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Car care advice

Hi all, I have 2006 model Civic. I bought it before 3 months from a used car dealer. I don’t have deep knowledge in car repair works. In a blog, I recently read they have explained about getting car care advice. For new vehicles, it is better to get service from authorized service centers. But What about old cars. Which one would be more suitable for old cars. Please share your opinion here. Thank you.

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A good independent shop should be great. Look at the mechanics files on this site. But you still have to educate yourself. Open the owner’s manual on you car and depending on the mileage bring it up to date for the maintenance schedule listed there. You need to check both the miles and age of the car and unless you have records from the previous owner, you will have to assume not much was done.


I think it mostly depends on the specific shops in your area and who runs them. Trustworthiness/integrity is the one of my more important criteria, with competence being a close second. In theory, the “authorized service center” (whatever that means) should be competent, but if they’re not trustworthy, you need to stay away. I think the general thinking is that “independent shops” (again whatever that really means) are stronger in the trustworthy department because they have to survive in the local market without any help from a larger entity and you don’t stay in business by screwing over your customers.
I think your best starting point is to talk to family, friends, co-workers, etc. and ask with whom they’ve had good luck, particularly with anyone that has Hondas.
Good advice from @galant about the owner’s manual and getting the maintenance up-to-date; that’s a good starting point. In fact, getting any outstanding maintenance items completed may be a good way to make first contact with a target shop.

Is there a factory warranty on the car? If so, I would get it serviced at the dealership, just for ease of warranty work and keeping track of scheduled maintenance. When the warranty expires, you can assess whether you like the pricing and service you’ve been receiving. If you don’t like the dealership’s pricing and customer service after the warranty expires, shop around and go anywhere you want.

Even old cars sometimes benefit from dealership service, such as clutch jobs. Many mechanics, both at chain shops and independent shops, haven’t worked on a clutch in decades, but a factory-trained mechanic should be able to handle the job.

I smell Spam


Me too, but it seems to be a legitimate article.

Ask everyone you know for repair shop recommendations. Eventually, a few will be mentioned by a lot of people. That is the short list to work with.

Are you saying that because of the link in the original post? I didn’t click the link so I didn’t see if they were trying to sell something. I’d hate to waste 10-15 minutes of my time responding to a fake query. I figured it a legitimate question from a newcomer that doesn’t know how to use the search feature.

I agree.

For cars out of warranty, I believe it’s better to develop a good relationship with a reputable owner-operated independent shop. If you should bring in a problem that would be better evaluated by the dealer shop, and that does happen occasionally, a good mechanic will let you know. Those I know would rather refer regular customers to dealers when it’s appropriate than lose a regular customer.

For cars beyond 15 years old, I would recommend a dealership only as an absolute last resort. They’ll generally go over the car with a fine tooth comb and list thousands of dollars worth of work that you “absolutely need to have done”, most of which doesn’t need to be done at all. They seem to take the approach that every single part, every bushing, every fitting, every line, every detail, should look exactly like the ones on their brand new cars. And that just ain’t so.

For really old cars, ones with carburetors, you’ll need to find an old independent mechanic anyway. I don’t think most of the kids in dealerships have a whole lot of hands-on experience with carbs. Speed shops are often the best bet for these types of problems.

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There’s some articles here on this website provided by Ray & the Car Talk staff about this topic too. Click on link at the top of this page (top left), then car-info/owning. For an '06 Civic I think you’d get good results at either a dealership shop or an inde shop, but the latter will probably have a little lower prices and less inclination to up-sell you services that you don’t really need.