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Admittedly, I don't know that much about cars, probably just enough to get myself in trouble. However, in 2003 I think I made a good move to buy a new Honda Accord (4 cylinder) EXL. The car has given me very little trouble over the years and essentially all I have done is provided routine oil changes, replaced brake pads, and wheels. The car looks and drives almost as good as the day I bought it.

What concerns me is that I do feel after 85,000 miles it is starting to show its age just a bit. I'm hearing new sounds from the engine when starting it. I don't think it is in anything major and just may be some belts squeaking a bit more than they have in the past. They are the originals.

So here is my question. When I go in to any Honda dealership to have an oil change I get a laundry list of things they need to do to the vehicle. Items like transmission fluid flushes, brake fluid flushes, etc.. Sometimes the cost can be around $800 for everything they want to do. Other times it is well over $1000. If nothing is really wrong with the car and it is driving the way it always has I'm not really sure what should be essential maintenance at this point and what shouldn't. I know my owner's manual can probably give some guidance but I suspect this is overkill as well. Can anyone offer some advice on what they think should be imperative maintenance at this point? I would like to continue driving this car for another 100,000 miles if possible. I think if it is maintained properly it could easily make it.
 

· Olde School Ricer
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The big thing at your mileage is timing belt and if you are gonna change that you might as well change all your other belts (you have to take them off anyways), water pump, and timing belt tensioner (both require removing timing belt) Also a valve adjustment would probably do you good. I would also think a tranny flush.
Coolant flush and thermostat change wouldn't hurt, but if you are concerned with money, I would hold off on this.
 

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Adjusting the lash on the valves is easy. You could do it yourself, while your in there you can see what kind of sludge if any has built up in your engine. Honestly tho man get a haynes manual and start reading it. Not only will you know how much time it takes to do things(should you send her to the dealer) but you'll realize that many things are easy to do yourself. The cost of the haynes manual is easily recoverd by doing 1 job yourself VS what the dealer charges you.

You should change your oil yourself, its pretty fool proof. You can use better products in your car since your cutting out the middle man labor charge. Best lowbudget oil change with high quality shit is Walmarts synthetic oil(in a gray bottle) with WPP on the bottom of it, and a PureOne oil filter. Use 10w30 weight. Coolant flush, you can do that yourself if you put some thought to it.

Timing belt is pretty critical. If your scared of your cars interworkings better leave this to the dealer. You can change the other belts yourself though, they shouldnt make you worry much.

I don't know how much it costs to flush the tranny on an automatic, but you can always buy your own ATF to put back in your car which again would cost less and more than likely allow you to use better quality fluids. The dealer will want you to buy their stuff but they'll put in the lubricants you provide.

Do you ever take yor car for long drives? 200+ miles non stop? Those kind of trips are good for your car, it really cleans the engine out.
 
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