I tried searching for this question but could not find it. Anyway, first of all, I am not anything even remotely close to a mechanic. But we have a major issue with my wife's Acura MDX. I can't remember the exact year at the moment but I want to say it's either a 2004 or 2008.

So a while back the battery died and wouldn't hold a charge. We replaced the battery and ever since then, the on-board navigation system has this error message that says something like "Check the disc...".

Under the passenger seat is a DVD drive that contains the navigation software (GPS, maps, etc. from what I understand). The disc looks to be in great shape. We've taken the disc out and put it back in, etc. Nothing works.

The issue is that we cannot control the internal temps or anything else because almost all of it runs through the touch screen system.

Why in the world the internal temperature for a vehicle is dependent on a navigation DVD is beyond my comprehension...but that's what we got.

So my wife calls the Acura dealer and they suggest buying a new DVD. At $250. Which is absolutely insane! And, the dealer admitted it probably won't fix it. If it doesn't, he then suggested replacing the DVD drive. At $800 or so. Which puts us at over $1,000 and we still don't know if that will fix it.

Is this seriously our best option? Other than buying a new vehicle, of course. We love everything else about this car (and it's paid for). To be crippled like this for such a stupid design is really eating away at me.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • 1
    It's probably a bad DVD unit. You can try cleaning it: acurazine.com/forums/… or there are reports that Alpine will repair them for around $350.
    – cory
    May 1 '17 at 14:33
  • Can you try disconnecting the DVD unit for the mean time? May 1 '17 at 18:52
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 hmmm. I could try. Where/how would I do that? I don't remember seeing anything like that mentioned in the manual we got with the SUV. Thanks.
    – cbmeeks
    May 1 '17 at 19:30
  • @cbmeeks We need to know the model year to help with disconnecting instructions. I would start with a google search and see if anyone has done this.
    – rana
    May 1 '17 at 20:40
  • @cbmeeks You can also try contacting a shop that installs after market radios on car. They know how to take apart dash unit and maybe able to help you. Give it a try!.
    – rana
    May 1 '17 at 20:43

I hope this helps someone out there with a similar problem. After a LOT of research, we found out there is simply no way this can be fixed without purchasing a new DVD drive. Which we did. But, unfortunately, you can't get a new one. We got a second-hand one installed and it seems to work now. All of this cost us around $700. Including the WRONG one that was sent to us and we couldn't get a refund.

Let me just say this...I work in software and I have seen a lot of bad designs but this takes the cake. I have never seen a design as bad as this.

Now, this all started with the guy at AutoZone changed a battery. He just simply swapped out the battery and this started happening. I don't blame him because it's just a battery swap.

So what does this mean? From now on, if that battery dies again...we are going to take it to the dealer and let them replace it and pay a premium to do that. Why? Because if it happens again THEY get to pay the $700 for a STUPID DVD DRIVE!! Seriously???? A DVD DRIVE?? Who needs a DVD drive to, oh...I don't know...control the car???

But it gets even better...if that $0.10 piece of plastic DVD disc gets ruined? Guess what? NO HEAT OR AC FOR US! Yeah! Unless we pay the $150 for a new disc! What's on the disc??? NAVIGATION SOFTWARE! Yeah! That's needed for AC/heat!!

Bottom line...shame on Acura. Life lesson learned. I would have NEVER thought to ask..."Hey, if the NAVIGATION disc dies, do I loose my heating and air?"


  • I have a 2004 MDX (see my own answer). I had the DVD drive repaired (by Alpine) once but changed the battery a few times over the last 13 years. I don't think one event triggers the other one perfectly.
    – wsw
    Oct 17 '17 at 14:49
  • @wsw maybe not. But if the dealer does it and the problems happen immediately afterwards (like it did before) I at least have a case against them.
    – cbmeeks
    Oct 17 '17 at 17:07

You might want to spend $145 to buy a copy of the "shop manual" for electrical components: https://www.diyrepairmanuals.com/proddetail.asp?prod=04AcMdxE&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5ebEieL21gIVyhuBCh2mowz9EAQYASABEgLtn_D_BwE

I have a 2004 MDX and I have a copy of the manual. It contains flowcharts for troubleshooting. My DVD unit went bad in 2011 but I had it repaired by shipping the unit back to Alpine.

  • Thanks but if you read my post you see that I'm not a mechanic. And $145? Wow. That's expensive.
    – cbmeeks
    Oct 17 '17 at 14:23

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