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1,634 Posts
I've got friends who buy new cars (or worse, lease them) because they're scared of car repair bills. I try to gently remind them that they're paying the equivalent of a major breakdown every month (and in the case of a lease, ending up with precisely zero at the end of the payments). Learning how to twist your own wrenches is one of the most liberating "hobbies" you'll ever engage in. When you have the ability and desire to do your own work, you can drive for nearly free (well, other than gas an insurance).

You can pay cash for a "fun car" that happens to have some miles on it, and then update anything necessary to bring it to a "good as new" spec (like new suspension components). You can drive it with abandon, knowing that it's not leaving a trail of $1 bills on the road behind you in the form of depreciation. It's still possible that something "expensive" will break, but the odds are on your side, and even so - you're still going to come out WAY ahead. I paid $6000 cash for my 2004 MDX with 160,000 miles, put probably $1500 into parts and tires over the time I owned it (including all new suspension, so it drove like a new car all that time), and sold it at 246,000 miles for about $4000. Do the math and it cost about $3500, or about 4 cents per mile to own it (compare that to the typical depreciation of about 15% per year on a new(ish) car, and you can see what a bargain it was - that $3500 would cover about half the first year's depreciation on a new MDX).

I had to laugh a couple weeks ago - a good friend who leases two nice Japanese luxury SUVs was standing next to my 2006 BMW 530xiT (5-series wagon), with its custom WIDE wheels, and black-on-black-on-black aesthetics, telling me how he lusts after my car... which cost me about what a year's worth of one of his lease payments does.

3 Posts
dasripper, I was in a similar position with my 2003 Acura TL Type S, which I love. It has 320,000 miles and is due for a timing belt and has an oil leak at the pump (very typical of high mileage H/A V6 engines). I plan to drive it to 500,000 miles before I replace it.

As mentioned above, the timing belt can last quite a while past recommended service intervals, and I have gone up to 160k between replacements of the belt etc., without showing any signs of impending failure or excessive wear on the replaced parts (of course YMMV). However I do change them at time intervals of 7-8 years regardless of miles, which I think is prudent.

Regarding the oil leak... I have - or I should say had - the same one as you. This made the car undriveable unless the windows were closed and AC was on re-circulation as the leaking oil traveled onto the hot exhaust allowing oily fumes to flow into the car and make me feel sick. After my (trusted) mechanic quoted $1,600 for a major service and seal replacements (yes, he also always replaces the $$$ oil pump, etc. while he's in there even though it is not having any issues), he suggested trying Blue Devil Oil Stop Leak. The results took 2 oil changes with a bottle of BDOSL added to each change to fully take effect, but it slowed the leak to the point of ZERO LEAKING after the second oil change (5000 mile change intervals, so about one year). I added another bottle on the third change for insurance. My leak was pretty severe so you may see results sooner.

As explained to me, when added to the oil it softens and swells the age-hardened seals so they can perform as they did when new. Also, using oils specifically blended for High Mileage cars also has an additive to do this. I'm also told that the active ingredient is similar to brake fluid, which will keep rubber parts soft and pliable (like in the master cylinder and calipers). I have not experienced any negative side effects of the treatment 馃槂.

Worth a try at $20 a bottle. If you can't find it for under $20 a bottle locally, it is usually available on amazon for $14-$16 in 4 or 6 packs.
I bought 4 bottles for my (3) Acuras and (1) Honda so I can keep them leak free and on the road without a big repair bill for seals.

Maybe add a bottle of BDOSL to the next three oil changes and see how it goes? If it works for you then do the timing belt and enjoy the MDX for awhile longer.

96 Posts
Car is running just fine, just having trouble justifying $1800 job for a vehicle I can sell for around $3,000 at this point.

The timing belt isn't slipping or anything, but the vehicle has 175,000 miles on it and the timing belt was last replaced around 90,000. Last time we took her in the mechanic said the oil pump o ring needed replaced (this last Sept 2018) but again she still runs fine to my eyes and ears.

Not sure if there is a point to this thread beyond looking for anyone who has been in a similar situation and how it ended up.

If I could get 40,000 more miles, I'd be thrilled.

but seriously, you have an excellent car. It's worth the maintenance costs, even after the value of the car drops below $1500. How much will it cost to replace, think of that, not of the repair:value ratio. Replace the belt now at 170, it will last easily into the 200's. Our 2005 MDX is still going strong. We got the belt replaced about 130k or 140k mi, i think, for about 1200$ - $1400. It was a lot for my taste, but more than I could DIY, and faster and safer. It was worth it. Local Acura/Honda mechanic, not a dealership. Got sparkplugs done also. We're at 170k mi now, still going strong, but she's thirsty for more premium fuel than she used to be, to make sure there's no misfires.

1 Posts
i have acura 2014 mdx , the bumper replaced and the ldw and forward collision light came on. can any one tell me what went wrong?
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