2014 Acura MDX: First Periodic Maintenance Due Soon
February 12, 2014
A warning lit up on our 2014 Acura MDX's instrument panel yesterday to inform us that we'd better start thinking about its first regular maintenance visit. But the car had already crossed the 5,000-mile mark, so I wondered what the service interval could be.
I soon discovered the bulky binder that lives in the glovebox of our MDX has nothing like a maintenance schedule on the pages of the owner's manual or its many supplements.
It turns out that's because the schedule lives within the mind of the on-board computer that powers our Acura's Maintenance Minder system. The system monitors our driving behavior and adjusts the service intervals accordingly. Illuminated memos like the one above are how it prods us into action.
But the reminder above is no cause for immediate alarm. The first warning (Maintenance Due Soon) comes into being when oil life reaches 15 percent. In other words, we've got time to take care of this.
And the A1 code tells us what we'll need to have done: (A) an oil change and; (1) a tire rotation.
Other alphanumeric code possibilities we'll see if we keep the car long enough are defined on page 393 of the Owner's Manual.
B: oil and filter change plus a host of inspections, including fluid levels, brakes pads and rotors, suspension, fuel lines, steering, driveshaft boots, exhaust system, etc.
2: replace air cleaner and pollen filter, inspect drive belt
3: replace transmission fluid and transfer case fluid
4: replace spark plugs and timing belt, inspect water pump and valve clearance
5: replace engine coolant
6: replace rear differential fluid
This is one handy bit of hardware.
Has a dealer service writer ever offered you a 15,000-mile service special? Ever warned you that it's time to clean your throttle body or get your transmission flushed before the car is even touched by a technician in the shop?
These codes tell the real story. They tell you what scheduled maintenance your car really needs, unless there's an obvious problem, of course. And the inspections attached to the B service could always turn something up. The MDX doesn't have any brake pad wear sensors, for example.
As for our looming oil change, the Maintenance Minder will become more persistent when the oil life reaches 5% and the warning changes to Maintenance Due Now! That should happen as we approach 6,000 miles, but we don't plan on waiting until the bitter end.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,353 miles