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Hi Everyone,

I have been looking to buy an MDX for some time now and I finally found one that I like. I found a 2010 MDX W/ SH-awd tech package with 75K for $16,000(Will be asking to buy for 15,000).

After doing some research it looks like there have been some complaints with the engine knock, Bluetooth(Easy fix) and the shocks and dampers.

I own a 2004 Grand Cherokee and this will be a second car, but I am wondering if I am walking into a money pit. I am trying to decide between this and the Honda Pilot while keeping my budget around 15,000. It looks like I can get a Honda pilot for around 8K less than this.

I have read where its nice to not have the Tech package as its comes with more problems, and not sure what to do here.

If it helps, I am a mechanic of sorts and will do most of the maintenance and fixes myself. I'm not a full blown ASE mechanic but I can figure alot of stuff out and have worked on cars and boats my whole life.

Anyway, what do you think? Is it worth it to get this car or am I walking into problems?

TIA!
 

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The shock complaints are generally the Advance models with the ADS (Active Damper System). They really don't even fail prematurely by many shock/damper standards, but they're quite expensive to replace when they do. I believe the bluetooth issues (HFL module) were pre '10. The tech model adds navigation and a few electronic doo-dads so I suppose you could argue there is more to go wrong, but there's nothing in the tech model that has a known history of failing. The tech is by-far the most popular model MDX.

The only complaint I've seen on these that even warrants concern has been some random cases of oil use. I think that it's not nearly as common as it seems from perusing the web, but there are clearly some people with engines that are using oil. Whether it's 5% or 15% of the MDX's on the road I don't know but if you look at published reliability data, the '10-'13 MDX is among the most reliable vehicles on the road so I can't accept that the oil usage issue is widespread.

We bought our MDX new in Aug of '12 . Just turned 100k miles and have had zero repairs. The brakes and rotors are even still original and aren't even close to needing replaced. I have complained since day 10 about the transmission shifting but have accepted that it's just the way it was designed. The only problem we've had is that the center dash speaker rattles when the navigation lady says certain words. I just don't care enough about that to replace it. Otherwise, just routine maintenance as the MID has called for it. Usually need major fluids changed every 30k miles. Oil changes ring up around 8k-9k miles. It's very easy to maintain if you do it yourself.

One thing you should keep in mind with the '10 is that Acura recommends the timing belt be changed every 7 years regardless of miles. Since you're likely right around that 7 year mark it should be on the agenda unless the prior owner already swapped it. Not likely though. In fact I think a lot of people trade these off when the dealer mentions it needs done because it's a ~$1,000 service at the dealership. Someone will spend $45k to buy a vehicle but can't handle a $1k maintenance item that occurs once or twice in the vehicles life.

If you can get a similar age/mileage Pilot for $8k less that's a pretty big swing and seems a little hard to believe. Beyond saying they're both large crossovers, there's really nothing comparable between the Pilots/MDX (latest gen Pilot not included). We actually were planning to buy a Pilot in '12 but after driving it and then looking at the MDX, there was no comparison. The Pilot drives like a Ford Ranger, has considerably less power, basic AWD system, and acres of cheap plastic trim. It does have more cargo room though thanks to its boxy shape. It also requires a timing belt so be sure to take that into consideration when shopping.

Good luck either way.
 
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