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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My husband and I are considering buying a 2012 MDX with 140,372 miles. According to the Carfax report, it's a one-owner vehicle and oil changes have been done religiously from the very beginning.

On that report, we see that an oil consumption test was performed on it twice:

1. 04/24/2019 at 128,893 miles
2. 09/10/2019 at 134,466 miles

We found this site earlier this morning and read through the information about the oil consumption issue and now we're wondering if we should just pass on this MDX.

Is there a way to know whether or not the work has already been done to repair the issue? We entered the VIN to check for recalls at my.acura.com and it says there are no open recalls, but I'm not sure if this would be listed there.
 

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I'm not 100% sure; but, it sounds like the MDX had two oil consumption tests and Acura didn't repair? I would pass on this MDX unless you have documentation the repairs have been done.

The normal oil change interval for the MDX is around 8000-9000 miles. The oil consumption is a hit or miss issue. My 11 MDX Adv/Ent with +143,000 miles only uses a little more than a 1 quart of oil between oil changes with Mobil 1. The oil consumption issue with the 10-13 MDXs can be as bad as 1 qt per 1000 miles; which, seems to be the point when Acura will consider fixing. Some owners said the Acura tech overfilled the crankcase with oil sometimes for the test and looks like the MDX passed the test after driving it for a while.

I still have my 11 MDX and it is a very sporty, reliable, and comfortable vehicle that drive smaller than it is because of sh-awd.

It's a 50/50 gamble to find a 10-13 MDX with min oil consumption/fixed oil consumption -vs- oil consumption issue.
 
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I'm with mrgold35 if no proof of repair after being tested. I would pass simply because of the risk of it still developing if it isn't already a heavy oil consumer. Also, why would it get tested 2X if there wasn't an issue severe enough that the owner wasn't hoping Acura would fix it? Did it just barely miss the threshold for being covered? This forum only engages a small percentage of MDX owners and there are generally two types who come here. Geeks who are into DIY maintenance and repair and those with a problem they are trying to figure out. Most owners (all makes and models) aren't aware of these types of issues unless they are having a problem and the dealer doesn't mention it to everyone who comes in for an oil change, so it is highly likely the original owner was having an issue and when they couldn't get it covered they decided to dump it. A friend of mine just dumped his 2010 GMC Acadia at 115K miles because he was aware of timing chain issues being likely and he didn't want to be stuck holding the bag if it happened, so it happens across all makes and models. Part of being successful buying older/higher mile cars is doing the homework so you don't buy a problem car, so consider this a job well done and walk away. Of course it doesn't guarantee you'll never buy a problem car, but it sure improves your odds. Either find a 2007-2009 with lower miles that will cost you closer to the price of the 2012 (being aware of the weak points of that era) or step up to a 2014-2015 which is my next move if I do another MDX. The 9 speed trans that started with the 2016 is too problematic (and expensive to maintain) for my liking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to you both for your replies.

I forgot to mention that right after the 2nd test, the vehicle was sold at auction and ended up at the lot where we found it. Here's the Carfax in case you're interested. We tried to contact the dealer who performed the 2 tests, but they are permanently closed.

I'm bummed, but definitely glad we were able to avoid a potential problem. Thanks again!
 

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By the way, you mentioned looking at the 2007-2009 era...do you know what issues those have? Is there something specific I can search for and read up on?
 

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By the way, you mentioned looking at the 2007-2009 era...do you know what issues those have? Is there something specific I can search for and read up on?
The two most common issues are internal radiator failure that results in transmission fluid and coolant mixing, which doesn't really cause an issue with the engine, but will ruin the transmission if not caught early. It's certainly worth considering a preventative replacement and/or installation of a larger or secondary transmission cooler and bypassing the radiator loop of the trans fluid cooling system. The other common issue is failure of the Hands Free Link (bluetooth) module that drains the battery. It was so common that most if not all cars you find for sale will likely have that module disconnected making the function inop. Quite frankly the same issues were common in the 2010-2013 models as well in addition to the oil consumption problem.

In reality, when looking at buying a car of this age and miles there will be weak spots on any car. I recently helped my son buy a 2011 Toyota Venza. One of the first things that went bad were 3 out 4 door lock actuators despite all being replaced with OEM parts only 18 months prior. I was able to do them myself with lifetime guaranteed rebuilt units for $50 each and my time, but at the dealer they are $500-600 per door parts and labor. The MDX from the '07-'09 range has a solid drive train and not a ton of other issues. HVAC blend door motors, stabilizer bar bushings, starter and alternator past 150K, etc., but show me a car that doesn't encounter these kinds of things at 10+ years old and over 150K miles. The key to driving this kind of stuff cost effectively is a strong DIY skillset or a good side mechanic. My starter died Saturday at 178K, but fortunately it was in my own driveway rather than 300 miles from home. New one going in this afternoon as soon as I get it.

PS Make sure you know the status of the timing belt and associated components. Should have been done at 105K miles or 7 years. If not already done make sure you know what your cost will be to do it. Most dealers get $1,500+ for the 105K service.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for your input, everyone. I have one more question...

What would happen to the vehicle if there is indeed an oil consumption issue but the repair isn't made?
 

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Thanks again for your input, everyone. I have one more question...

What would happen to the vehicle if there is indeed an oil consumption issue but the repair isn't made?
Just do as some of us are doing. Monitor the oil, keep topping it up as needed and then save for a new cat which may or may not need to be changed years down the line. Im electing to keep mine and run it into the ground, apart from topping up the oil, everything else (so far) has been good.
 

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The two most common issues are internal radiator failure that results in transmission fluid and coolant mixing, which doesn't really cause an issue with the engine, but will ruin the transmission if not caught early. It's certainly worth considering a preventative replacement and/or installation of a larger or secondary transmission cooler and bypassing the radiator loop of the trans fluid cooling system. The other common issue is failure of the Hands Free Link (bluetooth) module that drains the battery. It was so common that most if not all cars you find for sale will likely have that module disconnected making the function inop. Quite frankly the same issues were common in the 2010-2013 models as well in addition to the oil consumption problem.

In reality, when looking at buying a car of this age and miles there will be weak spots on any car. I recently helped my son buy a 2011 Toyota Venza. One of the first things that went bad were 3 out 4 door lock actuators despite all being replaced with OEM parts only 18 months prior. I was able to do them myself with lifetime guaranteed rebuilt units for $50 each and my time, but at the dealer they are $500-600 per door parts and labor. The MDX from the '07-'09 range has a solid drive train and not a ton of other issues. HVAC blend door motors, stabilizer bar bushings, starter and alternator past 150K, etc., but show me a car that doesn't encounter these kinds of things at 10+ years old and over 150K miles. The key to driving this kind of stuff cost effectively is a strong DIY skillset or a good side mechanic. My starter died Saturday at 178K, but fortunately it was in my own driveway rather than 300 miles from home. New one going in this afternoon as soon as I get it.

PS Make sure you know the status of the timing belt and associated components. Should have been done at 105K miles or 7 years. If not already done make sure you know what your cost will be to do it. Most dealers get $1,500+ for the 105K service.
Interesting, ive never heard of the radiator failure? What do we need to look out for to catch it early?
 

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Just do as some of us are doing. Monitor the oil, keep topping it up as needed and then save for a new cat which may or may not need to be changed years down the line. Im electing to keep mine and run it into the ground, apart from topping up the oil, everything else (so far) has been good.
Thank you.

Did you mean "save for a new car"? Or is cat an abbreviation for something under the hood? (My inexperience with cars is showing... :)
 

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Thank you.

Did you mean "save for a new car"? Or is cat an abbreviation for something under the hood? (My inexperience with cars is showing... :)
Catalytic converter. :) Ill have to get a new car too eventually but hopefully not for a few years.
 

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Interesting, ive never heard of the radiator failure? What do we need to look out for to catch it early?
You would have to be checking the transmission fluid and coolant on a regular basis, or at the first hint of the transmission not shifting right or slipping check those fluids and if either looks like the other got mixed in get it towed and get it fixed. Some here have opted to bypass the radiator section of the coolant lines and go straight from the transmission case to the transmission fluid cooler so it can't mix. If you go that route I would opt to change out the trans cooler to one with a cold fluid bypass like the Tru-Cool 4454 or add a temp control valve to the existing plumbing. The radiator actually serves two functions. One is to help the trans fluid get up to temp faster, then help control the upper end of the temp. If you live in a warm climate getting up to temp isn't really an issue, but if you live in a cold climate it can be.
 

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You would have to be checking the transmission fluid and coolant on a regular basis, or at the first hint of the transmission not shifting right or slipping check those fluids and if either looks like the other got mixed in get it towed and get it fixed. Some here have opted to bypass the radiator section of the coolant lines and go straight from the transmission case to the transmission fluid cooler so it can't mix. If you go that route I would opt to change out the trans cooler to one with a cold fluid bypass like the Tru-Cool 4454 or add a temp control valve to the existing plumbing. The radiator actually serves two functions. One is to help the trans fluid get up to temp faster, then help control the upper end of the temp. If you live in a warm climate getting up to temp isn't really an issue, but if you live in a cold climate it can be.
Thanks, total novice here but how can i tell if they mixed exactly? I honestly would have no idea if they were mixed or not.
 

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The coolant should be bright blue if it was kept original or bright green, orange, etc., if someone switched it to another kind. If it gets trans fluid mixed in it will get tinted reddish brown and the two fluids really don't mix well. Same thing in reverse for the trans fluid. Get used to checking it before there is an issue so you know what it should look like.
 

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Hello,

My husband and I are considering buying a 2012 MDX with 140,372 miles. According to the Carfax report, it's a one-owner vehicle and oil changes have been done religiously from the very beginning.

On that report, we see that an oil consumption test was performed on it twice:

1. 04/24/2019 at 128,893 miles
2. 09/10/2019 at 134,466 miles

We found this site earlier this morning and read through the information about the oil consumption issue and now we're wondering if we should just pass on this MDX.

Is there a way to know whether or not the work has already been done to repair the issue? We entered the VIN to check for recalls at my.acura.com and it says there are no open recalls, but I'm not sure if this would be listed there.
We just traded our 2011 for a 2020 last month. Our ‘11 had over 153,000 miles and never ever used oil. I did many of the oil changes myself, so I know it wasn’t using oil at all. We loved our 2011. 100% reliable for the 9.5 years we owned it. That’s one reason we stuck with MDX, its reliability. The way I understood the oil consumption issue was that it either used oil or it didn’t. Ours never did. If the ‘12 passed two consumption tests, maybe it didn’t need repaired. I wish I knew who buys our 2011. I would give them the spreadsheet I kept showing every penny we spent on the car, including everything. I was extremely diligent and did everything the maintenance minded said it needed.
 

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Hello,

My husband and I are considering buying a 2012 MDX with 140,372 miles. According to the Carfax report, it's a one-owner vehicle and oil changes have been done religiously from the very beginning.

On that report, we see that an oil consumption test was performed on it twice:

1. 04/24/2019 at 128,893 miles
2. 09/10/2019 at 134,466 miles

We found this site earlier this morning and read through the information about the oil consumption issue and now we're wondering if we should just pass on this MDX.

Is there a way to know whether or not the work has already been done to repair the issue? We entered the VIN to check for recalls at my.acura.com and it says there are no open recalls, but I'm not sure if this would be listed there.
the oil test doesn't prove a darn thing, because Acura and it's dealers have been ripping of the owners of those cars with bogus oil test. What they do is they change your oil and then tell you to bring it back in a 1,000 miles and they'll see how much oil it's used, except what they don't tell you is that they overfilled the crankcase with about a 1/2 quart more than required, why? Because when you go in to have it checked they will show you the dipstick as the pull it out and say, see, it's not below the fill line your engine is good! And Acura says in their guidelines that a car using a quart every 1,000 miles is within specs!? So they won't fix it under the recall!

In my book it's not, that's a lot of oil usage, that's 6 quarts of oil you have to put in over the course of 7,000 miles between oil changes, that's absurd. The most amount of oil any car I've owned in 50 years of driving was a quart between changes, and that was only one car, all the others burned no more than a half a quart, and now we have to accept 6 quarts between oil changes as normal? LOL!!! Acura is making fools of us all.

And the recall is only for certain year of MDX's but they had a slew of other years doing the exact same thing and all of those cars have one thing in common...they use the 3.7 V6. However they also are not recalling the 3.5 V6's used from 2010 onward in TL's that are also burning oil like crazy. Thank God my car is a 09 that doesn't use any.

Then read this: Acura Oil consumption recall Jun 06, 2019 @ Pissed Consumer

However I figured out a trick so you can beat their game. Simply buy a oil change pump, that you insert a hose down the dipstick tube, turn on the pump and suck some of that oil out so it's well below the fill mark, then take the car in and have them test the results. Now you're probably wondering why not just drain some oil out of the drain plug, because they sealed it, and if you tamper with the seal the game is over.

Honda is simply not the company they once were, they are now making schity cars thinking Americans are stupid, they love their Honda cars, so lets rip off them off just like the American car companies have been doing for years to Americans.

This fiasco with how Acura is treating their customers is why I will never buy another Acura.
 
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