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Discussion Starter #1
We just leased a 2017 MDX Navi AWD, stock tire is 245/50R20.
We are looking for winter tires and will buy wheels for winter tires so we don't need to take tires on/off wheels.

My question is can I put on 245/60R18 winter tires/wheels on? the higher aspect ratio of the 18 makes the overall diameter only 0.1 inch different than the 245/50R20; and this is one of the option comes up when I searched in Costco, I consider 18 inch is because it is cheaper and 18 inch wheel is easy to get (I may just get the black steel wheel). Also the stock tire of Base model AWD MDX is 245/60R18.

- Any concern of my choice of 245/60R18 winter tires/wheels?
- If go to Costco instead of dealership, I know I will lose tire pressure sensor, which should be fine, other than that, any other concern?

Thank you,
Alan
 

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There are two options for the '17 MDX when it comes to winter wheels/tires. You can go to the 18" wheels off the MDX base model, or you can even go down to 17" wheels (which is my path for my new '17 Tech SH-AWD). The key thing here is that you have to use wheels from either a '17 MDX, or from a '13 MDX or earlier, or off of a TL from the '09-'14 series. Why? Acura went back to a 5x120mm bolt pattern for the '17, vs the 5x114.3 bolt patten from the '14-16 MDX. This really messed me up in my transition from the RDX to the MDX, since the sizing of the RDX would have worked if I had gone to a '16 MDX, not a '17 (bolt pattern issue).

In terms of tire size, the 245-60R18 is the stock size for the MDX Base, and will work fine for winter tires. If going to 17" wheels, you'd do a 245-65R17 to get similar size. For me, I'm actually re-using my 235-65R17 tires from my RDX. The overal diameter is .5" less (.25 radius difference), and that's negligible for winter setup (confirmed after conversations with Discount Tire, Tire Rack and my local dealer).

TPMS sensors are cheap to buy if you go to an online Acura retailer (like oemacuraparts.com ) - they're like $25 each for the TPMS setup - well worth adding it to any new wheels.

For me my preference is Nokian snow tires, as they're prevalent and not expensive here in New England. I run Nokian snows on all my vehicles. I have run Michelin x-ice and Bridgestone Blizzaks in the past, and they're pretty decent, but Nokians are just a tad better.

If you're starting from scratch, you may be best served by going to Tire Rack and getting a setup with everything mounted/balanced sent to your door. They'll configure setups on 17 or 18 inch wheels with various snow tire types, and ship them to you door with all you need. I tend to do piecemeal builds for my snow tires, but I'm sort of a tire/wheel geek, so it's a hobby to me :)

andy
 

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245/60R18 is an excellent choice.

But I would have TPMS sensors installed. Much of the safety equipment will shut off without TPMS, and the dash will look like a Christmas tree. You could get OEM TPMS sensors from a dealer or online source and take them to the shop, or a good tire shop such as Discount Tire or Tire Rack should be able to set you up with a complete package, including compatible aftermarket TPMS sensors. The good news is that the sensors for this vehicle automatically pair with the vehicle during seasonal wheel changes.

If you use aftermarket wheels, they will probably be equipped with different lug nuts because Honda/Acura OEM wheels use a "ball seat" style lug nut, which is uncommon. Most aftermarket wheels will use a "cone seat" lug nut. You DO NOT want to mix and match or the wheels may fall off unexpectedly. No joke. So you need to keep track of them. And you need to keep a set of "ball seat" lug nuts in the car for the compact spare.

The shop should also pay attention to the offset, and center bore of the wheels in addition to the lug nut spacing, diameter, and width. OEM Acura wheels for 3rd-gen MDX have an offset of +55mm, which is very high. Aftermarket wheels probably won't be an exact match. Within 10-15mm is probably OK as long as the wheels aren't wider than stock, but it is something to be aware of. I sometimes use OEM wheels that have been repainted in order to avoid both the lug nut and offset issues. There are also many sources of discounted new OEM Honda/Acura wheels that will fit. Many wheels from Honda Pilot or 2nd-generation MDX will have the correct lug nut spacing for 2017 MDX (5x120mm), either +45 or +55mm offset, and the exact "center bore" to ensure the wheels install perfectly centered on the hubs. ( Plastic centering adapters are available and common to adapt wheels with a slightly larger center bore ). Note that many OEM MDX wheels will NOT have the correct lug spacing, in particular 2014-2016 MDX, because Acura has used different sizes. But the center bore is pretty consistent.

Again, a good tire shop will be aware of these issues, and can advise you.
 

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Closest match for OEM '17 MDX wheels are the '09-'14 TL's, Honda Odyssey ('14-'18 I believe) or the Acura RL (the AWD version previous to the RLX). These all have +55MM offset which matches the RDX. The 2nd Gen MDX has 5x120mm but a +45 offset, which probably isn't bad for winter, but just slightly further out on the hub. The Honda Pilot also has the +45 with the 5x120mm bolt pattern.....

I went with OEM '14 TL wheels, 17" to handle my in-stock snows. Pic attached.

good luck - andy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Andy and Wanderlust, thank you so much for all the detailed information!

Wanderlust, where can I get the details of what safety equipment will shut off without TPMS for this model?

Thanks again.
 

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I spent a few bucks and bought a winter wheel and tire package from my Acura dealer. 18" Base wheels, 245/60/18 BridgestoneBlizzak tires, TPMS, mounted and balanced with winter storage. Came to about $2700.
 

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Andy and Wanderlust, thank you so much for all the detailed information!

Wanderlust, where can I get the details of what safety equipment will shut off without TPMS for this model?

Thanks again.
The main one is Stability Control - you can't shut it off - which normally isn't a bad thing - but if you get stuck in a snowbank, turning off stability control helps you crawl out of stuff like that. And since you're more likely to get in that situation in the winter, having TPMS in those situations is when you actually need it most.

andy
 
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For what it's worth, 3rd-gen Honda Pilot lower trim levels have 18" wheels with 5x120mm, +55mm offset.

I can't confirm what gets shut off without TPMS, but I think lane departure and the other stuff in the "sensing suite" will shut off. I could be wrong. I just remember when I mounted up an old winter wheel with an incompatible TPMS sensor on my "Honda sensing" equipped 3rd-gen Pilot Touring, it got really pissed off. TPMS sensors aren't very expensive for this generation, so I don't think there's a good reason not to use them. If nothing else, they make it easy to check air pressure in the crazy temperature swings we have had the past few winters.
 

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There are two options for the '17 MDX when it comes to winter wheels/tires. You can go to the 18" wheels off the MDX base model, or you can even go down to 17" wheels (which is my path for my new '17 Tech SH-AWD). The key thing here is that you have to use wheels from either a '17 MDX, or from a '13 MDX or earlier, or off of a TL from the '09-'14 series. Why? Acura went back to a 5x120mm bolt pattern for the '17, vs the 5x114.3 bolt patten from the '14-16 MDX. This really messed me up in my transition from the RDX to the MDX, since the sizing of the RDX would have worked if I had gone to a '16 MDX, not a '17 (bolt pattern issue).

In terms of tire size, the 245-60R18 is the stock size for the MDX Base, and will work fine for winter tires. If going to 17" wheels, you'd do a 245-65R17 to get similar size. For me, I'm actually re-using my 235-65R17 tires from my RDX. The overal diameter is .5" less (.25 radius difference), and that's negligible for winter setup (confirmed after conversations with Discount Tire, Tire Rack and my local dealer).

TPMS sensors are cheap to buy if you go to an online Acura retailer (like oemacuraparts.com ) - they're like $25 each for the TPMS setup - well worth adding it to any new wheels.

For me my preference is Nokian snow tires, as they're prevalent and not expensive here in New England. I run Nokian snows on all my vehicles. I have run Michelin x-ice and Bridgestone Blizzaks in the past, and they're pretty decent, but Nokians are just a tad better.

If you're starting from scratch, you may be best served by going to Tire Rack and getting a setup with everything mounted/balanced sent to your door. They'll configure setups on 17 or 18 inch wheels with various snow tire types, and ship them to you door with all you need. I tend to do piecemeal builds for my snow tires, but I'm sort of a tire/wheel geek, so it's a hobby to me :)

andy
Andy,
I'm impressed by your comments. You've brought my attention to the Nokian winter tires which I've never heard of until reading your posts. I regularly drive a windy road from over a 8000 ft summit and want a really good tire as conditions can challenging. I'm a bit confused why every website I find does not recognize the 2017 MDX Tech AWD as an option. I'm leaning towards the Nokian Hakkapeliitta RC studless snow time. Based on your research will that tire fit and be a good match for the standard MDX wheel?

Thank you! I appreciate your time.

Jeff
Reno, NV
 

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Andy,
I'm impressed by your comments. You've brought my attention to the Nokian winter tires which I've never heard of until reading your posts. I regularly drive a windy road from over a 8000 ft summit and want a really good tire as conditions can challenging. I'm a bit confused why every website I find does not recognize the 2017 MDX Tech AWD as an option. I'm leaning towards the Nokian Hakkapeliitta RC studless snow time. Based on your research will that tire fit and be a good match for the standard MDX wheel?

Thank you! I appreciate your time.

Jeff
Reno, NV
Jeff - there aren't a lot of sites that sell Nokian tires - and I always deal with a local dealer and buy them direct (more prevalent in NH than other places). But to find what options are available, go to www.tiresbyweb.com . I just went there, and put in a 2017 MDX SH-AWD, and on the next page you can select the 20" OEM tire size and focus the search. There are 2 Nokian snow tires shown in this size - the Hakka 8 studded (which is their latest studdable tire), and the Hakka R2 (which is their latest stud-free tire). I've run the R2s and they're very good tires, and what I'm going to replace on my wife's car after this winter (6th winter on her current Hakka R set). In my case, since I'm running a 17" tire on my MDX, I had another option which is cheaper - the Nokian Nordman 5 - which is essentially a Hakka 5 tire from years ago they market under a less expensive category. The way I figure, a snow tire that was kick-butt a few years ago might not be the latest and greatest - but it still works great :)

Let me know if you have other questions.

andy
 

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I'm running Nokian Hakkepeliitta R2 SUV on two of our AWD vehicles and Blizzaks on the other two ( family fleet ). I agree the Nokians are slightly more aggressive, but R2s are more expensive, and a tad noisier. And hard to find. I ordered mine through a local Discount Tire. I think they get them directly from the North American Nokian distributor. If you want them, don't wait for the middle of winter because they might run out of stock. Blizzaks are pretty easy to find, unless you wait until May.

Either of them are vastly superior to all-season tires on ice and snow.
 

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FYI - I had the tires mounted and put the 17" wheel/tire combo on the 17 MDX SH-AWD Tech today - a couple of pictures are below. These are 17" TL wheels from 2014 (non-SHAWD) 17x8, 5x120, 55mm offset. Tires are 235-65R17 108T XL's, which measure about 3/8" shorter than the stock tires on the radius. Checking the speed with an aftermarket GPS shows them almost spot-on speed wise (stock 20" setup actually showed slower than indicated in speed trap displays). They handle well and don't look half bad. Glad I was able to use what I had in stock since they're almost new tires.

andy
 

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Anyone know why the waffling back and forth from 5 x 114.3 to 5 x 120 with Acura? I was about to buy a 2012 Elite and use wheel spacers so my 2006 winter rims (5 x 114.3) and tires would work with the 5 x 120 on the second gen, but have since decided to move up to a 2014, which is 5 x 114.3 so I won't need spacers. Now I read here that 2017 up, they've switched back to 5 x 120. Why?
 

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Anyone know why the waffling back and forth from 5 x 114.3 to 5 x 120 with Acura? I was about to buy a 2012 Elite and use wheel spacers so my 2006 winter rims (5 x 114.3) and tires would work with the 5 x 120 on the second gen, but have since decided to move up to a 2014, which is 5 x 114.3 so I won't need spacers. Now I read here that 2017 up, they've switched back to 5 x 120. Why?
My speculation is that the larger size/weight and the high center of gravity benefits from not only the slightly larger bolt pattern, but also the larger lug bolt/nut size. I was surprised when the '14-16 MDX went back to 5x114.3 pattern, given the Odyssey and RLX continue with the 5x120 pattern, and the larger bolts. So while it was frustrating seeing the change since I had to swap wheels, i can see the reason and am more comfortable with my '17 having the larger setup....

andy
 

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Dunno why the random walk in lug pattern, but as a single example, Audi Q7 has 5x112mm lug bolt pattern and some configurations of that vehicle weigh close to 5000 pounds ( 700 more than 3rd-gen MDX ). It also has a higher maximum tow rating than MDX. So basically, nothing makes any sense to me, but it's a major PITA if you own multiple generations of MDXs and/or Pilots and you use winter tires/wheels.
 

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I was speaking to the parts guy at my local dealership and his 'theory' is that the switch to the 9 speed tranny and "it puts out more torque" led to the change from 5 x 114.3 to 5 x 120.
 

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Andy,

Thanks for your technical insights. One other thing: the high offsets mentioned by Wanderlust - how did the wheel choices work out that you used? I have a 2017 MDX (Advance package) with the 20" wheels, tire sizes are same as AlanAlan's case: 245/50R20 (stock, as delivered by factory & dealer). Did you have to "shim" at all?

Using TireRack's standard results from their requested inputs: all results are listed as offsets of 45mm or less, nothing close to 55mm for the 17" or 20", just to test the site's offerings.

While there is a "local guy" who is highly recommended for tire/wheel packages and installations, I will have to call him to see what he knows about all this. Given the new MDX wheel specs, this may not have come into his shop yet as a matter to resolve. The "Big O" tire shop guys - I dunno...trusting them with this just seems like a "Big Risk".
 

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Wanderlust,

What about the SH-AWD's load shifting from say, all 4 wheels to just 2 on one side, if the other has no traction, the side with the most traction gets all the torque, right? This happens in split-second load shifts and all the vehicle's weight + torque goes to a more focused assignment until the conditions change to something more distributed to all 4 wheels again. Meanwhile, I totally get the Q7 insight. But, I'm thinking this MDX lug pattern "walk" may not be random - it could be from this tremendous load shifting that goes on all the time in snow/ice/slippery conditions and Honda engineers designed in that extra meat to handle it(?).
 

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It's very hard to find aftermarket wheels with offset > 45mm in the widths appropriate for MDX. Honda/Acura vehicles have very high offset wheels. So it may be easier to look at other Honda/Acura wheels if you want something different and/or want winter wheels.

Lateral loads ( and associated weight shifts ) are typically lower in slippery conditions, because the friction force that can be generated by the tires is limited by available traction. Sliding sideways into a snowbank or curb is a special case, and in that event the last thing I would be worrying about is my lug nut spacing.
 
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