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So, have been enjoying the X for many years. It was a code B146 so had the dealer do an A46 (oil + filter, timing belt, rear diff fluid).

In short, this was done at the dealership:

Oil & Filter
Timing Belt
Water Pump
Tensioner
Spark Plugs
P/S Belt (I think this is called the power steering belt but it's the main out that pulls all 3 devices).

Am I right in thinking the X has 2 belts (timing and serpentine belt). Not sure if the latter is the correct term. Dealership calls it he power steering belt but it also drives the A/C unit etc... correct?

1. There is an odd flicker of the headlight when going downhill and hitting the brakes. Happens repeatedly for the past few months. I was thinking to myself it would be a nightmare paying for dealership to troubleshoot this so just left it. It never got worst, just kept happening a few times at night and only when braking and going downhill. Checked all fuses and none were blown so left it.

2. Had the big service done and on tonight's drive, I did not notice any flickering headlights! Is is possible that the tensioner / belt system may be the fix for the flickering? Hoping someone who knows more about this can chime in.

3. What worried me was that at traffic light while idling, the RPM has always been super smooth and never dipped. After the service, it stuttered a little and dipped and the steering wheel had a small shake. I know others have complained about this but I have never experienced it. Could any of the fixes above possibility have caused this? Not going to worry too much about it as it only happened once but wanted to check in as it peaked my curiosity.
 

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Am I right in thinking the X has 2 belts (timing and serpentine belt)

Correct, serpentine belt = drive belt = the belt that drives power steering, AC, alternator, there is also a tensioner and idler on it.

My best guess is that dealer changed out drive belt, so your alternator works better and no flickers now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Am I right in thinking the X has 2 belts (timing and serpentine belt)

Correct, serpentine belt = drive belt = the belt that drives power steering, AC, alternator, there is also a tensioner and idler on it.

My best guess is that dealer changed out drive belt, so your alternator works better and no flickers now.
Upon further reading, I am also thinking the same thing. I do have a battery charger that can check alternators and remember the last check, it passed. Let's hope the new belt can extend the life of all the components it pulls.

So, am I right in thinking the tensioner will auto tighten after some use. I wonder if that was why I noticed that one time where it caused a dip in RPM while idling at a traffic light? Interesting.

Hated the huge bill from the dealership but love that there are no more squeaks on cold starts! Service manager says 08 engine has been solid. Should last another 100K (km) if all fluids get changed regularly. The Gen 2 has aged very well. Just compare an 08 X with and 08 Pilot. Ouch! https://www.edmunds.com/honda/pilot/2008/
 

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So, am I right in thinking the tensioner will auto tighten after some use. I wonder if that was why I noticed that one time where it caused a dip in RPM while idling at a traffic light? Interesting.
The tensioner will tighten right away. There is no delay. I am not sure that the tensioner has anything to do with your RPM dip. Hard to guess as well. But I do have some bad news for you. The tensioner you changed is probably/most likely the tensioner for the timing belt. In fact, there is also tensioner for drive belt. Once it fails, the drive belt will make strange noise. Given your car's age and mileage, it is likely to happen. Just be mentally prepared. Nothing serious.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-second-generation-mdx-2007-2013/154146-complete-guide-diagnosing-fixing-noise-caused-failing-drive-belt-tensioner-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The tensioner will tighten right away. There is no delay. I am not sure that the tensioner has anything to do with your RPM dip. Hard to guess as well. But I do have some bad news for you. The tensioner you changed is probably/most likely the tensioner for the timing belt. In fact, there is also tensioner for drive belt. Once it fails, the drive belt will make strange noise. Given your car's age and mileage, it is likely to happen. Just be mentally prepared. Nothing serious.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-second-generation-mdx-2007-2013/154146-complete-guide-diagnosing-fixing-noise-caused-failing-drive-belt-tensioner-2.html
Thanks for the heads up. I am looking at the details of the invoice and the tensioner was in the section for the timing belt. Good call. The drive belt was just the belt charge and no labour so that tensioner did not leak enough for the tech to replace. Service manager let me know if they see leakage, then they change tensioners. Thanks for the heads up. Let's hope most things don't break that soon on this X!
 

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Highly unlikely that anything they did fixed your issue with the headlights.
Flickering bulbs usually means a few things.

1.- Worn out bulb
2.- Bad Bulb
3.- Failing Ballast
4.- Bad Ground

Nothing they did (Aside from messing with the ground) on the T-Belt job can fix those.
As for your RPM Dip its probably the ECU Auto-learning the IDLE which takes a few miles, This will also mean they disconnected your battery which goes back to the Ground theory.
 

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Highly unlikely that anything they did fixed your issue with the headlights.
Flickering bulbs usually means a few things.

1.- Worn out bulb
2.- Bad Bulb
3.- Failing Ballast
4.- Bad Ground

Nothing they did (Aside from messing with the ground) on the T-Belt job can fix those.
As for your RPM Dip its probably the ECU Auto-learning the IDLE which takes a few miles, This will also mean they disconnected your battery which goes back to the Ground theory.
So that explains the 1 time RPM dip. Got it.

From @qqzj, I think they may be correct in saying the drive belt was the one that fixed the flickering headlights. In fact, the steering has gotten smoother as well. I am now convinced the new drive belt made the X that much better to drive.
 
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