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My A1 service notification is now lit. I’m debating whether to take the MDX to the local Honda Dealer which is less than 10 miles away, or to the Acura dealer which is almost 100 miles away.
Thoughts?
Thanks!
My nearest Acura dealer is 45 minutes away. But my local Honda dealer refuses to do any work on the Acura other than an oil change
 

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My nearest Acura dealer is 45 minutes away. But my local Honda dealer refuses to do any work on the Acura other than an oil change
Do they know the MDX is basically a pilot/odyssey?


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My nearest Acura dealer is 45 minutes away. But my local Honda dealer refuses to do any work on the Acura other than an oil change
If your vehicle is still under warranty chances are the Honda dealer won’t work on your vehicle. After 60K is really when the real costs begin so cross shopping with the Honda dealer is a good idea. Also depending on your relationship with the service department at the Acura dealer they might match or come close to matching the Honda dealer price.
 

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I take my MDX to the Honda dealer for service. Like you, the Acura dealer is quite a drive. I’ve taken my Pilot there for years and they have always treated me good. PLUS, their oil change price is about $50 and the quick lube locals want $85+ for 0w-20. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

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For most services, I would not hesitate to make my car to a Honda dealer. And bought parts / fluids there in the past as well. Also, I almost went to a Honda dealer for the timing belt replacement until I found a local shop which included coolant flush (the Honda dealer didn't and was a separate charge). As for "Honda-only" ad, I am guessing this refers to non-Honda / Acuras perhaps? Or the dealer had a bad experience with an idiot who said "oh, you put on a washer 94109-14000 with a Honda label and not Acura, and I want the Acura one" :)
 
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For me the nearest Acura dealership is over two hours away. If I want to go to the dealership I purchased my vehicle with, it’s over three hours away. I go to Honda for servicing and will most likely do so for everything else unless absolutely necessary to go to Acura as Honda is a five-minute drive from home. So far, everything has been great.
 

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I see no benefit of taking the car to a dealer for your simple maintenance. What's the benefit, the free coffee?
Biggest thing is "relationship" if you have bigger issues that come up and it's not crystal clear on if warranty should cover it or not. Additionally a bit of a relationship with a service advisor can actually net you decent deals if there is a mutual respect. I had more than a few times where the dealership brought the price down significantly just because I was easy to deal with and fair. When I say "significantly" I mean matching or in some cases even beating 3rd party shops. Plus - if your engine blows 6 months out of warranty you're a lot more likely to have that dealership on your side for a good will argument from corporate. Basically the dealer doesn't want to lose you as a good service customer and will go to bat to keep you happy with the brand. Overall probably still more expensive to go to the dealer, but also maybe not by as much as it may initially seem on the surface.
 

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I see no benefit of taking the car to a dealer for your simple maintenance. What's the benefit, the free coffee?
There are numerous benefits. The techs are trained and know the car well, they can do any recall and warranty repairs at the same time, they usually have loaners available, their location may be more convenient, and you may be comfortable with your relationship with their people. The downside is that they typically charge more than independent mechanics (although I dropped my previous independent mechanic because they were charging as much as dealers). Your money, your choice.
 

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I've used Acura, Honda, and indie shops for my Acura's over the years. Earlier in my career when money was tighter, I would go to dealers only for oil changes (so I get the "free" inspect and find everything possibly wrong multipoint) and have an indie mechanic do any substantial repairs for much less.

Other than the Acura dealer requirement for warranty work, and the chance that some Acura-only parts might not be stocked at a Honda dealer, I don't see much of a difference between Honda/Acura dealers other than Acura tending to up the "extras"' a bit in the service experience, and their higher price.

Later in my career I tend to value some of the Acura dealer timesaving items more (drop off / pick up / conference rooms / loaners / etc) vs the repair cost differential. Plus I have 9-year CPO warranties on two out of my 3 Acuras so have built relationships at the dealer since I have to go there for CPO repairs. My local SA makes it easy (call / text / email them individually to set up appointments), they add extras in service (eg: buff out finish dings every oil change), and they go to bat for me with Acura justifying warranty coverage of stuff. Dealers are expensive, especially if you don't have a good sense of when you are being upsold a repair, but a long-term CPO goes a long way towards protecting against upsells and getting pricing that includes Honda's warranty-reduced discount on the hourly repair rate.

I'm sure I could save tons of money doing my own maintenance, but I'm at the stage of my life where every weekend/vacation minute with my kids is precious before they leave off to college, so I much prefer teleworking from an Acura conference room and not losing a work day, vs spending hours wrenching on a weekend away from my family. I'm not even sure teaching my kids to wrench is all that valuable with the coming migration from ICE to EV's.
 

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I see no benefit of taking the car to a dealer for your simple maintenance. What's the benefit, the free coffee?
Lets take this scenario. You’re off to college and are fortunate enough to have parents that gave you a vehicle (either a hand me down, family rig or bought a new car). Now your campus says you can’t work on the car anywhere on campus. You are cash strapped and the indie mechs are charging you arms and legs because they think you don’t know a thing about cars. Home is hundreds of miles away.

But the franchise manufacture dealership is down the street from campus and helps you out. Low cost OC, low prices for other critical maintenance items. And they have a shuttle to take you back and forth between the dealership and campus.

For many people its worth to pay the arm and leg rather than dealing with the hassle of buying the right tools, making sure the part you bought fits with your vehicle, etc.


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There are numerous benefits. The techs are trained and know the car well, they can do any recall and warranty repairs at the same time, they usually have loaners available, their location may be more convenient, and you may be comfortable with your relationship with their people. The downside is that they typically charge more than independent mechanics (although I dropped my previous independent mechanic because they were charging as much as dealers). Your money, your choice.
I did the same with my indie mech. The area indie mechs are asking dealer level prices. Usually the indies are cheaper, but they are making dealers the better financial choice when not DIY.


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I haven't had my 2014 to the dealer since about 8 years ago when there was a recall on a bolt. It's now well out of warranty and I'm sure Acura would not do warranty work this far after the warranty ended regardless of whether an SA is pulling for me or not.

For me it's just too much hassle and time to go to a dealer for routine things like oil changes and tire rotations which I can do myself in less time than taking it to a dealer and returning. Even though I'm retired now I can still manage to do this stuff just fine although I've always done my own maintenance since I first owned a car at 16.

But that's just me though. Different people have different scenarios, like perhaps no driveway or tools or experience, or physical issues, or they just don't want to do the tasks. I also may have gotten lucky with having no issues on my 2014 that I'd need someone to go to bat for me on but hopefully I'm not an outlier in that respect. There are lots of options for the service and we just pick what's right for us.
 

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Lets take this scenario. You’re off to college and are fortunate enough to have parents that gave you a vehicle (either a hand me down, family rig or bought a new car). Now your campus says you can’t work on the car anywhere on campus. You are cash strapped and the indie mechs are charging you arms and legs because they think you don’t know a thing about cars. Home is hundreds of miles away.

But the franchise manufacture dealership is down the street from campus and helps you out. Low cost OC, low prices for other critical maintenance items. And they have a shuttle to take you back and forth between the dealership and campus.

For many people its worth to pay the arm and leg rather than dealing with the hassle of buying the right tools, making sure the part you bought fits with your vehicle, etc.


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Unlikely scenario and where I live low price and dealership visit cannot be put in the same sentence. Why do you think people call them stealerships?

Besides, I call my mechanic and tell him i'll be there in the AM for oil change. I pull up to the shop, pull right into bay, say oil and filter change please and 30 minutes later I'm on my way to work. He doesnt even care that I bring my own oil and filter. At the dealer, in 30 minutes I'd maybe be talking to the advisor and have a place assigned in the queue. Nobody will give you a loaner if you're coming for oil change, you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

My experience is very different across the board dealing with different stealerships in NYC. Long story short, I've noticed that vehicles just run longer without issue if I stay away from the dealerships.

Heck, I even traveled to Maryland to buy the MDX because here people think $10K non-refundable down payment should be a standard fee.
 

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Unlikely scenario and where I live low price and dealership visit cannot be put in the same sentence. Why do you think people call them stealerships?

Besides, I call my mechanic and tell him i'll be there in the AM for oil change. I pull up to the shop, pull right into bay, say oil and filter change please and 30 minutes later I'm on my way to work. He doesnt even care that I bring my own oil and filter. At the dealer, in 30 minutes I'd maybe be talking to the advisor and have a place assigned in the queue. Nobody will give you a loaner if you're coming for oil change, you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

My experience is very different across the board dealing with different stealerships in NYC. Long story short, I've noticed that vehicles just run longer without issue if I stay away from the dealerships.

Heck, I even traveled to Maryland to buy the MDX because here people think $10K non-refundable down payment should be a standard fee.
I think the real key is relationship with whatever shop you choose. That CAN be a dealership or a 3rd party shop. Both times I’ve bought tires from the dealer (Honda and Audi) I ended up with a better deal than I would have with a 3rd party shop, and yes I shopped around. Both times I also had been working with the same service advisor previously and they wanted to help.
 

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I think the real key is relationship with whatever shop you choose. That CAN be a dealership or a 3rd party shop. Both times I’ve bought tires from the dealer (Honda and Audi) I ended up with a better deal than I would have with a 3rd party shop, and yes I shopped around. Both times I also had been working with the same service advisor previously and they wanted to help.

Agreed.

Re tires.

Did you compare to tirerack? They come with road hazard which I used this year and got a refund on a tire that developed a bubble. My brother had a set of 4 Michelin pilot sport's replaced due to dry rot without issues few years back. Very happy with them.
 

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Agreed.

Re tires.

Did you compare to tirerack? They come with road hazard which I used this year and got a refund on a tire that developed a bubble. My brother had a set of 4 Michelin pilot sport's replaced due to dry rot without issues few years back. Very happy with them.
Yeah, I did. With that said Tire Rack is typically better... but sometimes dealer or local shop may honor something like prorating the original OEM tires even though it's maybe "excluded" in the warranty docs. I'm not sure how that works, but I wasn't going to argue.
 
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