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2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD with Tech
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon!

I recently purchased a 2017 MDX with Tech in grey. Beautiful car. Problem is.....no matter what I have tried, I cannot get the cigarette smoke smell out of the vehicle. I have watched SO many YouTube videos with all their "secret" and successful ways, and I just can't get it out. I even bought an Enerzen Ozone generator and while it works in the short term, eventually the smell comes back. So....my dealer is being great and trying to find me another one that we will work out the details on a trade with. I will lose some money I am sure, but my wife won't hate me anymore for making her drive a car that smells that way.

Anyway, my dealer has found a 2018 MDX with Tech in Black. Similar low miles, good smell etc. I have typically avoided Black cars as I they seem harder to care for. Is that a reality? What have been your experiences?

Assuming the deal is right, I might do it, but it is coming from an auction back East. When I see it next week, I will make a decision, but wanted your opinions as well.

Thanks a million.

FH
 

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2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
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My MDX isn’t black but I also have a 2019 RAV4 that is black and as soon as I got home from the dealer I put a ceramic coat on it and that has helped keep the swirls and superficial scratches away. Not the cheapie spray on stuff but the actual liquid that you have to be careful with. Stay away from contact car washes and you should be ok. For those times I don’t feel like hand washing it, we have contactless automated washes here that I run it through.
 

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I've never owned a black vehicle. Fathom Blue or Dark Carbon Gray were the only ones that came close. PPF and/or Ceramic coating would be my choice after the color correction since I like to keep my vehicles +10 years and +150,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would love that Blue like yours MrGold. I will have to see what this Black one looks like before I commit, but really really like that dark grey of my 17 MDX.
 

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2017 Acura MDX Tech FWD
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My 17 Tech is sorta black in a way. Its a two-tone color, but technically its brown. Its a pain in the rear to keep clean, but when its clean, boy oh boy, does she shine and sparkle!

You also have to take account that your MDX in black exterior will become a human oven during the day.
 

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2018 MDX SH-AWD Tech package
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Go rent an ozone generator and run it inside for a few days. That should kill the odor. Of course a thorough scrubbing of everything inside first.
 

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My ‘20 MDX SH-AWD Tech is my first metallic black vehicle I’ve owned in decades. I have the tan interior and live in the extreme southeast. Gulf of Mexico southeast.

I’ve had the car a year next month. No issues with the car being any hotter after being parked in the sun than any other car I’ve owned. Crack the windows, pull the sunshade, etc. AC works well.

I was willing to put up with some degree of swirling but even though 75% of my washing is in a newer but not touch less car wash, I don’t seem to have that problem. All cars show dirt/post rain residue and I wash frequently enough - and as frequently as I would with any other car - that it’s not an issue.

I’m very happy with the car. I had an ‘18 that wasn’t AWD and this is my second.
 

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I owned a black 280Z a long time ago. A black car will simply show the dirt/dust and any scratches/swirls more than any other color. I wouldn't buy black again. I'm so tired of the endless black/white/grey cars though that make up almost every car on the road that I wouldn't have any of those colors (I have the Fathom Blue). I even skipped buying a 2nd gen MDX because their blue looked almost black and they had no other colors that were decent (for me).

A neighbor has a black Tahoe that they keep looking great by having a mobile detailer detail it every week or two so that's one option.

Really though, I don't compromise on car colors. I get what I want and won't consider anything else. You say you really really like the grey color of your current car (but hate the smell). There are tons of grey MDXs out there - why not just find one in the color you want and go for that? You can probably live with this one for an extra few weeks if you have to in order to get what you want. You'll likely live with looking at the color of the car for some years so get what you like.

I also might be a little wary of this 'auction' car from back east. I'd want to know its history really well and why it's an auction car.
 

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I got my black pearl MDX cleaned up today. At the moment it’s gorgeous. Supposed to rain tomorrow.

So it’s all a matter of opinion. I’ve seen some gray MDX’s that were spectacularly dull. Maybe they were dirty or way past a need to wax. I’ll say the prettiest to me are the black copper pearl and the brown. But those show everything my black does. Maybe I like dark.
 

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That’s incredible. Nice.

Now it’s raining. Washed both cars yesterday. Need to go to the grocery at some point. Uber?
 

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Our '18 is black. I prefer a higher metallic than you get with the Crystal Black Pearl as scratches and swirls are even easier to see. We don't baby our daily drivers as we just don't have time so it mostly gets run through the no-touch car wash and then professionally detailed a couple times a year, but it does look good when clean. Acura doesn't really have any colors that pop for us so black or white is about all there is to pick from. If you prefer the grey, I would have them keep trying to get smell out. The dealership should have an ozone generator or know a detail show that does...that almost always does the trick.
 

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If you're not going to be washing (meaning detailing) the vehicle every two weeks or less, or if you don't mind driving somewhat dull looking car, then don't buy it. I told myself to never buy another black vehicle, but I did (not MDX). Couldn't say no to the great deal a few months ago, I'm already sorry I did.

If you wanted to keep the black vehicle clean, you'll have to commit some extra time regularly for car wash. I've been very careful to avoid swirls, using snow foam with pressure washer, two bucket method, ceramic coating and high power blower, still have slight swirl. The worst thing is some days I can't wash it when I wanted to wash because the sun is too strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Our '18 is black. I prefer a higher metallic than you get with the Crystal Black Pearl as scratches and swirls are even easier to see. We don't baby our daily drivers as we just don't have time so it mostly gets run through the no-touch car wash and then professionally detailed a couple times a year, but it does look good when clean. Acura doesn't really have any colors that pop for us so black or white is about all there is to pick from. If you prefer the grey, I would have them keep trying to get smell out. The dealership should have an ozone generator or know a detail show that does...that almost always does the trick.
I own an Enerzen Ozone Generator. Works awesome. I have run it overnight once. and three times, with fan in high circulation, for 90-120 minutes. Always smells better for a day or so, then that cigarette smoke odor oozes back out. It has to be so engrained into the seat foam etc. that nothing will ever get it out. Only thing I can think of. I have cleaned with degreaser multiple times, every surface of the car. I have used chemical carpet cleaners two times, and once on the headliner as well as other things on the headliners but taking care not to loosen the adhesive holding it to the roof. The interior looks amazing! Best details I have ever done on a car. I used SuperClean on the the leather seats even, with a nylon brush. Then...I used the Lexol Leather cleaner to make certain, and then treated the cabin with Ozone again. Then treated the leather with Lexol and treated the dash with Meguires protectant. I have cleaned the glass multiple times, with just water, with alcohol based types of cleaners like windex and even used superclean. It smells better ish for a day or so, then comes back. I have a new cabin air filter and have run the fan on high with filter out, with ozone going through the entire ventilation system.

One thing I haven't done, is the vinegar in open bowl for multiple days. It seems a little hokey, considering what else I have tried. So...I am now throwing in the towel to make peace with my wife.

FH
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Go rent an ozone generator and run it inside for a few days. That should kill the odor. Of course a thorough scrubbing of everything inside first.
Donn0128, I own an Enerzen Ozone generator. When you say, "run it inside for a few days" do you mean just leave it on? Or do you mean run the car so the circulation/ventilation system is working for a couple of days? I can see the car having issues for idling for two days, but I have done that a few times for 1.5-2 hours and one time over night for about 4-5 hours without the car on. Works for a day or so, but then the odor comes back.
 

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I'm curious - did you not notice the cigarette smell when you test drove the car or did you notice it but figure it'd go away after a bit?

It sounds as if you've done just about everything to rid the car of the odor. It seems that eventually the odor would fade but it could take a very long time.

My wife also has no tolerance for cigarette smoke odor so it'd be a deal breaker for us also. I also greatly dislike the odor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm curious - did you not notice the cigarette smell when you test drove the car or did you notice it but figure it'd go away after a bit?

It sounds as if you've done just about everything to rid the car of the odor. It seems that eventually the odor would fade but it could take a very long time.

My wife also has no tolerance for cigarette smoke odor so it'd be a deal breaker for us also. I also greatly dislike the odor.
We smelled it, but thought we could get rid of it. The dealer also said that they could do another "ozone" treatment on it if required. He thought it would also go away. They are being very good about it. I am hoping that they will swap the new hitch I put on this MDX and if needed, give me the tires I had put on mine. I had also just had the service done which included oil, brake fluid and front/rear differential if I recall correctly. I can't get that back, but figure the rack stays with me for sure. If the alternate car has good tires, I may not ask for that to switch, but if they are anywhere close to wearing out, I will ask them to switch them around as well. At least help with the cost.

Anyway, lesson learned the hard way. Really wish I could have gotten that smell out.

FH
 

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I guess everyone has different levels of tolerance. Personally, I wouldn’t take that car for free. Imo the smoke smell will never go away. You also have to consider how well the car was cared for if the PO was willing to basically total it by smoking in it.

Also, I’ve had my 2017 black Acura for a couple months, and I live in southern AZ. I use a California duster on it on a regular basis and this generally keeps it looking good until it gets wet. Having remote start makes the hot interior a non issue as well.
 

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Good afternoon!

I recently purchased a 2017 MDX with Tech in grey. Beautiful car. Problem is.....no matter what I have tried, I cannot get the cigarette smoke smell out of the vehicle. I have watched SO many YouTube videos with all their "secret" and successful ways, and I just can't get it out. I even bought an Enerzen Ozone generator and while it works in the short term, eventually the smell comes back. So....my dealer is being great and trying to find me another one that we will work out the details on a trade with. I will lose some money I am sure, but my wife won't hate me anymore for making her drive a car that smells that way.

Anyway, my dealer has found a 2018 MDX with Tech in Black. Similar low miles, good smell etc. I have typically avoided Black cars as I they seem harder to care for. Is that a reality? What have been your experiences?

Assuming the deal is right, I might do it, but it is coming from an auction back East. When I see it next week, I will make a decision, but wanted your opinions as well.

Thanks a million.

FH
We have similar stories but perhaps I can help you with my resolution.

A month ago I purchased a used, low mileage and mint 2016 MDX Advance SHAWD. It’s black on tan. Loaded with every option and I love the truck. Unfortunately, it also was previously owned by a smoker. This is where I’m at so far....

The dealership professionally cleaned and shampoo’d the car. The smell was still bad so I purchased a 28g (28000 mg/hr) ozone machine on Amazon for $150. 28000mg/hr is enough to do a 3200 square foot home. This much ozone will “shock” a cars interior and eliminate smells. Make sure the ozone machine you are using emits ALOT of ozone. You need 20,000+++ mg to shock a interior correctly. The higher the better. I ran the machine inside for two, 2 hour sessions on different days. Then I opened the doors and windows outside for another 2 hours to air the truck out in the wind. The smoke is now gone.

  • Buy a POWERFUL ozone machine (20,000mg++)
  • Open glove box, flip down visors, PULL OUT ALL SEATBELTS and wrap them around the headrests, raise 3rd row seats, remove all mats and run a 2 hour session. Feel free to run longer if you like, just make sure you are using a 20,000 mg or MORE ozone machine. Let the ozone penetrate the seat belts.
  • Run the A/C on recirc for a hour full blast
  • When done, park in the driveway and open hatch and windows to air out the truck for a hour or two.
  • Smoke smell will be gone!

I put LEXOL products on the leather when I’m done. Smells good. I don’t like the ozone smell much, but it will dissipate after a few days.

The strength of the ozone machine is very important. I use a 28,000mg machine with 4 ozone trays inside. It was on sale on Amazon for $150-ish. I first tried a $65 machine that was only 6,000mg/hr and it worked well, but after three, 2 hour sessions I still smelled some light smoke. That’s when I investigated and learned I needed to use a strong machine to shock the interior.

In regards to black paint, I clay, polish and wax (3step) my black vehicles and they stay mirror for at least 8-12 months. I typically do it once or twice a year. My black looks like a mirror. I also run thru the car wash 2-3 times a week. My black Acura paint looks wet.

Good luck!
 

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My Black-copper Pearl 2018 MDX Hybrid gets a "Butler" treatment every 6-months. It looks pristine. No swirls, scratches, or finish dulling.
 
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