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Acura, what were you thinking?

 
Old 02-22-2018, 09:20 AM
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Angry Acura, what were you thinking?

I've had a long love affair with my Acura cars that started with a 1987 Legend Coupe. Recently my love affair has become a love-hate relationship due to the stupid things that Acura has done. And they don't seem to be interested in anything but marketing surveys. At the moment I have a 2016 Advanced (mine), and a 2017 Tech (wife's). The "Idle Stop" on mine is both an embarrassment and a hazard. When a friend rides with me for the first time and they experience the shudder of the engine restarting, they look over at me with that "what was that" look? That leads to "Is this what you get with a $50k car?". I'm sure more of these people are not going to rush out a buy an Acura. Then there is the safety hazard. In heavy stop and go traffic, I invariably get to the accelerator and wait for the car to actually get moving. There will never be another Acura with Idle Stop for me, and probably not for anyone that has ridden with me.

That brings me to the 2017 Tech. Thank God, it does not come equipped with Idle Stop. Unfortunately, there are many other things that I would like but does not come with the Tech package, like perforated and air conditioned seats. But what it does come with is a screen saver they added to the touch screen. The dumb idea was to dim the screen in daylight hours. Well, on a bright sunny day, you can't see anything on the screen. You would think the first touch would turn the brightness up, but no, it turns the brightness up and activates whatever you touched. What a PIA that is.

I have other issues with these two cars that are for the most part minor, but these Acura's are not the quality that lured me to Acura in 1987. Fit in finish is not what it used to be. Rattles from the speaker in the front pillar in both cars, and the well documented gas filler lid that doesn't close flush. The service department does a good job of fixing things, but they can't alter Acura's dumb design decisions like the push button transmission. That didn't save any console space at all, it just saved Acura some money and created another hazard. More than once I have backed out of a parking space, pushed the forward button, only to discover after hitting the gas that it was still in reverse. And of course the reverse has happened. A shift lever is much more positive. The only good news is there are some cars on the market that cost more and have push-button transmissions that are far more dangerous in their actions.

Sorry for this long first post rant, but I needed to vent and Acura doesn't seem to care. If they did they would send out surveys asking how buyers like the car, not where they get their information.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:07 AM
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can't you turn off Idle stop?
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Overthehill View Post
... Acura's dumb design decisions like the push button transmission. That didn't save any console space at all, ... .
I fell in love with Acura when I bought the 1987 5 door, 5 speed Integra. That said, I've found people with an early history of Acura have a love-hate relationship with them. We're really rooting for Acura to succeed, but it's so damned frustrating.

Thanks for the insight regarding push button transmission. I don't like them either, but without question, I always accepted the argument that it saved space. It's good to hear a dissenting opinion from an owner.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by getakey View Post
can't you turn off Idle stop?
Yes, you can turn it off - every time you restart the car. That gets old quick!
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:10 AM
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Lots of premium/luxury brands have the idle stop feature. I drove two different BMWs with it, just last year.

Though at least with those (one was a 3 series diesel wagon, they other a 440GC), you could turn it off and leave it off. No need to do so every time the car was started.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:18 AM
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I think most of your rant could apply to any new car these days. Auto idle stop is not unique to Acura for instance, but atleast Acura offers disable button (some GM cars cannot be disabled). Sure, it's quite a bit of effort to move your hand 5" from the shift lever/button to the auto stop disable button, but you'd rather drive around embarrassed and a so called hazard than hit the button? By the way I hate it too, but the button saves the day.

The push button gear selection was different for a few days, but I think it's important to learn new muscle memory than fight the inevitable migration to different technologies. I certainly think a lot of technological 'progress' is really a step sideways at best (sometimes a step back) but life is full of choices, find a path with the least frustration even if that means living in a world of 1980's tech.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:45 AM
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I agree with you for most part. I've owned many Acuras in the past and our new 2017 MDX is disappointing for some design and materials decision. I Don't have start/stop hesistation you described. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid actually have a pretty good idile start/stop feature. Seemless integration with ICE motor. I did have the gas door issue, but dealer fixed it. I have minor paint imperfections on both rear doors. Already starting to hear small rattling around the passenger door. Our MDX only has 5K miles so far. Will have dealer look at that next oil change. I wish the interior materials were better for a 50K+ car..but Acura has never been a fully "luxury" brand. It does drive great though, no complaints there.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:26 PM
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I haven't driven any other cars with idle-stop, but if their implementation is no better than Acura's I won't be buying any of their cars either. I don't care if the engine shuts off and restarts, but if they can't figure out how to restart it without shaking the car then they need to find another way to improve mileage. And by the way I have two virtually identical cars, one with idle stop and one without, I don't see much difference at all. In fact, the one without it is doing slightly better.

I was looking at the new RDX photos and noticed there is now an idle stop button on the upright of the console. I hope they leave it off the tech package like they do with the MDX, because my wife is thinking she wants to go back to the RDX at trade time. If it is not available without idle stop in any configuration she won't buy it. She hates it even more than I do. Maybe the idle stop shudder won't be as noticeable on a 4 cylinder turbo which is the only engine that will be offered on the RDX. Get ready, it may be coming to the MDX very soon.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:36 PM
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Did you like the idle stop when you purchased the vehicle? Did the shuttering just now become violent? I would think a thorough test drive would have exposed the idle stop characteristics and would have prompted you to take your dollars elsewhere!
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:52 PM
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Idle Stop in the Hybrid is seamless. I have to look at the Tach too see if engine is on or off
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by getakey View Post
Idle Stop in the Hybrid is seamless. I have to look at the Tach too see if engine is on or off
Yup, on the Sports Hybrid it's so quiet I'm always asking the wife if the car is on or not. Always checking the Tach. She drives it more than me. So glad we went with the MDX Sports Hybrid. Sounds like the regular MDX has lots of complaints about the 9 speed ZF and idle start/stop.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:36 PM
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I've driven a couple of BMWs with start/stop and it was very noticeable. You could turn it off, but I don't recall if it remembers between trips
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by moose66 View Post
Did you like the idle stop when you purchased the vehicle? Did the shuttering just now become violent? I would think a thorough test drive would have exposed the idle stop characteristics and would have prompted you to take your dollars elsewhere!
Give me a break! Did you noticed every idiosyncrasy on every car you purchased with just a single test drive. And do you know there is a long list of conditions that prevent the idle stop from engaging, so it may not have even engaged during my test drive due to weather conditions. And I never said the shuddering was violent - that was your term not mine. I said it shudders on restart more than a car costing $50k should. I tend to be honest about my purchases, and as I said in my first post, there are things I like about the MDX and there are things that were just dumb on Acura's part. One thing is for sure, when it comes time for my next purchase I will be doing a lot of test driving!!
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Overthehill View Post
Give me a break! Did you noticed every idiosyncrasy on every car you purchased with just a single test drive. And do you know there is a long list of conditions that prevent the idle stop from engaging, so it may not have even engaged during my test drive due to weather conditions. And I never said the shuddering was violent - that was your term not mine. I said it shudders on restart more than a car costing $50k should. I tend to be honest about my purchases, and as I said in my first post, there are things I like about the MDX and there are things that were just dumb on Acura's part. One thing is for sure, when it comes time for my next purchase I will be doing a lot of test driving!!
You are correct, I miss many things during a test drive. However, I do my homework before I get there for the test drive and am looking for specific features and will make sure I am okay with them before I make a deal. One thing for sure, I would have noticed and been looking for the idle stop as that is a key feature in many vehicles these days. Would have been very interested in how it worked and if it didn't work on the vehicle I drove, I would have driven one where it did function.

Last edited by moose66; 02-22-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:26 PM
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On the idle stop/start thing, the BMW's system original behaved exactly the same as the Acura's system does. But after many complains from consumers, they did a software update which allowed users to turn it off permanently. This was probably in 2012-2013 I can't remember exactly.

Acura either missed that for good or are just being stubborn.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:35 AM
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There is the every time defeat switch, and I believe it does not work in sport setting on the IDS only on the comfort and normal settings.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:23 AM
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I just want to add that i have been next to a mercedez and BMW and i have heard from both brands that sound, it is not unique to Acura, fyi, i have 2016 mdx advance, i do get what you are saying, for me, that one thing that bugs me the most is the navigation, how long it takes to enter destinations, i complained to acura but nothing can be done about that. my two cents.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:43 AM
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The disable button works in all modes and it literally takes .52 seconds to go from the drive button to the off button. I'm not sure why people use the price of a good to support their basis for assumptions about performance and personal satisfaction. There was a time not long ago that if you bought something without fully evaluating it was your fault and you had to take personal responsibility for your poor decision making skills. Now our pathetic entitled society blames everyone but themselves for anything that they find dissatisfactory.

Both MDX forums are filled with trolls and this thread was clearly started by one.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jbawden View Post
The disable button works in all modes and it literally takes .52 seconds to go from the drive button to the off button. I'm not sure why people use the price of a good to support their basis for assumptions about performance and personal satisfaction. There was a time not long ago that if you bought something without fully evaluating it was your fault and you had to take personal responsibility for your poor decision making skills. Now our pathetic entitled society blames everyone but themselves for anything that they find dissatisfactory.

Both MDX forums are filled with trolls and this thread was clearly started by one.
I understand what you are saying. But the button has to be pressed every time you start the car. That's a bad UI/UX design. BMW made the same mistake and corrected theirs years ago when they first put the feature into their cars. Acura made the same design mistake years after BMW. They should have learned from others' mistakes.

On a similar token, I am having the same problem with the heated seat "soft" buttons. They have to be turned on everytime. It's bad for short trips. The physical buttons worked great on the older models (even the RLX has the physical buttons). Either that or the system needs to remember the last selected setting. That's an example of bad design.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:59 AM
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Concluding a design is bad largely depends on your perspective. If you have decidedly first world problems where you can only muster the effort to push 2 buttons before you engage in the magic of driving then its bad, but if you're a powertrain engineer looking for every incremental improvement on MPG ratings that they can find its a great design. Suppose some rear passengers turn both seat heaters but don't turn them off when they get out, now you're driving around for a week and the alternator has to work a little more cutting into those incremental savings. This is but just one of the hundreds of little things that add up to measurable and meaningful improvements in efficiency. When you see all the post about people wanting to save $42/a year by using regular instead of premium you can understand how mission critical improvements to MPG was to the engineers.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jbawden View Post
Concluding a design is bad largely depends on your perspective. If you have decidedly first world problems where you can only muster the effort to push 2 buttons before you engage in the magic of driving then its bad, but if you're a powertrain engineer looking for every incremental improvement on MPG ratings that they can find its a great design. Suppose some rear passengers turn both seat heaters but don't turn them off when they get out, now you're driving around for a week and the alternator has to work a little more cutting into those incremental savings. This is but just one of the hundreds of little things that add up to measurable and meaningful improvements in efficiency. When you see all the post about people wanting to save $42/a year by using regular instead of premium you can understand how mission critical improvements to MPG was to the engineers.
Don't blame me for the first world problems. The car offers some convenient and "luxury" features. They need to be convenient. Let's forget about the heated seat buttons. Let's talk about the auto stop/start feature. What are your thoughts on that? If it wasn't bad, major car manufacture like BMW wouldn't have fixed it.

Within Acura, all departments can have their own priorities, but as a finished product, Acura needs to decide what's important and what's not. This is where it's being criticized.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:22 AM
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Isn't "S" mode sticky?
That should turn off auto stop permanently
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:20 PM
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After testing with the ‘17 loaner I have the start/stop feature works in all IDS modes it is defeated by the switch, below the IDS selector, or by using S mode instead of D with the transmission engagement buttons.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:00 PM
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Most of the newer cars have idle stop now, just turn it off if you don't want to use it. The benefit of having it, is that it saves gas.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:58 AM
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And the reason why auto idle stop cannot be permanently turned off is due to CAFE provisions (corporate average fuel economy), which is linked to EPA and other regulations.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:29 AM
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For anyone who wants to permanently disable auto idle stop, take a look at the postings by UKBob at
https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-ds980464
He describes the idea of disconnecting the battery state of charge (SOC) sensor from the negative end of the battery. Apparently this disables auto idle stop in many cars. I have not seen a report indicating that this works on Acuras. However, it seems very likely to work.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:44 AM
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Not sure how it's in other Acura cars, but in 2019 MDX you can actually control the auto Idle to come on or not by pressing break. If you press it all the way, Auto Idle will be active, but if you press it enough to stop the car auto idle won't be active.

Try that next that....Personally when I come to stop sign or if I know red light will be changing as soon as I stop, I don't press the break all the way.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:18 AM
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You think thats bad? Look at the new RDX mouse pad! Trying to use it and drive is absolutely impossible. Add the butt ugly display stuck on the dash like an after thought and a frankly decent car becomes a night mare.
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:54 AM
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I traded an ‘18 Pilot Touring for a CPO ‘18 MDX Tech. The Pilot had the “auto stop” feature and it was awful, in traffic I learned to mitigate it somewhat by anticipating well in advance of my lane moving. That sounds like that’s a safe thing to do anyway but this was an abnormal requirement and was rather abrupt. There was some sequential inconvenience about taking the very simple step of turning it off. Maybe because I’ve been driving 45 years but I’d never do it until after I allowed it to aggravate me. I’m very glad my X Tech doesn’t have this not-flawlessly-engineered feature.

i also keep my ACC turned off at all times. After the first time someone eased over in my lane on the highway and it literally hit the brakes hard, all I could do after getting over the initial shock was be grateful there wasn’t someone following me a little too closely. I recognize some like this feature and some don’t. Acura has given us the option of turning it on/off easily but we’re already in the “hitting switches” mode when setting/using cruise control....maybe that’s the difference...
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:02 AM
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It should be quite easy to permanently turn off the auto stop feature. A simple relay wired in should do the trick. Back when I had a Ram diesel the EB had to be turned on after start up. A simple relay turned it into a always on feature and the button turned it off. Same circuit could be used to turn it always off.
I have to agree the feature is not well put together. Would be great on the hybrid, but not on the regular gassers.
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