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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - my wife and I are planning to drive her 2002 MDX from Oklahoma to Arizona next spring. We're both seniors and look forward to it but also want to make sure the car is road ready. We plan on an oil and lube job before leaving, already have new rubber, possibly a tune up, AAA is up to date. I'll be doing the driving and am looking for ways to cut pennies here and there. Will the gas mileage improve if we switch out of all wheel drive, provided the weather is good? Thanks for any tips!
 

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I'm not aware of any way to turn off the AWD. But the system as is disables the rear wheels at 19 mph if it is not detecting slip.

If you are trying to get the best fuel economy, be sure you use a full synthetic oil of the recommended weight, I think it is 5w20. Also you said lube job, I'd be sure you include the differential and transfer case oils if they've never been done, and ATF oil change (but not a flush).

Aside from that for best fuel economy, the simple things work best, that hypermilers use. Minimize weight in the car, drive right at the speed limit and not over, use your accelerator smoothly, don't brake unless necessary to stop. If you touch the brakes frequently and you are not stopping you are probably traveling too close to the car in front of you.

Also you can draft behind a semi if you can find one driving smoothly.

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Also you can air your tires above the recommended 32 psi on the door(I think it is), but not above the sidewall pressure on the tire. It will make the ride a bit harsher but will improve fuel efficiency.

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Discussion Starter #4
Also you can air your tires above the recommended 32 psi on the door(I think it is), but not above the sidewall pressure on the tire. It will make the ride a bit harsher but will improve fuel efficiency.

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My wife has a disability so looking to make the ride as smooths the highway allows
 

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You didn't say how many miles were on your MDX, but it's likely that it's due for a valve adjustment (every 100,000 miles) and new spark plugs (same interval).

The thing I'd worry about on a road trip like this is the timing belt - if it fails, your V6 engine becomes a large paperweight, and you'll be faced with a lot of bad options. The timing belt should be changed every 10 years and 100,000 miles (or so - those intervals are from memory). I just sold my MDX, but the Audi I just bought was at 133,000 miles, and I replaced the timing belt (and a lot of other "unnecessary" parts to make it as reliable as I could for the long road trips we do).

A new air filter is probably the best, cheapest maintenance you can do to improve gas mileage. Air filters are cheap - gas isn't.

And since you're probably not going to be doing much driving in the mountains, you can get away with running (much cheaper!) regular gas. Around town and in the mountains, run premium, but on the long, flat(tish) road, premium really doesn't make any difference.
 

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Thanks, habbyguy. We purchased the car with 120,000 miles and the pervious owner actually had good records. I will check to see about the timing belt. We have probably 145,000 on it now, only adding maybe 25,000 in 4 years. I know it's a balancing act between spend now or spend later, air filter is a definite to do.
As colinnwn mentioned in a previous post, differential and transfer case oils and ATF oil change. Anybody have ballpark on what shops charge to do this?
 

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It's pretty easy to do yourself if you are handy. High quality fluids will run you about $80 total. $200 would be reasonable at a shop. Be sure they use VTM-4 fluid on the differential. The transfer case and ATF could be high quality non OEM. A quick oil change place would probably be closer to $300.

Its a little high to have done at a shop, but like the timing belt and valve lash it is important to do to on schedule to maintain a reliable and efficient car.

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It's pretty easy to do yourself if you are handy. High quality fluids will run you about $80 total. $200 would be reasonable at a shop. Be sure they use VTM-4 fluid on the differential. The transfer case and ATF could be high quality non OEM. A quick oil change place would probably be closer to $300.

Its a little high to have done at a shop, but like the timing belt and valve lash it is important to do to on schedule to maintain a reliable and efficient car.

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Thanks, guys.
Any downloadable 2002 maintenance manuals to lead me through differential and transfer case oils?
 

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Oops you'll need to remove the space after upload in my previous post.

Also see posts 1, 3, and 91 in thread below. It has lots of good links including sections of the Alldata Service Manual with fluid changes.

Link in next post, it didn't copy.

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Oops you'll need to remove the space after upload in my previous post.

Also see posts 1, 3, and 91 in thread below. It has lots of good links including sections of the Alldata Service Manual with fluid changes.

Link in next post, it didn't copy.

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Thank you for all the help. Will the downloaded 03-06 manual pertain to the 2002?
 

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It should for this purpose. The engine and drivetrain didn't change from what I've read. I thought the pdf said 01-06. But I guess I forgot.

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Thank you for all the help. Will the downloaded 03-06 manual pertain to the 2002?
They are all the same.
1. Air the tires up to a max of 38. You won't notice a difference in ride, but MPG won't really climb too much.
2. Timing belt? I've seen the water pump go bad the earliest at 165k miles, but that is really pushing it. If you are close, please...make engine happy.
3. Valve adjustment jobs come into play around 180k. Every. Time.
4. Going through the barren, hot Southwest? Make SURE that spare comes down, is inflated and not a piece of you know what.
5. Follow steps 1-4, and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I keep seeing timing belt but I have a notion it’s not as easy as serpentine belt. Not a DIY?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I’ll go out in the morning to be sure but guesstimate 165,000. I’ll grab the service records from the previous owner - we are only the 2nd owners.
 
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