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Why does the 30K mile service maintenance have to cost so much?

I don’t mind taking my Honda Odessey in for maintenance but why does it have to go from $30 for the first few check ups to $365 for the 30K check up. Does it really take 4 hours as the service people tell me?? Do they really have to test drive the car therefore using my precious gas up? Is there anywhere else I can have this service done for less. Why are we always at the mercy of these mechanics? How is one to know when we are being duped? I live in San Diego, CA. Is there anybody out there who knows any info that can help me?

If you’re having the work done at a dealer, it will cost a lot more because dealers have more overhead than smaller independent shops. If it doesn’t violate warranty and you hold onto the paperwork (for proof should a warranty issue arise), there’s no reason not to have it done somewhere other than a dealer.

We get this question frequently.

The dealerships tend to provide additional services beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer. Each such service costs the customer extra. Of course, you have the reassurance that when complete, your car is in perfect condition.

You owner’s manual is your handbook for all regular maintenance visits. It lists the services that are required. Many are simple visual checks; but a hungry dealership might upgrade these visual checks to hands-on adjustment at additional expense.

You have a right to specify to the service manager exactly what services you want his mechanics to do… and what you don’t want. Your owner’s manual is your guide.

There is no reason to go to a Honda dealership for routine service. Any independent shop can do the work, often for much less. That is my recommendation. Find a reputable shop and have all routine maintenance performed there. Bring a list of what you want done, have the owner give you a quote. If you are not sure what to include on your list and what to leave off, check back with us.

Dealers tend to pad the service quite a bit. It’s a great profit generator. The service recommended in your OWNER’S MANUAL is all you need. The service recommended by the dealer is usually quite a bit more.

Read the manual, and say, “No thank you” when the dealer wants to do more.

I can’t imagine what your Odessey could possibly need at a mere 30K miles to justify a $365 bill. As I said, it’s a profit generator, and nothing more. Honda dealers are just as bad as anyone else.

When I worked for Honda in 2003 one of the service intervals required use to remove the brake pads and clean them. I think this is a Honda requirement,nice but expensive. Is this operation part of a 30K? I just dont remember (check your book and post back please)

The reason why the 30k miles service is more expensive is simply because it is considered a more major service. Down the road you will discover that the 60 or 90k may be even bigger. What is required is spelled out in the owners manual and it was in place when you purchased the car.

Actually, there are additional services that should be performed in addition to what the manual specifies. Some examples are transmission fluid changes (automatics), fuel filter changes, valve adjustments, and not allowing spark plugs to remain in place until oblivion.
As a matter of fact, the bill could be higher than 365 dollars; it depends on how well you want to maintain the vehicle.

In some cases, a normally not needed service such as an induction system cleaning may really be needed. It all depends on driving habits, etc.

The fact you do not like to spend money on the car is not a sign you’re being duped at all. You spell out exactly what is is that is being recommended to you and I may agree that you’re being duped - or not.
You do not even have to allow the dealer to perform this service; it can be performed by an independent shop.
Many people don’t like to spend any money on their cars period, so you can skip it entirely if you prefer that method.

the best profit generator,is the independant that installs the wrong fluids and procedures,man I make alot of cash on just plain ignorance.


and never go for trainng (god forbid)

as far as the OP,just read the manual as stated above.

good luck

$365 sounds reasonable to me. A lot gets done at 30,000 miles. Look at the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual and you will get an idea of everything they did.

In the future, this is really a question you should ask the service advisor at the time you are making the appointment or dropping the car off. If you are going to spend that kind of money, you should know what they are going to do before you sign on the line and give them you keys. Ask the service advisor or mechanic to explain it all. If he won’t explain or if he doesn’t expalin it to your satisfaction, take the car somewhere else. That, and reading the owner’s manual, will help you ensure you don’t get duped.

I was almost to the point of paying for it when I traded the 03 Saturn Vue. I was going to just pay up and smile about it but I had to take a long trip and I couldn’t stand the seats in the thing. My back has been grateful ever since. The Lompoc to San Diego run is what got rid of the Saturn. It was a great trip made three times except for the seats.

the independant that installs the wrong fluids and procedures

Not to mention all the dealers who do likewise. The independent (not part of a chain) is no better or worse than a dealer.

the best profit generator,is the independant that installs the wrong fluids and procedures,man I make alot of cash on just plain ignorance.

I’ll trust a good independent to do oil changes then a dealer any day. At the independent the guy doing the oil changes is usually the same guy that’s rebuilding engines. At the dealer…the guy doing the oil changes is usually some flunky who spent his last 3 years at JiffyLube and got a $.05/hr raise to work for the dealer with little to no extra training. My wife had 2 free oil changes for her Lexus. The guy that did the oil changes was also the guy who washes the cars.

I agree with Jeremy that the price sounds realistic for 30k maintenance, at a dealership, on a Japanese vehicle. The Japanese manufacturers frequently tend to be a bit more obsessive about maintenance than US manufacturers, thus leading to many Japanese 30k maintenance lists that include changing the brake fluid and the transmission fluid, and possibly changing the coolant. If you consider the price of these procedures, in addition to the expected air filter, fuel filter, oil change, + a long list of “inspections”, it is not difficult to get to the $300.00 + price range at a dealership.

That being said, it is very possible that you can have the manufacturer’s list of 30k maintenance procedures taken care of by an independent mechanic for a lower price. The only possible problem is that the independent mechanic might not use the genuine Honda transmission fluid that is required, and the “bargain” 30k maintenance from an independent mechanic could wind up being more costly in the long run.

If you want to maintain your vehicle properly, you should copy the exact list of 30k maintenance procedures from the booklet in your glove compartment, take that to a couple of well-reputed independent mechanics, ask for a quote, and also ask what type of transmission fluid they use. If they tell you that they add some kind of miracle additive to garden-variety Dexron transmission fluid, that should be your signal to walk out and not return, because that does not equate to the fluid specification required by Honda. If you get the correct answer, as well as a lower price quote than the dealership gave you, then I think that you have found your mechanic.

One final bit of advice:

DO NOT have your 30k maintenance (or anything else) done at a quick lube place unless you want to be back here in a few weeks asking about how to deal with (pick one or more) a destroyed engine/transmission/differential/brake hydraulic system.

The $365 is not unreasonable; my wife’s Nissan Sentra was done by the dealer and with platinum spark plugs the cost was about $400. I did it mostly because of time constraint, and the dealer was nearby. An indepndent shop would have done it for less possibly. The service did cover new anti-freeze, transmission fluid & fiter change, checking & adjusting brakes, etc, etc.

Once you know the required maintainence of a Cessna 172 light airplane I don’t think you’ll be complaining much about automobiles anymore !

we are talking 30k ,NOT 3K.

AND HOW SWEET IT IS A man thinking he has a clue ,at half price.



God forbid we tell you what you really need.

just live in you own head !

and ignorence.

DENIAL IS THE BEST THING!(my car is the best and will never FAIL inspection) LMAO!

clean dash does not mean -------OK.

have a beautiful day!.

And if people would maintain their cars to even 1/10th of the degree an aircraft is maintained there would be precious few complaints of “my car is a hunka junk”.

I remember back in the late 60s being involved with putting a Pratt & Whitney R4360 together along with a couple of other guys.
28 cylinders @ 2 spark plugs per cylinder X 15 bucks apiece (figure that in todays dollars!) = a ton of money and the magnetos haven’t even been touched yet…

Check the maintenance manual. There is usually nothing done on those routine services that you cannot do yourself if you have a garage, some ramps, and are reasonably handy.

I have a Volvo in the driveway with 260,000 miles on it that has never been to the dealer or to any other shop other than twice for alignments, since the day I drove it home new. I recently sold a Toyota with 275,000 miles that had never been in any shop other than my garage. My three BMWs got ONLY the dealer inspections that BMW did for free, and one of them has 220k miles on it. I do take the one with the automatic to a shop for tranny fluid changes every 50k miles, only because it is such a messy job if I do it.

Bottom line - you don’t have to spend a fortune on routine maintenance, but the alternative is to get your fingernails dirty occassionally. If you sign the book saying that you did the maintenance, then your warrantee should not be affected.

the only reason i would go to my dealer is for a oil change.and thati have a coupon book for $20dollars off ever 3000 miles.they try to get me to do this and that.say no thankyou.a local mechanic is your best bet,and the 30,000 mile check up you can do youself.

DIY is least cost.
Not DIY?
Get estimates from independents or shops you trust.