The Most Common 2014 Acura MDX Problems

There have been six different vehicle recalls on the 2014 Acura MDX since its release, including drive shaft detachment issues.
Written by Liz Jenson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
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The 2014 Acura MDX has had a few reported issues over the years, including six recalls and problems with the electrical system, steering, and service brakes.
  • Serious recalls for the 2014 Acura MDX include the trailer hitch harness, drive shaft, front seat belts, brakes, A/C compressor, and tailgate light lid
  • MDX drivers commonly report paint bubbling after 40,000 miles
  • Experts like J.D. Power and RepairPal give the MDX lukewarm reliability ratings
  • Average annual maintenance costs for the Acura MDX are approximately $629

The most common 2014 Acura MDX problems

There have been six official recalls on the 2014 Acura MDX:
  • Trailer hitch harness kit: The kit has an incorrectly-wired subharness.
  • Drive shaft: The drive shaft may detach.
  • Front seat belts: The front seat belts may not function in the cold.
  • Brakes: The collision mitigation braking system (CMBS) may be unexpectedly triggered.
  • A/C compressor: The A/C compressor clutch drive bolts may corrode.
  • Tailgate: The tailgate light lid may come loose and become lost.
On top of the official recalls, here are a few more common problems reported by Acura MDX owners:
  • Transmission problems: Gear shifting and stalling problems with the automatic transmission.
  • Dash lights:
    Check Engine Light
    flashes unnecessarily.
  • Vibrations: Car
    shakes or vibrates
    when driving between 35 and 40 mph.
  • Engine: Loud engine noises caused by issues with the cylinders. 
Finally, there’s one more annoyingly common issue with the 2014 MDX: the paint job. 
Around 40,000 miles and after, MDX drivers report issues with the
paint
bubbling, particularly between the sunroof and the windshield. Other drivers reported problems with chipping paint around the grill of the car. 

What to do about recalls

Go to the dealership: When a recall is issued, Acura will also create a TSB or Technical Service Bulletin. This document outlines the proper steps for rectifying the recall problem.
A recall fix may be as simple as a software update, like in the case of a malfunctioning infotainment system. But for transmission issues, timing belt problems, powertrain difficulties, or faulty air conditioning units, the repair process may be a bit more complicated. 
It’s a good idea to watch out for these issues when purchasing a used car—a test drive is not enough to catch some of these problems! Check for recalls and ask for the service record, otherwise you may find yourself paying for some unexpected (and expensive!) repairs.

Is the 2014 Acura MDX reliable?

RepairPal: Ranked 4 out of 5 for reliability
J.D. Power: Ranked 72 out of 100 for reliability
Despite a laundry list of common issues, the 2014 MDX has earned decent reliability ratings from some major critics. 
RepairPal gave this model year a 4 out of 5 for reliability, which is above average for a vehicle in its class. In fact, this places the 2014 MDX second out of all 2014 luxury SUVs for reliability.
J.D. Power, on the other hand, scored the 2014 MDX a 72 out of 100 for reliability. This ranks the 2014 MDX as one of the least reliable luxury SUVs on the market, a direct contradiction with RepairPal’s number two ranking.
Compare: The 2014 MDX earned a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The 2014 Honda Pilot only received four stars, the 2014 Toyota Highlander earned five stars, the 2021 Lexus NX earned five stars, and the 2014 BMW X3 was not rated by the NHTSA. 
Annual average repair cost: $629
This number is slightly higher than other vehicles, partially due to the higher price of Acura vehicles and parts. It’s also partially due to the frequency with which car problems arise, but this figure still falls within the average auto repair cost range.
Recall repairs are free: Remember that you won’t need to pay for recalls— you’ll just need to bring your car to a dealership to be serviced. As such, the many recalls on the 2014 MDX won’t have an impact on the average annual repair cost.
Car owners should get an oil change regularly to avoid preventable problems. Otherwise, go directly to a mechanic or dealership if you notice any jerky or lurching movements, power steering issues, leaky gaskets or transmission fluid, or warning lights—and remember to check your warranty for coverage!
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