I have a 2000 Honda Civic w/ 153,000 miles on it. I am on a super tight budget right now, and my last major service was in early 2007.
I recently got a minor service 3 months ago and new front brakes and roters.
I checked my oil today and it is below minimum. I have been driving long distances lately, is this normal? I am a month overdue for my oil change.
Because of my budget, i may not be able to afford an oil change and transmission service for maybe 3 weeks. Would it be good for my car to top off my oil and coolant (both are below level) on my own? Would this help to delay the transmission?
Add the oil or you will damage the engine. Two quarts of the correct oil at WalMart should be less than $5. Top off the coolant even if you use tap water. However, a gallon of antifreeze won’t run much over $5. As soon as possible, have the oil changed and any necessary servicing (you may need a timing belt). Never run the car when the oil or coolant levels are low.
A $2 quart of oil (or a $20 oil change) is an awful lot cheaper than a $3000 engine rebuild and not having your car for days. The transmission service can probably wait a little while, topping off the oil and coolant cannot.
You have a problem and should get it checked out ASAP. I drive a 1998 Civic with 185,000 miles and it doesn’t burn or lose any oil. Nor does it lose coolant.
If you can’t afford to get this checked out and fixed, at least check the oil every chance you get, and, if necessary, top off the oil.
My same advice goes for your coolant. If you are losing coolant, get it fixed. Until you get it fixed, check the coolant level every chance you get and, if necessary, top it off. You can buy a gallon of universal premixed (half coolant, half water) coolant at the auto parts store. Don’t just use water.
Does your Civic have a manual transmission or an automatic transmission? If it is a manual transmission, or it has an automatic transmission with a drain plug, changing the transmission fluid should not be that difficult, and should not cost more than $40.
Wow, when was the last time you two bought oil and antifreeze? Even Wally World gets more than that these days. Even gallon jugs of their cheapest Supertech oil are close to $12 here.
I do agree with your advice though. If the OP can’t afford a change, at least keep the fluids topped off.
I paid $2.79 for a quart of Citgo 10W-30 at a Rural King farm store. I don’t think that the OP needs a whole gallon of oil. My first car was a 1947 Pontiac for which I paid $75. It used a quart of oil about every 150 miles. I found a place where I could buy re-refined oil for ten cents a quart. I was on a limited income, but I did keep the oil topped up.
Top your fluids off always. Oil is quite cheap if you shop walmart or other discount chains. Store brand is fine.
Are you over mileage or simply by time due? What is prompting you to think you are due for service?
My wife’s old 96 Civic from 140k-185k burned 1-3 qts every 4k miles. Not sure why so variable but topping was much cheaper than even paying a tech to look for the issue. Back then oil was about $1.00/qt for supertech. Unfortunately I got regulated to topping it off every few fillups.
I can agree with that. If it is burning oil, it might not be worth fixing. However, if it is leaking oil, I think this car might be worth fixing since it might have a lot of life and a lot of years left in it.
I didn’t think of this as a cost/benefit problem. I was thinking in terms of making the car last a long time.