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MDX to replace an RDX

 
Old 12-04-2018, 09:10 PM
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MDX to replace an RDX

I bought an 08 RDX back in July and it lived a short life at my house. It had an unfortunate encounter with a tree and the tree won. During the time my wife drove it, she got addicted to heated seats. I know other cars have heated seats, but I got addicted to the Acura. I'd really like to get another Acura and have been looking at the MDX. I've found an 2013 MDX with Advance and Tech package. It has 82k miles on it. I've been reading this forum and a few issues concern me.

First, ADS shocks. I wouldn't be opposed to a DIY project to convert to base shocks, but I read in a few posts that these are covered by warranty to 100k. Is their a time limit on this warranty or number of owners? Also, how do I tell if the ADS has problems? Someone said it makes noise and leaks. Can someone give me more information about what to listen for and what to look for as far as a leak?

Second, oil consumption. I already have a 1999 Ford Expedition that burns oil. Of course, it has 257k miles on it, but I'd really like to avoid another vehicle that burns oil. I understand the only real way to determine if oil is being consumed is to drive it for a couple of thousand miles and I'm pretty sure the dealer won't go for this. So, unless it smokes like an old diesel, I guess there is no definitive way to know if it burns oil. Any advice?

Third, timing belt. Again, don't mind a DIY project and I've changed timing belts in cars before, but I read in a post that this is a much more difficult project. I have not looked yet, but is there a guide here in the forums or better yet, a youtube video? Have others here changed their timing belts (professional mechanics don't count ?

Not really a concern, but more of a question. Towing?? The MDX does not have a hitch, but I've read conflicting posts here concerning the "tow" package. Does the 2013 MDX have a transmission cooler? If it does, is it as simply as adding a hitch and plug harness? My Expedition (and my F250) have a "tow mode." Do MDXs with the official tow package have something called a tow mode? How is the MDX as a tow vehicle? I have a 16' Searay that I would like to tow with it occasionally. Could the MDX handle this?

Thanks in advance for any advice/replies.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:06 AM
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Sorry to hear that... I have a 2007 RDX, and love it!!! Many things could be improved, but it's great!!!


I will say the RDX will handle a but better than an MDX, but that's from what I've heard...


Either way, great choices... Keep in mind, the MDX is WAY bigger... And it's a lot heavier feeling, so it will feel different...


Also, the RDX is a bit quicker and will do a little better on gas...


Hope this helped...



There are other members here that I know that have, or have had both, hopefully someone with more experience see's your post...


Go drive an MDX, maybe go drive another RDX and see how you feel... That's my best advice!
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:57 AM
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I had a 2007 RDX and replaced it with a 2011 MDX. The RDX was sporty, fast and fun and handled great. Very comfortable seats too.
The MDX is almost as fast but does not handle quite as well but overall is a better vehicle especially if you have a family. Gas mileage sucks on the MDX---expect 16-18 MPG.
On longer drives, the MDX wins hands down. Fun to drive goes to the RDX. MDX is a great truck overall.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:22 PM
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Call Acura about the warranty.
You can access information on any campaign affecting your vehicle on Acura Owners or call Acura Client Relations at(800) 382-2238 (press the appropriate option for Campaign information).

The only way that I can think of, to tell if it's burning oil, is to take it to an emissions testing center, where they put a hose over the exhaust and test the exhaust gas, for pollutants.
Their read-out will show a bunch of numbers and I don't know what they mean, but the numbers will be different from a new car's exhaust reading.
The catalytic converter will mask part of the burning of oil, but not all of it.

Getting the crank pulley bolt loose may require using the "starter trick". Many Honda Pilot you tube videos to help, with a TB.
Here's a proven kit, on e-bay...Aisin Timing Belt TKH 002 kit, for 2013 mdx
I bought a similar kit, for my 2007 and found an Acura Tech, on Face Book that did the job for $300.

I don't know about a 2013's towing.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:58 PM
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you could read the plugs for oil contamination which might be your best bet assuming they havent been changed recently. also check the onboard diagnostics for low oil messages that went undeleted by previous owner.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:12 PM
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The ADS extended warranty is 7 years from original purchase date or 100,000 miles. You would have until 2020 if you are still under 100,000 miles with the 2013 MDX Adv. Don't know if you have until Jan/2020 or Dec/2020, you can call Acura warranty folks to find out the purchase date to know when the 7 years will be up.

I had my front ADS struts replaced at 35K under warranty and my rears replaced at 108K with my 120K Acura Care. They fail when they fail, no way to figure out conditions for failure for the ADS. You can replace all four today and they might fail in a week or last +100,000 miles. No aftermarket ADS replacement other from Acura at $500-$800 per corner for parts and/or labor. The ADS+larger front/rear stabilizer bars along with sh-awd really work very good to keep the MDX more level in braking, acceleration, and on the curves. Bad ADS system can include:
- leaking shocks/struts
- sagging suspension
- knocking/clunking over bumps
- softer bouncy ride to bottoming out over bumps
- or zero symptoms at all

I'm about 2/3 to 3/4 of oil burned per my 8000-9000 mile oil change interval with Mobil 1. The oil consumption hasn't change in the 4 years and +90,000 miles I put on my 11 MDX I purchased used (+120,000 miles now). It can get to a quart or more per 1000 miles at its worst. You might be able to check the oil level when cold to see where it is at on the dip stick and then check out the oil life % on the M.I.D. If you are 1/2 quart low and oil life is 50% could be a way to guess-i-mate the consumption issue. This is assuming the dealership hasn't topped off the levels.

The 07-13 MDX is ready to go for up to 5000lbs of towing. The OEM hitch is made for full size spare to fit in the same space as the donut. Some aftermarket hitches (like the hidden hitch types) are too narrow for a full size spare. I haven't heard of folks adding trans coolers for towing? Most just add brake controllers depending on what they are towing.

I spent about $1500 doing my timing belt at the dealership (oil change, valve adjustment, timing belt w/ tensioner, gasket, water pump, serpentine belt, coolant). You can get that price down by half or more with local shop or DYI.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:33 PM
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Thank you all for the replies.

I did search youtube and their are plenty of videos for timing belt replacement and ADS downgrade to base shocks.

The ADS downgrade seems straightforward enough. I will call Acura and inquire about the warranty. I'm not even sure they are bad, yet.

For the timing belt, the video I watched had a special Acura tool to remove the crank pulley bolt. As with most car repairs, taking off parts to gain access to the part to replace/repair is the hardest part. Is the Aisin a quality kit?

For those interested, below is a picture of the deceased Acura. The tree is still standing, but did sustain damage. My 16 year old son was driving. The only injury he sustained was a seatbelt burn across his shoulder. I hated to see the Acura go, but I'm glad my son was driving it. I'm pretty certain none of my other vehicles (Expedition, F250, Freestar minivan, Kia Soul) would have protected him nearly as good.

I want an MDX (rather than an RDX) because we are a family of five and I like the 3rd bench. All five of us rarely travel together anymore, but on those rare occasions the 3rd row that the MDX offers would be nice.

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Old 12-05-2018, 09:41 PM
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Damn, OK....



You have a good reason to get an MDX then, having 5 regular passengers, you know your needs... I've ridden in the back of the RDX and it's pretty tight due to the "teardrop" shape of the interior...
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 87gatech View Post
Thank you all for the replies.

I did search youtube and their are plenty of videos for timing belt replacement and ADS downgrade to base shocks.

The ADS downgrade seems straightforward enough. I will call Acura and inquire about the warranty. I'm not even sure they are bad, yet.

For the timing belt, the video I watched had a special Acura tool to remove the crank pulley bolt. As with most car repairs, taking off parts to gain access to the part to replace/repair is the hardest part. Is the Aisin a quality kit?

For those interested, below is a picture of the deceased Acura. The tree is still standing, but did sustain damage. My 16 year old son was driving. The only injury he sustained was a seatbelt burn across his shoulder. I hated to see the Acura go, but I'm glad my son was driving it. I'm pretty certain none of my other vehicles (Expedition, F250, Freestar minivan, Kia Soul) would have protected him nearly as good.

I want an MDX (rather than an RDX) because we are a family of five and I like the 3rd bench. All five of us rarely travel together anymore, but on those rare occasions the 3rd row that the MDX offers would be nice.

Wow, glad your son is ok!

MDX has been great, reliable SUV for my family that can easily fit 5 without using the 3rd row. Either way, I think you will be pleased. The AISIN timing belt kit is the preferred/OEM kit for the MDX. I did the timing belt job earlier this year with an independent shop. I ordered all parts online and paid labor for install.



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Old 12-08-2018, 09:28 AM
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There's a lesson in here somewhere.
16 year old rookie driver + any turbo automobile = potential for a big wreck

Beginners should only be allowed to drive non-turbo 4 cylinder vehicles that have automatic transmissions.
Why do I say this, because I was once a 16 year old beginner, with a 4 cylinder that could't do 90 mph.
Guess how I found out that it could only go 90 mph?
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:57 AM
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The thing I love about my 08 RDX is it is a on hell of a hammer if everything you see are nails. The RDX can be so much more enjoyable to drive compared to my 11 MDX and the fun factor increases for the RDX the harder you drive her. My RDX feels the best if I drive her like I stole her with hwy patrol in my rear view mirror. Unfortunately, the RDX lack of tools can wear on you when you need the RDX to perform a different levels like driving with your entire family of +3, long hwy road trips, need less road noise, or over rough roads. The MDX does provide the right balance of sportiness, luxury, MPGs, tech, utility, hwy cruiser, and 4-5 passenger comfort for hours of driving.

For me, it made me really appreciate the MDX with its extra features after driving the RDX for +4 years because of all the extra tools in the MDX toolbox. It might have been harder for me to go down to the RDX compared to stepping up to the MDX if I purchased in reverse order.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:00 PM
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Below are pictures of the MDX I purchased to replace the RDX. This one is exclusively my wifes!! No one else drives it. It is a 2013 with Adv+tech+ent. I think it has every option except tow hitch and roof rack. The original window sticker was with the manuals and it listed for $55,800. It has 84k miles and seems to be in immaculate condition. My wife had 2 must-haves: heated seats and white. I wanted AWD.

I have a couple of 15400-PLM-A02 oil filters + crush washers I bought for the RDX. Does this MDX use the same filter and washer?


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Old 12-16-2018, 09:12 PM
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Nice find!
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:35 PM
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Looks great!
What did you pay...18K, 20k, 22k?
Looks like 2007 - 20012 RDX oil filter will fit, but you can verify it on this OEM Parts page (at the bottom(ish) middle) you can view all Acuras that the 2013 MDX oil filter will fit:
2013 MDX oil filter and supersede numbers

Last edited by Carpayment4life; 12-16-2018 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:11 PM
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I looked closer at the specific part number that you listed....15400-PLM-A02 and it will not fit your 2013 MDX.

I fits the 2013 - 2018 RDX and the
2014 -2018 MDX

Other vehicles that use 15400-PLM-A02 oil filter
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:25 AM
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Congrats on the new ride! I really like my 11 Adv+Ent and it is the best vehicle I've ever owned. The Blind Spot Monitoring really comes in handy because the MDXs 360 degree visibility isn't as good as the RDX. The ACC makes long hwy runs almost stress-free. I also had the CMBS kicked in several times to alert and react faster than I could. The 3 position front seat heaters can almost fry an egg on high. I only got the Ent system because of the rear heated seats; which, should be standard for the MDX.

The only issues I've had that is unique to the Adv models are the ADS system and front seat heaters. My front suspension was replaced at 35K and my rear shocks were replaced at 107K (both under warranty or Acura Care). Both front seat heater pads were replaced under Acura Care a few years apart (zero issues with cooled seats).

Double-check to make sure the ADS system is working and you have no leaks, clunking, knocking, sagging, or bouncy ride in sport. Also, some folks converted the ADS to regular shocks/struts and disable the warning before the 8yr/100k extended warranty was offered. Previous owners switched to regular struts/shocks because it can cost $600-$900 per corner to replace ADS out of warranty.

Last edited by mrgold35; 12-17-2018 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:17 PM
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@Carpayment4life - I had set 18k as the price I wanted to pay and went back and forth with the dealer for 4 days. Eventually, I had to give a little more (not too much more) because I was afraid someone else might come along and buy it. Plus, when my wife said "you're arguing over XX dollars, really??"..............I knew it was time to give up and buy the car. I had not bought a car from a dealer since 1998. Very little has changed. It's still an unpleasant experience.

I did some searching via google on oil filters. From what I can gather, the 15400-PLM-A01 and 15400-PLM-A02 both meet Honda specs. The A02 (made by Fram) is the replacement for the A01 (made by filtech).

I did inspect the ADS. I didn't see any leaks and all 4 corners seemed stiff. If they do go out, I'll have a DIY party and convert to the base model and disable the button.

Are the backs of the front seats heated too? The driver side front seat seems to get hot on the bottom and the back support while the passenger side front seat only gets hot on the bottom. I have not tested the back seats.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 87gatech View Post

Are the backs of the front seats heated too? The driver side front seat seems to get hot on the bottom and the back support while the passenger side front seat only gets hot on the bottom. I have not tested the back seats.

It's a Honda thing... It has to do with the airbag sensor in the backrest and they couldn't design a heating element around it, IDK why...


My 2007 RDX and old 2008 TL are that way...
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:02 AM
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...as well as my 06 MDX and 03 CL
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 87gatech View Post
Below are pictures of the MDX I purchased to replace the RDX. This one is exclusively my wifes!! No one else drives it. It is a 2013 with Adv+tech+ent. I think it has every option except tow hitch and roof rack. The original window sticker was with the manuals and it listed for $55,800. It has 84k miles and seems to be in immaculate condition. My wife had 2 must-haves: heated seats and white. I wanted AWD.

I have a couple of 15400-PLM-A02 oil filters + crush washers I bought for the RDX. Does this MDX use the same filter and washer?


Excellent find and congrats! I know you say it's your wife's car exclusively, but I'm sure you'll take it out for a spin or 2. I bought my wife our MDX and I tend to drive it more than I originally thought I would. BTW, I love the Advanced wheels!
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:39 AM
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+1 on the wheels!

Beautiful, OP!


Now tint it!!!
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