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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I'm new here. I made an account so I could get advice from people who really care for these vehicles.

My father would like to buy an MDX, and tomorrow I am going with him to look at a 2011. I would post the link to the ad, but the forum won't allow me to.

Vehicle info I currently have:

  • 2011
  • Technology Package
  • 100,400 miles
  • Asking $12,500
The timing belt does need done. Other than that, are there any specific things I should be looking for? or any specific questions I should be asking the seller?

I know on older luxury cars maintenance costs can get out of hand if the vehicle hasn't been maintained well (or any car for that matter). I am trying to get a good feel of what typical problems you could find on an MDX of this age/mileage. I apologize in advance if there is already a thread on here that could help me out, I looked but I didn't find anything. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
 

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Not much time but definitely do following searches for 2011 mdx problems/ issues , 2011 mdx oil burning ,2011 Mdx transmission problems under google so you are better informed! True delta might be worthwhile joining for under $5.00 as it supplies new purchasers with a great overview of exactly what you want to know ahead of time. https://www.truedelta.com/join?l=1. You mentioned the timing belt needs to be done but has the other 100000 mi service items been done?Spark plugs ,coil packs, valves re-gapped. This service runs $1500-2500. Also be aware if vehicle has Active Damper System (ADS) it is a fortune to replace When it goes and it will go. Tough part is determining if the vehicle has the dreaded oil burning PROBLEM which you can't tell from just looking at it!


Good luck on your inspection!
 

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My advice is to broaden your search. I found a one owner 2008 Base Model six months ago with 56,000 miles for $14,000. Point is that there are a lot of used 2nd Gen MDXs out there on the market. Potential buyers just need to be patient and keep looking. Also trust what others have written here. Timing belt is a major cost issue if it hasn't been done. Might want to also look at how many of the problems with this generation MDX are associated with components that are found in the higher end models. When the ADS shocks go bad they run about $1,000 each to replace. It seems that as tech laden vehicles age it is often those tech goodies and gadgets that begin to fail and become annoying to deal with. For that reason alone I was happy to find a low mileage base model.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I hope this reply goes through. I tried to reply to Pkrface last night and I was notified that my reply wouldn’t go through until it was approved by an admin (I’m assuming since my account is new).

We just checked out the car and here is what I found:

- Technology and Entertainment packages
- No Advanced Package, which means no pesky ADS. (Thank you @Wilsoncc for having me look at that)
- Current owner bought the car on a whim two months ago and then decided he wanted a truck. At first that worried me because I thought I wouldn’t get a good history of the car, but I was wrong. The previous owner took it to the dealer religiously and there is a stack of records to prove it.
- Because it was taken to the dealer so often, the transmission was serviced every 30,000 miles. Thank you @Pkrface for having me check that in the maintenance records.
- The lowest we could get him on the price is $11,600. It needs tires and my mechanic says he can do the 100,000 mile service for around $1,100.

@Marine One, I appreciate your insight and understand the benefits of buying a simpler car with lower miles. Counter to that, my dad is looking at this MDX because of its tech features. He wants a car that feels more modern. We also can’t be too patient with the purchase, his 2002 BMW X5 that he drives now is quickly falling apart, and he’d like to get rid of it before he has to put a couple thousand more into maintenance. I have had my eyes on MDXs in my area for a while though, and I haven’t seen as good a deal as this one, considering the miles/upkeep/features.

Trying to figure out if the oil burning problem is present did turn out to be challenging. The current owner wasn’t even aware that this was a potential problem, but he’s only put 400 miles on the car himself. The last oil change, at 98,000 miles, was at Valvoline. They put a note on the receipt that when the car came in it was low on oil. It doesn’t say how low though, and it had been 7,000 miles since the oil change before that one. I figured best I could do was check the oil now. It has been 2-3k miles since that oil change. I checked, and it was about 2/3 of a quart low. My dad already has to put a quart in every 3k miles in his X5, so this seems similar. We decided it wasn’t an issue, but please let me know QUICKLY if I am wrong about this. We are going to purchase the car this evening!
 

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Based on the information given. I highly doubt the new owner had no idea about the oil problem as anyone purchasing a vehicle is going to do some investigation and as you quickly found oil burning is a problem! You also have found that it is impossible to determine how much oil it is burning without having and driving it a time! So the fact the oil change shop noted the oil was low when it came in and the fact that you checked it and found it to be 2/3 of a quart low should give you some indication? The fact that the seller claims they had no idea that these have a oil burning issue is a little hard to believe. Most people buying a vehicle will do some research prior to purchase and this oil problem is the prime concern so i would discount that claim. Case and point is your quick research and what you learned.

The short period of time owned tells me he is fully aware by this time that it is burning oil and wants it gone as did not do his due diligence in checking it out! This is only my opinion based on information you provided.
I would add that you have no idea if oil has been added since oil change so you cannot say if it is an issue!

The only way to tell is to have the vehicle for a period of time ahead of time to actually determine the amount it is burning. The other options are to take it for a long drive and have a family member friend follow you and look for bluish smoke while you drive. This means highway driving getting on and off the gas several times. Have them drive behind you with their windows down and see if they can smell the burning oil smell in addition to seeing it. You can usually smell the burning oil smell inside the car and engine bay so a long drive is needed 25 miles at least. In addition you can check the tailpipe for oil residue if it is not blocked by a screen.

Lastly have it inspected by a mechanic requesting he test it for oil burning tell tale signs?

Based on mileage, tires needed, 100000 mi service needed i would say price should be closer to $9500-$10000. but only if you can sort out that the engine is not burning too much oil which you cant say right now.

There is always another vehicle out there, do not get pressured like it seems the last owner did.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Wilsoncc I see where you're coming from, and I certainly believe it is burning some oil. I suppose what I am wondering is, is there a real problem with a little oil burning? Adding a quart of oil every 3,000 miles is normal for many euro cars, and most of the info I've read from MDXers says that as long as you don't let it run too low then you will have a reliable car for many years. Is this not the case? Is some oil burning going to ruin the engine?

It's also worth noting that the last oil change was with conventional oil.
 

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@Wilsoncc I see where you're coming from, and I certainly believe it is burning some oil. I suppose what I am wondering is, is there a real problem with a little oil burning? Adding a quart of oil every 3,000 miles is normal for many euro cars, and most of the info I've read from MDXers says that as long as you don't let it run too low then you will have a reliable car for many years. Is this not the case? Is some oil burning going to ruin the engine?

It's also worth noting that the last oil change was with conventional oil.
You are correct on the oil burning issue. We have gotten so spoiled with how little maintenance our vehicles take these days that when we have to keep an eye on things we think we shouldn't have to. I remember having to check and top up fluids weekly on one of my first cars 30+ years ago and before radial tires flats were very commonplace and you were a fool if you weren't skilled in changing one. Today flats happen rarely and we call roadside assistance.

All that said, in almost all used car situations you have to play detective and then take your best guess. It sucks being under the gun as I have been on my last several cars. The jury is still out on my X purchase as I'm chasing what I think is a minor coolant leak that I hope like heck isn't a head gasket. One red flag always is a car that has had several owners recently and Wilson made that point. But some folks have zero patience when it comes to working through common issues on high mile cars and just jump at the first thing that seems to stump them or if they have several repairs hit back to back. Sometimes that signals a problem car and sometimes it's just bad luck, so on that note Good Luck!
 
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You can look at it as oil is relatively cheap unless you are using synthetic then not so much! The minute you feel rushed or pushed in the deal it is time to step back as mistakes are made all to often! Seriously there is always another deal out there, take your time and do it right so you are comfortable with your decision. You need to take the time to prove to yourselves the vehicle is is good mechanical condition and that it is not one of the vehicle's that has a Engine ring problem and your back where you are now with having to find another vehical. That said i do not consider 100000 mi engine alot of miles as there are people here with excess of 250000-300000 mi but they have been maintained. This just makes it look like a great deal i know but with all the signs i would look elswhere unless you can satisfy for yourself it is not burning excessive amounts then you can take your best guess based on factual information.



Make a deal with seller to Simply have car inspected and have the mechanic pull all spark plugs and look at the valves inside the cylinder with their cylinder cam. Also have them go in the tail pipe and see if it is oily further up? The cost might be 150.00 but if it is good then it was well spent and if not it was even more well spent.. I would rather spend 500.00 on having potential vehicles checked out to make the best informed decision and know what i am actually getting than rolling the Dice due to pressure and gambling which usually fails with used cars!


Conventional oil change again has me concerned as these recommend synthetic! 5w-20 is Thin so did they put thicker oil in the vehical what weight? Just another questionable indication to be aware of. To answer your question sure you can add oil to the engine and yes it will run but it will never get better only worse, so do you want to drive a vehicle that smells like burning oil and fouls plugs causing the dreaded electrical Engine warning lights?



Good luck.
 

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So I posted above the same question on an 011. I would be totally bummed if it burns oil, totally bummed. In that regard is the 014 a better motor/MDX even get a non Tech package with low miles if I want to stay under 20k$ with like 50 k miles? Even 20k is a bit much but I liked how it drove.
 

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I was unaware of the oil burning issue for almost 3 years in my MDX as my running was low and I trusted the MID more than I should have and took to dealership for oil changes when the car told me to. (Yeah I know pretty dumb but hey I live and learn)

After reading multiple threads on this i started checking the oil level frequently and realized my car has this problem too.

So owner not knowing in 2 months is absolutely possible.

If you want to keep the car longer i would recommend you go for Advance Trim.
 
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