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Acura MDX Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and oil filter on a 1st generation 2001 to 2006 Acura MDX with the 3.5L V6 engine.

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2006 MDX 3.5L V6 Engine
Front Right - Oil Filler Cap
Twist Off Counterclockwise
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically created to assist owners of the first generation (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006) Acura MDX in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the Honda J35A3 or J35A5 3.5 liter V6 VTEC engine.

Owners of other Acura or Honda vehicles such as the RDX, ILX, TLX, RLX, TL, CL, RSX, RL, TSX, ZDX, NSX, Integra, Pilot, Accord, Civic, Fit, Clarity, CR-V, CR-Z, HR-V, Odyssey, Element  and Ridgeline with the VTEC 3.5L V6 engine may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement oil filters with their part numbers are as follows: Mobil 1 M1-110, Bosch 3323, Fram XG7317, Purolator PL14610, K&N HP-1010, Wix 57356, Royal Purple 353465, ACDelco PF2057 and Pennzoil HPZ-37.

The tools and other items needed to complete this oil change procedure include a used oil catch basin, a 17mm socket with a 3/8" or 1/2" ratchet, a new Honda # 94109-140-00 14mm oil drain bolt crush washer, an automotive funnel and 4.5 U.S. quarts (4.3 liters) of new SAE 5W-20 oil.

The oil change service interval is every 7,500 miles or once per year for normal driving. For "severe" duty such as towing, frequent off road driving, stop and go city driving or commercial use, the interval is every 3,750 miles or every six months.

Oil Fill Cap Removed
Partially Remove Dipstick
Castrol GTX & Purolator
The first three steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, park the SUV on a level surface and turn off the ignition.

Warming up the engine to operating temperature will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear wheel to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then open the hood and twist off the oil filler cap at the front right (driver) side of the engine in the counterclockwise direction.

Set the oil fill cap aside in a safe place.

Lift up the orange plastic handled oil dipstick an inch or two.

Removing the oil filler cap and partially lifting the oil dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and also allow the old oil to drain out faster.

SUV On Jack Stands
Slide Under Engine Bay
Silver Metal Oil Pan
There is plenty of room under the SUV to do perform an oil change without lifting it or driving up on ramps.

I chose to raise the front of the vehicle for extra working room with the floor jack (located in a compartment on the left side of the cargo area) and securely support it with two jack stands.

Slide under the front passenger side of the engine bay and locate the silver metal oil pan.

The oil pan is located next to the exhaust pipe.

Oil Drain Bolt - Rear Edge
Blue Canister Oil Filter
Position Oil Catch Container
The silver metal oil drain bolt is situated on the rear corner of the oil pan with the bolt head facing towards the back of the SUV.

The round canister style oil filter is located in the front passenger wheel well just in front of the drive shaft.

Slide the used oil catch basin to just below the oil drain bolt.

Honda 14mm Oil Gasket
Loosen Counterclockwise
Using Rubber Mallet
Loosen the oil drain bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 17mm socket and a 3/8" or 1/2" ratchet.

If you have trouble loosening the oil drain bolt, use a standard 17mm wrench and a rubber mallet to loosen it.

Twist Off By Hand
Draining Out Old Oil
Old Dirty Oil Drained Out
Once the oil drain bolt is loose, detach the wrench or ratchet and spin it out the rest of the way by hand.

Be careful when you remove the oil drain bolt. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

Allow the old oil to drain out into to the catch basin for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

New Drain Bolt Washer
Replace Drain Plug Washer
Oil Filter Wrench
Remove the old crush washer or "gasket" from the oil drain bolt and inspect it.

To prevent oil leaks, I highly recommend replacing the 14mm crush washer at every oil change.

The genuine OEM part number for the oil drain bolt washer is Honda # 94109-140-00 (also known as Acura 94109-14000 or 9410914000)

Since the oil drain bolt and the filter location are so close together, I decided to replace the filter while the oil was still slowly dripping out of the oil pan from the drain hole.

Near Front Passenger Tire
Loosen Counterclockwise
Re-Position Catch Basin
Slide the used oil catch container until it is below the old oil filter (and also the drain hole if you haven't replaced the drain bolt yet).

Twist off the old oil filter in the counterclockwise direction.

If you have trouble loosening the old oil filter, use an oil filter wrench such as the Lisle 63600 with a short extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratchet.


Twist Off Old Oil Filter
Draining Oil From Filter
Old Oil Filter Removed
Allow the old oil to drain out of the old oil filter and the receptacle for at least a few minutes.
Check For Old Gasket
Clean Oil Drain Hole
Spin In Oil Drain Bolt
Make sure that the rubber o-ring gasket from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Clean the area around the oil drain hole with a paper towel.

Replace the washer on the oil drain bolt with a new one.

Spin in the oil drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten Clockwise
Oil Drain Bolt Secured
New Filter & New Oil
Tighten the oil drain bolt in the clockwise direction with the 17mm socket and a 3/8" ratchet to just past hand tight.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for the oil drain bolt is 29 lb-ft of torque.

Dip Finger In New Oil
Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
Twist On New Oil Filter
For this oil change, I bought the Purolator PL14610 oil filter. The Mobil 1 M1-110 oil filter also has excellent reviews.

Dip your finger into some new SAE 5W-20 oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

Lubricating the new oil filter's gasket will help it form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it easier to remove during the next oil change.

Twist on the new oil filter in the clockwise direction to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the new oil filter to prevent from damaging the gasket which could lead to an oil leak.

New Oil Filter Installed
Lower Car From Stands
Insert Automotive Funnel
Double check that the oil drain bolt and the new oil filter are tight before moving on to the next steps.

If you raised the front of the SUV, carefully lower it from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Insert an automotive funnel into the oil filler hole at the front right side of the engine.

Pour In New Oil
4.5 U.S. Quarts Poured In
Replace Oil Fill Cap
It is far better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to over fill it.

Running an engine that has been overfilled with oil may cause sluggish performance or cause damage to seals and gaskets.

I recommend only pouring in about 4 to 4.25 U.S. quarts of oil at first.

The 3.5L V6 VTEC engine's total capacity specification for an oil change with filter replacement is 4.5 U.S. quarts (4.3L).

Then temporarily replace the oil filler cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction and push the oil dipstick back down into place.

Check Dipstick Oil Level
Replace Oil Dipstick
Oil Change Complete
Start the engine and allow it to run for at least a few minutes to distribute the new oil.

Then turn off the engine and allow the oil to drain back down to the oil pan for at least five to ten minutes.

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel, push it all the way back in and then pull it out again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour more oil and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or below the upper line of the cross-hatched area on the tip of the dipstick.

The upper line indicates the "MAX" (maximum) or "Full" level.

You may not need to pour in the entire 4.5 U.S. quarts of new SAE 5W-20 oil in order for the oil level to reach the maximum line on the dipstick.

You can save the last 1/2 quart of new oil for the next oil change. Just be sure to seal the cap tightly.

Also don't forget to record the oil change in your SUV's service records.

According to the owner's manual, the oil should be changed every 7,500 miles for the normal maintenance schedule or every 3,750 miles for the severe maintenance schedule. It also states that the oil should be changed annually even if you don't drive that many miles in a year.

It would also be a good idea to check your driveway, garage or parking spot for drops of fresh oil that may indicate an oil leak from the oil drain bolt or the new oil filter.

A last recommendation would be to check the oil level on the dipstick at least once a month.

To reset the flashing "MAINT REQ'D" (maintenance required) for the oil life meter, press and hold both the "SEL" (Select) and the "RESET" buttons. Then turn the ignition switch to the "ON" position but do not start the engine. Continue holding the Select and Reset buttons. You'll see the "MAINT REQD" light flash a few times, stay solidly lit for a second and then turn off.

The maintenance reminder light will start flashing when it has been 6,000 miles since your last oil change (when it was last reset) and then stay lit on the dashboard gauges at all times when you pass 7,500 miles.

For more, please check out all of my 2001-2006 Acura MDX DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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