Odd Whirring Noise - 2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Acura MDX AWD: Odd Whirring Noise

March 18, 2014

2014 Acura MDX AWD

During my recent drive to Mammoth Mountain and back, I noticed an occasional and odd electric-motor whirring noise coming from our 2014 Acura MDX.

Since it was sporadic, it was hard to pinpoint why it was happening or where exactly it was coming from. It would come on randomly, then turn back off.

It's definitely coming from somewhere up front, possibly the dash area. Sometimes it sounded like the ABS system trying to work, but I was never braking when it occurred.

At this point, I don't have much else to report. It's a fairly faint sound, so editors who drive with the stereo on the whole time might never hear it.

Maybe we can get some of the editors to turn down the radio to give this a proper further investigation.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 8,126 miles


  • Acura has been having numerous complaints about noisy high pressure fuel pumps on the new MDX. It comes from the driver's side and sounds like a the usual HPFP ticking but louder combined with a mechanical whirring noise. Apparently this is the same Denso HPFP used on the Toyota/Subaru twins and they are getting similar complaints. The good news is that I don't think any of the pumps have failed. Bad news is replacement pumps eventually make the same noise.

  • sdegenn2_ sdegenn2_ Posts:

    It's quite possible the dampers for the automatic climate control are just adjusting. Try fixing the climate to a certain setting all day (floor, bi-lev, vent, etc.) and see if the noise dissapears.

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    Glad you said front and not rear of the vehicle, I would have suspected that someone left the VACUUM turned on..

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    If they include one, vacuum that is, in this vehicle as well as the other Honda van...

  • Sounds like what I have heard coming from two Honda transmissios prior to failing.

  • ejsimon ejsimon Posts:

    My Lexus LX470 did the same thing. After many months of scratching my head I realized it was the auto AC adjusting the fan speed.

  • ejsimon ejsimon Posts:

    Oops! sdegenn2 beat me to it. Next time I'll read the posts before posting myself.

  • larry_david larry_david Posts:

    I have the same or very similar issue. It started happening after I put a few thousands miles on. I have been told by my Acura dealer, Client Relations and the Regional Service Manager that the sounds comes from the high pressure direct injection pump and it is normal. The engineers acknowledged this and it is by design. This noise makes be regret purchasing the 2014 MDX and is completely unacceptable. Check MDX forums and you will see a lot of people have the same problem.

  • tirekicking tirekicking Posts:

    There are dozens of message board threads with hundreds of MDX owners with noise problems. I know this is only a percentage of owners but Acura needs to own up and admit there is a problem. Please push Acura to fix your long term MDX.

  • tyguy2k_ tyguy2k_ Posts:

    I am planning to purchase an MDX at the end of April but this has me concerned. Please Edmunds - find out what Acura plans to do about this. If it will be fixed/adjusted for the 2015 model year, I'll wait.

  • tirekicking tirekicking Posts:

    Above and beyond ticking of Direct Injection engine, whirring, constant engine whistling at freeway speeds, rock hard brake pedals, flickering LED headlights....c'mon Acura! Edmunds please keep Acura responsible because 2014 MDX owners we getting the shaft.

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