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I will be having my 7500 mile service performed soon. I called 2 dealers which are located in my local area where I am on extended vacation and get 2 different quotes - one is for $139 and the other is for $199. The first one they indicated the VTM fluid is not changed (but in the manual doesn't it say to change it?) I DO NOT DRIVE UNDER SEVERE CONDITIONS!

Are these prices reasonable? Why would VTM be done by one and not the other?
 
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The manual says that the VTM-4 fluid should be changed for the FIRST TIME at 7,500 miles or 6-months, whichever comes first. Same for the oil (under normal driving conditions). After that the VTM-4 fluid should be changed at 2-years or 30,000 miles. The oil should be changed every 7,500 miles or 6-months. I changed mine at 6-months (5,600 miles). All my driving is on the highway. I took my MDX to a Honda dealer because an Acura dealer is 100 miles from where I live. They got the VTM-4 fluid from the acura dealer. The charge for changing the oil (+ filter) and the VTM-4 fluid was $73. I did not have the tires rotated. The Acura dealer wanted $179 for the same service (with tires rotated and balanced included). If you want to save money use a Honda dealer. The service took an hour and the MDX has performed fine ever since. When the Honda pilot hits the market the Honda service should be up to speed for all MDX repairs. I'm not sure though whether they will be able to do warranty repairs on the MDX. Next time I get my oil changed I will ask.
 

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We charge $129.95, and that includes the VTM-4 change.

If you take it somewhere other than the dealer, make sure they don't fill your VTM with ATF.....they're both red and appear to be the same. Make sure they know it takes a special fluid.
 

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$139.00 for SoCal

I got my 7500miles service at Tustin Acura for $139.00 which includes:

Oil/filter change
Disposal of old oil
Tires rotated
VTM fluid change
Check and top off all fluid
Car Wash

BTW, the service was great at Tustin Acura
Kev
 

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Hey Lester-

The VTM is REQUIRED to be changed at 7500. The one dealer blew it. I'd bet they'd 'remember' it if you had the service done...

Here is what you 'need' at 7500:

rotate tires
change engine oil (filter is optional!! CHANGE IT)
Change VTM4

thats it by Acura's published schedule.

I like doing my own wheels because I can clean the rims inside and get them spotless.... AR, I know.

So, what is 'reasonable'? (By acuras standard, one or two kids...)

Look at time and materials:
filter $4
washers $3 (oil drain, 2-vtm4)
oil $8
VTM4 $15

Labor:
oil change .3 hr
vtm4 .5 hr
rotate tires .3

I get $30 in parts, and 1.1 hours. Use your local rate, and there you go.

Now, lots of places don't use these realistic numbers (Lasher in Sacramento does). I'd bet you'll do better asking 'ala carte' versus '7500 service'....

Also, lots of places throw in a slew of 'inspect this and that' so it seems you are getting more. I personally don't think the inspections are needed any more frequently that the manual states, and certainly not at 7500 miles.


Ard


BTW, just brought my baby in for warranty work, and the service rep did a double take at the mileage (31,374)... It's not new anymore, waaaaaaahhhh.....
 

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Just got my 7500 mile service (actually at 7600) last Friday at Leith Acura, Cary, NC. Total bill $140.93 less a $15 customer appreciation coupon, plus tax on parts = $128.26. Tires were rotated, car wasn't washed. Me = very satisfied (found a nice-looking MDX model there, plus an MDX thermal coffee mug!)
 

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Hey Ard, did you do a 30K service (of course you did...). I just looked in the good book, its quite a list, about 6 tangible things and lots of snooping around. If you go with the severe schedule (I don't, even though I have a roof rack :rolleyes: ), they want to replace your tranny fluid as well. Just wondering what you think...
 

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Ghost-

I actually did the major service at around 28.5k.

I didn't do the tranny, but I am looking around for someone to do a flush. That's beyond my capabilities. (Most trannys can't be drained more than 25-33%, so you need to power flush the new fluid in and the old out.) The MDX will drain 3.49 Quarts from the drain plug, but takes 8.66 Quarts to fill up when new....

Guess which procedure is in the manual? (Just the drain and fill, no power flush)

Arguably, one could do 3-4 drain and fills and be at 10% old by the end of that process.

Here's a question: I've used synthetics for trannys- I don't see the point for engine oil that doesn't get used for long, but for trannys it seems ideal. I wonder how the MDX will do with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF...anybody?

I'd not sweat the 'roof rack' the severe service is for a 'roof top carrier' (ie a box)

Ard
 

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I confirmed with 2 dealers-

The 'transmission fluid change' is only a drain of 40% of the tranmission fluid. They don't recommend flushes (they also admitted they don't recommend against them, they just don't have the equipment).

The one service advisor did offer to do 3 drain and fills, which would get it to around 20% of the old fluid... of course it would be three separate charges.

Both were ambivalent on the synthetic. One opined that it "could affect the seals and maybe start to eat them". Right.

For the life of me...why change it if you're only changing a fraction...


Ard
 

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ardvarkus said:
I confirmed with 2 dealers-

For the life of me...why change it if you're only changing a fraction...

Ard
Well, for one thing, you are changing the filter if even you do not get all the fluid out.
I don't know why the dealers don't have the equipment, it may vary with the specific dealer.
Obvisously, it would be expensive to use synthetic in a change routine like that.
At the same time, the synthetic might help fortify the residual fluid.
I believe Japanese Beetle shop in Sunnyvale who does warranty service on all Hondas and Acuras does have the equipment.
 

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Replacing tranny fluid

Becareful with using the aftermarket fluids. First of all it will void the factory warranty, and if have trouble with the tranny down the road and they find out you used the aftermarket fluid you will pay for the replacement. Also be careful with replacing all the tranny fluid because you can get air pockets in the process which will cause you to burn out the tranny. That's why most of the time they just drop the pan and replace a small portion of fluid. If you want to replace more do 3 or 4 changes in a months period and that will pretty much replace everything. I've known alot of people to use the systems to pump out everything and they were sorry because when they refilled it took almost two weeks to get out all air pockets and 1 person burned out their tranny on the highway. Be careful!!!!:eek:
 

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Substitute ATF Fluid

IMHO ... I would NOT substitute any xmission fluid without getting Honda/Acura OK ... doesn't book say only OEM fluid [not at home, don't have book here] ... suggest caution in your approach
 

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Thanks for the feedback-

Dale- What filter is used for the tranny? I've been unable to identify a screen or filter in the service manual...

Per the Moss- Magnussen act, using aftermarket ATF WILL NOT void the warranty, unless they can show the aftermarket fluid caused the damage. 9Of course the trick is fighting them on the issue.)

I think I'll just use the Honda ATF they specify, and change it at 35k intervals (or thereabouts)

Here is something of interest:

The service manual states that the "ATF Replacement" is a single drain and fill or 3.5 Qts... however, my read of the Owners Manual states that you should do this FOUR TIMES. (Good advice.)

What does the dealer do for his $109 charge??? Do they do a single, or do they do what the vehicle's owner manual states???

Or am I reading this wrong?

Here is the text:
"To thoroughly flush the transmission, the technician should draing and refill it with Honda ATF-Z1, then drive the vehicle a short distance. Do this three times. Then drain and refill the transmission a final time."

Anybody have this service done yet? What did they do?

Ard

PS. Flush machines are only as good as the operators- Jiffy-Lube type places are notorious for causing problems. The only way to flush is using positive displacement (ie NO DRAINING, or 'pumping fluid out') You just put in new fluid and it slowly displaces all you old fluid...
 

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ardvarkus said:
Thanks for the feedback-

Dale- What filter is used for the tranny? I've been unable to identify a screen or filter in the service manual...



Here is the text:
"To thoroughly flush the transmission, the technician should draing and refill it with Honda ATF-Z1, then drive the vehicle a short distance. Do this three times. Then drain and refill the transmission a final time."

Anybody have this service done yet? What did they do?

Ard

PS. Flush machines are only as good as the operators- Jiffy-Lube type places are notorious for causing problems. The only way to flush is using positive displacement (ie NO DRAINING, or 'pumping fluid out') You just put in new fluid and it slowly displaces all you old fluid...
[/QUOTE

I don't have delivery of my X Car yet, so I guess I just learned their automatics do not have filters or bottom pans to wipe out. I guess they must be cleaned very throughly at completion of assembly so there are no particles floating about and none generated later (fingers crossed).

I would only do the fluid exchange at a authorized service center (not necessarily a dealer, as I mentioned , the Japanese Beetle shop does warranty work) or as a last ditch effort, a tranny shop.

Jiffy Bob is definitely off the list!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ardvarkus said:
Hey Lester-

The VTM is REQUIRED to be changed at 7500. The one dealer blew it. I'd bet they'd 'remember' it if you had the service done...

Here is what you 'need' at 7500:

rotate tires
change engine oil (filter is optional!! CHANGE IT)
Change VTM4

thats it by Acura's published schedule.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I just called the dealer service dept, and they indicated that they do a "differential service" at the 7500 mile mark for $139 plus tax. They said that is the same as VTM. IS IT THE SAME, or is it something else???
 

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lester-

You're good as gold...the VTM-4 is the "rear differential" generically. Basically the rear differential is a "honda variable torque management rear differential' hence the catchy term vtm-4.

Make sure you see a gallon (actuall 2.95 qts) of VTM4 fluid AND two washers (94109-20000 and 90471-PX4-000) on the invoice.

Here the dealer wants 79 for the VTM4 change and 29 for an oil and filter....figure another 15 minutes to rotate tires, $20...

Not too bad at 139 - go for it.

Ard
 

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I just had my 7,500 service. It only cost me $51 after tax. They changed the oil, put in Castrol (I don't know if that is good or bad), changed oil filter, changed the VTM fluid with the correct kind of fluid (they got it from the Acura dealer across the street), and rotated the tires. Dealers always charge too much. The shop I went to only services Hondas and Acuras.
 

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Boris-

That has to be a record low price...

Materials alone:
Filter $4
Washers (3) $3
Oil $5
VTM4 $19

total parts $31 estimated

DID YOU SEE THE RECEIPT FOR THE VTM4 FLUID? The price difference on VTM4 versus ATFZ1 is $15 per gallon. I'd require a receipt showing the Acura washers and Acura VTM4 fluid. Just being compulsive.

That price exceeds even my unrealistic estimate of what work is worth! :)

Ard
 
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