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Hi Everyone,

I'm coming up on one year with our '08 MDX and it's been awesome. Over the past few years I've slowly been switching from using an auto shop to doing the work myself. I find that it's a fun break from the day to day grind to spend a few hours working on your car. I've also been accumulating all sorts of fun tools (air tools, jack and stands, all sorts of ratchets and wrenches). I would like to be as self sufficient as possible and only rely on local auto shops for a major repair or issue that's way out of my ability to figure out and take care of.

All of my other cars have just had a maintenance schedule based on mileage, but I have come to learn about this Maintenance Minder deal. It's pretty cool, but it also makes me feel a little out of control over the maintenance of it and for whatever reason it's kinda stressing me out. Like what if it needs something and it doesn't tell me to replace or fix it, or it tells me to do something but I've already done it, but it didn't know that I did it and now I'm replacing something too early.

Anyway, I'm wondering if any of you, especially the DIYers, have a good system for managing this? Do you log everything you do and if it seems like an unusually long time since something has been done, you go ahead and take care of it? Then do you have to reset anything in the computer if you do? For example, I just hit 130k miles. Based on conversations with the prior owner, the spark plugs have still not been replaced. I don't think he would have missed that code as he took it to the dealership every time the maintenance light came on (he had a huge stack of receipts). 130k seemed like it was overdue so I went ahead and did it, but now I wonder if sometime soon it'll tell me to replace them. I'm also worried there may be other parts that should be checked or replaced that it may not be telling me about.

Lastly, I'm not sure what all the Maintenance Minders include. Does it go off anytime anything at all needs to be replaced? Or just certain items? Does anyone have a list of any items that should be monitored that aren't included on there or even just other routine practices that should be done in addition to following the Maintenance Minder codes? (e.g.) checking tire pressure, engine oil levels, fluids, etc?
 

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The maintenance minder will come up with the Oil Life % it will sum up what you have to do at each Oil Change.
For example Engine Air Filter will come up every 2 oil changes and so on..

In order to Reset them you just Reset the Oil Life % and it will eat that service with it, Regardless if you did it or not.
Since the previous owner didn´t replace the Spark Plugs which is a 100K Service I wonder what many others have skipped?
He has the Timing Belt receipt? that is a Service done every 105K or 7 Years which by this time is long overdue.

Going to how I do my changes is quite easy.
I do not follow the Maintenance Reminder at all, I just go by Year Round changes. This is because I buy the car used so the Record Maintenance Minder is Useless to me specially IF I didn´t have any records of maintenance done.

I use Mobil 1 EP 5W-30 which is enough to last me the whole year (Oil Life % will say its done after 6 months so its inaccurate already when using aftermarket oil).
So what I do is change my Engine Oil each December always.. I do an ATF Change as well and then I count for other services.
SH-AWD Diff has an interval of 30K and the Transfer Case as well so I will change those every 2 years regardless of mileage.

I can only do this because I reset everything myself every time I buy a new car, When I bought my MDX I did pretty much all of them.. Spark Plug Change, Engine Oil Flush (2 Changes with Regular Dyno Oil and 1 with Mobil 1 Syn ), ATF 3x3 Flush, P/S Flush, Brake Fluid Flush, Engine Air Filter, Cabin Air Filter. I did the Timing Belt already as well but not when I first bought the car. Then I do year round maintenance since my overall Mileage does not sums 15K a Year more often than not is around 10-12K.

So after my initial all fluid reset when I bought the car then I take a Year (If its close to December I still change them, for ex: If I buy the car in October I still do December changes). All of this counts with the fact I already done them when I bought the car as I mentioned:
1st December = Engine Oil, ATF Oil
2nd December = Engine Oil, ATF Oil, Air Filter Cleaning (K&N Washable in my Case), SH-AWD Diff, Transfer Case, Cabin Air Filter.
3rd December = Engine Oil, 3x3 ATF Oil Flush, Flush P/S and Flush Brake Fluid.
4th December = Engine Oil, ATF Oil, SH-AWD Diff, Transfer Case, Cabin Air Filter, Spark Plugs, Brake Pads and Rotors If Needed.
5th December = Engine Oil, ATF Oil, Flush P/S, Flush Brake Fluid, Timing Belt.
etc, etc, etc.

This might look expensive but since I do all the work myself is actually quite affordable and easy to do.
This is how I can keep exact records and I do not have to worry about the Record Maintenance.. I do this with all my cars specially if I buy them used.
 
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Great question and superb answer. I had the same questions and more. This is very helpful especially since I have used synthetic oil for years and pretty sure the maintenace minder does not account for synthetic. Now...I see you use 5W-30. Thought MDXes take 5W-20

Regarding timing belt. My mechanic whom I trust inherently and has never once steered me wrong - told me I dont need to change it till 140,000 km (87,000 miles). My car is now around 117,900 km or 73,200 miles. I know in the US it is 7 years or 105,000 miles so my mechanic is obviously factoring Canadian weather to recommend the sooner mileage. I have always used the mileage rather than the time. That would mean next summer 2018 before I change it. Time wise that would be 10 years though.

My 04 mdx i just bought last month didnt have the original timing belt changed until 211,000 km. Original owner didnt change it but i did the day after i bought it. My mechanic said the condition was still pretty good. No cracks. Just stretched a bit

Now my old 2004 Volvo. I found out in February that the belt was never changed by the previous owner and lasted until 278,000 km when i changed it. That belt was about to snap any day. Fill of cracks. But 2 months after the change i now have 2 x mdxes as well and looking to sell the volvo due to nonfunctioning all wheel drive that not even the dealership could figure out

So in just getting the car i have general service records but no details. Trying to find out and contact the specific dealership to determine what exactly was done. In the meantime based on my mileage what would be the priority? Here is whaf i know for sure

Oil and filter done march 20 of this year with synthetic
Brand new rotors and brakes done march 29
Brand new ads shocks/dampers done march 30
Brand new power steering pump done march 30

I do see from the general outline of the service records that every single time maintenance was done at Acura, the owner had the car detailed by Acura. Which explains the interior impeccable condition.

That being said i know the previous owner took to Acura for servicing until around 112,000 km. Could i assume he/she got everything done? I know owners can decline service too. Once i find out which dealerships did the servicing (it is a hard task due to privacy issues as well as all acura dealerships being individually franchised) i can have a better sense of things
 

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I keep a spreadsheet of repairs/maintenance items for both my cars. Every time I do something, I log the date, mileage, work completed and total cost. That way I can always go back to the spreadsheet if I have any questions about what might be due. I try to keep receipts as well, but I usually fail at that part.

When I was shopping for our X, I called the dealerships listed on the CarFax report and asked about services completed. Some were really helpful and listed off the work completed. No one would mail me a report … I think because of privacy concerns with addresses and names listed on the work orders. But some did say they would print me out some data if I came by the service department. Given my shopping range was 200 miles, that wasn't very practical. So it doesn't hurt to call.
 

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I keep a spreadsheet of repairs/maintenance items for both my cars. Every time I do something, I log the date, mileage, work completed and total cost. That way I can always go back to the spreadsheet if I have any questions about what might be due. I try to keep receipts as well, but I usually fail at that part.

When I was shopping for our X, I called the dealerships listed on the CarFax report and asked about services completed. Some were really helpful and listed off the work completed. No one would mail me a report … I think because of privacy concerns with addresses and names listed on the work orders. But some did say they would print me out some data if I came by the service department. Given my shopping range was 200 miles, that wasn't very practical. So it doesn't hurt to call.
Hi Jon,

I actually do the same with my previous cars...I just use Evernote to record it...and I put down who did it as well.

Since I had Acura change the VIN under my name, Acura will see that I am the owner now and apparently then can print out full service records for me with my name an address being as the contact (even previous ones); however, I just need to find out which dealership(s) did the work. Otherwise, I have generalized statement showing maintenance done but no exact details and whether there were issues that prompted the maintenance or if it was just regular. That's really what I am after...so I will call the dealer from which I bought the car - they bought it from Acura, so at least they can tell me which Acura and I can start from there to try to trace the history down. Unfortunately the Carproof report in Canada does not show which dealership.
 

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There's really not much maintenance required on these so it's pretty simple. Transmission/Diff/Transfer fluids every 30k miles, timing belt and spark plugs around 100k, and brake fluid every 3 years. The MID is great for oil changes and reminding you to inspect things, but most everything else is pretty much mileage based anyway. If the timing belt hasn't been replaced yet, that should be on the very short listby now. 10 years/130k miles is getting to the sketchy zone given the cost/benefit.
 

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There's really not much maintenance required on these so it's pretty simple. Transmission/Diff/Transfer fluids every 30k miles, timing belt and spark plugs around 100k, and brake fluid every 3 years. The MID is great for oil changes and reminding you to inspect things, but most everything else is pretty much mileage based anyway. If the timing belt hasn't been replaced yet, that should be on the very short listby now. 10 years/130k miles is getting to the sketchy zone given the cost/benefit.
No...my car is at 117,000 kilometers or 72,000 miles. My mechanic says it can be changed at 140,000 kilometers or 87,000 miles. I am talking kilometers here. So right now it is 9 years old, at 117,000 kilometers (72,000 miles)
 

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No...my car is at 117,000 kilometers or 72,000 miles. My mechanic says it can be changed at 140,000 kilometers or 87,000 miles. I am talking kilometers here. So right now it is 9 years old, at 117,000 kilometers (72,000 miles)
I was replying to OP and I'm not even sure what you're disagreeing with. If it's about the age of the timing belt, Honda recommends 7 years or 105k miles, whichever comes first. You can do whatever you and your mechanic want, but OP is at 10 years 130k miles which is on the high end no matter what.

I don't understand the desire to delay timing belt changes unless you're planning to dump the vehicle before doing the maintenance. It has to be done and unless your budget just can't swing it, what sense does it make risking a $5k+ engine? Most people are only going to change it once in the vehicle's life anyway so just get it over with.
 

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I use 5W-30 because 5W-20 is simply too light for South California Summers (122°F/50°C) and its just a silly CARB/HONDA SCAM, Also the MPGs difference that is supposed to give at least here is almost none-existent. Heat Soak and Tremendous high air temperatures destroy any perceivable gains of 5W-20 and promotes wear due to the thinner oil.

I do recommend to follow the Manufacturer Oil weight where Climate is less Severe.
 

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Agreed... I blend 2 lt of 5-20 and 3 lt of 5-30 [ all Penz Plat / ULtra ]
Even here is Canuck-land.. it gets pretty hot at times..
when my stash of 5-20 runs out... it will be mostly 5-30

I can not bring myself on a 300+ hp engine to be all on 5-20...
but thats just me...!!!
and so far.. lucky me.... i next to zero oil consumption... i just did the spring time oil change... and had -no- topup oil required over our blasted winter.
I shall see what this summer brings
My 2c
j.
 

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I was replying to OP and I'm not even sure what you're disagreeing with. If it's about the age of the timing belt, Honda recommends 7 years or 105k miles, whichever comes first. You can do whatever you and your mechanic want, but OP is at 10 years 130k miles which is on the high end no matter what.

I don't understand the desire to delay timing belt changes unless you're planning to dump the vehicle before doing the maintenance. It has to be done and unless your budget just can't swing it, what sense does it make risking a $5k+ engine? Most people are only going to change it once in the vehicle's life anyway so just get it over with.

Sorry about that. I misread and misunderstood there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the info guys! I've got some good ideas now of how to tackle this.

And as to the question about timing belt and spark plugs, after going through receipts it looks like they replaced the timing belt and water pump at about 105k miles, but didn't do the spark plugs then. Not sure why that would be. Anyway, I went ahead and did them last week and it was actually surprisingly easy!

As far as oil usage, I'm a little confused as to why you would use 5W-30 or something other than the 5W-20? Is there a disadvantage to 5W-20? I live in Arizona, so we spend a good portion of the year at temps over 100, sometimes as a high as 110s for an extended period through July and August. At the same time though we can hit periods in the winter in the 30s. Not sure if that should have anything to do with my oil changing habits though.
 

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Hi Everyone,

I'm coming up on one year with our '08 MDX and it's been awesome. Over the past few years I've slowly been switching from using an auto shop to doing the work myself. I find that it's a fun break from the day to day grind to spend a few hours working on your car. I've also been accumulating all sorts of fun tools (air tools, jack and stands, all sorts of ratchets and wrenches). I would like to be as self sufficient as possible and only rely on local auto shops for a major repair or issue that's way out of my ability to figure out and take care of.

All of my other cars have just had a maintenance schedule based on mileage, but I have come to learn about this Maintenance Minder deal. It's pretty cool, but it also makes me feel a little out of control over the maintenance of it and for whatever reason it's kinda stressing me out. Like what if it needs something and it doesn't tell me to replace or fix it, or it tells me to do something but I've already done it, but it didn't know that I did it and now I'm replacing something too early.

Anyway, I'm wondering if any of you, especially the DIYers, have a good system for managing this? Do you log everything you do and if it seems like an unusually long time since something has been done, you go ahead and take care of it? Then do you have to reset anything in the computer if you do? For example, I just hit 130k miles. Based on conversations with the prior owner, the spark plugs have still not been replaced. I don't think he would have missed that code as he took it to the dealership every time the maintenance light came on (he had a huge stack of receipts). 130k seemed like it was overdue so I went ahead and did it, but now I wonder if sometime soon it'll tell me to replace them. I'm also worried there may be other parts that should be checked or replaced that it may not be telling me about.

Lastly, I'm not sure what all the Maintenance Minders include. Does it go off anytime anything at all needs to be replaced? Or just certain items? Does anyone have a list of any items that should be monitored that aren't included on there or even just other routine practices that should be done in addition to following the Maintenance Minder codes? (e.g.) checking tire pressure, engine oil levels, fluids, etc?
I just shared this on another recent thread. PM me if you want my Excel tracker. I don't use the maintenance minder. The tracker allows you to plug in your desired intervals (mileage and time) and alerts you whichever comes first.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would love to get a copy of your spreadsheet. I just tried PMing you but it didn't let me since I haven't made enough posts. Do you mind PMing me with it? Thanks!
 
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