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Just purchased '02 GG EX and we love it. We are, however, a bit confused as to what maintenance schedule to follow since the schedule recommended by the dealer is different from the schedule listed in the owner's manual. Our driving habits fit squarely within the "normal conditions" schedule, but the dealer recommends the "severe conditions" schedule. Who's right on this? Is the dealer just trying to increase its service department's business? Or does the dealer have practical know-how that makes its advice better? The dealer also advised that tires be inflated to 32 psi where the manual recommends 36 psi.

Finally, does Honda really mean it when it recommends replacing the engine oil filter every other oil change? My dad would not be happy if he knew I didn't replace the oil filter when I changed the oil.
 

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I would believe Honda not the dealer, except for the oil filter thing. The filter isn't that much $ and the only thing keeping your oil and therefore your engine clean. It may be OK not to change it, but it won't hurt to change it.

As far as the rest, I certainly think that Honda engineers know quite well what maintenance your van needs. The dealer wants your $, the more the better. If it makes you feel better to do things more often (like the oil filter), go ahead. But I wouldn't be pressured into it by the dealer.

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D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX (9" TV/VCR w/Steel Horse Tote, soon to be SmartScreen rear delay wiper)
93 Escort LX (basic, no frils, get-to-work-and-back car)
60 Thunderbird Conv. (THIS is the real fun!)
 

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My salesman also told me that anything but "little old lady" driving is "severe Duty". When I told him I disagreed and told him that the Service manual defined "severe duty" as MAINLY short trips in cold weather, extreme heat, long idling or towing a trailer, he had nothing to say. (In true motorgeek fashion I had already bought the Manual and had it in my backpack). I then said that I'll bet the Service Dept. tells all the salesmen to say that. He agreed. I had a nice knowledgeable salesman and although not completely honest, more so than most. By the way, if you live in Canada and the dealer tells you that all driving is "severe duty", he's telling the truth according to the Helm manual.

Back in the seventies and Eighties, you really did need to change your oil more often. Metallurgy, petroleum engineering, design engineering and manufacturing has greatly improved on the situation. Internal Tolerances are much closer and oil viscosity just doesn't break down as quickly. That's why harldy anybody uses good ol' 10 W 40 anymore. I change my oil every 5,000 mi. I change my filter every other change. The good thing on the Ody (unlike any other car I've changed in 10 years) is that the filter is easy to change. Weather you put a new filter on or not, the main thing to remember is to put in the new oil.

Stick with the 36 PSI on the tires. 32 PSI won't hurt but will slightly soften the ride and decrease tread life on the outer edges. Not to mention it gives you less "fudge" room should you ever get a slow leak. The rule of thumb is to always believe the sticker on the doorjamb. That was put there by engineers that have toiled to come up with a pressure that optimizes handling, braking, and tread life. Finally, don't make the common mistake of inflating to the max press. listed on the tire (I think its 45 on the Symetrys).

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'91 Sentra SE-R
'57 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe.
If at first you don't succeed...so much for skydiving.
 

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I am certainly not responding based on my technical expertise on cars, but... we have received such misinformation from the dealers on the specs on the Ody that we would be very wary at taking any advise they give upon delivery. My recommendation would be to follow the advise of the owners manual, rather than anything that other information that a salesman gives you or anyone else at the dealership.
 

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IMHO the service schedule you adopt should be a function of how long you intend to keep the car. If you have every intention to keep it "forever", i.e. well over 100,000 miles, then the incremental cost of following the severe duty maintenance schedule will be paid back in terms of enhanced long term reliability.

Everything is a compromise and there's no free lunch. Honda wants to keep maintenance costs down so as to look good in the Car and Driver review, and also wants to sell you a new car every few years. The dealer wants your maintenance dollars. The oil companies (one of which I work for, BTW) want to sell you oil. Sierra Club and the like want you to conserve that oil.

The bottom line is that you evaluate your own needs and act accordingly. Don't necessarily believe your dealer but then don't necessarily believe Honda either.

(On the tire pressure, try both 32 and 36 psi and use whichever feels more comfortable. Neither one is going to get you in trouble.)



[This message has been edited by rg (edited 02-23-2002).]
 

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Four pounds below spec is too low to run the tires. It will only cause more heat and wear and, in the hottest of conditons, could contribute to tire failure. As was stated above, 32 psi leaves to little "wiggle room", should you pick up a puncture at the beginning of a long drive and have a slow leak. If you have started out at a lower pressure, you will be that much lower and more dangerous sooner. In truth, when one begins a trip in a loaded van, especially in hot weather, a little extra air(maybe 2 psi) should be added, as long as it does not put the final cold inflation pressure at a higher level than the maximum called for on the sidewall of the tire. Remember, tire pressures should always be checked with the tires COLD. Even tires which have been run a mile or two will be warmed somewhat, in most climates, and the pressure will not be true, if inflated in that state. Even tires which have been in the direct sunlight for a little while will have gained some pressure and cannot be properly inflated until they cool. Yes, you can "allow" for the pressure gain due to heat, and that's o.k., if you do it carefully. If you drive ten miles to a quick lube place and they check your tires right when you come in off the road, all bets are off. Today, I checked the tires on two vehicles belonging to folks we are staying with. I found that the eight tires were anywhere from five to nine psi underinflated. These are just average folks, who just want the car to start and run when they need it and who have no clue that they ride with danger each day they hit the freeway. There are lotsa "them" out there on the roads and I hope they can keep em'in their lanes.........

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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I think that the manufacturers are under pressure to offer long service intervals. It's incredible that most engines today can go 100,000 miles between tune-ups. The manufacturers need to offer competitive tune-up and oil change intervals, so that they can offer the lowest total cost of ownership.

That is why, in my opinion, it is better to increase the oil change interval. Oil changes are one of the two best ways to increase your engine's life (the other is good driving habits). Of course, if you're just leasing the car and you don't care about getting 200,000 miles, then follow the standard intervals.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">That is why, in my opinion, it is better to increase the oil change interval. Oil changes are one of the two best ways to increase your engine's life</font>
I had an oil analysis done by Blackstone Labs. You're right on the money. More later.
 
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