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I have serviced my Honda Jazz 2007 model for the last year now. Basically: every 10,000km, I replace the oil, oil filter, air filter and air-conditioning filter. Every 50,000km or so, I replace the platinum spark plugs.

I would like to learn more about my car, and would like to service it myself. But I am worried that I might be missing important stuff that will eventually come up and cost me a lot. As an example: not checking the clutch/belts might cause them to suddenly break one day and ruin the engine.

My question: how can you be assured that you are not missing important stuff when servicing a car yourself? And/or is there some type of guide online that teaches you everything you need to know about servicing a car yourself (something like this would help a lot!)?

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The first place to look is your car handbook - somewhere near the back should be the service schedule, which will list which things need to be checked on each service. Usually a big table with the service intervals on one axis and the items on the other, with marks under each item and the corresponding interval.

The next place always used to be the service manual, but these are getting harder to get hold of these days - companies like Haynes used to do one for virtually every car, but that doesn't seem to be the case now (there isn't one for my Avensis for example). You might be able to get hold of an electronic one from ebay or similar.

Owners forums are a good place to look - often someone will have written a specific guide for each model they cover, and there will usually be people who know when to deviate from the official schedule (e.g. "it says change the timing belt at 95,000 miles, but we've found it better to do it every 80,000" or "while you're changing the timing belt, do the water pump gasket at the same time, even though it's not due yet, but it's much easier to get to")

  • This. The manual will show everything, and if you look online you can probably find a copy of the actual service manual provided to the Honda dealerships/mechanics too. One thing you didn't mention but should absolutely check is the wear on your brake pads & discs, and you should also replace the brake fluid once it's dirty. – Matt Lacey Nov 28 '19 at 0:06
  • Thank you Nick for the great answer! And thanks Matt for the comment on brake fluid, and yes, I do check brakes as well :). Any other "basic" service stuff I should be aware of Matt? I will check the manual and everything like Nick said. – Frank Nov 28 '19 at 10:37

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