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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife's 2012 pilot EX-L is due for its 100k service. It's now at 125k. The last time at the dealer was at 85k for replacement of one of the fluids in the driveline, can't remember which. She really likes it. It has run like a dream since purchase at 60k miles.

Below are the quoted maintenance items and prices.

1. Timing belt, plus water pump and tensioner (and I think idler, plus serp. belt) = $1100

2. Trans fluid flush: 220

3. 4x4 service: 240

4. Spark Plugs = $324

5. Valve adjustment, valve cover gaskets = $703

6. sway bar bushings = $200

I've personally replaced similar parts on my domestic vehicles, chrysler minivan, chevy suburban and K1500 pickup, with the exception of the timing belt and valve adjustment. Those two items I'd probably hire the dealer or mechanic to do.

Questions:

1. are these prices reasonable for dealer service? they seem a bit steep to me, but I don't go to dealers often.

2. Are there any items I should undertake myself? Any I should avoid altogether?

3. Are the timing belt and valve service jobs something suitable for a good non-dealer mechanic? I've got a friend who owns a repair shop, retired Air Force mechanic. He works on most anything, but does not have dealer backing.

Thanks!
 

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Well here are my thoughts now I live in Canada
1. .Pays 4.3 hours in pro-demand
2. I recall I paid $100 for my transmission fluid from the dealership at employee pricing and on Pro-demand it shows that a transmission fluid change pays 0.7 hours. 4x4 service seems a bit high but
3. I know these are also just drain and fills but that doesn't seem too terribly high.
4. spark plugs in pro-demand pay 1.0 hours
5. Valve cover gaskets and valve adjustment pay 2.2 for both valve cover gaskets and 4.5 for the valve adjustment
6. These pay 0.9 so seems normal
There is a lot of overlapping here I think these prices are in check for my opinion seems expensive as they could give you a break since there is a lot of overlapping.
I know that transmission fluid and 4x4 service are just drain and fills so not too difficult just a hassle without a hoist. I personally would only let the dealership do valve adjustment and timing belt and water pump.
 

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You are being charged a la carte with a phone price to scare you away. There is no way you get quoted that if the car is already there for service. That being said at that mileage and with the items that are overdue, you should be out the door for about 1700.00, maybe 2k.
 

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IMO the prices are inline with the dealer prices in my area for those services. The TB/WP combo is probably the most important one to keep the Pilot rolling another 100-125K. The rest can be done over time unless the fluids have been neglected.
 

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This is Honda's business strategy in action.

At somewhere around 100k miles, people who have had their cars serviced at the dealer get a big shock on the cost of required maintenance. The dealer offers a good trade-in allowance for a clean, dealer-serviced car. That, plus the $2,800 shop tab puts a good dent in the price of a new one. The owner trades and the dealer sells two cars.

Alternatively, the dealer makes a tidy profit on the $2,800 shop tab.

If you want to keep the vehicle, the first thing you need is an independent mechanic. Your friend will be fine if he's even modestly competent. He'll still charge you $1,000 or so for the timing belt, several hundred for the valve adjustment, and he'll be earning his money fairly. Even those jobs are reasonable if you have the time (20 - 25 hours hands-on for your first outing), the tools (a real floor jack and stands, an impact wrench, and the famous Lisle socket are table stakes, in addition to a normal set of mechanic's tools) and a place to do the work over several days.

The rest is easy DIY stuff you can do without incident with a few internet videos and guidance from this forum.

However - even if you have the dealer do it all, you've got a good car that will go another 125k miles for $2,800. You won't get that kind of a deal anywhere else.
 

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My wife's 2012 pilot EX-L is due for its 100k service. It's now at 125k. The last time at the dealer was at 85k for replacement of one of the fluids in the driveline, can't remember which. She really likes it. It has run like a dream since purchase at 60k miles.

Below are the quoted maintenance items and prices.

1. Timing belt, plus water pump and tensioner (and I think idler, plus serp. belt) = $1100
An Aisin Kit TKH-002 can be purchased on RockAuto for around $170 to do the timing belt water pump job.
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You might find an independent that will install this for a few hundred less. I highly recommend a Bando serpentine belt as a replacement. There should be no charge to install this since the old belt must be removed when the timing belt water pump job is done.
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2. Trans fluid flush: 220
Be careful with the term flush. Seems some dealerships are using a mechanical flush. Honda only recommends drain and fills. This is a really easy DIY. 1 gallon jugs of Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife ATF can be purchased at Wal-Mart for $18. I'd buy 3 jugs. It takes about 3.5 quarts for each drain and fill. Do the first drain and fill, drive 10 miles or so and do a 2nd. Drive a 100+ miles and do the 3rd.
3. 4x4 service: 240
Theses can also be DIY. The transfer case uses Honda 80w90 hypoid gear oil. Many are using a Full Synthetic GL5 rated 75w90 gear oil. This can be purchased at Wal-Mart or any auto parts store $15 max. The rear differential fluid should use Genuine Honda VTM-4 fluid only.
4. Spark Plugs = $324
A huge savings can be banked on this one. Use only NGK Laser Iridiums or Ruthenium HX plugs.
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5. Valve adjustment, valve cover gaskets = $703
I'd save this for after some other maintenance items are done. With a new set of spark plugs, PCV valve, air filter and clean Mass Airflow Sensor. If the engine is running smoothly with no valve clatter and the spark plug tubes are free of oil, there is no need to do this service.
PCV valve... (1) 10mm bolt on the front valve cover.
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The Mass Airflow Sensor can be cleaned using CRC Electronic Cleaner or MAF Cleaner. Remove and spray the visible electrodes with a few short burst (no soaking, just knocking the fine dust off the electrodes), let dry thoroughly before re-installing. Air filter should be New/Clean and air intake tube air tight, no cracks. clamps secure.
6. sway bar bushings = $200
Sway bar bushings are most the time a joke. A way dealership can milk you for more cash. I got 267k mile on a 2012 Honda Crosstour, other than struts being replaced at around 150k miles, I'm just now considering some of the other suspension parts, with sway bar bushings being the last thing on the list. If these are wallered out, yes I'd understand.
As you see, yes, you can save a huge amount of money. You seem capable of handling a lot of this. Even if you bought some tools, you'd still be way ahead of the game.
 

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You’ve received lots of good advice already.

Those prices seem inline with what a dealer would charge. For the 4x4 service make sure it includes both the transfer case and the rear differential. And for the tranny flush Honda used to recommend 3x drain and fill instead of hooking it to a flush machine . . . I’m not sure if that is still their recommendation.

If you’re minimally mechanically inclined you could DIY #2, 3, and 4 on the list and save yourself some money.
 

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Sway bar bushings are most the time a joke. A way dealership can milk you for more cash. I got 267k mile on a 2012 Honda Crosstour, other than struts being replaced at around 150k miles, I'm just now considering some of the other suspension parts, with sway bar bushings being the last thing on the list.
For someone who likes to take highway curves at 75mph, you'd think that sway bar bushings might be higher up the priority list.
 

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For someone who likes to take highway curves at 75mph, you'd think that sway bar bushings might be higher up the priority list.
I rarely drive the vehicle. If I decide to keep this very high milage vehicle, I'll replace the SBBs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's great information, thanks guys for all of the thoughts.

I think it makes sense to have the dealer do the timing and water pump operation.

I might have them do the valves as well. Is that something you'd trust to a good independent mechanic?

I'm planning to do the remainder myself. You guys have given me great insight into those
 

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That's great information, thanks guys for all of the thoughts.

I think it makes sense to have the dealer do the timing and water pump operation.

I might have them do the valves as well. Is that something you'd trust to a good independent mechanic?

I'm planning to do the remainder myself. You guys have given me great insight into those
I wouldn't give the dealer $700 to do a valve adjustment just yet. Get the spark plugs in, PCV valve,clean the mass airflow sensor. If you hear the valves clattering and you have oil in the spark plug tubes, yes you can go back and get a valve adjustment. Really might not need.
 

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"I think it makes sense to have the dealer do the timing and water pump operation.

I might have them do the valves as well. Is that something you'd trust to a good independent mechanic?"

I'm sure some will disagree but no chance is the timing belt job a "do it yourselfer" unless you are extremely mechanically inclined.
 

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"I think it makes sense to have the dealer do the timing and water pump operation.

I might have them do the valves as well. Is that something you'd trust to a good independent mechanic?"

I'm sure some will disagree but no chance is the timing belt job a "do it yourselfer" unless you are extremely mechanically inclined.
Many many capable independent mechanics that can do all of the above. But there's some who could mess it up too. Lol
While being extremely mechanically inclined is a benefit (lefty loosy, righty tighty) to doing a timing belt water pump job, I believe brain function is most important. Remember how you took it apart and how to put it back together. Take photos as you go. Keep bolts with parts removed. Plan each step. Understand that bolts must be torqued. Double, triple check your work. Ask if unsure of something, never assume.
 

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I believe brain function is most important.
"Like" doesn't begin to cover my reaction.

Doing maintenance work (ie, disassemble / replace parts / reassemble) on a Honda Pilot is not a superpower if you don't need to do it fast enough to make a living at it. If you want to do the job well and are willing to learn, plan, be patient, and avoid the temptation to make risky decisions, you will probably succeed.

With resources like this forum available, I still think that the comment that made it into the First Gen Buyer's Guide regarding experience and innate skill is still right on: Time, room to work, and your own interest are bigger factors.
 

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"Like" doesn't begin to cover my reaction.

Doing maintenance work (ie, disassemble / replace parts / reassemble) on a Honda Pilot is not a superpower if you don't need to do it fast enough to make a living at it. If you want to do the job well and are willing to learn, plan, be patient, and avoid the temptation to make risky decisions, you will probably succeed.

With resources like this forum available, I still think that the comment that made it into the First Gen Buyer's Guide regarding experience and innate skill is still right on: Time, room to work, and your own interest are bigger factors.
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Ya, I dont like working under pressure. It's why I own an extra vehicle or 2.
Don't let distraction cause your mind to leave the job at hand.
If I start feeling like the job is causing pain or frustration, I go in and have a beer or glass of wine to relieve stress for a hour. Alcohol consumption in moderation.
 
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