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The most reliable year for the MDX

 
Old 10-17-2018, 08:58 AM
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The most reliable year for the MDX

Looking to buy a used MDX and was wondering what the most reliable year was. Also looking for great value as well and don't mind older years if they are just as reliable. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:20 AM
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depends on if you want the six speed auto or the nine speed auto.
the six speed auto in the '15's are superb
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:04 PM
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This is the 1G and 2G forum Crabman… Those MDXs only got 5 and 6 speed to choose from.

As per OP Question..
Depends on the generation 1Gs (2001-2006) or 2G (2007-2013)
On the 1G the most reliable are the newer ones 05-06 although some 03-04s can be hit and miss, The ones to avoid are 01-02s for SURE.

On the 2G both the Shield (07-09) and the Beak refresh (10-13) are reliable but they have 2 separate issues, The Shield ones tend to have shitty radiators that need to be replaced and the Beak ones love to consume oil so pick your poison.
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:01 PM
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06 w/180k going strong here.

Just keep up on the fluid change on these beasts.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Skirmich View Post
This is the 1G and 2G forum Crabman… Those MDXs only got 5 and 6 speed to choose from.

As per OP Question..
Depends on the generation 1Gs (2001-2006) or 2G (2007-2013)
On the 1G the most reliable are the newer ones 05-06 although some 03-04s can be hit and miss, The ones to avoid are 01-02s for SURE.

On the 2G both the Shield (07-09) and the Beak refresh (10-13) are reliable but they have 2 separate issues, The Shield ones tend to have shitty radiators that need to be replaced and the Beak ones love to consume oil so pick your poison.
Spot on! Right at 120k on my 2011 MDX Tech. Its been reliable with regular service and my only concern is the low oil levels during oil changes. I now monitor oil level monthly and add as required.

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Old 10-17-2018, 09:03 PM
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I love my 04 MDX, currently at 168k and everything still works perfect. Not crazy about the gas mileage, but after I did a few things it seems to be getting 17 - 18 mpg in the city now. When I first got it I was getting 14 - 15 mpg at best.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:52 AM
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Ugh. Mileage is the worst.

14mpg god here. I literally feather often too.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:08 AM
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Why risk buying a 2010 -2013 (many burn oil) MDX from, Miami, South Carolina, or Houston when you can find other years and locations (no flooding)?
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:32 PM
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Easy...
2007-2008 Technology package (or better).
You get a nice, well-appointed MDX with built-in backup camera, navigation, satellite radio, with a great Honda J37A1 engine that DOESN'T consume oil.
Reliable, and the best of all worlds.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:39 PM
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07-09 are pretty good. (08-09 are even better than 07.) As others said, they have radiator issues. But that can be fixed after $150. The other common issues are even minor. My 07 still gets 21 mpg on average. (23+ only highway at 70 mph, no AC.) So I chuckled seeing some 2019 RDX gets around 20 mpg. I don't drive much. So my 07 (bought new) only has 102k miles. Nothing to show off on mileage.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:23 PM
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This is a super interesting topic!
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:29 PM
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I too am thinking about going back to Acura from Lexus as I currently have a Lexus that 3 big issues have come up in a matter of 3 weeks time.
so im wondering what’s the most all around Reliable mdx
to consider making the switch back to.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:06 PM
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Best reliability is in this order 2009, 2008, then 2007.
The worse years are 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013...Sorry to anyone that has one of these and doesn't burn oil (yet).
Be aware that you are buying a 10 to 12 year old car, not a newer one.
The MDX has a rubber timing belt ($1400 to 1600 to replace) that needs to be changed every 7 years or 105,000 miles, which ever comes 1st.
The "Sport" model has electronic shocks that only last around 35,000 miles and are about $1,000 each to replace.
As with any Acura or Honda vehicle, take it to a transmission shop and pay them to check it out before you buy it.

I am looking for a SUV for my daughter. Price range between $28,000 and $35,000.
I'm shopping for a 2016 Honda AWD Pilot, 2015 Highlander 2wd Limited, or 2014 Toyota 4x4 4Runner Limited.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:10 PM
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I know 2001-02 had horrible transmissions, 2003-04 were tolerable. 2005-06 were pretty solid, but still watch it.


2007-09 had the radiator rust thing, right?

2010-13 evidently seem to burn oil, hit or miss.

2007-13 had the stupid electric shocks. If they go, you can swap them to the base shocks.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:04 AM
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Thanks for the items to watch it for especially the oil burning. U would think that with a oil burning issue that Acura would have come
up with a fix for that but nonetheless I will definitely keep this in mind
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:07 PM
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I’ve currently got my eye on a 2012 mdx with the advance pkg. if I should go this route should I keep an eye out on burning oil issues w this one?
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:59 PM
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My 2012 has around 38k miles, and haven't had any issues - mainly city driving. Reliable as ever.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by matts6887 View Post
I’ve currently got my eye on a 2012 mdx with the advance pkg. if I should go this route should I keep an eye out on burning oil issues w this one?
Advance model has the magnetic shocks that folks warn you about with the premature failure. Just double check and make sure they are good. If and when they do fail, you can switch to the shocks for the 2012 MDX base or tech model for better reliability and cheaper maintenance.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by matts6887 View Post
I’ve currently got my eye on a 2012 mdx with the advance pkg. if I should go this route should I keep an eye out on burning oil issues w this one?

Some do, some don't.

Check the oil, see if it's low.

Better yet, have a shop look at it. Also, it may have the active damper struts, if so, they may fail spontaneously. In this case, you can convert them to the base struts relatively easily.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:57 AM
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Diagnosing for oil consumption issues when buying the 10-13 MDX is almost next to impossible, Unless the owner allows you to drive it for more than +500 miles in the test drive...
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Skirmich View Post
Diagnosing for oil consumption issues when buying the 10-13 MDX is almost next to impossible, Unless the owner allows you to drive it for more than +500 miles in the test drive...
I hear you can smell if the oil smells burnt, but that may only be in bad cases.

Why not just sit parked in it for an hour and keep it revved up to 4K rpm, then check it again....

Last edited by Midnight Mystery; 01-07-2019 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Fucker
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:04 AM
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My 11 MDX Adv+Ent with +122,000 miles had both front and rear ADS magnetic struts/shocks replaced (fronts at 35k, rears at 107k). Both were covered under the basic warranty or Acura Care. I burn around 2/3 - 1 quart of oil per 9000 mile oil change interval. It has been mostly routine maint with tires, battery, fluid/filter changes, and wiper blades since I purchased used in 2014 with 30k. The only other extra repair item only related to the Adv model was I replaced both front seat heaters (covered under Acura Care). I will convert to regular struts/shocks if the ADS goes out again.

The issue I'm starting to run into with my 06 TSX (+152K) and 08 RDX (+158K) is age and mileage related failures like:
- coil pack
- control arm
- camber kit
- end links
- front/rear struts/shocks
- alternator
- P/S pump
- P/S rack
- A/C compressor
- door actuator
- radiator reservoir hose
- leaky seals

Planning to keep my 11 MDX for a few more years; but, I am planning for age related problems just like my TSX/RDX will happen. The 1st Gen MDXs are really retirement age; but, still working (kinda like being 65-75 years old and still going to work). The 2nd Gen MDXs are on the final stretch with the 12-13 MDX having the benefit of being more reliable because of being last in the model run. There is also the possibility being covered by ADS magnetic suspension and oil consumption 100k extended warranties longer since they are newer.

I'm with justnspace with leaning towards a newer vehicle like the 15 MDX tech or Adv model. I saw a 15 Adv MDX for $25K with 35K with all the future proof tech you could want.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:54 AM
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Well I would definitely have a acura dealer service department inspect it before buying it and try and get the selling dealer to cover any issues that need to be addressed like the timing belt etc
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mrgold35 View Post
My 11 MDX Adv+Ent with +122,000 miles had both front and rear ADS magnetic struts/shocks replaced (fronts at 35k, rears at 107k). Both were covered under the basic warranty or Acura Care. I burn around 2/3 - 1 quart of oil per 9000 mile oil change interval. It has been mostly routine maint with tires, battery, fluid/filter changes, and wiper blades since I purchased used in 2014 with 30k. The only other extra repair item only related to the Adv model was I replaced both front seat heaters (covered under Acura Care). I will convert to regular struts/shocks if the ADS goes out again.

The issue I'm starting to run into with my 06 TSX (+152K) and 08 RDX (+158K) is age and mileage related failures like:
- coil pack
- control arm
- camber kit
- end links
- front/rear struts/shocks
- alternator
- P/S pump
- P/S rack
- A/C compressor
- door actuator
- radiator reservoir hose
- leaky seals

Planning to keep my 11 MDX for a few more years; but, I am planning for age related problems just like my TSX/RDX will happen. The 1st Gen MDXs are really retirement age; but, still working (kinda like being 65-75 years old and still going to work). The 2nd Gen MDXs are on the final stretch with the 12-13 MDX having the benefit of being more reliable because of being last in the model run. There is also the possibility being covered by ADS magnetic suspension and oil consumption 100k extended warranties longer since they are newer.

I'm with justnspace with leaning towards a newer vehicle like the 15 MDX tech or Adv model. I saw a 15 Adv MDX for $25K with 35K with all the future proof tech you could want.
Believe ne if I could afford to go that route and get a 15 I would but seeing as how my credit is complete $$$$ (u fill it in) and I have my dad co signing with me; there’s no way he cause he’s helping me w payments for now can afford that as the payments are probably over 400/month
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:03 PM
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Time related issues are pretty much non-existent.. You use the car and you wear it down is as simple as that, Suspension items are not meant to last for ever so IF YOU USE IT? CHANGE IT... As for my 2007 MDX? it has been pretty much bulletproof, I havent had any single serious issue (Drivetrain wise) with it and its now sitting at 114K with 40k being on the shitty streets of Baja México which means it has felt some wild and impressive pot holes. So yeah this thing is a tank….
I am 100% confident that the lighter and nimbler yet weaker 3rd gen MDX suspension will have issues faster than the 2g MDX hands down no questions asked.

I cant speak for other years of the 2g but being mine the first run of the 2nd gen? I can only praise the 2nd gen MDX, I plan to keep it until the engine cant go any further the same as my TL-S..

Last edited by Skirmich; 01-07-2019 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Skirmich View Post
Time related issues are pretty much non-existent.. You use the car and you wear it down is as simple as that, Suspension items are not meant to last for ever so IF YOU USE IT? CHANGE IT... As for my 2007 MDX? it has been pretty much bulletproof, I havent had any single serious issue (Drivetrain wise) with it and its now sitting at 114K with 40k being on the shitty streets of Baja México which means it has felt some wild and impressive pot holes. So yeah this thing is a tank….
I am 100% confident that the lighter and nimbler yet weaker 3rd gen MDX suspension will have issues faster than the 2g MDX hands down no questions asked.

I cant speak for other years of the 2g but being mine the first run of the 2nd gen? I can only praise the 2nd gen MDX, I plan to keep it until the engine cant go any further the same as my TL-S..
Agreed 100% that any car will eventually wear down, so it's up to the buyer to get what he/she wants and be ready to maintain it. I honestly can say our MDX had been solid. We've put over 90K miles with only regular maintenance so far in the past 4 years of ownership. I was rear ended last year and thankfully the damage was minor (tow hitch took the brunt force) while the 2 other vehicles that were totaled. I love the 3G look, but the 2G MDX had the right fit of performance, reliability, features, tech, and options for us and we are happy we picked it over the other SUVs we cross shopped at the time.

Last edited by nats007; 01-07-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Skirmich View Post
...I can only praise the 2nd gen MDX, I plan to keep it until the engine cant go any further the same as my TL-S..
Same!

I'll keep my MDX and my 03 CL-S until they're dead or one of my daughters wants one. The Toyota truck is all mine tho
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by R J Poseidon 6 View Post
Same!

I'll keep my MDX and my 03 CL-S until they're dead or one of my daughters wants one. The Toyota truck is all mine tho
smart thinking!. I can guarantee those older gen toyotas are effing bulletproof!. My sisters husband has a friend that had a 85 or 86 toyota tacoma pickup and by the time he sold it; it had 500,000! yes! 500,000 BIG miles on it and it was still going! original engine original transmission! dont ask me how but Im not totally surprised as they just dont make them like the 80s and 90s vehicles anymore lol
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by nats007 View Post
Agreed 100% that any car will eventually wear down, so it's up to the buyer to get what he/she wants and be ready to maintain it. I honestly can say our MDX had been solid. We've put over 90K miles with only regular maintenance so far in the past 4 years of ownership. I was rear ended last year and thankfully the damage was minor (tow hitch took the brunt force) while the 2 other vehicles that were totaled. I love the 3G look, but the 2G MDX had the right fit of performance, reliability, features, tech, and options for us and we are happy we picked it over the other SUVs we cross shopped at the time.
Indeed; i too agree!. A lot of it is about how well one maintains their own vehicle. Obviously; if one wants theirs to last a long time; well then proper maintenance has to be followed like the changing of fluids and other repairs etc to be done as needed. I think this applies imo more to acura/honda and toyota then other brands per say but everyone probably has their own opinion on this and to that i say to each their own.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by nats007 View Post
Advance model has the magnetic shocks that folks warn you about with the premature failure. Just double check and make sure they are good. If and when they do fail, you can switch to the shocks for the 2012 MDX base or tech model for better reliability and cheaper maintenance.
thanks for the heads up on this. I will make sure to have these inspected if i end up going this route and getting the vehicle I will have it inspected prior to buying it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:19 PM
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Best year MDX to buy + 3.7 oil consumption recommendations

I'm in the same situation. Trying to find a gently used 2012/13 tech or possibly a 2015/16 tech. I prefer the 2012/13 model tho. The oil consumption thing on the 3.7 is big a concern. I have a 2013 TL AWD tech. Same engine. Anything 2011 & older is in the final stretch I think. From what I've read the 2012/13 is a solid choice, while the 2014 is a concern because of the model change and the transmission concerns.

Regarding the 2012/13 model I recently went to talk to a couple of mechanics about the oil consumption issue & how to tell (possibly) if the vehicle you're looking at has the oil issue now.
Their recommendations...
1. Look closely at the tailpipes - if there's a significant build up of carbon on them investigate further. Specifically - wipe your finger on the inside of the chrome piece and if there is 'a lot' of oily residue you are likely looking at a 3.7 with the oil consumption issue. On my TL I can usually clean the residue off completely when I wash the car. To date, this car hasn't developed the issue (fingers crossed).
2. Examine the oil on the dipstick closely. This works better with a car that hasn't had it's oil changed in awhile - i.e., > 1 month. If the oil looks too clean it's an indication the oil has been refreshed regularly.
3. As someone else mentioned in this thread - smell the oil. It can reveal if there's some issue going on.
4. They both agreed that if you're really suspicious and want to investigate more - a compression test could be helpful.

Both these guys are experienced, skilled technicians and one is an Acura tech & MDX owner too, so he should have solid advice IMO. But, in the end, with any used car, you're rolling the dice. If you can find one with complete maintenance records, ideally a one owner, clean Carfax, and mileage on the lower then average side - I'd say you're probably about 1/2 way to ensuring it's a good car.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:58 PM
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^^^^^
1.- Is bollocks.. The 3.7L starts up very rich so Exhaust Soot is always present even on healthy non-consumption engines.
2.- Makes no sense, so If I take care of my car then I am consuming oil?
3.- Yeah engine oil will smell like engine oil as the oil consumption issue actually burns the oil in the combustion chamber there is no residue left in the engine oil.
4.- Both will be wrong as consumption issues on the J37 is not tied to compression but rather loose control rings which allow oil to reach the combustion chamber.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:49 PM
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Don't sugar coat it -- tell us all what you really think. LOL!
1. Agreed the 3.7 runs rich - but was the point 'excessive deposits' versus normal. The issue of the excessive oily residue was the point, rather than the regular stuff we all get - which is typically more of a dry, flaky soot type residue. If you run your finger through it and it's oily and not the dry flaky type of residue, it might be an indicator.
2. Missed the point - the oil after >1 month is different from the just changed oil. I too look after my cars - to excess frankly. The oil appearance (clear vs brown/black) and odour immediately after an oil change is different than that of even a month or two later (more of a sulphur smell present the older oil gets). Again, it was one point in the chain of suggested approaches to determining if a car might have the oil consumption issue.
3. Yup, oil smells like oil, we can agree on that.
4. Poor compression can be a helpful tool to rule things out or direct you to potential sources of problems. A leak-down test will also provide other answers. Loose control rings? Others have also suggested PCV units as a potential culprit, or improper oil viscosity. In any case, compression/leak-down tests can reveal problems areas and provide answers to what is, or isn't, an issue.

The only true way to resolve the question of the health of an engine is to test it - or tear it down. These suggestions were in the testing sphere versus the other more drastic option.

Personally, I prefer the old Ferrari tune up approach: redline the carbon out!
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:37 AM
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Mobil 1 likes to darken itself out with heat so my freshly added oil will darken by the week every time.
But I digress its impossible to diagnose the oil consumption issues without an extended interval of driving the car, This is why Honda needs at least 1000miles to even say there is a problem.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:57 AM
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If a State Emission Center can put a nozzle over the tail pipe and read the various chemicals and residual to come up with a list of values to determine that you either passed or failed the test, why can't those numbers be used to determine how much oil burning is contributing to said values.?
Someone should be able to look at the test results and know which fields are "off" due to burning oil.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:09 AM
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I just put a deposit down on a used 2012 mdx with under 75000 miles on the clock. Should I be overly concerned about this oil burning issue? Or IF i end up with this mdx(not totally sure need to get finances etc in order) should i just keep a close eye on it and just check the oil level every day or every other day and just keep some bottles of oil on hand?
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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Acura just announced a 100k extended warranty for the oil consumption issue for Canadian MDX. Just a matter of time before it is extended to USA MDXs under 100,000 miles. I can't remember the time limit? The extended warranty for magnetic struts/shocks was only 7yrs/100,000 miles; which, left early model MDX Sport models out in the cold.

My 06 TSX with +152K uses zero oil between 5K oil change intervals. My 08 RDX with +158K uses about 2/3 of a quart every 5K. My 11 MDX with +122K uses a little under 1 quart every 9000K. It not a 100% check; but, I would check the engine oil cold on the 12 MDX and double-check the oil life % on the M.I.D. to get a "guess-i-mation" of oil consumption. This is assuming the owner hasn't topped off the oil, over filled the oil during last change, or the oil looks new like it has been recently changed (you can change the oil without resetting the M.I.D.).

I noticed my dip stick oil level for my MDX can change if the MDX isn't 100% level. Any lean to one side or the other, inclines, or declines could effect the dip stick level.

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Old 01-09-2019, 04:08 PM
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Do you aggree that the RDX dipstick may be the single worst part on the car?
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:57 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by matts6887 View Post
I just put a deposit down on a used 2012 mdx with under 75000 miles on the clock. Should I be overly concerned about this oil burning issue? Or IF i end up with this mdx(not totally sure need to get finances etc in order) should i just keep a close eye on it and just check the oil level every day or every other day and just keep some bottles of oil on hand?
In MDXes that consume oil, the oil that is lost eventually clogs the catalytic converters. You buy new catalytic converters and they do their job of protecting the environment, but they are going to get clogged sooner or later.
You have to stop the loss of oil. That means a ring job.
In an effort to have less friction between the cylinder walls and the piston rings, Acura used a "Nikasil lining" on the cylinder walls, from 2010 - 2013. The rings wear faster because they are softer than the lining and oil gets by.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Carpayment4life View Post
In MDXes that consume oil, the oil that is lost eventually clogs the catalytic converters. You buy new catalytic converters and they do their job of protecting the environment, but they are going to get clogged sooner or later.
You have to stop the loss of oil. That means a ring job.
In an effort to have less friction between the cylinder walls and the piston rings, Acura used a "Nikasil lining" on the cylinder walls, from 2010 - 2013. The rings wear faster because they are softer than the lining and oil gets by.
the one that I’m loking at has less than 75000 on the clock. Do u think it would have already happened at this point and what should I look for as a easy indicator that I’m in for trouble as far as clogging the cats go?
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