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Regularly Scheduled Auto Maintenance

This article was written by in Consumer. 10 comments.

As I recently passed 20,000 miles on my 2004 Honda Civic, I decided it was time to take the car in for regular maintenance. The dealer suggests maintenance after every 7,500 miles, but I try to stretch it to every 10,000.

I go to the dealer where I bought the car in order to have maintenance done. It might be cheaper if I were to visit a local garage or Pep Boys, but I feel more comfortable with the dealer working on the car. It’s probably all psychological. Perhaps if I had some recommendations for another cheaper location, I would go with that option.

The maintenance visit cost about $230 and took less than two hours.

Updated March 5, 2014 and originally published April 4, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar savvy saver

What type of maintenance was required at 20,000 miles that cost $230? I’m asking because I have a 2001 Honda Civic that I bought new and I don’t recall ever doing any maintenance around 20,000 miles, much less something that cost that much. I’ve got over 70,000 miles now, and I’ll I’ve done is oil changes (ever 8-10,000 miles), one air filter, and a new set of tires.

Also, a word of advice… if you ever need new wiper blades, make sure you go to the dealer and get the Honda ones. They aren’t any more expensive and work much better than anything else.

avatar Luke Landes

The service they performed included:
* Oil change and filter
* Lubed caliper slide pins
* Replaced wiper inserts
* Retrotorqued suspension mounting bolts
* Visually inspected CV boots, drive axles and exhaust system

$182.40 for labor and $35.17 for necessary parts, plus tax. I’ve had bad vehicle experiences in the past, and I drive a large amount; I want to keep the car in tip top shape.

avatar Michael


I own (and my wife drives) a ’95 Accord. I work at dealership service department (albeit not Honda), and I have to tell you: You got not much of anything for the $230 you just spent.

If done at my place of employment:

Item 1: $28.05
Item 2: Maybe $15, if not gratis.
Item 3: $30
Item 4: Perhaps $12, if not gratis.
Item 5: No charge.

Obviously, prices vary with locale, and my area is about as cheap as it gets.

Honestly — my jaw dropped when I saw the price you paid.

avatar Luke Landes

Well that’s a healthy kick in the face. :> I neglected to mention they rotated the tires and checked the brakes, but I suppose that doesn’t make that much of a difference. I’ll do more research before my next service visit. Thanks for the heads up.

avatar Michael

No “kick in the face” intended, actually. Just an FYI, since I work in the biz.

The rotation is worth $16 in my area. Check brakes? No charge (w/rotate).

Gotta be careful with those major-mileage-interval services. Lots of room for dealers to work fluff in there. (It’s in ours, too, just not to THAT degree.)

avatar jim

“It’s probably all psychological.”

Trust your instincts dude… :)

Hey, at least you know for next time, imagine if you had done this for like forty years straight and only discovered it forty years later… then you’d really be pissed.

avatar fg

$230 sounds like a bad value – I have a 2000 civic – the big services there are every 30k or so for new plugs. the newer civics may take platinum plugs and go 100k between tuneups. It’s good to get brakes checked periodically to make sure you don’t score (ruin) rotors. Also the timing belt needs to be replaced between 60k and 100k (if it breaks the motor can be trashed)

avatar Luke Landes

Heh heh. My bad experiences (I’ve blown out two motors in my life) put in me in the mindset of trusting no one but the dealer (including myself). Perhaps I should search for a reputable local service station.

avatar savvy saver

Do you have a different Honda dealer you could take it to? Or even an Acura dealer? I always take my Civic to the dealer because they charge the same for Honda parts as most service stations charge for other brands.

avatar S/100/30

Hmm, I was under the impression that you had to get your maintenance checkups at the dealer to preserve the warranty.