Dealer "add-on" services. Are they a ripoff or desireable

My 2011 Honda CRV has a computer that tells me what and when servicing is required. I took it in for an oil change, and the dealer “highly recommends” I also have the differential fluid changed and the radiator flushed. The car has <30k miles on it and neither of those maintenance actions are recommended in the Honda service manual.

Are those just expensive add-ons by the dealer to drive up the cost, or is there real value in pursuing those additional services.

Based on miles - no. But based on years - possible yes. I think Honda recommends a change of radiator fluid at 5 years for the 1st change then every 3 years. So, on that one perhaps a bit early. The differentials on the CRV require a special Honda fluid and they are not robust parts. I think the differential fluid is a good recommendation. You should have the brake fluid changed if it hasn’t been changed since the car was new, every 3 years is the recommendation.

My position is, and always has been, is to follow the owner’s manual recommendations. Dealership recommendations are profit driven so that makes them basically worthless.

Your maintenance indicator should display a code for maintenance items other than a n oil change.

A-5 or B-5 for replacing the coolant.

A-6 or B-6 for replacing the differential gear oil.

This information should be in your owners manual.

Follow the schedule and whenever the word “flush” is used, be very suspicious. Most flushes do more harm than good, and if you follow the maintenance schedule, you will never need one, except for the brakes. Brake fluid should be flushed either when called for in the maintenance schedule or when the pads are replaced.