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I am a new owner of a 2015 Acura MDX and have had the vehicle only for a week. I see the "60% oil" message on the dashboard and watched as it went from 70% to 60%. The previous owner had mentioned that he had done the oil change only recently. Did he lie or do I have a bigger problem with an oil leak?

I assume I need an oil change done now? Should I ask for synthetic oil? Sorry for the noob question. Thanks
 

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I am a new owner of a 2015 Acura MDX and have had the vehicle only for a week. I see the "60% oil" message on the dashboard and watched as it went from 70% to 60%. The previous owner had mentioned that he had done the oil change only recently. Did he lie or do I have a bigger problem with an oil leak?

I assume I need an oil change done now? Should I ask for synthetic oil? Sorry for the noob question. Thanks
Did they provide service records to prove what maintenance was done? If you don't have records, then I'd assume it was not done.

Also, the MID displays the oil LIFE... not "level". So just because it goes from 70% down to 60%, that does not mean you've lost any oil... Just that the computer estimates that you've used up more of the usable life of the oil.

The MID is *not* a replacement for regularly checking the level of your oil, with the dipstick. The Acura Owners Manual indicates this should be done every time you get fuel. Personally, I just do it about once a month.


If you use a QUALITY oil, then you don't have to change it until the MID indicates less than 15% life -- but you must change it before it reaches 0%.
 
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A lot of times the oil change places won't reset the oil life meter. So they may have changed the oil but forgot to reset that. It was probably half way to an oil change when they changed the oil to sell the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am a new owner of a 2015 Acura MDX and have had the vehicle only for a week. I see the "60% oil" message on the dashboard and watched as it went from 70% to 60%. The previous owner had mentioned that he had done the oil change only recently. Did he lie or do I have a bigger problem with an oil leak?

I assume I need an oil change done now? Should I ask for synthetic oil? Sorry for the noob question. Thanks
Did they provide service records to prove what maintenance was done? If you don't have records, then I'd assume it was not done.

Also, the MID displays the oil LIFE... not "level". So just because it goes from 70% down to 60%, that does not mean you've lost any oil... Just that the computer estimates that you've used up more of the usable life of the oil.

The MID is *not* a replacement for regularly checking the level of your oil, with the dipstick. The Acura Owners Manual indicates this should be done every time you get fuel. Personally, I just do it about once a month.


If you use a QUALITY oil, then you don't have to change it until the MID indicates less than 15% life -- but you must change it before it reaches 0%.
Thanks. I have a 2000 mile road trip coming up. Is it recommended to get the oil change before I leave? Do I have to go to a dealer or a place like jiffy lube would do?
 

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Thanks. I have a 2000 mile road trip coming up. Is it recommended to get the oil change before I leave? Do I have to go to a dealer or a place like jiffy lube would do?
It's a tough on a vehicle you don't know any history on. Personally, I'd change the oil just for peace of mind, and to start with a "known" condition.


Never use a place like Jiffy Lube. They're just awful!


You don't have to use a dealer, either. Oil changes are among the easiest "DIY" maintenance. Otherwise, find a reputable independent shop. I would typically suggest avoiding "tire change" places and "quick lubes".


As for synthetic vs conventional... It's up to you. If you're paying a shop, then they almost always use crap oil -- even if you ask for synthetic. Plus they typically use the cheapest filters they can find. ugh.



As a DIYer, I always use synthetic, and I like that I can pick the oil that I want -- Mobil 1 Extended Performance 0W20 and a Mobil 1 M1-110 filter (quality stuff).
 

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FWIW, some dealerships have decent "Discounted" oil change specials. Just like the quick lube places, they use them to entice you to come in so they can try to sell you a whole bunch of stuff you don't really need. FYI, since the new Honda Pilot has the same drivetrain as the MDX, a Honda dealer is also acceptable. Just watch out for a price upcharge because the MDX uses 6 quarts of 0W-20. Ask before you commit.
 

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... If you're paying a shop, then they almost always use crap oil -- even if you ask for synthetic. Plus they typically use the cheapest filters they can find. ugh.
Seems like an odd business strategy. Screw all of your customers selling them products and services that will damage their cars.
 

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Seems like an odd business strategy. Screw all of your customers selling them products and services that will damage their cars.
It's not going to damage your car this week, or next. Heck, you'll make it past 100k on the cheapest oil. It may be the difference between a rebuild at 150k vs everything still looking great at 250k, however. Either way, you're not going to have anything actionable against the dealership.



The dealerships have vested interest in getting you back for your next service. That's it. They will use the cheapest parts that they can, to accomplish that goal.


It's an interesting game, in my opinion. They care about their reputation in so much they don't want any failures to come back on them, specifically. But they certainly don't give one iota about using anything better than absolutely necessary. All the while, most shops will sell you various flushes and fuel injection services and other dubious snake oil high-profit nonsense. Everything they do revolves around lowest cost (for them), highest profit, and quickest turnaround. Beyond that, they do not care.


There's one mechanic who I really respect. He owns his own shop and is about as straight a shooter as I've ever seen a mechanic be. He carries Mobil Super Synth for when customers want "Synthetic". When asked what he used in his own truck, he responded "Mobil 1". But you don't stock it for your customers? "Nope. If they ask for Mobil 1, specifically, then I'll do it... But if all they say is 'Synthetic' -- which is all they usually say, then they get the Super Synth out of a 55 gallon drum -- it's cheaper, for me."


I'm sure he's never had a come-back for the wrong oil. And he likely never will.


But that doesn't mean that shops don't use the absolute cheapest stuff they can get their dirty dick beaters on.
 

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If there are no service records on the car,I’d change the oil so you start fresh on that part.
 

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An oil change isn't that expensive to have a dealer do it, probably less expensive if you have an independent mechanic do it, and even less expensive if you do it yourself.

I haven't ever seen the recommended oil, 0W-20, available as a straight conventional and haven't even seen it as a blend anywhere other than at the Acura dealer. In auto parts stores I've only seen it in full synthetic. Mobile 1 0W20 + and Acura (Honda) oil filter is less than $35 so it's not a great expense to invest in your new-to-you vehicle. When the oil and any other maintenance is done then the maintenance minder on the MID s/b reset - as explained in the owner's manual (available soft copy free from Acura online).

While you're at it, you may as well change the engine and cabin air filters and consider possibly doing some of the other routine maintenance unless you know for certain it's been done and done right.

I wouldn't take it to a kwik-e-lube and the like either.
 

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I haven't ever seen the recommended oil, 0W-20, available as a straight conventional and haven't even seen it as a blend anywhere other than at the Acura dealer. In auto parts stores I've only seen it in full synthetic.
AFAIK, there are no "conventional" 0W20 options. However, there are several blends available. Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Blend is available in 0W20, for example. I've also seen Motorcraft 0W20 Blend available at Walmart, for a time.


But honestly, since they started calling well-refined group III stocks "full synthetic" you can go that route for basically the same price... So no reason to go for a blend, imo.
 

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If you know any Acura dealerships near where the previous owner used to live or work, perhaps you can try calling them to see if that car was brought in for service recently. Also, when I installed the myCarFax app on my phone and I entered my VIN, the app was able to list some service history from the previous owner of my car more than 10 yrs ago. If the shop/dealership sync's with CarFax, maybe that'll tell you.


By the way, if you plan to do oil change yourself in the future, keep an eye out for rebate deals from various manufacturers (Mobil, Castrol, Pennzoil, etc.). For some years now, I've been stocking up on full synthetic between $10-$14 per 5 gal. jug after rebate. I usually buy them from Walmart or Amazon.
 
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