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Being a rookie 'X owner, I have a few sheepish and naive questions to ask on maintenance . . . :confused: :confused:

1. Premium gas - will using 89 or 87 octane gas have a significant impact to engine wear & tear or overall life. I expect a drop in performance, but do not want to risk damaging drivetrain or invalidating factory warranty. I know Odysseys use same drivetrain and will run fine on 87.

2. Oil/Filter change - In the past, I have changed the oil & filter on my cars religiously every 4k miles. According to the manual, under normal conditions oil change is required every 7.5k and filters every 15k . . . very strange, not sure I want to change oil and not filter at same time. Is it very difficult to access the filter for us do-it-yourself types ? Are the filters expensive/hard to get ?

3. Rear diff oil - Again, according to the manual, the rear differential oil needs to be changed at 7.5k - is this absolute regardless whether you use 4wd or not ? Is it recommended to shift into 4wd on a regular basis (like once a month) just to keep everything operating smoothly ?

Again, sorry for the naive q's, but I figure alot of new owners may benefit from this as well . . . I figure the dealers have made a bundle off me on the original purchase and I don't want to add to their wealth . . .
:D :2: :D
 

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1. For some reason I thought that 2002 MDX does NOT require premium gas any more. :confused:

Do a search - there are numerous amateure and scientific threads regarding what octane to use. I think, on lower octane, you lose some performance as well as engine may knock/ping a little.


2. Sorry, not THAT kind of do-it-yourself.

3. My dealer made a HUGE emphasis on changing VTM-4 fluid after 7,500 miles the 1st time and 15,000 (I think) thereafter.

VTM is "on" all the time - when you accelerate, when computer senses slippage, etc. No need to manually engage it for it to be on. That button LOCKS it. i am sure you are aware of limitations and conditions on when to lock your rear differential. If not, do a search :)
 

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Premium in most areas is 91 minimum. I would not run less than 89 in any case.
It's designed to run on premium, and probably most efficiently, so if you do run lower octane it will likely retard the ignition some to compensate and that means less efficiency. No final verdict on engine life. Lots of threads on this subject you can read about.

Always change filter with the oil. Pick the interval you are most comfortable with.

vip 9 got you on the VTM-4 interval and yes, its more like full time all wheel drive. It just varies the amount of torque applied to the rear depending on how you drive, etc. Very critical to follow the MINIMUM service recommended in the manual.
 

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You can pretty much get anything you need from tim and hondacuraworld.com as far as ALL OF THE MAINTENANCE you need to do. There are several threads here and how to do it yourself if you choose.

One main thing, make sure you use the honda fluid for the tranny and diff. and not the discount auto parts stuff. For this vehicle you basically can't shop for maintenance items at a "regular" auto parts store.

There are two service schedules, one for extreme use and temps and the other for normal driving. I don't know what type of driving and area you live in so I can't suggest either one. Sounds like your dealer is recommending the normal service intervals. Now, I could be wrong but at my 3,500 service interval (extreme) they changed the oil AND filter...

I hope this helps.

Ohh in my manual it says premium fuel required... But I am curious as to how the Honda variants with the "same" motor will run on regular...
 

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I cannot tell any performance difference between 93 and 89 octane, but mileage is consistently better with the 93.

ALWAYS change the filter when you change oil. If you do it yourself, use the Honda filters and keep receipts for oil and filters, plus meticulous records so that your warranty isn't compromised. Being a fan of frequent oil changes, I always use the Severe Service maintenance schedule.

vip9 is right about the VTM-4. Every time you accelerate from a stop, it engages for a bit to get you off the line without any slippage. The button is just a lock for when you're really stuck, and it works only in 1, 2, & R. We had one good snow this past winter, and the MDX did much better in the snow (just letting it do its VTM-4 thing automatically) than my 4WD Explorer manually punched into 4WD.
 

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frostyra said:
... If you do it yourself, use the Honda filters and keep receipts for oil and filters, plus meticulous records so that your warranty isn't compromised.
Ya know, I think either there are LOTS of paranoid folks or Acura & its dealers must go outa their way to be @$$holes...

Why else would so many folks believe that a) warranty work may be needed, b) getting that warranty work paid for is going to be like pulling teeth from a shark???
:confused:

While I suspect doing as frostyra suggest can't hurt (and will please any future owner of his MDX) I also doubt there are owners of BMW, Mercedes or Lexus stockpiling oil filter reciepts in case they need to "go to battle" over a warranty claim:3:

Let's hope this is all just needless CYA behavior learned from dealing with sales folk intent on Maximal Dollar eXtraction :rolleyes:
 
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