What's really necessary and when in maintenance care

Hi, Guys-
2009 Honda Civic
I always wonder what is truly necessary and when maintenance should be done. My car is out of warranty now and of course I still get all the maintenance reminders. I have heard that so much of the checking for is unnecessary and grossly overpriced. Also, when do different products truly need to be replaced or should they actually be able to get more mileage in between replacing time. The last 2 times I had my oil changed at the dealer they also did a complete checklist. Tire pressure was checked off and no one had touched my tires. One was very low and easy to see that. All the tires needed air and none were up to the pressure that was written in. Another time on a previous car I found out what an air cabin filter was all about. Unfortunately, after I had the replacement done-( $75.00!!!), I had read an article referencing that this was one of the new maintenance sales pushes for that make of car. I went online and the next time I did my own for about $18 and 5 min. of labor.

So, the question is what and when is really necessary to keep the car in optimal health?
Thank you for any advice.

Do you have an owners manual??? It’s spelled out EXACTLY what is required and when.

The biggest thing is changing the fluids (oil, tranny…etc). Other things need to be inspected and replaced if needed. Things like spark-plugs and air-filters should be replaced on a regular interval. But check your owners manual for the details.

Also …you don’t have to use the dealer. You can use any independent or even do it yourself like many of us in this forum do.

Some things like Tranny fluid…I change well before the recommended interval. Air filter gets changed 2-3 times before the recommended interval…same with cabin air-filter.

Many shops and dealerships pad the “checkups” with unnecessary services and products. All you need to do is follow the recommendations spelled out in your OWNERS MANUAL…If you want it DONE RIGHT, learn how to do as much of your own maintenance as possible…

If you want your car to last, continue doing what’s listed in the owner’s manual.

As for your dealer, it sounds like you have one that may be a little shady, if they’re checking off work that actually isn’t done. You could save money by having most work done at a good independent mechanic (not a chain) or even doing some of it yourself.

I do wonder how you ended up driving to the dealer on low tires, especially one that’s visibly low, as that one probably suffered some sidewall damage. I’d strongly suggest checking your tires more often, for safety and financial reasons.

Personally, I’d check the manual and follow that. Honda transmissions are a weak link and the fluid should be changed every 30K with Honda fluid. Oil changes every 5K, air filter at 15K, cabin filter whenever. Rotate tires every 10K. I do this myself and this is a good time to clean the inside of the wheels and check the brake pads. Wax twice a year. Interior clean once a year. Serpentine belt 30-50K, Check hoses too. Coolant change-hum four years? Plus other stuff like timing belt, plugs, plug wires, etc. on schedule.

Thanks for the advice. Seems like following the manual is recommended and yes I do have mine. I guess I got spoiled with my past 2001 Prius. I did very little maintenance on it outside of oil and filter changes and tires. I was hoping to get 250,000mi. out of it, but the battery system went at 182,000mi and was not worth replacing for $3000 at that mileage.

The maintenance ensures a path to longer life. The important things are changing oil primarily and checking, and if automatic making sure to change that fluid when prescribed. Also making sure you never overheat the engine and keep driving.