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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Needing advice how to proceed next?- I already start looking for aftermarket in lieu of genuine Acura parts & possibly other repair shops(Midas franchisee, NAPA franchisee, etc.?).

My 2011 MDX (Advanced) has almost 110k original miles. Lately I've noticed a steady rattling noise coming from front of car over past 3-6 months as the noise is getting louder progressively over time, also experienced slight vibrations when going over potholes and bumps. Out of concern for safety, I took it to a local mechanic, not the local MDX dealer.

I got the sticker shock of my life when this 'honest, local' ex-Honda mechanic owned repair shop owner told me that total replacement costs is about $5,000($750 for labor, rest are for genuine MDX OEM parts)! All this for a pair of front struts, a pair of rear shock absorbers, a pair of front sway bar end link, bushings, and D/S cv axle(sp?).

Multiple web searches suggest that equivalent cost for this type of work should be in a range of $1k-$2k total. Needless to say I refused the mechanic's quote and now trying to shop around for aftermarket parts from other manufacturers that will be compatible with my MDX, and possibly other type of strut/shock absorber specialist repair places locally..


1,970 Posts
Your mechanic is pretty honest. Your car came with fancy shocks. It does require expensive parts. There is a super long thread here in how to swap magnetic struts with ordinary ones. You need to do a lot of homework.

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1,227 Posts
How not to get ripoff for 2011 MDX struts and shocks replacement?
Get OEM front damper assemblies and OEM rear shocks (plus new bolts for everything) for about USD 800 tax included for non ADS ones and install them yourself. It's not difficult at all.

You will lose the comfort / sport modes because you will no longer have ADS dampers, but you'll save about two and half grand at least on parts only.

You will also likely need to replace sway bar links.

Here are my videos on all of these:

Good luck!

716 Posts
I looked up your 2011 MDX Adv wholesale value; if it has 110,000 miles it's worth $9,855.
There have been 2 aftermarket companies that offer replacement parts, but everyone that has tried them has not said anything positive about their durability. Sort of...they got what they paid for.

Rarely will you ever find a repair shop that will let you bring in your own parts and have them installed, because that takes away from the repair shop's ability to mark up items (aka make a profit) for your car.

Usually you need to turn to a car club on Facebook, in your town, for someone that works on Acuras and is recommended by others in your town. That's how I got my timing belt done for $300.

I did my own ADS shock conversion, because it's just nuts and bolts and I have jack stands, a torque wrench, and basic hand tools. I shopped around until I found free shipping on the front non-ads shock assemblies and was able to get everything (front & rear) for $700.
I'll add the list of my part numbers (below) and online Acura dealers that sell them at 32% off MSRP. Again shipping is the thing that really adds to the price, so you might check e-bay, as many of the dealers on my list advertise and sell their OEM parts there.
Specifically, here's how I got free shipping:
I went to e-bay and searched for OEM Acura bumpers. I didn't need a bumper, but I chose a bumper, because they come in a very, very big box and if an Acura dealer was offering free shipping on bumpers, then I might get them to give me free shipping on the shock assy.
Before I called to talk to the parts manager, I would find the price from two of the 32% off OEM Acura sites and use those numbers, when I asked for price matching. I would not mention that those discount numbers did not include shipping.
When talking to the parts manager, I'd verify the free shipping on the bumper and ask if I could get free shipping on some front shock assemblies. If they said yes I'd continue, by giving them my part numbers. They would quote the full MSRP price and I'd ask if they would price match the specific dealer's price that I found online.
That's how I got free shipping on my OEM Acura parts.

When I did the work, I could not re-use the front end links, so I've added them to the list below:

2007 - 2013 MDX ADS to non-ADS parts list and suppliers:

mouser dot com front 2 ea. 5 ohm 71-cp00105r000je14 resistors

rear 2 ea. 2 ohm 71-cp00102r000ke14 resistors

Any Acura oem online discount parts supplier: front left assy 51601-stx-a06

front right assy 51602-stx-a06

Rockauto dot com 2ea rear KYB shocks #349025

2 ea front end links AC Delco #88876421

Acura online parts at about 32% off, but the shipping costs vary:

hondapartsunlimited dot com Phoenix, AZ

newoempartsonline dot com Savanh, GA

bernardiparts dot com Boston, MA

acurapartsforless dot com New Jersey

acuraexpressparts dot com Chicago, iL

oemacuraparts dot com Peoria, AZ

macchurchill dot com Ft Worth, TX

acurapartshq dot com Las Vegas, NV

acuraoemparts dot com DelRay Beach, FL

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all for the great suggestions, special shout out to carpayment4life on detailed steps. I have gone ahead and ordered the two most expensive OEM components(front struts & rear shocks) online and already saved $2k+
I will revert and posted another update once these parts arrived and the entire replacement job is done at the local Honda mechanic shop I mentioned in my first post(they agreed to let me purchase my own parts for part of this work).

716 Posts
First steps are:

If you had a warning light before you started or if you have unread/uncleared messages, you need to do something else.

Start the engine
On the center console press and hold "cancel + map guide + menu" at the same time, until the 7" navi display changes.
Use the super big dial knob to select "xm/hip" option
Press in the knob to select that item
Now, select the "xm/hip ECU" option
Press in the knob
Select "Diagnostic info"
Press in the knob
View the list and select & delete each item
Exit out by: repeatedly selecting "return" on the top of the screen, with the knob.

Now for the rest of the labor:
1. Start engine
2. Put it in Comfort mode and never ever touch that button again. Never. Look at the dash to verify the Comfort mode is engaged.
3. Turn off engine.
4. Remove battery cables
5. Disconnect the ADS shock plugs.
6. Install the resistors, keeping them in place with some (not much) electrical tape. You'll make them permanent, after you test drive it.
7. Test drive, for 10 miles, to verify that no dash board warning light comes on.
8. Remove tires and do a better job taping the resistors.
10. Change out the shocks
11. Tires back on.
12. Battery cables connected.
13. Do Not Touch the Sport/Comfort button.

Someday you may accidentally push the sport/comfort button and will need to re-do the above (unnumbered) steps and then pull the battery cables for 30 seconds.

If a resistor ever comes out, you'll need to put it back in and re-do the unnumbered steps and pull the battery cables for 30 seconds.

Of course you could just make the change (button push or resistor install) and drive it with the warning light on for 500 miles and it will reset itself, probably.
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