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I run my vehicles till the info system says change. typically between 7500-10,000 miles. Mercedes, GM, Acura, On each of them I periodically send a sample to blackstone labs for analysis and TBN analysis (Total base number, how much additive package is left). Outcome has consistently been "you can easily extend the change interval". everything looks good. Now 3 of the vehicles have been long term, One at 190K I sold it and no oil use and good analysis. Two have hit over 250K miles again, no increased oil usage, good analysis results. The others have all gone over 100K and going strong when I got rid of them.

Oil and engine technology has gone a LONG way since the 60's. Fuel injection and O2 sensors have kept fuel dilution out of the crankcase, ring seals are better, and oils are much better.
And of the vehicles mentioned above two that are over 250K miles have used "conventional" e.g. non full or partial synthetic oils since new.
 

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My RLX hybrid oil life is 60% and the last time I changed the oil was Dec of 2020. I also switched to Mobil 1 for the RLX and it would be +/- 2 years if I wait for the the M.I.D. 15% notification. Thinking about changing the oil in the RLX and not resetting the M.I.D. oil life %. I'm always worried resetting the M.I.D. between 100%-20% will also reset any 1-6 service code I can't see yet.
Acura (and most other mfg) say change the oil at least every 12 months, regardless of what the oil life says. GM actually takes that into account in the oil life monitor by dropping the oil life by either 2%/wk or by use info. so one doesn't need to remember the last time oil was changed. What effect resetting the MID before the 20% has i don't know but I did reset mine in March 2021 at 1 year when it was at about 50%, and it came up with what I expected for service code when oil life was down to 10% this last october.

Prior to Covid, None of my vehicles would go more than 6-9 months before needing an oil change, Since covid, it's been the 1 year thing, until this summer.
 

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Tackled the DIY job of changing the transfer case oil and rear differential fluid. For the transfer case I used Mobil 1 Syn Lube with LS 75W-90. Roughly 1/2 a quart went in. I had to route a 3/8 tubing behind the engine to the fill hole in order to get the 1/2 a quart of fluid in the transfer case.

The rear differential fluid change was fairly easy as well until my hand pump started leaking fluid. I put in roughly 2.7 quarts of Acura DPSF. I can't believe the fill and drain washers at Acura costs $6. Every time I bought a Toyota oil cartridge they threw in the oil pan drain washer for free. No big deal as it is reassurance it more than likely won't leak.
my local acura dealer throws in an oil drain washer with each oil filter, they scotch tape it to the filter box, and when I picked up DW1 for the hybrid tranny and TMU, they tossed in the 4 crush washers need into the box of 6 qts of DW1 I bought.
 

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As a fiscally conservative and prudent person, if I was at your point in life, I'd stick to one vehicle, probably the MDX you currently have. There's really no good reason for a young single person to have more than one vehicle - more cost in the vehicle, more cost for insurance, more cost for registration, more potential for one of them to be vandalized/stolen, more hassles of where to keep both of them, more to wash, wax, change the oil in, etc.

If you are going to get another, especially a 'weekend car', a 2022 'S' would be the worst choice. It's just too expensive of an item to leave sitting around and not use it fully. It's also largely redundant with what you already have.

The econobox purchase would be a better choice than a type 'S' but as per my first paragraph, unnecessary and a hassle you don't need.

There's a peace in simplicity.
early in life we bought cars that we could afford to pay cash for, worked for us as a family and kept them a long time. Lived life reasonably and save for retirement. Retired at 56, had plenty of time on our hands to do what we wanted and money to fund it and then it was when we reviewed our vehicle situation. Bought my brothers Mercedes E420, blast to drive put 90K miles on it, sold it back to him for his daughter to drive and bought the MDX as car for us to take on our outings. Meanwhile just after retirement went looking for a 97 mercedes SL500, spent a year looking for a one owner in color we wanted with records and finally found one. Again, a car for nice summer days etc. (and let someone else pay $100K for the car new and have almost $1/mile depreciation, car had 80K miles on it)

Think about making sure your future is secured, don't expect someone else to pay for your retirement, and once that is accomplished THEN and ONLY THEN look at more vehicles than you need.
 

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I like fun cars and they're not mutually exclusive with what I stated. My sole car for awhile was a 280Z, which was quite fun. I replaced that with a Jeep Cherokee XJ, which I did a lot of fun 4 wheeling with, etc. I have other fun vehicles as well - those are a couple of examples.


There's no set answer because of the variables. A reasonable plan is to save 15% of your income for retirement, not borrow money from your parents (or anyone else), not spend a significant part of your income on depreciating assets like cars (only paying cash for cars keeps you 'honest' about your ability to afford them), not have credit card payments, if you have a student loan get that paid back quickly - don't stretch it out, allocate some money for some fun stuff like traveling or hobbies like scuba diving or cycling or whatever interests you, and with the remainder save what you can for an eventual house purchase but don't rush headlong into buying a house - you're better off renting for at least a few years until you figure out where you want to be and your income and life balance have stabilized somewhat.

To achieve the above do a budget so you know where your money's going and you can direct the expenditures with your goals in mind rather than having the dollars wander off on their own.

Be a little careful about what you read on boards like this from people like me and a number of others on here in that some of us are older (I certainly am) and have had a lot of time to accumulate the money to do things like buy a new MDX, or any other vehicle, with little to no financial pain. I, like many others here, am in a position to buy what I want but that wasn't the case when I just graduated college. Fortunately I'm fiscally conservative by nature and even though I really like cars I've been careful with them and it helped me get to this point but as I said, having a 'fun vehicle' isn't mutually exclusive with sound financial principles.

But I can see that you could frequent a forum like this and tend to want to be all in and want to get yourself that new S advance or other shiny object also but keep in mind that all the posters here aren't in the same financial position. If you follow some good principles you'll get there at some point though without risking your financial well being or delaying your wealth accumulation to the point where your retirement has to get pushed out, etc.
well said and I'll add:

1) Save as much as you can early in your carear for retirement, max out IRA/401K etc. if you can. 8th wonder of the world is compound interest. How long does it take to double your money? Divide 72 by your expected or actual annual gain. Once you get started with this saving plan, it will become second nature the rest of your working carrear. Earlier you can get started the less total investment it takes.
2) Only thing we ever bought on credit was a house and our first car, and in 2010 in the depths of the recession I got a 2% 3 year loan on our Denali diesel truck. Why a loan? well I was getting 4% tax free dividend yield so it actually would have cost us more money to pay cash instead of a loan, everything else was cash and credit cards paid off every month. Bank loan guy kept saying what do you want for monthly payments? I kept saying I don't care, what are the interest rates for various loan length that's all I care about. In the end it was a wise move. I felt my investments would go up once the economy recovered and give an even better return than cash. Yes, that did work out well.
3) And by living like this one thing we were able to do is like my parents, pay for our 3 kids college tuition room and board so they came out debt free. They are now gainfully employed, saving and very thankful and say it was well worth it forgoing fancy stuff when they were growing up.

This plan paid off for us, We always planned on being able to comfortably retire at 55 and work after that as long as it was fun and enjoyable, probably till early 60's. in 2008 with the recession and being in high tech sliding down the "razor blade of technology" past experience was that recessions were brutal on high tech so I took an early retirement offer at age 56 and never looked back. Other co workers who always had nicer cars, bigger houses, fancy vacations etc. didn't take the offer, couldn't afford to retire and they went through a brutal 4-6 years with in some cases pay cuts, or layoffs.

You probably know lots of multi millionares. But they likely also aren't the ones you would say are that wealthy. And the ones you think are very wealthy in many cases are living paycheck to paycheck.
 

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Both vehicles I drove/currently drive, includes my MDX has been paid off hand-me downs from my dad (I personally don't like new unless its a market like we are experiencing for the past 2 years). Technically speaking, my father took the financial depreciation hit on both, since it was originally on his name. Retirement wise, I did talk with an investor who is 67 years old (thought the dude was in his early 50s by how he looked) and is a retiree at the Honda dealer 2 weeks ago, where he just bought a brand new Honda Ridgeline (drove Tacomas before). I asked if I can put 25-30% of my monthly salary away instead of 20% into an IRA or 401k and he is like nope, law allows like 20% max. Plus, again I learned from parents who may have invested into retirement very late.
you can put as much of your salary away as you want. How much get's tax breaks, varies. Actually IRS has a max AMOUNT you can contribute each year to IRA/401K etc. NOT a max % of your salary. And you can put anything above that into a taxable investment account. Now some companies may limit the % of your salary into a 401K/403B or other retirement accounts, but the IRS does not, just the total amount.

Heck, I know many a high school kids who are putting 100% of their take home into Roth IRA's. A very wise move. Also a few retired folks who got bored, work a day a week or so and put 100% less SS and medicare into a roth IRA till they hit the annual max.

And after I retired a few years later the company called and said a patent disclosure I submitted was going to be filled with US patent office and they needed me to do some reviews etc. Paid at my previous salary plus the money they award when patents are filed. Well again 100% less SS and medicare went into my roth IRA. I didn't even have them withold any federal or state taxes.
 

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It’s always good idea to drive a car or SUV until it doesn’t become a money pit .
Now a days it basic maintenance is done car can last more than 100 k miles.
the 2004 duramax passed down to our son just turned 250K miles, virtually zip expenses other than normal maintanence, still has factory brake pads. 95S-10 again passed down to our son had 250K on it when he sold it. 97 mercedes e420 bought from my brother at 90K, sold back to him for his daughter at 180K, still going strong, 87 chevy van 180K and still in good shape when we sold it. virtually all our vehicles went at least 150K miles before any issues, many sold around then still in very good condition. today with decent care, I'd say 200K is not unreasonable. In all of the above vehicles were still using less than 1qt of oil in 7500-10K miles. Lot's different from cars of the 1960's. when 100K or less was end of life.
 

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....yeah good luck with that. It will fade faster than ever now (having went through it in other cars) you took the main protective layer that comes coated form the headlight. Now you have to constantly keep up with waxing it or ppf.
we've used the griot's garage refinishing kit on several cars that had badly yellowed headlights and 2+ years later they are still crystal clear. Not sure what mobile detailers use, but there are ways to do something that will last many years before any hint of yellow.
 

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Kindly keep politics out of this forum.

Ironic hearing complaints from you about a 4 cent increase in operating cost considering your plans to buy a $70k MDX Type S
Post I saw:
"Only in the U.S will you find people idling in line at a starbucks for a $5.00 coffee and complaining about $4.00 gas"

yes prices are high,and is a hit to the wallet, but actually inflation adjusted not at at peak and even lower when one figures in the increased fuel economy on a $/mile basis.
 

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Me and a buddy are buying this vehicle as a road trip vehicle and ironically to learn how to wrench and do modifications (I'd be stupid to DIY major modifications on the MDX without knowing what I am doing); also, he was the one that came up with the idea of buying a vehicle, although I did recommend & suggest we could use my MDX on this road-trip (TB should be replced by then). Its a 97 MB E420, has claims of having 146k miles on the odo. Lived most of its life in LA. Still has California tags. Currently its in Naples, FL, so I have a shop that's doing a PPI on the vehicle for $100; don't wanna call out a certain Mercedes dealer who doesn't do PPI. Did a quick search history on the vin I was giving, which literally matched to the shop that did the most recent service. Paid $25 to Autocheck for a vehicle report-- shows 5+ owners, but the listing said 2 owners only. Surprising to us was that it is listed on Copart couple years ago. Mileage is where I am scratching my head... so hopefully that gets knocked out and is adjusted accordingly. Insurance, I am 100% sure its stupidly cheap; probably will avoid collision and comprehensive coverage just due to the value of the vehicle. We are paying $3k for this in cash of course; friend is paying $1500 and I'm paying the other $1500; but I will have to negotiate if anything is found in the report. Insurance is going to be on my policy since buddy is on his moms currently, and both names will be on title.

Pictures did show the interior in like mint condition. Exterior has a panel or two with paint failure. Just having concerns about the mechanical and electrical portions, as seller did send me the picture of the dash (no idiot lights on).

The thing with my MDX mods... its for my taste, and I wanted to give some character and make her stand out. I could careless what anyone else thinks, other than if I can afford it (still looking at my spreadsheet, on how to save ~$30k to pay in cash); this is where I have this entire year to study my rear end off to get these CompTIA certs completed to land a junior position (you (@mdxstang ) and many IT members in this forum will know). Goal is to keep the MDX as long as possible either until gasoline does not exist or an expiration date comes and god calls. Type S.... Still debating whether to proceed with this financial ruin or just lower my budget and get a truck that can tow.

I am unsure how my FWD MDX can tow a W210 E class without exceeding the weight limit. And we aren't taking the X down to naples, since my buddy is doing a huge favor and driving up to Otown in his car. I did look at Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, and Budget, and all of them have no availability for a rental. Heres where i say rip to my financial decisions... my MDX barely sees 20+ MPGs now (even though I drive in the sweet spot of MPGs and idle the engine less), and add the fact the rise in gas prices and adding a V8 that is underpowered than the X with similar MPGs, and being able to run 87; Now filling up two gas hogs is r.i.p. to my account.

And to bring up cost per mile... 2019 was $0.09. Fast forward to 2022, $0.18. That's alot. 2020 was $0.10, and 2021 was $0.14.
I've owned a 97E420, a very nice road car. However IMHO $3K unless it is in absolutely mint condition with full service history is way to high. And that service history better show that it has had transmission fluid changed at least every 50K miles. And it better have a FULL set of keys, 2 switchblade fobs, one master key, one valet key. because keys are at present not available and if you loose the keys you've got a big paperweight. I bought mine in 2008 for $6K in excellent condition, full service records, one owner 98K miles drove it for another 100K, and then when we got the MDX sold it back to the original owner who wanted a car for his kids to drive. And 2 years ago blue book for top condition was well under 3K, in fact less than 2K. And that is NOT for a car in the condition you describe. So unless blue book has gone way up the car your looking at is WAY overpriced. Don't take me wrong, the 97E420 is a nice car, the M119V8 is strong, faster, better handling than the MDX, quieter, very comfortable. The 90's version of the 300SEL 6.3. But they are pushing 25 years old and very few are in top condition. I loved the car and would have kept it but didn't have room for a 4th car.
 

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I'm surprised at this. I get EPA rating out of my 2017 Hybrid and can surpass that easily enough with some sunk cost for 93 octane which I use anyway. I assumed the EPA ratings for gas vs. hybrid (26 vs. 27 combined) would be close, but the gas version would get at least the 22 mpg I got out of my 2010 MDX Tech.
hybrid 'city" mpg rating is mid 26 ish and very easy to achieve even in stop and go traffic. IIRC the non hybrid "city" mpg is around 18 mpg give or take. The EPA combined for the hybrid is 27, the epa combined for the non hybrid is lower, 22 mpg.
 

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Doing the math as suggested by mdxstang:

Let's assume you bought a 2010 Prius with 150,000 miles on it for $9,000 (current market value) that gets 50 mpg city/hwy, and you commute 12,000 miles per year. Assume Gas is $4.00 in Florida.
The MDX, at 20mpg, would consume 600 gallons of gasoline, costing you $2,400 annually.
The Prius would consume 240 gallons, costing $960 annually.
It would take 6.25 YEARS of only driving the Prius for the fuel savings to justify the purchase of the econobox, excluding insurance, tax, registration fees, battery degradation, and maintenance of a 12 year old, 150k mile vehicle.

I personally couldn't stand 6.25 days of driving a Prius so I'll keep my MDX.
you hit the nail on the head.

I suspect that if is a second vehicle, after factoring in insurance, licensing, maintenance etc. it would never pay off.

Now if it is replacing a vehicle that is in need of replacing, then factoring in economy MAY sway one. As an example the MDX hybrid was a $1500 increase in price. So deciding between the hybrid vs non hybrid, it COULD pay off in 3-5 years and for us the performance increase alone was worth the $1500. In our case the first year COVID hit and we only put about 4K miles on the hybrid.......... not much fuel savings. Another option we looked at was the Q5 plug in vs. non plug in. The ONLY reason the Q5 plug in would have paid off was the federal and state tax credits brought the premium down into a reasonable number. (now buying for performance another story) The Q5 was actually our first choice but non available.... But again it was the performance AND tax credits.

Our process has always been to buy a vehicle we wanted and liked after the tradeoffs, and then drive it for 1-2 DECADES or near 200K miles. And it has worked, usually by 150K-200K miles little if any repairs needed beyond "normal". even with a 10+ year old car. One of, if not the Least expensive car we've owned was a Mercedes. 97E420 bought from my brother for $8k in 2006 with 90K miles on it, drove it for 15 years, it hit 190K miles, DW decided as much as we liked the E420 she wanted to move to a SUV, sold the E420 for $4500. Very troublefree car, great performance, 18mph city, high 20's on the highway. But for us now the MDX hybrid is a better fit with the traveling we do.

But in general "switching" cars to get better mileage is usually a fools errand.
 

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Just calculated fill up #2 since working. Boy oh boy, 18.9 MPG. :rolleyes: This is definitely going to be a fun few months, as I really hope gas prices can actually drop down below $3/gal.
not sure what you expected for basically "city" mileage, but what your getting is close to what the EPA rating is for city driving, I'd say your doing pretty well.

At least your not putting 40 gallons of diesel in a truck when your towing and getting 12mpg or so. Made three 450 mile round trips this last month towing a trailer to go motorcycle riding/racing Haven't hit $200 for a fillup yet, but have topped $175 once.

Hint: Get a PenFed gas card with a direct deposit to a PenFed account. you get 5% credit on your gas purchases for the month with the credit applied before the bill is sent out. Must swipe at the pump for the 5% cash credit. And there is no monthly or annual limit on fuel purchases unlike many cash back cards. Combined with a Kroger fuel credit it's good for $.25-$1.00 discount per gallon.
And with Kroger you can get 4x fuel point on "gift cards" so for places we often shop we buy gift cards and use them. A $100 home depot card gets me $.40 off 35 gallons of fuel.
 

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Well, honestly I am was hoping low to mid 20s cuz the posted limits are like 45 to 55 MPH depending on the road. I’m not expecting high 20s like my previous car but still, 19 MPG when its hwy speeds. I fill up at Costco regardless since it’s typically $0.20 to $0.30 cheaper than everywhere else. And just filling up on 87 octane just because its the most affordable.


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well, it's still "city driving" even with 45 mph speed limits. energy expended in changing speeds =mass times delta velocity, so even minor changes in speed have a pretty dramatic effect. Same for elevation changes. or think of it this way. The hybrid which recovers probably 50% or so of the energy change in slowing down give almost a 50% improvement in city driving. Going from 18ish mpg to 26 mpg or more. On several occasions with our hybrid at the dealer for service we were given a regular mdx for the day. On the trip to/from the dealer (20 miles city driving speed limits of 35-45 mph with traffic lights and traffic) our hybrid fuel "lie o meter" shows just over 30mpg. The loaner "lie o meter" shows in the 16-18 mpg range for the same trip.
 

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remember, your trying to push around a vehicle that weights about 2,000Kg (4200 lbs) the energy it takes to change it's velocity is pretty high, much more than a few decade old econobox's that weighed less than 1,000Kg.
 

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Heres the main issue I’m trying to understand. Its 10 miles of road with used to be a posted 55 is now a 45 with no signal lights. It falls under a county route. Again, no signal lights for a good 10 miles. Basically I hyper-mile here 90% of the time and use the one pedal method.

The other thing is, this is a temporary position. My job position is a PC Tech for a 3rd party company that works with the local school district. My career goal is in cybersecurity which I am going to school for right now and hopefully willing to land a position at Lockheed Martin with a CySA and similar certifications, which is roughly the same distance I believe as my current employer. This is when I will start looking properties thats a good 10 miles closer. But then the housing market here is hot and overpriced, similar to San Diego.


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A bit of high school physics you should remember.

Even if it is warm out it likely takes 5 miles for the engine to warm up to operating temperature for maximum efficiency. Until that time lots of energy is being wasted warming up the engine block, coolant etc. And in the meantime, oil is cold, increased friction, tires are cold, increased friction, bearings are cold, increased friction. and I don't know about the mdx non hybrid but many if not the majority of newer vehicles on a cold start have the ECU raise shift points for a short distance to get the CAT converter warmed up and working. All this goes against good trip mileage.

As an example, in the winter even with the car in the garage with garage temps near 50F our short trip to the gym in the morning (5 miles) with our hybrid will show about 20mpg going TO the gym. Work out for an hour, come out, and on the drive home, with the engine block still reasonably warm etc. and the car will show it's typical 26+ mpg. Driving around the rest of the day even with short trips, mid 20's to low 30's. But that first trip is a killer.

Now you do a cold start, drive 10 miles, wait 8 hours+ do a cold start drive 10 miles, no matter what gas engine car you drive you will find that fuel economy is going to be at the low end of city EPA rating.
 

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think of it this way. at 18mpg and $5.00 gallon it costs you $5.50/day to to go/from work. Get something that gets 30mpg and now it costs you $3.33/day a savings of $2.10/day. $45/month.
looks like your drive to/from works uses about 1 tank of gas/month..................................
 

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The psychological role of the Teens vs 20s MPG is playing a huge role, but its also how can I stretch this tank of fuel. At $4.00 (probably will increase sometime this week), its already 1/4 of my hourly pay. And I’m currently working a 40 hr work week unless I get approval from higher ups for OT then I can add 1/2 more to my regular pay rate for OT. I probably should mention the MID is showing 20.0 MPG soooo that’s also an issue.

In terms of a permanent career, goal is to stay in Orlando, or if anything just move back down to Miami. Forgot to mention, but I do have a dedicated gas card for Costco (its basically Costco’s gift card, with a maximum amount of $1000 that can be loaded; helped me alot during undergrad).


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every car I've had the "lie o meter" has always been optimistic on fuel economy.
As far as gas cards, a pen fed card saves us much more than the costco card. 5% cash back applied to the bill at the end of the month, and I can use it at Costco. today that's giving us a $0.20-0.25 gallon discount off the top,
 

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Took her to Honda today and found out my rear pads are at a whopping 2mm and front pads at 3mm. Talked with the SM of the dealer, and he said he can price match Acura of Pembroke Pines and give me a loaner. This is gonna be expensive.


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replacing brake pads is a pretty easy DIY job, and generally will save a considerable amount of money. I believe dealers make a LOT of money on brake jobs. BTW how many miles on the car? On the last 4 vehicles I've had I've been getting 150-250K miles on OEM brake pads and I'm NOT an easy driver on brakes or tires. Two of the vehicles usually tow a 10,000lb trailer and I'm at 20K lbs overall driving down the road and over mountains.
I'm also suprised and disapointed that Acura/Honda doesn't have any form of notification of worn pads, either as a metal scraper that has been used for at least 50 years, or a sensor inserted into the pads like my two mid 90's cars that then show a dash warning when the pads need replacing.
 

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Ol’ girl has 88350 miles on the odometer . A month earlier a different SA told me she has 7mm left on all pads. Was quoted $690 before taxes and whatnot. It’ll take at least two weeks for me to save up money for the required tools and parts for the DIY option or for having Honda do this and an OC with Honda branded oil.

Pads lasted longer on the MDX compared to the previous vehicles we had. And this might also include the drum brakes on the Accord.


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changing brake pads requires a floor jack, a pair of jack stands and a few wrenches, Given the quality of rotors on most cars today, all that is needed is to drop in a new set of pads, and bleed the brakes manually. OEM pads are likely in the $50-$75 per axle. Find a friend that has done some DIY on vehicles including changing pads and have him teach you, take him to a good dinner afterwards and you'll still have $300+ in your pocket and learned a great deal.
 
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