Author Topic: Lots of expensive maintenance work for Odyssey van I'm planning to sell- DIY? (Read 25650 times)

Simple Abundant Living

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Here's a list the dealership says my 2006 Honda Odyssey needs:

1)Valve replacement/new spark plugs $550
2)Timing belt/Water pump $940/$613
3) Rear brake pads $280
4) Transmission fluid flush $135
5)Filters? Air, pollen $55

I'm taking it to my trusty local mechanic to see what they think and how much they would charge me. This is a vehicle I'm wanting to sell soon. I have a 1998 Toyota Sienna that will be able to fit my family once my son graduates and we don't need all eight seats. I realize the dealership is a scam. Are any of these DIY opportunities or are they best left to someone who has a clue what they are doing? Thanks for any advice!
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Ashyukun

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Unfortunately, the more pricy of those are things that aren't generally in the realm of DIY for someone who doesn't have the tools already and a comfort level with doing things that could break the engine even further- namely the valve replacement & timing belt/water pump. Valve replacement usually is best done by a machine shop to make sure the valves seat properly- I can do a whole heck of a lot with cars but still trust that to the local head-specialized machine shop. The timing belt and water pump are a bit more DIY-friendly in general, but are also something that if done wrong can quickly destroy the engine so may be best left to a pro- a decent non-dealership mechanic I would think though would charge you a fair bit less than what the dealership quoted.

Brake pads and air filters? Should be something most people reasonably mechanically inclined and who can follow directions from YouTube videos or a Haynes/Chilton guide. Transmission fluid flush should also be in the same realm (actually found a thread on it when checking: http://siennachat.com/forum/185-problems-maintenance-repair/4514-sienna-atf-change-photos.html ). Spark plugs on many vehicles are not too bad, but on some they're buried and require a ridiculous amount of work to change so I don't know how bad it is on a Sienna.

Another Reader

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These folks are confusing maintenance with repairs. If the rear brake pads are worn to the point where they are not doing the job, replace them immediately. This is a safety issue.

If the transmission oil has never been changed and the vehicle is high mileage, you may want to change it. Or not, if you are selling within a month or two. I do not bother with overpriced "flushes." The rest of this is stuff I would not do unless there was a problem. Sell the car and let the next owner decide what to do.

Exflyboy

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All of this is quite doable if you have experience.. The valve seat replacement is not worth doing yourself.. have the machine shop do it, its a false economy trying to seat your own valves in my experience.

Sadly the fact your asking these questions means you probably have not rebuilt an engine before and thus the head job is almost certainly outside your scope of expertise.

If you want to do it find a an experienced friend who can help you at the tricky parts.

Brake pads and filters are easy DIY jobs though.

Frank

zolotiyeruki

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Everything other than the timing belt, water pump, and valves are things you can do yourself for loads cheaper (and faster) than your dealership. Out of curiosity, how did the dealership come to the conclusion that you need new valves, and how many miles does your van have? Timing belt and water pump are the most involved work I've done on a car. It took me most of a Saturday to do it, but I'd never done one before. If you want a step-by-step for your generation of Odyssey, well, there's a youtube for that:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=GgOUMYHGHms

(Incidentally, we're in the market for a 2005+ Odyssey with 8 seats and less than 100k miles...yours doesn't happen to match, does it? :P)

exranger06

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I'm assuming you meant to say valve adjustment, not valve replacement. Valves are designed to last the life of the engine and rarely need to be replaced. Also, if they did need to be replaced, you would know about it because the engine would not run right at all. And it would cost a lot more than $550. I don't understand why you have two different prices for the timing belt and water pump. Can you elaborate on that?
The only DIY things I think you should attempt are the filters and the brake pads. Personally, I would do everything myself, but I'm an experienced DIY car guy and never go to mechanics for anything. The other items are in the "if you have to ask, it's not for you" category.

sleepyguy

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1)Valve replacement/new spark plugs $550
This can be DIY although you may need some really specific tools.

2)Timing belt/Water pump $940/$613
Probably out of your realm as generally you have to remove so serious pieces to generally change out a belt.

3) Rear brake pads $280
Can be DIY, but most likely let the pro handle it. Also that sounds a bit pricey.

4) Transmission fluid flush $135
Generally a BS charge, look it up.

5)Filters? Air, pollen $55
DIY, it's like a few bolts and a $10-15 filter.


Here's a list the dealership says my 2006 Honda Odyssey needs:

1)Valve replacement/new spark plugs $550
2)Timing belt/Water pump $940/$613
3) Rear brake pads $280
4) Transmission fluid flush $135
5)Filters? Air, pollen $55

I'm taking it to my trusty local mechanic to see what they think and how much they would charge me. This is a vehicle I'm wanting to sell soon. I have a 1998 Toyota Sienna that will be able to fit my family once my son graduates and we don't need all eight seats. I realize the dealership is a scam. Are any of these DIY opportunities or are they best left to someone who has a clue what they are doing? Thanks for any advice!
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Simple Abundant Living

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Thanks for the advice. Here's what my local mechanic quoted:

Valve adjustment $600
Timing belt already done last year (funny that the dealership said it looked "bad")
Rear breaks pad $170
Transmission flush $100
Total w/tax and etc $925

I'm going to have my mechanic do it. Thanks for the opinions!
Don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here!!!

Simple Abundant Living

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Everything other than the timing belt, water pump, and valves are things you can do yourself for loads cheaper (and faster) than your dealership. Out of curiosity, how did the dealership come to the conclusion that you need new valves, and how many miles does your van have? Timing belt and water pump are the most involved work I've done on a car. It took me most of a Saturday to do it, but I'd never done one before. If you want a step-by-step for your generation of Odyssey, well, there's a youtube for that:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=GgOUMYHGHms

(Incidentally, we're in the market for a 2005+ Odyssey with 8 seats and less than 100k miles...yours doesn't happen to match, does it? :P)

Nope, sorry. It does have eight seats, but it also has 135K miles.

About the valves, then check engine light has been going off and on. When they checked the codes, I had been having a lot of misfires. I really should know more about cars, since I rely on it so much, but my dad was a PhD in philosophy and wasn't super handy. My hubby had a super handy grandpa who could fix anything out of junkyard parts, but unfortunately none of those handy genes passed to him. The best thing we've done is find a mechanic who we really trust.
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thurston howell iv

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This Honda could still be an opportunity to learn by attempting some DIY... It's not really THAT hard...

Here's an example of prices:

Valve adjustment is slightly more involved. Not sure it should cost $600 though. I could have the heads freshened up and rebuilt for less by a machine shop.

Timing Belt (If it was replaced last year- it's fine. They have 60-100k miles life.) Hard for dealership to see that the belt "looks" bad as it is hidden under a cover that would require removal.) A new timing belt kit can cost as cheap as $40--- http://rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?ck[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=USD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=156q6g0k2f81brtrog7k46bd87

Water Pump (if needed) - as cheap as $30. http://rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?ck[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=USD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=156q6g0k2f81brtrog7k46bd87

Brakes as cheap as $8.00 - install is easy and tools can be "rented" for free.
http://rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?ck[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=USD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=156q6g0k2f81brtrog7k46bd87

Trans Flush - I'm not a fan. I'd just drain the old stuff (you can do this yourself) and add in new fluid.

Cabin air filters- as cheap as $3.55 a piece.


Learn to DIY and you'll save a TON of money!

Thegoblinchief

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Thanks for the advice. Here's what my local mechanic quoted:

Valve adjustment $600
Timing belt already done last year (funny that the dealership said it looked "bad")
Rear breaks pad $170
Transmission flush $100
Total w/tax and etc $925

I'm going to have my mechanic do it. Thanks for the opinions!

Replying for posterity's sake in case others come to this thread since you've already made your decision.

In the future, brakes are almost as easy as changing oil. Especially pads only. Learning this skill can save you hundreds over the years.

Depending on the vehicle, a transmission FLUSH as opposed to a drain and replace can actually damage the tranny, or so I've been told.

Timing belts haven't been worth it on the vehicles I've had, since it would require having an engine crane or transmission jack, since a critical step to actually remove the belt is unbolting one of the engine mounts.
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Exflyboy

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Thanks for the advice. Here's what my local mechanic quoted:

Valve adjustment $600
Timing belt already done last year (funny that the dealership said it looked "bad")
Rear breaks pad $170
Transmission flush $100
Total w/tax and etc $925

I'm going to have my mechanic do it. Thanks for the opinions!

Replying for posterity's sake in case others come to this thread since you've already made your decision.

In the future, brakes are almost as easy as changing oil. Especially pads only. Learning this skill can save you hundreds over the years.

Depending on the vehicle, a transmission FLUSH as opposed to a drain and replace can actually damage the tranny, or so I've been told.

Timing belts haven't been worth it on the vehicles I've had, since it would require having an engine crane or transmission jack, since a critical step to actually remove the belt is unbolting one of the engine mounts.

I would say my extensive experience in changing a lot of timing belts has been exactly the opposite. For the small transverse engines I have always used a simple trolly jack, lifted up on end and removed the engine mount.

You can then jack up and lower that end of the engine to gain access to the bolts as required.

Frank

m8547

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There is a maintenance interval for a transmission fluid change, so it's not always an BS charge. The manual should tell you when to change it. Just changing the fluid is about the same as an oil change, but a drain and fill will get about 1/3 of it out, depending on the car. If you can do an oil change, you can do a transmission drain and fill. Do it three times, with a mix of driving in between to mix up the old/new fluid, if you think you need a full flush. It will likely help your transmission last longer if the fluid is changed regularly. Someone will probably chime in and say that if you wait too long, replacing the fluid could damage the transmission. That's true if you're way over the recommended service interval, but otherwise you should be OK.

Also, from what I've read, Honda doesn't recommend a transmission fluid flush, they say to do a drain and fill three times. Flushing it (with pressure) can damage things or dislodge stuff that you don't want to dislodge.

There's also a maintenance interval for brake fluid, spark plugs, air filters, timing belt, coolant etc. Replacing coolant refreshes the corrosion inhibiting additives. Replacing brake fluid gets moisture out of the system (it's sealed, but not perfectly). Read the manual, it should spell out all the regular maintenance intervals.

You could try spark plugs first and see if that fixes the engine issues. For air filters, look at them and see if they look dirty. If so, replace.

Sadly, between people dismissing regular maintenance, manufacturers pushing maintenance schedules out as long as possible ("No scheduled tune-ups for 100,000 miles) and shops pushing service when it's not necessary as much as when it is (crying wolf), you end up with cars that don't get much or and maintenance besides oil changes for the first few years then suddenly have a lot of problems after 100,000 miles.

Rube

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I had an experienced mechanic do the timing belt/water pump on my MDX as side work and it took him all day. Might as well do the alternator belt too.

I do my own tranny fluid on both Hondas I own. I generally just change 3 or 4 quarts at a time (different amounts in each car) every time or every other time I change oil. I do like that there's a drain plug on Hondas and you don't need to remove the pan. I'm shocked its that much $.

I buy Honda fluid even though its more expensive. Had a long discussion with another mechanic about that. Honda trannies are the Achilles heel so I'm not taking a chance. You'll also need a funnel and a turkey baster without the bulb to fill through the dipstick.

I did the pollen filter on the MDX. Easy. Hardest part was cutting a piece of plastic from the underside of the dash for access. Yours may already be cut.

greaper007

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Thanks for the advice. Here's what my local mechanic quoted:

Valve adjustment $600
Timing belt already done last year (funny that the dealership said it looked "bad")
Rear breaks pad $170
Transmission flush $100
Total w/tax and etc $925

I'm going to have my mechanic do it. Thanks for the opinions!

Replying for posterity's sake in case others come to this thread since you've already made your decision.

In the future, brakes are almost as easy as changing oil. Especially pads only. Learning this skill can save you hundreds over the years.

Depending on the vehicle, a transmission FLUSH as opposed to a drain and replace can actually damage the tranny, or so I've been told.

Timing belts haven't been worth it on the vehicles I've had, since it would require having an engine crane or transmission jack, since a critical step to actually remove the belt is unbolting one of the engine mounts.

I would say my extensive experience in changing a lot of timing belts has been exactly the opposite. For the small transverse engines I have always used a simple trolly jack, lifted up on end and removed the engine mount.

You can then jack up and lower that end of the engine to gain access to the bolts as required.

Frank

Exactly what I did on my 03 Golf with literally no space in the engine compartment. I unbolted the pax side mount and just supported the engine with my jack. I had to lift the engine up and down several times to gain access to different areas, but it was definitly doable with simple tools.

I got everything to top dead center, and used the mark and match method to install the new timing belt (2 colors of nail polish on teeth and belt of old belt, take it off, and make the same marks on the old belt by counting the teeth between the marks, works great as long as you haven't let the belt go to the point that it's skipping teeth).

First time I attempted anything this difficult and I was able to complete it within 12 hours. I used all OEM parts (the box writing was only in German) and it was still under $200 for timing belt, v belt, tensioner and water pump (with an updated metal impeller, previous plastic one had failed), and new VW specific coolant.