Recommended maintenance


I am a single mother of three (so I don’t have alot of “extra money”). My car will be paid off next month so I would like to use that money to get any recommended maintenance done that I should. I have a 2003 Honda Civic LX that I purchased new. I want to spend my money wisely but also keep my car well maintained (doesn’t everyone) but I don’t know what I should have done. Can someone please give me some advice? Thanks!


Everything you need to know is in your owner’s manual. Well, nearly everything. It omits the fact that you needn’t have the services performed by a Honda dealership. We always advise folks to save money by having non-warranty work performed by an independent shop.

Read the manual first, then check back with us with your questions. Oh yeah, report your car’s current mileage.


How many miles currently? An important item is the timing belt on this vintage Civic if your odometer is around or over 100k miles.


The mileage is right around 75K. I will get that manual out and read it! I keep getting this stuff in the mail from the dealership and I KNOW that I want to stay away from them and I don’t want to have anything done that isn’t necessary. Thanks for your help. I appreciate it@


It is currently at around 70K. A 2003 model is vintage?! Wow!


Sorry, I meant 70K!


An important item is the timing belt on this vintage Civic if your odometer is around or over 100k miles.

It also lists how many years/months in between timing belt changes as well. My 99 says 4~6 years or 90k miles. my local honda shop charged around $500 to change it and the water pump. Since your car is 5 years old now, you might want to consider changing it. Add a 0 to the end of the TB/WP replacement cost for the cost of an engine for your car. Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap are among the things that should be considered as well. WHEN you have your TB/WP done, expect to leave it over night(service tech said atleast 3 hours cool down on the engine) before they’ll work on it. While they’re in there you might as well have them do the plugs/wires/etc. Cost will probably come to around $7~800, maybe more, but when you factor in the cost of that compared to car payments or a new engine, it’s small potatoes.


I am really glad that the OP has taken the advice to look at the manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule in order to see what maintenance might be needed after 70,000 miles, but I have a question for the OP. Since you apparently never looked at the maintenance schedule previously, are you sure that you have had all of the necessary services performed prior to 70k?

I would suggest that you put your service invoices in chronological order (you DO keep them, I assume!), and compare them to the services listed by the manufacturer for all of the service intervals prior to 70k. If you skipped any of them (very possible if you never looked at the maintenance schedule previously), be sure that these services are performed if they are not on the schedule for 70k. Otherwise, you are really not up-to-date in terms of maintaining the vehicle.

And, when you get your next car, I would advise that you begin following the maintenance schedule beginning with the first service, not after 5 years!