Honda vs. Toyota -- Ease of Maintenance

Messages
1,088
Location
Baltimore, MD
I have never owned a Honda, and I'm still a fairly new Toyota owner. From what I can tell, though, Hondas are quite a bit less convenient to deal with than Toyotas for the maintenance DIYer. True? Hondas need special power steering fluid that is hard to find, for example. I also note that Honda repair information is not available at Autozone.com for some reason. It is for Toyota. Then, of course, there is the 5W-20 oil requirement which makes it harder to find motor oils. (Not trying to start a thing here on 20 vs. 30, just noting the fact that Honda calls for 20 which is harder to find. I know Ford does as well.) Of course, parts, fluids, and supplies for domestic brands are everywhere... but it seems like between Toyota and Honda, Toyotas are a lot more convenient to maintain because of fewer "special" requirements.
 
Messages
1,799
Location
NJ now SC
Love the easy access and vertical position of the oil filter in the wife's '05 Corolla. Hate those messy horizontal positioned Honda oil filters.
 
Messages
1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
I think the Honda's are easier to maintain than Toyota's. I have owned both and while I do purchase the fluids specifically for the Honda online or at a dealers the honda just seems easier to maintain. Transmission oil changes are a breeze compared to the Toyota. Oil changes are about equal. Plug changes are easier on the Honda. Most things are just easier to get to on the Honda. The fluids are better if you use Honda fluids and so far I have been impressed with what I read about their fluids. I guess I just don't get your complaint.
 
Messages
1,294
Location
Western Washington
I love my Honda, but I hate it when I have to do anything to it. Changing the oil isn't bad except for the idiotic filter location (horizontal on the back of the block). Removing my valve cover wasn't bad either. But for everything else I've tried to do to it, the car has fought me every step of the way. I watched my mechanic change the fuel filter, and he was incredibly frustrated by the end because its so hard to get to. Even my family's old '85 Accord is a pain. Its falling apart, but the engine still runs fine. Recently the starter went out on it. We absolutely can't get it out of there, so the car is going to get junked. Doing anything complicated on a Honda is horrible!
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,119
Location
New Jersey
toyotas are far more maintainable... by a long shot. Toyota also uses higher quality rubber in their rubber parts - so replacement due to rubber failure is less/less often. However, the quality of the toyota components are decreasing at a faster rate than Honda. Ive always said that Hondas are great vehicles for as many miles as you can get on them in 10 years... after that the rubber rots and replacing anything major is a major pain. JMH
 
Messages
855
Location
India
Being a Honda owner and a DIYer, I would say its quite cramped but then, Honda is as reliable as Toyota and will reward your hard work by long trouble free mileage as in my case, with M-I from day one, my 92 Accord V6 has over 500,000 trouble free miles.
 
Messages
1,508
Location
Colorado
JHZR2, How would you compare the quality of the rubber parts between Honda/Toyota, and BMW. I've owned all three BTW. - Glenn
 
One look at the new Civic, and seeing the work required to do a simple headlight change just makes me shake my head. I love how everything on my Toyota was purpose built to be easy to get to and replace. Mind you the new Yaris takes a step back in maintenance ease. The under hood area is too cramped. I suppose this is good for the dealerships. Having to come in and get charged $80+ Cdn to change a stinking $10 light bulb! [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
333
Location
Shreveport, LA, USA
I'd say my CR-V is much harder to work on than my saab 9-5 in terms of space. Good thing I NEVER have any problems w/ it. The oil filter is ridiculously hard to get to compared to my saab's, which you could probably change just by reaching your arm under the car on the ground. The CR-V dribbles oil from the filter all over the subframe and suspension (lets not forget the exploding V's!). I thought changing plugs on the V was hard, too, but not that bad. My brother went from a 96 Tacoma 4wd V-6 (which he only changed the oil in twice in 250k miles!) to a 4 cyl 05 Accord and he feels the Toy was much easier to navigate underhood.
 
Messages
597
Location
Salisbury, MD
I've never owned a Toyo but have a '89 Accord LXi and '05 Ody. The only regular maintenance item on either that's a pain is the oil filter on the Accord, but its no different than my Mazda P5. I drive my cars up on Rhino ramps for oil changes so, no big deal (on the Ody, filter is easy). Beyond that, a complete tune up on the Accord is easy. I really liked how there was a access hole in driver's side wheel well to get a 1/2" ratchet on the crank bolt to turn the crank during valve adjustment (valve cover came right off as well). I also like the air bleed screw on the Accord for coolant change outs. But the thing I love on both is the ease of doing auto tranny fluid change-outs, no filter, just unscrew the drain bolt. After dropping the pan on my old Astro, the Hondas were like bread from manna. This is a major plus in my book. As for using Honda fluids, I don't consider that an issue.
 
Messages
13,288
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I too have owned both Honda's and Toyota's as well as many other makes/modles. I've put in access of 300,000+ miles on both the Honda's and Toyota's only, with very little issues along the way. And I mean very little. Everything else has given me more problems than they're worth especially Chryslers. GM, BMW & FORD were not too too bad but, still no where near as good as good as these two Asian brands IMHO and I do all of my own work except fot warrante and recall. I like driving BMW's, Honda's and Chryslers the best. Toyota's are boaring at best. BMW reliability is not where it should be for the Money! Great cars to drive though!
 

JTK

Messages
13,432
Location
Buffalo, NY
IMHO- It all depends on the vehicle size and powertrain layout. Toyota and Honda trucks and vans *should* have more room to work than the Toyota and Honda car offerings. G/luck Joel
 
Messages
2,364
Location
sebring, florida
honda oil filter locations can be a pain. i guess no auto maker is perfect. its easier to do a drain and refill on a honda tranny. other than that, i would say they are about equal. they are both very good car companys.
 
Messages
77
Location
Atlanta
Depends on the individual cars. Honda V6 filters are very easy to change, no need to raise the car they are accessable behind the passenger front tire. My toyota requires underbody shield removal to get to its filer. Having owned many of both (6 Toyotas, 8 Hondas) I would say Toyota is slightly better quality, honda more performance per cc engine displacement and higher redlines.
 
Messages
1,432
Location
Virginia
My new '06 Honda Civic has an oil filter that will be super-easy to change...vertically mounts and right in front. Seems comparable to a Corolla I rented (man, that looked easy). The Corolla's engine bay seemed a lot less cluttered than my Civic. Used to have a '98 Civic, man that was awful to deal with...horizontal mount in the bowels of the engine bay!
 
Messages
948
Location
st. Louis
I would weigh in on the Honda is a great car that is hard to work on crowd. Don't own either but I do work for my wife's best friend who has a 99 Civic. Timing belt replacement made me understand why people don't like changing timing belts - about a 40 minute operation on my Volvo. You can't even take the timing belt cover off to look at the belt without removing the valve cover. What gives with that??? Good car but they make you work for it.
 
Messages
3,376
Location
North TX
We own an '03 Corolla and an '04 Accord (4cyl.) I do my own maintenance and feel that the Corolla is far easier to work on. I'm talking oil changes and the like. Even the hood prop on the Toyota is off to the side out of the way whereas the Honda's is in the way. I wonder if the Accord's filter can be relocated to a more accessible place?
 
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