Acura MDX SUV Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just found out today that we will probably need to replace the engine on our MDX, or sell the whole vehicle for salvage. 104k miles. Took good care of it. It's been a problematic vehicle, and I am very disappointed in Acura and Honda corp.

Here's the latest:
2 days ago, I noticed a faint engine noise, so slight I wasn't even sure about it. Yesterday, took it out on an errand, and the noise was suddenly louder and definite. Sounded like a diesel clacking. No lights on dash, though. Happened to be a couple blocks from a local service station that does good work. Went there immediately. Diagnosis: Engine has thrown a bearing or something. They put a scope on it, and they say it's in the lower part of engine, and the whole thing is likely toast, though they don't think it has disintegrated yet.

Background that may or may not be relevant:
3 months ago, had 100k service, timing belt replaced, valve adjustment, etc. -- everything required -- at the Acura dealer. New tires, too, in Jan. Anyway, the dealer told us there was a leak in the rear main seal. We didn't know at first how serious that was (they didn't explain), but got the gist after reading online. We hadn't seen any oil leaking on garage floor, so we were pondering what to do. One day we smelled a burning oil smell and saw 2 drops of oil. So, we decided RMS had to be done. Acura wanted $1800 for it, and the Honda dealer was about $800. They assured us their technicians were trained on the same engines, even in the same classroom, so we went with the Honda dealer. They ended up replacing the oil pan, too, because it had a leak. At this point, the car had 102k mi. on it. All seemed great afterwards. In fact, the car was really running great after the valve adjustment. Until 2 days ago.

I'm pretty perturbed. Over its life, this car has also had 2 power steering pump failures, CD failure, Bluetooth failure, alternator failure, numerous issues with mirrors and power seat, air conditioner issues (not compressor thankfully), CV joint failure, and hood lift support failure. The most recent repairs and tires cost close to $4000 in the past few months. Now, 2000 miles later, it's toast.

Got a rough estimate from another local shop to put a used engine in it for $5000.
We are having it towed tomorrow to the Acura dealer. $150 for the tow. $134 for the diagnostic to verify all this. Hoping for some Goodwill from Acura. If anyone has opinions on our chances, or suggestions how we might work through this with Acura, I would be grateful.

We won't keep this car, no matter what. We are done with it. The only debate is whether to fix it or sell for scrap.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
Just found out today that we will probably need to replace the engine on our MDX, or sell the whole vehicle for salvage. 104k miles. Took good care of it. It's been a problematic vehicle, and I am very disappointed in Acura and Honda corp.

Here's the latest:
2 days ago, I noticed a faint engine noise, so slight I wasn't even sure about it. Yesterday, took it out on an errand, and the noise was suddenly louder and definite. Sounded like a diesel clacking. No lights on dash, though. Happened to be a couple blocks from a local service station that does good work. Went there immediately. Diagnosis: Engine has thrown a bearing or something. They put a scope on it, and they say it's in the lower part of engine, and the whole thing is likely toast, though they don't think it has disintegrated yet.

Background that may or may not be relevant:
3 months ago, had 100k service, timing belt replaced, valve adjustment, etc. -- everything required -- at the Acura dealer. New tires, too, in Jan. Anyway, the dealer told us there was a leak in the rear main seal. We didn't know at first how serious that was (they didn't explain), but got the gist after reading online. We hadn't seen any oil leaking on garage floor, so we were pondering what to do. One day we smelled a burning oil smell and saw 2 drops of oil. So, we decided RMS had to be done. Acura wanted $1800 for it, and the Honda dealer was about $800. They assured us their technicians were trained on the same engines, even in the same classroom, so we went with the Honda dealer. They ended up replacing the oil pan, too, because it had a leak. At this point, the car had 102k mi. on it. All seemed great afterwards. In fact, the car was really running great after the valve adjustment. Until 2 days ago.

I'm pretty perturbed. Over its life, this car has also had 2 power steering pump failures, CD failure, Bluetooth failure, alternator failure, numerous issues with mirrors and power seat, air conditioner issues (not compressor thankfully), CV joint failure, and hood lift support failure. The most recent repairs and tires cost close to $4000 in the past few months. Now, 2000 miles later, it's toast.

Got a rough estimate from another local shop to put a used engine in it for $5000.
We are having it towed tomorrow to the Acura dealer. $150 for the tow. $134 for the diagnostic to verify all this. Hoping for some Goodwill from Acura. If anyone has opinions on our chances, or suggestions how we might work through this with Acura, I would be grateful.

We won't keep this car, no matter what. We are done with it. The only debate is whether to fix it or sell for scrap.

Thanks.
The Honda technician didn't set drive pulley and front/rear camshaft pulleys correctly to TDC? Or they screwed it up, panic, put new parts in and hope you could drive out the dealer. When the drive pulley and front/rear camshaft pulley are not aligned to TDC, the piston head will hit the intake/exhaust valves. So remove the heads, inspect the intake/exhaust valves, if they are busted, then you've got jobbed by the timing belt job. Get proof in hand, and ask the Honda dealer to make it right. If your car was running perfect before the tune-up, they obviously screwed up something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. So, with a rear main seal repair, do they take the timing belt off? If so, it seems like a mistake may have been made at that point, and if so, it was the Honda dealer.

The Acura dealer actually replaced the timing belt. Honda dealer did the RMS soon after.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
No, RMS and Timing Belt are unrelated.
Seems that the engine starved from oil and wore out the Bearing prematurely, Definitely is not an engine issue more than human error in some of the work done to the car.

5000 bucks to replace the engine is BONKERS... The engine itself is about 1-2K and the replacement cannot be more than 5 hours of work..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Sorry to hear about this real life nightmare scenario! IF it was a stealership service dept. mechanic mistake- then wishing you all the best luck (and legal advice) to aid you in recovering your losses!
<center><img src="https://cdn.meme.am/cache/instances/folder224/250x250/59567224/disappointed-homer-simpson-doh.jpg"></center>

I suppose all in all things could be worse?...
<center><img src="http://www.mdxers.org/forums/attachments/second-generation-mdx-2007-2013/39599d1224281677-just-bought-2nd-2008-mdx-reardamage.jpg" width="60%" height="60%"></center>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure, Priscillababy. At least insurance would pay for that, right!? Was that yours? If so, do you have an extra engine laying around? ha ha
We decided to have ours towed to the Acura dealer where we originally bought it, who has not worked on it in several years. Getting an unbiased opinion before the other Acura dealer and Honda dealer have a chance to start pointing fingers at each other. Maybe it will turn out to be a case of bad luck, but just in case it was a botched repair job...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Not sure, Priscillababy. At least insurance would pay for that, right!? Was that yours? If so, do you have an extra engine laying around? ha ha .
that was fortunately not mine (knock on wood)...and yes, guess it would depend on how much deductible one has on their insurance and/or of they're at fault etc.

We decided to have ours towed to the Acura dealer where we originally bought it, who has not worked on it in several years. Getting an unbiased opinion before the other Acura dealer and Honda dealer have a chance to start pointing fingers at each other. Maybe it will turn out to be a case of bad luck, but just in case it was a botched repair job...
Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that your '08 MDX story/resolution scenario ends well!... :wink:

while my 2nd gen MDX (now my daily rider/beater out of my several cars) has given me its fair share of headaches (and nightmare encounters with Acura stealerships along with the horrendous bluetooth drain a couple years back)- all in the past......

a new set of tires, a stealership (full service- no half arse shortcuts/neglected parts or saving money during that repair) timing belt replacement, a new battery, and the Acura (100% warranty covered) complete ADS shock replacement all done within the past couple years now (surprisingly) has my MDX running practically like brand new again (despite the odometer which reads something like 90K+ miles) :29:

<center><img src="http://www.mdxers.org/gallery/500/thumbs/BaliBlue.jpg" width="70%" height="70%"></center>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
Yeah it seems like to me someone botched up your TB job. These engine don't usually fail in that kind of way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: The 2nd Acura dealer says that short of doing a tear-down for analysis for $1600, they cannot say what happened to the engine, and they suggested we take it to either the 1st Acura dealer (who did timing belt) or to the Honda shop (who did the RMS and oil pan.) They suspect the most likely issue was that the engine was starved of oil (who knows why), but they think it could be a timing belt mistake, and they won't know without tearing it apart.

Nevertheless, lack of oil doesn't make sense unless something else has gone wrong internally, such as a bad oil pump or who knows what. This car has never, ever, leaked oil except for 2 drops before the RMS was done. Nor has the oil or engine light ever come on. We checked the oil just before taking it for the RMS repair, and it was fine. The Honda repair shop confirmed they remember our car, and that it was not low on oil when it came in for the RMS.

If the RMS job was botched, the car should be leaking oil, and it is not. So, the Honda shop says the likely culprit is the timing belt replacement. The 1st Acura dealer says that the timing belt is unlikely because it would have caused some upper engine misfiring or something immediately noticeable, not 2000 miles later. So here we go with both shops saying "it's not us."

We are left with no answers so far. Wondering about having the 2nd Acura dealer pull the oil pan to see if anything looks strange, for ~$400. Maybe some sealant broke loose and blocked the oil from getting to the engine? We are grasping, but not too keen to spend $1600 to open up the engine.

May just try to sell it right now as-is. Not sure how much we could expect to get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
$1600 to pull the heads look for piston/valve damage due to a bad TM job is not a very good option. As an alternative could you just pull the spark plugs on the front of the engine and use one of those small optical probe video cams to inspect the combustion chamber? If there is damage a few camera shots with the right attachment might help you decide what to do. I have seen these optical video probes at Home Depot for under $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
sorry about your trouble. It sounds like the first shop told you it's a spun bearing. It certainly was not caused by the timing belt change nor the RMS. You can check the compression numbers if you still have the car. Go to Autozone and rent a compression tester. Screw in the tester in the spark plug holes (one at a time). Disconnect coil or the injector connectors. Crank the engine. If valves were bent by the incorrectly installed timing belt, you will get zero readings. But that certainly won't be the case. You would not have been able to drive the car at all.

How loud is the noise? If it's metal knocking noise and goes up with the RPM, coming from the lower part of of the engine block, then it's very likely a spun rod bearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, here's this week's update on our tale. Decided against the $1600 teardown by Acura. Found an engine shop that seems to be reputable who will put a used engine in it for $3800, with a 1 year warranty, 62k miles on the engine.

The better part is that they will look at our old engine for free and see if they can tell what happened to it. If they see anything weird, they will take pictures. Supposedly, they have gotten refunds for customers with similar situations. So far, the engine still hasn't been opened up, but it went 2 shops (1 independent, and Acura dealer #2) last week and both said they think it's a spun bearing. At this point, the car is at the engine shop so it's not easy for us to conduct any experiments.

My understanding is that a spun bearing happens when oil doesn't get to the engine. But, what could have caused this? There was no oil leak of any significance, even with the RMS repair, and no lights ever went off on the dash. We have enough info of our own plus corroboration from the Honda dealer who repaired the RMS that the oil wasn't low. And the Acura #1 service mgr said oil pumps virtually never fail on these vehicles. So, perhaps the tech did forget to add the oil.

Mysteriously, the Acura #2 service mgr says it looks like there is fairly new sealant around the oil pump on ours. Yet, the oil pump has never been replaced on this vehicle. I called Acura #1 and the Honda dealer and confirmed. Acura #1 even said, "I assure you if we re-sealed the oil pump, we would have charged you for it." So is the sealant relevant? Makes us wonder if something happened during one of the previous repairs, and the shop just "fixed" it and didn't tell us.

No matter how we play the scenarios our in our heads, something seems amiss. Even if this was just bad luck, I don't think an Acura engine should have failed at 100k. The other scenarios involve the Acura and Honda repair shops, or a failed oil pump, which is unheard of.

It's probably a long shot, but we're hoping the engine shop finds the answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
Seems that the engine starved from oil and wore out the Bearing prematurely, Definitely is not an engine issue more than human error in some of the work done to the car.

This is the most likely issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Well, here's this week's update on our tale. Decided against the $1600 teardown by Acura. Found an engine shop that seems to be reputable who will put a used engine in it for $3800, with a 1 year warranty, 62k miles on the engine.


If you plan on keeping the mdx past 30-40k miles, might as well replace the timing belt while the engine is out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Well, with all the work done it is likely human error related since these motors are known reliable. I wouldn't think idling for a short period of time without oil would cause the kind of bearing damage so soon...maybe down the road? Another possibility would be something that plugged an oil galley. Timing belt probably has nothing to do with it since the issue isn't piston to valve interference, I'd go with the rear seal job as a plausible explanation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
This is the most likely issue.
x3

Never took off the oil pan specifically on the MDX but if it requires gasket sealant, I've seen quite a few amateurs over apply it. When this happens, the excess sealant squeezes out inside the oil pan after it's been tightened. This excess goop sticks to the oil pickup screen blocking or partially blocking the oil pickup tube.

OP, if the pan hasn't been touched yet since you got it done, I would drop it and inspect for any gasket sealant in the oil pan and also on the oil pickup tube screen. This will tell you right away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Thanks. So, with a rear main seal repair, do they take the timing belt off? If so, it seems like a mistake may have been made at that point, and if so, it was the Honda dealer.

The Acura dealer actually replaced the timing belt. Honda dealer did the RMS soon after.
Any update/resolution to your problem? Or did you jump ship and is your MDX sitting in a junk yard and/or used car lot with some for sale signs on them?

Hopefully, you were able to find the most cost effective solution to this problem and are now in possession of a reliable vehicle!!! :29:
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top