Maintenance Priorities

honda
pilot

#1

Hello. This month I had $1000 worth of higher-priority maintenance items performed on my Pilot with 109,000 miles. I still have $2400 worth of lower-priority maintenance items that are recommended by Honda and/or my mechanic. I’m looking for help prioritizing them. Thanks in advance!



- BG transmission flush and replace transmission fluid

- replace differential fluid

- replace spark plugs

- replace rack and pinion

- replace struts

- replace CV axle shaft assembly


#2

Please repeat your list, with a comment on why you think each is needed.


#3
  • replace transmission fluid
  • replace differential fluid
  • replace spark plugs

I’d try and do these myself or shop around for the best price (make sure they use Honda fluid and the good platinum plugs.) These things should be cheap. You probably don’t need a flush, just change the tranny fluid according the the owner’s manual schedule.

  • replace rack and pinion
  • replace struts
  • replace CV axle shaft assembly

These aren’t really maintenance items and sound expensive. I’d triple check to verify a problem before spending money on these. Any symptoms or did they show you what the problem is? I have a 2002 Odyssey, similar to your Pilot, and haven’t had any issues with these items.


#4
  • BG transmission flush and replace transmission fluid (Honda-recommended at 105 K miles)
  • replace differential fluid (Honda-recommended at 105 K miles)
  • replace spark plugs (Honda-recommended at 105 K miles)
  • replace rack and pinion (mechanic found a small leak of some kind and recommended this as the fix)
  • replace struts (mechanic found a small leak of some kind and recommended this as the fix)
  • replace CV axle shaft assembly (mechanic found wear of some kind and recommended this as the fix)

#5

You didn’t give the year of your car, but I assume it’s in the range that had lots of transmission issues, so I wouldn’t defer any transmission service here. Does your owner’s manual really require “BG flush”, whatever that is? Honda usually just requires a basic drain-and-fill procedure.

You are up-to-date on your timing belt maintenance, I hope?


#6

You are up-to-date on your timing belt maintenance, I hope?

Yes. That’s part of the $1000 I just spent.


#7

Small leaks, this needs to be better defined and perhaps looked at by another shop.

If a CV joint has a torn boot that is a problem. If it just some “wet” looking area around the joint and the boot is intact then it isn’t a problem.

A steering rack and pinion is expensive and a small wet area isn’t a big deal. If there is evidence of dripping, and dropping levels of power steering fluid then it should be fixed.

Struts can weep a bit, but if the strut seal is blown there is a lot of fluid and the strut no longer does its job which is to keep the car from bouncing down the road. Push up and down on each corner of the car. If it stops bouncing quickly when you stop pushing the bumper the strut is ok.

I suspect these items the mechanic mentioned are not a big deal at this time. Perhaps keep an eye on them is all you need to do for the moment. If a small leak becomes a big leak, as in a puddle under the car or you run low on power steering fluid (causes noise when steering) then you fix them.


#8

They may have had the spark plugs out when you changed the timing belt. You sure you didn’t get new plugs at the same time? Would have been convenient.


#9

Sounds like this mechanic is trying to maximize his revenue. Amazing how many things they can find to “fix.”


#10
  • BG transmission flush and replace transmission fluid

    I recommend replacing the fluid and cleaning the filter.

  • replace differential fluid
    Not really required (unless recommended by Honda (see the owner’s manual not the guy at the dealer trying to sell you more service.

  • replace spark plugs
    100,000 miles on the sparkplugs? If so replacement is overdue.

  • replace rack and pinion
    Why?

  • replace struts

Why? I would suspect the dealer recommendation (see above)

  • replace CV axle shaft assembly

    Again, why?

    There is enough questionable recommendations there that even those things that I might normally suggest likely needed, I have to question most all of them. It sounds like the dealer has a big boat payment due.

    Unless you have prepaid maintenance etc. I would look for a second opinion from a local INDEPENDENT mechanic, preferably one some friends, neighbors and family may recommend.