2001 Accord maintenance question / concern ...

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I drive a 2001 4cyl Honda Accord sedan. I just hit 96,000km, and went to the dealership to find out what needs to be done. I was told my car needs a
type 4 maintenance (~400$) + trans fluid change (more $$$ on top of it).
I was shocked to find out that type 4 is nothing more than a 3 hour inspection! All they change is the oil, oil filter, air filter, and if applicable, air purifier filter. For 400$ they don't even replace the spark plugs!!! WHAT A RIP OFF!
So what am I to do? I had my brakes serviced ~20K ago, and I just put on a set of new tires. Do you folks think that if I just get the trans fluid changed and oil changed, + buy the air filter and replace it myself would be good enough for a 96K service ??
What would you do if you were in my shoes ?
Thanks.
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I'd do exactly what you suggested, in fact I do the exact same thing when it is time for any of the Honda service (if I've already done the other pertinent parts). Air filtres are not expensive and the transmission fluid change is around $50.00 (if my memory serves me correctly).
Brian
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Of course, be sure to use genuine Honda fluids (except engine oil) - as the experts have pointed out many times here. Tranny and power steering fluids especially should not be substituted; brake and antifreeze are less critical IIRC. I also use genuine OEM filters.
Mike
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All you need to do is what is in the manual. The vast majority of things in there are cheap. .
My 97 accord requires a new timing belt at every 90K which is a relatively expensive service. What does your service manual say? Is yours due?
In terms of checking your brakes, that ought to be done when they rotate your wheels. Thats because you need your tires rotated every so often and its cheap to check when the tires are off the car. Just takes a second!
$400 to check everything is rediculous! If you go through with it do a test. Mark some part (like the wheels nuts or something) with chalk in such a way that you can tell if they did the work (like took off the wheels to check the brakes) or whatever.
Hey - I know some one who bought a very nice used accord from a new car dealer. They told him that his tires needed balanced. He looked at the rear tires and noted that there were no balance weights on the rims. He had the new car dealer do the service and guess what. There were no weights in the rear wheels. They never balanced them. Then he gets into a long discussion with the service rep and he says that long list of stuff that they say they do only means that they check it and do it only if it is needed. Mind you though - every tire needs to be balanced. Can you believe that. The #$@## new car dealer charge an #$#@@ and a limb and then they don't even do the work that they say they would do.
Heres another. Per my factory service manual when you change the radiator fluid, the manual says to remove one or two bolts on the the engine block. What happens is that when you drane the radiator fluid through the drane cock at the bottom of the raidiator, there is a some fluid that remains trapped in the engine block (a sort of low spot). By removing the bolt, the trapped fluid dranes out the side of teh engine. So I go back asking some of there service mechanics back at a different honda dealer and they say the never (yep never) remove that bolt. All they do is open the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator and then put in new. Now its probably not a big deal because just a little bit is left but gosh you would think it would be done right if your paying the big bucks. By the way - replacing your own radiator fluid is very easy to do (assuming you dont remove those 2 bolts).
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I would read the owner's manual and see what the maker of your car recommends.

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I don't take it to the dealer unless it's Warranty work. Sorry, just too much markup. I have a trusted mechanic at AAMCO who was a Honda mechanic for years. Most of the maintenance I do myself, but Timing Belt and Water Pump I leave up to them.
If you have Pollen Filters, they are a pain, but I can send you the instructions if you need it.
G-Man

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Just wondering, if you do all the maintenance work yourself, how do you prove to Honda that the vehicle was maintained if you have a warranty issue?

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That's an important question. A friend of mine had a Toyota pickup that he took to the dealer just before the warranty was up because the engine smoked at start-up. The dealer's mechanic said the engine was varnished because of inadequate attention to oil changes. Marty showed them the receipts for the oil but they said it didn't prove the oil went into the truck, or if so, when.
Logging the service in the vehicle record probably will get you farther, but the same thing can happen. For my part, I do the maintenance and don't buy extended warranties. Others may feel differently.
Mike
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By and large all extended warranties are a poor investment. First of all they are not a "warranty" rather they are merely a mechanical breakdown insurance policy. Most have a per-occurrence deductible and all of them have "weasel clauses" to disqualify your claim and get out of paying. At a car dealership the "extended warranty" contract is the single most profitable item (percentage wise) in their inventory. Typically 100% markup from cost. Statistically you are unlikely to ever have enough qualifying claims to just break even with the policy's high up-front cost. Also contrary to dealer claims, having a valid/transferable extended warranty does -NOT- increase the wholesale trade-in value of your car.
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"Michael Pardee"

Exactly so. "Extended warranty" is always a misnomer, just as "road hazard warranty" is for tires. A true warranty is a period during which defects are not expected, so the manufacturer agrees to pay for failures within the stated limitations. As with all insurance the question is whether the buyer can afford the most catastrophic events the insurance covers. It goes without saying the average insurance buyer will pay more than they will benefit - that's how insurance works.
Mike
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Not necessarily so. Manufacturer's (NOT aftermarket) warranty may not even be after profit nearly as much as geico and suchlike since the company wants you to buy another vehcile from them, and unless you are satisfied - I am not talking about weird breed like gm/chrysler/ford/jaguar/rover/etc. owners - you will not do that. And let's face it, they make money on new car sales, and dealers - on trade-ins AND new sales so a few bucks off of warranty is less an issue for them. Also, they - manufacturers - pay a fraction of what AM extended warranty would for parts and labor so they can afford to cover more and be more generous overall.
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What you are saying is partially true. I've been doing mechanical inspections primarily for extended warranty for almost 20 years, and I can tell you that ANY aftermarket warranty is likely to be money thrown away. OEM warranty is different but there are many little things that need to be taken into consideration. For a basic well built (!!!) car like, let's say a Civic, warranty is almost definitely a waste but for an upscale luxury vehicle stuffed with hi-tech expensive extras it may make sense since 1. a possibility of breakdown increases with complexity and 2. almost any repair will cost you as much as the warranty itself or more. Visit these pages for some info on extended warranty, maintenance, etc.: www.anti-lemon.com/faq.html www.anti-lemon.com/lookatthat.html www.anti-lemon.com/misconceptions.html
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On 31 Mar 2005 23:12:06 -0800, "Auto Inspector"

I once had one. I used it on a minor repair. I remember having to leave my car at the shoppe an extra 4 hours because the mechanic had to fuss around getting authorization to do some service.
Thinking about all that is involved it has to be expensive. The price of the insurance includes the following: a) Actuaries salary to analyze the risk to the insurance company b) Salaries of individuals needed to honor claims and to detect/prevent fraudulant claims. c) Buildings / employee insurance to pay and house all those employees d) Oh - yeah need some money from which to pay claims.
I am curious - when you analyze a car and come up with a conclusion that the car has not been properly maintained: Are you paid per hour or are you paid a fixed sum? How does that rate compare to the labor rate they will pay for the actual repair?
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They pay a fixed amount for each inspection. 99% of extended warranty companies use outside agencies who get paid $90-$100 per inspection while the inspector gets anywhere between $50 and $60 - not a bad mark up for placing a call or sending an email, don't you think? Usually, an inspection takes about 45 minutes but with driving to and from the site - it's not that much especially considering chimp's acheivements in gas prices... Why do they - the companies - pay to the agencies is obvious - they try to seperate themselves from the inspection as much as possible. Some - actually not many - companies push inspectors into giving them a reason to deny a claim, sometimes they quit using inspectors if their claims are paid too often... normal insurance co "business" practices.
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They pay a fixed amount for each inspection. 99% of extended warranty companies use outside agencies who get paid $90-$100 per inspection while the inspector gets anywhere between $50 and $60 - not a bad mark up for placing a call or sending an email, don't you think? Usually, an inspection takes about 45 minutes but with driving to and from the site - it's not that much especially considering chimp's acheivements in gas prices... Why do they - the companies - pay to the agencies is obvious - they try to separate themselves from the inspection as much as possible. Some - actually not many - companies push inspectors into giving them a reason to deny a claim, sometimes they quit using inspectors if their claims are paid too often... normal insurance co "business" practices.
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Michael Pardee wrote:

so,
Well, that would apply to dealer receipts as well. If you change your oil at the dealer, and you got a receipt saying that they changed your oil, that doesn't prove that they actually did.
Therefore, changing oil yourself and keeping receipts is as valid as having them done at the dealership.
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You don't have to prove anything unlike what crooked dealers want you to beleive. If you have, let's say, an engine problem, and it - the engine - is clean inside, they cannot possibly blame you. On the other hand, if a customer - and I've seen this many times - provides a bunch of receipts, and the engine is sludged up, I -as an independent inspector - verify lack of maintenance, and warranty work is denied. Leo Russ Independent Auto Inspector www.anti-lemon.com
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I have a folder with receipts for the oil, filter, etc. I keep very good records. This is ALL that is required by law.
G-Man

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Leon Kiriliuk wrote:

me? id do the work myself, according to the book. oil, filter, cabin filter, etc.
you can probably find a good trusted honda/acura mechanic in the book who will do just what needs to be done.
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If you do it yourself and want to ensure you've done the proper maintenance, or if you want to know what the dealer gets paid for, check the following maintenance schedule of recommended service directly from Honda. This schedule is for "normal service". There is a more intensive schedule for "severe service". If you want to know what that is just email me or request it here in the NG. I'm not advocating you bring it to the dealer, or that they are a bargain, but most people don't know the extent of what really is recommended and what your dealer does or should do. Also, most people don't realize the value of preventive maintenance which can catch problems before they become failures and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Most independents aren't as complete either. If you bring it anywhere to get done, make sure this is what they do. I hope this helps. Howard o Replace engine oil. -Capacity with filter change: 4.3 l (4.5 US qt, 3.8 Imp qt)
o Rotate tires. Follow the pattern shown in the Owner's Manual -Check tire inflation and condition.
o Replace engine oil filter.
o Inspect front and rear brakes.
a.. Check pads and discs for wear (thickness), damage, and cracks.
b.. Check calipers for damage, leaks, and tightness of mount bolts.
c.. Check brake lining for cracking, glazing, wear, and contamination.
d.. Check wheel cylinders for leaks.
o Check parking brake adjustment. Should be fully applied within 6 to 9 clicks (disc brake) or within 4 to 7 clicks (drum brake).
o Inspect tie rod ends, steering gearbox, and rack boots for damage and leaking grease and fluid.
a.. Check steering linkage for looseness.
b.. Check boots for damage and leaking grease.
o Inspect suspension components.
a.. Check bolts for tightness.
b.. Check condition of ball joint boots for deterioration and damage.
o Inspect driveshaft boots. Check boots for cracks and boot bands for tightness.
o Inspect brake hoses and lines (including ABS). -Check the master cylinder, proportioning control valve, and ABS modulator for damage and leakage.
o Check all fluid levels and condition of fluids; check for leaks. If necessary, add Honda ATF-Z1 or MTF, engine coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
o Inspect cooling system hoses and connections.
a.. Check for damage, leaks, and deterioration.
b.. Check for proper fan operation.
o Inspect exhaust system* . Check catalytic converter heat shield, exhaust pipe, and muffler for damage, leaks, and tightness.
o Inspect fuel lines and connections*. Check for loose connections, cracks and deterioration; retighten loose connections and replace damaged parts.
o Replace air cleaner element.
o Inspect and adjust drive belts.
a.. Look for cracks and damage, then check belt deflection by pushing on it (about 22 lbs) midway between the pulleys.
- Alternator belt: 10.5-12.5 mm (0.41-0.49 in.)
- P/S pump belt: 13.0-16.0 mm (0.51-0.63 in.)
- A/C compressor belt: 7.0-9.0 mm (0.28-0.35 in)
o Replace the dust and pollen filter.
a.. Replace it twice as often (at 15,000 mile interval) if the vehicle is driven mostly in urban areas that have high concentrations of soot in the air from industry and diesel-powered vehicles.
b.. Replace it whenever airflow from the climate control system is less than normal.

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