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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mechanic buddy willing to help me with the timing belt for the MDX which I plan to do at around 90k as I don’t want to risk getting to 100-110 in the cold winter months so I started looking at the parts needed and Genuine OEM is close to $500-600 in parts alone.

There is a AISIN kit for $179 which my buddy says to get over the OEM but it seems like there are several “reviews” that the pump and belt fail.

Then there are kits for $350 ish on eBay that seem to use the same Aisin kit parts but with Genuine Honda OEM belts.

Anyone have experience / reviews with these kits?

In the past I have brought my cars to a local shop so I really have no idea what they used and those cars are all long gone (sold) but I never had a problem with them and some I put another 80k miles on them after the timing service.

Thanks all!
 

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Aisin is a good company. Their timing belt kits are held in high regard by the mechanics that I know. I wouldn't hesitate using an Aisin kit.

I've also used a lot of Gates kits, over the years. Never had a problem with Gates, either.
 

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If the MDX engine is configured like the Legend engines were, it is a PITA to get into that water pump if it goes bad. On the Legend and RL the biggest reason the pump is replaced with the belt is to save the labor of doing the job twice. If your friend is willing to do the work again if the pump fails you could replace the belt (and tensioners etc now if needed), and go back in for the pump if it fails. Myself, I have been burned too many times by copies and prefer Honda/Acura parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aisin is a good company. Their timing belt kits are held in high regard by the mechanics that I know. I wouldn't hesitate using an Aisin kit.

I've also used a lot of Gates kits, over the years. Never had a problem with Gates, either.
Gates is even less money - what a huge price difference between these kits and and Genuine OEM. But then again 1 rotor OEM is $170 vs $50 after market.
 

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If the MDX engine is configured like the Legend engines were, it is a PITA to get into that water pump if it goes bad. On the Legend and RL the biggest reason the pump is replaced with the belt is to save the labor of doing the job twice. If your friend is willing to do the work again if the pump fails you could replace the belt (and tensioners etc now if needed), and go back in for the pump if it fails.
Even if you DIY, the labor far outweighs the nominal parts cost... Don't risk it... Replace the pump and tensioner when you do the belt!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If the MDX engine is configured like the Legend engines were, it is a PITA to get into that water pump if it goes bad. On the Legend and RL the biggest reason the pump is replaced with the belt is to save the labor of doing the job twice. If your friend is willing to do the work again if the pump fails you could replace the belt (and tensioners etc now if needed), and go back in for the pump if it fails. Myself, I have been burned too many times by copies and prefer Honda/Acura parts.
Yikes, that scares me a bit. I am sure he’ll be willing to help again but I wouldn’t want the pump failing earlier than it should.

I do a lot of mountain driving and road salt driving so I am sure that wears out parts quicker.

It’s such a huge price difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the water pump is done with the timing belt to prevent the dreaded seized water pump pulley nightmare.
Yup - you have to remove it anyway so it’s a good time to replace it. I will replace everything that makes sense to do so while doing it.

It’s just a matter of going full Genuine OEM or using a Kit from Aisin or Gates or and EBay kit where they include Genuine OEM belts with AISIN kits parts for the rest.

There is large difference in price between them and I don’t know if that’s becasue you are scraficing quality.

I’ll go talk to the Acura parts guy tomorrow and see what deal he can offer. They have been good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If the MDX engine is configured like the Legend engines were, it is a PITA to get into that water pump if it goes bad. On the Legend and RL the biggest reason the pump is replaced with the belt is to save the labor of doing the job twice. If your friend is willing to do the work again if the pump fails you could replace the belt (and tensioners etc now if needed), and go back in for the pump if it fails.
Even if you DIY, the labor far outweighs the nominal parts cost... Don't risk it... Replace the pump and tensioner when you do the belt!
Of course I am changing it all - I believe @sgkent was referring to the potential failure of a non Honda pump which some of the reviews state “failed after 30k miles” but a lot of reviews are fake to advantage other parts / products.
 

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I think what the reviews I saw mostly were that the stock pump and the Aisin pump are identical but the Honda pump is machined more precise and the casting isn't nearly as rough. Here is the problem - I say it coming from years of automotive experience - sometimes a manufacturer makes a part for a company A. Company A specifies a certain quality level. That same part might be made to be sold OEM aftermarket but it may not be held to the same quality - doesn't mean it isn't as good. On the other hand the parts can be the ones that were 95% as good but failed to meet the other standards. Doesn't mean it won't work. But maybe the defect rate is a little higher. For some parts it can mean that the part is known to have a little bit of a problem but going on a car with 120,000 miles if it only lasts 40,000 miles instead of 120,000 miles who would care so they would buy the less costly priced part.

I buy my Acura parts wholesale. Only once did I use an aftermarket set of axles and CV's on my 2nd Legend. Well known brand. Lasted 1 block and I had to limp home in reverse. There was a casting flaw in the driveshaft. Took them back, bought a remanufactured set from Acura for about $100 more and they worked flawlessly for as long as I had the car. I just can't tell you how many times even factory parts on American cars were seconds. On the other hand sometimes the name of the manufacturer is ground off because the part is surplus that the factory sold and they didn't want the public knowing it was from them. Some easy jobs it is worth using an aftermarket part. Something that is many hours of work one has to weight options. Check Amazon with the part number and Google it. Some of those parts are sold 50% the price of your local dealer - and in other cases your local dealer can beat the online price. If I was going to keep the car one more year and sell it maybe the Aisin pump might be of value but normally I keep my cars like new. I don't lease them and I don't like payments. Learned those lessons as a young man when it took 6 years to pay off a certain sports car. Never again. Also look at the warranty Acura offers on a factory part VS the Aisin part. Some factory parts have a pretty good warranty on them if they fail. In many cases factory parts go back to Acura/Honda when they fail so they can improve the product. Not always but often. That said, I am sure there are a lot of cars out there with Aisin pumps on them. Gates is a fine belt.
 

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Generally replacing a timing belt is such a pain that a difference in parts of a couple hundred dollars loses much of its significance if it ends up to be true that the OEM parts work better for the purpose. It's kind of like your rotors where one can be'penny wise and pound foolish'. You're already gong to save a lot of money by doing the job yourself so you might want to apply some of those savings as justification for splurging on OEM parts for this. Note - I'd also only buy the parts from a genuine Acura dealer - not some random (ebay) place unless it's truly an Acura dealer since as I mentions before, there are counterfeit parts and there are also simply misrepresentations of what's being sold.

Definitely replace the water pump at the same time as the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with you both @sgkent & @mdxstang

I plan on keeping this car around until it dies and want to keep it in top condition. It
literally saved me and more importantly my family from a major pile up.

This is not a situation to find value! I was planing on bringing it in to my local mechanic but my buddy is willing to give me a hand in DIYing it - which for him is routine and will be an exciting change from general maintenance for me.

Rotors I can change at anytime (I did so in the rain at night) and while they can get uncomfortable they will stop a car but in my case so far so good with finding value!

The last item I bought from eBay was over a decade ago - it was clearly a counterfeit. I contacted eBay and they did absolutely nothing. Then I had some issue with PayPal where someone made a claim against me (my email) not username which the person filing the claim had the wrong email address but because It was linked to my username they literally deducted from my bank account becasue it was linked. WTF. It took several months to clear it up

I will not buy off eBay and deleted my PayPal - Though maybe I should signup for Venmo because a lot of drunk people send me payments all the time (again wrong email). I have an early common gmail address that people have the same name but many numbers after and the drunkards drop the numbers.
 

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AISIN is good Stuff

After five Acura (Honda) timing belt services done by me in my garage... I always get the AISIN parts kit which includes the Genuine Honda water pump. This combination has never let me down and can be had for a good price, as well.

imho, changing the timing belt at 90k is a bit early. I say you can easily go another twenty thousand miles with zero risk. None of the timing belt services I did at 100,000+miles showed any identifiable wear.
 

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If you install a Gates kit, especially the water pump, you will hate yourself forever. Get Aisin or OEM. I have installed at least 5 Aisin kits on Lexus, Toyota, Acura and Subaru vehicles. They are deluxe.

Localbar, I agree that buying from eBay sellers is risky. I will only buy on eBay if I can confirm, by telephone, that seller is a legit dealership selling OEM parts.
 

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If you install a Gates kit, especially the water pump, you will hate yourself forever. Get Aisin or OEM. I have installed at least 5 Aisin kits on Lexus, Toyota, Acura and Subaru vehicles. They are deluxe
Aisin kits are great... no complaints from me... but I’ve also never had a Gates kit fail.

I always get the AISIN parts kit which includes the Genuine Honda water pump.
I do not believe this is correct. Semantically, the Aisin kit cannot include the “genuine” Honda water pump unless they’re buying/licensing it from Honda — and they’re not. Even if the part is manufactured by the same company then it’s just an OE-supplier, not an OE part. There are many confirmed reports/pictures of the Aisin pump that demonstrate that it is different than the genuine Honda pump. Most people speculate that the differences affect only the appearance and not the operation — for example, some machining steps are skipped on Aisin pumps, to keep costs down — but there are demonstrable differences, nonetheless.

imho, changing the timing belt at 90k is a bit early. I say you can easily go another twenty thousand miles with zero risk. None of the timing belt services I did at 100,000+miles showed any identifiable wear.
The belt will always look great... until it breaks. The 105k service interval does have a safety margin built-in because the penalty for allowing the part to fail is so high. I wouldn’t go much past 105k unless you’re okay with that risk. I’ve heard of people going 150k on a belt. I’ve also seen a failure at 107k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I learned some important information today regarding 2014 and newer on SHAWD MDX’s and other newer Acura / Honda models.
The TIMING BELT & ADJUSTER has CHANGED!!!

I finally had some time to stop into the local Acura parts counter this afternoon to see what they can do for price on the timing belt components vs. buying online vs. buying a kit and the parts guy told me that the 2014 and newer SHAWD models use a different “thicker” timing belt and a different timing adjuster and as far as he knows none of the aftermarket kits include the proper belt and adjuster in them.

Everything else (water pump, Idler, Tensioner are the same)

I cross checked the Aisin kit and it only states up to 2013 - I could not find an Aisin kit for 2014 and newer.

The 2013 MDX uses timing belt part 14400-RCA-A01

The 2014 and newer uses 14400-R9P-A01

The Adjuster follows the same change from xxxxx.RCA.xxx to xxxxx.R9P.xxx

I checked RockAuto (my favorite) and pretty much all their timing belt options for 2015 list they fit 2003-2018 (Dayco, ACDelco, Gates etc...) scratching my head on this one - how can this be if the 2014+ is a different part number and belt? Could there be too small of a difference for the aftermarket to make the adjustment?

I couldn’t possibly trust those belts now because if Honda changed the belt than the belt changed. They too would not want to use additional parts unless they felt it was necessary too.

RockAuto did not have the adjuster listed for 2014 or newer MDX’s

Unfortunately my parts guy said they cracked down on the discounts and cannot offer the same discounts as the online shops any longer and nudged me to go to California online shops for these types of parts. My local dealer wants more in-house service and gives deeper discounts to those customers than straight parts customers. He can give me the 30% discount for the fluids and free washers as they don’t want to totally kill off their parts customers. Kinda sucks.

Looks like I am going Genuine OEM timing belt and Adjuster

And go for the:

Koyo Idler (Amazon) http://a.co/cv6MRWd
(which is listed as Genuine for Honda) only the Honda one comes in a Honda bag and is more than twice the cost. I am told they are identical down to spec?

- Aisin water pump (Amazon) http://a.co/8ji1JDk

- Aisin tensioner (Amazon) http://a.co/csIGtrK

- Genuine Cam seals (local Acura)

- Genuine Acura Coolant (local Acura)

- Aftermarket thermostat

- OEM spark plugs (those things are expensive)

Am I missing anything?

Anyone deal with http://oempartssource.com ?

In my research they have the deepest discounts for genuine parts
 

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I would still ask your parts guy to ask his parts manager to price out all the parts as a purchase together. FWIW the only times in my life when a company made a blanket statement of we don't negotiate prices when a larger purchase is involved - well, those companies are all gone. Someone selling several hundred dollars worth of parts is leaving quite a bit of money on the table if they walk away you. While they are under no obligation to offer a discount, you should be able to get at least 15% off the retail price if you buy all the parts from them. That said, see what their service wants for the parts and labor. You might find that the package price from service is such a bargain that you can't really refuse it - meaning the parts are priced wholesale, and the labor reasonable.
 

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Don't we have a sponsor on these boards that offers somewhat of a discount on OEM parts?
 

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I checked RockAuto (my favorite) and pretty much all their timing belt options for 2015 list they fit 2003-2018 (Dayco, ACDelco, Gates etc...) scratching my head on this one - how can this be if the 2014+ is a different part number and belt? Could there be too small of a difference for the aftermarket to make the adjustment?
Aftermarket parts aren't always an exact match for OEM. They'll often have different tolerances, be made of different materials, etc. This is true of belts, hoses, and almost every other part. In many cases the differences are irrelevant and the aftermarket will work fine but sometimes there's a good reason the OEM made a change, specified particular materials, etc. and this can be especially true with something like a timing belt where tight tolerances and longevity can be important. Some parts are fairly cookie cutter and some aren't. A good clue is in what you saw - where an aftermarket supplier will try to have one part cover a wide range of years and models whereas the OEM has multiple parts to cover the range. I'd try to avoid the 'general' replacement parts unless you can clearly discern it wouldn't make a difference.

Because of how big of a hassle it is to replace a timing belt and associated components I don't think the savings for aftermarket counter the time/work of replacing the components. I think it's worth sticking with OEM for these.

I can't believe you're even considering doing anything with Rockauto after what they did to you regarding the brake rotors.

The local dealer parts counter people are otherwise maximizing their profit hitting the people who just drop their car off to have even the most simple service done (ex: cabin and engine air filters) and paying for both the parts and the labor. The parts are marked up and the average person will pay whatever they charge since they don't know any better.

I just purchased a pile of OEM parts from oemacuraparts.com - an advertiser here. They're a genuine Acura dealer out of Arizona and sell the parts at a discount. I ordered the parts online and they showed up at my doorstep a few days later. I won't bother even dealing with the parts counter people at my closest Acura dealer anymore - it's easier and less expensive and 'no haggling/discussion' to just buy online.
 
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