maintenence advice

Hi,
I'm new to this group, but I'm a Honda fan.
I had to trade in my '94 Civic last august when I think I blew a head gasket. It needed some other somewhat expensive work also. It only had 86k.
That sucked.
Anyway, my wife has a 2002 Accord Special Edition (it's sweet) and I got myself a 2004 Accord Sedan (4 cyl.).
I am very happy with it, and want to take good care of it. I noticed in the owner's manual it says to change the oil every 7k. As far as I know, common practice for oil changes is 3k. I don't really drive it that hard, but I am racking the miles driving to work. I'm driving 70-75mph on the highway going with the flow. It's up to 15k in less than a year, so I don't know if that justifies more frequent service.
Any tips would be appreciated.
Thanks,
John
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after break-in. Several posters from the UK have indicated 15K km is common there. Personally, I think 3K is unwarranted except in the case of cheap oil in extreme conditions. After all, if 3K is right for non-extreme conditions, what is right for extreme?
Mike
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I think I heard somewhere that after you make the switch to synthetic oil, you can't go back to regular oil. Is that true?, and I'm curious what everybody's opinion is on synthetic oil.
I recently brought my care to my Honda dealership for an oil change and they said it was about time for my 15k maintence. They want $300 for it. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the list of what tasks were to be performed, and a lot of it included "visual inspection" of this and that. It sounded like a rip-off to me.
I would rather do my own maintenence, but it's not always convenient for my schedule.
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riplead wrote:

10-40, and Fram filters. I replace the oil and filter every 5000 miles. I used to average 20,000 miles (U.S.A.) per year. Just turned 225,000 miles.     I flush and change the antifreeze every two years, air filter yearly. I replace the plugs, timing and countershaft belts, accessory drive belts, and do a valve adjustment every 100,000 miles.     Clutch needed done two years ago, and I have gone through two radiators. I bought the first muffler replacement at the Honda dealer, and have received three free ones since.     Tires are from Toyo, and generally last 100,000 miles a set. I rotate them front to back when I can measure 1/32'' difference wear.
        Bob
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Not only did it sound like a rip-off to you, it IS a rip-off! Get this. The local Lexus dealership wanted $350.00 to do a "15,000 mile maintenance service" on my 2002 IS300. I did NOT go for it. The service rep rattled off about a dozen things that they would supposedly do during this scheduled maintenance, most of which was "visual inspection" or "road test" of this and that. Okay. So I'm down at my favorite, independent, Asian car mechanic's garage and thought I'd ask HIM about the 15,000 mile maintenance for my 2002 Lexus IS300. He pops a CD-ROM disc into his PC from Lexus themselves that contains all of the maintenance information for my car. He said, "They're not supposed to do anything at 15,000 miles but change the oil and filter, rotate the tires and top off any fluids that may be low--along with visual inspections and road test. Do you really want to pay them $350.00 plus tax for that???!!!" How's that for almost getting ripped off big time? :-( I'm glad I was suspect of the local Lexus dealership's practices. Sometimes it pays to be a 'Doubting Thomas' when it comes to having a motor vehicle repaired. Or anything else for that matter. I mean the guy was talking about them changing the "transmission fluid, gear oil for the rear end" and all kinds of other things at 15,000 miles of operation. Saved myself quite a bit of money on this one.
Ron M.
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Engines, lubricants, gasoline, and driving conditions have come a long way in the last 30 years but the mindset of the American public is still frozen in the 50's......

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No - dino and synthetic oil are mixable and interchangable. I change with synthetic and top off with dino oil inbetween.
The only issue (and some people feel it is a myth) is the risk of developing seal leaks in old engines in the process of switching to synthetic. I've certainly had it happen when I used engine flushes, so I stopped using those and was wary when changing my old cars, but no problem yet.
The whole synthetic/dino oil thing is a "religious" issue - it often leads to long threads that air lots of opinions and doesn't change anybody's opinion. I use it largely because the alt.autos.volvo gurus assure me it controls the crankcase ventilation and throttle body deposits that plague the '80s Volvos - but some deny it is any more detergent than dino oil. You get the picture.

inspections are important, but the prices are way out of line. I get around the schedule problem by doing some of the service one day, and the rest another. I start out by doing the active work (oil change, tire rotation, coolant change or filter changes) at the appointed time and doing the inspections when my schedule fits best. CV boots and ball joint inspections don't even add any time to an oil change - while the oil is draining, just slide on over and have a peek. But when the flat rate charges are calculated, you can be sure it is x time for the oil change plus y time for the inspection.
Mike
Mike
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The manufacturer recommendations for oil changes are getting more and more infrequent. The mfr's are under the gun of the government. The largest producer of waste oil and the largest consumer of oil in this country is cars. The mfr's were given a choice. Either produce engines with the metallurgy and recirculatory systems that can go further between oil changes or the government will mandate for them. Hence, you see the changes in the time between oil changes. The engine oil mfr's also have produced longer lasting, cleaner lubricants. All these together have produced longer oil change intervals. As for synthetic vs. mineral, I believe that until the price of synthetic comes down, the difference in price gives you no advantage considering the highly refined and high quality dino oils produced today. Usually the price of a synthetic oil change is near double of a dino oil change. I don't think it will last twice as long. IMHO, I don't see any advantage. In the years to come, we will probably be utilizing more blends of synthetic/dino and probably full synthetic in later years. As for your two cars, I think a happy medium would be to either split your mileage recommendation in half or go to two-thirds. ----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.autos.honda Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 1:12 AM Subject: maintenence advice

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I learned years ago (with Mercedes that I owned) that the dealers "goose up" recommended services and even go as far as printing supplemental "service manuals" that LOOK like factory publications.
Your observation is correct. Most of the high-priced 15,000 services are glorified oil changes. Go thru the owner's manual and see what THE MANUFACTURER really recommends at 15000 miles. The visual inspection stuff you can eyeball yourself. Then have your dealer (or independent) do YOUR list of what you really want done. And again, at 15,000 miles it's usually just an oil change and maybe a tire rotation and air filter change.
I found that if you do this and keep a good file of receipts, you will still get the same resale value as if you did all the hyped-inflated-price stuff. Or if you keep the vehicle for the long haul (in which case resale value is moot), it will last as long as the hyped service.

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Thanks for your excellent advice guys.
John
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Thanks for your comment. It's my opinion that the owners and operators of car companies like Honda and Mercedes are in business to sell as many new cars as they can sell. It's for this reason they write in owner's manuals such things that the first tune up should be done at 100,000 miles and the oil should be changed every 15,000 miles. If you plan to keep your car for two or three years--follow the advice in the owner's manual. However, if you plan to keep the car for 5 or more years, change the oil every 3,000 miles and get a tune up at least every 50,000 miles (or less).
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The only people suggesting 3000 mile oil changes are people that sell oil.
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Read the owners manual and follow. the other crap is about revenue.
One recommendation use only Honda fuels they have special additives and no other fuels work quite as good. Use Honda oil filters with a new washer tighten with a torque wrench do not ,do not over-tighten.
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Honda "fuels"...?
What?
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Honda oil? I went to the Honda Dealer the other day to buy 4 L of oil and a filter and new drain plug washer for my 2004 Accord. The 2 guys at parts said. " You don't really want to purchase oil here do you? It's almost $5.00 can a litre, save your self some money and buy it at Wal-Mart!! I walked out with just the oil filter and washer.

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Jack wrote:

At least in the US the Honda branded 5W-20 oil appears to be very close, if not identical to, the Exxon Superflo 5W-20. Considering the ExxonMobil is the supplier of record for Honda branded motor oil in the US this makes plenty of sense.
No need to buy Honda brand oil! Do look for the most recent GF-4/SM rated stuff if you are oil shopping. Right now most stores have a mix of the older lower spec GF-3/SL on the shelves alongwith the newer oil. By most accounts the GF-4 graded oils are an improvement over the GF-3, particularly when talking about conventional oils.
John
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