Acura MDX Engine Oil Capacity

The Acura MDX stands as a testament to the perfect blend of luxury, performance, and reliability. Since its debut in the early 2000s, the MDX has carved a niche for itself in the competitive world of luxury SUVs. As Acura’s flagship SUV, the MDX has consistently garnered praise for its advanced engineering, sophisticated design, and impeccable performance. Its evolution through various generations, from the 1st Gen (YD1) to the latest 4th Gen (YD9), showcases Acura’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Acura MDX Overview: The Acura MDX is a prominent SUV in the automotive market, known for its performance and reliability.
  2. Engine Oil’s Role: Engine oil is vital for lubrication, cooling, cleaning, and protecting the engine against wear and tear.
  3. MDX Generations: The Acura MDX has evolved through four generations, each with specific engine oil requirements.
  4. Oil Specifications: Different MDX generations have distinct oil types, capacities, and change intervals. Always consult the owner’s manual for precise details.
  5. Cost Implications: Changing engine oil has associated costs, whether done DIY or professionally. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each.
  6. Time Considerations: DIY oil changes typically take longer than professional services, but offer a hands-on experience.
  7. Complexity Levels: While DIY offers control and cost savings, professional services provide expertise and specialized tools.
2020 Acura MDX

But beneath the sleek exterior and plush interiors of the MDX lies the heart of the vehicle – its engine. And just like the human heart relies on blood, the engine’s lifeblood is the engine oil. Engine oil plays a multifaceted role in ensuring the optimal performance of a vehicle. It acts as a lubricant, minimizing friction between moving parts, which in turn reduces wear and tear.

Additionally, it serves as a coolant, dissipating the heat generated within the engine, ensuring that the engine doesn’t overheat. Furthermore, engine oil aids in cleaning the engine by trapping and holding all the dirt, sludge, and contaminants, preventing them from causing damage.

Acura MDX Generations

The journey of the Acura MDX through the years is a tale of continuous evolution, with each generation bringing forth advancements in design, technology, and performance. Let’s take a chronological look at the various generations of the MDX:

  • 1st Gen (YD1): 2001 – 2006 Introduced at the turn of the millennium, the first-generation MDX was a game-changer in the luxury SUV segment. It was Acura’s first foray into the SUV market, and it quickly set benchmarks with its innovative features, powerful V6 engine, and a design that was both rugged and refined. The YD1 was lauded for its car-like handling, making it a favorite among families seeking both luxury and practicality.
  • 2nd Gen (YD2): 2007 – 2013 Building on the success of its predecessor, the second-generation MDX brought in a more aggressive design, coupled with technological upgrades. The YD2 showcased a bolder grille, sleeker lines, and an enhanced all-wheel-drive system. Inside, passengers were treated to a more luxurious cabin, replete with advanced infotainment and safety features.
  • 3rd Gen (YD3): 2014 – 2020 The third generation marked a significant leap in terms of aesthetics and performance. The MDX adopted the brand’s signature “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, giving it a distinctive and modern look. Under the hood, the YD3 boasted improved fuel efficiency and a more responsive engine. The interior saw a revamp too, with a focus on premium materials and a state-of-the-art infotainment system.
  • 4th Gen (YD9): 2022 – Present The latest generation of the MDX is a testament to Acura’s commitment to pushing boundaries. The YD9 exudes a sense of sophistication and power, with a more sculpted body and a revamped grille. Technological advancements are at the forefront, with the MDX offering a plethora of driver-assist features, a cutting-edge infotainment system, and enhanced performance capabilities. It’s not just an SUV; it’s a statement.

2001 – 2006 Acura MDX Engine Oil Capacity

2005 Acura MDX

Here are the specifications for the Acura MDX First Generation (YD1): 2001 – 2006:

EngineEngine oil capacity with filterOil type (viscosity grade)
3.5L 6-cyl Engine J35A34.7 liters (5 quarts)5W-30, 10W-30
3.5L 6-cyl Engine J35A54.3 liters (4.5 quarts)5W-20, 0W-20
  1. Overview:
    • Production: 2000–2006
    • Model Years: 2001–2006
    • Assembly: Canada: Alliston, Ontario (HCM)
    • Designer: Frank Paluch (1997)
  2. Body and Chassis:
    • Class: Mid-size luxury SUV
    • Body Style: 5-door SUV
    • Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive (AWD)
    • Platform: Honda YD platform
  3. Powertrain:
    • Engine:
      • 3.5 L J35A3 V6 (2001–2002)
      • 3.5 L J35A5 V6 (2003–2006)
    • Transmission: 5-speed automatic
  4. Dimensions:
    • Wheelbase: 106.3 in (2,700 mm)
    • Length: 188.5 in (4,788 mm) (2001–2003)
    • 188.7 in (4,793 mm) (2004–2006)
    • Width: 77.0 in (1,956 mm) (2001–2003)
    • 77.2 in (1,961 mm) (2004–2006)
    • Height: 68.7 in (1,745 mm) (2001–2003)
    • 68.9 in (1,750 mm) (2004–2006)
  5. Details:
    • The first generation MDX was a completely new design, powered by a 3.5 L V6 engine that was originally developed for the Acura RL.
    • It featured a 5-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive system Acura termed “VTM-4”, which was able to send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
    • The MDX was the first crossover SUV to have third-row seating.
    • It was built on the same platform as the Honda Pilot, which was released a year later.
    • The size and cargo space of the MDX were between that of the smaller RDX and the larger RL sedan.
    • The MDX was well received and won numerous awards, including the North American Truck of the Year award for 2001.
    • It also became Acura’s best-selling vehicle until the RDX surpassed it in 2019.

2007 – 2013 Acura MDX Engine Oil Capacity

Engine Oil Specifications for 2nd Gen (YD2) Acura MDX: 2007 – 2013.

EngineEngine oil capacity with filterOil type (viscosity grade)
3.7L 6-cyl Engine J37A14.3 liters (4.5 quarts)5W-20
Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-20, 5 Quart
  • Mobil 1 advanced full-synthetic motor oil 5W-20 utilizes Mobil 1’s signature Triple Action Formula to deliver outstanding engine performance, protection, and cleanliness.
  • Helps protect critical engine parts for up to 10,000 miles between oil changes,* controlling oxidation to prevent oil breakdown and maintaining excellent viscosity
  • Meets ILSAC GF-6 standards to help provide low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI) and timing chain wear protection while keeping your engine clean and helping to improve your fuel economy
  • Helps extend engine life by working to prevent damaging deposits and sludge buildup
Castrol GTX High Mileage 5W-20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil, 5 Quarts
  • Phosphorus Replacement Technology to help extend the life of the emission system
  • Superior dispersancy that fights sludge build up
  • Exceptional oil burn-off protection exceeding industry standards, based on API and ACEA volatility specifications
  • Seal conditioners to help reduce leaks
  • 3.7L Gasoline Engine (J37):
    • Recommended Oil: 5W20 (API certified).
    • Capacity: 4.3 liters
    • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol A or B) or change annually.
  • Automatic Transmission:
    • Recommended Fluid: Honda / Acura ATF Z1 or ATF DW-1
    • Capacity: 2.8 liters
    • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 3).
  • Transfer Gear:
    • Recommended Fluid: SAE 90 or SAE 80W-90 hypoid gear oil, API GL4 or GL5
    • Capacity: 0.43 liters
    • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 3).
  • Rear Differential:
    • Recommended Fluid: Honda / Acura ATF-Z1 or DPSF
    • Capacity: 2.53 liters
    • Change Interval: Every 24,000 km (15,000 miles) or based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 6).
  • Power Steering System:
    • Recommended Fluid: Honda / Acura Power Steering Fluid
  • Cooling System:
    • Recommended Fluid: Honda / Acura Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2
    • Capacity: 7.3 liters
    • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 5).
  • Brake System:
    • Recommended Fluid: Acura / Honda DOT 3 Brake Fluid
    • Change Interval: Every 3 years.

2014 – 2020 Acura MDX Engine Oil Capacity

Engine Oil Specifications for 3rd Gen (YD3) Acura MDX 2014 – 2020:

EngineEngine oil capacity with filterOil type (viscosity grade)
3.5L 6-cyl Engine J35Y55.4 liters (5.7 quarts)0W-20
3.0L 6-cyl Engine JNA24.3 liters (4.5 quarts)0W-20
Honda Genuine 08798-9137 Full Synthetic Oil
  • Package Dimensions: 7.112 L x 20.574 H x 12.7 W (centimeters)
  • Package Weight : 1.043 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : China
  • Fit type: Universal
  • Engine Types:
    • 3.5L Gasoline Engine (J35):
      • Recommended Oil: 0W20 with API Certification
      • Capacity: 5.4 liters
      • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol A or B) or change annually.
    • 3.0L Gasoline Engine (J30):
      • Recommended Oil: 0W20 with API Certification
      • Capacity: 4.3 liters
      • Change Interval: Refer to the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol A or B) or change annually.
  • Additional Fluids and Capacities:
    • Dual Clutch Transmission: Use Honda/Acura ATF DW-1 with a capacity of 3.5 liters. The change interval is based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 3).
    • Automatic Transmission: Use Honda/Acura ATF DW-1 with a capacity of 3.1 liters. The change interval is based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 3).
    • Twin Motor Unit (Hybrid): Use Honda/Acura ATF DW-1 with a capacity of 2.42 liters. Recommended change every 24,000 km (15,000 miles) or based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 6).
    • Cooling System (J35): Use Honda/Acura Long-Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 with a capacity of 7.3 liters. The change interval is based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 5).
    • Cooling System (J30, Hybrid): Use Honda/Acura Long-Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 with a capacity of 7.7 liters. The change interval is based on the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol 5).

Note: Always refer to the owner’s/service manual for the most accurate information and to ensure the best care for your vehicle.

2022 – Now Acura MDX Engine Oil Capacity

2023 Acura MDX

As the Acura MDX has evolved through its generations, so have its engine specifications and oil requirements. Each generation, with its unique engine configurations, demands specific oil types and capacities to ensure optimal performance.

EngineOil capacity with filterOil type
3.0L J30AC5.5 quarts (5.2 liters)0W-20 Acura Motor Oil
3.5L J35Y55.6 quarts (5.3 liters)0W-20 Acura Motor Oil
Honda Genuine 08798-9137 Full Synthetic Oil
  • Package Dimensions: 7.112 L x 20.574 H x 12.7 W (centimeters)
  • Package Weight : 1.043 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : China
  • Fit type: Universal

4th Gen (YD9) Acura MDX:

  • Engine Types: The 4th Gen MDX offers two robust engine configurations:
    • The 3.0L turbo engine is designed for those seeking a blend of power and efficiency.
    • The 3.5L petrol engine (J30AC and J35Y5), is known for its reliability and smooth performance.
  • Recommended Oil: For these engines, Acura recommends the 0W20 Acura Motor Oil. This oil grade is designed to provide optimal lubrication, especially during cold starts, ensuring the engine runs smoothly across various temperatures. If the Acura-branded oil isn’t available, it’s essential to choose an equivalent oil that carries the API Certification Seal, guaranteeing it meets the industry standards for quality and performance.
  • Capacity: The oil capacity for these engines ranges between 5.2 to 5.3 liters. It’s crucial to adhere to this specified range to ensure the engine is neither under-lubricated nor overfilled, both of which can lead to performance issues or potential damage.
  • Change Interval: Acura has incorporated a smart system known as the Maintenance Minder. This system monitors various factors, such as driving conditions and engine performance, to determine when an oil change is due. When it’s time for an oil change, the system will display a message, either Symbol A or Symbol B. However, even if the message doesn’t appear, it’s a good practice to change the engine oil annually (once a year) to maintain the engine’s health.

Importance of Engine Oil

Engine oil, often referred to as the lifeblood of a vehicle, plays an indispensable role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the engine. Its significance cannot be overstated, and here’s why:

  • Lubrication: At the heart of the engine are numerous moving parts, from pistons and valves to bearings and camshafts. These components operate at high speeds, and without proper lubrication, they would create excessive friction. This friction not only reduces the engine’s efficiency but can also lead to parts wearing out prematurely. Engine oil ensures that these components glide smoothly against each other, minimizing friction and preventing potential damage.
  • Cooling: Engines generate a substantial amount of heat during operation. Left unchecked, this heat can cause severe damage to the engine components. While the vehicle’s cooling system plays a primary role in managing this heat, engine oil contributes by absorbing and dispersing the heat generated within the engine. This prevents hotspots from forming and ensures that the engine operates within the desired temperature range.
  • Cleaning: Over time, dirt, dust, and other contaminants can find their way into the engine. These particles can be abrasive and, if not addressed, can wear down engine parts. Engine oil acts as a cleaning agent, trapping these contaminants and preventing them from settling. Modern engine oils also contain detergents and additives that help in breaking down sludge and varnish, ensuring the engine remains clean and functions optimally.
  • Protection Against Wear and Tear: Beyond just lubrication, engine oil forms a protective barrier between engine components. This barrier reduces the impact of wear and tear, extending the lifespan of the engine. Additionally, anti-corrosion and anti-wear additives in the oil further enhance this protective role, safeguarding the engine against rust and wear.

Cost of Changing the Oil

Breakdown of Costs:

  1. Oil:
    • Standard Synthetic Oil: On average, a 5-quart bottle of standard synthetic oil costs between $25 to $50, depending on the brand and quality.
    • Premium Synthetic Oil: Premium brands or specialized synthetic oils can range from $50 to $100 for a 5-quart bottle.
  2. Oil Filter:
    • Standard Filter: A standard oil filter for the Acura MDX typically costs between $5 to $15.
    • Premium Filter: Premium or specialized filters can range from $15 to $30, offering better filtration and longevity.
  3. Labor:
    • Professional Service: Labor costs at a dealership or an auto repair shop can range from $50 to $100 per hour. An oil change typically takes about an hour, so you can expect labor costs to be in this range.
    • Quick Lube Stations: These stations specialize in quick oil changes and might offer rates between $30 to $50 for the entire service, including labor.

DIY vs. Professional Service Costs

  1. DIY Costs:
    • Oil: $25 to $100 (depending on choice of standard or premium synthetic oil).
    • Oil Filter: $5 to $30 (depending on choice of standard or premium filter).
    • Total: $30 to $130 (excluding any tools or equipment you might need to purchase).
  2. Professional Service Costs:
    • Oil & Filter: Many service centers offer packages that include both the oil and filter, ranging from $50 to $120, depending on the quality of the products.
    • Labor: $30 to $100 (depending on the service center).
    • Additional Services: Some places might also perform additional checks and services, such as topping off other fluids, checking tire pressures, etc., which can add to the cost.
    • Total: $80 to $220 (depending on the service center and additional services).

DIY: Changing the oil yourself can save you money, especially if you already have the necessary tools and equipment. It can be a cost-effective option if you’re comfortable with the process and have the time.

Professional Service: While it might be more expensive, getting your oil changed professionally ensures that it’s done correctly, and you also benefit from the expertise of trained mechanics. They can spot potential issues or provide additional maintenance services.

In the end, the choice between DIY and professional service comes down to personal preference, comfort level, and budget. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s essential to choose what’s best for you and your vehicle.

Average Time for the Procedure

Changing the engine oil is a routine maintenance task, but the time it takes can vary based on whether you’re doing it yourself or opting for professional service.

Here’s a breakdown:

DIY (Do It Yourself)

  • Preparation: Before you start, you’ll need to gather all the necessary tools and materials, including the oil, filter, wrenches, drain pan, and other equipment. This can take around 5-10 minutes.
  • Draining the Old Oil: Positioning the car, removing the drain plug, and allowing the old oil to flow out can take about 10-15 minutes. It’s essential to let the oil drain completely to ensure all the old oil is removed.
  • Replacing the Oil Filter: Removing the old filter and installing a new one can take another 5-10 minutes. It’s crucial to ensure the filter is tightened correctly to prevent leaks.
  • Adding New Oil: Pouring in the new oil and checking the level with the dipstick can take around 5-10 minutes.
  • Cleanup and Disposal: Cleaning up any spills, putting away tools, and ensuring the old oil is stored for proper disposal can take an additional 5-10 minutes.

Total DIY Time: Given the steps involved and the care needed to ensure the task is done correctly, it’s reasonable to expect the entire DIY process to take between 45 minutes to an hour.

Professional Service

  • Vehicle Check-in: Once you arrive at the service center, there might be a short wait time, especially during peak hours. However, once your vehicle is taken in, the process is streamlined.
  • Draining and Replacement: With professional equipment and multiple technicians working simultaneously, the draining of old oil, replacement of the filter, and addition of new oil can be done efficiently, typically within 15-20 minutes.
  • Additional Checks: Many service centers also perform quick checks on other fluids, tire pressures, and more, adding another 5-10 minutes to the process.
  • Vehicle Check-out: Finalizing the service, payment, and any additional recommendations can take another 5-10 minutes.

Total Professional Service Time: Given the efficiency of professional setups and the expertise of the technicians, the entire process at a service center typically takes between 30-40 minutes.

While DIY might take a bit longer, it offers the satisfaction of personal involvement and can be more cost-effective. On the other hand, professional services provide speed, expertise, and often additional checks to ensure your vehicle is in top shape. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, expertise, and time constraints.

Level of Complexity

Changing the engine oil is a fundamental aspect of vehicle maintenance. While the procedure itself is straightforward, the level of complexity can vary based on whether you’re opting for a DIY approach or seeking professional service.

DIY (Do It Yourself)

  • Basic Steps:
    1. Preparation: Ensure the engine is warm (not hot) for better oil flow. Gather necessary tools and materials.
    2. Lift the Vehicle: If necessary, safely raise the vehicle using jack stands or ramps to access the oil drain plug.
    3. Drain Old Oil: Position a drain pan beneath the oil pan, remove the drain plug, and allow the oil to flow out.
    4. Replace Oil Filter: Remove the old filter, apply a bit of new oil to the gasket of the new filter, and screw it in place.
    5. Refill with New Oil: Pour the new oil into the engine using a funnel. Check the level with the dipstick to ensure the correct amount.
    6. Dispose of Old Oil: Transfer the old oil from the drain pan to a sealable container for proper disposal.
  • Required Tools:
    • Wrench or socket set for the drain plug.
    • Oil filter wrench or pliers.
    • Drain pan to collect old oil.
    • Funnel for pouring new oil.
    • Jack stands or ramps (if needed).
    • Protective gloves and safety glasses.

Professional Service

  • Specialized Tools:
    • Lifts: Professional service centers have hydraulic lifts that allow easy access to the underside of vehicles.
    • Oil Draining Machines: These expedite the draining process and minimize spills.
    • Automated Oil Dispensers: Ensure the precise amount of oil is added to the engine.
    • Filter Removal Tools: Allow for quick and efficient filter changes.
  • Expertise:
    • Trained Technicians: Professionals are trained to handle different vehicle models and their specific requirements.
    • System Checks: Many service centers perform additional checks on other vehicle systems, ensuring everything is in order.
    • Waste Disposal: Professional centers have the means to dispose of old oil and filters in an environmentally friendly manner.

DIY vs. Professional Service

hanging engine oil is a crucial aspect of vehicle maintenance. Both DIY and professional service have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each option:

A. DIY (Do It Yourself):


  1. Cost Savings: Typically, doing it yourself can be more cost-effective as you’re only paying for the oil and filter, not labor.
  2. Personal Satisfaction: There’s a sense of accomplishment in performing vehicle maintenance yourself.
  3. Control: You have complete control over the type and quality of oil and filter used.
  4. Flexibility: You can choose when to do the oil change based on your schedule.


  1. Time-Consuming: Especially for beginners, the process can take longer than a professional service.
  2. Potential for Mistakes: Without proper experience, there’s a risk of mistakes like overfilling or underfilling the oil, or not securing the oil filter or drain plug properly.
  3. Equipment: You need to have the necessary tools and a suitable location to perform the oil change.
  4. Disposal: You’re responsible for disposing of the used oil and filter, which can be inconvenient.

B. Professional Service:


  1. Efficiency: Quick and streamlined service, often completed in less than an hour.
  2. Expertise: Trained technicians with experience on various vehicle models.
  3. Additional Checks: Many service centers offer complimentary vehicle checks, such as tire pressure, fluid levels, and more.
  4. Convenience: No need to worry about tools, cleanup, or disposal – it’s all handled for you.


  1. Cost: Typically more expensive than DIY due to labor costs.
  2. Upselling: Some service centers might try to upsell additional services or products.
  3. Wait Times: Depending on the service center’s busyness, there might be wait times or the need for an appointment.

Recommendations Based on Experience Level and Available Tools

  1. Beginners: If you’re new to vehicle maintenance and don’t have the necessary tools, it’s recommended to opt for professional service. This ensures the job is done correctly and safely.
  2. Intermediate: If you have some experience and basic tools, you can consider DIY. However, always ensure you follow the vehicle’s manual and take necessary precautions.
  3. Expert: If you’re well-versed in vehicle maintenance and have all the required tools, DIY can be a rewarding and cost-effective option. Just ensure you’re always up-to-date with your vehicle’s specific requirements.
  4. Limited Tools/Space: If you lack the necessary tools or a suitable location for an oil change, professional service is the best choice.


Q1: How often should I change the engine oil in my Acura MDX?
A: While the general recommendation is every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual or the Maintenance Minder system in your vehicle. Factors like driving conditions and habits can also influence the interval.

Q2: Can I switch between conventional and synthetic oil?
A: Yes, you can switch between conventional and synthetic oil. However, once you switch to synthetic, it’s recommended to stick with it due to its superior performance and protection qualities.

Q3: What happens if I use the wrong grade of oil in my Acura MDX?
A: Using the wrong grade can lead to reduced engine efficiency, increased wear, and potential engine damage. Always consult your owner’s manual for the recommended oil grade.

Q4: Is it necessary to change the oil filter with every oil change?
A: It’s highly recommended. The oil filter traps contaminants, and over time, it can become clogged. A fresh filter ensures optimal oil flow and filtration.

Q5: Can I top off my engine oil if it’s low between changes?
A: Yes, you can top off if the oil level is low. Ensure you use the same type and grade of oil that’s currently in the engine.

Q6: What does the Maintenance Minder Message (Symbol A or B) mean?
A: These symbols are part of Acura’s Maintenance Minder system, indicating specific maintenance needs. Symbol A typically refers to an oil change, while Symbol B suggests an oil change plus additional maintenance tasks. Always refer to your owner’s manual for detailed explanations.

Q7: Is it harmful to the engine if I delay an oil change?
A: Delaying an oil change can lead to increased engine wear, reduced performance, and potential damage due to the breakdown of the oil’s protective properties.

Q8: Why is synthetic oil more expensive than conventional oil?
A: Synthetic oil is chemically engineered to provide superior performance, protection, and longevity compared to conventional oil, hence the higher cost.

Q9: Can I perform an oil change myself?
A: Yes, with the right tools and knowledge, you can perform an oil change. However, ensure you follow safety precautions and dispose of the used oil responsibly.

Q10: How do I dispose of used engine oil after a DIY oil change?
A: Used engine oil should be collected in a sealable container and taken to a local recycling center or auto repair shop that accepts used oil. Never dump it in the trash, on the ground, or down drains.


Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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