Question about 1998 Honda Accord

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180,000 mile maintenance for 98 honda accord

What is included in the 180,000 mile maintenance for a 98 honda accord?  my mechanic originally said it would be a new timing belt, plus a few other things.....that somehow translated into a $1800 bill!

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First off, I think your mechanic is trying to give his family a very happy holidays at your expense...no offense, but $1800 is WAY HIGH!

As with any schedued maintenance/tune-up, you should have your oil and oil filter changed, your air filter changed, new plugs and wires (depending on how long it's been since you've last changed them), a radiator flush/refill, a thermostat if desired (you may decide that you don't necessarily need a new one on these, but I usually include this when performing a tune-up), if your Accord is an automatic, then you'll want to have your transmission flushed and your tramsmission filter replaced (manual transmissions only need to have the level of the gear oil checked), all of your grease fittings on your suspension should be lubed (make sure to have your suspension inspected for any excessive wear or movement/"play" while this is being done), and yes, it might not be a bad idea to have the timing belt inspected and changed if necessary. Brakes and rotors should be inspected foe excessive wear and brake fluid should be checked and topped-off if necessary. Chances are, your battery is probably fine, but if it is more than a couple of years old and you live in an area that gets cold in the winter time, it would probably be a good idea to have a "load test" done on it to make sure that you have plenty of CCA (cold cranking amps) to start your car in the cold so you don't get stranded somewhere. Also, have inspect your wiper blades and top-off wiper fluid.

Other than that, there isn't really much more to it. The parts, filters, and oil for a tune-up of this nature should be less than $200, if acquired at your local parts store--possibly even less than that if were to go with store-brand parts and oil--that's if you want to do the work yourself. However, at a repair/tune-up shop, you have to worry about them marking up the price on their parts sometimes up to 200%. Then, you have to worry about how much labor charges they're going to throw at you. In addition, many mechanics will make it a point to find, or even create (believe it or not!) other issues and try to add those repairs to an invoice that you only intended on being scheduled maintenance. On occasion, you'll be able to find a shop that will install parts that a customer brings in, but most will not because they aren't able to make their "mark-up" on parts that a customer provides. But, if you do find a shop that will install parts that you provide, many times they will not warranty their work on parts from an outside source.

In any case, I would strongly suggest that you take your Honda to another shop or two to try to get a more reasonable estimate. You may be astonished at the difference you'll see in pricing, especially if you throw in that you know what all is involved with the work being performed (as much of it is merely "inspecting" the condition of pre-existing parts), and that you have a good idea on how much the parts should cost. To be quite honest with you, any honest and reputable mechanic will beat the $1800 estimate that your original mechanic quoted you. I promise you this.

I hope this helps and perhaps you'll be able to save $1000 or more to spend elsewhere this holiday season. Have a nice day!

Posted on Nov 23, 2008

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