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Hi All,

I'm having some difficulty finding the oil change intervals for the 2015 MDX. I was raised on every 3 months or 3K miles (whichever comes first). I know that those intervals have increased with newer cars but I can't seem to find a chart with the intervals for the 2015 MDX. I'm looking at buying a CPO from an Acura dealer that (according to Carfax report) had the first oil change done at 5K miles. Then the next recorded oil change was done 1 year and 3 months later at 16K miles. Now the vehicle has 24K miles and it's been 1 year since that oil change at 16K miles.
If I were the original owner I would have done more frequent oil changes. But is this anything I should be worried about? I mean assuming that the dealer does another oil change before I purchase the car (and I continue to do regular scheduled maintenance) can I reasonably expect to drive without any engine related problems (due to this oil change history)?

2nd question...according again to the Carfax report the car has been in service for almost exactly 3 years and has 24K miles on it currently. The car was serviced at the Acura dealer in Buffalo, NY and the Acura dealer in West Palm Beach, FL. I assume the owner was a "snowbird" who lived in FL in the winter and in Buffalo in the summer. I don't have access to the complete dealer service records yet (so far I only have the Carfax report which may be incomplete).
Anyway, according to the Carfax report I don't see where the engine air filter has ever been changed. I think it's supposed to be changed every 15K miles but I'm not sure what Acura recommends for this vehicle. Again, is this something I should be worried about (assuming I have the dealer change the air filter before I purchase the car)?
I ask about this because years ago I bought a 2000 Honda Accord EX from the original owner (on Craigslist) when the car was approx. 3 years old and had about 30K miles on it. I'm usually pretty good about thoroughly checking out a car before I buy it but I forgot to check the air filter until after I bought it.
Turns out it was the original filter and he had never changed it. I remember it being filthy. A couple of years later the engine started running rough and it was diagnosed as not having enough compression in one of the cylinders. I ended up having to pay thousands of dollars for a rebuilt engine. I'll never know for sure but I've always suspected that the engine problem was due to the air filter not being changed.

Any and all input is much appreciated. I always get prompt thoughtful feedback from the members of this forum. You folks are great!
:)

Brian
Syracuse, NY
 

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I think most folks go by the engine oil life monitor....what is it saying now on the MDX in question? It will be expressed as a percentage of life left...sounds like it will be coming up soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think most folks go by the engine oil life monitor....what is it saying now on the MDX in question? It will be expressed as a percentage of life left...sounds like it will be coming up soon...
Hi PTC DAWG, Unfortunately, the MDX is in Buffalo and I'm in Syracuse. I'm driving out to Buffalo tomorrow morning to test drive the vehicle. I can check the engine oil life monitor then.
 

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The oil is supposed to be changed based on the maintenance minder. The intervals are quite less frequent than the old school vehicles of 3K miles (I still have some of those vehicles). The actual interval to go from 100% life to 0% oil life will vary with driving conditions but I found it to be 8500-10000 miles or so. I change it when it gets more like 5-10% but actually had it hit 0% once on a trip (I almost made it back before zero but it was a coast to coast and back trip and missed it by a couple hundred miles - really no big deal) which is how I know it can be out around 10K miles.

Given that, I don't think you have any worries in that area for the vehicle you were looking at. The 11K interval was almost certainly past the 0% point but only by 10% if one considers it may have gone 10K miles before hitting 0%. Of course, the previous owner could have had an oil change done in between those points that the dealer's just unaware of - maybe they were on a trip or just had someone else do it or did it themselves. I do all the oil changes myself so the dealer has no idea of it for my vehicle.

Although the air filter s/b changed at recommended intervals you're probably okay at the 24K point even if it's never been changed. The filters and intake systems nowadays are pretty good. With air filters the point at which they 'really' need to be changed will vary considerably with the driving environment. Someone who regularly drives dirt roads will hit a point where they 'should' change a filter much earlier than one who never drives on a dirt road. Ditto for people who drive in less dusty areas like the eastern part of the country versus the southwest where there are dust storms and the like, for example. The manufacturer is going to recommend a change interval on it that's conservative in their favor - i.e. more frequent rather than less frequent. It'd help to actually check the condition of the air filter - something very easy to do when checking out a vehicle to buy although I understand you're not too close to where the vehicle is.

btw - you can change the air filter very easily yourself if you're inclined to do so. In addition to the engine air filter there's a cabin air filter that s/b changed every now and then. That filter, if not changed, won't cause any actual damage to anything but s/b changed to have cleaner cabin air. This one is ultra easy to change yourself - it's just behind a plastic door in the glove box.
 

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Air filters are one of those things that usually don't show up on carfaxes. People either figure out how to do it on their own, or the service folks don't even bother to log it. I would say just check it when you go inspect it and if the engine bay looks filthy, that's a pretty good sign that the car hasn't been maintained. If it's pretty clean though and the filter turns out to be pretty normal as well, I don't think you need to worry. You can even look down the intake tract to see if there's dirt accumulation in there. You should usually get pretty bad mileage due to a dirty MAF before any serious damage is done though. Losing compression due to dirty air filters is super rare in my experience--it tends to be more indicative that the owner fails to change oil regularly and sludges up the engine.

For me, I usually change oil when the MM goes to about 10%. That's usually around 7k miles. You can stretch it to about 10k miles realistically. It's just what you're comfortable with. And yes, air filters about once a year or every 15k miles.
 

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Maintenance Minder is tuned for OEM Oil...
So if you use anything else BUT OEM OIL you might wanna do an Oil Test Analysis to confirm Oil Lifespan instead of burning through oil changed needlessly.
 

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I go by the maintenance light. It's usually around 3000-4000 miles on my cars. The oil coming out isn't pitch black and still has a little light shining thru. It's cheap insurance and I'd rather just change it and be safe than wait too long and be sorry. I've always said oil changes are cheap insurance for every car.

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Maintenance Minder is tuned for OEM Oil...
...and I've only seen 0W-20 as a blend at the dealer. Any auto parts store or other stores only have it in full syn. I use Mobile 1 full syn. The point is, if the oil change is done anywhere other than the dealer it's liable to be full syn and even some dealers may be doing full syn.

I go by the maintenance light. It's usually around 3000-4000 miles on my cars.
Are you saying the maint minder on your third gen MDX indicates to change the oil at 3k-4k miles? That's less than half, more like a third, of the time frame mine indicates. I wonder why it's such low mileage or are you just doing it because you feel like doing it then regardless of what the MM or manufacturer recommends? Even though I do an oil change around every 3K on an old 1966 car I have, I realize that many improvements have been made in engine design and improvements in the oil itself so I go with the manufacturer recommendations which on the MDX is to change according to the MM, which for me at least, turns out to be around 8k-10k miles.
 

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...and I've only seen 0W-20 as a blend at the dealer. Any auto parts store or other stores only have it in full syn. I use Mobile 1 full syn. The point is, if the oil change is done anywhere other than the dealer it's liable to be full syn and even some dealers may be doing full syn.

Are you saying the maint minder on your third gen MDX indicates to change the oil at 3k-4k miles? That's less than half, more like a third, of the time frame mine indicates. I wonder why it's such low mileage or are you just doing it because you feel like doing it then regardless of what the MM or manufacturer recommends? Even though I do an oil change around every 3K on an old 1966 car I have, I realize that many improvements have been made in engine design and improvements in the oil itself so I go with the manufacturer recommendations which on the MDX is to change according to the MM, which for me at least, turns out to be around 8k-10k miles.
I have a 2004 mdx. I just purchasesd the car about a month ago and the oil change had been done semi recently per the sticker on the windshield. My maintenance light came on the other day so I changed it. I keep track of the mileage and time it takes until the next maintenance light comes on so I will update when that happens.

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I have a 2004 mdx. I just purchasesd the car about a month ago and the oil change had been done semi recently per the sticker on the windshield. My maintenance light came on the other day so I changed it. I keep track of the mileage and time it takes until the next maintenance light comes on so I will update when that happens.

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I'm predicting almost 7500 miles on the dot! ;)
 

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The "EYE DETECTOR" is not accurate at all!
I have seen many samples of BLACK OIL passing with flying colors the Oil Analysis Test.. The fact you are seeing through your oil change tells me you are draining and filling way too fast... Getting black oil of the car isn´t a tell-tale of oil lifespan, Just ask any Taxi fleet company.

This is 11K-12K Oil Change on my MDX BTW for your Eye Detector... No black oil at all using Mobil 1 EP, BlackStoneLabs give it the green light. 1 user in Acurazine.com has pushed this same oil up to 20K and still passed the oil analysis for oil lifespan.


Full Synthetic oils are that ADVANCED... Welcome to the 21st Century.
 
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On our old 2009 MDX, I've done 19 DIY oil changes during almost 11 years of ownership since new. On average, oil change intervals around 9500km mark on average and as long as 12000 km if doing lots of highway travel for family trip. Used various synthetic oils on sale and Fram (not orange)/Supertech oil filters and no issues with engine performance or oil consumption. I totally trust MM and will see what our 2017 MDX OCI will be like.
 

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I have a 2014 Acura RLX & 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid & follow the maintenance monitor for oil changes. The RLX seems to need an oil change every 8k miles or about 10 months. The MDX gets driven far less (~4k miles a year) so it gets an oil change once a year. Neither have had any problems. That owner could have done more frequent oil changes but it does not seem like it was done so rarely that I would be concerned.

I change the engine & cabin filters myself as it is much cheaper to do so. A simple look on www.askjeeves.com and an Amazon or AutoZone purchase will save you a lot. The 1st time the dealership mentioned it needing changing was ~50k miles.

 

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On my 06 TSX and 08 RDX, the Maint reminder of oil changes was around 5,000 miles. My 11 MDX, 18 RLX hybrid, and 19 MDX hybrid is around 8500-10,000 miles depending if I change at 15% or closer to 0% oil life left. Never had an issue with the last five Acura's with +500,000 miles between them sticking to the M.I.D. maint schedule.

I still do extra services like:
  • change the oil early if I'm traveling out of town when the oil light will pop up on the road
  • change cabin/engine filter myself (Bosch HEPA cabin, OEM engine)
  • replace trans fluid every 30,000 miles
  • rotate/balance tires and check spare tire every oil change at Discount tires
  • flush brakes fluids every 3 years
  • alignment with new tires or any suspension work (lifetime with Firestone)
  • flush power steering fluid (06 TSX,08 RDX, and 11 MDX only)
 
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Urghhhh I royally screwed myself by following Acura's oil change interval, I have a 2007 MDX with 137,000k Miles. Mind you i'm extremely meticulous when it comes to maintenance, I never miss a fluid change or maintenance period. This goes for Oil, Transmission (every 30K), Brake fluid (every year), Coolant (every 2 years), Timing belt, Water pump, etc.. Last week while towing I received multiple error codes, including CEL, SH-AWD errors, you name it, my dash lit like a Christmas tree! Come to find out I fouled a spark plug, fried a coil pack all while driving.

After closer inspection the spark plug seals were done in 2 of the 6 cylinders. I just completed my Valve Cover Gasket replacement job and all I can say is WOW! I followed Acura's "oil life" suggestion within the MID and I got burnt. Not saying this caused the seals to go bad as those only have a certain life expectancy to them, but upon removing my valve cover, wow was I shocked to find a ton of gunk and build up. I'm currently worried as to what long term damage this could have to my engine as there was gunk build up all inside rocker area, etc..

Long story short, Do regular intervals. I'm switching back to the oil school method of changing my oil every 3K miles. And incase anyone is wondering, I have been using Castrol 5W20, high mileage synthetic blend oil since about 75k miles, previously used Castrol GTX conventional oil.
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I bought my MDX at 157K and the records show oil changes every 4,500 miles and it looks way cleaner than that. On my Odyssey I have used full syn every 5K and it now has 230K and is clean as a pin. Do what suits you, but I find it so much easier to do every 5K and rotate the tires every time. I don't even have to put a sticker on my windshield because every time I hit a 5 or 10 on the odometer I know it's time. Been doing that for 20 years and it works great.
 

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I asked a similar question recently as well. I’m a 5k interval person and find that easier and more consistent. Oil is cheap, so a little more often is no a big deal.
 
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