Car troubles?

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kamikazekid
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Car troubles?

Post by kamikazekid » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:38 am

Yesterday the Honda dealer recommended the following for my Honda CRV with around 120k miles
1) Replace Serpentine Belt
2) Replace Spark Plug
3) Reseat Valves
4) Brake pad/rotor resurfacing - he says is 80% worn out and has depth of 3 mm.

I dont understand much about cars. Overall expense for these 4 items is $ 1000 approx. I intend to use this car for at least 3-5 more years. My questions are
1) Which of these are must do - which can I ignore till it becomes an actual problem
2) Will the cost of repair increase once it becomes a problem or is it the same whether I do it now or later when the part fails?
3) If I were to stagger these expenses over next year what is the sequence of repairs I should follow?

I have asked my local mechanic to take a look as well and double check. The dealer recommendations will make my car perfect but I am skeptical that they may be over recommending. Thanks !

dbltrbl
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by dbltrbl » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:44 am

All of the items are reasonable maintenance items. I can not comment on the costs as it varies wildly. I would have them done to keep the car for next 3-5 years. Get a quote for same at Local pep boys. That should give you an idea if dealer is in the ball park.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:51 am

kamikazekid wrote: 1) Replace Serpentine Belt
2) Replace Spark Plug
3) Reseat Valves
4) Brake pad/rotor resurfacing - he says is 80% worn out and has depth of 3 mm.
What year CRV? Older ones had timing belts. Newer ones have timing chains. If older with a belt, that is far more important to replace than anything on your list.

If the serpentine belt snaps, your steering gets very hard. It'll be obvious. You could replace it yourself if you're at all DIY.

Spark plugs are something that slowly deteriorate. When's the last time they were replaced and with what? (iridium, platinum....copper)

Reseat valves sounds like valve adjustment. I do this on Hondas when I replace the timing belt (which you probably don't have). It's no big deal to ignore it forever.

The brake pads on an Audi I used to own were replaced for free when they reached 1mm. At 3 mm, you have some time left. Doesn't have to be done right now. Maybe another 10k miles left in them. You could certainly do them now and be done with it. This is another easy DIY job. I have a set of pads sitting in the garage for my wife's Crosstrek and will get them in when I get around to it. We have about 2 mm left on the rear pads.

Short answer.....you could revisit this a year from now and do nothing until then. How long do you plan to keep the car?
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dbr
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by dbr » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:59 am

In my opinion this is probably all reasonable and the cost is probably not excessive. As said, you can check another garage for an estimate. Note the reply to check timing belt vs timing chain is a big deal.

I also agree none of these is a must do today. Broken fan belts (serpentine belt) are a real pain at the wrong time and in the wrong place. I would replace it now. I don't like forgetting about brake maintenance for too much longer either. I am not familiar with valve maintenance.

aristotelian
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:00 am

$1000 seems reasonable (not great) for all of these items. Not sure about the valves, but you would be looking at at least $600 for the other jobs at an oil change chain shop. If you wanted to save some money, you could do the spark plugs yourself with little prior knowledge, you just need the correct wrench and then the plugs cost a couple bucks each.

fundseeker
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by fundseeker » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:02 am

1) Replace Serpentine Belt- Optional, but it should not be very expensive to replace in any event.
2) Replace Spark Plug - Very optional. Wait until the engine starts running rough if you want.
3) Reseat Valves - Very optional, and may never need to be done.
4) Brake pad/rotor resurfacing - he says is 80% worn out and has depth of 3 mm. - Rotors rarely ever need to be turned, Dealers do it for more profit. Find someone who can just put new pads on it for you. I do our Hondas all of the time, and the OEM pads are about $60. for fronts and same for rears. And, you can wait until you hear the brakes squealing when you apply them (they are made to make that noise when the pads are too thin), but you might as well get that done soon.

I'm not sure why someone mentioned the timing belt (different than the serpentine belt), but that should have been done around 100k miles, and that would probably cost $800 or more by itself.

You are wise to not get ripped off by dealer "recommendations."
Last edited by fundseeker on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

aristotelian
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:02 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote: What year CRV? Older ones had timing belts. Newer ones have timing chains. If older with a belt, that is far more important to replace than anything on your list.
I guarantee the dealer would be quoting the timing belt at that mileage if it had one. Easy way to check is if the engine says "VTEC" on it, that means it has a lifetime timing chain and you don't need to worry about it.

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prudent
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by prudent » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:06 am

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

mmmodem
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by mmmodem » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:13 am

1) None are must do. Reseating valves is optional. The other 3 need to be done eventually.
2) Yes, if the car fails to function as you need to pay for tow, rental, loss pay, etc. but actual repair cost should be same.
3) I'd do the spark plugs first as they are recommended in the manual and this mileage. You can do it yourself with $50 in spark plugs and a torque wrench with socket. Look up YouTube. Serpentine belt can be replaced later. If the brakes have 20% left you can replace at your next oil change at 15% left. Brakes are not easily forgotten maintenance items. You will feel the difference in braking distance. The brakes may pulsate if rotors are warped. They will also squeal when the pads are worn.

NHRATA01
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by NHRATA01 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:39 am

Post up the year for us. From my memory Honda's haven't needed valve adjustments since around the mid '00s with the newer series of engines (personally IMO it was absurd they still did past 1990 when everyone else had self adjusting hydraulic lifters).

The serpetine belt is about a 2 minute job, may be able to get a nice young fellow at Pep Boys or Autozone to swap it for you in the parking lot for 20 bucks.

Brakes are tough to say without seeing them. They have wear indicators and will start screeching mercilessly if the pads are down far enough.

Plugs if they are original, should really be done at 100K.

I would say for these last 2 items, you're probably better finding a good independent shop and you could easily cut your costs in half. And rather than resurface the rotors, they should just replace them with new ones at this point.

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bottlecap
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:54 am

Price is high. Most are optional. The valves are the most optional, and probably the most expensive.

I would have the independent mechanic take a look and do what's needed.

Having the s-belt replaced is probably a good idea. It's time and it shouldn't cost you more than $150.

If the brakes need doing your mechanic will tell you. Brakes are important, of course.

The spark plugs and wires are optional, but it is about time. If you plan on driving it any other 3-5 years, have your mechanic do them for maybe another $150.

So you can wait on this stuff, but everything but perhaps the valves are fairly standard normal maintenance.

JT

kamikazekid
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by kamikazekid » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:03 am

Thank you all for the information and shedding some light on this. My plan is to use the CR-V for next 3 to 5 years which will take us somewhere near the 160k mileage.
Post up the year for us.

My CRV is 2009. The engine does say VTEC on it. This means I have a timing chain right? The dealers quote mentions the words drive belt and serpentine belt.
Plugs if they are original, should really be done at 100K.
I'd do the spark plugs first as they are recommended in the manual and this mileage
The dealer said they are original and also mentioned that I was overdue for a change. This repair makes sense.

Sounds like valve adjustment is really optional.
Regarding brakes - will replace them when they start squealing.

kjvmartin
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by kjvmartin » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:32 am

kamikazekid wrote:Thank you all for the information and shedding some light on this. My plan is to use the CR-V for next 3 to 5 years which will take us somewhere near the 160k mileage.
Post up the year for us.

My CRV is 2009. The engine does say VTEC on it. This means I have a timing chain right? The dealers quote mentions the words drive belt and serpentine belt.
Plugs if they are original, should really be done at 100K.
I'd do the spark plugs first as they are recommended in the manual and this mileage
The dealer said they are original and also mentioned that I was overdue for a change. This repair makes sense.

Sounds like valve adjustment is really optional.
Regarding brakes - will replace them when they start squealing.
I'd do the repairs at the dealer, but I would ask for 20% off. My local dealership often sends out mailers/coupons for 10%-20% off, depending on the dollar amount spent. I'd offer $800 and see what happens. They might just have a "coupon code" sitting in the drawer.

I find that my local dealership is often the best deal for an oil change and competitive with the independent shops on many tasks. There is a conventional wisdom against working with the dealership on maintenance, but I tend to prefer it.

inbox788
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by inbox788 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:54 am

kamikazekid wrote:My CRV is 2009. The engine does say VTEC on it. This means I have a timing chain right? The dealers quote mentions the words drive belt and serpentine belt.
So when does the dealer recommend changing the drive belt on your 2009 CRV and how much are they quoting you?

How long have you owned the CRV? What was the most recent maintenance or repair that you did on it (other than tires and oil change)? When, if ever, was the transmission fluid changed? power steering? brake fluid?

Find an independent mechanic that's not going to rip you off too much (less than the dealership), but stay skeptical at any recommendations. Just ask around for some recommendations.

I know someone who got charged over $100 for an oil change. Turns out the oil change wasn't the rip off, it was changing the cabin air filter and engine air filter. On some cars, it might take 30 minutes to change the cabin air filter, but on a car like yours its a 2 minute job you could do yourself.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:43 am

Ask yourself what kind of Boglehead you are, place yourself ~1yr in the future:
[A] "I take care of my car and it takes care of me, I plan on driving this CRV 200k+ miles"
"I've been hit with some unexpected bills on my Honda, is this a good time to buy a Q7?"

If you don't know anything about cars, just get that stuff taken care of - but get a quote from an indepdent mechanic as well.

- Belts wear out, this is a good time to replace. Think about getting the water pump replaced at the same time (coolant will get done too.) Could be 300-500 depending on what you get done.
- Your valves don't actually get seated or honed, they just do a valve adjustment. This is a good time to get it done. Should be $150.
- Just get the brakes done, $250-300 (My brother got taken for $650!)
- Yes on spark plugs, Honda calls for it in the manual. Rather expensive for good quality plugs, could be 100-200, not always simple to access.

While you're at it, get the transmission fluid drained/filled as well. Your car will thank you, and you'll avoid a $3k transmission repair (the 'lifetime fluid' is a myth.)

barnaclebob
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:16 am

kamikazekid wrote:Yesterday the Honda dealer recommended the following for my Honda CRV with around 120k miles
1) Replace Serpentine Belt
2) Replace Spark Plug
3) Reseat Valves
4) Brake pad/rotor resurfacing - he says is 80% worn out and has depth of 3 mm.
1)Look at the belt yourself with a flashlight. Is it cracked or worn looking? If so replace it, if not wait. Semi worst case scenario, the belt breaks while driving and you'll now need to pay for a tow in addition to the new belt. Worser case, it flails into something else when it breaks and you now have to fix that too. That's probably not very common though. If its never been replaced I would go ahead and do so because its pretty cheap, should be $120 or less but might be an easy DIY job depending on how tight the engine bay is.
2) Is the engine running fine? If so the spark plugs can probably wait. As far as I know, waiting on spark plugs can't cause much ancillary damage. Do you by chance have a 4 cylinder engine? If so this may be a super easy DIY job assuming one of the plugs isn't seized (it probably isn't but you never know)
3) No idea about this one I'll defer to more experienced people but it seems like if its running fine its not needed.
4) Replace them now if you want to give up a free 20% of your brake life. 20% sounds low but in reality its not, brakes should wear linearly so if its been 4 years you have another year or maybe a little less to go. Otherwise your don't need to replace brakes until the wear bars (assuming you have them) start screeching if they are wearing at an even rate. If your brakes aren't making a terrible noise you aren't doing extra damage. Slight high pitched wining may not be an indicator of a problem. Rotors don't need to be turned unless you get a pulsing that goes along with the wheel spin when you hit the brakes.

The price quoted does seem to be about inline with what I would expect from a dealer.

N10sive
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by N10sive » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:48 am

1) Replace Serpentine Belt - Probably the cheapest to replace, would do if havent done previously..

2) Replace Spark Plug - This can wait. Also could do yourself very easily or pay someone other than the dealer.

3) Reseat Valves - This can also wait, check to see what your mechanic says

4) Brake pad/rotor resurfacing - he says is 80% worn out and has depth of 3 mm - Replace once you hear screeching/sqealing, could be anywhere between 3-10k miles. It all depends on how you drive and the environment you drive in. Rotors pry do not need to be resurfaced unless you previously wore your brake pads to the metal/drive in very dirty conditions. Also an independent auto store sells new rotors very cheap usually. I would definitely shop around for this work as it will vary widely by the place.

kamikazekid
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by kamikazekid » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:44 pm

Thank you all for the wonderful, impartial advice. Quite simply the best forum on the whole world wide web. I tell DW everyday about bogleheads and how its helpful and how she should join. I think I know what I need to do based on the responses provided. :happy

MattE
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Re: Car troubles?

Post by MattE » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:58 pm

Strong second\third\however-th to the people that also said to do the spark plugs and brake pads yourself. You can do them yourself in an afternoon with absolutely zero prior car knowledge, YouTube, and a socket wrench set, and save yourself probably close to $500 in the process. I'm not a car guy at all and have relatively limited insight to the purpose of most things under the hood or in the undercarriage, but I still always do that maintenance myself because it's so straightforward.

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