Please critique my Amsoil Based Honda Maint Plans

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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 UP...love 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
 
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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?
 

Matt89

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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 5W-20...is 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.
 
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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.
 

Matt89

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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?
 
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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.
 
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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: http://www.helminc.com 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!
 
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quote:
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 Richard...do 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).
quote:
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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 

Matt89

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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.
 

Matt89

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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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