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Old 12-07-2015, 08:26 AM   #21
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Another reason why I do my own oil changes. And if you bring in your own, watch them like a hawk.
Exactly. I do my own oil and a lot more.

Many just hire some kid, or drug addict, to work on the cars.

I was once at a small automotive repair shop picking up some stuff. The 'mechanic' was fixing a leaking power steering pump. He did not have the right o-ring to seal the pump as the o-ring he had was too large. He just cut the o-ring to size...

After that, I would never go to a non-dealer shop. At least the major dealers have a reputation.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:33 AM   #22
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Honda brake fluid is a DOT3 fluid. That means, the Department of Transportation has created specs that the fluid complies with. It is the same DOT3 that has been used since the 60s, or prior. The repair shop would likely buy the brake fluid in a larger drum, not a pint bottle.

There is a DOT3, DOT4 and a DOT5. DOT4 is a better brake fluid than DOT3 as the boiling point is higher. DOT4 is interchangeable with DOT3, although if your vehicle recommends a DOT4, stick to that.

DOT5 is a silicone fluid, and is not as interchangeable. It is a different animal.

Honda buys a bunch, adds their label, and marks the price up. It is no different than the generic stuff you buy on the shelf next to it, only the generic stuff is MUCH cheaper.
Figured I'd just get the Honda branded. Directly from my car manual:

Quote:
Using any non-Honda brake fluid can cause corrosion
and decrease the longevity of the system. Have the
brake system flushed and refilled with Honda Heavy
Duty Brake Fluid DOT 3 as soon as possible.
Don't really want to use my car as a test subject .
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:00 AM   #23
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Figured I'd just get the Honda branded. Directly from my car manual:

Don't really want to use my car as a test subject .
Exactly! Using fluids other than what's recommended by manufacturer might work in the short term, but may impact reliability long term, or need to be replaced more often. For example, there might be corrosion over time, or impact to seals. Is your coolant "2EHA-free"? You can plow through volumes of discussions about coolants and transmission fluids online, and still not be sure. So I just stick with the manufacturer's recommendations.

On a related topic, I only use Denso iridium spark plugs, (the 0.7mm electrode). These last over 120K miles. There are a ton of "compatible" spark plugs out there, but many need replacing much more often. And I kinda like the idea of a piece of a meteor in my car.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #24
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Exactly! Using fluids other than what's recommended by manufacturer might work in the short term, but may impact reliability long term, or need to be replaced more often. For example, there might be corrosion over time, or impact to seals. Is your coolant "2EHA-free"? You can plow through volumes of discussions about coolants and transmission fluids online, and still not be sure. So I just stick with the manufacturer's recommendations.

On a related topic, I only use Denso iridium spark plugs, (the 0.7mm electrode). These last over 120K miles. There are a ton of "compatible" spark plugs out there, but many need replacing much more often. And I kinda like the idea of a piece of a meteor in my car.
I'm not sure what "2EHA-free" coolant means. Haven't needed to change that yet but will stick with the Honda brand suggested in the manual.

I don't disagree with DOT3 is DOT3 to meet certain requirements. Yet at the same time, if I had a choice to go with the car specific brand or some DOT3 no-name made, in China, sold in a dollar store. Buy at your own risk.

+1 about plowing through discussions online and still be not sure. Even the guys at CarTalk don't have a conclusive answer:

Quote:
The owner's manual for my 2010 Honda CR-V with all-wheel drive states that only Honda fluids may be used in the car, except for motor oil. The dealer's service department confirms this. The rear differential gear oil, automatic-transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant, etc., have to come from Honda, they say. Dire and catastrophic results are promised otherwise. I think "hellfire and brimstone" is in there somewhere, too. Is there a chance that Honda is overdramatizing this as a way to provide extra revenue to the dealer?
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TOM: So we don't have proof that using Honda fluids is absolutely necessary, Stan. But we think it's a reasonable thing to do based on Honda's claims. That's what we do for Honda owners who come into our shop.
http://www.cartalk.com/blogs/tom-ray...ally-necessary

The discussion of are the fluids the same reminds me of this time in college drinking before going to a party. I made this comment, "Beer is pretty much just Beer". After a pause and a look on the faces in the group, thought either I'd get stoned to death or at least get my man card taken away .
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:50 AM   #25
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I'm not sure what "2EHA-free" coolant means. Haven't needed to change that yet but will stick with the Honda brand suggested in the manual.

[ .
I don't know much about it either. I just used "Zerex red asian" (ack, that sounds racist) instead of Toyota red, when I replaced my Acura's coolant a few months ago. I hope it will be OK.

Last summer my car was running rough, and I thought it was an ignition problem. The plugs were fine, so I was worried. It was well past the replacement schedule for the transmission fluid, and when I replaced that, the car ran perfectly again. Who knew. I did the 3x3 (empty and refill 3 times), so most of the fluid is now new. I don't know if repair shops do that, since it's 3X the cost.

Also I heard that a common practice in repair shops for the brake fluid change is to just suck fluid from the reserve and refill, instead of bleeding the lines. The fluid will look new in the reservoir, but the lines will have the old fluid. So no one will know the difference (except the car).
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:06 AM   #26
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Most general repair/maintenance shops (and probably many dealer repair shops) will go with the cheaper routes. Anything that saves them time and money but still get's the job done (reasonably well). It's not their car and they are in it for the money.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:09 AM   #27
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I've found that the best mechanics run out of patience with dealership and chain-store environments and go independent. Yes, there are some incompetent indies out there, but the market tends to winnow them out. It's also not hard to find a shop that specializes in Asian imports. They know what fluids need to be brand-specific and which ones can be more generic (such as brake fluid).

I tend to buy older well-kept cars. There have been times that I've gone to the dealership for parts and found that they don't even stock what I need anymore. The car was out of warranty so it was outside their sphere of interest.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:36 AM   #28
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..........There have been times that I've gone to the dealership for parts and found that they don't even stock what I need anymore. The car was out of warranty so it was outside their sphere of interest.
Off topic, but in my experience, dealerships make most of their money on repairs (out of warranty) and on used cars.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:07 PM   #29
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I doubt they would carry it. I'd ask and ask to see the label on the container for proof. I might trust my independent Honda/Toyota shop enough to let them use appropriate non-honda but honda friendly stuff.

For my 2000 Honda civic, the main thing to use OEM fluids for is the transmission. Oops, I used generic. So far so good but the tranny doesn't feel quite as tight (wow, have fun with that one guys).
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:48 AM   #30
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Well, I get the brake fluid flushed and more regular maintenance on my car today. According to the shop, I don't need to use car specific fluids. I told him I brought my own anyhow. I think the answer is one of those things that really, "Depends on who you ask" . I wasn't going to debate or quote my car's manual (I'm sure they don't like being told how to do their job), but am content just bringing in the car branded fluid, better safe than sorry. To tell you the truth, I really don't know what is the correct answer as there is enough doubt either way.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:06 PM   #31
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Well, I get the brake fluid flushed and more regular maintenance on my car today. According to the shop, I don't need to use car specific fluids. I told him I brought my own anyhow. I think the answer is one of those things that really, "Depends on who you ask" . I wasn't going to debate or quote my car's manual (I'm sure they don't like being told how to do their job), but am content just bringing in the car branded fluid, better safe than sorry. To tell you the truth, I really don't know what is the correct answer as there is enough doubt either way.
Good decision. For the small amount of money involved, you hedged your bets.

As a retired auto engineer, I had to chuckle when the mechanics in our experimental garage would tell me what was and what was not important on the prototype they were wrenching on. They were always looking backward and didn't realize that what was true once may not be true with the current technology. No malice, just a lack of understanding.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:20 PM   #32
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Good decision. For the small amount of money involved, you hedged your bets.

As a retired auto engineer, I had to chuckle when the mechanics in our experimental garage would tell me what was and what was not important on the prototype they were wrenching on. They were always looking backward and didn't realize that what was true once may not be true with the current technology. No malice, just a lack of understanding.
Also, I figure buying the car specific fluids on my own is probably lost costly that the shop fluids prices anyhow. This way I'll know if say, I get a transmission issue, that isn't from the incompatible fluids.

Yet at the same time, on the side of maybe car specific isn't needed, I haven't really seen many mentions of, for example, someone says they used non car fluids and the really messed their car up. So...as the saying goes... "The jury is still out."
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:37 PM   #33
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Also, I figure buying the car specific fluids on my own is probably lost costly that the shop fluids prices anyhow...........
Don't worry, they will charge you for the fluid anyway, it will just be hidden in another part of the bill.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:58 PM   #34
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Don't worry, they will charge you for the fluid anyway, it will just be hidden in another part of the bill.
Probably so .
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:04 PM   #35
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Yet at the same time, on the side of maybe car specific isn't needed, I haven't really seen many mentions of, for example, someone says they used non car fluids and the really messed their car up. So...as the saying goes... "The jury is still out."
It would be hard to know for sure. Say you flush the transmission fluid with non-OEM fluid, drive 30k miles then it falls apart. Bad transmission or failure caused by the non-spec fluid?

Without looking at hundreds of actual test cases, it would be hard to know. I assume the mfr has either looked at the data or tested it out in their own hardware, but I'm sure they sometimes say "use only OEM fluids" just to make more $ when the difference in generic fluid vs. OEM is very tiny.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:44 PM   #36
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Don't worry, they will charge you for the fluid anyway, it will just be hidden in another part of the bill.
And....bringing your own fluids or parts to a shop to use on your car may void any warranty on the repair or procedure on their part.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:03 PM   #37
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And....bringing your own fluids or parts to a shop to use on your car may void any warranty on the repair or procedure on their part.
Looks like a choice between the lesser of two evils. Possibly void warranty vs mess up car.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:16 PM   #38
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It would be hard to know for sure. Say you flush the transmission fluid with non-OEM fluid, drive 30k miles then it falls apart. Bad transmission or failure caused by the non-spec fluid?
...
I've always wondered if the start of the trans problems of my previous car was non-OEM from transmission fluid. But then again, the car wasn't on the reliable side. I do know what you mean by difficult to pinpoint.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:54 PM   #39
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And....bringing your own fluids or parts to a shop to use on your car may void any warranty on the repair or procedure on their part.
The cost of parts at a repair shop is a burr under my saddle. I had new rotors put on DW's car and they charged more than what would be the retail price for name brand parts. When I queried them as to what brand the new rotors were, it turned out that there were no name i.e. Chinese parts.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:14 PM   #40
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The cost of parts at a repair shop is a burr under my saddle. I had new rotors put on DW's car and they charged more than what would be the retail price for name brand parts. When I queried them as to what brand the new rotors were, it turned out that there were no name i.e. Chinese parts.
I'd venture to say most aftermarket auto parts are made in China These days. Recently, I bought a MANN oil filter for my VW; top OEM brand/supplied by a European company. Even had a VW 9 digit part number on the box AND THE FILTER. Also had a "made in China" sticker on the box.
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