2003 Acura MDX

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Frankenchevy

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it seems like the fan for the rear heat and A/C is inop.
Not sure if this is the case for the MDX, but my wife’s Venza has a setting to turn off flow to the rear vents from the front screen. She was wondering why the air never came out in the back until I discovered the setting.

Sweet score, btw! Looks very well taken care of.
 

SirRobyn0

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Hey ! I owned that same car… Same year, Same color. I absolutely loved it! My sister still has it, I gifted it to her.
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Oh good, I was hoping someone would post that has owned the same generation MDX. How well does the AWD work in these vehicles?

Obviously I realize the MDX is closer to a car, and my Jeep is closer to a truck, so I'm sure the MDX's AWD is not going to be quite as good as the Jeep's, my concerns are how will the MDX do in mud, I'm not talking deep mud I'm just talking a couple inches and slippery, and also how it will do on the beach sand. I image you drove it snow? Any feedback you can give would be appreciated.

Oh also can I ask you about fuel. I just realized the other day Acura recommends premium.... Grrrr I really don't want to have to pay the extra dollars for premium, you ever try running regular? Sorry about all the questions.
I don't see anything at all wrong with that vehicle. Style is good for weekends and special events. Reliability and comfort are good for everything else.

This entire deal is proof that Good Things happen to Good People. Enjoy it or sell it and enjoy whatever it helps you purchase.
Thanks Andrew, Your right about the style thing, and heck the style of the MDX may grow on me as I get use to it.
Well, regardless of my paragraphs of drivel above, I’m happy to see you get a sweet ride for a heck of a deal to ease the pressure on the rest of the fleet. (Esp the square, don’t wanna wear that beauty out!) At this point, I’d keep the Jeep and drive the wheels off of it, I’d say. There are so many of them out there, dime a dozen really that I think it’s real worth is as a solid backup vehicle you can likely still use for years. Plus it’s not a half bad wheeler!
Enjoy the MDX! Cheers
Thanks, I guess we will see how it plays out, but I hate to "have another mouth feed" maintenance, insurance, tabs ect.

Not sure if this is the case for the MDX, but my wife’s Venza has a setting to turn off flow to the rear vents from the front screen. She was wondering why the air never came out in the back until I discovered the setting.

Sweet score, btw! Looks very well taken care of.
Yes, the MDX has a button to turn the rear heat and A/C on and off, with that switch turned on, the lights on the rear unit turn on and I can hear the blend door move when turn the knob from hot to cold. From what I have read the rear blower controller AKA resistor is common to go out on these, so I have one at the shop I'll put in and see if that does the trick.
 

Soundmound

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Oh good, I was hoping someone would post that has owned the same generation MDX. How well does the AWD work in these vehicles?

Obviously I realize the MDX is closer to a car, and my Jeep is closer to a truck, so I'm sure the MDX's AWD is not going to be quite as good as the Jeep's, my concerns are how will the MDX do in mud, I'm not talking deep mud I'm just talking a couple inches and slippery, and also how it will do on the beach sand. I image you drove it snow? Any feedback you can give would be appreciated.

Oh also can I ask you about fuel. I just realized the other day Acura recommends premium.... Grrrr I really don't want to have to pay the extra dollars for premium, you ever try running regular? Sorry about all the questions.

Thanks Andrew, Your right about the style thing, and heck the style of the MDX may grow on me as I get use to it.

Thanks, I guess we will see how it plays out, but I hate to "have another mouth feed" maintenance, insurance, tabs ect.


Yes, the MDX has a button to turn the rear heat and A/C on and off, with that switch turned on, the lights on the rear unit turn on and I can hear the blend door move when turn the knob from hot to cold. From what I have read the rear blower controller AKA resistor is common to go out on these, so I have one at the shop I'll put in and see if that does the trick.
It's a Honda pilot with different body panels and a more "lux" interior. My '05 Pilot is great and runs on 87 so that sucks about premium, but gas is cheaper than a payment. I do agree tabs in Washington are way out of line, especially on your side of the mountain with the RTA tax. My Pilot had the rear resistor issue. For a man of your talents an easy fix to be sure.
 

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It's a Honda pilot with different body panels and a more "lux" interior. My '05 Pilot is great and runs on 87 so that sucks about premium, but gas is cheaper than a payment. I do agree tabs in Washington are way out of line, especially on your side of the mountain with the RTA tax. My Pilot had the rear resistor issue. For a man of your talents an easy fix to be sure.
Lucky me we are far enough into the mountains to be RTA exempt. But if I lived where the shop is then I'd have to pay. I'm guessing since we'd both have the same engine with the same compression ratio, that the Pilots 86 octane vs the MDX 91, is probably a result of different PCM programming. Or it might be the same programming, but if you run premium in either vehicles you'll get a little better performance, I say that because, I've googled search and looked on forums where folks claim 87 in a MDX is fine that the knock sensor is capable of dialing back the timing and keeping the engine safe. IDK. Might be. What I might do is run premium for a few weeks to get use to normal, and then give mid grade a shot. Obviously not worth pinging the engine to death to save a few pennies at the pump though. And yes cheaper than a car payment, but if I really do have to run premium all the time, then the increase in fuel economy has to be enough to make the overall fuel cost less than the Jeep, or I better really like the MDX lol. I guess all that is just to say that a little better MPG and savings in fuel dollars would be nice!
 

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I guess I should put the premium thing into perspective. The Costco by the shop is currently at $3.79 a gallon regular, $4.15 premium. So the MDX has a 19 gallon tank, so for the sake of discussion and round numbers let say I pump 15 gallons into it.

That's $56.18 for regular, $62.25 for premium. For a difference of $6.07

If I drive it 150 miles worth of commute drive, and hopefully get 17mpg or better. At 17 mpg that's 8.82 gallons of fuel $36.72
In the Jeep that would be 12.5 gallons of regular gas costing a total of $47.37
Or in the truck that would be regular grade for a total of $51.58
So I'd save $10.65 every 150 miles in the MDX over the Jeep or $14.86 saved over the truck.
And just like that premium in the MDX looks cheaper than regular in all the others!

So I guess it's all about what it can do for MPG and see. I'll fill it tomorrow so I don't have to rely on the MPG readout which is good for an estimation but never as accurate as figuring it manually after using a tank.
 

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I think the fuel savings is there even with premium. The wildcard is insurance. It might be classed as luxury and carry the price tag to match. That said, you have a mini fleet and should get a nice multicar discount plus with so many vehicles you can state the usage mileage at the lowest possible tier since you obviously can't drive them all, all the time. I hope this is a win for you, you deserve it.
 

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I think the fuel savings is there even with premium. The wildcard is insurance. It might be classed as luxury and carry the price tag to match. That said, you have a mini fleet and should get a nice multicar discount plus with so many vehicles you can state the usage mileage at the lowest possible tier since you obviously can't drive them all, all the time. I hope this is a win for you, you deserve it.
I just did the insurance thing this morning. 6 months worth of coverage is $6 less than the Jeep, $7 less than the minivan and $60 more than the truck, the truck which is cheaper than all my other rigs.

So it's inline. But and this is one of my points when I say this is temporary and in the long run either the Jeep or the MDX HAS to go. I don't want to be insuring them both. As they are both around $60 a month, so that eats into the fuel savings a LOT. So 4 to 6 weeks I'll have the title for the MDX and at that point I'll need to pick one or the other.
 

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I can't tell ya'll how much I enjoyed my drive home. First of all the automatic climate control system is light years ahead of the Jeep's automatic climate control. It works so well and requires zero fiddling with and never made me to hot or to cold. It quickly brought the interior up to temp and kept it there.

One of my first thoughts as a left the city was how uncomfortable the seats are. I wear suspenders and the seat padding is so firm that it kind of presses the suspender clasps into my back. However I found partway home that I had forgotten about that all together, so we'll see.

It drives really nice and takes bumps super well. The headlights are a halogen bulb, and project lots of light on to the road, far more than the Jeep but I think a little less than the truck with the hella buckets.

I did install a new resistor for the rear heater and now it's working as it should.

I also noticed that it tends to drift a little to the left when going down the road and it has a considerable amount of torque steer when I nail the gas. Also the steering wheel is off center a touch, so I think at least wheel alignment is in order.

Finally I need to figure out something for the radio. The truck has an aftermarket radio with an aux port, and the Jeep has an aftermarket radio with bluetooth. So I will need to come up with some way of hooking my phone to the MDX radio so I can play my music. Maybe I'll just get one of those cassette adaptors for now.
 

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Cool, man! Sounds like it’s a winner so far!
Good point though on the “fixed costs”. IMO maint isn’t one of them, but rather the ins and tags. It’s gotta be worth that extra $6-700 per year to have in the fleet. And how many backup vehicles a guy actually needs. Don’t you have a Dakota too?
On insurance costs, obviously not carrying collision is prudent on something that’s not worth more than a couple 3x the deductible is a prudent cost savings. But it still adds up.
Removing UIM helps rates (at a risk of getting hit by a UIM and not covered).
May look at different companies. I just shopped my insurance again and priced out that AmFam is beating a half dozen other companies handily still.
The K20 is full coverage with a healthy book value (documented) and only about $200/6mo (pleasure not commuter) and the 99 Camaro is $500/6mo for liability and comp only but would be more like $300 but it is the listed primary for my 17 year old son. And 200/500 liability. Had to take that high of liability to get an umbrella though.
If you are less risk averse, carrying low liability will save $too.
Another thing is make sure all but one of your vehicles is listed as pleasure or occasional use. And list the cheapest one to insure as your primary commuter vehicle. Even if you drive a different one more often to work. Ins co has no clue what you drive day to day.
Just a few ways to save a few bucks.
 

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Cool, man! Sounds like it’s a winner so far!
Good point though on the “fixed costs”. IMO maint isn’t one of them, but rather the ins and tags. It’s gotta be worth that extra $6-700 per year to have in the fleet. And how many backup vehicles a guy actually needs. Don’t you have a Dakota too?
On insurance costs, obviously not carrying collision is prudent on something that’s not worth more than a couple 3x the deductible is a prudent cost savings. But it still adds up.
Removing UIM helps rates (at a risk of getting hit by a UIM and not covered).
May look at different companies. I just shopped my insurance again and priced out that AmFam is beating a half dozen other companies handily still.
The K20 is full coverage with a healthy book value (documented) and only about $200/6mo (pleasure not commuter) and the 99 Camaro is $500/6mo for liability and comp only but would be more like $300 but it is the listed primary for my 17 year old son. And 200/500 liability. Had to take that high of liability to get an umbrella though.
If you are less risk averse, carrying low liability will save $too.
Another thing is make sure all but one of your vehicles is listed as pleasure or occasional use. And list the cheapest one to insure as your primary commuter vehicle. Even if you drive a different one more often to work. Ins co has no clue what you drive day to day.
Just a few ways to save a few bucks.
On the insurance thing. Wow, just discovered a few months ago that we have been flushing money for years! My wife, or the woman I can my wife to whom we are not legally married, we have had separate car insurance policies with her insurance on the cars she owns and my cars on my policy. Well asked my agent how much she would be on my policy. She's got health issues and only very rarely drives anymore, so we rated her as 10% driver on the minivan. They added $0 to the policy to add her like that! Shot we'd been wasting a bunch of money, just never thought about it before I suppose but now feel kind of stupid.

I'm with allstate, we both have clean records. We carry comp, but NO collision on all our vehicles. The reason for the comp is to have glass coverage and for freak accidents. I've had two vehicles damaged from large tree branches that came down in storms and one totaled. We carry the same coverage levels you do, all of my rigs are right around $200 per-6mnts. Except the square which is $175. My lesson used vehicle like the Dakota (which I do own as you mentioned) the 77 Cadillac and the motorhome get suspended when not in use and become a small service charge to keep them on the policy per-6mnts. We do carry uninsured motorist coverage looks like it adds $25 - $40 per-vehicle every 6mnts. I've never been hit by an uninsured, but I know enough people who have been that I'm not fond of killing that, but yea the savings would add up if removed from all vehicles or at least the ones that get driven less....
 

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^I’d say your insurance is as economical as it can get, from my recent discussions with a couple agents.
Always good to keep comp like you said. Trees and theft being the 2 big risks around here.
Doesn’t seem like you missed much of anything with separate policies assuming she had a multi vehicle discount. Except maybe you get a bigger discount by having her cars bundled with yours and the house and whatever else.
Either way, I learned 30 years ago that the only one keeping an insurance company honest and not overcharging you is you. It pays to shop it every few years or if you see any seemingly un substantiated increases.
 

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Buying an older used vehicle at a good price is often based on the last repair estimate the owner got. They bring the car into a dealer or big repair shop and are told it will cost $4000 to fix it properly, and the car is worth about $3-4 tops.

When you look at the repair estimate it is for all brakes and rotors, tie rods, cooling system service, new radiator hoses, transmission flush, oil change, alignment , and a couple new tires. Basically it’s all standard repair work that you can do yourself. This is the time where the high repair estimate is your friend, since they are now ready to get rid of that “money pit “ ASAP. They do not understand that its all routine repairs that have been deferred for years.
 

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^I’d say your insurance is as economical as it can get, from my recent discussions with a couple agents.
Always good to keep comp like you said. Trees and theft being the 2 big risks around here.
Doesn’t seem like you missed much of anything with separate policies assuming she had a multi vehicle discount. Except maybe you get a bigger discount by having her cars bundled with yours and the house and whatever else.
Either way, I learned 30 years ago that the only one keeping an insurance company honest and not overcharging you is you. It pays to shop it every few years or if you see any seemingly un substantiated increases.
I've been with Allstate for near 30 years. I've switch agents something 7 or 8 times. Someone retires, another agent gets my policy I don't like them and change agents has been the primary reason. Some of those switches we because I was not happy, and another agent was able to serve me better and do voo doo magic to reduce or control my rate. It helps that both our records are clean.
Buying an older used vehicle at a good price is often based on the last repair estimate the owner got. They bring the car into a dealer or big repair shop and are told it will cost $4000 to fix it properly, and the car is worth about $3-4 tops.

When you look at the repair estimate it is for all brakes and rotors, tie rods, cooling system service, new radiator hoses, transmission flush, oil change, alignment , and a couple new tires. Basically it’s all standard repair work that you can do yourself. This is the time where the high repair estimate is your friend, since they are now ready to get rid of that “money pit “ ASAP. They do not understand that its all routine repairs that have been deferred for years.
Well I mean look at the scenario of the MDX, it was literally in for routine maintenance and the customer gave up in the middle of it!
 

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Ok I've driven the MDX a couple of days now and have a gas mileage report based off what the trip computer is telling me. And yes I reset it when I first started driving it.

Remember my prior calculation I was hoping to get at least 17.5MPG, check this out.

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Yea that's what it says 19.7MPG. WOW I hope that's accurate.

Using the 150 mile example I used earlier.
In the Jeep that would be 12.5 gallons of regular gas costing a total of $47.37
Or in the truck that would be regular grade for a total of $51.58
In the MDX that same 150 miles would be only 7.61 gallons of premium, costing a total of $31.58
So the MDX would $15.75 cheaper in gas than the Jeep, and $20 cheaper than the truck.

I will experiment around with gas a little in MDX. From what I have read they will run fine on regular as the knock sensor will keep the engine safe, but it will reduce power a little bit and may hurt fuel economy. Some folks claim to see a difference others do not. Even if I could just get away with mid-grade that would be cool. But ultimately even if I have to run premium in it all the time it'll be cheaper on gas than any of my other rides.

Have I mentioned how much I love the climate control!!!

Oh and we had a thick layer of ice on all the roads from it raining last night and temps around 30F. The AWD worked wonderfully. There is a button on the dash "VTM-4" which locks the rear axle sort of, it's via electronic clutch plates, and anyhow that worked quite well and results in something similar to 4X4 with a locked rear diff. Did really well to get going on the Icey roads. So there's another thing I'm happy with and another notch in the direction of the MDX being capable of taking the Jeep's position in the fleet.
 
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Oh good, I was hoping someone would post that has owned the same generation MDX. How well does the AWD work in these vehicles?

Obviously I realize the MDX is closer to a car, and my Jeep is closer to a truck, so I'm sure the MDX's AWD is not going to be quite as good as the Jeep's, my concerns are how will the MDX do in mud, I'm not talking deep mud I'm just talking a couple inches and slippery, and also how it will do on the beach sand. I image you drove it snow? Any feedback you can give would be appreciated.

Oh also can I ask you about fuel. I just realized the other day Acura recommends premium.... Grrrr I really don't want to have to pay the extra dollars for premium, you ever try running regular? Sorry about all the questions.

Thanks Andrew, Your right about the style thing, and heck the style of the MDX may grow on me as I get use to it.

Thanks, I guess we will see how it plays out, but I hate to "have another mouth feed" maintenance, insurance, tabs ect.


Yes, the MDX has a button to turn the rear heat and A/C on and off, with that switch turned on, the lights on the rear unit turn on and I can hear the blend door move when turn the knob from hot to cold. From what I have read the rear blower controller AKA resistor is common to go out on these, so I have one at the shop I'll put in and see if that does the trick.
The AWD works great! You can find some impressive videos on YouTube.. Russian guys going through very deep snow, 4 wheelin’ in extreme conditions and rescuing other stuck 4x4s. These MDXs are very capable!
Premium fuel does make a difference, it’s all I ever ran.
 

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