Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Honda recommended maintenance

We have a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid and we are just wondering if we are being ripped off by our local Honda dealer. We took our car in for a scheduled maintenance, nothing wrong with the car, yet walked out with a $450 charge. The last scheduled maintenance was over $300, and I thought that was ridiculous, now this time even more. Are we being ripped off? Could we take our Hybrid to any repair shop and are all the suggested maintenances for Hybrid cars a necessity? Thanks in advance for your help!

There’s a difference between “suggested maintenance” by your dealer and the maintenance that is recommended in your owner’s manual.

You should do what the owner’s manual says. The dealer suggests more maintenance than required in order to make money.

The price they charged you may or may not be a ripoff. It depends on what they did. Keeping in mind that dealers are almost always more expensive than independents.

As to whether you could go to any repair shop, there’s no reason why you couldn’t, but you want to find a trustworthy shop that specializes in your type of car.

Call around and compare prices. In the end, you should spend your money where you feel comfortable & secure, no matter how high or low the price.

Joe did a great job of addressing your question.

You didn’t mention how many miles are on your car. You also didn’t mention whether the maintenance matched what the manufacturer spells out in its warranty maintenance booklet. So it’s awfully hard to give you any meaningful advice. If you can read the mechanic’s repair order, let us know what was done as well as the mileage on your car. Different components need checking or replacing at different intervals.

One piece of advice that might help: Since you are the one spending the money and since you can’t be expected to be a technical whiz, go ahead and nicely but assertively ask the service shop to explain the bill. It’s a good way to start figuring out the “trust” thing - which you’d need to do with any shop.

Does your hybrid use synthetic oil? If so, I would expect the 30,000 mile service to cost about $450. I can also see paying $300 for your 15,000 mile service. However, your regular oil changes sould cost far less than that.

You can find non-dealer mechanics who will work on your car. You will likely save a lot of money.

If you want to pay less, ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers for mechanic reccomendations.