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I have a 2016 (bought in 9/2015) with 49k miles on it. I drive a bit for work. I thought I would keep it for 5-7 years but if it will keep going I might as well keep driving it! I do all of the recommended maintenance at the dealer and use 93 octane.

Have a friend who is a Toyota Land Cruiser enthusiast and said he has had 4 of them and always driven them over 300,000 miles. Makes me think about driving my MDX a lot further than I initially thought about it.

How long are people planning on keeping theirs?
 

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I'd like to keep mine past 250k miles. However, historically I trade in every 2-3 years. I'm trying to break that cycle, this time.
 

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I just donated my 1998 Durango with over 225K miles not long ago. I replaced it with the MDX. The Durango was still running fine but I was ready for a new vehicle. If my Durango could go 225K miles easily then I'd expect the MDX would likely be fine to well over 200K as well on average (there'll always be some problems with some). I had enough confidence in the Durango that I did a coast to coast and back trip in it at around 194K miles and it did fine.

I do my own maintenance on my vehicles as well as some repairs. The Durango went through 4 or 5 water pumps in that timeframe but it was cheap to fix since I had a lifetime warranty on the first replacement and I got to where I could replace it fairly quickly.

So far my MDX at 5 years old and around 53K miles has had no mechanical issues at all. I don't know how long I'll keep it but likely at least another couple of years or so. I won't sell it to just get another 3rd gen MDX. I still really like the vehicle. I don't see the appeal of churning vehicles. The MDX still feels new to me but my daily driver is over 50 years (with hundreds of K miles) old so relatively speaking the MDX is still a newborn.
 

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I typically keep my vehicles for about 150k miles/10 years and then I get pretty tired of them. Crossing my fingers that the MDX will last that long, but realistically I don't think the electronics on this thing will keep up with age.
 

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but realistically I don't think the electronics on this thing will keep up with age.
I fully expect the electronics to not fail as this MDX ages. Once electronic circuitry gets past the initial and then the early life failure periods, which would happen within the warranty period, electronics are 'generally' quite reliable and likely won't fail. One possible exception to this could be the HDD used in the infotainment but even those can go many years reliably.

But what you might have meant was that the electronic 'features' won't keep up with what's available as time progresses and new technologies and features become available in vehicles and that's, of course, true - there'll always be improvements and new functions/features that we'll inevitably want at some point.
 

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My 2014 has 160 000 KM (roughly 100 000 miles and, aside from one back up sensor failing, it's been smooth sailing.

My 2006 MDX has 400 000 km (roughly 250 000 miles) and only the HFL has failed. Everything else still works trouble free, including A/C and tranny.

I hope my 2014 lasts as long as my 2996.
 

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I would love to see data on why you think the electronics on any modern car is more likely to last if it makes it beyond the warranty period. It would put my mind at ease. Because to be honest that seems counterintuitive to me. I liken the touchscreens and hardware in these vehicles to similar technology and capability levels as most consumer electronics (mobile phones, laptops, and LED TV’s). In fact, given the development cycle of a car, it’s probably 5-10 year old technology and capability. Most of our CE devices are made to last three or four years. In a vehicle, the electronics are exposed to extreme temperature cycling (both very low and very high), movement, UV waves, humidity extremes, etc. I just think it’s a lot. My company manufactures shielding materials to protect from EMI/RFI. The automotive industry is just catching up to the fact that all of these sensors, wireless technologies, computers, and power sources can emit radio waves that interfere with one another. They now see the problems but are in a tough spot because they also don’t necessarily want to pay for the proper solution to these issues. Ten years ago, maybe even sooner, an EMI engineer was unheard of in this industry. I’ve had many conversations with these folks at trade shows.

It all just leads me to believe they are still learning about this stuff and lowers my expectations for longevity. I think mechanically these cars are sound and have a high degree of confidence in even my ZF 9 speed. But I bought his car thinking that when my exteneded warranty is up, I may not keep the car because so much of it is controlled by computers and touch screens. I generally have a rule that I don’t chase electrical problems in any car outside of warranty. It tends to be costly, and seems to involve a lot of guess and check. Maybe I also understand mechanical failures better than electrical ones, but it’s exactly how I ended up in a MDX. For what it’s worth, when my wife bought her ‘17 CRV last year we also bought the extended warranty for the same reason. I’ve never done this before and have now done it twice in 12 months. I just couldn’t see a way that the electronics holds up over time and they really do control so much of the cars functions.

That said, I’m hoping to make it a little beyond my 120k warranty and hit 150k. Realistically that is 5 or 6 more years for me.
 

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The one thing that keeps me from worrying too much about stuff like this is that the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in America. I had a 1993 Dodge truck (1st gen Cummins diesel) and it had a primitive PCM that controlled the alternator, A/C, and many other things. Obviously unavailable from Dodge, but there is a company that rebuilds them for a reasonable fee (same with the digital odometer in my crown vic/most Fords) The same will be (or maybe already is) true for late model electronics, so if you want to keep your rig going there will be ways to do so.
 

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I would love to see data on why you think the electronics on any modern car is more likely to last if it makes it beyond the warranty period. It would put my mind at ease. Because to be honest that seems counterintuitive to me. I liken the touchscreens and hardware in these vehicles to similar technology and capability levels as most consumer electronics (mobile phones, laptops, and LED TV’s).
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Ten years ago, maybe even sooner, an EMI engineer was unheard of in this industry.
...
I just couldn’t see a way that the electronics holds up over time and they really do control so much of the cars functions.
Just look around you at the very items you used as examples - cell phones, computer monitors, televisions, and a plethora of other examples. The vast majority of them will easily outlast the consumer's desire to keep them. The modern flat screen monitors generally last until people just desire to replace them with something bigger, brighter, more feature packed. They rarely actually fail, even after many years of use. The same is true with most cell phones, which is a much 'harsher environment' than the electronics in a vehicle are subject to - consider the shocks a cell phone receives, the heat when left sitting in the sun, the moisture, dust/dirt, etc. I have plenty of old cell phones that still work fine - I simply replaced them to get the latest feature rich one. I have an old plasma TV that's 11 years old and still working fine. I finally replaced it with a more modern UHD TV, which I expect will last longer than I care to keep it before replacing it with something better.

'Computers', i.e. microprocessors and associated circuitry, have been in vehicles for decades now. I personally have never had one fail although I have had some sensors (O2 sensor, oil pressure switch, TPS, etc.) fail but these were inexpensive and easy to replace.

I'd find it hard to believe that EMI design and testing wouldn't have been done in vehicles since the first time a microprocessor was added to a vehicle decades ago. Actually, EMI design and testing has taken place for many decades since without it one would hear the rev buzzing through their AM radio. With the addition of computers and signal and data cables now being designed into vehicles there has to be design with EMI in mind or else it wouldn't work right off the bat. My gues is that I'm probably one of the few posters here who has actually participated in EMI design/testing when I sat out in the middle of a canyon once doing emissions testing on a circuit board and packaging I designed - in order to ensure FCC compliance. I've also used high voltage 'zappers' for testing the soundness of mainframe computers with the important aspects of appropriate shielding all around.

Given what I stated above as well as decades of professional experience in the area, I still have confidence that 'generally' these systems are robust enough to not justify in my mind the expense of an extended warranty. It's not just me though - it's also the extended warranty companies themselves who have that confidence or else they wouldn't offer the warranties. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the cost of an extended warranty goes to sales commissions and profit and only a small fraction (less than 20%) goes to repairing what's covered.

But this is just my opinion and experience. If people want to pay extra money for an insurance policy for this area that's their choice of course. The thing we both have in common is that we both hope to not have to spend either my saved up money from not buying the policy, or the person's policy money, to fix an actual problem.
 

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lightspeesz, integrated circuit failure rate versus power on hours is a classic bathtub curve with a very very very long bottom, so long that I am not sure that wear-out ever sets in, other than theoretically. The focus of the design engineer is on early life failure - "infant mortality". You are right about operational extremes aggravating things - heat generally being the enemy - but so long as the circuits are operating within environmental specifications what I just said is true. In summary, failure rate versus POH starts high and then goes down to the instrinsic failure rate of the circuit, which is exceedingly low, and it stays there for a very very very long long time, perhaps as long as you will breathe air.

I spent a career in CPU/computer hardware design. The critical early life timeframe when I was involved was about 90 days. Customers hate early life failures on expensive new computers, as you can imagine, so we would specify in-house manufacturing testing that did four corner burn-in of circuit boards at temperature and voltage extremes, in order to bring down the front end of the failure curve, and it was effective, you could basically take the front end out the curve. This is not inexpensive and I have no idea if automotive manufacturers do this, but in the end it really doesn’t effect the “beyond warranty” period because, one way or the other, by the time the car gets to the end of the warranty period the circuits are burned in and highly reliable. I am speaking here of integrated circuits, not touch screens, for which I have no expertise.

You talk about chasing electronic problems, and I agree, but only to a point. Solid failures are probably going to be isolated by internal checking circuits and/or diagnostics, and should not present a big problem. It is the intermittents that drive one crazy. When I was working, these could be so troublesome that if a customer was having an ongoing issue with an intermittent, we would set traps to try to isolate the problem, and if we couldn’t find the problem we would sometimes replace the entire system and take the problem system back to the manufacturing plant and physically crush it so that none of the parts could be salvaged to live another day and cause more intermittents - problem gone, grin. I have never had any sort of intermittent problem with an integrated circuit in a car, knock on wood.

I am obsolete, having retired a number of years ago, but I cannot imagine that the nature of a circuit is much different now than then, so I am personally not worried about post warranty electronics problems.
 

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Totally agree with @mdxstang on the longevity of electronics...specific to LCD and Plasma monitors, my in-laws are unwitting extreme product testers. The have totally opposite schedules; him up very early and her up very late. As a result their entertainment devices and TV's are on 20 hours a day every day and they go for years and years without issue. Hard drives and power supplies (Dell computers and early Toshiba LCD TV's) are really the only items that have given me problems over the years.

My experience with CUE and My Link (GM infotainment) suggests we do have a bit to worry about on the software side of things. Random rebooting, freezing, touch screen that is non-responsive, etc. So while the circuits and hard parts are durable, there are still problem areas that are likely failure points in future.
 

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Just remember that our vehicles are subject to sustained heat loads that consumer electronics inside homes are offices are not.

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Just remember that our vehicles are subject to sustained heat loads that consumer electronics inside homes are offices are not.

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There are technical specifications that tell what temperature environment is allowable for the circuit, and as long as the environment that the circuit is placed into is within the specification there is no practical problem, whether it be in a cellphone or a car or anyplace else, and environmental considerations are Blocking and Tackling 101a for designers. To place an integrated circuit into an unsuitable environment would be gross incompetence, particularly as these circuits are taking on increasingly complex and critical automotive jobs such as fly by wire and self driving.
 

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I'm well aware of those technical specifications. The oem manufacturers will make the components to whatever specs they're sent. It doesn't mean that all the components will survive to those exact specifications. That's why there is thermal testing completed still for QA. And yet still, that won't account for 100% of the builds. That's why there's an acceptable risk period for most electronics of about 3-5 years. After that, it's the end user's risk to own.

I know this is a negative Nancy view on things, but i think since i tend to keep my vehicles for about 10-15 years, i end up seeing more problems than not later in life. Electronics are just something that like to go bad randomly and suddenly.

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Just remember that our vehicles are subject to sustained heat loads that consumer electronics inside homes are offices are not.
Most of the more sensitive components aren't really that exposed though - they're placed inside the cabin and not in direct sun. An exception is the forward facing camera in the rear view mirror area but that has temperature sensing devices with appropriate protections (it shuts down if too hot).

The infotainment system is well protected. The various microprocessors are well protected as well and these processors rarely fail. I'd bet more than half of them that get replaced in vehicles weren't actually bad but were shotgunned by a tech who didn't know what to do and doesn't understand them or doesn't have the proper test equipment and even at that they're not replaced often (I've never had one fail and neither has anyone I know).

I think a device that sees a much harsher environment is the cell phone. This is a tiny package packed with powerful circuits with a battery sitting right on top that itself can get hot. There's no airflow, it gets placed in a pocket next to body heat, it sits out in the sun in some cases, is in a very dusty/dirty and wet/humid/arid environment, and gets dropped 4 feet to the ground every now and then. It even gets dropped in the toilet. I dropped one in the ocean and it was rolling around in the waves but survived (iPhone 5).

Of course, there'll be some failures but by and large once it makes it past the infant mortality stage the electronics are generally quite robust. In addition, the components s/b spec'd for the environment - i.e. if the designer knows it'll be a harsher environment then certain components are selected over others. Just imagine the components in a jetliner, fighter jet, tank, Humvee, or satellite.

This is why I have enough confidence in the components to not fund an extended warranty. I know I'm taking some small risk but I also know that the odds are very much on my side that it'll be more cost effective to save that money rather than buying the insurance.

Hopefully none of you will prove me wrong on this (and I hope I don't prove myself wrong on it).
 

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Haha yeah we can only wait and see. I will tell you from the aviation world that despite the high safety factor designed into the systems, we do still face thermal failures, but also because the systems go through extreme temperature swings if not shielded correctly. As much as designers try to account for these things, the real world is not fully replicated until you do QC/QA and even then, you need enough cycles to find some things. That's why our airliners go through such rigorous repair and replacement schedules despite components not having failed yet--it is simply an unacceptable risk to not conform to preventative maintenance when so many lives are on the line. Sometimes you just don't learn about these until there is "blood on the runway."

Sorry about pulling the discussion so far off topic.

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lightspeesz, integrated circuit failure rate versus power on hours is a classic bathtub curve with a very very very long bottom, so long that I am not sure that wear-out ever sets in, other than theoretically. The focus of the design engineer is on early life failure - "infant mortality". You are right about operational extremes aggravating things - heat generally being the enemy - but so long as the circuits are operating within environmental specifications what I just said is true. In summary, failure rate versus POH starts high and then goes down to the instrinsic failure rate of the circuit, which is exceedingly low, and it stays there for a very very very long long time, perhaps as long as you will breathe air.

I spent a career in CPU/computer hardware design. The critical early life timeframe when I was involved was about 90 days. Customers hate early life failures on expensive new computers, as you can imagine, so we would specify in-house manufacturing testing that did four corner burn-in of circuit boards at temperature and voltage extremes, in order to bring down the front end of the failure curve, and it was effective, you could basically take the front end out the curve. This is not inexpensive and I have no idea if automotive manufacturers do this, but in the end it really doesn’t effect the “beyond warranty” period because, one way or the other, by the time the car gets to the end of the warranty period the circuits are burned in and highly reliable. I am speaking here of integrated circuits, not touch screens, for which I have no expertise.

You talk about chasing electronic problems, and I agree, but only to a point. Solid failures are probably going to be isolated by internal checking circuits and/or diagnostics, and should not present a big problem. It is the intermittents that drive one crazy. When I was working, these could be so troublesome that if a customer was having an ongoing issue with an intermittent, we would set traps to try to isolate the problem, and if we couldn’t find the problem we would sometimes replace the entire system and take the problem system back to the manufacturing plant and physically crush it so that none of the parts could be salvaged to live another day and cause more intermittents - problem gone, grin. I have never had any sort of intermittent problem with an integrated circuit in a car, knock on wood.

I am obsolete, having retired a number of years ago, but I cannot imagine that the nature of a circuit is much different now than then, so I am personally not worried about post warranty electronics problems.
I believe we are thinking along the same lines. I am not thinking of hard failures. Those are cut and dry. It’s the intermittent ones that can’t always be replicated on demand that are a problem. My experience with those repairs are they tend to troubleshoot by guess and check. I like dealing in absolutes, not “should be’s.” Especially when it’s by the hour.

I guess it’s all relative about MDXstang’s consumer electronics longevity experience vs mine. My experience is they all have a useful life. Yes, my iPhone still “works” at 3 years old, but the battery doesn’t hold its charge as long, the GPS becomes less precise, the Bluetooth connections produce static, etc. It simply isn’t what it once was. I for one don’t let my phone get exposed to the hot sun but I acknowledge it happens. Despite many precautions though, the interior of my car routinely gets very hot. That thermal cycling is what worries me. I agree the heat is bad but living in the Northeast I do often think about the subzero exposures and then cranking the heat then cooling back down. It’s a lot of stress. Prior to my current company where we make EMI
Shielding materials I worked for a company that was developing new polymers for circuit board substrates. Thermal cycling was becoming a big issue as you ask smaller packages to do more because the materials used all have different coefficients of thermal expansion. That stressed the solder and copper lines and chips. There were solutions but they all had trade offs and many were very, very costly. Given my two roles I look at it through the lense of what is being asked for at a materials level, what is out there now, and are they willing to pay for it.

I 100% agree with Neoshi - it reflects what we see. The aerospace market is extremely robust in R&D and risk averse. They also have tremendously long product development cycles. Performance is more critical than cost in a multi-million dollar airplane or helicopter. The automotive industry on the other hand cannot always afford to pay for the proper material solution. They can’t always pass it along, and the shorter life cycle makes it harder to recoup added development costs. It’s not a knock on them - it’s a different market and nobody wants to spend $60k on a Civic. It’s just what I’ve seen time and time again. Google Tesla and AM radio. They can’t always add high cost materials to solve a problem. My feeling is they live with what they can and most likely think that original owners won’t keep the cars much beyond their warranty. I guess it’s also telling to me that the powertrain warranty is almost always longer than the bumper to bumper or electronics warranty. And most of my bumper to bumper or electronic issues have occurred after that warranty is up. But again that is my experience, and I admittedly put a lot of care and attention into my vehicles so I may notice more problems as they come up.

I was more hoping that there were some trends or publications talking about designing for the future. As I said, I would love to be wrong - but history, particularly history with cars 6+ years old, has taught me (and not everyone) that’s not the case.
 

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^^ My daily driver has an AM radio (transitorized!) that's over 50 years old and still working. The electrical wiring, while more brittle than when new, is still working as well - and that's after over 50 years of use. Granted, there's not a lot of circuitry in that old radio but that radio was probably fairly leading edge at the time.

The only electrical failures in more modern vehicles I've experienced are with things that move - like power window motors, power antenna motors, power seat motors. Based on my experience with those I'm not a fan of motorizing everything and am glad the MDX doesn't (so far) have things like power rear folding seats. I even disable the entry/exit steering column/seat movement to minimize the use of those motors since I think they do have a limited number of uses before they'll fail, besides, I don't need my seat or steering column to move in order to be able to get in and out of the vehicle. They do adjust when switching off drivers and so far so good.

I've also had some failures in some sensors but they've been fairly easy to diagnose and replace myself. I've never had an issue with wiring.

I've not, however, ever had a failure in the more complex circuitry and functions of the various microprocessors used in vehicles. I think this is likely due to the specific design of those components and enclosures and physical locations designed for use in the environment of a vehicle.

There are choices - buy a vehicle with the latest tech doo-dads and churn the vehicle while it's still under factory warranty, pay extra for an extended warranty that'll cover what one's worried about (and reading the fine print to be sure it's really covered) and selling before that one expires, just paying for any fixes that might be required out of pocket down the road, or just living with the eventual failure of one of the doo-dads and not worrying about it that much - i.e. so what if the lane keeping assist no longer works on the 8 year old vehicle, or the nav doesn't work. If nothing else by the time it's many years later there likely would be more availability of less expensive used parts from junkyards.

But I'm going for it without worrying much about this area. I'll stick with my confidence in the electronics in this area until I become convinced that confidence isn't warranted. I don't know how long I'll keep this MDX, which is already 5 years old and outside of the B2B warranty, but I kept my last SUV for 19 years and over 200K miles and I already mentioned my daily driver that's over 50 years old with hundreds of K miles on it and is quite a reliable and fun car to drive, so I don't get intimidated when a vehicle is out of warranty - but I also know a lot about cars, mechanics, electronics, computers, software and do a lot of things myself so maybe knowledge is empowering in this case.

Now - I hope all these statements don't jinx me and the infotainment system fails the next time I drive the MDX.
 

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I have 390,000 miles on my 2005 MDX and it runs great. Getting some body rust, but hope to make it to 500,000 before it looks to bad. Doesn't use a drop of oil.
 
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