a poor transmission is not something I will accept lying down.

Last edited by undertaker2k8; 12-12-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:10 AM
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Cool

Keep one thing in mind..... Those Active Damper's are very expensive to replace and ONLY available from Acura. As an example, my 2007 MDX sport has those and one is $9xx.00 each !!!!! Be careful what you wish for..... I am happy with the traditional struts on my 2018 MDX Advance..... Have they improved them since 2007 introduction? Who knows.... My 2007 MDX has 54K miles and one in the front has gone bad....not looking forward to my dealership saying.... you know if you replace one, its best to replace both.... 2K plus labor.... Let that sink in...
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Fabvsix View Post
Keep one thing in mind..... Those Active Damper's are very expensive to replace and ONLY available from Acura. As an example, my 2007 MDX sport has those and one is $9xx.00 each !!!!! Be careful what you wish for..... I am happy with the traditional struts on my 2018 MDX Advance..... Have they improved them since 2007 introduction? Who knows.... My 2007 MDX has 54K miles and one in the front has gone bad....not looking forward to my dealership saying.... you know if you replace one, its best to replace both.... 2K plus labor.... Let that sink in...
Yea the active dampers would have been a nice to have so not a biggie, my only gripe is the rough shifts which are a no-no. Testing if the ECU reset does anything before dropping it off at the dealer on Fri.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:47 AM
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So just so I'm understanding this thread - the issue is the more abrupt 1-2 shift while the 9-speed is cold, and once it warms up the shift smooths out? If so, I'd say that you may not get resolution since this is largely the way they work. As a comparison, I had an '08 Mini Cooper with the 6 speed Aisin auto tranny. It had perhaps the most abrupt 1-2 shift I've ever noticed when cold - especially when it was -10F here in NH. After working with the Mini dealer and comparing to others, they all did it to some extent (some more than others). The issue is that most of these newer transmissions raise the 1-2 shift point when cold, and since all the fluids are still pretty stiff, the higher revs mean a more snappy shift than normal. Once it warms and the fluids thin out, the computer lowers the shift point speed and overall it's back to normal then.

If you're comparing the performance to a CVT, you'll notice LOTS of differences that you may micro-focus on. My wife had an '07 Ford Freestyle with the CVT that was very smooth throughout. When she moved to her current '12 TL SH-AWD, even in that 6 speed the sharper cold shifts were very noticeable when compared to the CVT she'd driven for 5 years previously. The 9-speed is a bit more exaggerated than her 6 speed, but both have them.

I've lived with the 9-speed in my '17 MDX for 12k miles and 14 months now, and I have to say I really like it, and really don't notice any of the shifting it does that others comment on. Maybe I got a "good one" (mine was a July 2017 build, very late in the '17 model year) - but I do notice the sharper 1-2 shift when cold, but don't see it as an issue.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:06 AM
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I've been trying it out after doing an ECU reset (30 second flooring of the accelerator while in accessory mode) to see it makes a difference - there has been a slight improvement. And yes the problem is mostly during the first drive of the day when cold (though this is Bay Area cold so still 44 F outside in the morning). I want to test out the car more in different modes myself (always wary when leaving my car at dealerships) so rescheduled the appointment for next week. Though part of me thinks (reinforced by the inputs here) that I'll have to either live with switching it to 2nd through the paddle shifter manually on the first start or fight an uphill battle for a full transmission swap with the latest version of the ZF9.

I bought a very late 2018 in March of this year (Feb manufacture date) so was hopeful that the ZF9 was fixed at this point (they released the 2019 A-Spec at the NY auto show in Jan, but they did not detail any of the transmission improvements till May). Had I known they will be fixing the ZF9 some 'more' I'd have likely waited for the 2019 one.

Last edited by undertaker2k8; 12-14-2018 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by undertaker2k8 View Post
I've been trying it out after doing an ECU reset (30 second flooring of the accelerator while in accessory mode) to see it makes a difference - there has been a slight improvement. And yes the problem is mostly during the first drive of the day when cold (though this is Bay Area cold so still 44 F outside in the morning). I want to test out the car more in different modes myself (always wary when leaving my car at dealerships) so rescheduled the appointment for next week. Though part of me thinks (reinforced by the inputs here) that I'll have to either live with switching it to 2nd through the paddle shifter manually on the first start or fight an uphill battle for a full transmission swap with the latest version of the ZF9.

I bought a very late 2018 in March of this year (Feb manufacture date) so was hopeful that the ZF9 was fixed at this point (they released the 2019 A-Spec at the NY auto show in Jan, but they did not detail any of the transmission improvements till May). Had I known they will be fixing the ZF9 some 'more' I'd have likely waited for the 2019 one.
I am in the East Bay too ! Same temp's and my 2018 MDX Advance bought at the end of August so far is smooth with a slight shift when I first drive out "cold"....after a 1/2 mile she is smooth..... I can live with this so far. I have about 2000 miles on her so far.... I have yet to use the paddle shifter....I drive mostly in comfort mode or sport mode....
Keep us posted....
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Fabvsix View Post
I am in the East Bay too ! Same temp's and my 2018 MDX Advance bought at the end of August so far is smooth with a slight shift when I first drive out "cold"....after a 1/2 mile she is smooth..... I can live with this so far. I have about 2000 miles on her so far.... I have yet to use the paddle shifter....I drive mostly in comfort mode or sport mode....
Keep us posted....
Nice, think we have the same color too - white with black int How much did you splurge on her if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:41 PM
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Leased it...$50k ...down from $57,xxx.xx
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