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I'm looking for your wise counsel before I make my first MDX buy. I was wondering if there were any particular components or things I should check out of the vehicle when performing my inspections. I am specifically interested in the 2012 year range. You guys undoubtedly have a ton of advice on maintenance or important things to look for when buying, so I wanted to start this topic to see if I could get any help in that area.

My target vehicle is a 2012 ACURA MDX , which is a great beauty. This automobile REALLY matches my budget, however because it has a salvage title, I'm a little hesitant. Let me provide some information in the hopes of getting your feedback on whether or not this is a decent offer. When inspecting this vehicle, is there anything I should check in person or with a mechanic?

Link to the ad: 2012 ACURA MDX - ADV. PKG - LOW MILES!!!! - cars & trucks - by owner...

2012 ACURA MDX
69,989 miles
automatic
black in color

Since the front end has been advertised as being completely new, I'm wondering whether there is a method to view the previous automobile problems or damages. I'm in love with this model and need to buy by the end of the month because using rideshares right now is awful! For this price range, it's the one I found that is the cleanest, so please advise if you guys would pull the trigger or negotiate with the seller a little more in this case.
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Whatever KBB list it for in average condition, it's worth half that...sure as hell not $18k. I'd also want to see full documentation of the damage that caused it to be a total loss, and the list of components that were replaced. Unless you're very handy mechanically, I'd personally not advise purchasing a salvage titled vehicle.

Edit: I just checked KBB on a 2012 MDX Advanced package with 70k miles, and it's roughly $13k in good condition. Being a salvage title, my offer would be half of that. Keep in mind, the used vehicle market is on a HUGE downswing right now. Ask the Tesla nerds that lost half the value of their car overnight two weeks ago!
 

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Too much of a chance of something not being fixed correctly with the front end with the ACC/CMBS radar unit, auto leveling headlights, DRL/fogs, HIDs housing, ballast, front bumper air bag sensors, hood alarm, frame damage/future rust, alignment issues, or paint issues down the road. Add to that the issue with the 10-13 MDX oil consumption and the active damper system magnetic struts/shocks failures, A/C compressor, alternator, and P/S pump/rack. Too much of a chance of being a money pit if things start to go wrong.
 
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Agree with previous comments on concerns with prior damage. If you're still interested, then strongly recommend considering mrgold35's comment about 10-13 MDX oil consumption. Ask the seller (or better yet, get the VIN and ask any dealer) whether the car was eligible for the oil consumption recall, and if so, was the repair completed. If it was eligible but not repaired, then gives you an additional reason to avoid (or negotiate down if you're still committed.)

Here's more on the oil consumption issue, from the Acura notification letter "On certain 2009-14 Acura vehicles equipped with the 3.7L V6 engine, the oil control rings may become clogged with carbon deposits during normal engine operation. These deposits restrict the control ring's ability to return oil from the cylinder walls to the crankcase, resulting in excessive engine oil consumption."

That recall ended Sep 1, 2019, so any needed repair would be an additional cost (or be subject to frequently adding oil, possibly upwards of a quart every 1,000 miles.)

Also, the Hands Free Link (Bluetooth) module typically fails (if it hasn't already) after this many years, so you can figure about $500 for a new module plus labor (although can be DIY'd without too much difficulty.)
 

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@Castro66: never, ever...ever...buy a salvage title.

Many insurance companies won't insure them and even if it doesn't show up now, problems will arise in the future. I've seen it every time. In this particular case with the link you provided, I think that 2012 is actually over market.

This one is wayyyy better for you (just a quick example from LA CL):
2014 Acura MDX SUV clean title and low miles - cars & trucks - by...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Really appreciate a lot of your insights and comments here I really feel welcome with such a wonderful community. I was curious about this vehicle it looked clean at a quick glance. I was curious about its previous history so I tried a few sites and found one where it showed me it had 10 photos (Look at the report below) on the vehicle and an auction record. I ran the report and to my shock this vehicle was sold at an auction for $8,200 with the front panel that was damaged. Thanks to this nitty site I was able to glance at its past and just wondering how people cannot state or be upfront in their posts when selling a vehicle.
Website I used: Lookup any vehicle in seconds for accidents, service history and more!
Car report: Vehicle History Report for VIN: 2HNYD2H64CH541624

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Glad you pumped the brakes on that MDX. Just so you're aware (and anyone else reading this), "salvage" title is a registration status with the state (through an insurance company or salvage yard) that says the vehicle was damaged to the point that the repairs are higher than the current value of the vehicle. However, a "salvage" vehicle can change to a "rebuilt", "branded", or "re-branded" title if it passes DMV inspection with the registered state.

And while most lending agencies / banks will avoid loans with these titles, the "rebuilt", "branded", etc. titles are important because insurance companies may insure these vehicles (but not a salvage vehicle). Note that these titles can vary state by state, so be wary of your local and state laws as well.

Sellers will hide all sorts of information to try to dupe buyers. But legally they have to divulge the current registration status. The use of "branded title" is often the favorite to post because most people don't know it's tie to salvage status. Example.

The bottom line is: always buy a "clean" titled vehicle. The few thousands that you (may) save is never worth it.
 
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