I own a 2008 Honda Civic and dread taking it in for an oil change because it has 29,500 miles and they are going to charge me for everything under the sun. They are going to claim I need this and that done and it adds up! Can you tell me what I need so I can go there and pretend I know something about cars?
Vacadia from Ft. Worth, TX
Your owner’s manual will give you a complete outline of what should be done for a 30,000-mile service. I checked my ALLDATA database to see what Honda recommends for this mileage service interval. According to them, all that is recommended is an oil change, an engine air/inside cabin filter replacement and tire rotation. These items should cost you under $100 plus or minus $20. Good luck.
I own a 2007 Mazda 3 with only 16,000 miles. It has had regular oil changes and tire rotations, but nothing else. I don’t know whether to go by the mileage recommendations or the age of the car recommendations for maintenance. I don’t want to go into a repair shop or the dealer and ask them because they will probably say I need all sorts of things done to the car. What do you recommend in this situation? Thanks!
Patricia from NE
If you look in your owner’s manual, it outlines service recommendations based on mileage and time estimates. IE: rotate tires every 6,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. Or, change oil and filter every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first. The owner manual gives you an outline to go by. Tell the repair shop you have read it over and tell them what you expect.
My brother is interested in buying a 2010 Saab 9-5 that was water damaged and has no factory warranty. What do you think? Can a warranty be purchased for it? Is it worth the risk?
Sandra from MI
In most cases, such vehicles cannot be warrantied because there was a flood-damaged title issued. Extended warranty companies stay away from vehicles with such a pre-existing condition. In addition, with water-damaged vehicles, electrical problems that crop up later are massive due to deep-seated connection, wiring and electrical component corrosion. It’s not worth the hassle buying the vehicle, even at a bargain basement price. I would walk away from it.
Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 37 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) and MPG (Motor Press Guild), Torbjornsen is the Repair and Maintenance Editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. Hear his radio show. America’s Car Show, on the SSI Radio Network Saturdays at 8 a.m. Listen to the show on the live stream during regular show times at www.americascarshow.com. Send your car questions to his website at www.americascarshow.com. You can also find Tom’s book, “How To Make Your Car Last Forever,” in local Barnes & Nobel booksellers, or order online at Amazon.com.