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some maintenance related questions


harryhk
02-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Dear All:

I have an 98 honda accord Ex. with 110,000 miles on it. I checked the user manual recently, and it lists a lot of maintenance things needed to be done. But before I start doing those, I want to seek people's advice from here.

1. For the spark plugs. My car drives well so far. Should I replace them or wait until some spark plugs died?

2. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant. I checked the transmission fluid. It has a clear redish color, which means it is not dirty. Also, my brakes and coolant work fine too. I am just wondering whether I should replace them. My car is a second hand car. So I don't know how well it was maintained before me.
As one of my friend told me he only change oil regularly, and his car runs fine for 200,000 miles. So I am really wondering if those replacements are necessary.

Also, in the Manual, it always recommended to use Honda genuine brake fluid, Honda genuine transmission fluid, etc which could only got from Honda deal. I am wondering if these were necessary too.

Thanks in advance,
Kun

CivicSpoon
02-06-2012, 03:52 PM
Never wait until the spark plugs are dead, that will leave you stranded somewhere, with a car that is hard to start and dies at stop lights/signs. Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every 30,000 miles or every 2 years. I'd recommend checking the plugs before replacing them. Make sure they aren't too white or gray, make sure the insulator isn't melted or anything, make sure they are still gapped properly, and make sure the electrode isn't damaged. If you do replace them, make sure to get the stock NGK plugs. Don't be fooled by overpriced plugs with crazy power gain claims, and also don't cheap brand plugs (you'll replace them fairly quickly). And don't buy them from the dealership, autoparts stores sell the same ones for cheaper.

As for coolant, I wouldn't bother until it's time to replace your timing belt and water pump (you should replace the pump when you do the timing belt).

For brake fluid, you can just wait until it starts turning a darker color. But of course at that point it has already been broken down. Any aftermarket brand will do, it's really not that big of a deal.

The transmission fluid sounds like it's perfectly fine. If it starts getting darker, or metal bits in it, replace it. If you do replace it, I actually would recommend using the Honda brand fluid, it's quality stuff.

jeffcoslacker
02-06-2012, 06:55 PM
DOT 4 for brake fluid change...compatible with DOT 3 but higher boiling point and resists holding moisture better. DOT 5 is silicone fluid, never use this, it won't play nice with any conventional fluid left in the system.

Like Spoon says, even the platinum plugs will look pretty good at 100k miles but still need to be replaced before they cause problems. Use NGK or Denso, do NOT put Bosch platinum or Splitfire or any of that trash in it or I'll come slap you.

You can buy Honda spec trans fluid anywhere, don't have to get it from a dealer. It costs a little more than Dexron but Hondas changed with Dexron tend to shift funny and I suspect wear quicker too...

Hell, even neglected and abused, a Honda will go 200,000 miles...treated well they can go way beyond that. My wife's '95 Accord has about 275,000 now and still runs great. I did a partial trans fluid change at 250,000, we got the car from my mom, I think they had it changed at 90k when they did the timing belt and water pump.

But overall I'd be more concerned about the condition of the timing belt than any of this other stuff, unless it's been done already. I don't know what the interval for yours was...but somewhere between 90,000 and 115,000 I'm pretty sure.

harryhk
02-07-2012, 02:09 PM
DOT 4 for brake fluid change...compatible with DOT 3 but higher boiling point and resists holding moisture better. DOT 5 is silicone fluid, never use this, it won't play nice with any conventional fluid left in the system.

Like Spoon says, even the platinum plugs will look pretty good at 100k miles but still need to be replaced before they cause problems. Use NGK or Denso, do NOT put Bosch platinum or Splitfire or any of that trash in it or I'll come slap you.

You can buy Honda spec trans fluid anywhere, don't have to get it from a dealer. It costs a little more than Dexron but Hondas changed with Dexron tend to shift funny and I suspect wear quicker too...

Hell, even neglected and abused, a Honda will go 200,000 miles...treated well they can go way beyond that. My wife's '95 Accord has about 275,000 now and still runs great. I did a partial trans fluid change at 250,000, we got the car from my mom, I think they had it changed at 90k when they did the timing belt and water pump.

But overall I'd be more concerned about the condition of the timing belt than any of this other stuff, unless it's been done already. I don't know what the interval for yours was...but somewhere between 90,000 and 115,000 I'm pretty sure.

Thanks a lot for the reply. What does the partial trans fluid change mean?

Yes, you are right. I think the timing belt may be more of a concern now. I will try to replace them soon.

Thanks a lot.
Kun

jeffcoslacker
02-09-2012, 08:21 PM
Thanks a lot for the reply. What does the partial trans fluid change mean?



Just what comes out when you drain it, with no attempt to drain the torque convertor or transcooler. Most transmissions you get 1/3 to 1/2 or so of the total fluid when you just drain the sump.

Very few modern cars have a drain on the torque convertor anymore...but in general the TC holds around as much as the rest of the tranny, but has to be drained separately.

Now a lot of places do transmission fluid service by means of fluid exchange, they remove the tranny cooler lines from the radiator and hook them to a machine that pushes a cleaner and new fluid in one side, while pumping the old fluid out through the other line. Just like how we used to backflush cooling systems.

I personally am opposed to this kind of service...when done this way, they are in effect pushing anything in the filter or sump screen backwards through the whole hydraulic circuit and out the other end (theoretically)...it just goes against my feelings that any debris is best left in the filter until actually removed and cleaned or replaced. The idea of dislodging it and hoping it makes it all the way out before they refill the tranny just seems wrong to me. I suppose it would be ok for a regular service every 30,000 miles or something, when heavy sludging and wear solids are minimal, but do it to a tranny with 100,000+ miles worth of crud in the sump would be asking for trouble in my opinion.

If you've ever wiped the heavy grey solid residue out of a tranny pan, it's hard to picture that stuff flowing willingly under fluid exchange pressure. Also there's a magnet in most pans that catches all the large metallic shreds from planet gearset and sprag wear, and any tranny with some miles on it has quite a bit of that. I want it to stay stuck to that magnet until I take it out and clean it.

That's my sermon about transmission fluid exchange service. I may be off my rocker but I don't like it. :frown:

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