Acura MDX SUV Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 2007 MDX for a little over a year now and I have been very faithful about taking it to the dealership for service. I usually take it to the dealership that I purchased it from but sometimes I use a dealer that is closer to my house. Both do a decent job and I enjoyed not working on my vehicle's mechanical needs for a while. My previous vehicle was a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee with over 300k on it. I was constantly working on that Jeep and have really enjoyed the vacation from doing mechanical repairs and maintenance however, I think the honeymoon is over.

I feel like I have been over paying for a lot of services that I could be doing myself. I drew the line at paying $100 for them to replace my cabin and air filters. I refused to pay that when I could do it for less than $40 and 5 minutes of time. Today my driver's side low beam needed to be replaced and I just could not spend $250 for that so I replaced it myself for $75. Granted, it was a PITA to remove the bumper but the money I saved was worth it. I am now considering going back to doing my own oil changes and tire rotations. The dealer charges me $150 for an A1 service. I think that's too much. Currently, according to the dealer, I need my rear differential fluid replaced, transmission service, spark plugs changed and the timing belt is due to be replaced soon. I've never replaced the rear differential fluid but I think it may be something I can do. Spark plugs on my Jeep were a breeze to replace but I haven't researched the process for the MDX yet. Transmission service and timing belt I may leave to the dealership or search for a reputable shop to do it for less.

My question for you all is this. What maintenance services do you do for yourself and which ones do you rely on the dealership to do? I'm pretty handy with tools and I have a good collection of basic mechanical tools to do the work. Based on the info I've given you what are your opinions for self servicing my MDX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
BTW, I just noticed that this is my first post. I've actually been lurking in this forum since February of 2016 when I first purchased the MDX. I've learned a lot from you all and hope to be able to learn more and contribute more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
I do all of them.. Included the Timing Belt which I´ve done in my Previous Cars.
There is really nothing special to the MDX at least for the 2G is still quite easy to maintain it yourself.. The 3G Added a HECK Ton of Electronics which might go haywire and be only fixed by the Dealership BUT!

OILS, FILTERS, SPARK PLUGS is Universal on Hondas & Acuras and they are by far one of the easiest to give service. The Rear Diff is quite easy to Drain and Fill there is nothing special to it just get the proper AWD DPSF Fluid and you are set. Transmission (Except German ZF) is pretty standard to replace the oil on it, Just get 4q of DW-1 ATF and its easy as hell to replace the ATF. Even Adjusting the Valves is easy on our 2G is just time consuming. Spark Plugs is as easy as to remove the Engine Cover and remove each Coil Plugs. It is really just dependent on your tools and your mechanic knowledge but its pretty hard to mess up if you follow online videos or written DIYs.


Timing Belt is one of the most advanced DIY Jobs you can do, So unless you are really capable of changing it? it is better to pay the dealership to do it.

And the Headlight Bulbs can be removed from the backside! its easy to rely on some guides but sometimes there is an easier way to do things: http://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-second-generation-mdx-2007-2013/117865-diy-hid-bulb-change.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
I do all of them.. . The 3G Added a HECK Ton of Electronics which might go haywire...
the 3G is a giant (confused) iPad with wheels, complete with KIA-like styling and a derrière the size of Ruben Studdard's stomach!
<img src="http://autonationdrive.com/wp-content/uploads/2016-Acura-MDX-rear.jpg" width="25%" height=="25%"><img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/10/15/article-2461513-18C1696B00000578-892_634x425.jpg" width="25%" height=="25%">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks skirmich! I will probably let the dealer do my timing belt. If the spark plugs are as easy as you say then I can't see me having any issues replacing those. I'll probably start doing my own oil changes as well. In the past year Ive been to the dealership at least 5 times for regular maintenance issues. I'd like to bring that down to once or twice a year just for peace of mind. I've heard that the low beams can be replaced without removing the bumper but I was really worried about the high voltage discharge and didn't want to electrocute myself by being careless. Next time I'll try it without removing the bumper. I may even try to replace my transmission fluid as well.
Is there anything else involved in servicing the transmission other than replacing the fluid?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
Nope, The trans has an internal ATF filter which cannot be replaced without removing the trans and split it open.
So ATF is the only thing to concern about the Transmission for Maintenance, If you want a lil bit more specifics you can do a 3x3! which is the recommended service to do each 2-3 years.. When you change ATF you are only changing the Service Drain which is less than Half the ATF capacity.. A 3x3 is 3x Drain and Fills so you can replace most of the transmission ATF with spanking new ATF, It is a noticeable difference doing just a simple ATF Change vs a 3x3.

To do a 3x3:
Buy 12q of DW-1 (The name 3x3 stands for 3 Drain and Fills x 3 quarts) but since the MDX rarely fills with exactly 3q you must buy 4 to fill the remaining ATF so its really a "3x4".

1st week = Drain and Fill the Service Change (Around 3.2-3.5q)
2nd week =Same
3rd week = Same

And that is it!! This process change most of your ATF inside the trans and Torque Converter so you are running new ATF.. This same process can be done easier at a dealership using their proprietary low pressure Flushing Machine but they will charge extra for that service and you can accomplish the same thing via the "3x4" for Free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Changing the oil and rotating the tires is super easy. Cabin and air filters are even easier than oil changes. If you can change the oil, then you can do the transmission fluid change as described above. Changing the spark plugs isn't terrible … you just have to do the rear 3 blind. I haven't changed my rear diff or transfer case fluids myself yet because I can't get the fill holes loosened (stupid northern vehicle!). I plan on doing the timing belt this spring, but I will have a shop break free the crank case bolt first. From every thing I've read, it's not a difficult job as long as you take your time. Overall, it's a fairly easy vehicle to work on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Hi, logisticalstyle,

Here's a free tip (and it is worth every penny): ALWAYS loosen the filler plug BEFORE you open a drain plug.

Like almost everything else in the world, auto maintenance is easy -- once you know how. And, the quickest way to learn how to do virtually anything is by watching a couple of YouTube videos on whatever you need to do.

To get started, just search on YouTube for "How to Change the Rear Differential Fluid on a 2007 MDX" (Sorry, due to being a noobie here, I can't post links yet.)

I usually look first to see if "Erich the Car Guy" has a video on the subject -- his mechanic's skills and video production quality are unsurpassed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I just bought most of the supplies today. I was about to get started but I realized I don't have a 17 mm socket. I bought my fluid from the local Honda dealer at 8.50 per quart. I wanted to be safe than sorry so I passed on fluid from Advance Auto even though it was labeled "for imports including Honda". I found some excellent videos on replacing the transmission fluid and the transfer fluid on Youtube. I'll probably be replacing the transfer fluid as well tomorrow.

Why do you say to loosen the filler plug first? Is this due to some built up pressure in the transmission?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
Because if you drain any of them and you cant remove the fill plug you will have deep trouble.. As either the Rear Diff or Transfer case cant be filled from anywhere else.
The transmission can be filled from the dipstick port but its a hassle.

That is why you always remove the Fill Plug first so you know you can fill with oil afterwards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just traded in my '07 and I, too, got tired of overpaying the dealership.

I was able to find a local (to where I work) mechanic that specializes in Hondas and Acuras. They use OEM parts for all of their maintenance. What's great is that I can provide parts as long as they're OEM, and I get the parts from Honda dealers via ebay. After I provided the oil, filter, and crush washer, the cost of labor for the oil change was $12.90. I'd get the 5 qt. jug of Mobil1 from walmart for about $26, the filter and crush washer were around $6, I believe, so the entire oil change was about $45.

Another way to save is by replacing the air filters on your own. Even my mechanic charges about $30 for each filter, and they can be had on ebay for about $20 each ($22 and $19 respectively). It will literally take you five minutes to change those and then you have an extra $20 in your pocket.

You may want to check in your area to see if there is a similar Honda/Acura specialist in your area. You might be able to save quite a bit of money while still getting experts to work on your car, and then you can continue your vacation from car maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
While the fluid and spark plug changes are pretty straightforward on these vehicles, there are always a few tips that can help to clear potential hurdles and make the job easier. The tip about getting fill plugs loose first is a great one. From my experience, here are a few others:
-both drain and fill plugs on Honda/Acura vehicles tend to be pretty tight. I've found that it's easier to break them loose when they're hot, especially on the transmission.
-if you don't already have one, get a breaker bar or use a cheater pipe.
-Also be sure to use quality extensions. I had a cheap one and I broke it during a rear differential fluid change.
-for the rear spark plugs, stand on a stool or platform in front of the vehicle and place a cushion over the hood latch area. Leaning on the cushion with your belly will save your back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did the transmission fluid change today. It went pretty smoothly. The one thing I didn't anticipate was the the fact that my MDX still has the hard plastic cover underneath it. The videos I watched online didn't have that part or they removed it and didn't mention it in the video. When I removed the drain plug a lot of fluid started to collect in that plastic cover. I ended up having to soak it up with some rags. It was pretty messy. Other than that it was pretty easy. I didn't have time to do the transfer case fluid. I'll probably do it tomorrow. I'm glad I did the transmission fluid because it was pretty dirty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
There is no need to remove the plastic tray from beneath there are drain holes on it that you use so the drips fall from it. No need to clean it afterwards I never do and it stays clean for the next change.

How much ATF did you end up putting in?
Remember that the ATF must be between the dots when HOT or in the upper dot when COLD.
If you check it HOT and ATF is in the Upper Dot you are slightly overfilled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I do most of the work on my 07 MDX and my wife's 04 TL - wheel bearing assemblies, brakes, Tx, differential, transfer case fluids, air/cabin air filters, trailer hitch and wiring, O2 sensors, mirror motor re-greasing/replacement, starter replacement, etc. Oddly the one job I don't bother with is oil changes. My dealership does this, checks everything out and washes/vacuums in about an hour for about $35 while I work in one of their cubicles drinking their starbucks coffee and eating their snacks.

They look for other things to fix but I generally politely refuse and take care of almost everything else that might be needed myself. I do let them handle the timing belts and other large jobs that are a bear to do (motor mounts on the TL). I guess I'm lucky to have a reasonable dealership - maybe because we bought the cars there (one new, one used) and have a history with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is no need to remove the plastic tray from beneath there are drain holes on it that you use so the drips fall from it. No need to clean it afterwards I never do and it stays clean for the next change.

How much ATF did you end up putting in?
Remember that the ATF must be between the dots when HOT or in the upper dot when COLD.
If you check it HOT and ATF is in the Upper Dot you are slightly overfilled.
I used 4 quarts. When I checked the level this morning with the engine hot the level was in the Upper dot. Will it hurt to have that much or should I go ahead and drain and refill for the second time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Always always ALWAYS use the Honda/Acura ATF fluid in Honda/Acura transmissions! I've learned this the hard way not once, but twice (once because I was young and dumb and the other because I was lazy but knew better). It's a pain to get, but better than wrecking your tranny from the inside out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^^^ That much I did do. I originally went to Advance and the lady behind the counter didn't give me confidence that the other brand was good enough for the MDX so I just went to my local Honda dealer and bought it from there. Glad to know I made the right choice.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top