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What are some important car maintenance? and how often?

I have newly purchased Honda car. It is awesome. What are the car maintenance tips i should follow to keep my car new for longer period of time.

Read your manual (in the glove box) and learn what the proper maintenance items and intervals are for your car.

+1 to @bloody_knuckles , the manual has lots of useful information for you car. In general check your oil, transmission fluid and radiator fluid. I check mine every Saturday morning, some folks check every two weeks, find a pattern that works for you. Check your tire pressure once a month or so. Rotate the tires at least every 10,000 miles. Find a local mechanic to handle any work you do not want to do yourself.

Congratulations on your new ride, good for you for being pro active on wanting to keep it in good shape.

Everything starts with reading the owner’s manual, the generally most unread bestseller the world has ever seen.

After reading it, you may have further questions; we’ll be pleased to answer those and also point out some things the manuals tend to leave out.

I think the manufacturers are partially to blame for the mostly unread manuals. They have grown from about 100 pages to 600 pages, in poor english usually.

Perhaps they should separate the part that talks about the electronics, which is most of the manual, into a separate book, leaving the important stuff to a manageable sized second book.

“They have grown from about 100 pages to 600 pages, in poor english usually. Perhaps they should separate the part that talks about the electronics, which is most of the manual, into a separate book, leaving the important stuff to a manageable sized second book.”

Perhaps things are different with your Forester, but my 2011 Outback has two manuals, and they are strikingly different!

The “regular” Owner’s Manual contains the things that you would expect to find–controls, operation of various accessories, basic maintenance, etc.–all written on the usual 8th grade English level, so that most owners should have no problem with comprehension.

Then, there is the separate (and slightly thicker) manual that covers the audio system, the Bluetooth feature, and the Sat Nav system. This one was obviously translated from a different language, and it was not translated very well, IMHO. After being unable to understand exactly what it was telling me to do when setting up these systems, I simply figured it all out myself, by trial and error.

While those electronic features on my Outback are branded as “Harmon Karden”, it is pretty clear to me that they are of foreign origin, and as a result the directions must also have a foreign origin. The way that these directions were translated borders on the bizarre, but at least the “regular” manual is written in plain English–unlike the manual from my brother’s old Datsun SPL-311.

That Datsun’s manual was written in Pidgin English, thus making the manual just as appalling as that POS car was. I still recall one of the sentences from that Datsun manual: Your wipper for windscreen have two kind speeds. Trust me–there was nothing “kind” about that car!

If the OP has a new car many new car dealers have free classes every once in a while that covers many topics about taking care of their car.

As for the statement about manuals being to large. Some where in the manual there is a page you can look at and it will say what each section is about, you don’t have to read the whole thing.

It just occurred to me @emmaolivia, if you enjoy reading the often mindless ramblings of gear heads replying to desperate car owners you might spend a few weeks looking through archived threads here. You’ll find a plethora of problems faced by unwary owners and the replies from well meaning regulars here regarding correcting the problem and how the problem could have been avoided in the first place. And I for one would feel a great sense of self worth knowing that an attractive, intelligent young lady was paying attention to me.

Enjoy your Honda though, even if you have better things to do than read dusty old archives here and rest assured the crowd of aging, aching regulars here with grease under their finger nails remains ever vigilant to read your future concerns and offer advice with a “double your money back” guarantee.

And check with Carolyn. She may be offering coupons these days.

I would have to agree with the other guys here. Something to really pay attention to is the first few oil changes. Your engine is new inside and out… in the first miles accrued you want to change the oil at a faster rate in the beginning… Until all the internal engine components have “broken in” if you will. Everything is getting to know each other in there and there can be microscopic metal fragments as a result of this process… you want to get that out of there sooner than later…this is why the shorter inital oil changes need to happen.

Nowadays this doesnt seem to be as much of a super serious issue as it once was. Higher accuracy machining processes are to thank for this…but some of the same mentality carries over. Its just good practice…so be mindful of the first few oil changes and when they should occur…it will be at shorter intervals and then it can go much longer after that stage.

The dealership is well aware of this and should be reflected in the warranty and or first few service visits.


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Keep an eye on your oil level and tire pressure. With the changing season the tire pressure may have to be adjusted.

I keep a log (steno pad or small notebook) on all my vehicles. On the front of the page I keep track of my fill-ups (i.e. Date, price, amount, mileage) so I can track my mpg. On the back of the page I keep track of maintenance dates and mileage, i.e. oil level and tire pressure checks, oil changes, repairs, wash and waxes, etc. I tend to lose track of receipts or I do the work myself so the notes come in handy.

For example, I have a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox. I noticed a small drop in oil level after 20k miles, over the next few oil changes the rate of oil consumption steadily increased from the notes I was keeping. The dealer did an oil consumption test at 40k miles. At this point oil consumption was up to 1600 miles/qt. If the level was not checked between changes the Equinox could be down 3 or 4 qts between oil changes.

Forgot to add, find a good independent mechanic for routine maintenance (ask friends, family, neighbors for a recommendation) and avoid chain operations, especially quick oil change places.

Ed B.

First don’t listen to penny pinchers trying to squeeze the most out of their cars. 5K oil changes, 30K trans fluid changes, wax twice a year, and don’t forget coolant changes every 3-5 years. If you have service done at the dealer (or a reputable private garage), they will perform regular inspections to suggest any other work needing attention like brakes, wipers, battery, tires, etc. If you don’t know anything about cars, you should at least have regular inspections.

Gettin’ deep @“Rod Knox”.

All good ideas above. I’ll add a couple of things I do too.

  • Make a file for keeping track of what maintenance & repair has been done. I use the same kind of file system that doctors and lawyers use, a manila folder with two prongs at the top, then I just punch the holes on any pertinent paperwork and put in in the folder. This method allows me to keep everything I place in the folder in time order. Besides repair receipts I put emissions reports and parts purchase receipts. For example if I change the oil and filter as a diy’er project, in the folder there’ll be a purchase receipt for those items and a piece of the packaging showing the name and part numbers that I used. And along-side I’ll write down the date and mileage. If I have a conversation about some issue with the car, or problem obtaining a part, I’ll write down a summary and put that in there too. Without much effort, you’ll end up with a nice thick file showing everything that’s been done on your car, when, and at what mileage.

  • To preserve the outside finish, try to park inside out of the sun or in the shade when you can, and keep the exterior clean. If you don’t have time for an actual wash and cloth dry, then just hose it down with a garden hose and drive away to dry it. That will get rid of most of the dirt and dust. Do the garden hose thing once or twice a week, it only takes a few minutes. You’ll end up with some water spots doing that, but it is better to have water spots than not spray off the exterior frequently. Usually when I do this I spray it off, to avoid the water spots, after a good hosing, I let it dry a few minutes, then wipe it down with a towel or old t-shirts. But if you don’t have time to wipe it down, spray it anyway just before going somewhere.

Welcome back @emmaolivia . How is the auto repair business? This is your thread from a month ago;

Any ideas for improving business at a small car repair garage?

@Nevada_545 Good catch, I thought the screen name looked familiar. It makes you wonder if the OP has a repair shop you would assume they know how to take care of a vehicle.

Here in Silicon Valley the company parking lots are filled with decrepit, barely working cars owned by highly-skilled hi-tech engineers.

Hmmm. Well whatever. The way business has been here lately I guess we should welcome any discussion.

I don’t believe the OP is involved with a repair shop, just posting random messages.

This is the statement from the broken lift gate support thread;

My ford car in not running properly. I have fix my broken cylinder from the car wholesale repair and dealer, but it is now completely broken down. Suggest me what to do next

I understand some foreign born people don’t communicate well in English but this person never returns to clarify the post.

If anyone is bored we could discuss hydrogen injection.

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Hahaha…Noooooo No more Hydrogen… LOL

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the company parking lots are filled with decrepit, barely working cars owned by highly-skilled hi-tech engineers

That’s because they’re wicked smaht. They know they’re more likely to get a raise if managers think they need one. Only a fool shows up to work everyday in a highend luxo box that is immaculately maintained.


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