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Discussion Starter #1
There's a strange jinx with all the potential 10-13 purchases I've test-driven over the past year: they all wobble or vibrate, some at 45 some at 70. Only one gave me a smooth ride, a 2013, but that was a salvage. Really now, are the most of you NOT spending money finding out why your car doesn't give you a smooth ride?

I'm afraid to purchase anything that doesn't already have these problems solved, but now I'm beginning to wonder if these wheel/tire/? problems are unsolvable, and that is why they're up for sale.
 

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Are these private party sales? At Acura dealers? At non-Acura "mainstream" dealers? At "used car" dealers?

What tires are on them? It's fairly common for sellers and dealers to throw CHEAP tires on their inventory.

Have you taken any of these for a pre-purchase inspection at a reputable Acura dealer or independent shop? What do they say about your concerns?

Personally, I wouldn't be looking at 5-8 year old vehicles. It is my opinion that these vehicles are old enough to be having "problems" and most of them lack reputable service history. The few "gems" that are out there are typically priced accordingly. Most people aren't selling their 5-8 year old vehicle because they "still love it and it's 100% problem free". These vehicles should be paid-off, if they're original owner, and unless their needs have drastically changed, there is little incentive to replace an MDX. If it's not the original owner, then that would worry me enough to pass, anyway.

If you can afford it, I'd go newer. A MDX that is only 3 years old is probably either off-lease, or was owned by someone who goes through vehicles as-if they were leases. You get a nicer vehicle, lower miles, and fewer problems.

If you can't afford to go newer, then I'd go down-market -- Honda will cost you less than Acura. You'll be able to get lower miles and newer model year for the same $$$.

That doesn't mean these problems can't be fixed... But I would question whether it is worth pursuing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply and taking the time to give some advice.

I've looked at both Acura and "mainstream" dealers (Ford, Infiniti, etc.) and one or two used dealers.
 

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I purchased my 11 MDX in 2014 out of state with 30K on her just off lease. The 5 hour ride back home to ABQ was very disappointing because the MDX felt unsettled, a little squirrelly, and drifted in the lane. The OEM tires were in pretty bad shape with a lot cracks in the sidewalls. I went with the 11 MDX because of the still active 4yr/50k basic warranty. The +2014 3rd Gen MDX just came out and the cheapest base/tech fwd models were still $10,000-$20,000 more expensive compared to an used 2nd Gen 10-13 MDX tech or Adv/Ent models.

I had to purchase new tires (conti DWS), road force balance, fix a torn boot on a front endlink (warranty), replace front magnetic struts (warranty), and do an alignment. After all that, she felt 10X better at hwy speeds of 80-85 (posted interstate speeds are between 75-85 mph out west). I would expect any 2nd Gen MDX will start/need something suspension related because of age and/or mileage (tires, balance/rotation, alignments, shock/struts, strut mounts, control arm, tie rods, endlinks, sway bar bushings, etc....).

Unless you have a strict budget, just need a beater SUV, or really love the 2nd Gen styling, the 3rd Gen MDX still under the 4yr/50K warranty would be a better choice if you need a road ready vehicle.
 

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These cars are all old by now, So I would expect to buy a 2G today and have to get some work done to her to get it back to Like-new driving condition. I would be hesitant though if a Dealership sold a vehicle that feels "Wobbly" as they probably haven´t done anything to her (Maintenance wise) but prep-it for selling.
 

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These are very particular when it comes to wheel balance. The tire shop I typically use has a good road-force balance machine and techs that seem to know what they're doing. I tried another shop once to switch my summer tires back on and I took them back three times without ever getting them balanced properly. Was getting vibes at various speeds. Finally gave up on that shop and took them to my preferred shop and they were balanced perfect the first try. The guy at that shop told me "them there Acuras are picky". So I just make it a point to take the MDX to that shop and they never fail to get it right. Given all the possible variables on a used car, I can see a lot of dealers not having tech's capable of balancing these properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bought a beater: a 2011 tech with 80,000. It rides straight and steady, so far.
 

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Yes they are very picky, If you can afford, get Mich. LTX Premier. New ones! Get them road forced balanced. It solved all of my vibration issues.
I must mention, that before getting the tires. I replaced. passenger axle, bushings front/rear, tie rod inner/outer both sides, stabilizer links front/rear, struts, shocks and strut mounts. I had used LTX's with plenty of tread (bought them used) and it vibrated like a sum ***** at 70mph. New tires solved that issue. No vibration at any speed!
 

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They are prone to vibration. You need to find a roadforce balance shop who knows how to use it. Have them force match and hub match the tires
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes they are very picky, If you can afford, get Mich. LTX Premier. New ones! Get them road forced balanced. It solved all of my vibration issues. I must mention, that before getting the tires. I replaced. passenger axle, bushings front/rear, tie rod inner/outer both sides, stabilizer links front/rear, struts, shocks and strut mounts. I had used LTX's with plenty of tread (bought them used) and it vibrated like a sum ***** at 70mph. New tires solved that issue. No vibration at any speed!
Thanks all for the tips on road force balancing.
 
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