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Acura MDX Care and Maintenance



  • boom3boom3 Posts: 2
    My 2001 MDX is about ready for brake pad replacement, dealer wants $570 to do it. Did you get the dealer to replace your brake pads or did you do it yourself? I've changed brake pads before on cars but never on a MDX, is it something to try or have a dealer/shop do it?
  • boom3boom3 Posts: 2
    My 2001 MDX is about ready for brake pad replacement, dealer wants $570 to do it. Is this a job that someone can do themself? I've changed brake pads before on cars but never on a MDX, is it something to try or have a dealer/shop do it?
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Honestly, I have not pulled the tires on my new '06 yet, but if you've done brakes on cars in the past, you know what to look for.

    My '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited was just as easy as any car brake job I had done, and the MDX is much more car/minivan like than the very off-road capable Jeep.

    I assume it should be a cake walk.

    Pulling a tire will tell you right away.
    If you can get to the calipers and the rotors are easlily removed, you're in business.
    Just a glance will tell you what you're in for.

    And for half of that $570 price, you should be able to replace all 4 Rotors and install Lifetime replacement pads.
    I know a lot of people go Ceramic, but I still swear by Bendix Semi-Metalic brake pads.
    Quiet, awesome stopping power, last a long time, have a lifetime replacement warranty, and not too bad in the brake dust department. (I also wax my wheels)

    And with all new parts, the install is quick and painless.
    Just remember to clean up and lube your Caliper slides.

    Best of luck!
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I see there is an NHTSA Service Bulletin dated Sept 2003 on MDX EGR valves. All systems on this complex truck should be kept up-to-date, but $300 sounds rather steep.

    EPA Report says: "2001/2 MDX EGR valve warranty was extended to 8 yrs/80,000 miles.....Mfr Recall # is WER-02-038-00, Acura service bulletin # 05-019"

    A good source is have to sign-up and provide an email address. Much of the info is free. Copies of bulletins can be purchased from a third party.

    I too purchased my 2001NAVI when there was a four month wait for them. After 53000miles my report:

    - Replaced the Goodyears with CrossTerrains at 44,000
    - Had the 2nd gear lube jet added under the Trans. recall
    - Had the front springs replaced under the corrosion recall
    - No EGR issues, yet
    - Plastic Leather ("Pleather") arm rests in the doors and center console begain to disintegrate leaving sticky/tacky surface, Acura replaced out-of-warranty
    - Poorly designed clips holding the back panel of drivers seat would no longer hold the panel up, Acura replaced entire panel in-warranty
    - 52,000 miles replaced the brake pads myself, in my opinion, front rotors were marginally designed and do tend to warp, new pads removed any pulsing I saw during high speed braking, I will look to replace with vented and slotted aftermarket rotors some time [Acura service depts using this as a money maker, charging folks to replace rotors that have been warped ("hot spots") - the rotors should have been designed to handle the heat of stopping a truck of this size]
    -53,000 updated the Navigation system DVD, new DVD contains more information which slows down the old processor as it sorts for an acceptable route, still the best navi system I've seen and its been in Hondas for over six years.

    This vehicle was first to offer the third row seat in a modest sized SUV. Still getting 22+ mph on highway trips.

    Biggest complaint has been the fact that it is a door ding magnet. Honda is just starting to understand how build really big (wide) vehicles to survive the "urban jungle".

    Crossing my fingers as I approach 60k, 70k ,and 80k with the original transmission design. Would probably have bought a Pilot fully-loaded if they have been available. :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Summary TSB info is available in the Edmunds Maintenance Guide. The NHTSA has them too (and occasionally full text is available there free).

    Sometimes you can get your service writer to burn you a copy of a TSB. Alldata sells full text but Honda TSBs aren't available.

    Steve, Host
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    boom3 -

    You've probably serviced the brakes by now but,

    I did my 01 MDX pads myself. Not much different from a standard car disc brake job. I used the OEM replacements and paid around $140 for all four wheels (which included the anti-squeal grease and shims).

    If you have to turn the rotors due to warping, thats another story.

    If you have to replace the rotors due to loss of thickness or severe warping, note that the hub nut is deformed after it is installed (as a locking feature) and you will need to replace these.

    In my experience the dealers have been very aggressive in selling new rotors to uninformed customers. Have them measure the thickness of each rotor and give you a comparison of the actual thickness to the minimum service thickness. [And tell them you want the old rotors once they change them out - this may prevent them from "pulling a fast one".] The cheapest (not recommended) each new rotor goes for on-line (you need four) is about $60.

  • 2002 mdx needs front pads & rotors. I have had good luck with Acura OEM parts. Does anone know what company makes the MDX discs and pads for Acura? Should I be looking at upgrading, I like to get discs and pads that have long life.
  • has a large selection of brake components and descriptions that include OEM information. I would try and upgrade to slotted or drilled rotors if it works for you. :shades:
  • Having owned mycar for 1 month/550 miles, I noticed that if I let loose the steering wheel the car tends to run off to the left border of the lane it is on. However, I am not 100% sure if the lane is purely straight. Is there a better way to check this? Or just go talk to the dealer about my suspicion?

    Any idea?

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Talk to the dealer.

    If the road has excessive crown, there's a slight chance of the car slightly heading in that direction... but my 06 MDX flies perfectly straight! ;)
  • Had one service technician sit in my car and he acknowledged it needs alignment. According to him such a problem could occur when the new cars were shipped from factory to the dealership.

    Paid nothing as it is one month old and problem is not normal wear and tear.

    Thanks scottm123.
  • heart2heart2 Posts: 38
    Have new '06MDX which will be kept outside (New England) all year around. What wax is best for decent protection and still reasonable in terms of labor to use as reaching the top is "fun" since I am more use to sedans.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    If you want a very easy on/off application with great results, try Meguiars NXT Generation Tech Wax

    It's very easy to apply, wipes off without any power or residue, and the results are phenomenal.
    I've got an 06 MDX Touring, Sage Brush Pearl.
    After waxing, in the sun, it looks like you could go swimming in the finish.

    I use this on my wheels as well. It makes for very easy removal of brake dust.

    I suggest applying approx every 3 months.
    The NXT-Generation Car Wash is fantastic as well.
    It PH Balanced and wont remove your newly applied wax.
  • heart2heart2 Posts: 38
    Thanks. Put on the NXT wax this past weekend and it looks great. It did go on and off easily. Took some time....that is a lot of metal. Esp. loved doing the roof standing on a stool(and I'm 6'2"). Even though it is kept outside hope it does last the entire 3 months as I will have to start using a commercial car wash soon.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    commercial car wash????? :cry:

    There's no worse thing that can be done to your vehicle than a commercial car wash.
    I know winter is coming and it's horribly cold outside, but I suggest waiting for those warmer days (ie, above freezing) and doing it with the self-serve stalls.
    DO NOT use the brush, but just the wand with high pressure soap and rinse.
    You can keep a jelly blade in the car to remove most of the water, and a micro-fiber towel will quickly remove the rest.
    Your ride will come out dryer than the auto-wash, and you won't get those frozen lines of salty ice down the sides as you drive away.

    As for the wax, it's the sun that does most of the wax break-down... and the sun does it's evil abuse to our cars year round.

    Glad you tried the NXT... My MDX sparkles like crazy when I'm done... and yes, that's a very big car to wax (LOL).

    You'll notice that the wheels will still need a little soap and water to come clean, but no where near the work needed before they were waxed.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Wax is so last century. :shades:

    Mr_Shiftright, "Teflon Paint Sealants Revisited" #7, 10 Jul 2003 9:33 am

    Interesting recent paint article on Edmunds:

    "The difference [in paint] today is that resin is a waterborne polymer engineered at the molecular level. This works to lower air-polluting emissions when it's sprayed on, and it produces a long-lasting, UV-, tree sap- and bird-dropping-resistant finish. "Everything is done at a nano level," Cressy explains further. "There is new spraying equipment that atomizes the paint much more productively without overspray. And the paint often has an electric charge so it adheres better to the [oppositely charged] body. The technology around paint has changed more in the last 10 years than it had in the previous 60."

    Color's Bright Future
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Sorry Steve, but "long-lasting, UV-, tree sap- and bird-dropping-resistant finish" ???

    Tell that to the owners of the Acura TL who chose Nighthawk Black Pearl as their color.
    One thing you won't hear is that it's long-lasting, UV-, tree sap- and bird-dropping-resistant.

    Technically speaking, the easy to find, inexpensive to buy, easy to apply suggested NXT is synthetic, so it's not really a wax at all, it a sealant.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Adding to that, I don't believe it's a Teflon sealant, but all the same.
    Even the Teflon sealants need to be re-applied.

    Don't be fooled by the sealant protection package offered from just about every car dealer... their a complete waste of money.

    Take your new car home, give it a nice wash with a ph-balanced car wash (Not dish soap), clay the car to remove any remaining rail dust and microscopic debris, and then give it a nice coat of wax/sealant.

    Whatever product/method you choose... with a nice shiny car, life is good. :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I still clay occasionally but skip the wax. With a wagon and a minivan, I don't need the glamour. :shades:

    This one will suck you in if you aren't careful:

    Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair

    (not as bad as the Zaino one though, lol).
  • Got 2 children in car seats. Is there any accessory that I can use to cover the back and bottom of seats to protect from the car seat imprints/tears ? Currently I have towels underneath but was wondering if there is a better way.
  • heart2heart2 Posts: 38
    I have a 2 mo. old "06 MDX and have been washing it myself but weather now too cold and had to turn off the outside faucets. In past have noticed in commercial washes that attendant sometimes places plastic bag around rear wiper. Any purpose? Is there a possibility that these washes can harm the rear wiper?
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I have an 06 MDX and one of my main concerns was my 3 yr old's car seat ruining the seat like it did in my Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    Before taking delivery of the car, I went to Babies-R-Us and bought a seat protector.

    I have, for various reasons, removed her seat about a dozen times since taking delivery in May and the seats look as new as the day we bought the car.

    Here is a link to the product.
    Two Stage Car Seat Protection
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    This is a sore subject for me, because personally, I depise comercial car washes.
    Use the self serve if you worry about freezing the driveway, but never the machine!!!

    If you insist on using the machine...
    The bag is placed on the rear wiper because as the car goes through, the rags that hand down and swing about can get caught on the read wiper as the car passes through.
    If they get caught, the will tear the wiper clean off.
    The bag helps keep the rags from getting caught on the little edges of the wiper arms.

    Good luck! :shades:
  • Scottm123: Thanks!! Thats exactly what I am looking for. I recently bought a matching bench seat cover that goes over the entire 2nd row with towels hidden under the car seats. Now I can get rid of the towels. Also the bench seat cover may be too big on the 3rd row..haven't tried it yet.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    The bench seat cover will work great for keeping the leather clean.
    Adding this additional protection will keep your seats from getting those horrible indents, that never go away.

    The car seats fit so tightly that they dig into the padding beneath the leather.
    Over time, it ruins the seats.

    This car seat protector is thick enough that it protects from those dents.
    I'll never install a car seat without one again.
    And for the low cost, once it gets dirty and nasty, it's not so much to replace it.

  • Did you check the tire pressure in all the wheels ? A simple thing to rule out..who knows, may be you have a faulty tire/nozzle cap.
  • I would like to know if anyone had luck buying all-season floormat for the 3rd row ? Didn't see one at a local auto store.
  • My other car has the horrible indents from the car seats and along with the food stains the little critters made I doubt any adult would want to sit behind. Its an old car so don't care much about it. But I wouldn't want the same thing on my MDX. I got the bench cover at a local supermarket for $17 (sells for $40 in auto stores) and with $20 a piece (2 car seats) for the seat protector thats money well spent. While I'm at Babiesrus this weekend I'm also going to look for something that will protect the back of driver/passenger seat from all the shoe marks. :)
  • mformdxmformdx Posts: 12
    Update: the Two Stage Car Seat Protection was put to test over the weekend. My 3 year old threw up and made a big mess. The car seat and the seat protector got the brunt of it. Thrashed the car seat and hosed the seat protector. Its a good quality product. Its a must for car seats. Thanks scottm123 for recommending it. Also the seat cover added an extra protection and went straight into the washer. Everything is as good as new now :)
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