General maintenance

I just went to get my car inspected and was told I should get the work done for the 18,000 mile maintenance suggested in the manual. Besides the usual odinary stuff this included getting the fuel filters in the gas tank cleaned…total bill $175+ . How important is it to follow the maintenance guide rigidly? Thanks.

Depends on the issue.

Oil change? Yes. Transmission fluid change? yes. Brake inspections? yes. Cabin air filter? Eh. not really necessary.

Try listing what the book calls for and we’ll tell you what needs to be done.


I highly doubt that the manual calls for removing the fuel pump and cleaning the in-tank filter.

Accordimg to the manual I should get an oil change, rotate the tires, inspect engine air cleaner filter, inspect passenger compartment air filter… should all this cost over $175?

You can do it all yourself between breakfast and lunch on the weekend

Thanks! You’ve answered my question!

You should do the first 3. The 4th is optional, unless you’re noticing a misty/mildewey smell in the cabin.

As to the cost, it depends on where they put that passenger compartment air filter (cabin air filter). On some cars it’s very easy to get to. On others you have to do some surgery to get down to it, and it’s the time it takes to do that that drives the price up.

I’d give 'em $50-75 for the first three, and tell 'em to drop the cabin filter from the list.

Thanks. That helps. Much appreciated!

Actually you’re questions haven’t been answered. Don’t ignore that cabin air filter. It wasn’t put on your maintenance schedule so people could make money on it. It was put on the schedule so it would get regularly changed. how often do you change the filter in your HVAC system in your house? Is it after you notice smoke coming up through the vents from the blower motor burning up because the filter’s plugged, or do you have it replaced on a regular schedule? I’m betting the latter. The HVAC system in your car isn’t much different, only a little more complicated. And like Frog said you can have this done by lunch.

You can inspect and replace the cabin and engine air filters yourself. It takes vey little time and you can save a lot of money.