Acura RDX Problems: 4 Known Issues (Explained)

The Acura RDX is a popular luxury SUV that has been praised for its combination of style, comfort, and performance. 

However, like any vehicle, the Acura RDX is not immune to problems and issues that can arise over time. 

Whether it’s a mechanical issue, a technological glitch, or a design flaw, potential buyers and current owners need to be aware of the known problems and issues that can affect the Acura RDX. 

In this article, we will explore the most common Acura RDX problems so that you can make an informed decision about owning and maintaining this luxury SUV.

1. Transmission Issues

The transmission issues experienced by some Acura RDX owners are undoubtedly frustrating and concerning problems. 

The automatic transmission in certain Acura RDX models has been known to slip, shift roughly, or fail, causing issues such as:

  • Difficulty accelerating
  • A loss of power while driving
  • The need for a costly transmission replacement

Transmission problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Wear and tear
  • Overheating
  • Design flaws

In the case of the Acura RDX, it is not entirely clear what the root cause of the issue is, although it is believed to be related to a faulty torque converter or transmission control module.

As such, it is important for Acura RDX owners to regularly maintain their vehicle’s transmission and address any issues as soon as they arise.

Fortunately, Acura has acknowledged this issue and has taken steps to address it. Some models have been recalled or had extended warranty coverage for the transmission, and updated parts have been released to prevent future transmission problems.

While transmission issues in the Acura RDX are a serious concern, it is important to note that not all Acura RDXs will experience this problem, and the vast majority of Acura RDX owners will not have any issues with their transmission. 

However, if you do experience transmission issues with your Acura RDX, it is important to take it to a qualified mechanic or Acura dealership to diagnose the problem and prevent further damage.

Please also check out our article about the difference between Honda and Acura.

2. Third-Generation Limp Mode Failure

The ‘Limp Mode’ is a safety feature in modern cars designed to protect the engine and transmission from damage. 

When a fault is detected in the engine or transmission, the car’s onboard computer system will reduce power output and limit the car’s speed to a certain level to prevent further damage.

Several third-generation Acura RDX owners have reported experiencing this issue while driving at freeway speeds. 

When trying to accelerate or merge into traffic, the car suddenly goes into ‘Limp Mode,’ reducing power output and slowing down the car. This sudden loss of power can be dangerous, especially in high-speed situations, and may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

The exact cause of this issue is not entirely clear, but some owners have speculated that it may be related to a faulty transmission control module or a software issue. 

Others have reported that the issue may be related to a problem with the car’s fuel system, including a clogged fuel filter or fuel pump failure.

If you experience this issue with your Acura RDX, it is essential to take it to a qualified mechanic or Acura dealership as soon as possible to diagnose the issue and prevent further damage. 

It is not recommended to continue driving the car in ‘Limp Mode’ as it can cause additional stress on the engine and transmission, leading to costly repairs in the long run.

3. Squeaking Brakes

Some Acura RDX owners have also reported experiencing squeaking noises when braking at low speeds, even with new brakes. This can be an annoying and concerning issue, as it can make it seem as though the brakes are worn or failing prematurely.

There are several potential causes of squeaking brakes in the Acura RDX:

  • One possible cause is the use of low-quality brake pads, which can wear down quickly and produce noise when in contact with the rotor. 
  • Another is the build-up of brake dust and debris, which can cause the brake pads to vibrate and produce noise.
  • In some cases, the issue may be related to a design flaw in the braking system. 

Acura has acknowledged this issue and released a service bulletin advising dealers to replace the brake pads and rotors with updated parts that are less prone to squeaking.

That said, if you are experiencing squeaking brakes in your Acura RDX, you should take it to a qualified mechanic or Acura dealership to diagnose the issue. 

Depending on the cause of the problem, they may recommend replacing the brake pads and rotors with updated parts or using high-quality aftermarket parts that are less prone to squeaking. 

Regular maintenance, including brake inspections and cleaning, can also help prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

4. Soy-Based Wiring

Soy-based wiring refers to the use of soy-derived materials in the insulation of electrical wiring in automobiles, including the Acura RDX. 

The use of soy-based wiring has become increasingly popular in recent years as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based materials. 

However, soy-based wiring has been known to attract rodents and other small animals that are attracted to the material as a food source. 

These animals can chew through the wiring, causing electrical problems and potentially even safety issues.

In the case of the Acura RDX, some owners have reported issues with rodents chewing through the soy-based wiring, resulting in various electrical problems, including issues with:

In some cases, the damage caused by rodents has been extensive, requiring costly repairs. 

While soy-based wiring is not unique to the Acura RDX and is used in various other vehicles as well, it has been a particular issue for some Acura RDX owners. 

To prevent rodent damage, some owners have resorted to various methods such as using peppermint oil or other deterrents, while others have chosen to have the wiring replaced with non-soy-based materials.

General Pros and Cons for Acura RDX

The Acura RDX is a popular compact luxury SUV that offers a blend of practicality, performance, and style. 

As with any vehicle, there are pros and cons to owning an Acura RDX, and it’s important to consider these factors when deciding whether or not to purchase one. 

Below we will discuss some of the general pros and cons of owning an Acura RDX based on expert and owner reviews. This information will help you make an informed decision about whether the Acura RDX is the right vehicle for you.

Here are the general pros and cons of the Acura RDX: 



Spacious interior

Some models have reported transmission issues

Strong turbocharged engine

The infotainment system can be complicated to use

Comfortable and supportive seats

Fuel economy is average for its class

Smooth and responsive handling

Ride quality can be stiff on rough roads

Good safety ratings Some models have reported issues with brakes and suspension
Generous standard features Price can be higher than some competitors
Available all-wheel drive Limited cargo space compared to some competitors

As we can see above, the Acura RDX has a lot to offer in terms of performance, features, and style. However, like any vehicle, it also has its drawbacks.

While the general pros and cons listed in this article are helpful starting points, it’s important to remember that individual experiences may vary. Ultimately, it’s up to the buyer to do their research, take a test drive, and make an informed decision.

What Do the Reviews Say?

According to expert and owner reviews, the Acura RDX generally receives positive feedback, with many praising its spacious interior, strong engine, and comfortable ride.

Here are a few quotes from well-known automotive publications:

“There’s certainly a lot to like about the RDX. It’s roomy, comfortable, and packed with features… The Acura RDX is worth checking out if you’re looking for a good value on a luxury SUV, especially compared to European rivals such as the Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, and Mercedes GLC.” – Edmunds

“In a lucrative and competitive segment, the 2023 Acura RDX stakes its claim as a well-equipped and capable value play, punching above its price point but still matching pricier rivals in key areas like passenger comfort and driving enjoyment.” – U.S. News & World Report

Overall, reviews suggest that the Acura RDX is a solid choice for those in the market for a compact luxury SUV.

While some may find fault with its infotainment system or ride quality on rough roads, the majority of reviewers agree that the Acura RDX is a well-rounded vehicle that offers a lot of value for its price.

What’s the Resale Value of Acura RDX?

The resale value of an Acura RDX can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • Year
  • Mileage
  • Condition
  • Location
  • Market demand

However, in general, Acura vehicles are known to have good resale value due to their reputation for reliability, performance, and luxury.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2022 Acura RDX has a 5-year resale value of around 55% of its original price.

Here’s a table showing the estimated resale value of different model years of the Acura RDX, according to Kelley Blue Book:

Model Year Resale Value (%) after 5 Years
2022 55%
2021 52%
2020 49%
2019 46%
2018 43%
2017 40%

Related: 6 Best and Worst Acura RDX years.

Again, it’s important to keep in mind that these are just estimates and that the resale value of a specific Acura RDX can vary depending on the aforementioned factors.

It’s always a good idea to check the current market value of the specific year, model, and trim of the Acura RDX you are interested in buying or selling.

You can use online tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to get an idea of the current market value of the vehicle.

Check problems for all Acura models here.


Does the Acura RDX Have a Lot of Problems?
KelleyBlueBook: Acura

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.