Author Topic: Schedule Auto Maintenance  (Read 5379 times)

Balance

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Schedule Auto Maintenance
« on: February 19, 2012, 12:06:06 AM »
I constantly get bombarded with emails from my local Honda Dealerships regarding scheduled maintenance deals.  And to "not wait until something bad happens" ads. I wonder how many Mustachians buy a scheduled maintenance for their cars or do they just do it themselves.  I normally do my own oil changes/air filter changes and tire rotations.  That is about all I can do with my limited mechanic ability.  But my 2006 Civic is nearing 100k miles and I am wondering if I should do the 100k recommended service. I drive a lot for my business and I can't afford to be late for appointments since it can potentially cost me good clients.  I plan on keeping this car for 10-15 years and I am already on year 6. This generation Civic does not require a timing belt replacement since it now has a timing chain that is much more durable.

It just seems crazy that some dealerships will charge you $800+ for a 100k service that involves mostly checking fluids/levels and only replacing the oil/air filters and spark plugs (but extra if it is platinum).

What is the community's take on this?

sulaco

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 08:59:46 AM »
I'd also be interested in hearing how valuable services beyond regular oil changes are.

I was faced with this same issue just yesterday with a car at 100k miles, and broke down and got the service ($200), primarily because it included several things I didn't feel comfortable doing myself as well as even more which I could have done.

While there we got a laundry list of things which they thought should be done to the car totalling over $2k. Nearly $1k of the work could be done for less than $100 in parts and a free Saturday.

I've asked family members who are mechanics about the service, and they recommended it, but they also had a vested interterest in having people bring their cars in for the service.

kolorado

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 09:05:19 AM »
We have a 2000 caravan and a 2006 Hyundai. We've never taken them in for maintenance. We don't even do it ourselves. The guys at our car center do a nice check of all the basics included with our $20 oil change(coupon price). We've had no problems doing it this way because we trust the knowledgeable guys at our car center.
 I don't know how much a regular maintenance appointment is but considering all the years we've never "needed" one and have never needed work, I think it falls under unnecessary insurance. And we know how MMM feels about insurance.

JJ

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 07:35:28 PM »
I know Balance doesn't have to worry about a timing belt replacement, but they are an excellent example of maintenance you should just get done on time every time to save big $s down the track and to keep you and your family alive.  They do wear out.  When they break it is usually new engine time.  My folks were out of pocket $7000 for a new engine from a ($800 fitted) timing belt breaking (joys of a near new car - too much invested to retire it and buy a new one).   If you don't know what you are doing, you also really need to get the important bits (which keep you on the road and help you stop in a hurry) checked from time to time (tyres, brakes, steering linkages).  Again, these wear - steering can get sloppy without you noticing - you gradually adjust.  If you are involved in an accident with an unroadworthy vehicle its probably going to be your fault whatever actually happened, and you will probably be abandoned by your insurer whatever actually happened.

I don't mean join the scaremongers - by all means maintain your car if you are competent, but know your limitations.  Know the difference between badassity and dumbassity.

Chris

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 08:33:05 PM »
I know Balance doesn't have to worry about a timing belt replacement, but they are an excellent example of maintenance you should just get done on time every time to save big $s down the track and to keep you and your family alive.  They do wear out.

I'll second this. I'm surely against unnecessary maintenance, but c'mon, rubber parts are going to wear out, whether you drive a lot or not. And if that part breaking on a highway will cause a dangerous situation, I think safety needs to be prioritized.

And you don't need to fork over full-price to have this done: wait for a coupon to come around and line-item void any parts of the service that aren't necessary.  If you can do an oil change yourself, no need to pay $20+ for someone else to do it, just because it's listed under the 100k mi service. You can also buy the parts yourself (wait for Advance Auto Parts to run one of their 40% off sales) and have the shop install them for you (local shop, not a dealer).

Mike Key

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 06:19:54 AM »
Every man, and even a lady mustachian who can turn a wrench should learn some basic car car and maintenance.

This includes, learning to check and change your own oil. (Seriously not difficult folks). Learning to know when, and how to change your own breaks. Properly greasing fittings and joints. Knowing how to replace radiator fluid and how to check it. Knowing how to check brake fluid. Knowing how to change the fluid in your transmission. (Typically only ever needs done at 100K)

Knowing how to clean battery terminal posts. How to jump start your car properly. How to rotate your tires. You should know your what the tire pressure is suppose to be for your car and how to check it. (Hint it's not the PSI rating on the tire, but whats written on the drivers side door, sometimes the door post.) You should know how to change a flat tire. How to replace your fuel filter and air filter.

How to replace a fuse and change the lightbulbs on your car is another great one to learn.

Buy a Hanyes Manual for you car. Buy some mechanic gloves, unless you like greasy hands. Get some tools. LEARN by DOING.

Here's another hint, buy your motor oil at Walmart. But do not buy their cheapo brand, it is GARBAGE. However I have noticed autopart stores purposely sell incorrect amounts of motor oil at higher prices than Walmart sells on the self.

For example, Walmart sells a 5 Quart jug of Mobile 1 for $15.00 on average, and over at Autozone, they sell some weirdo 1 gallon jug (That LOOKS JUST LIKE THE ONE AT WALMART) that actually is actually 4 quarts, and most of the time it costs more. So you'll need to actually buy 1 quart off the shelf, which typically costs $3. This is deceptively annoying IMO. I actually only buy my filters and parts behind the counter at these places. I refuse to buy any fluids from them.

So there is my advice. Car Maintenance is important. But remember folks, its CALLED THE STEALERSHIP for a reason.

BTW, those $15 and $13 oil changes, are probably putting the cheapest POS oil filters and oil into your car, possibly ruining it, doing damage to the engine and decreasing the operating lifespan of your vehicle. They are not worth the time of day.

DOCUMENT everything. This sounds silly and pointless, but you can use it for leverage when you want to sell your car. You just pull it out and go, here is when everything was done to the car. BAM. Then people know the car was well maintained, and you can charge more for the peace of mind they'll get.

Rich M

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 07:38:59 PM »
I have to almost agree on everything here but I have a different opinion (experience) on the fluids.

I changed the oil for years on my vehicle myself.  Fussed with driving to the parts store, getting oil all over me (yes, I'm messy), having the containers to store it, then taking the oil back to reclaim it.  This was the 1990s.

Then I realized one day that I hardly drive --> I hardly change oil--> I store and fuss with items that just create more problems for me in the long term.

Oil and transmission fluid changes (especially with a flush) are the one thing that I feel in life, for my lifestyle, are worth having a person with the proper facility to do the job.  I spend the $35, and put the record in my documents.  I spent an extra $20 bucks by not doing it myself. 

And why, when a car only needs a transmission fluid change every 100,000 miles, would I want to take the time to learn and figure out a messy job that might be twenty years from now?  I had the attitude 15 years ago but not anymore.  Besides, in my experience, changing tranny fluid is one of the most messy jobs on a car. I can see why a mechanic charges so much.

You might claim that some might use cheap oil and filters but reputable places disclose the materials and I have to beg to differ that the products are crap.  If they were, the car warranties would explicitly put in the warranties that if the products were used, it would void the warranties.  This might follow under,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act

However, I agree about all the other tasks on fixing cars.  Lights, fuzes, wipers, batteries, brakes, etc.


Every man, and even a lady mustachian who can turn a wrench should learn some basic car car and maintenance.

This includes, learning to check and change your own oil. (Seriously not difficult folks). Learning to know when, and how to change your own breaks. Properly greasing fittings and joints. Knowing how to replace radiator fluid and how to check it. Knowing how to check brake fluid. Knowing how to change the fluid in your transmission. (Typically only ever needs done at 100K)

Knowing how to clean battery terminal posts. How to jump start your car properly. How to rotate your tires. You should know your what the tire pressure is suppose to be for your car and how to check it. (Hint it's not the PSI rating on the tire, but whats written on the drivers side door, sometimes the door post.) You should know how to change a flat tire. How to replace your fuel filter and air filter.

How to replace a fuse and change the lightbulbs on your car is another great one to learn.

Buy a Hanyes Manual for you car. Buy some mechanic gloves, unless you like greasy hands. Get some tools. LEARN by DOING.

Here's another hint, buy your motor oil at Walmart. But do not buy their cheapo brand, it is GARBAGE. However I have noticed autopart stores purposely sell incorrect amounts of motor oil at higher prices than Walmart sells on the self.

For example, Walmart sells a 5 Quart jug of Mobile 1 for $15.00 on average, and over at Autozone, they sell some weirdo 1 gallon jug (That LOOKS JUST LIKE THE ONE AT WALMART) that actually is actually 4 quarts, and most of the time it costs more. So you'll need to actually buy 1 quart off the shelf, which typically costs $3. This is deceptively annoying IMO. I actually only buy my filters and parts behind the counter at these places. I refuse to buy any fluids from them.

So there is my advice. Car Maintenance is important. But remember folks, its CALLED THE STEALERSHIP for a reason.

BTW, those $15 and $13 oil changes, are probably putting the cheapest POS oil filters and oil into your car, possibly ruining it, doing damage to the engine and decreasing the operating lifespan of your vehicle. They are not worth the time of day.

DOCUMENT everything. This sounds silly and pointless, but you can use it for leverage when you want to sell your car. You just pull it out and go, here is when everything was done to the car. BAM. Then people know the car was well maintained, and you can charge more for the peace of mind they'll get.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 07:45:18 PM by Rich M »

Mike Key

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 10:04:30 PM »
You might claim that some might use cheap oil and filters but reputable places disclose the materials and I have to beg to differ that the products are crap.  If they were, the car warranties would explicitly put in the warranties that if the products were used, it would void the warranties.  This might follow under,

If I took my Audi to Jiffy Lube, they'll put crappy 5w30 in my car, most likely 100% petro based and not synthetic. It will kill my turbo and make the car run like crap. Plus they'll use a crappy fram or worse filter. How do you think they pay for the place, pay a mechanic and change your oil for $35.00. But cutting the largest expense in bulk. The products they put into your car.

The stealership will use oil/filter that is correct to avoid paying those warranty fees. It's the chain places that I wouldn't take certain types of cars too.

Finding a good shop will also solve this problem in most cases. It's the crappy chain oil places that I personally feel are not worth your money if you want to pay to have it done.

kolorado

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 05:45:32 AM »
Well in response to Mikey, you may very well be right if you're talking about a fine engine on a fine car. But I'm talking about a 2000 Dodge and a 2006 Hyundai. We also drive very little and have 3-4 oil changes yearly between our two vehicles. Maybe we're just incredibly lucky but our cheapo oil changes haven't hurt our vehicles after all these years of ownership. In all the years we've owned these cars, doing it ourselves would only have saved about $200 when you factor in the cost of oil & filters, and the appropriate tools.

Mike Key

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 06:17:29 AM »
Well in response to Mikey, you may very well be right if you're talking about a fine engine on a fine car. But I'm talking about a 2000 Dodge and a 2006 Hyundai. We also drive very little and have 3-4 oil changes yearly between our two vehicles. Maybe we're just incredibly lucky but our cheapo oil changes haven't hurt our vehicles after all these years of ownership. In all the years we've owned these cars, doing it ourselves would only have saved about $200 when you factor in the cost of oil & filters, and the appropriate tools.

One of the reasons why I just sold my Audi. Tired of having to put fancy crap in it.

Matt K

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Re: Schedule Auto Maintenance
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 06:51:48 AM »
Its been said many times, but I'll repeat it. Read Your Manual.

One of the reasons I chose my car is that it has a very simple and inexpensive maintenance schedule for a turbo. 6 months or 5000kms (which ever comes first) between inspections and fluid changes. But what does my (otherwise stellar) dealership put on the sticker in my windshield? A date three months from now. Having taken previous (cheap) cars to the cheap oil changers, they don't even bother looking at the manufacturer guide lines, they write down 3 months or 3000kms.

Your owners manual will have a maintenance schedule in it, and probably even a log for work done. Use both. Get the work done when it should be done, but don't trust the sticker in your window. In my case, reading my manual saves me from $180 in pointless maintenance every year. If you've got a new VW Golf (which only needs oil done once a year) you've be saving $300 (based on my local VW dealership rate of $100 for an oil change and inspection - yes it is highway robbery).

Brake Pads
This is slightly off topic, but I wanted to mention it anyways: Brake pads are not rated by material, ONLY by contact area. Chances are your OEM brake pads ($80 a pair for my old Mazda 6) are made of some pretty serious stuff. For slightly less money ($70 a pair) you can go to a real tuner shop and get a high end street pad made of even more serious stuff (but it is louder, creates more dust, and wears out faster - but man does it stop you in a hurry).
But, if you go to El Cheapo Auto, the pads they sell you for $30 are not going to be made of the same material. They may last a really long time, but that is because they are made of crap and don't slow you down worth ****.
If you ever by a used car from a shady dealer connected to a garage, the brake pads they install can cost as little as $3 a pair. These will still pass a safety test. They are legal, but in many cases will drastically increase the stopping distance, and possibly fade* much easier.

*Brake fade is when the brake pads heat up and loose braking power. It happens to all brakes, good OEM brakes will probably experience it at the track, but not on the road. Street pads should handle track day usage, but not all out racing. Cheapo pads could see it happen in just a few hard stops in quick succession (jack rabbiting through rush hour traffic - not that any MMM reader would be an asshat and jack rabbit through rush hour traffic).