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So I have a 2009 Honda Civic and it's getting close to 60k in miles. I know there is a big maintenance that's supposed to be done at that level, and I've been quoted for $400 for it at my local Honda dealership. My question is, if I have a quite well maintained Civic, what is the minimal set of services that you would definitely recommend over things that are optional and possibly overrated? For instance, perhaps those would seem to be really worth it:

  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Spark plug replacement

Versus others that may be just superfluous?

My car is well maintained:

  • Wheels are very new (within last 1 ~ 2 years and already rotated front to back)
  • Oil changes regularly
  • Brake pads are also replaced recently (within 6 months)
  • I already had 30k maintenance

So given this, what would be the most cost-effective set of maintenance services for 60k miles?

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Generally speaking, the dealer should be able to adjust the cost to only perform maintenance on items that are actually needed. They should check the coolant, and other fluids, and only recommend replacing what needs to be replaced.

The brake pads may have been replaced already, but the fluid does need to be flushed and replaced every few years, regardless of mileage. Spark plugs probably do not need replaced, until 100K miles. If they do need replaced, then it's probably a good sign that something else is out of normal operating parameters for the engine as well. The coolant system also needs a flush and fill every few years. If you've got an automatic transmission, it might also be the right time for it to be flushed and replaced as well.

Battery and alternator are also good things to have checked at this time. They don't last forever, and if the battery has not yet been replaced in the car, it might be getting close to needing replacement as well.

Suspension components may have worn down as well and should be inspected. Bearings, hubs, and ball joints may need replaced, depending on how it's been driven for those 60K miles, and on what types of roads, and such.

The 60K recommended service is recommended for good reason. The actions specified in the service should be performed.

  • Thanks, good info. I wish the car had good enough sensors to just lay everything out exactly in terms of what needs to be changed vs not. :) – Uzumaki Naruto Aug 27 '14 at 18:13
  • Sometimes trained finger, ear, and eye sensors need to be used. :) – dobey Aug 27 '14 at 19:08
  • Is a cambelt change specified? Cambelts and cooling systems are the two most critical things to keep in good condition. They cause expensive damage when they fail. – Captain Kenpachi Jul 23 '15 at 9:13
  • @JuannStrauss You will need to consult the owner or service manual, but timing belts on more modern vehicles, such as 2009 models, typically have timing belt replacement specified in the 100K+ mileage service ranges. – dobey Jul 23 '15 at 14:27
  • The OP gave his mileage in miles, not kilometers. – Captain Kenpachi Jul 23 '15 at 14:42
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You mention timing-belt - I would stick to what the manufacturer recomends. A little early is fine but try not to go over the recommend time/mileage

Note: I thought Honda civic had a chain not a belt and the chain was rated for 300,000 miles, i.e. significantly longer than the rest of the car...

regularly change air-filter, maybe every 3k-5k - trivially easy, takes 5 minutes, cost you $10 and improves your mileage/mpg by maybe 10% so easily pays for itself in reduced gas costs.

I've been told that changing oil/oil-filter more often than the maintanace schedule will significantly extend the engine's life, again was recommended every 5k by a mechanic friend, he would also only use semi-synthetic or fully-synthetic oil, but other people reckon good quality mineral oil is fine and synthetic is unnecessary for a car engine.

Further notes: 1) You need to change the brake fluid about every 2 years (based on time not on distance, it gets waterlogged from condensation in the air)

2) Spark plugs - probably good to do these, will help with better combustion and its not a difficult job. Doing these early makes sense if you are a handy person with correct tools. Will improve fuel economy and may restore a few lost ponies as well.

3) worth to drain out the transmission fluid from automatic transmission (you will only get out about 2 quarts of the total 6 quarts that are inside it). Then refill with MUST BE Genuine Honda Auto Transmission Fluid. Personal experience - did this on my Civic, it had a slightly noticeable shudder when shifting gears before, which has now gone away and is nice and smooth. I have read on internet of other people with similar experiences. And yes, the Honda recommendation is only every 60k miles for the first service then moving to 40k miles after that.

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A little known fact, even by the dealer is that there is an external trans. filter in the lines to the cooler. My Element and my Civic both have it. Honda parts man said there was not one. BIG deal, make sure you change it every 50K.

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