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2014 MDX 20,000 miles ... Carfax not showing oil change maintenance

kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
edited March 2016 in Acura
Hi,

I am about to buy an MDX 2014 awd. Car drives great , has 20,000 miles. It was a leased car, traded into a non-acura dealer. Not certified. Carfax shows only emission/inspection tests, Titles, etc and an oil/filter change at the dealership that is selling the car now.

My question is , knowing that carfax not always shows oil changes.... Is it possible to pass Emissions tests if the oil changes weren't done in the first 20,000 miles?

In the worst case, if the first owner (lease) did not ever oil change , Would the car have been inspected by the then ACURA dealer once a year and forced him to do so?

Am I taking a risk at buying this car? Will a PPI ensure the engine was ever damaged or oil change was never done ?

Pls advice !

THANKS
Kris

Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I suppose you could send an oil sample off to Blackstone, but I doubt that the dealer will hold the car for the time required to get the results back.
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    I doubt that...

    My point is if you did not do an oil change for the first twenty thousand miles wont the engine seize and heat up and destroy self?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016
    I'll pass and let @Mr_Shiftright or @thecardoc3 or someone else address that.

    I will note that the normal service oil change interval for this SUV is 7,500 miles so only two changes have potentially been missed and the next one would be due at 22,500 miles. That, and you're talking to a guy who thinks all intervals should be 20k or longer. I often let my intervals slide to 10k with regular oil after my car is out of warranty and I drive them forever.

    I personally wouldn't worry about it. You may want to spring $100 for a pre-purchase inspection, although predicting future engine reliability would be a roll of the dice. When you search the net for "Acura engine problems" you really don't get a lot of hits, seem to be more concerning transmission issues.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Lease returns are ordinarily done at a dealer who sells the brand. Acura has independent inspectors but they require lessees to return cars to an Acura dealer (link). I guess the question is why didn't the dealer keep the car? If it was because another dealer handled the return and kept it, could you take the MDX to Acura and get it certified? You may not want to incur that expense but it would be nice to know if this particular car would qualify.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's quite possible the oil changes were done privately or at a facility that doesn't record them. The dealer should be able to trace the car's maintenance records through the VIN if any Acura dealer did the changes.

    There may be minimal risk in case of a warranty claim on engine problems, but then anyone who changes their own oil runs this risk.

    As Stever said, without an oil analysis, anything that anyone says about future engine wear is pure speculation.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 133,743
    I wouldn't depend on CarFax for maintenance records.

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    If something does happen to engine due to no oil change in first 20 k miles....within standard warranty period ie 4yr 50k miles....
    Of which I still have some....Will it be covered?

    Assuming I buy the mdx.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If it could be proven that the oil wasn't changed, then the warranty would probably be denied (for engine work I mean--this would have nothing to do with the rest of the car's warranty).

    However, not every engine problem involves oil starvation or massive internal wear. If say your engine blew a head gasket, that's not necessarily related to oil changes. So even cars with regular oil changes can have engine issues.

    Just keep in mind that if you can't produce maintenance records by consulting with the dealer's database, it is conceivable that they might use this against you in the future----or not. It's not the dealer who has the final say anyway, it's the factory.
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    edited March 2016


    Just keep in mind that if you can't produce maintenance records by consulting with the dealer's database, it is conceivable that they might use this against you in the future----or not. It's not the dealer who has the final say anyway, it's the factory.

    Yeah but a perfectly maintained acura with oil changes done by self or in a mom& pop car repair that won't be recorded anywhere. How can Acura assume that it can only be done in a dealer or service place that would record (send it to carfax ) ?

    Can some one answer this :smile:
    So it is quite possible that the worst case no oil change till 20k miles and still there was enough good oil that made the drive to dealer and then they did the oil change?

    Will emissions test pass if the engine burned oil or was no oil or old oil ? The 1st owner did 2 emissions that passed.

    TIA :)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    kris2001 said:


    Yeah but a perfectly maintained acura with oil changes done by self or in a mom& pop car repair that won't be recorded anywhere. How can Acura assume that it can only be done in a dealer or service place that would record (send it to carfax ) ?

    The manufacturer cannot and will not assume anything. If there are no problems during the warranty period then its a mute point. If there is a failure and they then demand service records, and there aren't sufficient records to prove that it was serviced sufficiently. Then they have the right to decide to deny coverage if that is what they choose to do.
    kris2001 said:


    Can some one answer this :smile:
    So it is quite possible that the worst case no oil change till 20k miles and still there was enough good oil that made the drive to dealer and then they did the oil change?

    This is all subjective. Is it possible that the car was never serviced, yes it is possible.

    How far has the car been driven since the oil was changed at the dealer that it is at right now?

    Take a photo of the oil on the dipstick and upload it. If the engine was neglected the new oil will be darkening very quickly as it picks up remnants of the old oil. It really should be looking like it just came out of the bottle for hundreds of miles. That's the best that can be done at this time without any real records.
    kris2001 said:


    Will emissions test pass if the engine burned oil or was no oil or old oil ? The 1st owner did 2 emissions that passed.

    TIA :)

    Emissions testing has nothing to do with basic maintenance. The emissions test would not detect failures that may yet occur due to possible negligence of the lessee in the first couple years of ownership. 20K miles is not enough mileage to cause the kinds of problems that would affect the way that the car runs right now, even if it wasn't serviced. But the table could be set and by the 50K-60K mark that could be a different story even if it is serviced correctly from now on.

    If you are not certain of the vehicle's history, walk away from this choice. This is a by product of all of the advice to ignore shops and technicians who try and coach consumers into taking better care of their vehicles. They label us as greedy, and rip-offs when we really don't make a reasonable profit on basic services, and you will find no shortage of people who will boast about what they have gotten away with not doing. But none of them will be there to help you if/when you do have to deal with some issue especially if this car suffers a failure from a lack of service.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016

    If the engine was neglected the new oil will be darkening very quickly as it picks up remnants of the old oil. It really should be looking like it just came out of the bottle for hundreds of miles.

    Seems like we've been down this road before.

    Here's what a guy at Mobil says: (askpatty.com)

    "many oils will turn black in the first few hours of operation due to contaminants generated by the combustion process and soot particles."
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    Do I have to go outside, pull the dipstick on my Escape (153K now) which got its last oil change about 3000 miles ago and take a picture of it to upload?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    stever said:

    Here's what a guy at Mobil says: (askpatty.com)

    "many oils will turn black in the first few hours of operation due to contaminants generated by the combustion process and soot particles."

    Here is what it also say's further down that page.

    "For first time Mobil1 users, it may be possible that the black color of the oil indicates that the strong additive package formulated into Mobil 1 is actively removing deposits from the engine. "

    So, the question stands. How far has the car been driven since this dealer changed the oil, and what exactly does it look like right now? Upload photo.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016
    Mobil says you can go drive in LA for 3 hours in traffic not exceeding 30 mph and your oil will be dark in less than 100 miles.

    But we digress.

    @kris2001, it's not clear to me that you called a dealer with the VIN and asked them to check the maintenance records. Most dealers should be able to do that for you.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    Do you advocate for kris2001 buying that car or not? YES______ NO_______

    I have to vote no, because there is no way to resolve his concerns.
    stever said:

    Mobil says you can go drive in LA for 3 hours in traffic not exceeding 30 mph and your oil will be dark in less than 100 miles.

    But we digress.

    So Mobile says that in LA traffic, you can't go over thirty miles per hour and in three hours you'll have traveled less than one hundred miles. Wow, amazing stuff.
    stever said:


    @kris2001, it's not clear to me that you called a dealer with the VIN and asked them to check the maintenance records. Most dealers should be able to do that for you.

    As mentioned many times, you can't tell if the oil needs to be changed based on the color. That works BOTH ways as you have been shown because the oil life minder calls for servicing my Escape and the oil by appearance has very little discoloration. But you can tell if there have been deposits building in an engine by seeing if brand new oil shows coloring rapidly.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Unless it's the additives that are causing the "immediate" discoloration.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    stever said:

    Unless it's the additives that are causing the "immediate" discoloration.

    Is that a Yes______ or No______ for the OP?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016
    If the Acura dealer can verify the maintenance, then yeah.

    Seems like some other questionable stuff though, like why isn't it for sale at an Acura dealer, and who handled the lease return. The lessee may have just decided to buy a different make and let the selling dealer handle the return.

    And the other biggie is that we don't know the price. :D ;)

    Assuming a good price and a simple explanation of why it's at this dealer and not at an Acura dealer, then even with the lack of oil change records, I'd be fine with it. An immediate oil analysis could help if there ever became an engine warranty issue.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 133,743

    stever said:

    Unless it's the additives that are causing the "immediate" discoloration.

    Is that a Yes______ or No______ for the OP?

    I agree with the NO.. If you can't verify the maintenance (and, it worries you), then don't buy it.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    An immediate oil analysis could help if there ever became an engine warranty issue.

    Not really. They don't show anything but measurements of what is in the oil right now. That would not offset the lack of service records.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    But the analysis could indicate any issues (or highlight the absence of same). That throws the ball back in the dealer and manufacturer's court to try to show why a later engine failure is the result of the lack of two oil change records.

    The solution depends on who has the deepest pockets for the litigation or the best social media tactics for shaming the other party. :p
  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    edited March 2016
    Yeah but a perfectly maintained acura with oil changes done by self or in a mom& pop car repair that won't be recorded anywhere. How can Acura assume that it can only be done in a dealer or service place that would record (send it to carfax ) ?


    Only a very careless person would not service his car under warranty at a dealership.

    I would skip this car. No shortage of good cars around , especially CPOs.

    Or just buy it if you can knock down the price by few grand :smile:
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    A few grand? That's what the cost in parts alone would be to rebuild the engine for those that can do the work themselves! (machine work as required would be additional)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    stever said:

    But the analysis could indicate any issues (or highlight the absence of same).

    No it doesn't. If the oil had not been changed already then yes it could have been helpful, but not right after it's been changed. The only contaminants that would be found right now would be from what ever oil was left behind from the change which would be about half to three quarters of a quart. So while that "might" show some wear, it would at best represent less than 20% of what it would have shown prior to the service since the majority of the oil in the engine is now new and the sample is diluted.
    stever said:


    That throws the ball back in the dealer and manufacturer's court to try to show why a later engine failure is the result of the lack of two oil change records.

    It does? Lets see, we are having this conversation and the vehicle's service history is already in doubt. So why don't we make it even easier for them to prove that the O.P. knew what he was getting into?

    Caveat Emptor.

    For all we know this wasn't just a lease turn in, it might have been a repo. There are just too many questions here. But I do get where you are coming from. You want to be consistent in your position and suggesting service intervals less frequently than I would plays to your perspectives, so to be consistent you need to be able to recommend this car. I'm on the opposite end of that argument. I need proof because even a used car check at this point might not turn up the details that the O.P. really needs prior to purchasing this car. I always told my customers that used car checks were as much about helping them make a good choice as they were about not having them buy me a nightmare to deal with. You wouldn't have to lift a finger to help the O.P. if this car turned out to be a mistake and you have never been in the position to help someone first hand like I have done when they bought something they would have been better off without.

    So,,,,,,,

    Tell you what, if he buys this and its a mistake, are you going to pony up and help him pay for any non-warranty repairs? If so, then tell him YES______ or NO_______.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016
    Funny thing is, you could make the same argument even if all the records showed that service was done at the dealer. In other words, who knows if the work was actually done or if the correct oil was used? And would a pre-purchase inspection enable you to predict whether the engine was going to last 100,000 miles or if it was going to implode in two days? Shall I insert a big yes/no box for you? :D

    Bit of a crap shoot all the way around.

    Another reason why leasing is growing so popular?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    stever said:


    Another reason why leasing is growing so popular?

    Use it, abuse it, and leave it for someone else to deal with any problems.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    edited March 2016
    stever said:

    Funny thing is, you could make the same argument even if all the records showed that service was done at the dealer.

    We wouldn't be having this conversation if that was the case.
    stever said:



    In other words, who knows if the work was actually done or if the correct oil was used?

    Now your going to worry about THE CORRECT OIL? Do you mean the brand or the specification? :o

    If the dealer did it, then by contract Acura will stand behind them. If an independent did the service and provides valid documentation, then Acura would also accept it. This is where Magnusson-Moss applies. If you saw our repair orders they have met http://www.asashop.org/wp-content/uploads/ASA_QA_MotorOil.pdf for years.
    stever said:


    And would a pre-purchase inspection enable you to predict whether the engine was going to last 100,000 miles or if it was going to implode in two days? Shall I insert a big yes/no box for you? :D

    I'm not the one to dodge questions. Nothing is ever for certain. A pre purchase inspection allows for the tech to find what he/she can find right at that moment in time. Trying to predict the future as to whether something is going to fail in the future or not is a foolish endeavor, you might as well try and predict how Joe off the street is going to have the car serviced in the future even if he does buy it.
    stever said:


    Bit of a crap shoot all the way around.

    I'd like to put an end to that.

  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760

    stever said:


    Another reason why leasing is growing so popular?

    Use it, abuse it, and leave it for someone else to deal with any problems.

    That is why I never trust used cars. I bought back my own two leased cars as I knew I had cared for them lovingly :smile:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016

    In other words, who knows if the work was actually done or if the correct oil was used?

    If the dealer did it, then by contract Acura will stand behind them. If an independent did the service and provides valid documentation, then Acura would also accept it.

    Nah, the dealer and manufacturer will say you should have been using the severe service interval. :p

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Still with us @kris2001? And luck finding out the service info from a dealer?
  • kris2001kris2001 Posts: 17
    stever said:

    Still with us @kris2001? And luck finding out the service info from a dealer?

    Hi there!
    Can I make a point gentlemen LOL.
    Steve, The dealer called Acura nearby and got me a print out of the service record for 1st 22months. Clearly showed VIN (matches) and mileage ..." multipoint inspection done", "A1 service done" etc etc..repeating few times...
    They did mask out the name of the customer...I was still able to see his name , checked him in FB , he seems rich and is a local in that area lol.

    I bought that 2014 tech MDX awd today with a small deposit for 36,750 + T T T. ..Now the question is.. is doing a PPI still worth ?

    I am gonna call that ACURA dealer with the service record in hand and ask what they think , if they can do PPI . MOF they just last serviced the car...like 45 days ago.

    This guy can do that for $100 in his shop (2 hrs), I called him today.
    http://heistandauto.com/index.html

    What do you guys suggest?!
    Thanks
    Kris
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited March 2016
    lol, we did go off on a long tangent there. Sorry.

    I like the idea of calling (or visiting) the Acura dealer to see about establishing a relationship with them. They may know the car and be willing to disclose any prior problems (but those would have shown up in the records you got).

    @thecardoc3 likely knows Heistand and could weigh in there.

    $100 is cheap insurance but I might just rely on the records you got since it's newer, low mileage, and presumably still under some of the original warranty.

    And congrats!
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    edited March 2016
    Have them check it over.
    Manheim is an interesting area. The auto auction there is really something.
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