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Factory guide vs mechanic suggestions


My mechanic, who is into keeping cars in good shape so that they don’t break down, usually gives me suggestions of services my car needs in the next six months. We usually pan them out according to priority.

During my last visit, I got my steering wheel pump replaced as my car was making a lot of wheezing noises at turns. He also suggested that I:

1) Replace low pressure power steering hose

2) Replaces right and left lower control arm bushings

3) Throttle cleaning

I do want to keep my car in good shape. It’s a 2002 civic with 66K miles. I have always followed the guidelines within my car manual. But when it comes to the suggestions above (which I cannot find in the manual), how should one decide that I will be needing these services now rather than later? My six months are up on those suggestions. :",Factory guide vs mechanic suggestions,
2563779,"Just a couple questions to help me understand.

Doesn’t the metal engine expand too? Why wouldn’t the top of the oil pan expand with the engine?

Wouldn’t this issue creep up anywhere where oil is changed in a hot engine? If this is a problem for quick change oil businesses, why isn’t it an issue at dealerships and independents who drain hot oil?

This issue makes me glad I have installed drain valves in place of the plugs on my personal vehicles.

#1 and 2 are NOT maintenance items. They should only be replaced when showing signs of wear. Have him show you the problem.

#3 is NOT NEEDED unless the car is having severe problems.

Your factory guide lists only scheduled maintenance. It does not and cannot predict repairs made necessary by wear and tear.

In your case it sounds like as the mechanic was diagnosing the “wheezing” noises he discovered some worn parts that needed addressing. Items (1) and (2) fall into that category. By all means have him do the work.

If he’s suggesting the TB cleaning because of an observation that it was necessary, go for it. If he’s suggesting it as a routine maintenance item, you may want to skip it.

My Civic is four years older than yours and has 183,000 miles, and I have never replaced these items. Stick with maintenance items that are listed in your owner’s manual.

If you ever decide to replace the belts and hoses as preventative maintenance, wait until you reach 200,000 miles.

I disagree on the coolant hoses. They should be replaced between 100k-150k or 7 years. They are rubber and breakdown and will lead to severe engine damage or sitting on the side of the road.

All the belts should be changed when the timing belt gets removed. They all are in the way and are removed, so new should be reinstalled.

You would get no argument from me if my experience didn’t indicate otherwise. I replace all of the belts with every other timing belt change just because the cost is so low, but my original hoses look fine. There are no signs of cracking or other deterioration.

I should have added that my advice assumes the hoses and belts pass a visual inspection.

I don’t know if Honda’s OEM specs are more stringent than other manufacturers, but it would explain the difference in reliability and price when compared to other makes.

I would suggest that perhaps he’s not suggesting items (1) and (2) as preventative maintenence, but rather because he may have noticed they were getting cracked and dried up. We really don’t know from here, but these aren’t major or unreasonable items so I really don’t suspect a boat payment here. If Rose lives in a hot climate the bushings and hose coud very well be dried up and shrunk.

I think when we’re talking minor items like bushings and a hose I’m inclined to default toward recommending that the OP trust his judgement. We can’t see these items from here.

I replaced the radiator hoses on my '88 Accord only when I replaced the radiator, at 18 years old. They looked and felt like they had plenty of life left.

I wonder if that pump was “wheezing” because it was low on fluid due to the leaking low pressure hose. Did you check your fluid level in your power steering pump before you brought it to the mechabic?

It is not normal to need a power steering pump at 66K or any of those other parts.

How does your throttle feel? is it stiff when you initally push it?

I second oldschool about the possibility of a leaking power steering hose being the root cause of a noisy or bad pump.

As to control arm bushings that’s a matter of replacing them if they’re worn. Since the car only has 66k miles it’s difficult for me to see both control arm bushings being worn out unless you live in a northern rust belt state; and even that’s iffy.

Also agree with andrew about replacing the hoses at a certain interval. The fact the hoses have not failed does not mean they’re good or should be ignored. They’re always good right up to the nano-second they split apart and a steam cloud starts rolling.

Many engines have been fried because of a failure to change hoses at some point not to mention leaving their owners stranded on the side of road in Nowhere, MT or something.

Number 3, which is almost always unnecessary for a car of the age and mileage of yours makes me suspicious of numbers 1 and 2.

  1. This is not a normal wear item. If it was defective, it should have been replaced when the power steering pump was replaced.

  2. These are wear items, but usually last well over 100K miles unless you drive on bad pavement a lot. But if that’s the case, there would be a lot more parts needing replacement in the suspension.

  3. Unless there is some specific driveability problem that is caused by a dirty throttle body, this is frequently done to line the pockets of mechanics rather than benefit the car owner.

To be honest, the fact that you referred to the power steering pump as the “steering wheel pump” leads me to believe that you aren’t that mechanically inclined or knowledgeable. Your mechanic may be taking advantage of this.

Good call, I did notice the “steering wheel pump” wording,hard to suggest to someone they are being scammed by a mechanic they seem to like

While normally a power steering pump will not fail, or even outlast the car, maybe the hose was leaking and this allowed the pump to run dry; followed by the pump bearings going South. It could be legit.

The control arm bushing problem at only 66k miles does sound strange but what about this? A quick look shows that Honda had some bad trailing arm bushings on this era of Civic which were to be replaced with an updated bushing.
Is it possible there is something lost in translation here and the OP means trailing arm instead of control arm?

I agree that a throttle cleaning should not be necessary but a going on 8 years old car with only 66k miles could be an indicator of a car that sees short hop, limited driving. This can crud up idle passages, EGR passages, throttle plates, etc.
If the car is running fine (no idle problems, no CEL, no rattle on acceleration) then I agree the throttle cleaning is not needed at this time.

hoses usually deteriorate from the inside and are not readily visible externally. Internal swelling and collapse and deterioration happen in some thing 7 years old. replace the hoses and belts.