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Old 11-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 1st Oil Change, 2012 MDX - when and what oil?

Hi MDXers!

I have a 2012 MDX (tech) with 4,600 miles on it.
The oil level is at 40%

Should I wait for the car to tell me to change the oil (I think when it hit's 20%) or should I go ahead and change it now?

If so, what weight and brand oil do you recommend?
Also, should I get the filter from an Acura dealer or use an aftermarket? Any suggestions?


Thanks in advance !!!
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wait until the MID tells you <15%.

Any weight is fine for the Bay Area. 5w-30 is the easiest to find, but 5w-20 is what your OM states to use.

As for brand? Any is fine, as long as you see the API certification on the bottle (SN as of 2011), and even some that don't have it. You can use synthetic, dino, or a combination of both. You can mix and match and switch back and forth at anytime.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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^+1, Follow the MID for all maintenance
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Should I wait for the car to tell me to change the oil
Yes.

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Originally Posted by aplus247 View Post
what weight and brand oil do you recommend?
5W20, as specified in the owners manual.

You can use synthetic or a synthetic blend or conventional oil. Synthetic provides benefits of better resistance to breakdown when hot, and better flow characteristics when cold; the only disadvantage is that it's more expensive, but it's not all that more expensive, since you can buy 5-quart jugs of synthetic oil at Walmart for $20-30. I stick to the major brands, not house brands or off brands. I get 5-quart jugs of full synthetic from Walmart and usually wind up spending $20-24 for Q-Power (Quaker State's synthetic) or Pennzoil Platinum. (Mobil 1 is also good and is usually around $26-28).

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should I get the filter from an Acura dealer or use an aftermarket? Any suggestions?
When buying filters (including air filter and cabin filter as well as oil filter), I stick with the Honda/Acura brand because I do think there are quality differences vs aftermarket. Most dealer parts departments will give you a good discount if you buy 3 or 6 or 12 filters at a time. You can also get good prices on parts by ordering from the guy pictured below, who sponsors the mdxers site (don't forget to use his coupon codes for free or reduced shipping).

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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2012 MDX Oil

Same question, but different: I've normally (European cars until now) changed oil at 5000 miles to Mobil 1, and then every 10000 miles after that. And I plan to do this with the new MDX, BUT...

I'm not comfortable with the 5-20 recommendation. Thinking 0-30, or even 0-40; living in Arizona, and driving somewhat enthusiastically.

Any wisdom to impart?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Same question, but different: I've normally (European cars until now) changed oil at 5000 miles to Mobil 1, and then every 10000 miles after that. And I plan to do this with the new MDX, BUT...

I'm not comfortable with the 5-20 recommendation. Thinking 0-30, or even 0-40; living in Arizona, and driving somewhat enthusiastically.

Any wisdom to impart?
Acura recommends 5W20 viscosity. If you use a viscosity other than what's recommended in the owner's and service manuals, and you have a problem with your engine, they could blame it on the oil viscosity and refuse to honor the warranty for the repair.

The warranty is very clear about this. Here's the wording in the relevant section of the warranty for my 2004 MDX:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acura 2004 Warranties
These Warranties Do Not Cover
The failure of any part or accessory due to:
- Abuse, misuse, accidental damage, or acts of God.
- Improper installation or maintenance.
- A low fluid level or the use of a fluid other than specified by Acura.
- The installation of any part that is not equal to the original in quality of materials or workmanship.
- Use of the vehicle in competition or racing events.
Note, also, that if you change the oil at intervals longer than specified (like 10000 miles, assuming it's beyond what the MID recommends), that too could be grounds for exclusion from warranty coverage.

Take care of your car as specified, including maintenance using the recommended viscosity and service intervals, and you shouldn't have any problems with the warranty. Don't, and you're taking a risk that you might not want to be taking.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm aware. And it must be true that the 5-20 requirement works, since I don't see MDX's by the side of the road with blown engines every day...

However, I remain confused by Honda's insistence on such a narrow range of viscosity, as well as the recommendation for conventional oil. It's a well-know fact that synthetic oil is superior to conventional (although it could likewise be argued that todays conventional oils are greatly improved over those of ten or twenty years ago), and that adding to viscosity range can only help, especially at higher temperatures, detergency and long-term stability notwithstanding.

Do all of you run conventional oil in your MDXs?
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not comfortable with the 5-20 recommendation. Thinking 0-30, or even 0-40; living in Arizona, and driving somewhat enthusiastically.

Any wisdom to impart?
I'll ask a question. The Acura engineers and the oil companies do extensive testing to determine the best oil viscosity. What do you know that they don't?

It is your vehicle and you can do whatever you want. But determine first if you have a valid reason to feel uncomfortable.


I have never run anything but conventional oil. I always follow the manufacturers recommendations.
In the '11 manual Acura says you can use synthetic, but still change it as often.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I remain confused by Honda's insistence on such a narrow range of viscosity
It depends on the model of car. The owner's and service manuals recommend viscosities based on outside temperature. On some Acura/Honda cars, they recommend more than one viscosity, typically (but not always) with the thicker viscosity covering a higher temperature range and the thinner viscosity covering a lower temperature range. On my other Acura, they recommend 5W30 as preferred at all temperatures, and 10W30 for temperatures above 18F; in other words, below 18F, only 5W30 should be used, and above 18F, 5W30 is preferred but 10W30 is also acceptable. On my previous Acura, they recommended 10W30 at temperatures above -2F, and 5W30 at temperatures below 32F; in other words, below -2F, only 5W30 should be used, from -2F to 32F, either 5W30 or 10W30 should be used, and above 32F, only 10W30 should be used.

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as well as the recommendation for conventional oil. It's a well-know fact that synthetic oil is superior to conventional (although it could likewise be argued that todays conventional oils are greatly improved over those of ten or twenty years ago), and that adding to viscosity range can only help, especially at higher temperatures, detergency and long-term stability notwithstanding.
I don't know where you got this information. There is no such recommendation for conventional oil, or any prohibition against synthetic oil.

Here's what it says in the owner's manual for my 2004 MDX:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acura 2004 MDX Owner's Manual
Synthetic Oil
You may use a synthetic motor oil if it meets the same requirements given for a conventional motor oil: it displays the API Certification Seal and it is the proper weight. You must follow the oil and filter change intervals given in the maintenance schedule.
Quote:
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Do all of you run conventional oil in your MDXs?
Many of us, including myself, use synthetic oil in our MDXs. Again, it's fine according to the Acura owner's manual. (And so is conventional oil.) As you undoubtedly are aware, synthetic oil provides advantages of better resistance to breakdown at high temperatures, and better flow characteristics at low temperatures.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm aware. And it must be true that the 5-20 requirement works, since I don't see MDX's by the side of the road with blown engines every day...

However, I remain confused by Honda's insistence on such a narrow range of viscosity, as well as the recommendation for conventional oil. It's a well-know fact that synthetic oil is superior to conventional (although it could likewise be argued that todays conventional oils are greatly improved over those of ten or twenty years ago), and that adding to viscosity range can only help, especially at higher temperatures, detergency and long-term stability notwithstanding.

Do all of you run conventional oil in your MDXs?
That 5w-20w oil gives just oh so little more fuel economy. Therefore to gain as much of a fuel economy rating as possible, Acura specifies that oil weight.

I would highly doubt that Acura would ever check the oil viscosity if you had a warranty problem, However, you never know.

I have used nothing but synthetic oil in any vehicle for the past 36 years.

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm not sure why they're running conventional in these as well....Honda has switched most of their vehicles to synthetic ('12 Pilot for example) . Are the latest Acura products still running conventional? Maybe they're just going to synthetic as the redesigns roll out.

I have quite a few 200k+ miles vehicles under my belt using conventional oil and 5k-7k mile intervals (going back to my first new car which was a 1992). I prefer to run synthetic at 10k intervals just to go longer between service. I'm sure the conventional will be fine with the intervals setup by the MID. We're at 6,500 miles now and just dropped to 30%. I'm getting it changed this week because it's convenient and I won't have to mess with it through the holiday/travel season.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Honda has switched most of their vehicles to synthetic ('12 Pilot for example) .
This is absolutely not true. There is no requirement that the 2012 Pilot use synthetic. What it says in the 2012 Pilot owner's manual is, "Always use a premium-grade 0W-20 detergent oil displaying the API Certification Seal." and "Make sure the API Certification Seal says 'For Gasoline Engines.'" No mention of synthetic oil.

The reason some people were making this claim is, they are recommending 0W20 viscosity oil for the 2012 Pilot. 0W20 is available in full synthetic oil and in synthetic blends, but so far (since it's relatively new as a manufacturer recommendation) may be difficult or impossible to find in conventional oil. But there is NO prohibition against using synthetic blends or conventional oil for the 2012 Pilot.

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I prefer to run synthetic at 10k intervals just to go longer between service.
I would never, never, NEVER do that, and never recommend doing that to anyone else. Not just because it could invalidate the warranty (as noted above), but also because it's just a bad idea. Oil accumulates particulates and other foreign matter at the same rate regardless of whether it's conventional or synthetic, and that's a major reason it needs changing. When oil manufacturers first introduced synthetic oil on the market, they claimed that synthetic could go longer between changes, but they have backed away from such claims. All the major oil manufacturers now say that you should not exceed the car manufacturer's recommendations for the interval between changes, but that synthetic oil will let you go up to the full recommended interval.

I just think that's really bad advice. The oil change interval is even more important than the type of oil you use. Heck, I'm aware of all the benefits of synthetic oil (which is why I use it in all my cars), but if you told me I had to either use conventional oil changed at the recommended intervals, or synthetic oil changed at intervals that exceeded Acura's recommendations, I would stick with conventional oils, despite the advantages of synthetics. That's how important the oil change intervals are.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm glad to see that none of you buy into the "every 3000 miles" interval. I think that the oil companies have backed down on the interval claims, not because they've "wised up", but more likely to sell more oil!

My experience with engine failure under warranty has been that, IF there is suspicion of neglect, then an analysis is ordered in order to determine if the engine was run without sufficient lubrication (low oil, no oil, not changed), and serves to assess the quality of the oil remaining in the engine (metal, dirt, coolant, high temperature). I've not heard of an analysis which reveals the viscosity range of the oil.

Thank You all. I'm going 0-30 Mobil 1, and I'll change it when the car says to, without extending the interval to 10000 miles.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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This is absolutely not true. There is no requirement that the 2012 Pilot use synthetic. What it says in the 2012 Pilot owner's manual is, "Always use a premium-grade 0W-20 detergent oil displaying the API Certification Seal." and "Make sure the API Certification Seal says 'For Gasoline Engines.'" No mention of synthetic oil..
Well I researched this a bit because we shopped the Pilot as well. Clearly they're coming loaded up with synthetic from the factory and the MID appears to be programmed as such...folks on the pilot forums were hitting 9k-10k miles before oil changes. If you don't have a conventional option...sounds like it's synthetic. I have my doubts you're going to see a non-synthetic 0w-20 but I haven't researched that much. The other manufacturers that have switched out to that weight oil are requiring synthetic.



Quote:
I would never, never, NEVER do that, and never recommend doing that to anyone else. Not just because it could invalidate the warranty (as noted above), but also because it's just a bad idea.
Then don't do it. I've done it for years with no ill results, however I have always performed the obligatory oil analysis. I agree it could invalidate your warranty...which is why I didn't recommend it. In most cases I don't go to a longer oil change interval until the warranty is up. My current daily is a Pathfinder with 90k miles. It calls for 7,500 mile intervals on the most liberal mainteance schedule (conventional oil). I've run synthetic at 7,500 miles upto the end of the 60k powertrain warranty but have now switched to 10k. Oil analysis shows 10k is very conserviative, lab recommended going 12k next time.

If the consumer synthetic market is pulling back on extended intervals, I haven't noticed it. We switched out my company's heavy equipment fleet to a semi-synthetic blend in 2005 and have both significantly lengthened the OCI but also significantly extended the life of the engines. We've gone from averaging 7,000 hours on our dozers in 2006 to now averaging over 11,000 hours. These are engines that cost $100k to rebuild....so we're not just guessing, the oil vendor provides the testing and all reporting to keep them running. But clearly you can get a lot more oil and engine life with the synthetics.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you don't have a conventional option...sounds like it's synthetic.
Synthetic blends are another option, and are widely available in 0W20.

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If the consumer synthetic market is pulling back on extended intervals, I haven't noticed it.
Here's what the Mobil 1 website says about it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobil 1 website
How often should I change the oil if I'm using Mobil 1?

Oil change intervals can be as short as 3,000 miles or as long as 15,000 miles on some new cars. We recommend that you follow the oil and filter change frequencies shown in your owner's manual, especially during the warranty period. With Mobil 1's high-performance reserves, you can have the confidence to go the full mileage or time frame recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Mobil 1 is especially suitable for the latest vehicles with extended drain intervals or vehicles with oil monitoring systems that vary oil drain intervals.
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