Acura RDX

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  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    Even a Honda will set you back around $400/yr.

    Not even close in my experience. I put on 12-15,000 miles a year on our recent Hondas and Subarus, and most years I spend roughly $25-50 on maintenance. The major 30K service on my last Subaru cost me about $60 and an hour of time. At the dealer it would have been about $200. I have never, ever, spent more than about $50 a year for maintenance on any of our cars in normal years, and even years with major services are generally $100-200 tops.

    The issue is when people follow dealership maintenance recommendations rather than what's given in the owner's manual. Dealerships always upsell/oversell the service. I am continually shocked when I hear friends or coworkers talk about yearly costs in the hundreds of dollars on cars that cost me well under $50 a year to maintain. Seriously, anyone who spends over $50-100 a year on their Hondas, even with dealer maintenance, needs to pay more attention.

    As an example, my wife's TSX has a 10,000 mile oil change interval with a 20,000 mile filter interval. The last oil-only change she got at the dealer was $16, and the oil+filter change was $21. If I weight-average those costs for a typical annual cycle, it's around $25 a year. When she needed a new air filter (at 30K I think) that was $35 including labor. This car costs less to maintain than our older Hondas and Subarus because of the longer intervals, but other than that the costs are inline with my expectations.

    I got free oil changes with my RDX (a dealer freebie) but will probably do the first one myself -- at 7200 miles the oil life indicator just hit 5%. That's going to cost me $21 (5 qts Mobil 1) + $6 (filter). At least for the next few of these cycles, the cost won't be any higher. For that vehicle, I should spend under $100 in total by the time I hit 30,000 miles, perhaps well under $100 if I take advantage of the free oil changes.

    So anyways, my point would be that $40/year is more typical for my Hondas, not anywhere near $400/year.

    Craig
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    As an example, my wife's TSX has a 10,000 mile oil change interval with a 20,000 mile filter interval

    I have no idea why Honda is telling people to not change their filter every time they do an oil change. In a decade of the auto business that is one of the top three stupid things I have seen from a manufacturer.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 223,789
    Well.. this thread started on Acura dealer service costs.. :)

    At the dealer... I'll stand by $400/yr.. Six Hondas and two Acuras.. by my own, admittedly anecdotal, experience.

    My Honda dealer charges $29.95 for an oil change.. Reasonable, I think.. If your Acura dealer charges $16, then they are either losing money, or they charge more upfront for the car to cover it.. (hey.. that works both ways! ;) ).

    Really... Not trying to compare total costs between the RDX and the X3.. But, for owners who use dealer service, the savings are significant. You have some sort of mutant Acura service department. Most 30K services at my local Acura service department run $300-$500, and hope you don't need brakes :surprise: .

    regards,
    kyfdx
    (not the host here)

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    He is doing the work himself.

    Even doing the oil change yourself though a real oil change schedule costs more then 50 bucks a year. Now if you are doing the silly 10,000 mile oil and 20,000 miles for a filter then yeah you can get buy with less then 50 bucks.

    I would hate to see an oil analysis of that oil though.
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    With all respect, I'd recommend that you also change the transmission fluid once a year. 3 quarts of Honda ATF = 3x $ 9 = 27 plus fifteen minutes of your time. I always done that and we never had to spend a penny on transmission repairs on any of our cars in the last 27 years. Also, change the coolant every 2 years, regardless of mileage. This is cheap insurance and peace of mind.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I think oil filters are probably better than people think they are. I've been thinking of going to a similar interval as well (I'm already going ~10k before changing my oil). I'm running "old" coolant and tranny fluid too.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    I think 10,000 is fine if you are using synthetic and a high quality filter( Puraltor Pure one, Amsoil Filter, Mobil 1 filter etc.) I ran that interval in my Pontiac with 140,000 miles and my brand new MINI as well.

    But 10,000 on just the oil and then using the old filter!!!!! No, that is not a good idea. You are reintrouducing half a quart or so of dirty oil to the system and most oil filters are still just using paper media. That stuff breaks down over time and the bypass valve kicks in.
  • stathisstathis Member Posts: 32
    With th RDX you have no choice: it tells you "Maintenance due", "A" or "B1", etc.
    "A" costs $100 and "B1" costs $220.
    On the subject of total cost of ownership:
    The RDX:
    -oil change due at 5K, so with 15K/yr that's $420/year
    -BMW V8 oil at 15K, $100.
    -30K service (transmission, brake, radiator fluids) $530 (RDX 'higher').
    -BMW V8 30K service $600.

    So obviously if you annualize the costs the RDX is around $650/yr.
    The BMW V8 around $400/yr.
    I haven't factored in the brake pads yet (don't have parts/interval data).
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    still just using paper media

    I think paper is good stuff myself; one of our Jeep members makes paper filter media although we couldn't drag him into the oil wars, lol. I like plain ol' dead dino too, in case you haven't heard my rant before. :shades:
  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    Actually, I have a lot of experience in this area (I am a mech engineer) and have sectioned numerous used filters to study them over the years. The Honda 20K filter interval is totally realistic when you consider all the factors (which I won't get into here). I actually appreciate that they are being smart about maintenance in an effort to reduce maintenance costs and be more environmentally friendly. On the other end of the spectrum, I think the 3000 mile oil/filter change interval is total overkill for most cars/people. One thing I like about the RDX is the oil life algorithm they use. I am on target for the first oil change at 7500 miles, which is about when I would have done it anyway.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    I bring our Hondas an Acuras to the local Honda dealer regardless of where we purchased them. I think the $16 oil-only change is a great deal.

    Maybe people pay that much for a 30K sevice, but anyone paying $300-500 is not paying attention to the owner's manual. There is not much more than an oil change, air filter, cabin air filter, and tire rotation at 30K. You don't have to question my experience, just look at the owner's manual on a recent model Honda/Acura and then do the math.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    With all respect, I'd recommend that you also change the transmission fluid once a year.

    In all my years of owning Hondas and Subarus, I stuck to the schedule for the trans fluid changes (typically 30K or 60K intervals). Since the cars make it well over 100K miles with no issues, I trust the factory intervals. It doesn't hurt to change more often (well, assuming something else doesn't go wrong because of the extra work on the car) but it does add to the ownership cost for the vehicle and is not good for the environment. Until my engineering experience or car ownership experience tells me otherwise, I am sticking to the factory intervals.
  • extech2extech2 Member Posts: 120
    While I didn't keep track, my estimate is that I had to replace or overhaul approx. 350-400 Honda and Acura automatic transmissions from 1978 to 2000, which was my last year in the car business. Perhaps 60% of the cars had less than 100 thousand miles on them, and some were maintained well while others were neglected. Most of them had a common fault, like the 2nd gear clutch pack breaking up on 84 - 89 Accords, or the countershaft / mainshaft locknut coming loose due to poor design. My observation was that the Civics were more reliable than the Accords, maybe on account of the weaker engine.
    Back then a quart of ATF sold for $1.50. It is much higher now. I suspect it is the same fluid as the old one with some additives mixed in, and it is sure a nice profit maker for Honda or any other manufacturer pushing their own transm. fluids.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I doubt Acura owners are actually spending $400 a year. Maybe at the 30k mile service (usually in the 3rd year), but that's about it.

    BMW service is expensive but keep in mind it's only once per year and even then only after the 4th year is up.

    Neither one of these cost as much to maintain as people are claiming.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Maintainance costs can vary from the cost of my purchasing an oil/air/pollen filter maybe once a year up to $1000 a year for those out there naive enough to swallow the dealer "line", hook, line, and sinker.

    There is no special 30k or 60k recommended service schedule and the 90k can be ignored.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I think many of us are still in the mindset of 3000 miles oil changes and services at 15k, 30k, 45k, and 60k. Nowadays intervals are much longer and tune-ups don't happen until after 100k!

    Dealers still what that income, though, since they don't really make profits on new car sales.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 223,789
    I think almost every Honda is on the 10K service interval now... The CR-V has been on it since 2002, and I think the Accord got it in 2003.

    And yet, my dealer still has everything set up for 7500 mile intervals, and they still put the sticker on your window recommending another oil change in 3 months or 3000 miles.. :surprise:

    The BMW dealer, on the other hand.. If you ask about bringing your car in before the service interval (approx 15K), they look at you like you have two heads... "Why would you want to do that?!"

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  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    The BMW dealer, on the other hand.. If you ask about bringing your car in before the service interval (approx 15K), they look at you like you have two heads... "Why would you want to do that?!"

    Of course they act incredulous. They're paying for it.

    That has nothing to do with providing honest service.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 223,789
    Umm.. no.. Extra maintenance is out of your own pocket. They seriously don't see a need for it.

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  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    My mistake, I see what you mean.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 223,789
    It's hard... Your whole life, they tell you to change the oil, change the oil, change the oil.. :)

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Just wait for the service minder. Those things are a great idea, IMO. :shades:
  • song1song1 Member Posts: 3
    I recenetly purchased a RDX base model and the car is just great. I did notice one issue with the climate control fan. When the climate control is set to "auto". during traffic stops, one can hear the clicking sound of the fan (I believe it is the fan) goes on and off very frequently. It turns on for 5-8 seconds then turns off for 3-5 seconds. It goes on and off all the time during stops. I called up the dealer adn they told me do not worry about it. Have any of you experienced the same?
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    May not be the fan. May be the compressor.
  • carlitos92carlitos92 Member Posts: 458
    Probably is the compressor - it would be very inefficient to start/stop an electric fan quickly like that. I suppose there is too much finesse to Acura's engineering to really "sense" the compressor kick in. In some cars I've owned, you could either feel the pulley clutch lock, or see the engine rpms waver - or even worse, get warm(er) air when the compressor shut off...
  • stathisstathis Member Posts: 32
    I hear the same fan as well going on and off all the time in my RDX in very short intervals.
  • song1song1 Member Posts: 3
    I think I am going to call Acura hotline 1-800-382-2238 to see what they say about this.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    I would be very surprised if the RDX's A/C compressor is not of the newer swash-plate variable displacement design wherein the electromagnetic clutch remains engaged as long as A/C is "enabled".

    In the alternative my best guess would be that you are hearing the relay, if not the fan itself, that turns the electric cooling fan on and off for the radiator and A/C condensor "stack". It would clearly be more/most active when stopped and even moreso with the A/C in use.
  • carlitos92carlitos92 Member Posts: 458
    You may be right about the compressor (I've no idea what a swash-plate is) but I still contend that a fan operating in 5 second intervals doesn't make sense. The engine cooling fan, for example, wouldn't make a difference in liquid temperature in that short of a time, nor would the cooling system be able to react that fast.

    I'll be curious to see what it is. Song1, be sure to report back. In the meantime, I'll go watch my engine compartment while idling... gas prices may be going up, but this seems like a learning experience and worthy cause. ;)
  • song1song1 Member Posts: 3
    I called up the Acura hot line. But they do not seem to have a clue about even what I was talking about. Please do let me know whether you observe the same.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    I think Acura can postion the RDX as more of an X3 competitor.

    The RDX should be styled more as a mix of TL and TSX. The RDX should use the J32 but tuned to 260hp and 240lbs ft going through SH-awd from a 7AT.

    Why 7at, lexus has 8AT already and All mb use a 7AT. So a 7AT will put acura in front of BMW.

    The RDX should be literally an SUV of the TL and TSX instead of a weird Cr-v twin. Extend the wheel base a bit also to make room for cargo.

    Also some rear options like rear heated seats (x3 has them), a bmw x5 like dvd player and reclining seats. A panorama roof would be nice too!

    AND WHAT ABOUT THE RDX HAS IT A 4K LBS!! The bigger MDX weighs a bit more but it is a bigger SUV with a 3rd row and more tech.

    -Cj
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Remember that the X3 is priced well, well above the RDX. A fully loaded X3 is over 50,000 USD sticker. Acura cannot play in that league right now. People will pay more for the Roundel.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    yup thats true but also consider that now is when acura is pushing their way upscale (their reason for dropping the RSX). The best way to do it is to make the RDX competitive. IMO, the turbo wasn't the best way to go about it. The 2.3l turbo is best for cars like the TSX, CSX, and RSX.

    The best engine and the engine acura should be using for the RDX is the J32 (3.2l v6 with 258hp in the acura TL). That 3.2 is the best way for the RDX to go to have an edge on the x3. If bmw puts out an x3 using the 335i's engine, then acura should drop that turbo into the 3.2 to keep up.

    Also acura had better bump this puppy up before mercedes enters with their GLK and Audi with their Q5. Heck, even the LR2 is giving the x3 a run for its money. Now is when acura should really step up to the plate and go all out while they have a chance.

    Mercedes may use the 3.5l v6 from the c350 and get 250hp(higher than the RDX) and Audi can use the 3.6 and get 280hp(40 hp more than the Rdx!)!

    Would you buy an X3 if the RDX had better performance at a lower price? I'm sure that switching the 2.3T for the j32 isn't going to bump the RDX that much in price if at all

    My answer would be yes but only with a J30, J32, or J35 engine because this fuel thirsty 4cyl turbo isn't cutting it for me.

    image

    -Cj
  • dyoung46dyoung46 Member Posts: 2
    I am 6'2". Went for a test drive, got in the passenger seat first and my knees were right up against the glove box area, Tried to put it back but wouldn't budge. Got in the Drivers seat and all was fine. Looked at the Leg Room and other vital stats vs the competition and it would seem very close 1" diif c/ MB ML320. Can't believe the pass seat legroom is different than the drivers seat but my experience was what it was. Close to buying for my wife, she's only 5'4" Please give feedback if possible.
    Thanks Dennis
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    A V6 would be nice from a refinement perspective (I agree), but it would not be faster. The turbo 4 actually provides more torque from 2-4K rpms. That torque is needed to motivate a 4,000 lbs vehicle. So far, the RDX has proven to be faster in a straight line and through corners when compared with an X3.

    The performance angle is covered. Acura trumps the BMW.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    Well when you put it like that... Maybe all the RDX needs is a 6AT to boost that highway mileage. I just hope bmw doesn't drop the 3.oT into the x3 otherwise acura will be out of luck... Hopefully that 2.2l CTDI diesel engine can make it to the RDX but with twin turbo power!!

    Still, i wonder, what makes the RDX weigh 4k lbs! Is it Sh-awd? I noticed that the RL weighs 4k lbs and as does the MDX...

    -Cj
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    But the X3 still trumped the Acura overall, in the recent C & D comparo. ;)
  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    The number of gears has nothing to do with the highway mileage, it would be the gear ratio in the top gear that matters. People get way too hung up on the number of gears, when in reality it only affects gear spacing and shift behavior. I have a 6-spd in my other car and it turns about twice the RPMs as the RDX's 5-spd at highway speeds.

    The current RDX 5-spd is quite good, and the top gear is fairly tall. The engine almost lugs along in 5th gear at speeds in the 60-65mph range and doesn't really get comfy until 70mph and up. One thing they definitely don't want to do is make that top gear any taller.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Member Posts: 4,487
    In terms of performance, C&D was very clear about the RDX versus the X3 -- I would say that Varmint's statement is correct. Their complaints about the RDX centered on the ride (too rough) and the engine. I can understand why they might like the BMW I-6 better than a turbo-4, but the ride comments puzzle me coming from a performance oriented car magazine. Perhaps the RDX's ride would have seemed more appropriate if they tested it against sport sedans. Personally, I find the ride/handling balance to be ideal -- I can't imagine a better compromise. But then again that's what appeals to me about the RDX and makes it stand out. Maybe they were expecting a typical SUV ride in which case the ride stands out in the wrong way.

    And, of course, the X3 with the sport package and 18" wheel/tire combo probably would have garnered the same comments about ride (they said as much in a side note).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The original X3 rode very stiffly, but they softened it up. Even without the big wheels, it was too stiff for my standards, and I daily drive a Miata!
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Agreed the original X3 was ridiculously stiff. The only luxury SUV with a worse ride would be a Cayenne.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    If BMW drops the 3.0T into the X3, the vehicle will end up costing well north of $50K. At which point, the RDX is no longer a competitor and the Porsche will be the one in consideration. Acura will not lament losing both the customers who actually purchase that X3.

    What makes the RDX weigh 4K lbs? The same thing that makes the CX-7 and X3 weigh 4K lbs. It's a vehicle with sport suspension, sport rims, a turbo induction system, luxury materials, and luxury electronics. The question I'd be asking is why is the CX-7 so heavy given that it does not have all the luxury trimmings.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, all I'm talking about is performance. The RDX doesn't need any more of that. It's got more than it needs.

    That doesn't mean it doesn't need anything.

    The BMW won the comparo based on refinement issues. That is an area where the RDX falls a bit short. There is some equipment missing from the package; the ride is "enthusiasts only" stiff (or pretty close to it); and it falls a little short in the cargo department.

    I don't disagree that the X3 is the better vehicle. I'm just not so sure the difference is worth the extra overall cost.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I guess as a class these vehicles aren't exactly space or weight efficient. You want less weight, get a wagon. ;)
  • carlitos92carlitos92 Member Posts: 458
    "The question I'd be asking is why is the CX-7 so heavy given that it does not have all the luxury trimmings."

    Maybe it's the extra gear in the transmission? ;)

    In all seriousness, I think the CX-7 matches pretty well to the RDX in features - it's just the quality of those features where one can start to find fault with the Mazda.

    In actuality, the CX-7 is just a smidge larger than the RDX in most dimensions, but lighter by 50 lbs. If that's how much SH-AWD and a bluetooth circuit board weigh, well, there you go. :)
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250
    We own a 5 speed AT ('06 X3) and a 6 speed AT ('06 330Xi), and they turn about the same highway RPMs in top gear - 2400 RPM at 70 mph for the X3 and about 2250 RPM for the 330Xi at 70.

    I know this is not an apples to apples comparison, as the sedan is lighter and has a more powerful engine, but just concentrating on the transmission I find the 6 speed noticeably more responsive than the 5 speed, which I assume is due to better / closer spacing of the ratios.

    OTOH, the X3 replaced an '01 330Xi with a 5 speed AT. The 5 speed in the '01 was responsive, but it came at the cost of not having tall enough highway gearing as it turned at least 3000 RPM at 70 IIRC.

    My take on this is a 6 speed versus a 5 speed provides an advantage of being able to have both closer spacing of the gear ratios for performance, and a taller gear for the highway, everything else being equal.

    Bruce
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "...being able to have both closer spacing of the gear ratios for performance, and a taller gear for the highway'

    Or, similar spacing but a tall overdrive for highway, and a couple of stump-pulling cogs down low.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    "But the X3 still trumped the Acura overall, in the recent C & D comparo."

    BTW, I'm told the RDX returned the favor in the August MT.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Yeah, but who reads MT anyway? :P
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    I just did.

    The RDX got first and the LR2 got second.
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