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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Folks,

I'm taking my 2015 MDX AWD Tech to the dealership to get the "A 1 3" service done. As I understand it that's basically:
1) oil and filter change
2) tire rotation
3) transmission fluid change
4) transfer case fluid change

So, I'm wondering if there is anything else I should have them do while they are doing the A 1 3 servicing? Due to the Corona virus,
I don't want to have to take my vehicle in for servicing any more often than I have to. So I'd rather get everything done at once. My goal
is to have this servicing (4/8/20) last me until (hopefully) the contagion is over and things go back to normal. I'm driving a lot fewer miles
than I used to due to quarantine restrictions.
Lastly, the A 1 3 service also includes "adjust the valves during services A, B, 1, 2, or 3 if they are noisy". Has anyone had this done (at the dealer) and, if so, how much does it cost? I'm not much of a mechanic so I don't know what noisy valves sound like.

Thanks in Advance!

Brian R.
Syracuse, NY
 

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It isn't until the 105,000 miles service is due with code "4" is when the valves need to be adjusted (if needed and only if noisy). Other preventive maint stuff are:
  • replace brake fluid if it has been +3 years
  • cabin air filter
  • engine air filter
  • check donut/full size spare PSI
  • check condition of battery if original (never got more than 4 years from OEM battery)
  • check into battery charger/tender if the MDX will be sitting for weeks/months
  • air pump to adjust PSI (sometimes over inflating tires +45 PSI can help with flat spots if it sits for weeks)
  • good time to wash/clay bar/wax if you like doing that kinda stuff
I would also drive the vehicle to normal operating temp several times a week to get the fluids moving and re-charge the battery.
 

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You don't say how many miles, but I assume 30, 60 or 90K? In any case isn't the rear differential also due at the same time as the transmission and transfer case?
 

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You don't say how many miles, but I assume 30, 60 or 90K? In any case isn't the rear differential also due at the same time as the transmission and transfer case?
Not necessarily. I recall doing this service on my MDX when it was first due around 30K, and the rear diff maintenance code didn't appear. The dealership might have changed the rear diff fluid at around 15K, but I'd have to go through my records to confirm this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It isn't until the 105,000 miles service is due with code "4" is when the valves need to be adjusted (if needed and only if noisy). Other preventive maint stuff are:
  • replace brake fluid if it has been +3 years
  • cabin air filter
  • engine air filter
  • check donut/full size spare PSI
  • check condition of battery if original (never got more than 4 years from OEM battery)
  • check into battery charger/tender if the MDX will be sitting for weeks/months
  • air pump to adjust PSI (sometimes over inflating tires +45 PSI can help with flat spots if it sits for weeks)
  • good time to wash/clay bar/wax if you like doing that kinda stuff
I would also drive the vehicle to normal operating temp several times a week to get the fluids moving and re-charge the battery.
Thanks for the reply MrGold.
I checked and my brake fluid was changed last year so I should be good with that
for awhile.
I'll check my records but I'm pretty sure I changed the cabin and engine air filters last fall...
but they might need replacement depending on how dirty they are.
I never would have thought to check the spare tire PSI...thanks for reminding me.
Battery is in good shape.
I may have to hand wash pretty soon if my local car wash doesn't re-open soon.
They are closed due to the virus.
Thanks for all the good advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You don't say how many miles, but I assume 30, 60 or 90K? In any case isn't the rear differential also due at the same time as the transmission and transfer case?
I just checked and the vehicle has 57,600 miles on it. I'm not sure about when to change the rear differential.
 

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I just checked and the vehicle has 57,600 miles on it. I'm not sure about when to change the rear differential.
If it hasn't been done I would be doing it this service or next. Of course ALL maintenance decisions should be made with your long term goals for the car. I do those types of items every 30K, but I am shooting for 250-300K on my car. In this case, since your miles are so low for the age doing it once now may mean you don't have to do it again if you plan to sell or trade before 120K.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If it hasn't been done I would be doing it this service or next. Of course ALL maintenance decisions should be made with your long term goals for the car. I do those types of items every 30K, but I am shooting for 250-300K on my car. In this case, since your miles are so low for the age doing it once now may mean you don't have to do it again if you plan to sell or trade before 120K.
Thanks for the reply! Seems like good advice. I think you're right about making all maintenance decisions based on how long I plan on keeping the vehicle. I do plan on keeping this vehicle for quite awhile. I tend to keep vehicles for as long as is practical before I get a new one. My Dad always said "buy a good used car and drive it till the wheels fall off". :D
 

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Thanks for the reply! Seems like good advice. I think you're right about making all maintenance decisions based on how long I plan on keeping the vehicle. I do plan on keeping this vehicle for quite awhile. I tend to keep vehicles for as long as is practical before I get a new one. My Dad always said "buy a good used car and drive it till the wheels fall off". :D
I don't know how DIY capable you are, but the transmission fluid, transfer case, and rear diff aren't that hard to do yourself at a fraction of the cost of most shops, especially dealerships. There are videos on YouTube that have good detail. Quite frankly I began to DIY my oil changes, tire rotations (even though they are "free" at the place I bought my tires) and other fluids because not only is it drastically cheaper, but by planning ahead and having the tools and materials on hand ahead of time I can also save time. I can turn an oil change and tire rotation in 45 minutes in my garage or driveway for ~$30 vs $80 and 90 minutes including drive time at close by shops.
 

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My philosophy has been to buy new and drive it until you need to replace the tires. I wonder what makes more sense?
I used to buy new with that theory and then we entered the phase of most manufacturers putting out crappy product where you both paid through the nose up front and still had major repair expense. Your choice of the '14 MDX is a solid one, but you would have been hard pressed to know that when you bought it as there is a narrow window on the good MDX's. 2010-2013 had oil consumption issues related to VCM technology and 2016-2019 have the 9 speed transmission that has issues and costs a freakin fortune to service. Trans fluid at $30 a quart?

I've switched to buying stuff that is 5+ years old and around 100K. By that time they've been on the road long enough the weak spots are exposed and if a platform is too bad it's not on my consideration list. I've been a Honda/Acura guy for quite a while, but just helped my son buy a Toyota. They have had their issues as well, so you can't buy blindly, but it feels like stuff is changing so fast on the new models it's hard to know how reliable it's going to be until you have already committed.
 

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I wouldn't do anything till the reminders come up and do those when needed; besides by the time the next service alert pops up this Covid19 will be over with, so you don't have to worry about getting something done early, plus if you do something early then you have to keep doing it early, so it's just wise to follow the dash alert.

Plus by taking it to the dealer, if there is a service bulletin they will do that automatically when you go in, and they also know the ins and outs of Acura's and they see something that needs attention they will tell you. So taking it in for it's schedule maintenance will automatically, if required, take care of any problems they find.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't know how DIY capable you are, but the transmission fluid, transfer case, and rear diff aren't that hard to do yourself at a fraction of the cost of most shops, especially dealerships. There are videos on YouTube that have good detail. Quite frankly I began to DIY my oil changes, tire rotations (even though they are "free" at the place I bought my tires) and other fluids because not only is it drastically cheaper, but by planning ahead and having the tools and materials on hand ahead of time I can also save time. I can turn an oil change and tire rotation in 45 minutes in my garage or driveway for ~$30 vs $80 and 90 minutes including drive time at close by shops.
I'm not very DIY capable and my local dealer is about 5 minutes away. I definitely pay more at the dealer but it's convenient and I trust the Acura technicians skill more than my own.
 

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If it hasn't been done I would be doing it this service or next. Of course ALL maintenance decisions should be made with your long term goals for the car. I do those types of items every 30K, but I am shooting for 250-300K on my car. In this case, since your miles are so low for the age doing it once now may mean you don't have to do it again if you plan to sell or trade before 120K.
I checked my records and I had the rear differential fluid changed at 41k miles. The dealer said it will be due again at about 71k miles. So I should be good for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wouldn't do anything till the reminders come up and do those when needed; besides by the time the next service alert pops up this Covid19 will be over with, so you don't have to worry about getting something done early, plus if you do something early then you have to keep doing it early, so it's just wise to follow the dash alert.

Plus by taking it to the dealer, if there is a service bulletin they will do that automatically when you go in, and they also know the ins and outs of Acura's and they see something that needs attention they will tell you. So taking it in for it's schedule maintenance will automatically, if required, take care of any problems they find.
Thanks for this advice. I tend to agree...I'm just doing maintenance based on the dashboard minder when it is scheduled. You're right about the dealership knowing about and taking care of recalls/service bulletins. And I'm not very DIY so I trust the skill and experience of the Acura technicians.
 

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I used to buy new with that theory and then we entered the phase of most manufacturers putting out crappy product where you both paid through the nose up front and still had major repair expense. Your choice of the '14 MDX is a solid one, but you would have been hard pressed to know that when you bought it as there is a narrow window on the good MDX's. 2010-2013 had oil consumption issues related to VCM technology and 2016-2019 have the 9 speed transmission that has issues and costs a freakin fortune to service. Trans fluid at $30 a quart?

I've switched to buying stuff that is 5+ years old and around 100K. By that time they've been on the road long enough the weak spots are exposed and if a platform is too bad it's not on my consideration list. I've been a Honda/Acura guy for quite a while, but just helped my son buy a Toyota. They have had their issues as well, so you can't buy blindly, but it feels like stuff is changing so fast on the new models it's hard to know how reliable it's going to be until you have already committed.
I absolutely agree with your philosophy about buying a good used car. And buying one that has been around for awhile does help with making sure the kinks are worked out and it is hopefully reliable.
Like "elvisfan", I feel like my choice of the '15 MDX is also a solid one. I bought it used in 2017 and before we purchased it I did my research and we test drove a couple of examples. Once we were sure we knew exactly what we were looking for: a 2015 MDX with Tech Pkg. with low miles and in good condition/well maintained...I let the 4 upstate NY Acura dealers know exactly what I was looking for and had them all trying to find that specific vehicle for me. I live in Syracuse and I contacted the Acura dealers in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany and had them all competing for my business.
The Buffalo Acura dealer found the exact car I was looking for coming off of a 2 year lease with the original owners living in Florida during the winter (no Buffalo winter road salt) and Buffalo during the summer. It had 24k miles on it and was in pristine condition. It even happened (by luck) to be my first color choice...white exterior with Ivory leather interior. In my opinion, it was a "cream puff".
While the dealers were trying to locate the vehicle I specified...a couple of them called me offering some 2016 MDXs and I refused all of them specifically because I didn't want the 9-speed transmission. I wanted the tried and true 6-speed automatic. So that's what I got and I've been very happy with it so far.
For overall reliability, from now on I'm only buying Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus.
And I've owned most of the Japanese brands over the years...Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Datsun/Nissan.
 

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I absolutely agree with your philosophy about buying a good used car. And buying one that has been around for awhile does help with making sure the kinks are worked out and it is hopefully reliable.
Like "elvisfan", I feel like my choice of the '15 MDX is also a solid one. I bought it used in 2017 and before we purchased it I did my research and we test drove a couple of examples. Once we were sure we knew exactly what we were looking for: a 2015 MDX with Tech Pkg. with low miles and in good condition/well maintained...I let the 4 upstate NY Acura dealers know exactly what I was looking for and had them all trying to find that specific vehicle for me. I live in Syracuse and I contacted the Acura dealers in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany and had them all competing for my business.
The Buffalo Acura dealer found the exact car I was looking for coming off of a 2 year lease with the original owners living in Florida during the winter (no Buffalo winter road salt) and Buffalo during the summer. It had 24k miles on it and was in pristine condition. It even happened (by luck) to be my first color choice...white exterior with Ivory leather interior. In my opinion, it was a "cream puff".
While the dealers were trying to locate the vehicle I specified...a couple of them called me offering some 2016 MDXs and I refused all of them specifically because I didn't want the 9-speed transmission. I wanted the tried and true 6-speed automatic. So that's what I got and I've been very happy with it so far.
For overall reliability, from now on I'm only buying Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus.
And I've owned most of the Japanese brands over the years...Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Datsun/Nissan.
Yep, that's the way to go. I personally don't plan to ever buy new, but all the power to those who do and take the depreciation hit driving off the lot so that I can buy their car used a few years later :)
 

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Yep, that's the way to go. I personally don't plan to ever buy new, but all the power to those who do and take the depreciation hit driving off the lot so that I can buy their car used a few years later :)
I completely agree. I plan on never buying new again and just let someone else take the depreciation hit.
Then (like you said) I buy their gently used car a few years later! 👍
 
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