How to change oil ACURA MDX

Changing engine oil for a ACURA MDX car can be an overwhelming task for an unprepared person, and stretch out for a whole day. Although the work can be done in just 30 minutes. I’m here to share my experience and secrets with you! Let’s start with a few words about the car.

The Acura MDX, introduced in 2000 as a 2001 model, is a three-row luxury crossover SUV produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. It was a groundbreaking vehicle in many ways, being one of the first luxury SUVs to offer three-row seating. The MDX stands for “Multi-Dimensional luxury,” and it’s been delivering on that promise since day one. The car has had four generations as of my knowledge cut-off in 2021.

The first-generation MDX, sold from 2001-2006, came with a 3.5L V6 engine. The second-generation model, on the market from 2007-2013, retained the same 3.5L V6, but with increased power. The third-generation MDX, available from 2014-2020, got an updated 3.5L V6, now with direct injection. The fourth generation, introduced in 2021, offers both a 3.5L V6 and a Type S variant with a 3.0L turbocharged V6.

As for sales, the MDX has been a top seller in the United States since its launch, frequently outselling competitors in the luxury SUV segment. In other countries, the MDX might be recognized under different names. For instance, in Japan and Australia, it’s known as the Honda MDX since the Acura brand isn’t used in those markets.

How to change engine oil on ACURA in theory

Changing the oil is critical because it keeps the engine running smoothly. It removes dirt and debris that can damage the engine and helps improve fuel economy. Regular oil changes prolong the life of your engine, saving you money on repairs in the long run.
So, let’s define the basic steps for performing a car engine oil change.

Warm up the engine to operating temperature

Drain the used engine oil and remove the old oil filter

Install a new filter and fill with fresh oil

Check the oil level with a dipstick

By following these simple steps, you can service your car. Now let’s take a closer look at each of the steps, select the recommended oil and filter. At the end of this page I will answer possible questions.

What you need to know before starting work

Changing the engine oil is one of the most basic maintenance tasks you can perform on your Acura MDX. It’s crucial to have the correct tools and knowledge before starting the job. Make sure you have the right type and amount of engine oil, a new oil filter, an oil filter wrench, a socket set, and a drain pan. Always check your owner’s manual for the correct specifications.

Frequency (interval) of engine oil change

Acura generally recommends an oil change interval of 7,500 miles under normal driving conditions. However, if you often drive in severe conditions – such as extreme temperatures, stop-and-go traffic, or mountainous terrain – the interval should be shortened to 3,750 miles.

Poll: how often do you change your engine oil?

Vote how often you try to change your oil

While some MDX owners might stick to these recommendations, others opt to change their oil more frequently. This can depend on individual driving habits, the specific model year, and the type of oil used. Regardless of the exact frequency, regular oil changes are essential to keeping your MDX running smoothly and ensuring its long-term reliability. Regular oil changes also help to maintain the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

How to check the level of ACURE MDX engine oil

Checking the level of engine oil in your Acura MDX is a straightforward process. The dipstick, a long, thin, metal rod with a handle on the end, is used for this. It’s located on the side of the engine block. Here are the steps to check the oil level:

  1. Park your car on level ground and turn off the engine. Wait for a few minutes to let the oil settle.
  2. Open the hood of the car and locate the dipstick. It usually has a bright-colored handle, often yellow or red.
  3. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick fully into the tube, then pull it out again.
  5. Now, look at the oil on the end of the dipstick. There will be two marks – a minimum and a maximum mark. The oil level should be between these marks. If it’s near or below the minimum mark, you need to add oil. If it’s above the maximum mark, there’s too much oil.
research aboute engine oil

A study conducted by General Motors (GM) in 1974 showed that lengthening the engine oil-change interval could reduce the frequency of automotive maintenance, the amount of oil required to service the car population, and the potential pollution problem resulting from the disposal of used oil.

If the oil level is too low, it can cause engine damage due to lack of lubrication. Add the recommended oil little by little, checking the level after each addition to avoid overfilling. If the oil level is too high, it can cause increased pressure, oil leaks, or damage to the seals and gaskets. In this case, you’d need to drain some oil to bring the level down.

Visual assessment of engine oil in a car engine

A simple visual check can give you a rough idea of your oil’s condition. Drip a little oil on a clean, white piece of paper and observe the color and consistency.

If the oil is a clear, amber color, it’s probably still in good shape. If it’s dark and dirty, it might be time for a change. Also, if the oil leaves a dirty smear or has particles in it, these could be signs of engine wear or contaminants, which means it’s definitely time for an oil change.

An illustrative example of conducting a visual study with a piece of paper and engine oil

What can (should) be changed at the same time with engine oil

When you’re changing the engine oil in your Acura MDX, there are a few other parts that you should typically replace:

  1. Oil Filter: Always replace the oil filter when changing the oil to ensure the new oil isn’t contaminated by old, dirty oil trapped in the old filter.
  2. Drain Plug: Over time, the drain plug can wear out or its threads can get stripped. If it’s in bad shape, replace it.
  3. Drain Plug Washer or Gasket: This should be replaced every time to prevent oil leaks.
  4. Air Filter: Depending on your driving conditions, it may be time to replace the air filter.

Advantages and disadvantages of different types of engine oils for ACURA

There are several types of engine oils, each with its own pros and cons:

  1. Conventional Oil: This is the traditional oil used in many cars. It’s relatively inexpensive but doesn’t last as long as synthetic oils.
  2. Synthetic Oil: This oil provides superior performance, including better lubrication, increased engine protection, and longer life. However, it’s more expensive than conventional oil.
  3. Synthetic Blend: This is a mix of conventional and synthetic oil. It provides some of the benefits of synthetic oil but at a lower cost.
  4. High Mileage Oil: This oil is designed for vehicles with high mileage (over 75,000 miles). It contains additives that help protect and prolong the life of older engines.

For the Acura MDX, synthetic oil is generally recommended due to its superior performance characteristics, even though it’s a bit more costly. The specific type and weight of oil recommended can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Make sure to use the correct oil to keep your MDX running smoothly and to maintain your vehicle’s warranty.

Preparation for work

Before you start changing the oil in your Acura MDX, gather all the necessary tools and materials. This includes the correct oil and filter, an oil filter wrench, a socket set, an oil catch pan, a funnel, and protective gloves. Be sure to work on a level surface and allow your engine to cool before you begin to prevent burns from hot oil.

Engine oil selection for ACURA MDX

Generation (Year)EngineSuitable Oil ViscosityPopular American BrandRequired Amount of Oil
1st (2001-2006)3.5L V65W-20
Mobil 1 ($33/6 quart)
Castrol ($28/5 quart)
4.5 Quarts
2nd (2007-2013)3.5L V65W-20
Mobil 1 ($33/6 quart)
Castrol ($28/5 quart)
4.5 Quarts
3rd (2014-2020)3.5L V60W-20
Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quart)
4.5 Quarts
4th (2021-2023)3.5L V6, 3.0L Turbo V60W-20, 0W-30
Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart)
Pennzoil ($24/5 quart)
4.5 Quarts or 5.4 Quarts
Table with suitable engine oil for AKURA MDX

Note: Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to confirm the correct oil type and capacity for your specific model and driving conditions.

ACURA Oil filter selection

Generation (Year)EnginePopular American BrandArticle Number
1st (2001-2006)3.5L V6Fram ($9), WIX, Purolator ($10)XG7317, 51356, M1-110, PL14610 
2nd (2007-2013)3.5L V6Fram ($9), WIX ($10), Mobil 1XG7317, PH7317, 51356, M1-110, 57356XP
3rd (2014-2020)3.5L V6Fram ($9), WIX, Mobil 1, Bosch ($7), Acura ($12)15400-PLM-A02, PH7317, 51356, M1-110, XG7317 
4th (2021-2023)3.5L V6, 3.0L Turbo V6Fram ($9), WIX ($10), Mobil 1, Acura ($12)PH7317, 51356, M1-110, 15400-PLM-A02, 57356XP, XG7317 
Table with suitable oil filter for AKURA MDX

Note: Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult with a professional to confirm the correct filter for your specific model and engine type.

Necessary tools and conditions

Here’s a list of tools and conditions you’ll need for an oil change:

  • Engine Oil (correct type and amount as per your vehicle)
  • Oil Filter
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Socket Set
  • Drain Pan
  • Funnel
  • Jack and Jack Stands or Ramps
  • Protective Gloves
  • Clean Rags or Paper Towels

Before you start, make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. The engine should be cool enough to touch, but not completely cold.

Step-by-step instruction

How to warm up the engine before changing the oil?

Before changing the oil for ACURA’S, it is necessary to warm up the engine to operating temperature. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. This warms up the oil without getting the engine too hot to work on.
  2. Turn off the engine and wait for a few minutes to let it cool down before you start the oil change.

Change engine oil with our own hands

Changing the engine oil in your Acura MDX isn’t a complicated process, but it does take some time. Plan for about an hour to complete the job. Here are the steps:

  1. With the engine warm, raise the front of your vehicle using a jack and secure it with jack stands or ramps.
  2. Place your drain pan under the oil drain plug.
  3. Using a socket wrench, carefully loosen the drain plug and allow the oil to flow into the drain pan. Be careful, as the oil may be hot.
  4. Once the oil has drained completely, replace the drain plug and the new gasket.
  5. Move the drain pan under the oil filter. Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the filter.
  6. Before installing the new filter, apply a small amount of new oil to the gasket on the top of the filter. This helps ensure a good seal.
  7. Install the new filter, tightening it as per the instructions on the filter box.
  8. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands or ramps.
  9. Use a funnel to add the new oil into the engine through the oil filler cap. Check the oil level with the dipstick to make sure you’ve added the correct amount.
  10. Replace the oil filler cap and start the engine, letting it run for a few minutes. Check for any leaks around the drain plug and filter.
  11. Turn off the engine and check the oil level one more time, adding more if necessary.

Possible questions after self-service FAQ

What problems can arise after an incorrect self-changing engine oil?

Improper oil changes can cause several issues, including engine damage. If the oil is under-filled, it can cause the engine to run hot or seize. Overfilling can cause oil leaks, pressure buildup, or gasket damage. Using the wrong type of oil can affect engine performance and fuel economy. Not replacing the oil filter or not tightening it correctly can cause oil leaks or contamination of the new oil.

How can I check for engine oil leaks after changing it myself?

After changing the oil, run the engine for a few minutes, then turn it off and let it sit for a while. Check under the car for any fresh oil spots. You can also check around the oil drain plug and filter for any signs of leakage.

How to reset the oil change counter?

The exact process can vary by model and year, but generally, you can reset the oil change counter on your Acura MDX using the vehicle’s infotainment system. Navigate to the settings menu, find the service maintenance option, and follow the prompts to reset the oil life indicator. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions.

What to do with old oil after replacement?

After an oil change, it’s important to dispose of the old oil responsibly. Collect the used oil in a sealable container and take it to a local recycling facility or auto parts store. Many places offer free oil recycling. Never pour used oil down a drain or into the ground, as it’s harmful to the environment.

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