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Hey MDXers! I have a 2011 tech/ent with 81k always dealer serviced. Dealer told me back in March that my timing belt service would be due in May given its 7yr Old. He quoted 7yr/100k is the rule. I have had several Honda’s and Acura’s over the years and always followed mileage for this service. Anyone have thoughts on age vs miles?
 

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I follow both age and mileage.

Not only does rubber fatigue with use, it also breaks down over time. If the timing belt fails, then you're going to have a serious breakdown on the side of the road, additional day(s) of downtime, and some expensive repairs.

It's your vehicle, so you need to decide how much risk you're wiling to accept. I'd rather just do the maintenance.
 

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IMHO, it would probably be fine to let it run further....many manufacturers don't put an age limit on belts and it's highly unlikely to have a problem at year 7. Maybe year 10. I guess the bigger question is...what are your intentions for this vehicle? If you're going to keep it another 6-7 years...what's the harm in just getting it over with now and reducing the chance of an extremely expensive failure? If you think you'll trade it in a year, then maybe just forget about it.
 

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I think I would only do the timing belt now if I was planning to keep the MDX for a few more years and go past +100,000 miles. I would skip the service if you are planning to trade in before 100k.

If you do plan to keep, are you going to do the full 105K service now:
-Valve adjustment
-timing belt with tensioner
-gaskets
-spark plugs
-water pump
-serpentine belt with tensioner
-coolant

Or just timing belt only? It was around $1500 to do my the full 105k service at my dealership and you could probably cut that by almost 1/3 or 1/2 at a local shop or if you know how to turn a wrench.
 
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Is the valve adjustment recommended at that interval on the mdx? Every Honda I’ve ever owned has always been “inspect valves adjust if necessary”
 

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I think it is adjust if needed thing for the valves.
 

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Is the valve adjustment recommended at that interval on the mdx? Every Honda I’ve ever owned has always been “inspect valves adjust if necessary”
Parts cost for adjusting is exactly the same as inspecting.
Labor cost is almost the same (adjustment adds a marginal amount of time).

I couldn't fathom undertaking the effort to properly inspect valve clearance without also adjusting them all to center-spec.
 
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Parts cost for adjusting is exactly the same as inspecting.
Labor cost is almost the same (adjustment adds a marginal amount of time).

I couldn't fathom undertaking the effort to properly inspect valve clearance without also adjusting them all to center-spec.
Ive always had the exact line of thinking. Which is why I always adjust my valves only when needed.
 

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Ive always had the exact line of thinking. Which is why I always adjust my valves only when needed.
Except you don't really know if they're needed until you inspect >:)
 

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Except you don't really know if they're needed until you inspect >:)
Eh not necessarily true. You can measure warm idle vac via gauge or voltage w ktuner which will give an indication of valve lash overall. When I start getting random misfires I can’t pin on anything else I look at the valve lash.
 

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I would think your probably ok also. i am at 10 years and 90000km .Just inspected my belt timming belt this weekend and it still looks to be in good shape, no cracks or broken teeth and flexible . I do not live in extreme temperatures on the west coast here and winters are mild so frankly did not expect to see any timing belt deteriation! I check my belts yearly as a precaution. If i lived in a hot Climate like Arizona or Cali i would expect to see more wear on the belts due to the heat and would probably have changed the timming belt by now. As stated check the belt for its condition. If you do decide to change it than do the pulleys, tensioner, and water pump. (especially if going to have the dealer do it!) The valves only need to be agjusted if you hear Valve Tick, Otherwise leave them alone. Just make sure you hear valve tick and not misinterpret serpentine belt or alternator noise as valve tick.


There are a number of great videos on Youtube on doing the work if you are interested. You can determine if it is something you want to tackle over a weekend?
 

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The valves only need to be agjusted if you hear Valve Tick, Otherwise leave them alone.
This is dangerous advice. Loose valves are noisy, but tight valves are quiet. It is not sufficient to use your ear to determine when adjustment is necessary.
 

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I think I would only do the timing belt now if I was planning to keep the MDX for a few more years and go past +100,000 miles. I would skip the service if you are planning to trade in before 100k.



If you do plan to keep, are you going to do the full 105K service now:

-Valve adjustment

-timing belt with tensioner

-gaskets

-spark plugs

-water pump

-serpentine belt with tensioner

-coolant



Or just timing belt only? It was around $1500 to do my the full 105k service at my dealership and you could probably cut that by almost 1/3 or 1/2 at a local shop or if you know how to turn a wrench.


I would second this advice. At 106K & 9 years, we decided to go ahead & run our ‘09 for another 100K/10years. Consequently, I did the above plus our rear main seal which was leaking. Didn’t bother with the valves as performance was fine, engine runs smooth & typically valve jobs on a Honda are just a dealership money earner-valve problems are uncommon. At 106K I was starting to have some concern regarding the belt. I expect the it is probably fine through 120K at least but it’s a gamble that will essentially cost you the car if your wrong.

I might add that I’ve noticed our rear is a little sloppier than when we bought it at 13K. Since I’m looking at another decade & 100Kish miles, I’m going to go ahead & replace our rear shocks & springs this fall. I’ll probably do it myself as most of the cost is labor. I’m also going to look into these recent posts about switching out the sway bar for the 2012 Advance to make it even crisper (still need to do my research there).

It’s a great vehicle & the post 2013s just aren’t as tight in every way. Plus, I haven’t driven any other Japanese or S Korean competitor that offered as much in driveability & capacity (I was counting on Infiniti but Nissan’s really pushed that in the “cushy” Toyota/Lexus direction). The X5, Q7, & Jag drive great but no way those are driving 100-200K without ALOT of dealership time. The Merc ML350/500 is nearly identical as Honda clearly copied it for the MDX but it would make the others look reliable.

Oh, mine is leaking water in back a little bit like many of the others of similar vintage-kind of a black eye for Honda.
 

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Thanks Mr Gold, RainGoat & others - my 2011 Beast is at 190km (bought used from a Honda dealer, 2017 @ 170km). They had nothing in the service history data base to suggest the timing belt had been replaced. In hindsight, I should have haggled more off the price...

Given that I plan to run it a few more years, I will get the full 105k service in the near future.... It is overdue, and will add value going forward.
 

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Allow me to clarify valve adjustment so individuals are not wrangled into a paranoid state! Yes do your valve adjustment at 105000km regardless of whether you hear "valve train noise" . Those that have no idea of what valve train noise is, should either learn to diagnose it which is relatively simple or just accept that they are prepared to pay for a service they most likely will not need prior to the 105000km service! A little bit of reading goes a long way here as does common sense. The MDX is not the Unicorn of automobiles as so many are led to believe, just look at the other automobile forums and you will see the same issues are discussed whether its a $26000.00 ,$50000.00, or $1000000.00 Plus vehicle. If you are privileged to own The Acura NSX then you have reason to be "paranoid" around servicing intervals and valve adjustments for good reasons. (These vehicle’s work under much higher stresses and require the added attention).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the helpful info/responses. So the dealer is telling me that the timing belt is internal, therefore there is no way to check on the belts integrity. I do plan on owning this vehicle for a few more years. I want to get it paid off and NOT have a car payment for a while, so I decided to have it done. I am fairly handy, but I lack a garage, flat driveway and time to work on my MDX.

Mainly why I do dealer service, if they mess up I take it back and it gets fixed for free. Case in Point, my babe is in right now for a A23 service and I noticed a clicking when the a/c is turned on. They checked it out and are having to completely redo the rear main seal job they did a few months ago (no charge to me). They throw me in a MDX/RDX/TLX to drive while they work on it and I don't skip a beat with work.

All that said, the 2019 RDX press has got me twitching. It looks amazing. Anyone tested one out? I am currently in a 2018 RDX loaner with all options (cooled seats are changing my swamp back life) and wondering the improvements in driving and interior are. Afraid to take a '19 out for a spin cuz I bet I would just want to keep it.
 

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...

Mainly why I do dealer service, if they mess up I take it back and it gets fixed for free. Case in Point, my babe is in right now for a A23 service and I noticed a clicking when the a/c is turned on. They checked it out and are having to completely redo the rear main seal job they did a few months ago (no charge to me). They throw me in a MDX/RDX/TLX to drive while they work on it and I don't skip a beat with work.

....

When they are done, ask them if they confirm sub-frame alignment with the body. My local Acura dealer replaced the rear main seal and I found out the sub-frame was not properly aligned with the body.
 

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All that said, the 2019 RDX press has got me twitching. It looks amazing. Anyone tested one out? I am currently in a 2018 RDX loaner with all options (cooled seats are changing my swamp back life) and wondering the improvements in driving and interior are. Afraid to take a '19 out for a spin cuz I bet I would just want to keep it.
My 3 vehicles (06 TSX, 08 RDX, 11 MDX) are +410,000 miles combined. Looking to add atleast one new(er) vehicle in the next 1-2 years (replace all 3 in 2-4 years). Love the 19 RDX on paper and haven't had a chance to see in person yet. The A-Spec or Adv RDX would be the model I would go for first. I have zero issues going used if that gives me more bang for the buck. I really leaning hard for an used 18-19 MDX sport hybrid sh-awd Adv with under 25,000 miles (27 mpg combined, 321 hp, 7DCT, electronic dampers, sport+ mode, cargo space). Starting to see 17 MDX Adv sh-sh-awd going for the same price as a brand new 19 RDX A-Spec or Adv. Want a +18 MDX because of Apple carplay.
 

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I like the new RDX as well. very curious how it feels to have the transmission downshift 4 gears instantly. Sounds pretty cool. Since I don't like 20 inch wheels and adjustable suspension, a entry level works perfectly well. The only thing I don't really is the interior/infotainment. The one is new accord is much better to my eyes.
 

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My mdx is at 155k, still haven’t changed belt but sounds fine. I live in Canada as well btw, see lots of snow.


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