110,000 Mile Tuneup

I have a 2005 Honda Civic, 4 cylinder, manual transmission with approx. 95,000 miles. I’ve always gotten regular oil changes, but have never had any other suggested maintenance performed on it (i.e. 30,000 mile tuneup/60,000 mile tuneup, etc.). I’m about to hit the 110,000 mark. 1st question: How important are tuneups? 2nd question: Is $710.00 a reasonable amount (this amount includes labor) for replacing spark plugs, water pump, timing belt, tensioner assembly, and coolant; and do I need all of these things?

You are playing a very dangerous game by not at least doing some of the required tasks specified in your OWNER’S MANUAL. You should be replacing the timing belt, water pump and maybe the tensioner at this mileage. The price seems reasonable, and YES, you have to do all these things if you want the car to last!

I would also have at least changed the engine coolant (“antifreeze”) twice; although that’s probalbly more often than the book calls for. In addition, your transmission fluid should be changed every 40,000 miles, unless you are only doing long distance highway driving.

To sum up, you are fortunate that nothing has broken so far. When shopping for a used car, many of us spend time asking the owner about the “maintenance record”. In your case I would pass up your car because of the “deferred” maintenance.

There is no such thing as a Tuneup anymore. Sparkplugs are replaced at the designated interval and igintion components checked out. “Tuneps” are important to ensure the car meets emission requirments, performs economically, and allows the car to reach its design life, which, in case of a Honda can be 350,000 to 400,000 miles.

If you trade cars every 4 years, you may be tempted to do nothing, but it will limit the resale vale of your car. I my case, I would not even look at it.

You only need these things if you want to keep the car for another few years. If you just do oil changes eventually the motor will fail because the timing belt will break. It could break tomorrow, or 5 years from now. When it breaks the pistons hit the values and the motor locks up. To fix it will be a multi-thousand dollar repair.

The water pump and belt tension are replaced with the timing belt because all the parts come off to get to the timing belt. At 100K miles the water pump could fail before 200K miles so that’s why they replace it with the timing belt.

Honda puts spark plugs in the car that last 100K miles. If you don’t replace them the car will run but might start to get less mpg, might get harder to start and eventually will start running badly.

$710 sounds pretty fair for this job. You should consider having the trans fluid changed, and the brake fluid flushed. You are overdue for these items if they’ve never been done.

You can keep driving the car without doing this maintenance, but the stuff that can break as a result is very expensive to fix.

I can only answer your first question. You’ve reduced the lifetime of the neglected components. If they fail early, like if your radiator corrodes out in the next year or two, you’ll be paying far more than if you had just paid for proper maintenance all along.

Well, you don’t need these things, but your Civic certainly does. And, yes, $710 is a reasonable charge for the work listed.

Nothing except oil changes? You’re lucky Honda makes such a reliable car. You may not have gotten away with deferred maintenance on some other brands.

As the others have said, yes, you should have all of these procedures done, and yes, the price that was quoted was a fair one.

My only other observation is to thank you for reminding me why I don’t buy used cars.
When people ignore vital maintenance procedures, it is possible that they may “dodge a bullet”, so to speak. However, the next owner winds up with a ticking time bomb that detonates all over his wallet.

That’s a good point. If the OP ever sells the car, I hope he or she is honest enough to let the buyer know about the maintenance history.

Yes, as the OP of the car, I would absolutely be honest about the maintenance history (or lack thereof) should I ever decide to sell the car. I will have the necessary maintenance performed immediately and I sincerely appreciate all of your responses.