We are going to be looking at several 04-06 MDX's in the 100k+ range this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Can someone give me some pointers with problem areas? I work on cars for a living as a body tech, so will have trouble finding shoddy work in that respect, but its the mechanical stuff I'm concerned about. Thanks in advance.
I bought my '04 when it had 113K miles on it two years ago, so I can help you out.
There's nothing really critical from the mechanical end. (Not like the 2001-2002, which you should avoid altogether, due to tranny problems.) One big thing is routine maintenance, which is why a lot of these cars hit the market to begin with; people see the need to spend a grand on a timing belt replacement and other 105K service, and they decide to trade it in instead. If the timing belt and other 105K service is done, you'll save that money compared with one where you'll want to buy it as soon as you get it. (If you have to do the timing belt, you'll do the water pump, and it's a good idea to replace the big cooling system hoses at the same time, even though it's not in the schedule.) Acura does not keep centralized service records, but if the car comes with a service history, or you can get one from the servicing dealer or independent, then you can use it to determine what needs doing when. Here are the recommended intervals for the most significant service items, according to the owner's manual:
- change oil and filter - every 7500 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first
- brake fluid - every 3 years regardless of mileage
- transmission fluid and transfer case fluid - first time at 45K miles or 3 years; after that, every 30K miles or 2 years, whichever comes first
- VTM service including differential fluid - first two times every 15K miles or 1 year; after that, every 30K miles or 2 years, whichever comes first
- coolant - the recommendation is 120K miles or 10 years, whichever comes first, the first time, and after that 60K miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. However this will be flushed (replaced) when they replace the water pump (see below), and that will re-set your interval for changing the coolant
- air filter - every 30K miles regardless of time
- cabin dust and pollen filter - every 30K miles or 2 years, whichever comes first
- adjust valves - every 105K miles regardless of time
- spark plugs - every 105K miles or 7 years, whichever comes first
- timing belt (usually also includes water pump) - every 105K miles or 7 years, whichever comes first
Mine had some of the light bulbs out on the dash, the ones that make various buttons light at night - not a major problem, but common, and something I needed to take care of. Since then I have had to replace the shocks, ball joints, and bushings (probably common - I noticed rapid and uneven tire wear), the starter motor (also common - it was making a shrieking noise), and brake pads (no big deal).
From the body standpoint, I know you know this stuff. I had some bumper scrapes so they resprayed. There were also rust spots just above the chrome trim on the liftgate, which they said are common due to the screws which mount it rubbing; as part of the repair, they installed a thin layer of foam behind the trim to prevent it in the future.
are these prone to having transmission troubles?
One other common problem I've heard about here on mdxers is radiator failures, which aren't a big deal if caught and fixed promptly.