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Reference: Recommend Vehicle Service Intervals

Discussion in 'Engine Tech / Drivetrain DIY How-To's' started by caddy, Jun 3, 2003.



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  1. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    As I work at an Automotive shop, i get to see many cars. We can always tell who keeps up on their maintenance. I'd thought I might post a recommended maintenance schedule that will help those wanting to know when to do what. Honda engines can take quite a beating, but ensuring that they stay reliable is dependant on their proper care. So here I will include the regular maintenance schedule that we recommend at our facility. We've been in business since 1973 and have pretty much turned it into an art here. People who follow our schedule spend less on their vehicle in the long run and avoid a lot of headaches. We benefit too because our work is more constant and our customers return. So here it goes (bear with me as most of my information is in KM and not miles)

    - Transmission Fluid Flush
    30,000km/20,000m for automatic, 40,000km/about 30,000m for standard (clutch fluid, prefferably Syncro Shift for hondas). When finding a shop that flushes your tranny (this applies to automatics) make sure they flush fluid through and not just drain and fill it. It leaves a lot a contaminated fluid left. Also find out if they use a varnish remover. Fluid can burn and coat the side of the tranny pan so it should be cleaned off to preserve its life.

    - Brake Fluid Flush
    Approx. every 730 days or sooner if contaminated
    (you can use a syringe to extract a little bit of fluid and put it in a clear bottle to see if its dirty. This applies to all fluids. Also, you can buy PH strips to test it yourself, this applies to coolant as well)

    - Coolant Flush
    Every 730 days or sooner if contaminated or PH is off
    Don't use additives in your coolant. It can cause deposits and coolant leaks and destory your water pump, kill gaskets, etc,. Use a 50/50 mix of coolant/water. If you change the coolant yourself, let the engine run a bit to let the fluid heat up and bubble to get rid of air pockets. Then you can top off the coolant and close up the system. GM claims their coolant lasts for 5 years. We've seen it turn to gel in and destroy and engine so beware.

    - Thermostat
    Every 5 years or sooner. If you get it done at a shop, you might want to get it done along with a coolant flush as it will cost less depending on the shop.

    - Power Steering Fluid Flush
    Every 60,000km/40,000m or if contaminated. Honda recommends using only genuine HONDA fluid. Using regular fluid is ok as long as you are not mixing them together. Also, if you have a high output vehicle with a more sensitive steering components, you should probably just stay with honda ATF.

    -Engine Oil
    Every 5000km/3000m. The more often you do it, the better. It doesn;t hurt to do it sooner if you wish. Use a well known mainstream brand (penzoil/quaker state is a good example), unless you race and know what you are using. Some exotic oils have additives (solids such as teflon) that can clog filters and cake on your crankcase. If you are using a regular oil, stick with it and try not to switch to a synthetic as it can cause a decaying effect on internal seals depending on how high your milage is. Using a synthetic BLEND is ok.

    - Fuel Injection Service
    Every 40,000km/30,000m
    It's very hard to find a shop that does this properly. The only service i've seen that works properly and make a noticeable difference is the Enginuety services. If you are unsure, you might just try filling up at Chevron all the time and letting the Techron concentrate clean your system.

    - PCV Valve
    Every 15,000km/10,000m

    - Fuel Filter
    Every 40,000km/30,000 miles or 5 years.

    - Air Filter
    Replace it when it's dirty! I'd recommend a K&N filter (unless you have an aftermarket intake) because they flow better and can be cleaned.

    - Spark plugs
    Every 40,000km/30,000m or if you have Platinum then double that. Inspect your plug often to make sure they are not over gapped or coated with oil. There's quite a science to spark plugs that I won't get into, but just by looking at them you can tell many things about someones engine.

    - Ignition, Spark Plug, High Tension (what ever name you are use to calling them) Wires
    Every 98,000km/65,000m. Use a good brand such as Bosch or NGK (Maganacore, Taylor, etc). Stay away from cheap brands such as Autolite. Along with wires, replace your Distributor cap and rotor.

    - Oxygen Sensor
    Test your 02 sensor switching rate every 80,000km/55,000m to make sure it isnt lazy.

    - Timing Belt
    Every 98,000km/65,000m. CRITICAL! Don't let this one go by! If it snaps, valves hit pistons and you engine could be toast!

    - Battery
    Every 5 years. Have it tested often. If the battery is bad, you alternator will constantly be working to charge it and will fail. Make sure your contacts remain clean and free of corrosion.

    - Shocks and Struts
    Every 98,000km/65,000m Of course, this depends on your driving habits. They may last longer or shorter, but this is the recommended interval.

    - Brakes
    They should be inspected every oil change. If you are not totally sure how to do brakes TAKE IT TO A SHOP! It's a safety issue. Find a shop that measures the brake pads in thirty-seconds of an inch and not %. Percentages usually mean diddly squat.

    - Tires
    Rotate them on a regular basis based on wear. (approx 10,000km or 6,000m) Make sure your best tires are on the front wheels, where your control comes from. Replace when tread is low. Make sure there is no high spots or buldges.

    - Wheel Berings
    Recommended every 60,000km/40,000m, although they usually last much longer on hondas.

    - Alignment
    Drive on a FLAT road and make sure there is no pull to one side. I've heard some shops say there should be a little bit of pull incase you fall asleep at the wheel you don't hit oncoming traffic. This is bull, stay away from shops that tell you this. Make sure the tires aren't wearing unevenly.

    - Flush Front/Rear Differential, Transfer case.
    Only if you have 4x4 (CRV) or a rear wheel drive (s2000), should you worry about this every 60,000km/40,000m.

    - Cabin Air Filter
    Only equiped on some vehicles. Replace if dirty (you dont wanna breathe that fungus).

    Other Service Items (check every oil change):

    - Drive belts/Serpentine belts
    Replace when belt has around 3 tiny cracks per inch, or when dry and old, or every 5 years. Make sure that the belt tensioners are doing their job.

    - Inspect your exhaust for leaks or corrosion.

    - Check marker and headlights, wiper blades, horn.

    - Check Engine mounts, ball joints, suspension, tie rods, bushings, parking brake.

    - Check for oil or fluid leaks, check to make sure coolant hoses are NOT soft and crunchy, check that clamps are on properly.

    Hope this helps. If anyone has questions, feel free to ask, or let me know if it seems i've missed anything.
     
  2. CiviKid

    CiviKid Post Whoralicious 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    got any how to info on flushing coolants, changing thermostats, (are performance thermostats worth it?) pvc vavles and such?
     
  3. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    Re: Recommend Vehicle Service Intervals.

    for PCV valve stuff you can check out this thread:
    http://www.clubcivic.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=2049

    The proper way to flush coolant is with a flush machine, otherwise you are just really draining and filling the system. If you want to drain and fill the system, disconnect the the lower rad hose when the engine is warm or if its cold, take out the thermostat or disconnect the heater hose. But I would strongly recommend getting the coolant flushed by a shop. I personally have not done it that way myself (drain and fill), i get it done with a flush machine at the shop.

    As for performance thermostats, unless you are a truck doing a lot of towing or if you are doing autocross/rally i'd stick with the stock thermostat. As long as you take care of your cooling system, it should be fine. As for taking out your thermostat which some people do, that's bad. Your engine has an optimum operating tempurature. (Fluids need to reach tempurate to evaporate moisture trapped inside) On a side note, a few times on hot days, really working my engine has not moved the temp one bit. That's with the puny stock radiator too. Honda has done a good job of designing their vehicles, but of course let me point out again that you must take care you your cooling system. If you notice temps rising or loss of coolant, get it checked out right away. If you are still worried about your cooling system, i'd invest in a better radiator. After that, my knowledge is limited. So if someone has more info performance cooling, post away.
     
  4. Je

    Je the white hatch Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    Re: Recommend Vehicle Service Intervals.

    Thanks caddy, i didnt know you work on car's. That how u know so much s**t
     
  5. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    I deal with all most of the service and its my job to know what going on with everything, but I actually am not one of the techs, so I don't exactly work on the cars, i just make sure the proper work gets done. Like test driving WRX's. :P
     
  6. anfrey

    anfrey OG スバリスト Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    i've put 50,000 miles in less than 2 years. and it seems like i missed some servicing... though everythign runs great.
     
  7. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    Remember that a lot is preventative maintenance. For instance, a battery that is marginal or bad, should be replaced right away because the alternator will constantly work to charge it when it just wont charge and that will burn out your alternator. Coolant flushes if not done in proper intervals can eat at gaskets, and slowly build up deposits in your radiator and engine block or take out a heater core. So just beacause you've skipped some mainenance and it's fine now, doesn't mean that it will last as long as if you did do it.
     
  8. anfrey

    anfrey OG スバリスト Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    yeah, that's what i've been thinking. i'm gonna have to do a lot of flushing, checking, and replacing when i get back to my car...
     
  9. St!cky F!ngaz

    St!cky F!ngaz New Member 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    Synthetic

    My just bought my car (2001 Civic LX Coupe) and it has 21,000 miles on it. I want to change to synthetic oil, but was wondering if at this point in time it is too late to "make the switch".
     
  10. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    21,000 miles is nothin. It won't hurt anything to make the switch. I'd be concerned more if it had like 120,000 miles or something.
     
  11. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Sesquipedalian 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    great info - thanks caddy!
     
  12. 98hatchfreak

    98hatchfreak New Member 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    caddy, what kind of high qualityoil would you recommend for a stock hatch?
     
  13. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    Regular or Synthetic?

    if its regular, any of the major brands are good. penzoil/quaker state/havoline

    synthetic, mobil 1, valvoline, AMS are all good brands
     
  14. anfrey

    anfrey OG スバリスト Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    i picked up some amsoil when i was down in florida... damn that s**t is nice... lasts a long time, and makes my engine feel much smoother... but maybe it was all in my mind
     
  15. CivicWI97

    CivicWI97 New Member 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    What does a transmission fluid flush entail? Any special stuff needed?
     
  16. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    To do it properly on an automatic tranny, a machine is needed. You can just drain and fill the fluid but half of the bad fluid is still in the torque converter. To do it properly you should find a shop that has a machine that can flush it. usually they'll use lots of tranny fluid (cuz its a detergent) and some sort of a varnish remover/cleaner and it will get your fluid back to the pink koolaid colour its supposed to be. As for a manual, drain and fill is fine.
     
  17. Kazuo

    Kazuo Pakalolo Member 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    good info caddy, im gonna start checkin up on all those stuff especially since my ride has a LOT of milage: 140k !!!

    I recently switched from reg oil to full synthetic. but after reading your tips im worried that maybe I shouldnt have done that.

    would a synthetic blend be okay or should i just go back to regular oil or can i stick with the full synthetic ?
     
  18. caddy

    caddy I found Waldo Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    with close to 140k of miles on it, i'd stick with regular or a synthetic blend, unless you've had a head rebuild recently with new seals and everything.
     
  19. Tom

    Tom honda.co.jp Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    working at a honda dealership in the parts dept, this is how honda books go

    every 7,500k miles
    1.oil change
    2.clean and adjust brakes
    3.rotate tires
    4.check parking brake adjustments
    5.inspect tie rod ends
    6.inspect suspension components
    7.inspect driveshaft boots
    8.inspect brake hoses, master cylinder, and abs systems
    9.check all fluid levels
    10.inspect cooling system
    11.inspect exhuast system
    12.inspect fuel system

    every 30k miles:
    1. plugs(unless plats or irid, then it's 110k miles)
    2.check tires
    3.rotor
    4.cap
    5.air filter
    6.cabin filter
    7.tranny fluid change
    8.check all fluid levels
    9.oil change
    10.clean and adjust brakes
    11.inspect and adjust drive belts
    12.inspect valve clearance
    13.check parking brake adjustment
    14.inspect tie rod ends
    15. inspect suspension components
    16inspect driveshaft boots
    17.inspect brake hoses, master cylinder, and abs system
    18.inspect cooling system
    19.inspect exhuast system
    20.inspect fuel system
    21.check idle speed
    22.replace brake fluid
    23.rotate tires

    at 45, 75, 105k miles
    1.coolant flush
    2.oil change
    3.check all fluid and fill if need
    4.clean and adjust brakes
    5.inspect and adjust brakes
    6.rotate tires
    7.check parking brake adjustment
    8.inspect tie rod ends
    9.inspect suspension
    10.inspect driveshaft boots
    11.inspect brake hoses, master cylinder, amd abs system
    12.inspect cooling system
    13.inspect exhuast
    14.inspect fuel system


    pcv valve every 60k miles
    water pump and timing belt every 90k miles
    wipers replaced 1 time every year or more if needed

    at least this is the schedule that th honda dealership i work at follows, most times customers just come in and ask to have a perticular thing done and we'll advise other things to be done, or techs check to see if there are service bulletins on cars that need more attention than others.
     
  20. Kjeldor

    Kjeldor New Member Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    what kind of oil do you guys recommend to put in when doing transmission oil change? just bought my car about 4 months ago and i have put in no more than 5k miles on it, it getting close to 90K miles.it is a 5 speed by the way
     


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