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Deciding between 2010-12 MDX and Highlander

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Old 08-17-2016, 01:47 PM   #81
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So, 2 weeks of owning a '12 MDX, I'm seriously considering a '12-'13 ZDX as a daily!

I've really fallen in love with the ride, quality, and styling of the MDX, but to continue to own something unique and rare (always have owned/modified my vehicles to be such), I'm looking to pull the trigger on a ZDX. Just looking for the perfect specimen sold by an individual...no stealerships this time.
I don't blame you! A fully blacked out ZDX is stunning, like a bat mobile. It also has MANY of the things I wish the MDX came with and should have come with like panoramic sunroof, leather wrapped dashboard and doors, PUSH BUTTON START, different engine that makes power at a lower rpm, and a couple other things I am forgetting.

My next car is either going to be a 2011-2013 Porsche cayenne turbo s or a ZDX elite. Depends on how well I am doing financially, want to be married in the next 4-5 years...
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:48 PM   #82
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I don't blame you! A fully blacked out ZDX is stunning, like a bat mobile. It also has MANY of the things I wish the MDX came with and should have come with like panoramic sunroof, leather wrapped dashboard and doors, PUSH BUTTON START, different engine that makes power at a lower rpm, and a couple other things I am forgetting.

My next car is either going to be a 2011-2013 Porsche cayenne turbo s or a ZDX elite. Depends on how well I am doing financially, want to be married in the next 4-5 years...
I feel like I just 'matured' once my wife got her MDX.

Exactly what I was thinking...looking into the ZDX seems like the MDX perfected! I've seen a couple fully paint matched with a nice set of wheels that looks fantastic.

I looked at the Cayenne and they're super nice, fast, and Porsche's best selling vehicle, but long term, I still think the ZDX is my best choice. I guess going from a lifted, supercharged GMC 2500hd to a ZDX might be a slight change lol.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:04 PM   #83
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I feel like I just 'matured' once my wife got her MDX.

Exactly what I was thinking...looking into the ZDX seems like the MDX perfected! I've seen a couple fully paint matched with a nice set of wheels that looks fantastic.

I looked at the Cayenne and they're super nice, fast, and Porsche's best selling vehicle, but long term, I still think the ZDX is my best choice. I guess going from a lifted, supercharged GMC 2500hd to a ZDX might be a slight change lol.
Haha is "matured" a fancy way of saying jealous?

Yes the paint matched ones look stunning. The beak grille is the only thing I wish it didn't have. Otherwise I love it.

I love the cayenne, I have had my eye on it forever. I know that in the next 3 years it should be selling in the 30's and the zdx should be in the mid teens. So depending on my financial situation, it should be easy to pick either or.

Oooh got pics? That pickup sounds like it has some nice pickup (pun heavily intended lol). The zdx is nice but it is no supercharged HD.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:26 PM   #84
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Haha is "matured" a fancy way of saying jealous?

Yes the paint matched ones look stunning. The beak grille is the only thing I wish it didn't have. Otherwise I love it.

I love the cayenne, I have had my eye on it forever. I know that in the next 3 years it should be selling in the 30's and the zdx should be in the mid teens. So depending on my financial situation, it should be easy to pick either or.

Oooh got pics? That pickup sounds like it has some nice pickup (pun heavily intended lol). The zdx is nice but it is no supercharged HD.
Jealous? No...envious of the nice, quite, smooth, luxurious ride? Yes!

I can't say that I see the 'beak grille' as bad as some. Nothing paint/vinyl wrap can't take care of!

Here's a couple pics of the truck:
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:01 PM   #85
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Jealous? No...envious of the nice, quite, smooth, luxurious ride? Yes!

I can't say that I see the 'beak grille' as bad as some. Nothing paint/vinyl wrap can't take care of!

Here's a couple pics of the truck:

I gotcha! Yeah the MDX feels more expensive than my past X5's and Touaregs.

I don't hate the beak as much as others, only on the ZDX it sticks out a little.

WOWZA NOW THAT IS A TRUCK!

How can you sell that? It is beautiful!
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:09 PM   #86
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I gotcha! Yeah the MDX feels more expensive than my past X5's and Touaregs.

I don't hate the beak as much as others, only on the ZDX it sticks out a little.

WOWZA NOW THAT IS A TRUCK!

How can you sell that? It is beautiful!
Does it? I considered the diesel V10 Tuareg, but read of too many issues than I preferred. The X5M is still favorite of mine, just can't justify the maintenance cost of Euro's over Jap's.

It would be hard to sell it. It's exactly how I wanted it and is unique and a eye catcher. If I could swing a ZDX as a DD and keep the truck for weekends, that'd be perfect. But the '13 ZDX's are still going for north of $30k, plus nothing on the east coast, so traveling/shipping costs. Gotta pay to play again.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:18 PM   #87
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Jealous? No...envious of the nice, quite, smooth, luxurious ride? Yes!

I can't say that I see the 'beak grille' as bad as some. Nothing paint/vinyl wrap can't take care of!

Here's a couple pics of the truck:

What beast lives beneath that supercharger???

I drive a stock GMC Yukon (2003) from time to time, and I must say, I enjoy it, a lot... And I drive a SH-AWD RDX!!!
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:57 AM   #88
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Does it? I considered the diesel V10 Tuareg, but read of too many issues than I preferred. The X5M is still favorite of mine, just can't justify the maintenance cost of Euro's over Jap's.

It would be hard to sell it. It's exactly how I wanted it and is unique and a eye catcher. If I could swing a ZDX as a DD and keep the truck for weekends, that'd be perfect. But the '13 ZDX's are still going for north of $30k, plus nothing on the east coast, so traveling/shipping costs. Gotta pay to play again.
It really does. It has this old school japanese luxury feel that I love. God stay away from the V10 touareg. The absolute biggest POS ever. So much maintenance issues always. This is my second Acura in a row after a 2007 RDX, I am hooked on reliability and low upkeep.

I would honestly keep the truck and just wait. Why not look at an older zdx like 2010 (or did they come out in 2011?), nothing changed since then and much more affordable. That truck is beautiful, you will miss it severely.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:39 AM   #89
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What beast lives beneath that supercharger???

I drive a stock GMC Yukon (2003) from time to time, and I must say, I enjoy it, a lot... And I drive a SH-AWD RDX!!!
The good 'ol 6.0. The setup is the same as the CTS-V/Corvette ZR-1. Right now, it's running 4psi. If I end up using it as a weekend truck only, I'll add injectors and a larger lower pulley and run 9psi...making about ~450hp/490trq to the wheels. No diesel, but a blast.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:42 AM   #90
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It really does. It has this old school japanese luxury feel that I love. God stay away from the V10 touareg. The absolute biggest POS ever. So much maintenance issues always. This is my second Acura in a row after a 2007 RDX, I am hooked on reliability and low upkeep.

I would honestly keep the truck and just wait. Why not look at an older zdx like 2010 (or did they come out in 2011?), nothing changed since then and much more affordable. That truck is beautiful, you will miss it severely.
I've just decided to stay away from Euro's.

My only concern with the '10-'12 ZDX was the 'issue' (?) and replacement cost of the IDS. Is that as big a deal as I'm making it? I don't need all the bells and whistles of the '13, and I could save $10k in a '10/'11.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:59 PM   #91
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I've just decided to stay away from Euro's.

My only concern with the '10-'12 ZDX was the 'issue' (?) and replacement cost of the IDS. Is that as big a deal as I'm making it? I don't need all the bells and whistles of the '13, and I could save $10k in a '10/'11.
Good call!

I totally forgot that they took out ids on the elite in 2013. Do I think you are making it a bigger deal than it is, yes and no. Yes because it does cost a lot to repair, but no because I beleive Acura has extended the warranty to 100k miles, then you can also buy extended warranty and extend the warranty further. Another option is to take out the shocks if they fail and install the normal shocks.

I feel that the shocks do improve the vehicle very much and that they make a big difference in driving dynamics now that I have them. If you are going to save 10+k, buy a low mileage 2010, buy an extended warranty and enjoy. No need to worry.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:19 PM   #92
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Good call!

I totally forgot that they took out ids on the elite in 2013. Do I think you are making it a bigger deal than it is, yes and no. Yes because it does cost a lot to repair, but no because I beleive Acura has extended the warranty to 100k miles, then you can also buy extended warranty and extend the warranty further. Another option is to take out the shocks if they fail and install the normal shocks.

I feel that the shocks do improve the vehicle very much and that they make a big difference in driving dynamics now that I have them. If you are going to save 10+k, buy a low mileage 2010, buy an extended warranty and enjoy. No need to worry.
I wouldn't mind having the tech of the '13 Elite, if I can just install normal shocks if needed. So is the 100k warranty a TSB? Am I covered if I purchase used from an owner or a dealership? I assume any extended warranty would have to be through a dealer? I rarely buy from a dealer, so I'm not very knowledgeable on warranties lol. I always buy mint cond used vehicles with paperwork.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:37 PM   #93
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I wouldn't mind having the tech of the '13 Elite, if I can just install normal shocks if needed. So is the 100k warranty a TSB? Am I covered if I purchase used from an owner or a dealership? I assume any extended warranty would have to be through a dealer? I rarely buy from a dealer, so I'm not very knowledgeable on warranties lol. I always buy mint cond used vehicles with paperwork.
Sorry my previous post was flipped. I meant to say no because it is expensive and yet because...etc.

Yes you can just swap out the shocks if you need to for the normal shocks easily and IMHO the tech that comes with elite is totally worth it. PM mrgold35, he was the one who told me about this warranty and he has more info. Iirc correctly, it counts even for used private vehicles and he also knows a lot about extended acura care warrenties because he has it in his mdx as wel.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:33 PM   #94
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Sorry my previous post was flipped. I meant to say no because it is expensive and yet because...etc.

Yes you can just swap out the shocks if you need to for the normal shocks easily and IMHO the tech that comes with elite is totally worth it. PM mrgold35, he was the one who told me about this warranty and he has more info. Iirc correctly, it counts even for used private vehicles and he also knows a lot about extended acura care warrenties because he has it in his mdx as wel.
Thanks for the info. I'll PM him and ask!
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:58 AM   #95
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Thanks for the info. I'll PM him and ask!
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:29 PM   #96
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I have to say guys that 3 months into owning my '13 MDX, love it, it handles great, I just love it more each day. Lol Like I said, the Highlander IMO does not compare in terms of handling and driving dynamics. Toyota makes great cars and engines, I wonder why Honda has not made a mass produced V8 yet, I think it is their Philosophy as a company. They are conservative, I don't think it is not a case of they don't know how to make it, they are just stubborn, and have their own strong beliefs and philosophy. The J series is such an old technology with SOHC , but it still hangs with the DOHC of the 2GR's and VQ's. Just shows Honda's engine building capabilities. And in the 4 cylinder world, well, they make the best and most reliable 4 cylinder engines. My sister has a Scion Xb and a good friend of mine has a Scion Tc, they both have the 2az-fe, the 2 cars have about 120k miles each, and they both have excessive oil consumption, about .8 quarts every 1k miles.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:25 PM   #97
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I have to say guys that 3 months into owning my '13 MDX, love it, it handles great, I just love it more each day. Lol Like I said, the Highlander IMO does not compare in terms of handling and driving dynamics. Toyota makes great cars and engines, I wonder why Honda has not made a mass produced V8 yet, I think it is their Philosophy as a company. They are conservative, I don't think it is not a case of they don't know how to make it, they are just stubborn, and have their own strong beliefs and philosophy. The J series is such an old technology with SOHC , but it still hangs with the DOHC of the 2GR's and VQ's. Just shows Honda's engine building capabilities. And in the 4 cylinder world, well, they make the best and most reliable 4 cylinder engines. My sister has a Scion Xb and a good friend of mine has a Scion Tc, they both have the 2az-fe, the 2 cars have about 120k miles each, and they both have excessive oil consumption, about .8 quarts every 1k miles.
The 2AZ-FE is one of Toyota's better I4s... My sister had a 2007 TC, that thing had pick up, she now has a '13 Pathfinder...

I also had a 2016 Camry SE as a rental early this year, that was, FAST, for an I4!!! However, doing 0-60, I've noticed a dead spot between 35-40 (mph), it kind of slows down before it shifts, it's weird...

And when I had my hood wrapped in CF last month, the wrapper man let me drive his 2006 Scion XB, he was so very kind and I'll be greatful forever for that forever, but with a 1.5, it was slow, and by slow, I mean almost dangerous, but it's torque, what it has, comes low and early in the powerband, the engine runs relatively smooth for what it is, that being said, I'd still take a Fit over it, before driving a Fit, I inow it'll be faster, haha!!!

The 2016 Camry has the 2AR-FE, however, upon start up, it would make a slight "rough" valve train noise, like for 1-1/2 seconds it was oil starved, I've also noticed this in 2GR-FEs as well... I've not ever once heard a Honda engine do this, the Toyota engine seems, "plasticy"!!!

Honda can Nail It with their engines!!! And I mean it!!!
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:46 AM   #98
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^^ I agree. But I have done almost all of the maintenance on my sis' xB , 2az-fe and although it is reliable, the oil burning issues they all have means that these cars will not last as long or will have serious problems down the road. I have a 2000 Accord with the 2.3L, has 190k miles and that thing still runs very smooth, it is slow and belt driven but just works every time.

I have driven the 2GR in the 2015 highlander and also the 2GR FSE on a '15 IS350 F sport, they sound rough and noisy on the highlander from the outside, but I have no doubt these are very reliable engines. The one thing I really like on the highlander is when you are driving on local roads, the engine and cabin is very quiet and smooth. Engine is very powerful and torquey, The Lexus my bro in law has on the other hand is just a different animal. I mean it still does not have the characteristic of a sports sedan say of an S4 or the M3, but in terms of Luxury feel on the interior, it will put an Audi A4 to shame. Lexus has really don it right in terms of Luxury. They are going in the Sport direction though I feel and I think they should stick to what they know best.
I recently had a TLX loaner from the dealer for the MDX power steering vibration TSB, the TLX drove great and is very quiet and handles great, but I felt a slight vibration around 70mph. I had vibration on the MDX after I got it but did a hunter road force balance and it went away immediately.
Just came back from a 200 mile road trip, it is so smooth now on the highway and for such a big car, it really handles great. I am also surprised with the stock brake pads, it handles the braking of this heavy car great, my experience with stock honda brake pads are not good at all. The TSX stock brake pads are the worst, they have great initial bite but overheat easily.

Sometimes, I wish that Honda would flex it's muscles and do what they do best, but they're here to build cars and make profit and what matters for them at the end of the day is the bottom line. They are just conservative. They are always late to the party, they now just came out with their turbo engines and we all know how great they will be. The Civic Type R is also finally coming back. Started with the RSX-S and Civic Si and then the TSX. I really love the way my TSX drives, even now after 10yrs with the car, still a great car. This is what made me get an MDX, was seriously considering the Lexus RX but after driving the highlander, the handling characteristics and driving dynamics is high on my priority list when buying a car.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #99
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So we're 2.5 months into the '12 CPO MDX. Wife lives it (it's her daily driver) and I finally had a chance to take it for the better part of a week for a work trip recently. DAMN it's a nice ride - I was outrunning most other vehicle on the highway

Next up is getting roof rails fitted as well as a trailer hitch. I'm leaning toward the OEM hitch to get the wiring harness and easy attachment. I've been trying to figure out if I need an auxiliary transmission cooler or if the one built in is beefy enough - anyone have thoughts on this?

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:35 PM   #100
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So we're 2.5 months into the '12 CPO MDX. Wife lives it (it's her daily driver) and I finally had a chance to take it for the better part of a week for a work trip recently. DAMN it's a nice ride - I was outrunning most other vehicle on the highway

Next up is getting roof rails fitted as well as a trailer hitch. I'm leaning toward the OEM hitch to get the wiring harness and easy attachment. I've been trying to figure out if I need an auxiliary transmission cooler or if the one built in is beefy enough - anyone have thoughts on this?

Thanks!
The 2007-2009 mdx came with an internal and external transmission cooler. The 2010-2013 mdx got rid of the external one unless the buyer ordered the towing kit from the factory (then it came with a secondary external one). So yes I would say you need the secondary external one if you plan to tow. Especially since your mdx has honda's first ever 6 speed automatic and Honda's transmission history is not that great sadly.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:12 PM   #101
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The 2007-2009 mdx came with an internal and external transmission cooler. The 2010-2013 mdx got rid of the external one unless the buyer ordered the towing kit from the factory (then it came with a secondary external one). So yes I would say you need the secondary external one if you plan to tow. Especially since your mdx has honda's first ever 6 speed automatic and Honda's transmission history is not that great sadly.
LOLOLOL... ALL 2010-2013 MDXes came with external transmission cooler. Yours did not have one from factory.....
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:24 PM   #102
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LOLOLOL... ALL 2010-2013 MDXes came with external transmission cooler. Yours did not have one from factory.....
I'm going to let skirmich answer this one.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:33 PM   #103
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I'm going to let skirmich answer this one.
It is okay

You see, there is one on mine 2012 MDX, came from factory like that.



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Old 10-04-2016, 10:59 PM   #104
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It is okay

You see, there is one on mine 2012 MDX, came from factory like that.

No I am just confused because I "thought" he told me the exact opposite, but maybe I am completely flipping it because it has been a while since he told me about it. That is why I am so confused right now. I do appreciate you setting me straight though, and the pics.

Side note, did you happen to have some exhaust mods on your mdx? I have really been considering some mild exhaust work so looking to see what others have done.

Thank you
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:13 AM   #105
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You are thinking about the DIY on the ATF Cooler RDX10, There I mentioned that the MDX came with an External ATF Cooler but it was optional on the 12-13? I was not sure that it was I put a "?" at the end of it.. AFAIK the OEM ATF Cooler for the 12-13 was optional with the Hitch Package? 07 through 11 was OEM Installed...
I could be wrong though, I read it somewhere else.

Do you have the Hitch Package DZIONNY?

Last edited by Skirmich; 10-05-2016 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:48 AM   #106
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I'm assuming you're referring to the small radiator at the left? I'll check on the wife's when I get home tonight.

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It is okay

You see, there is one on mine 2012 MDX, came from factory like that.

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Old 10-05-2016, 10:03 AM   #107
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This parts explosion diagram is helpful, though I'm still uncertain about the ATF cooler(s) - is there one integrated in the main radiator?
The way the diagram indicates connectivity of hoses makes me wonder. Assembly #25 would be what's shown in dzionny_dzionassi's photo.
Acura RADIATOR HOSE RESERVE TANK


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Old 10-05-2016, 02:56 PM   #108
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The one in the Radiator is the "ATF WARMER" (Tube going into it is #21 and Tube going out is #22 to the External ATF Cooler).. Its main job is to keep the ATF at a Certain Temp, Not too cool and Not too Hot. If you don't have the External ATF Cooler (#25) the ATF Warmer is the only thing cooling the ATF.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:38 PM   #109
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You are thinking about the DIY on the ATF Cooler RDX10, There I mentioned that the MDX came with an External ATF Cooler but it was optional on the 12-13? I was not sure that it was I put a "?" at the end of it.. AFAIK the OEM ATF Cooler for the 12-13 was optional with the Hitch Package? 07 through 11 was OEM Installed...
I could be wrong though, I read it somewhere else.

Do you have the Hitch Package DZIONNY?
Dzionny is saying that mine did not come with an external cooler from the factory, or am I misreading this and getting confused with the technical jargon? I remember in the DIY you disconnected the internal one (tied it together) and installed an additional external one right? So is he wrong or am I reading wrong?
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:45 PM   #110
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Dzionny is saying that mine did not come with an external cooler from the factory, or am I misreading this and getting confused with the technical jargon? I remember in the DIY you disconnected the internal one (tied it together) and installed an additional external one right? So is he wrong or am I reading wrong?
Sorry, just to be clear:

All 07-13 MDXes came with external trans cooler
2014+ MDXes it is an option...

07-09 uses different cooler compared to 10-13
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:47 PM   #111
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You are thinking about the DIY on the ATF Cooler RDX10, There I mentioned that the MDX came with an External ATF Cooler but it was optional on the 12-13? I was not sure that it was I put a "?" at the end of it.. AFAIK the OEM ATF Cooler for the 12-13 was optional with the Hitch Package? 07 through 11 was OEM Installed...
I could be wrong though, I read it somewhere else.

Do you have the Hitch Package DZIONNY?
I don't have hitch, but the external cooler is standard for 2nd generation...
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:56 PM   #112
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No I am just confused because I "thought" he told me the exact opposite, but maybe I am completely flipping it because it has been a while since he told me about it. That is why I am so confused right now. I do appreciate you setting me straight though, and the pics.

Side note, did you happen to have some exhaust mods on your mdx? I have really been considering some mild exhaust work so looking to see what others have done.

Thank you
Regards side note, only exhaust mods I have is HI-Flow-Cats and Jpipe.... nothing more, and I really don't need more. Because it sounds just right for me.
I am done modding my mdx, will be buying 2013-2014 TL-SH-AWD. Will be modding that one lol.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzionny_dzionassi View Post
Sorry, just to be clear:

All 07-13 MDXes came with external trans cooler
2014+ MDXes it is an option...

07-09 uses different cooler compared to 10-13
Thanks for the Clarification!
And it does use a different cooler? Yours looks exactly like mine:
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:25 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by dzionny_dzionassi View Post
Sorry, just to be clear:

All 07-13 MDXes came with external trans cooler
2014+ MDXes it is an option...

07-09 uses different cooler compared to 10-13
Checked the wife's car over the weekend, ATF cooler was there! Let the towing commence.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:20 AM   #115
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So a year later, we're generally happy. Had an oil consumption issue back in February that warranted a piston/ring replacement paid for by Honda USA. Engine's been solid and tight ever since. We put new tires on in the spring, which left us feeling like we had a totally new car; the OEM Michelins were abyssmal!

I installed the OEM hitch/wiring harness and have done a few towing runs over the summer in addition to a 2500 mile trip to and from Chicago. The MDX is a road warrior - I had at least 3 different occasions on I-90 in NY where other drivers in supposedly fast vehicles felt the need to see who could go faster on empty interstate and the MDX came out ahead every time. It's a great "sleeper"

Here's to many more years of happy MDXing.
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