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So I am trying to get some exact details on my new car's (2008 MDX) service records since I know all the maintenance was all done at Acura. My local dealership claims they don't have the info since the car was not serviced there - I don't believe that - I can't believe they don't a shared database in this day and age. Anyway, after digging around, I found out which Acura dealership serviced this car and subsequently sold it to the mom and pop dealer, who sold it to me two weeks ago... So I gave them a call and they confirmed they can't share with me the service records of the previous owner even though my name is now on the car in their system. What he can tell me though is just verbally answer any question I would have that does not identify the owner (who he let slip was a female - and probably still is...that would explain why the car is in such great shape)

For some perspective, this one dealership in Toronto seems to have the highest consumer ranking of any Acura dealership in the Greater Toronto Area. So I was pleased that my ride was serviced there.

So...I had some questions ready since he has obligation to answer them and I wanted to respect his time. Here's what he said.

1. The 2008 MDX does not need synthethic oil. He even went out of his way to tell me I am "wasting money" by putting synthetic oil in the car. He said he presumes I am not bringing the car to his dealership so he has no reason to tell me anything other than to use regular 5W-20 oil in the car. He also said by not using synthetic, the maintenance minder thingys are more accurate in terms of tell me when it needs to be done.

2. He said the timing belt DOES NOT need to be done until 160,000 KM. I mentioned, "yeah but what about the 7 year thing". He told me (it was actually quite refreshing that he did not seem like an Acura rah rah guy), "look, you do what you want but we are not in an extreme weather area, and we have never had any belt here snap here anywhere near 160,000 KM. Way over. Most belts snap well after that..." That certainly would explain why my 04, when I got the belt done at 211,000 KM just last month when I bought it, my mechanic said the belt was in a good shape.

3. He said the brake fluid was changed in 2014 (good for 3 years), the AWD/transmission/transfer case in 2015 (good for 40K), and the cabin/engine filter changed in 2013 and it is due but I will get the maintenance minder on it. He said if I do anything outside of these, I am really wasting my money. I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with his honesty and sincerity. He also told me it is "pure baloney" that my local dealership couldn't access the same service records. He said, "I am not going to slag another dealership but I will tell you every dealership can see the service records - they just can't release them." If I ever have to take it to a dealership, I will take it there.

Looks like my car was taken care of very well, as he told me the dates and times of the oil changes. Looks like the previous owner was punctual on all scheduled maintenance.
 

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Great news for you!!! I am sure you will enjoy your ride as I have mine
 

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First, congrats on the purchase. Second, dealers all act different when it comes to providing service records and it usually comes down to the new owners doing some amateur detective work to figure out service history (nice job!). If you didn't get everything from that first call you could even call back next week and just get a different service advisor and see what happens. They all act differently, they all follow "rules" and others make up rules because they're lazy. Others just hand out all the information on a printed sheet because they just don't care. :)

1. It does not need synthetic. The MDX is not unique to any other modern auto when it comes to decision between synthetic or non-synthetic, i.e., his statement of "wasting your money" has nothing to do with the MDX. I'm sure that is his opinion for every car that doesn't prescribe synthetic from the factory. You can assume the previous owner didn't use synthetic and now its a decision you need to make. Do some research if you don't know already in making your decision. In summary, the benefits of synthetic are: better oil performance and extended oil change intervals (regular intervals will be between 3k-6k, synthetic intervals will be between 5k-15k). The downside is the cost. You'll have to weigh that cost to benefit value for yourself. My personal opinion is that the benefits of performance and extended change intervals far outweigh the additional cost (which is very small if you do the math).

2. This sounds right to me. How many km/mi on the 2008 now? If you plan on holding on to it for a long time, then change it at 160km. If you don't plan to keep that long, I would let it ride and leave it alone for the next owner.

3. I'm a bit of a maintenance nut, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I don't use the maintenance minder on the MDX. I have a handy Excel worksheet that I plug in my preferred maintenance intervals and it tells me when things are due (mileage or time interval, whichever comes first). PM me and I'll send to you if you want (the below intervals are technically in Miles, but the tool doesn't know if you're using Miles or Kilometers so easy to change my intervals to Kilometers). Here is what I do (below intervals are for non-synthetic):

 

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First, congrats on the purchase. Second, dealers all act different when it comes to providing service records and it usually comes down to the new owners doing some amateur detective work to figure out service history (nice job!). If you didn't get everything from that first call you could even call back next week and just get a different service advisor and see what happens. They all act differently, they all follow "rules" and others make up rules because they're lazy. Others just hand out all the information on a printed sheet because they just don't care. :)

1. It does not need synthetic. The MDX is not unique to any other modern auto when it comes to decision between synthetic or non-synthetic, i.e., his statement of "wasting your money" has nothing to do with the MDX. I'm sure that is his opinion for every car that doesn't prescribe synthetic from the factory. You can assume the previous owner didn't use synthetic and now its a decision you need to make. Do some research if you don't know already in making your decision. In summary, the benefits of synthetic are: better oil performance and extended oil change intervals (regular intervals will be between 3k-6k, synthetic intervals will be between 5k-15k). The downside is the cost. You'll have to weigh that cost to benefit value for yourself. My personal opinion is that the benefits of performance and extended change intervals far outweigh the additional cost (which is very small if you do the math).

2. This sounds right to me. How many km/mi on the 2008 now? If you plan on holding on to it for a long time, then change it at 160km. If you don't plan to keep that long, I would let it ride and leave it alone for the next owner.

3. I'm a bit of a maintenance nut, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I don't use the maintenance minder on the MDX. I have a handy Excel worksheet that I plug in my preferred maintenance intervals and it tells me when things are due (mileage or time interval, whichever comes first). PM me and I'll send to you if you want (the below intervals are technically in Miles, but the tool doesn't know if you're using Miles or Kilometers so easy to change my intervals to Kilometers). Here is what I do (below intervals are for non-synthetic):

Hi there, thanks for your insight. That would be great if you could send me that. I will PM you my email. As for my car, it has 118,036 KM as of this morning.
 

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What about TSB history? Like the 2010+ transmission reflash? Do the dealers have a joint database for which cars have been done?
 

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I thought all 5w-20 oil was either syn or a syn blend?
 

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So I am trying to get some exact details on my new car's (2008 MDX) service records since I know all the maintenance was all done at Acura. My local dealership claims they don't have the info since the car was not serviced there - I don't believe that - I can't believe they don't a shared database in this day and age. Anyway, after digging around, I found out which Acura dealership serviced this car and subsequently sold it to the mom and pop dealer, who sold it to me two weeks ago... So I gave them a call and they confirmed they can't share with me the service records of the previous owner even though my name is now on the car in their system. What he can tell me though is just verbally answer any question I would have that does not identify the owner (who he let slip was a female - and probably still is...that would explain why the car is in such great shape)

For some perspective, this one dealership in Toronto seems to have the highest consumer ranking of any Acura dealership in the Greater Toronto Area. So I was pleased that my ride was serviced there.

So...I had some questions ready since he has obligation to answer them and I wanted to respect his time. Here's what he said.

1. The 2008 MDX does not need synthethic oil. He even went out of his way to tell me I am "wasting money" by putting synthetic oil in the car. He said he presumes I am not bringing the car to his dealership so he has no reason to tell me anything other than to use regular 5W-20 oil in the car. He also said by not using synthetic, the maintenance minder thingys are more accurate in terms of tell me when it needs to be done.

2. He said the timing belt DOES NOT need to be done until 160,000 KM. I mentioned, "yeah but what about the 7 year thing". He told me (it was actually quite refreshing that he did not seem like an Acura rah rah guy), "look, you do what you want but we are not in an extreme weather area, and we have never had any belt here snap here anywhere near 160,000 KM. Way over. Most belts snap well after that..." That certainly would explain why my 04, when I got the belt done at 211,000 KM just last month when I bought it, my mechanic said the belt was in a good shape.

3. He said the brake fluid was changed in 2014 (good for 3 years), the AWD/transmission/transfer case in 2015 (good for 40K), and the cabin/engine filter changed in 2013 and it is due but I will get the maintenance minder on it. He said if I do anything outside of these, I am really wasting my money. I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with his honesty and sincerity. He also told me it is "pure baloney" that my local dealership couldn't access the same service records. He said, "I am not going to slag another dealership but I will tell you every dealership can see the service records - they just can't release them." If I ever have to take it to a dealership, I will take it there.

Looks like my car was taken care of very well, as he told me the dates and times of the oil changes. Looks like the previous owner was punctual on all scheduled maintenance.


Please share the Toronto dealer name as others would benefit if located in the GTA.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Please share the Toronto dealer name as others would benefit if located in the GTA.
Downtown Acura, on Front Street. Ask for Harry, in the service department. He's the person with whom I spoke.
 

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I would think about that timing belt. That breaks in these engines and it is a major repair to replace this type of engine. I don't think you want that. I would rather be safe than sorry. That dealer sure isn't going to foot the bill for a new MDX engine.
 

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Well, if it had been raced I would definitely do the timing belt. Or maybe other severe service such as frequent towing. Or if the water pump were growling. Here are maintenance intervals for a pre-MM 2005 MDX. They do show the 7-year time recommendation, and there is also a special condition for sustained high heat, frigid cold, or frequent towing. But really, I think I would just drive the thing and be happy.

Our ( now my son's ) 2005 is still going strong at 86k miles and we haven't done the timing belt. I mentioned that 7-year thing to our dealer service a few years ago and they kind of rolled their eyes at me. Our 2003 ( now my daughter's ) got the timing belt at about 105k miles. And it sounds like your 2004 purred along until 132k miles without incident.

From ( pre-MM ) 2005 MDX Owner's Manual:

normal_service.jpg

severe_service.jpg

timing_belt.jpg
 

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I bought an 07 MDX with 99k miles on it and became paranoid when I reached 105k miles. So I had the timing belt replaced. The only the shop noticed is that the belt being replaced was stretched longer than the newer belt but no cracks or anything. The noticeable difference to me was my acceleration felt much tighter and a bit more torque feel to it. I changed the spark plugs after that and noticed no difference. They were the original plugs.
 
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