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Hi,
I need some objective advice about whether to fix or sell my 2005 MDX. I got it in 2008 with 20000 miles on it. I now have 77,000. It's in the shop now for the third time with A/C problems and I'm told it needs a new expansion valve and rear a/c lines. Will cost $1200.00 We have put $800 into the A/c in the last two years so far. I'm also told the alternator failed the GR8 electrical test and needs replacement. That will be $750.00. A few times this spring the car wouldn't start but it's been fine lately.. We have also replaced the serpentine belt at the dealerships recommendation, have new front brakes, power steering lines replaced for leaks ($688), leaking cv boots replaced ($462), along with other minor fixes.

It seems like there is some new leak or worn out part every couple months and it's starting to become a pain. I like the car a lot, it drives well. But the KBB value is only $5600 so does it make sense to put $2000 into this car? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks
Feebee's Mom
 

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From the costs associated with the repairs, I'd suspect you've been taking it to the dealership for repair. That's always the most expensive option (well, other than paying half that for bad repairs, of course). ;-)

I'm very (!) suspect about the need to replace the rear A/C lines. My guess is that the shop you've been taking it to didn't do a great job fixing the A/C the first time (or the second time). The MDX A/C systems are pretty bulletproof, and shouldn't require repeated repairs to keep them working. For example, I haven't ever had to do anything to my 2004 MDX A/C, even with 215,000 miles on it (and living in Arizona, the A/C is running a lot more than other places).

I'd also be at least a little suspect about that alternator - generally they work, or they don't. And $750 is FAR too much to pay for a new alternator. Rockauto.com has rebuilt (which are fine) alternators for between $120 to $140 after sending back the old unit. Figure an hour of overpriced labor at $90, and you should be paying less than 1/3rd what the shop you're going to wants to charge you.

These cars tend to be very reliable - with only 77,000 miles on yours, you really shouldn't be having that many problems. I'm really thinking your biggest problem is that you chose the wrong shop to work on it. Find an independent, highly rated A/C shop to take a look at your system. I can almost guarantee that they'll figure out what's REALLY wrong, and will fix it for a small fraction of the $1200 your current shop wants to charge you.

FWIW, it is always possible that your current shop is honest as the day is long, and that you've just had a freakishly bad string of bad luck with your vehicle. But I seriously doubt it.
 

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Hi, my 2001 has 232k miles so my opinion on whether to keep or sell is firmly biased in the keep column. I agree with other posters that the issue is you're taking it to a dealer and not getting a fair shake on diagnostic or cost. My local dealer recently wanted to charge me $1500 to replace a part for the SRS light, and it turns out I didn't need that at all - another shop I now trust simply reset the light and no issues. It's been 10 months, and it cost me $50 for a diagnostic (they couldn't find anything wrong, putting the Acura Dealer to shame for telling me I needed a new part!). But I digress...my opinion is take it elsewhere for a second opinion, I've never replaced those A/C lines and car has spent most of its life in AZ & TX. You are paying waaaayyyy too much at the dealer. If you insist on having them do the work, ask for the Costco Executive member discount, it is 20%. Assuming a smart MDX owner is also a Costco executive member, lol.

I plan on replacing stuff as it comes up, it keeps turning out to be cheaper than buying a new car. The math (cheaper to keep and fix or pay $500 a month for new) keeps working out to keep in my case. Hopefully you can find a more reputable shop, like do you have a Christian Brothers Automotive near you? I hope my trust in them is not misplaced, since I'm recommending them. Good luck, do tell what you decided.
 
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From financial perspective, it's always cheaper to fix then buy a replacement car.
As others have mentioned, since your MDX has unbelievably low mileage, I would recommend you keep the car, assuming you bought the car in 2008 with clean title, no damage, good condition, etc.

The other thing to consider is the type of issue that crops up. It's once thing when A/C breaks as you won't be stranded but if engine or electrical fails, it can create huge inconvenience or can be unsafe. With that said MDX has been one of the most reliable car I own (over 256K miles and never stranded me once....knock on wood).

I also agree with others that some of the repairs that are listed are very questionable.
I never had to replace any A/C line, A/C expansion valve, alternator, power steering line, or CV boot during 13 years of ownership. Has your MDX been in an accident before?

Also as a warning, your MDX may be due for timing belt and water pump replacement if not done already due to its age (not mileage) which can be expensive if you take it to the shop (very strange that your shop only recommended serpentine belt change). And "difficult to start" is typically a sign of the need for the valve adjustments.
 

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Hi,
I need some objective advice about whether to fix or sell my 2005 MDX. I got it in 2008 with 20000 miles on it. I now have 77,000. It's in the shop now for the third time with A/C problems and I'm told it needs a new expansion valve and rear a/c lines. Will cost $1200.00 We have put $800 into the A/c in the last two years so far. I'm also told the alternator failed the GR8 electrical test and needs replacement. That will be $750.00. A few times this spring the car wouldn't start but it's been fine lately.. We have also replaced the serpentine belt at the dealerships recommendation, have new front brakes, power steering lines replaced for leaks ($688), leaking cv boots replaced ($462), along with other minor fixes.

It seems like there is some new leak or worn out part every couple months and it's starting to become a pain. I like the car a lot, it drives well. But the KBB value is only $5600 so does it make sense to put $2000 into this car? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks
Feebee's Mom
Don't trust KBB! Use NADA.
I have 05 MDX with 126,000. No A/C issues.
 

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2005 MDX with 249,xxx miles. Original transmission, original air conditioning, did replace alternator, could use engine mounts and likely struts. Otherwise, I'm driving that sucker until it's dead on the road.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Just a week or two after writing about how reliable Acura/Honda alternators are, mine died in the middle of nowhere driving across Texas. Happily, I was able to coast into a rest stop (only one for 70 miles in any direction) and wait for a flatbed to take me into Fort Stockton, where I got a rebuilt one for $180 (with a refunded core charge of another $60). Easy peasy fix, though a bit tight getting it in and out.

Also, I just treated my 2004 217,000 mile MDX to a new timing belt (due) and new struts (the old ones weren't "bad", just not quite as tight as I'd like) and a new set of Michelin tires. The rear shocks were replaced about six months ago, and I rebuilt the front end (lower control arms, inner and outer tie rod ends) not long after buying the car at 160,000 miles. I put some new (cheap) foam in the seats to make them feel like new, and the end result is that the car now feels pretty much like a new one, other than a little bit of whine from the torque converter (a common malady that's annoying but not a "problem"). I'm a really, really picky driver who gets annoyed at any slight vibration or shake, and feel like my trusty old MDX is a nicer road trip car than the new Honda Pilots that a couple of my friends drive. Can't beat that for the chump change I have in the vehicle. It's hard to imagine a better buy in a 7-passenger, luxury SUV.
 

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Definitely fix! You'll simply be giving someone else a great car which needs an easy fix. Especially with the crazy low mileage it has. Our 2004 has 233K on it and I had the engine rebuilt 2 years ago. It'll easily run to 500K. It drives like new and a comparable new suv will run about $50K!
Take everyones advice, stay away from the dealer and find a good trustworthy mechanic. Unless you don't mind spending money for something you already have, a great car.... If you do sell, what part of the country are you in? I'd be interested!
 

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Hi,
I need some objective advice about whether to fix or sell my 2005 MDX. I got it in 2008 with 20000 miles on it. I now have 77,000. It's in the shop now for the third time with A/C problems and I'm told it needs a new expansion valve and rear a/c lines. Will cost $1200.00 We have put $800 into the A/c in the last two years so far. I'm also told the alternator failed the GR8 electrical test and needs replacement. That will be $750.00. A few times this spring the car wouldn't start but it's been fine lately.. We have also replaced the serpentine belt at the dealerships recommendation, have new front brakes, power steering lines replaced for leaks ($688), leaking cv boots replaced ($462), along with other minor fixes.

It seems like there is some new leak or worn out part every couple months and it's starting to become a pain. I like the car a lot, it drives well. But the KBB value is only $5600 so does it make sense to put $2000 into this car? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks
Feebee's Mom
These are relatively easy fixes by a competent mechanic. What you quoted are dealer prices. Advice is do not go to the dealer for a vehicle that is 12 years old and find a good independent shop. For $800, the AC issues should have been fixed like new. To give you an idea of parts cost, I replaced my alternator, belts, and starter for $120. Parts are quite cheap so just find yourself an honest independent mechanic and keep your low mileage MDX.
 
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