Please critique my Amsoil Based Honda Maint Plans

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Apr 21, 2003
Ahoy gents; Well, I put a crowbar in my wallet and bought two 2006 Hondas - a Civic Sedan and a CRV. I know, buying 2 new cars is crazy but I look at it as "I'm keeping the global economy going", and I saved up for them. So far two thumbs WAY these vehicles. I've designed Amsoil-based maintenance plans for them...appreciate your feedback. The Civic owners' manual has almost all maintenance tied to the new "Maintenance Minder" system, while the CRV has a traditional maintenance schedule. My assumptions: - Honda recommendations are probably OK for reasonable performance and lifespan, but if it is work I can do myself I don’t mind doing it more often and/or using better parts & fluids if it will make a difference in how the car drives or how long it lasts. On the other hand, I don’t want to blatantly waste money/trash the environment. - AMSOIL will cover my back if I have an engine/trans problem under warrantee -60K/5 yr powertrain. I’m willing to put the gloves on and fight it out if necessary. - Want a no-brainer maintenance plan that will be good no matter what harsh climate/operating conditions I might face - severe cold / short trips is possible– vehicle will perform ‘like new’ until I decide to sell or it rusts away. Failure is not an option if my wife & child are in the car. - I am diligent about checking tires/everything under the hood every weekend - I have no real hobbies [Smile] , so I will look forward to doing maintenance on my cars. Oil & Filter Amsoil Series2000 0W-30 & Amsoil E0A13 filter annually or 15K I will probably drive <15K per year on these cars. Transmission: Initial drain/fill -replaces about 40% of fluid w/ Amsoil ATF at around 5K Then for Civic, drain/fill as indicated by MM For CRV, drain/fill at 60K/3yr, then every 30K/2yr Differential -CRV: Drain/fill w/ Honda dual pump fluid every 30K/2 yr - Honda severe service rec is 60K/4yr Coolant - Civic & CRV: Drain/fill w/ Honda type 2 every 60K/5 yr - Honda rec 120K/10 yr Replace radiator cap w/ drain & fill Replace hoses at 120K/10yr, unless inspection reveals otherwise Engine air filters -Honda OEM: Civic: as indicated by MM - probably around 30K CRV: Every 30K I’ll plan to inspect these every 15K Pollen filter - Honda OEM: Civic: as indicated by MM - probably around 30K CRV: Every 30K/2yr -per Honda rec Power Steering -Civic & CRV: Replace using turkey baster & Honda PS fluid every 60K Brake fluid: Flush lines every 2yr -Honda rec is every 3 yrs w/ Honda brake fluid Tires: Rotate every 10K -per Honda rec Steering/brake/suspension/underbody inspections w/ rotation Note: CRV has full size spare, so I would use 5-tire pattern Spark Plugs: Civic: Replace per MM CRV: Replace every 110K -per Honda rec Drive belt inspect/replacements: Civic: Replace per MM CRV: Inspect every 30K/2yr -per Honda rec Valve clearance adjustment: Civic: Inspect per MM CRV: Inspect every 110K -per Honda rec Batteries: Free? load test annually in Fall starting at year 3. Replace as needed. Idle Speed: Inspect at 160K -per Honda rec Timing belt: None!!! Other stuff: Wax body & alloy wheels w/ NuFinish Spring & Fall Grease weather strips w/ silicone grease Spring & Fall Lube locks/hinges if needed - Spring & Fall Techron fuel cleaner – annual before oil change Change wiper blade inserts annually in fall -inspect in Spring Wash body / undercarriage once a month during winter if possible Questions: 1) Are there any items that are total overkill / underkill? 2) Would it really matter what time of year I choose for the 'annual' S2K oil change? 3) Should I bother with a torque wrench for wheel lugs/drain plugs...never have in the past, just do it carefully ‘by feel’. I do have alloy wheels instead of steel. 4) What do you think about an annual cooling system 'pressure test' after about 5 yrs? Sorry for the long post, thanks for making it this far - Matt
Don't these cars call for 5W-20? I would use 6 month intervals and the excellent 5W-20 XL oil for the first year or two. I would bag the 0W-30 and use the 5W-30 ASL after that, with 1 year intervals. A lot less money for a fairly equivalent oil. Which tranny in each?
Pablo; Thanks for the reply. Yes, they do call for 5W-20. Each of the transmissions is a 5 speed automatic, I don't have the actual numbers handy. My thinking on the transmissions is to do one drain/fill, then drain/fill over relatively short intervals (Honda severe service interval) instead of trying to replace all the fluid at once (3 changes in a row) and do a long interval because there's no filter and I think it would be good to get the crud out periodically. I used the Amsoil ATF in the 5-speed in an Oddyssey that I had with no problems. Interesting that you suggest the XL that what you are going to run in your new van? Is its performance over a 6 month, <10K interval as good as the other oils? Any inside scoop on plans for a PAO 5W-20? Matt PS - I'm thinking of making the move in the spring. Figure I'll give time for that Honda miracle break-in oil to work its magic.
Amsoil ATF IS the ticket for Z-1 replacement. Contrary to some thoughts - there is nothing really special about Honda Z-1 fluid and I think it's plain weak. Yep - XL 5W-20. So far ALL UOA and verbal feedback evidence points to the XL 5W-20 being a great oil. You just need to forget that it's a Group III oil. PAO 5W-20 - springtime - maybe.
Thanks, Pablo. Sounds like a good plan. I'll get hold of you in the Spring to make an order [Smile] What do you think about the coolant? I'm leery about 120K/10 years - a drain/fill is easy to do so I'll do that midway through. The differential is the only thing on the CR-V that I am completely unfamiliar with. Figure if I change the Honda stuff regularly I should be OK. Any other thoughts on the rest of the plan? Are you planning to do anything different with your van?
If you are using AMSOIL for everything else, why not use the coolant, too? Go ahead and use the 5W-20 XL oil the first change. Then you might want to try the 0W-30 and see if you get any mileage improvement sufficient to cover the cost. Or, by that time, AMSOIL may well have a long drain formulation 0W-20 available.
Maybe I didn't see this in your post Matt89, but do you have access to the OEM service manuals for both vehicles? If not, you can probably buy them here: Nothing wrong with your plan, but there are a few changes I'd make (and again, this is only because I've owned new cars before and really like to keep them that way): -- Stick with the OEM Type-II blue coolant. This is already pre-mixed and can be bought in gallon jugs relatively inexpensively. Use it for flushing the system as well as providing the final re-fills when changing the coolant. This is exactly what Toyota calls for when changing coolant, and I would imagine Honda does as well (see their Service Manual). -- Turkey baster your P/S fluid at every engine oil change using only Honda fluid. Cheap, easy and effective. -- Differential and transmission: fluid changes every year (Amsoil in the trannies, Honda only in the CRV diff). -- Cut your oil change intervals to twice yearly, regardless of mileage or OLM readings. -- Spray your CV-boots down with silicone spray (Pyroil makes a cheap non-staining one) at least yearly, if not more often. You're right on with the rest, except I'd pull the sparkplugs on both vehicles now and apply a little anti-seize to the threads. That'll make getting them out years down the road a lot easier. You also might want to goop some di-electric grease on as many electrical connectors as you can find, as this will go a long way toward preventing gremlins and head-scratching sessions (remove the negative cable from your battery, but check to see if this will affect your radio presets and other stuff first). A little more than you bargained for? Probably, but then again, they *are* going to be your hobby....enjoy them for sure!
Oil & Filter Amsoil Series2000 0W-30 & Amsoil E0A13 filter annually or 15K I will probably drive <15K per year on these cars.
I'd go by the Maintenace Minder system in a way, even while using Amsoil 0w-30. I'm agreeing with the first oil/filter change when the Maintenance Minder system drops to 15%, but use Amsoil XL 5w-20 for the first use. Keep careful notes of the fuel economy, and run the fill until the Maintenance Minder system calls for a change again. When its time for the second oil change, use Amsoil 0w-30 with the EaO-13 and run it for TWO cycles of the Maintenance Minder System...that should end up between 12-13000 miles for most people (at least on the TL boards).
Transmission: Initial drain/fill -replaces about 40% of fluid w/ Amsoil ATF at around 5K Then for Civic, drain/fill as indicated by MM For CRV, drain/fill at 60K/3yr, then every 30K/2yr
I'd do two drain and refills with Amsoil ATF on both cars at the first oil change, which will replace about 60-70% of the fluid, then do a single drain/refill every 50K. I think time will tell whether Amsoil has their thickening problem resolved with the 0w-30, if they have, I think they really have a winner with that new SM/GF-4 formulation.
Again I would not use the 0W-30. However, IF the thickening issue is solved, then I'll change my opinion to maybe. I certain would not go longer than the MM during waranty, but that's just me, I guess. The old stuf was just TOO THICK!! Use Honda coolant for the first 300,000 miles. I need to find out more about the Honda diff juice, but yes use it.
You have carefully planned a really extensive maintenance program that covers all the bases. I hope all goes well. One thing to remember is that vehicles are tools. Do not fall in love with a vehicle. A vehicle is not a family member or a pet dog. A vehicle cannot love you back. Be logical. A machine can fail or get in an accident and need to be replaced due to extensive problems before it is supposed to fail. In that case, move on. The 5 speed auto in particular has been a major problem for Acura CL, TL, MDX, and Odyssey owners. Do not be blinded by love for a car and deny the facts when reliability falls below what a Honda is supposed to be. Don't fall in love with a car so that you can be rational about maintenance and replacement.
Boy,I guess I have some digestion to do. One thing of note...Islavistaman, on the ride home from the dealership, the headlamp of my CRV blew out. Figure someone must have put a fingerprint on the bulb or nicked it somehow. Anyway, I wasn't going to be able to go the the dealer anytime soon so I bought a new bulb. When installing it I found plenty of grease smeared all over the connection for the headlight bulb. I was impressed. Made in the United Kingdom, by the way.
thrace; Good point - I think my wife was trying to tell me that last night as I was poring over my owners' manual. The real danger in falling 'deeply in love' with a car is that if (aye, when) the love fades you start treating it like an ex-girlfriend [Smile] I think it's as much about control as it is about love. Car has a finite number of parts. The rest of life is complicated in comparison! I've got some time to finalize my decisions I guess. Might just decide to go syn in the engine & transmission (the 2 big pieces that I would probably junk a car for if they wore out early), follow Honda's maintenance schedule for everything else and call it good.
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