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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering a 2012 MDX w a little over 100K miles on it. Can any second gen owners give me some thoughts / "definitely check" items on this vehicle I may overlook? It's a tech package, no sport / advance). For context, I'm the original owner of a 2002 MDX with 207K on it. Timing belt / water pump was just done.

Thanks to anyone who can help me out so as not to overlook a know "must check" on the 2012. I've done a good amount of work on the 2002 myself over the years with the help of this and other forums. 2020 has been an great year for the 2002, just time to do some succession planning.

Thanks.
 

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The BIGGEST issue with the 2010-2013 MDXs is the oil consumption problem that can be as bad as 1 qt per 1000 miles for an engine that only holds 4.5 qts. I don't think the MDX low engine oil light will come on unless you are +2 qts down? The 2nd Gen MDX has a 9000 mile oil change interval and that is a lot of oil to add. Acura had an extended warranty to fix the issue; but, I think it has already expired (to correct the issue with oil getting past the cylinder sleeves and rings). You have to check the MDX oil level on perfectly level ground. Any incline/decline and move the dipstick level and you might overfill (learned the hard way).

I would check to see if the oil consumption issue has been fixed or the consumption is in a range you can live with. My 11 MDX with +145,000 miles uses about 1.5 qts per 9000 miles oil change interval. The consumption has never changed since I purchased used in 2014 at 30,000 miles (use Mobil 1).

Other items to check for that usually common to all Acuras' of that time:
  • leaky P/S pump and/or rack (extremely dark P/S fliud will leak more than fresh)
  • slowly failing alternator not putting out enough voltage causing the battery to die and shutting down the vehicle when driving
  • corrosion around battery cables
  • A/C compressor/clutch operation
  • brake fluid should be changed every 3-4 years (not dark)
  • even tire wear, might need an alignment if the MDX isn't smooth at hwy speeds of 70-80 mph.
  • poor key fob range
  • door locks or trunk actuators not working (makes clicking sound; but, doesn't lock/unlock)
  • stuck 2nd row cup hold
  • yellow check charging system light (firmware update, should have been done on all 12-13 MDXs)
  • 6AT update for smoother shifting and improved mpgs (should have been done on all 12-13 MDXs)
  • rust on underside if you live the snow belt

Hopefully, the previous owner has a service record you can check.

Unless price is a consideration or you just need a beater SUV, the 14-15 MDX with sh-awd would have less issues, updated tech, improved city mpgs of 19-21 mpg, up to 25-27 hwy mpgs, and same towing capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
mrgold35 -

That was very helpful. I was aware of oil consumption becoming an issue on some model years after 2002 but couldn’t recall which without looking around a bit more last night and was disappointed to see the 2012 made the list. Thank you for the very thorough recap on what to keep in mind when considering that model year.

Truth be told, I started thinking about replacing the 2002 with a 2007-2009 several years back when the X only had about 120K on it and the transmission gave out. Known weakness of the early Gen 1 model years. I drain and fill the trans. fluid once a year at a minimum myself now since the new trans. went in and just started enjoying the X more as I gained confidence to work on imports myself w this vehicle. I was a Ford kid in my youth. No, the new Bronco is not in my future w 3 teenagers as it would make me nuts every time a mysterious new scratch / scuff or ding showed up and we have nothing but innocent parties every time! Getting to 200K just kinda became a thing and I got there this year, then COVID, so was doing more work from home like many others and just delayed the purchase as the miles have been a little lighter than expected this year.

I’ll give the 2014-2015 a look as well but had originally locked in on the 2007-2009 when I first started looking but that was quite a while ago now so finding one w reasonable mileage and a knowledgeable owner at this point has just become too hard to track down. I expanded to 2010-2012 to get more potential vehicles w reasonable mileage (trying not to buy anything w more than 100K on it) so jumping to a 2014-2015 might be a good call based on what you said about the gas mileage as that was also something that was bothering me about 2007-2012 given I always use premium.

The 2022 X looks nice. Watched part of the video last night, again, no way w the three teens who will find a way behind the wheel of whatever we buy.

Thanks and happy holidays!
 

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If you are still in the market for an 07-09 MDX, you have to add to the above list:
  • OEM radiator mixing trans fluid, replace with new radiator will be an preemptive fix
  • bluetooth module power drain, most folks disconnect instead of fixing, no handsfree phone if disconnected
  • a little slower acceleration with 5AT and has a lower 1 mpg rating than the +10 6AT
  • this model uses spinning DVD drive for Navi, map updates are expensive and the DVD unit can fail at that age

It is just getting harder to find a 07-13 2nd Gen MDX near 100,000 miles since the +22 4th Gen is ready to hit the showroom floors. The 13-15 2nd Gen RDX is also a possibility with the 3.5L engine+6AT like the 14-15 MDX. You won't get sh-awd (CR-V awd system for RDX), no LED headlights for 13-15 models (go tech model for HIDs), 1500lbs towing, and no 3rd row; but, everything else would be close to the larger MDX (similar tech, mpgs, performance, reliability).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Funny you mention the radiator, I did the ‘02 myself around the time of the transmission replacement for peace of mind because I knew that going bad would be a disaster. Appreciate your time and input.

Best and happy holidays!
 

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Good luck with your search and have a safe and happy holidays!
 

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I'll add that my '12 has been the most reliable vehicle I've owned now pushing 160k miles. I've had more complaints with the '18 and overall it just doesn't feel as solid of a vehicle. But I feel your concerns when shopping...it would be hard knowing the potential oil use issue that is hard to discover during a PPI. The '14-'15 is probably the more attractive option on the used market even though I prefer the 3rd gen driving feel. Those two years also had complaints with infotainment issues.
 

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It may sound odd, but when it comes to the X, l‘ve always likes the lines on the ‘07 - ’09. It just feels like I let the window pass to get one that had lower miles & single owner where I had a better shot at getting some comfort level with the history. I expanded my search to the 2010-2013 and just haven’t found many I felt really good about at the price points I’ve been seeing.

I’m going to focus on model years that have not been known oil consumption offenders because I just can’t get reliable information on that and as has been pointed out, I don’t want to gamble on it and be stuck w one as the nearing end of useful life 3rd owner.
 

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I'm considering a 2012 MDX w a little over 100K miles on it. Can any second gen owners give me some thoughts / "definitely check" items on this vehicle I may overlook? It's a tech package, no sport / advance). For context, I'm the original owner of a 2002 MDX with 207K on it. Timing belt / water pump was just done.

Thanks to anyone who can help me out so as not to overlook a know "must check" on the 2012. I've done a good amount of work on the 2002 myself over the years with the help of this and other forums. 2020 has been an great year for the 2002, just time to do some succession planning.

Thanks.
I just did the same, looking for a 2007-2009 and ended up with a 12 MDX Advance, not because I wanted the advance package or the newer 2 gen, I couldn't find a clean 07-09 that wasn't beat up, low mileage, or family abused. I hope you have better luck finding a clean MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’m still in the market. The 2012 MDX I was originally considering has sold. It’s a strange year w the 2022 MDX coming soon w a major model update and the Jeep Grand Cherokee doing the same for the 2022 model year. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the low mileage MDX unicorns but am trying to keep an open mind and may branch out from the Acura line up. My first car out of college was an Integra so there is some brand loyalty here that I’ll need to get past if we make a change.
 

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A 2009 Sport with 144,000 miles is between $7,600 and 8,000.

Last month I saw a white 2009 MDX Sport with 79,000 miles at a dealer for $10,000, in St. Louis and it got sold.
Here are some under 100,000 miles in the mid-west:

Now in Brentwood TN 2007 80,500 miles $10,999

2009 83,000 miles $13,950 Olathe KS

Glendale, ILL 2009 99,996 miles $9,995

Crystal lake, ILL 2008 99,999 miles $19,600

Melrose park, ILL 2007 77,300 miles $10,995

St Louis, MO 2009 mdx 111,000 miles $10,900
Did you see one in Melrose park 77.3k miles LOL it is more like 277k. My MDX is at 94k and interior looks brand new. Look at steering wheel..... Miles rollback.
Looking at the pictures, the only one looks legit to me is in Olathe. The rest of it... Just garbage with with very questionable miles.
 

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I know an import shop that does used car inspections. Their scan tool can read the mileage that is saved in the ECU. It costs $50 just for that info and they'll stop the inspection ($125) if the mileage doesn't match the speedo.
You are right. There are red flags all over the Melrose Park photos.
 

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2012 MDX Advance 54k excellent condition with full service history 18.3k before taxes and fees. If you see one with low mileage, grab it! I like the fact the this gen2 has tailpipes and a 3.7 300hp👌
 

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Buying a 2010-2013 MDX, which has not had the oil consumption repairs (about $7,000) completed is just too risky.
My MDX is going back for oil consumption test. Already low on the dipstick and Acura changed the oil less than 250 miles ago!!! I called Acura NA. My vehicle was purchased in 2013, I have 3 1/2 months to figure this out as I'm still eligible for the warranty repair. My MDX doesn't even have the plates on yet. I'm coming in hot and thank God for the warranty extension. She drinks oil but this is the exact reason why I bought it from an Acura Dealer. What a first 2 weeks of ownership(y)
 
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