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Hi all.. I speak from experience on this topic. First, dealer service managers are under pressure from above to operate with profitability. Also, a high percentage of car owners just want to drive, and don't care about technical things; they let someone else do all the maintenance.

Cars in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s had short "tune-up" intervals. Spark plugs did not last as long, belts & hoses were less durable, valves needed adjusting, etc. There was a clear need for a substantive service at 15,000 and particularly 30,000 miles. The past 10 years has seen a trend of much longer service intervals. Nearly all modern vehicles have aprox 100,000 intervals listed in the owners manual. This has left dealers scrambling to find ways to get service customers in more frequently. Just yesterday in the mail was a full color flyer from my dealer with a "winter service special" for only $179.95 ! It listed an oil & filter change, and a lengthy list of "inspect" this and inspect that. What a joke!! the profit margin on that service is huge, and in all probability they will "uncover" a repair item they can really charge you for!

Most Insight owners are enthusiasts and have some level of interest in technical things. For all of us who are even slightly inclined to work on our cars, here is my advice.... 1) read the owners manual and the encyclopedia on this site. 2) consider buying the service manual 3) wash your own car and wipe down the engine compartment often 4) Practice & learn how to install the rear wheel skirts properly, they work perfectly when it's done right. 5) get a comfortable work space, a floor jack, and 4 jack stands; and become familiar with the cars' underside. 6) always change your own oil & filter, and get good at replacing the 3 panels you just removed (clips, long bolts, short bolts)

When you are on top of all this stuff, you will KNOW if something goes wrong, or does'nt look quite right. And, the more you understand the car, the more fun it is to own & drive! Billy......
 

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Very true.

Alot of dealers will even go above and beyond what your cars manual calls for. The recommend oil change every 3k miles, even put a sticker in your car to remind you!

I had my 15k service perfromed as the Honda dealer- Ed Voyles in Marietta GA. I simply said I want a 15k service. I get the invoice and I was charged for gas additive and the charged to install the gas additive!! I went off. I was told that Ed Voyles Honda 15k service is different than HONDA 15k service. Even after I infromed them that the Insight Manual states to not use any additives!

From then on when the car goes to the dealer I give them a clear list of each item I want done.
 

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cakley said:
(snip)
From then on when the car goes to the dealer I give them a clear list of each item I want done.
That is my plan down the road. Two items I am not comfortable doing will be changing the MTF and flushing the brakes. I'll pay the dealer to do those and possibly some of the other inspection items that require you to really get down under the car. However, for everything else, I will bring a photocopy of the maintenance page from the service manual and highlight those items I want done. I am currently at around 20500 miles and I have been doing all of my own maintenance. My car is approaching three years old and I am planning to do the anti-freeze change this Spring per the three-year recommendation in the manual for 2000 models. However, I have already purchased Honda type 2 anti-freeze and it says on the jug to change it again after five years so I figure once I will swap out the factory anti-freeze and I'll be good for five years. It looks like the 2000's came out before the Honda type 2 anti-freeze was created.
 
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