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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a local person who has a 2004 MDX in white (which is the color I prefer to own). Issue is it is about 241k on the odo and some of the seats are in kinda rough condition. The title is clean and clear. I will be asking if the timing belt has been completed and if it can pass inspection or if any check engine lights have come up. would it be weird for me to show up with my odbII reader and scanned it?

I have been reading this forum for a while and from what I have seen, these cars can go on for a pretty long time without issues as long and the standard maint has been kept up. From looking at the Honda Pilot, these vehicles are basically the same correct?
What other things should I check for before buying? I have never bought a vehicle with this high mileage before, usually ones that are still under warranty. I am pretty savvy when it comes to DIY repairs as I have rebuilt the motor for an 88 RX7 (back in 95) and changed the timing belt/wp on a 04 Civic a couple years ago by byself. Only issues I have is doing a/c work since I dont have the proper tools.


Here are the pictures of it that I was able to pull. The car is local to me, maybe 5 minutes away.
***tried to post a link to the images but it wouldn't let me***

Just trying to get some opinions if this vehicle is worth the price. I am looking for a reliable DD to go back and forth to work....this being a Honda, I assume it is reliable. Another vehicle I was considering was the 04-06 Pilot.

TIA for any advice/tips...had to join to post..
 

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I have an 02 with 225K miles or so on it, still runs like a champ.. it currently needs motor mounts...interior is in terrific shape, no tears, rips etc....

if you don't mind, what are they asking for this MDX? I am driving mine less and less and thinking of selling it...
 

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My '04 now has 215,000 miles. I bought it a couple years ago with 160,000 miles, and it's been very reliable. Had to replace a high pressure power steering line (fiddly, but only about $100 DIY fix), a rear window regulator (dirt cheap and dead easy), and a couple other minor things. I've also replaced suspension components (just ordered struts) though none of these components was "bad"... just "not good enough to make it feel like a new car".

The cars are built really well - really the only weak link is the transmission (which is the case with nearly any modern car). I'd pull the dipstick (the yellow one that's on the driver's side) and look at the condition of the fluid. If it's really dark and stinky, you're going to have to take a chance that the transmission has a lot of wear and might give you trouble in the future. If it's clean and red, chances are the owner has been taking care of it. You mentioned timing belt. The other thing to look for is whether the valves have been adjusted - that's a fairly expensive job at the shop, though a DIYer will do it for free in a few hours.

And finally - it would be weird if you DIDN'T bring an OBDII reader to scan it! Anyone who won't let you do that is trying to hide something, IMHO... I'd walk away at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have an 02 with 225K miles or so on it, still runs like a champ.. it currently needs motor mounts...interior is in terrific shape, no tears, rips etc....

if you don't mind, what are they asking for this MDX? I am driving mine less and less and thinking of selling it...
They're asking $2700 for the car but plan to try and offer $2200 cash. I got a chance to check it out today. It is in just as good condition as any car of it's age. No dents or anything around the body, but has a few scratches here and there. Interior is in really good shape aside from the rear driver side seat. It looks like that side was used heavily for a baby seat. I didn't get to drive it since I had both my kids with me but I was able to start it and it SOUNDED good and a/c works really well. Downside...all 4 tires will probably need to be replaced pretty soon, no registration or inspection sticker and only 1 key with no fob.

As with buying any used car from someone, I worry about check engine light issues. If they cleared any CEL codes, will my scanner be able to pull those codes right back or will I have to wait for the CEL to reappear? Will they show back up right away if something o2/exhaust/emission related or I drive it for 10-15 minutes? I am going back in the morning to do a test drive. If it does throw any codes, I will more than likely walk away.

So the 04 is still plagued with the tranny issue? I thought that was only 01-02?

There is another MDX, it is an 06 and they're asking for $3250 with 201k on it. I think this is at a
small dealer. The good about this one is that it is a touring model, already inspected, has fairly new tires and the interior is in great shape.

Thanks for all the advice/replies.

EDIT to ADD:
Checked Carfax on it, no accidents reported, timing belt/wp was replaced at 110k, idler pulley replaced 3 months ago, rotors/pads done 2 years ago, rack n pinion replaced in '11, oil changed every 5k, recommended maint was performed at the dealer at 213k, vehicle inspection was done in Feb '17 and passed. Looks like a lot of work and regular service on this vehicle was done at a local Acura dealer.
 

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My take is that the '01-02 had a higher likelihood of tranny problems, but that they fixed most of those with the '03-04 models. On a forum like this one, everyone fixates on problems rather than looking at how many of these vehicles last forever with limited maintenance, though it's wise to understand the advantages of the newer models.

The fact the '04 has so much well-documented maintenance is a huge plus. I'd suggest if you can snag it for $2200 (or close) you're doing just fine. I would MUCH rather have an '04 with a great service history than a newer model with slightly fewer miles without knowing the service history. Take care of these cars, and they last a long, long time. My '04 is at 215,000 miles, and I really can't imagine I'll sell it short of over 300,000 miles. I was riding in a buddy's brand new Honda Pilot and realized that my 13 year old, high-mileage MDX was really more comfortable and just felt more like a luxury SUV. Yes, I spend time and money keeping it as close to perfect as I can, but that's chump change compared to the cost of car payments! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guy ended up selling it to someone else after I left. The 06 is at a used car dealer that specializes in single owner vehicle. Found the dealers web page and it included a link to a Carfax for it. Carfax for this one shows that it has been serviced at the Acura dealer all it's life as well. I'll be trying to go check this out in the morning and if I like it, I'll try and see if I can make a offer on it.
 

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It really did sound like the '01 was a good deal, so it's not surprising that someone jumped on it. Just don't get into paralysis by analysis mode. When I'm looking for a car, I set my sights on some very specific criteria, and want to see a vehicle that's been taken care of. I immediately walk away from 90% of the cars I look at as a result, but jump all over the ones that I want right away, after doing the appropriate due diligence, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ended up picking up the 06. Drives good, clean inside and out, brand new tires and has all service records. Only issue I am seeing is the navigation isn't working, stays stuck on the WAIT screen and then errors out that GPS couldn't be located or something. Other than that, I am pretty satisfied with it.
 

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Good choice on the year... By 06 the trans issues have been more than likely resolved.
The GPS thing could be a bad GPS DVD Slot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good choice on the year... By 06 the trans issues have been more than likely resolved.
The GPS thing could be a bad GPS DVD Slot.
Hopefully that isn't the case but it could possibly be. I have tried disconnecting all the cables and reconnecting them, the ones that plug into the back of the navi disc unit. I don't really care for the navigation since my phone works a lot better but I think the unit will come in handy in the event that my phone runs low on battery.
 

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Well, I have a 2004 and I can tell you this:

1. It is a great vehicle. My Dad is actually the main driver now of it, since he loves it so much. It just so happened my Uncle was in town in May and my Dad lent him his car and I lent him my 2004 MDX. He loves it so much I practically gave it to him. I changed the TB at 211,000 KM, which is pretty much what I bought the car at.

From everything I read transmission issues plague more the 2001-2003 model year.

Some common things to check in that model year - it seems like the heated seat elements go often in the 1G MDXes.

I see you said there are some scratches on it but no dents. How about rust? That's an issue on mine, but it's relatively minor (from my perspective - no everyone agrees). If you have rust in your wheel well, check to see if you have a rubber strip with flexible metallic inside - that can come loose from the vehicle, trap moisture, dirt, etc. and expedite the rust building.

As for bringing OBD code reader to an inspection, I would definitely do it. Who cares what anyone thinks? If there is no problem with the car, there is nothing to hide, and therefore, you should be able to scan to your heart's delight.

As for clearing messages, or messages that come and go - my mechanic has a scanner that can scan codes that have been cleared but still reside in some sort of memory system.

Is that 241K kilometers or miles?

The 1G Pilot and MDX share many similarities. MDX is better appointed being considered a luxury vehicle.

I believe the 06 has a slight refresh on the navi screen. Also from the 05 onward, bluetooth hands-free capability is introduced.
 

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Hopefully that isn't the case but it could possibly be. I have tried disconnecting all the cables and reconnecting them, the ones that plug into the back of the navi disc unit. I don't really care for the navigation since my phone works a lot better but I think the unit will come in handy in the event that my phone runs low on battery.
I agree, the 04 navi screen is nothing to write home about. In Canada, ours does not have live traffic and using the phone or a standalone navi unit is much better. The 2G MDX navi screen is pretty much the same graphics, with a bigger screen and reads streetnames. I never thought I would say this but I now prefer the manual wheel in using the navi than the touch screen of the 1G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, I was able to run a diagnostic on the GPS by pressing MAP,CANCEL and MENU. It came to the screen where you choose what you want to run a check on and I choose Navi System. Everything was green except for HFL (hands free?) and GPS Antenna. I sat in the passenger seat and noticed that the seat felt a little loose and I decided to take the seat off just to clean up underneath it. I noticed that the GPS antenna cable was broken. I fixed it by soldering it back together and got the nav working. A friend of mine has an extra GPS antenna from his 08 MDX that he will give me so I can try to see if it works. I assume they are compatible and the only difference will be the mounting bracket that is in the dash and the cable length. He lives in another state so he is going to bring it when he comes to visit in a couple months. Now I just need to get my phone to pair so I can get the hands free thing working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The HFL module is green and located above the vanity lights.
It's been very problematic and honestly not worth fixing.
So far it is only having a problem with the BT and connecting to the phone but I don't think I am going to fix it anyways.. I am thinking of just replacing the whole head unit out with an aftermarket stereo. Mainly because I want the BT functionality of being able to stream music from Pandora/Spotify. Other than that, I'm extremely happy with the vehicle purchase. Really appreciate all the advice I have received from everyone here.
 

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When you change the head unit if you have BOSE (Says on the speaker on your upper door)then, well...forget it.

If you don't have Bose or don't have Navi, then there's a thread here about a Pioneer head unit that will do you right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When you change the head unit if you have BOSE (Says on the speaker on your upper door)then, well...forget it.

If you don't have Bose or don't have Navi, then there's a thread here about a Pioneer head unit that will do you right.
Yeah, it has the Navi + Bose. From reading, that's the conclusion I have come to ( not replace it)
 

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You can though add a USA SPEC BT or a Grom USA MP3 Adapter.
Since you have Bose you have a CDC head unit, both of those plug into that
Both will add the bluetooth functionality through the radio.
(Takes about 30 mins to install)

To get scrolling text though you have to disconnect the XM Module located in rear left wheel well (takes about 90 minutes to disconnect due to the ton of items you have to remove ahead of time)


I have used the GROM Unit, it has it's quirks, and it's XM mode is extremely slow.

I haven't tried USA Spec yet, (Their biggest competitor), maybe someone here can chime in on how well it works with the 1st Gen MDX.
 
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