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Van Maintenance

May 22nd, 2016 at 08:35 am

We took our Honda Odyssey in to the dealership for some basic maintenance yesterday. Premium oil change (we are over 110K miles), tires rotated, and engine coolant flush. All were recommended based on the vehicle's maintenance minder. We had just changed the air filters a few months ago, so that wasn't necessary. We spent $225. And we had around $265 in our budget, so that was easy!

We've always felt that maintaining a vehicle is the best way to keep them long term. Our goal is to get another 6-7 years on our vehicles, when our youngest completes college.

Today, we need to get groceries for the days ahead. I'm only shopping for five days worth. We have company coming over Memorial Day, so we will shop again just before they arrive. I'm going to try to make simple meals this week as we have activities or meetings at least three nights this week. Simple usually is less expensive, too!

8 Responses to “Van Maintenance”

  1. snafu Says:

    While I agree with the importance of following maintenance for your specific vehicle, I wonder what you see as benefit from having the process carried out at the dealership. You are generally more mindful than most of how you use money so curiosity has me asking what advantages you've identified.

    Phil Edmundson who writes the Lemon Aid series, rails abut our system that pays both the teens and dealerships to practice procedures on unsuspecting car owners. Do you see any value in using the specialty oil changers who offer coupons and sales for the same services along with high trained staff? Specialty shops focus on flushing coolant, others AC and tire shops tell you more than you want to know about their products.

    A huge percentage of dealership's profit results from their over-the-top pricing of routine oil changes done by teens.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    We had a very bad experience at a 'off market' place for some maintenance (I think it was transmission fluid)...turns out Honda does that repair completely different than all other vehicles. They realized their mistake halfway through the process and sent me to the dealership. And that was a VERY bad drive...the van sounded awful! Never again will I trust my Honda's to someone who doesn't have the experience with them. And the oil changes aren't any more expensive at the dealership. That is a myth. Other services, maybe. But piece of mind and done right is most important to us.

    We also move around a lot, so by the time we may have heard good reviews from a private mechanic we are likely to be ready to move. It just saves us time and headaches to go to the dealer. And again, we don't see the price gouging you have indicated.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I agree, I get excellent service and fair prices at my Toyota dealership, as well as their enhanced expertise with the make. I've had more bad luck with private mechanics.

  4. snafu Says:

    thanks for the speedy responses and clear viewpoints. Sorry I wasn't very clear... I was thinking major franchises like Jiffi lube, Firestone tires, and big chain rad and AC flush operations. Those operations regularly have cost saving promotions. I watched the various teens in the high school practicum program do the oil changes on our Hondas [CRV and Accord] for years without a glance from the journeyman mechanic who signed off the worksheet/invoice.

    Only when I went to the lecture offered by Phil Edmundson did I realize the rip off. We've a friend who reviews dealerships for the J D Power organization and our group were trading stories about practices at various dealershipsl

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    We find dealers charge a lot more than specialty oil change shops. We had a bad experience at an oil change place. They drained the fluid from the manual transmission, then overfilled the oil because they thought they'd drained it, despite using their procedure check-off worksheet. This was not a well-trained, experienced staff. Rrgh.

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    Dealers probably do NOT hire inexperienced and untrained mechanics. You get what you pay for, and with expensive vehicles it does pay to maintain them with qualified people.

  7. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    We do all major services at the dealership. We had a bad experience replacing the engine valves some garage and it was terrible.

  8. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    Knock on wood ... I've not had a bad experience at a non- dealership mechanic.

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