2010 Civic LX: 30,000 Mile Service: "E Service": Ripoff?

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FWIW, the independent facility I go to (some, or all, of whom are Honda-trained mechanics) that I go to charged me $250 for my each of my 2004 Accord's 60,000 and 90,000 mile services. That included the usual oil and
filter; air filter, brake fluid flush and replace, replace transmission fluid, pollen filter, tire rotation; and inspect everything else from top to bottom and adjust as necessary.
Since everything checked out ok, there were no additional charges.
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On 04/23/2013 05:52 AM, Howard Lester wrote:

good, that's much more realistic.
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wrote:

system. What does your owner's manual say? Drain and fill. Cheap. The only thing Honda says to do if you really want more than that is to drain, fill, drive a couple miles, drain, fill, drive, drain, fill, drive. That won't completely replace the fluid, but it is the ONLY method Honda recommends if you want a more complete fluid replacement. Actual "flushing" will cause your transmission to fail MUCH more quickly, and is not recommended by Honda under any circumstances whatsoever. It's also a wallet flush.

So, an oil change and tire rotation should cost $50-$60. A good mechanic--likely an independent--will also look at your brakes while he's there, and will offer his opinion on them.
An air filter is cheap, a cabin air filter is cheap, and your owner's manual will tell you how to change those. Wiper inserts are dirt cheap; hell, entire blades are only ten bucks, and your local independent mechanic will have them on inside 30 seconds--both of them.
$500? $600? Where do you live? I'll do ALL of that for half that, and that includes my travel expenses.
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On Monday April 22 5:25 PM, Steve wrote:

I called the aforementioned cheaper Honda dealership after this post yesterday to get their prices on the list above. They were cheaper than the original Honda Dealership I've been talking about. A mechanic also picked up the phone. He told me that Honda doesn't recommend a transmission flush, as it could hurt the car. He said they just replace the fluids instead.
Being charitable, I'm guessing the mechanic at the original Honda Dealership was just being sloppy with his language.
The good news is that replacing the transmission fluid, instead of a flush, is about $100 cheaper. So, I can get the package down under $400. I live in an expensive metropolitan area.
My trust for the original Honda dealership is a bit eroded.
Some of the comments about some of my list not being needed at all, with others arguing that they really are ( here in the group ) has me concerned.
I'm thinking of either going to the cheaper Honda dealership or the independent to explain what happened and ask them their opinion on what I need.
Steve
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Don't bet on it. I've had Honda dealers try to sell me on a transmission flush before and then offer a standard drain-and-fill as a much cheaper option when pressed about it. The last time it happened they backed off when I told them I'd already had to have the transmission replaced once and wasn't eager to repeat that experience.
You have to remember that the dealer is not the factory, and when you receive information from a dealer that conflicts with what's in the owner's manual, it's always in your best interest to opt for what's recommended in the manual.
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On Tuesday April 23 7:39 PM, Dave Garrett wrote:

Why did you have to have your transmission replaced?
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Honda had a well-documented issue with premature failures of automatic transmissions in vehicles with V6 engines in certain model years. They ultimately wound up extending the warranty for these vehicles, and in many cases covered the cost of a remanufactured transmission for owners so afflicted (they did this for me even though my car was not technically part of the warranty extension, and at any rate would have been slightly outside of the extended warranty period if it had been). They quit doing this some time ago, and the entire debacle has left a bad taste in the mouths of many former Honda loyalists who used to be able to rely upon superior engineering as an unquestioned quality of the Honda brand.
Lots more info if you Google (my search string only covers 99-02 model years, but the tranny problems persisted well beyond that):
https://www.google.com/search?q +02+accord+v6+transmission+failure
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On 04/23/2013 09:29 AM, Steve wrote:

you should ALWAYS be skeptical about a dealer's service recommendations. you know that big shiny showroom and all those ads they run in the paper? that is expensive overhead, and YOU are paying for it.

your first port of call on information is always the owner's manual. anything else you get after that can be ranked by the individual's experience and background. someone with an opinion, however much they may try to assert it, or well intentioned they may be, doesn't mean they actually know what they're talking about.
look for practical experience, e.g. elmo with recent honda transmission reliability issues, and rank responses accordingly.

1. read the owner's manual and compile a list of what it says to do. 2. /tell/ the service location what /you/ want them to do.
if you don't, you're basically asking /them/ to set your budget for you. also, call around with your list of what you want, and tell them you're shopping on price. if nothing else, you'll find it an instructive experience on how they react!
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On Tuesday April 23 9:50 PM, jim beam wrote:

That advice is not so useful. I read the maintenance section of my manual. It does not give you a list of things to do and it doesn't give a list of things to do by mileage.
It basically says to watch the maintenance minder and it gives you a chart to interpret what the icons mean.
Steve
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On 04/24/2013 06:32 AM, Steve wrote:

sorry guy, but you need to move with the times. the maintenance minder is a much more sophisticated tool for maintaining your particular vehicle than the "one size fits all" approach used back in the 1950's. in fact, it's quite conservative.
and the "30k mile service" concept is basically just an anachronism dating back to the ancients when detroit iron was starting to fall apart by then. no modern car has any issues at 30k miles. and frankly, any competent service tech will give the car a quick inspection when they have it up on the lift for the oil change anyway. that's all you need. you certainly don't need to pay a premium price as if this is anything other than ordinary maintenance.
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On Wednesday April 24 10:42 AM, jim beam wrote:

I agree with this, but my point was a reply to your advice to read the owner's manual and make a list of what is says to do. My point was that the manual only tells you to watch the maintenance minder, so you can't make a list.
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wrote:

wait a minute. Think this through.
If the guy at the first place was "just being sloppy with his language," then didn't he really mean "drain/fill"?
Then how could he have been $100 more expensive for "the same thing"?
You need to sit down and think these things all the way through before you act. You almost got talked into spending $600 that plainly you didn't need to spend. That quoted transmission flush was very clearly something more than a drain and fill; it was intended to flush out your wallet, both short term ($100 worth) and long term (new transmission at 75K miles).
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wrote:

what you NEED to do is to START with your owner's manual, and do EXACTLY what it specifies.
If you want to be overly protective, do whatever it says to do for a severe driving environment.
Do NOT ask the "mechanic" at the Honda dealer what he "thinks" unless (a) he's an honest-to-god tech with years of experience under his belt, and (b) you know him well. The guy you *have* been speaking with is the service writer, who is a service salesman. He gets paid on his ability to flush your wallet. He is not there to be your friend or advisor.
Your car is EXTREMELY highly engineered, and Honda's documentation is where you rest your faith (although, as I can personally attest to, even Honda will fuck you if it's in their short term monetary interests nowadays). Anything else--the service writer, and even things you read here--should be viewed as old wives' tales until solidly proven otherwise.
Of course, if you hang around here you'll discover who knows what and why, and will be able to figure out who to pay closer attention to.
So: what does your owner's manual say the "E Service" consists of? Let's start with that, and ignore the old wives' tales.
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On Wednesday April 24 6:19 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

I wrote previously that I read the manual, that the manual does not give a list of maintenance to-dos by mileage and the manual only says to obey the icons on the maintenance minder, which you have to let get down to 15%.
If I misread something and you know more than this I would be grateful to hear what you know.
Steve
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On 04/24/2013 06:36 AM, Steve wrote:

that's because the minder is not "one size fits all" like a fixed schedule.

unless you have a specific reason to disobey, like you've done oil analysis, then you should indeed "obey" the maintenance minder. the minder is based on millions of vehicle hours of analysis and millions of dollars in development. it's not there just so you can ignore it and go back to the 50's. all modern planes, trains and ships use this [and much more sophisticated] technology. for a reason - it works, prolongs the machine's life, and saves money.

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wrote:

why do/did you focus on "by mileage"?
No, it doesn't give you a mileage-based service schedule. It gives you a service schedule that follows the maintenance minder.

But it *does* tell you what "A1" means, right? It tells you exactly what services are to be performed when that shows up on the maintenance minder, right?
So my point stands: what you NEED to do is to START with your owner's manual, and do EXACTLY what it specifies. And it DOES specify exactly what services are required.
So what are those services?
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wrote:

You can let it go right down to 0%, it's not like the car is going to blow up if you put another 1% mileage on it.
J.
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On Wednesday April 24 12:08 AM, JRStern wrote:

No disrespect, but I read that section of the manual and going below 15% wasn't something that sounded like a healthy thing to do for the car. No disrespect.
Steve
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On 04/24/2013 06:33 AM, Steve wrote:

so pay to get some oil analysis done. that'll tell you something very important - that the maintenance minder, while a much improved tool compared to a traditional "no usage data" approach, is actually very conservative. if you're using a decent quality motor oil, you can typically go quite a bit further on your oil than the maintenance minder says - thus you are perfectly safe at 0%.
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On Wednesday April 24 10:37 AM, jim beam wrote:

Now this is useful to know.
I never let it get to 15%, because I was concerned about the margin being bottomed out or thin. The mechanic at the dealership told that there IS a margin and that I do not have to IMMEDIATELY get to a mechanic when the oil hits 15%.
Your post above is further reassurance.
Thanks, I will it run down to 15% from now on so I get the benefit of the other maintenance icons lighting up.
Steve
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