Routine Maintenance - What does it consist of?

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Okay, I figure this is something anyone who owns a car should know - what routine maintenance should be performed on the vehicle, and about every "how long"?

Assuming we're talking about Hondas (specifically Accords), in case there's any discretion between vehicles.

I know the tire pressure should be checked. How often? What should all four tires read?

How often would tires be replaces, or how do you go about checking? I've heard of the penny between the treads, but not sure if this is viable.

Oil is still the typical 3k miles, right? Is this just getting oil in it, or actually changing the oil? And when you change the oil, you're supposed to do the filter, right?

Brakes end up getting done every what? Brake pads & brakes the same thing?

Whew, sorry guys, I know I have a lot of questions. I just wanna make sure I get all the basic stuff down. :screwy:

posted by  Downward Spiral

Havn't you heard? Honda's last forever....anyway, look in your owners manual.

posted by  bigfrye

I lost the damn thing. Any online owner's manual in a .pdf format I could download? I'm gonna check Google now, but perhaps you know of a place?

posted by  Downward Spiral

Just do a visual inspection. Don't smell your oil, but smell your transmission fluid...tests your coolant, its usually fairly simple.

posted by  bigfrye

May be simple, but I don't even know that stuff. How should the tranny fluid smell?

What exactly are coolants? The fluids I know of are oil, transmission, antifreeze, and brake fluid. Anything in there where you're talking about?

posted by  Downward Spiral

i wouldn't stick to smelling the trans fluid usually when you that you're trying to smell if its burnt which means you're having trans problems. I usually check it by color if it looks to brown(on white paper) its time for a flush, another good idea would be to flush it and then keep a maintance log so you now when it was last done and when the next flush is due. As far as coolant its just another name for antifreeze.

posted by  carlos

What exactly does the antifreeze do? I mean, the name probably suggests the goal of it, but how does it work, and what harm can it bring if it's not used?

posted by  Downward Spiral

Definitely helped me, tbax. Where could I go for some car 101, to learn what some of the stuff means and whatnot?

posted by  Downward Spiral

to a mechanic lol
dad
mom even
shop teacher in school?
some colledges offer small auto 101 courses cheap

posted by  windman

I don't trust mechanics, my dad passed away recently, my mom knows nothing about cars, and I'm currently not in school. I suppose once I start in Spring I could try to find an auto 101 course, but I was more looking for an online resource. Maybe I could buy some "Automotive Care For Dummies" book. I'm sure they have something like that.

posted by  Downward Spiral

Check here. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/

posted by  97Talonchik

auto 101 for dummies
1 make sure it has oil in it
2 make sure the oil is inside the engine not in the trunk
3 make sure the engine has coolant
4 see rule 2
5 make sure transmission has addequate fluid
6 see rule 2
6b if none of the above apply make sure the chain has oil and keep pedeling
hehe sorry

posted by  windman

oh tire pressure
read the side of the tire
im pretty sure it says 32 lbs pressure

posted by  windman

you sure have a hate on for mechanics...why?

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Oil every 3000 miles
Air filter every 12000 miles
Pretty much the most routine stuff. Everything else just wears out with time.

posted by  newyorker

Oil needs to be changed with the filter every 3000 miles. What about just putting more oil in (i.e., when the dip stick shows it's low and needs a quart or two)? I mean, what's the real difference?

To my knowledge it's that when you just put oil in, some has burned off and it just needs to be replenished. As for changing it, you drain all the oil that's in it, and put completely new oil in.

Why would you have to add new oil if you're just going to drain it and put new stuff in every 3000 miles? Or do you usually not have to put in new oil within 3000 miles?

posted by  Downward Spiral

if it goes low, there is a leak or is being burned, and top it up because eventually it'll go low enough to damage the motor and regardless of topping it up, changing the oil completely is essential to long engine life

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Huh? Why would you put in new oil when you drain the old oil and put the new oil in? I don't get your last paragraph.

The oil should be changed every 3,000 miles along with the filter. This is done by completely draining it, and then pouring new oil in and replacing the filter. The old oil will look dark and dirty, but that's the way it should be.

As far as adding oil, I'd be careful about that. Although you should check once in a while, usually it's not a problem since oil only majorly burns if something is improper. In this case you might want to take it to a mechanic or find out why it's happening. If you decide to just add the oil, be careful. If you over-add it, it won't start.

posted by  Nissan_Altima

Nicely said you are learning well. Also it is important to check the oil level once in a while. Do this when the car is on a perfectly flat level, and with the engine warmed up. I would also check the Transmission fluid..car must be started and warmed up for both. If you dont know how to check oil level..
1. pull dipstick
2. wipe clean
3. reinsert for a second or 2
4 check level

posted by  newyorker

... something you're familiar with?

posted by  windsonian

You're supposed to check both the oil and tranny while the car is running? I was told that you're not supposed to do it running. No idea why, though.

What's the device called to check the tire pressure? I've seen a mechanic use one before - they press it into the canal (where you fill it with air) and it jettisons a little device ******d, showing the air pressure. That's what I need to check tire pressure, right? It was the size of a pen or so.

posted by  Downward Spiral

Tire pressure gauge? :wink2:
http://www.faster-motocross.com/images/15-1201lg.jpg
I don't think the car should be running for an oil check...I think he meant just warm the engine up, and turn it off...

posted by  chris_knows

Yeah engine WARM, not running.

You really should look up the information from your car, get the Haynes manual or buy the original manual from Honda. Every car is different. Current BMW's only need oil changes every 15,000 miles or something like that, not the typical 3000, which isnt really that typical for any car anymore.

Other regular maintenance includes:

Oil and Filter Change
Transmission fluid change
Brake flush
Cooling System Flush
Checking tire wear and setting pressure. (don't check on the tire, this will only display the max pressure, such as 51 PSI. You don't want to set it that high. The tire pressures will probably be displayed on the door, or in the manual, duh)
Air filter replace
Micron filter replace (depends)
Timing belt replace
Accessory and A/C belts replace
Spark Plugs replace

Like I said, everything depends on the car. You really need to get a hold of the official information, or just take the car to a dealership.

posted by  Mathew

Would a car owner manual have all the routine maintenance that needs to be done?

Is it possible to do brake flushes on your own? I assume a flush is just draining out all the fluid in there, then putting in new stuff. This is to be done with the tranny, brakes, oil (an oil change), antifreeze/cooling system (same thing?).

What did you mean by check tire wear, but don't check on the tire? I got a little confused by that. I can just get a pressure gauge, check each tire and as long as it sits between 32-34, I'm good, right? I'm assuming some tires could be different, though...

Thanks for all the help so far, everyone!

posted by  Downward Spiral

Checking my oil? Umm yea I do it for all of our cars......... :screwy:

posted by  newyorker

[QUOTE=Mathew]Yeah engine WARM, not running.

You really should look up the information from your car, get the Haynes manual or buy the original manual from Honda. Every car is different. Current BMW's only need oil changes every 15,000 miles or something like that, not the typical 3000, which isnt really that typical for any car anymore.







Our Honda is 7500 miles.

posted by  jshort74

just drive it like ya stoled it
worry about it later
like my wife does

posted by  windman

You won't be able to do a brake flush on your own. Have a mechanic do a check and find out what it needs. A mechanic can check if a car needs a brake flush by the colour of the fluid. They can also check everything else. You probably won't be able to do any of the fluid changes on your own, considering your experience.

I said don't check the side of the tire for the pressure (as windman mentioned). This only displays the maximum pressure. Yes you wan't around 32 PSI, but like I said its different for every car. Thats why you need the information. As for tire wear, this refers to the remaining tread. I think the standard minimum is like 3 mm, but AGAIN, car specific.

posted by  Mathew

If you don't want to get screwed, take it to a Honda dealer. They will charge you more for labour, but are less likely to recommend something you don't really need. Otherwise, find a friend who has a trusted mechanic, and take your car there with your friend. Apart from that not all mechanics are bad...just a few of the shady ones that give the rest of us a bad name... :doh:

posted by  Mathew

.... I think you missed the joke

look at the bits of your post that I quoted....

posted by  windsonian

I'm going to have my uncle teach me how to change my oil and filter the next time my car needs it done. He's great with cars - takes 'em apart and completely rebuilds them. Hopefully I can figure out how to do some of the basic stuff, so I can save some time and money.

Where can I buy a tire pressure gauge? Anywhere like Pepboys?

I know not all mechanics are bad, but cynicism somes with existentialism, so I'm very wary of people who "specialize" in an area, especially since it's easy to misinform or deceive individuals just looking to get by. I had a similar problem with an orthopedic surgeon relating to three bulging discs in my lower back. Luckily, that's an area I was well-informed in. Tore him a new one, I did. I went in dere an' was all "dem'z fightin' words". :laughing: :screwy:

posted by  Downward Spiral

O kids humor...very predictable from you and the others here. I thought you were among the smart ones. :banghead:

posted by  newyorker

Keep doing that and you won't be, either. :thumbs:

posted by  Downward Spiral

Kids's humour? You are the kid, moron. Its a little late to start trying to convince us you're the smart one.

posted by  Mathew

Am I trying to?

posted by  newyorker

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