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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Need some input from you all. I work two jobs so my mother did me a favor and took my car in for an oil change today at Goodyear. Now, I know they try to up-sell everything at those places, but they told her some things that make me nervous if I don't do them, if they're really necessary. It's either pay the mortgage or pay for these...:

3 step fuel and induction system cleaning - $129.95
transmission fluid exchange service - $124.95
power steering fluid exchange service - $84.95
rear brake disc pad - $163.77
Bleed refill break system - $59.50
Wheel alignment - $89.95

Any input on if these things are REALLY necessary? One thing they mentioned was that my transmission fluid was brown, and the power steering fluid was getting brown.....

Any advice is appreciated in regards to what to skip and what not to skip. I know nothing about cars other than I love my E.

ETA: Sorry, it's a 2004 with about 87k miles.
 

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You neglected to tell us one very important thing - how many miles on your E? And one more - have any of these services been done before, and, if so, when?
 

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Here's my take.

Given your mileage, if the fluids are discoloured and have not been changed before definitely change them. Brake fluid replacement is also a good idea for an 04 if it hasn't been done before because the fluid absorbs water over time.

Any brake shop will inspect your pads for free to see if they need replacing but at 87k miles it is not surprising you might need pads if you haven't replaced them before.

IMO fuel and induction cleaning is a waste of money unless your vehicle is running rough. Alignment is also unnecessary unless you are experiencing unusual tire wear or your car wanders while driving in a straight line.
 

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Need some input from you all. I work two jobs so my mother did me a favor and took my car in for an oil change today at Goodyear. Now, I know they try to up-sell everything at those places, but they told her some things that make me nervous if I don't do them, if they're really necessary. It's either pay the mortgage or pay for these...:

[strike]3 step fuel and induction system cleaning - $129.95[/strike] waste of money
[strike]transmission fluid exchange service - $124.95[/strike] do this yourself, very easy
[strike]power steering fluid exchange service - $84.95[/strike]
rear brake disc pad - $163.77 - This is over priced
Bleed refill break system - $59.50This is a good price, get it if you need it
Wheel alignment - $89.95 - This is a good price, get it if you need it

I replied above.

The first item is an absolute waste of money and about 95% pure profit. Transmission fluid CHANGE is needed if you had not done it before. Can be done on your own is basic tools. Power Steering fluid CHANGE can be done by you or another place, this place is not reputable based on what they told you. Rear brake pads, look at them yourself see if they are worn. If they are, change yourself or have done somewhere else. the last 2 are good prices, but I wouldn't trust this place to not "find something else" that will cost enough to make up for the items you didn't have them perform.



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Even if you know nothing about cars the write ups on this site are awesome. You can do most of those things with simple tools and the write ups as a guide. I agree with what others have said about what to do and what not to do. You could save yourself a lot of money by doing it yourself.
 

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Pay the mortgage.................save until you can afford the costs of your services or ask mom for the money
 

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Pay the mortgage.................save until you can afford the costs of your services or ask mom for the money
+1

Your car is not going to spontaneously explode if these things are not done immediately.

Follow spdrcr5's advice above when you can afford it.
 

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pay the mortgage.

you drive a honda for a reason they'll last a good long time even with minimum service on them. I'd get the brake fluid replaced, and have them give you an idea of how long the pads might be good for.

Go somewhere other than the Goodyear place. I'd go with a local guy that you trust, who knows your tight financial situation. A person like that knows that overcharging you or recommending things you dont need will just drive you away.

The wheel alignment--just see how the tires are wearing, are they even. if they aren't get an alignment.

good luck :)
 

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This scenario sounds too familiar. I took our older acura in to the dealer for an oil change and walked out with their recommendations for $715 worth of work!
$95 for a diagnosis for 'check engine light' which was not on when I dropped off the car, and was not on when I picked up the car :rolleyes:
$145 for rear brakes that had been replaced a couple of years ago and the rotors had been turned, so I doubt the rear brakes on a FWD car would go before the fronts
$475 for 'major service' including 'inspecting' everything they just inspected for the oil change and changing all fluids. Like the OP, I know some fluids need to be changed, but we'll do those piecemeal, as the mortgage allows. ;-)
 

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pay the mortgage.

Make a list of the auto services the need to be done and start knocking them off one by one (either yourself or by taking to a shop). This way the mortgage isn't late and you are still getting service done on your E.

The write ups are very good here but before you take it to a shop at least read the write up on the service you are going to have done. If you still feel like taking it to a shop after reading the write up just take it to the shop.

Good luck
 

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yup....either DIY (most of it) or take it to a decent shop. Certainly not that one.

Do the Trans fluid and brakes/brake fluid first.
 

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Doesn't Honda recommend that you DO NOT do any flushes of the engine oil or transmission fluid.

I would think that engine flushes would be especially harmful since all the oil doesn't drain out when you change it and some of that flush crap would stay in the engine and dilute your oil. Transmission flush may be ok if all they are putting in the trans is new clean fluid and no kind of solvent.
 

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Pay the Mortgage

Pay the Mortgage.

NEVER skip a mortgage payment. Never send one late. The hit to your Credit rating isn't worth it. (Trust me my wife is a banker) I'd sooner eat dog food for a month than be late on my mortgage.

The car will be ok for a while till you get more scratch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for your replies! You've pretty much covered all my thoughts/worries. I appreciate all the advice. Maybe I'll take it upon myself to DIY and learn something new...

In regards to what has/hasn't been done, I'm not 100% sure as I got my Element in May 07. I know I haven't done any of these things, so I'll do them as needed as I get the funds, starting with transmission/brake work first.

THANKS AGAIN!
 

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Doesn't Honda recommend that you DO NOT do any flushes of the engine oil or transmission fluid.


what they do recommend is a sequence of draining, filling, running, draining, filling, running and so on:
http://handa-accessories.com/HondaATFflush.pdf

Without a lift I'd just substitute driving the car around for awhile between each drain/fill. If you don't want to spend too much time at once you it you can even spread out the drain/fills with one on each weekend :) I've seen some car sites where people say they do an ATF drain/fill with each oil change, that way the fluid stays at a much cleaner level all the time.
If you are able to drain the fluid into a container with measurement markings on it then it makes it that much easier to get the amount you add back in correct.
I've been known to use a small hand pump with a long hose on it to suck the fluid out the dipstick tube into empty quart containers that way if I fill up 2 containers pumping it out I add 2 new qts of ATF in, then just check the level on the dipstick to verify that it is correct and I'm good to go. Rather than the old, adding a bit, checking it, adding a bit more, checking it again, adding a bit more and then finding I've added too much.




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