This is my first car and i recently brought when the mileage was 25,000 on it. Now it is 30,000 and i need to get it serviced. I called Honda showroom and couple of other places and they are charging me around $300+, which seems ridiculously high. What are the things they usually do for a 30,000 mile service and how much is reasonable to pay?
The 30k service, as performed by a Honda Dealer, would consist of the following things: First and foremost a basic oil change service. This includes oil and filter, adjustment of tire pressures, and an inspection of the underside of the vehicle(suspension and steering, exhaust, etc), the topping off of any fluids, and a check of all front and rear lights. Normally, as part of an oil change service, the air filter would be inspected. This step is overlooked because the air filter is replaced at 30k miles(inm 15k mile intervals).
The next step would be to pull the wheels off and check the brake system. On the 2005 Civic that would be to visually inspect the front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Some dealer service centers will clean and lube the front and rear brakes, but this is not generally required unless the brakes are squeaking. If you did want to clean and lube the brakes you would clean and lube where the pad and caliper surfaces meet, and where the shoes and backing plate meet in the rear. Also part of the rear clean and lube is an adjustment. Between the two brake shoes you will see an adjuster. Rotate the adjustment wheel until there is a slight drag on the drum. This may require some fiddling to get just right. Remember, too much drag will cause your rear brakes to wear out more quickly and too little will cause poor brake performance in the rear. If your car seems to brake well, I'd recommend omitting this step.
The last mechanical step is to rotate the tires. Typically on a front wheel drive vehicle the front tires will go to the opposite corner in the rear, and the rear tires will move directly forward to the front axle.
The last step you will want to take is to clear the "maint req'd" light. To do this you hold the odometer reset button and turn the key to the on position. The "maint req'd light will flash several times and then turn off. The light will not clear if your headlights are on. At this point the service is complete. You will want to make note that in 5k miles you will be due for another oil change.
Assuming the service center's labor rate is around 100-120 dollars an hour, 300 dollars does not seem terribly high.