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How would you describe the behavior of your 9 speed ZF automatic transmission?

  • Perfect: absolutely no problems ever

    Votes: 6 10.9%
  • Excellent: only very few or minor shifting issues

    Votes: 15 27.3%
  • Good: occasional but not severe issues

    Votes: 19 34.5%
  • Fair: frequent or severe behavior

    Votes: 12 21.8%
  • Poor: frequent and severe....very unhapy

    Votes: 3 5.5%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Again, several members have expressed interest in your experiences with their TLX transmissions. rs46246 idea...hope that you don't mind.

This Poll is ONLY for the 9 Speed ZF Automatic transmission.

Comments to provide more detail are welcome.
 

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Shifts hard and fast, just how I like it. Sport or Sport +. Slow, boring, lazy, uneventfull in the other modes. Drive accordingly for the IDS mode selected.
 

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Thanks FenderStrat69...it'll be interesting to see the results. Unfortunately, i don't have the same experience as MTD and andre. I have a hard 2-3 shift (in all IDS settings) and i have a hesitation when going from R to D (followed by a surge forward). Hopefully everyone knows the 4-cyl has the 8 speed, and the v6 has the 9 speed...
 

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There is a fine and subjective line between "only very few or minor shifting issues" and "occasional but not severe issues" and my vote could go either way.

Lumpy over the winter and minor shifting experience over the summer, with little difference between IDS modes.
 

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9hp

I really have not experienced any of the issues that others have complained about. Even the reference articles about the Jeep. I'm lovin' it
IDS is in Normal. When I want to push it, I stomp on it and away it goes.
Only a few thousand miles on it.
 
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I voted "Good" (but was tempted to put Fair) ~5000 miles, SH-AWD Advance
Noticeably harsh shift from 1-2 and 2-3, buttery smooth the rest of the way. Throttle position makes little difference, and it's the same in all IDS modes.

Delayed downshift with ¾ throttle either on freeway, passing lanes, or almost coming to a stop and then deciding to punch it and get moving again..
eg: changing lanes from behind some slow to be in front of someone (with a LOT of clearance) who is moving faster.. my 09TL would just GO, the TLX pauses for a couple of seconds and then goes, which caused more than one occasion of the person who I was now in front of beeping at me before I shot out of their way. I have to be very aware that more than a slight throttle pressure to drop a single gear will probably be met with a significant delay before acceleration resumes.

Downshifts in Sport+ are a little throttle happy, I always take the car out of Sport+ if there is another car in front of me to alleviate the downshift surge. This one does not bug me so much because IMO the car is doing what I asked it to do, but it could take you by surprise if you're not expecting it.
 

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Just have to get over that 'learning curve' of the transmission.

It taking people by surprise might also be a good thing for those taking it for their first spin, sure to keep you alert ;)
 

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Only 150km on it, but I feel obviously the learning process is very important (I tried to do as told by ZF and what I was able to read in this forum). I think learning is not done, but I only have the little 2-3 shift hesitation (seems more a not-enough-pressures 2nd gear making a harder shift in 3rd gear). For that, it lost 1 star for me ;) But every other driving conditions are clean and very pleasant to ride. I can't say about sport and sport+ as I am in early breakin phase...
 

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Only 150km on it, but I feel obviously the learning process is very important (I tried to do as told by ZF and what I was able to read in this forum). I think learning is not done, but I only have the little 2-3 shift hesitation (seems more a not-enough-pressures 2nd gear making a harder shift in 3rd gear). For that, it lost 1 star for me ;) But every other driving conditions are clean and very pleasant to ride. I can't say about sport and sport+ as I am in early breakin phase...
Replayman:
Is there a process that you're supposed to follow after the dealer initiates the 'learning' process? Or do you just drive normally (any IDS)?

thanks
 

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I don't know exactly what has to be done, but the way I've done it was to make transmission work a lot on the highway at rush hours letting go the adaptive cruise control... It go from 0 to 60mph at each exit, revving a lot and switching gear a lot. Good mix of all gears and driving style (as it adapts to the car in front of me, with different styles). Lately, I were going in ECO mode only to preserve break-in. I make sure to avoid hard acceleration, as break-in is very important - whatever dealers are saying. And in this ECO mode I were barely noticine the 2-3 shift... I will confirm it or not at my next trip ;) Crossing my fingers !
 

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I want to love my TLX, and when I'm on a twisty road I do. But after half a year, I still can't get in the car without thinking about the part that I like the least: the transmission.
My TLX completely died (read me every error code in sequence) at 880 miles. Had it towed to the dealer (thanks, AcuraLink...) and it ended up being the transmission, which the dealer eventually replaced after a number of calls with Acura Support. I was happy, because the original trans was very buggy (even with the first updates installed before I got it...) and would take f o r e v e r to shift from R to D. The new trans is worse - sometimes indicating that it's changed from R to D, but actually going into some sort of purgatory that it only leaves when you give it gas. The resulting jerk makes the abrupt shift from 2-3 seem like a minor problem, although it's not something that we should have to put up with in an Acura. Finally, the lag when trying to accelerate is better with this trans versus the first one (which was abysmal), but it's still annoying. All thee problems seem to be consistent for this car/engine/trans combo, although I'm hoping that Acura doesn't just give up and accept them as "normal" - which is my worst fear.
If this car had even an AVERAGE transmission then it would be a winner. As it is, I'm not even sure I would sell it to a private party without feeling like a crook. I honestly hope that Acura gets this fixed or this will be the last time that I feel I'll be able to trust the brand.
 

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I want to love my TLX, and when I'm on a twisty road I do. But after half a year, I still can't get in the car without thinking about the part that I like the least: the transmission.
My TLX completely died (read me every error code in sequence) at 880 miles. Had it towed to the dealer (thanks, AcuraLink...) and it ended up being the transmission, which the dealer eventually replaced after a number of calls with Acura Support. I was happy, because the original trans was very buggy (even with the first updates installed before I got it...) and would take f o r e v e r to shift from R to D. The new trans is worse - sometimes indicating that it's changed from R to D, but actually going into some sort of purgatory that it only leaves when you give it gas. The resulting jerk makes the abrupt shift from 2-3 seem like a minor problem, although it's not something that we should have to put up with in an Acura. Finally, the lag when trying to accelerate is better with this trans versus the first one (which was abysmal), but it's still annoying. All thee problems seem to be consistent for this car/engine/trans combo, although I'm hoping that Acura doesn't just give up and accept them as "normal" - which is my worst fear.
If this car had even an AVERAGE transmission then it would be a winner. As it is, I'm not even sure I would sell it to a private party without feeling like a crook. I honestly hope that Acura gets this fixed or this will be the last time that I feel I'll be able to trust the brand.
You should pursue the Lemon-Law. I do not know all the details, but if a car cannot be repaired after so many attempts, that law kicks in.
 

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I had both '13 TL SH-AWD 6AT and '15 TLX SH-AWD Tech 9AT. Recently, I turned in the TL and got '16 MDX SH-AWD 9AT.

TLX - got it in December, have used Sport, Sport + modes pretty much exclusively. I had the lag between 2nd and 3rd pretty much the whole time, and there were periods of late downshift to 1st after stopping, loss of torque (too high gear) on right hand turns. I haven't used Sport + for a long time and everything smoothed out with the exception of a minor lag between 2nd and 3rd.

MDX has same 9AT and so far it it is very smooth in all gears - no issues. Also, Sport setting on MDX does a really good job of holding revs for compression braking. I have a theory that MDX gearing e.g. software emphasizes low end and smoothness over maximizing the fuel economy. The 9AT MDX did not improve fuel economy over the 6AT 2015 model and this is well-known. With the weight savings and wide spread of the 9AT, it should have been expected to improve fuel economy but doesn't. I think this is the result of the maker's effort to improve the shift quality based on TLX feedback. Just a theory because I have heard that some have experienced shift issues on MDX as well.

I am sure however that they didn't want to give up any ground on fuel economy easily.
 

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Does anyone in Acura follows this forum. There are a lot of feedbacks they should use to improve the transmission. I suspect they only get data from dealers maintenance teams.

Fred
 

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Still surging on downshift after 20k km

10 months of use, and still surging on downshifts. Continue to use the car in Sport +, the only IDS mode that makes the car feel anything like a sports sedan.
Initially I was also bothered by the sensitive throttle, especially when decelerating, but have adapted to this and now pride myself on smooth wobble-free halts.
What I remain deeply disappointed about is the 'surging' effect experienced when downshifting - I cut my driving teeth on manual transmissions and sporty cars, and they all shared one characteristic - engine braking when downshifting.
This continued when I moved to cars that didn't offer manual gearbox options, with engine braking still occurring - even with my '06 TL and '10 TSX V6 Tech.
My question is why have Acura not maintained this? I was always happy in the knowledge that Honda were Engineering, rather than Marketing-focussed, but now I'm not so sure..........


 

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10 months of use, and still surging on downshifts. Continue to use the car in Sport +, the only IDS mode that makes the car feel anything like a sports sedan.
Initially I was also bothered by the sensitive throttle, especially when decelerating, but have adapted to this and now pride myself on smooth wobble-free halts.
What I remain deeply disappointed about is the 'surging' effect experienced when downshifting - I cut my driving teeth on manual transmissions and sporty cars, and they all shared one characteristic - engine braking when downshifting.
This continued when I moved to cars that didn't offer manual gearbox options, with engine braking still occurring - even with my '06 TL and '10 TSX V6 Tech.
My question is why have Acura not maintained this? I was always happy in the knowledge that Honda were Engineering, rather than Marketing-focussed, but now I'm not so sure..........



I agree about the feeling associated when downshifting. There is one "trick" that works really well in the TLX 9AT in Sport + mode:


Instead of tapping down gear by gear, use a triple-tap in quick succession from 6th to 3rd. Assuming you are at about 40-45 mph e.g. approaching a corner, do the triple down tap from 6th to 3rd and your engine revs should be approx 4500 rpm just shy of the i-VTEC threshold. For some reason, this seems to be more instantaneous even though 3rd and 6th are across one of the 9AT's dog clutches than going one at a time down through 5, 4.

I've found that this is a really good way to get the engine braking on a corner approach, and have the revs up near VTEC threshold to power in and through the corner with the SH-AWD. Mine has Michelin Pilot A/S 3's which help the cornering capabilities more than the stock tires also.

The 9AT isn't perfect, but you might try the triple down tap and see if that helps where appropriate. I'd like to see a manual or a DCT on the V6.

Let me know if you get the effect you are looking for with the 6th to 3rd trick. It also works in modes other than Sport +, but response is slower.
 

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I agree about the feeling associated when downshifting. There is one "trick" that works really well in the TLX 9AT in Sport + mode:


Instead of tapping down gear by gear, use a triple-tap in quick succession from 6th to 3rd. Assuming you are at about 40-45 mph e.g. approaching a corner, do the triple down tap from 6th to 3rd and your engine revs should be approx 4500 rpm just shy of the i-VTEC threshold. For some reason, this seems to be more instantaneous even though 3rd and 6th are across one of the 9AT's dog clutches than going one at a time down through 5, 4.

I've found that this is a really good way to get the engine braking on a corner approach, and have the revs up near VTEC threshold to power in and through the corner with the SH-AWD. Mine has Michelin Pilot A/S 3's which help the cornering capabilities more than the stock tires also.

The 9AT isn't perfect, but you might try the triple down tap and see if that helps where appropriate. I'd like to see a manual or a DCT on the V6.

Let me know if you get the effect you are looking for with the 6th to 3rd trick. It also works in modes other than Sport +, but response is slower.
Thanks, ALman, I'll give your suggestion a shot and let you know - I also know what you mean about alternative tyres - currently running Pirelli P Zero Neros, and they stick to the road like flies to fly paper...........
 

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Smooth as butter. But i only have 250km on it so far.


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