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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forum, and have to admit that I have very little idea about car issues/mechanics. So, please go easy on me.

Recently, I took my 2007 Accord EX (59k miles) for a routine maintenance, when the mechanic said the car needed the following issues fixed.

1. Catalytic converter heat shield broken/rattling $210
2. Brake fluid exchange $130
3. Power steering fluid exchange $120
4. Replace engine coolant $144
5. Auto transmission fluid $90
6. Replace both front brake pads / resurface rotors $285

Plus shop charges of $ 70

All including taxes comes to around $1070.

My question is, how many of these are real issues, and how much do guys think it should really cost? Should I just take the car to an independent mechanic to get these fixed?

Thank you very much for your help!
 

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1. WHAT?! Just take the heat shield off with a needle nose plyer and ratchet+socket! $210?!?! Find a neighbor with 2 jack stands and a hydraulic jack. Get under the car yourself and take the shield off. That's what I did. Cost = $0
2. You can get this done elsewhere for $80
3. NO, don't do this. I didn't do it until 150k miles
4. NO, don't do this until it's time to do timing belt at 105000 miles.
5. You can get this done
6. With exposed wheel spoke, look through the inspection hole on the brake caliper and see if the pads are worn down. I didn't change my front pads until well over 120k miles and the rears until 90k miles.

This shop is a complete scamming machine. What's the name of it and where is it. File a BBB complaint right away haha!
 

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Welcome to the forum! T-rd has excellent suggestions.

1) I would get this taken care of soon. My heat shield ended up falling partly off, and was dragging on the ground. So, either take it off, or member RickBlaine had an awesome suggestion to use hose clamps and clamp it back on, this is what I did.
2) Get another quote, can be done cheaper
3-4) don't have to be done at that low mileage
5) ATF fluid drain+refill is said to be very easy, do a search on the forum for instructions

Good luck, I'm not very knoweldgeable about cars either but this forum has helped me save a ton of money and learn more about how my car works.
 

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Spacetime, welcome to the forum. If you use the search feature, you'll usually find every topic has already been discussed by someone previously. For example, when I changed my ATF fluid, which was quite easy, I followed a step by step instruction thread. It really is that simple.

I guess it depends if you want to learn more about your car. If so, do the easy stuff you can handle. If you value your time over your money, take it to the dealer and let them do it. Then you have no worries, except for being a little poorer.
 

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1. Fix it yourself - $0 I wouldln't leave it off. If you remove it your floor right above the cat will get super hot and you run the risk of the carpet melting or worse, burning. Are you sure its rattling?
2. Unnecessary
3. Ditto
4. Ditto
5. There is an interval for doing this so read your owners manual. For that price a local trans shop will do a complete fluid replacement. For $90 the stealership is only replacing what's in the pan.
6. Only if they need to be replaced.

Plus shop charges of $ 70 - this one kills me. They've already raked you over the coals and they need to charge you 100 times the cost of some rags.

None of these things are real issues except for the heat shield. Ask around your circle of friends and find out who has a mechanic that he trusts. This is important cuz local shops can screw you like the stealership.

Now remember this, when you take your car in to the stealership for "routine maintenance" these are the routine things that should be done based on the mileage intervals suggested in your owners manual. Read your owners manual. By doing them before they're issues you'll never have issues. Not a bad way to go but using the dealership is the most expensive thing you could possibly do.

But still, use an independent shop that's run by an upstanding mechanic. He'll save you tons of time and cash. I use a local guy here who's in his 20s. I'll take it to him and he'll tell me what I need and don't need. He talks me out of things all the time. I got his name from a friend. This friend was having tranny shifting problems. He took it to Aamco and they told him his trans was shot, it would cost $2500 to repair, and "oh BTW we have a guy here in the shop who was just looking for a car like that and is willing to take it off his hands for a few hundred bucks." He got this kids name and the kid replaced a sensor on the trans and fixed him up for $100.

Find a guy like that, provide him that list, he'll fix that rattle for $20, replace all them fluids if you really, really insist, he'll make you feel much better and save you about $800.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Here check this out ( http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/15-7th-generation/145746-so-you-just-bought-7th-generation-accord.html ) a lot of this stuff is super easy to do in your driveway or even in the street if you don't have a driveway and with just a small socket set. The coolant, auto trans power steering, and heat shield issues can all be done with minimal knowledge of cars and little to no tools. The brakes can be done with simple tools in the driveway as well.

Good luck!
 

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I have 202000 miles on my car, the coolant was replaced 1 SINGLE TIME. I will change it when I replace the timing belt and water pump. The recommended replacement interval is every 105000 miles. You aren't driving a 1990 Accord, don't do maintenance you don't need.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Ever since the mechanic has brought up these, my wife has been on me to get these fixed ASAP.
I have gone through the forum about heat shield, but not the others. Will definitely spend time going through the rest of them.
I have been recommended a local mechanic by someone I know. Do you recommend taking the car to him just for a regular check up, and see if he brings up any of the issues?
 

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Good point t-rd. I have a 2004 Accord with 130,000 miles and I'm sure the power steering fluid and coolant are original. Coolant lasts pretty much forever. It can/will break down eventually but it takes a long time. If you're curious, go to Autozone and buy a coolant tester. They're cheap and easy to use. It's like a turkey baster. You suck up some coolant, look at what the floating balls tell you, and you're done. Whenever I do work on a car that requires me to drain the cooling system, I just catch it in a bucket and pour it back in.

Remember this OP, if all you ever do to your car is change the engine oil and auto trans oil routinely, and brakes anything else when they make noise, your car will last a good long time. But if you're the type that prefers to take his car into the stealership every 5,000 miles for piece of mind, that's fine too, it's just that you'll pay dearly.

If you do the math, shelling out $1000 every 5,000 miles will buy you a new car every few years.
 

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Unless your brakes are grinding, none of these things are show stoppers. You can keep driving the car and research how to do them here.

1. Catalytic converter heat shield broken/rattling $210 -- Throw it away or hose clamp it. It lowers the CAT temp to prevent fires when parked on tall grass. New ones cost around $30 if you google. I've thrown away many, with no issues.

2. Brake fluid exchange - Easily accomplished by yourself. Google brake gravity bleed.
3. Power steering fluid exchange $120
I assume you have an i4? Lift the PS canister off the mount and drain it into a cup with hoses still attached. Refill with new fluid. Repeat after driving. PS fluid at dealer for $5 a bottle... get three.
4. Replace engine coolant $144
Drain radiator by opening valve at bottom when cold. Refill with Honda coolant... Coolant = $20 at most dealerships
5. Auto transmission fluid $90
Jack car up, drain ATF and refill with 3 quarts of Honda ATF. Roughly $8-10 a quart at dealer. Instructions all over this forum.
6. Replace both front brake pads / resurface rotors $285
Pull off wheels and inspect pads through inspection windows on caliper. Don't resurface rotors. That only thins them so they warp faster and at the ridiculous prices the quoted you, you could replace them twice. Also, they only need replacing if you get brake judder when you're stopping. If braking is steady, do not replace.
Inspect pads like this...]



Pads... new vs worn



Plus shop charges of $ 70

All including taxes comes to around $1070.
I won't tell you this shop sounds like a bunch of crooks. They all drum up business if they sense gullibility. Obviously you're not gullible.

My question is, how many of these are real issues, and how much do guys think it should really cost? Should I just take the car to an independent mechanic to get these fixed?

Thank you very much for your help!
 

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I'm new to the forum, and have to admit that I have very little idea about car issues/mechanics. So, please go easy on me.

Recently, I took my 2007 Accord EX (59k miles) for a routine maintenance, when the mechanic said the car needed the following issues fixed.

1. Catalytic converter heat shield broken/rattling $210
2. Brake fluid exchange $130
3. Power steering fluid exchange $120
4. Replace engine coolant $144
5. Auto transmission fluid $90
6. Replace both front brake pads / resurface rotors $285

Plus shop charges of $ 70

All including taxes comes to around $1070.

My question is, how many of these are real issues, and how much do guys think it should really cost? Should I just take the car to an independent mechanic to get these fixed?

Thank you very much for your help!
1) Remove/or fix yourself with hose clamps
2) You can buy a quart of brake fluid for $7 at Walmart. It's doable by yourself. Youtube it!
3) Not needed at your mileage. In fact, it's not even a maintenance item in your owner's manual.
4) Not needed for a long time.
5) You can get OEM Honda fluid for less than $10/quart. It's easier than changing oil as well.
6) Get some "akebono" pads on ebay and install them yourself. They are excellent pads for an excellent price. ($30-$40 per axle) The rotors are probably fine unless they look ground up.

There you have it, you can pretty much take care of this service on your own for under $100. The "shop charge" is probably what the cost is to the dealer for the parts alone. Everything else is profit in their pockets.

This is why I could never do auto repair for a living. I can't screw people over like that.
 

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Good job on finding a mechanic! That's exactly what I did when I got my Accord. The owner does all the work on my car, and while his prices aren't the cheapest, they're still cheaper than the dealer.

If I'm not sure about whether something needs to be done, I ask him about it. There have been times where he's either said I don't need to do something, or given me a cheaper alternative.
 

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I have been recommended a local mechanic by someone I know. Do you recommend taking the car to him just for a regular check up, and see if he brings up any of the issues?
Sure but you'll score some big points if you tell him you took it to the stealership, they tried to hose you, you got some good advice from friends to find an honest mechanic, and here you are. If he's smart he's looking at you as a long term customer. Hand him that list. If he's a good mechanic he'll laugh and tell him the same stuff we are. A mechanic worth his salt is here to serve an take care of his customers, not hose them.

Here's the heat shield fix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvIMmbmH_TY

IMO don't leave it off. Ya, there are tons of folks who have and haven't had issues. If Honda didn't put heat shields on cars and a few fires started kiling someone, it would be a massive recall.

And tell your wife she can relax. Nothing there has to be dealt with cept maybe the heat shield. And you probably don't need to deal with that if you don't mind the rattling. Is it really rattling? If not then your stealership is a bunch of thieves.
 

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Thank you all. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Ever since the mechanic has brought up these, my wife has been on me to get these fixed ASAP.
I have gone through the forum about heat shield, but not the others. Will definitely spend time going through the rest of them.
I have been recommended a local mechanic by someone I know. Do you recommend taking the car to him just for a regular check up, and see if he brings up any of the issues?
I've done 90% of the maintenance and repairs on my 2007. I had a rear caliper fail (a major component of the brakes) on my 2007 about 2 years ago. At the time, I had a major shoulder injury and could not perform the fix myself. It was about 7:30pm, which is after "normal" business hours, but the local dealer's service department closes at 9pm, so I figured, I'd take it there. Since this dealer had never seen me before, they also gave me a long $1000+ list of items just like they did you.

Oddly, every single one of the things on their list I had already done in the past year with my own hands and they wouldn't be due to be done again for years.

When I questioned some of the items, they backed off so fast it was unbelievable.

On my next visit, for a recall on another vehicle, I found that they changed my email address and phone number on file to be bogus in case Honda Corporate wanted to contact me regarding this experience.

Build a relationship with a trustworthy local mechanic if you aren't the do it yourself type.
 

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I suggest you start learning by finding out how to loosen the lug nuts, jack up the car using the scissor jack in the trunk, and taking the wheel off. This was how I started. You have to know how to do this anyway when you a blow a tire, unless you just depend on road side service. After that, I learned how to change oil. These are 2 items you should know how to do at least. It'll save you a ton of money. And the knowledge transfers to any other car. It is VERY EASY to learn how to do basic maintenance on a car in this age of youtube videos. The tools you invest in will last almost your lifetime.
 

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If you're located near me in IL I could do those that need done in a day for 1/3 of the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You guys sound amazing! Thank you.

I never knew so many of you could fix many of these all by yourselves. Honestly, I have never tried to fix anything under the hood myself. Just too concerned that I might mess up something beyond repair. I guess I should start learning how to take care of at least some of these myself.

As far rattling, I have never noticed any from the heat shield. For that matter, the car has never had any issues other than needing a new set of tires a couple of years ago.
 

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I suggest you start learning by finding out how to loosen the lug nuts, jack up the car using the scissor jack in the trunk, and taking the wheel off. This was how I started. You have to know how to do this anyway when you a blow a tire, unless you just depend on road side service. After that, I learned how to change oil. These are 2 items you should know how to do at least. It'll save you a ton of money. And the knowledge transfers to any other car. It is VERY EASY to learn how to do basic maintenance on a car in this age of youtube videos. The tools you invest in will last almost your lifetime.

Please don't use the scissor jack except for when you have a flat tire and no other jack with you..bad design and unsafe. Go buy a real hydraulic floor jack
 

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As far rattling, I have never noticed any from the heat shield. For that matter, the car has never had any issues other than needing a new set of tires a couple of years ago.
That's why you buy a Honda. They rarely need a thing.

Do this. Drive one or both of your front tires up on a curb, put it in park, put the emergency brake on and put a brick or something like that behind the rear tires to keep it from moving backward on you (part/e-brake/brick is triple safety). Slide under the car with something like a hammer or screwdriver or block of wood or something you can bang on the catalytic converter heat shield with. Bang on it and see if it rattles. If not then that stealership was really blowing smoke up your butt. Never, ever, ever take it to them again.

And ya, we're badass.
 

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You guys sound amazing! Thank you.

I never knew so many of you could fix many of these all by yourselves. Honestly, I have never tried to fix anything under the hood myself. Just too concerned that I might mess up something beyond repair. I guess I should start learning how to take care of at least some of these myself.

As far rattling, I have never noticed any from the heat shield. For that matter, the car has never had any issues other than needing a new set of tires a couple of years ago.
I had the same fear of messing things up before I joined this forum haha. These cars are easy to work on so far, I even managed to change my spark plugs with the help of a friend.
 
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