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:soapbox: I have always done the routine maintenance on all of my own vehicles. Because of back and knee problems this last year, I started taking my vehicles to the local quick lube shop to have the oil changed. I swore I would never use one of those places because of bad past experiences and the typical goofballs that work there. Well they got me again. Years ago I had one of those places do an oil change while I was working on the road. That time they left the oil drain plug loose and of course it fell out 10 miles down the road dropping all of my oil all over the highway. Another time, when I was forced to use one of those places, I found they had stripped out the oil plug and then jammed an oversize bolt in its place. I found that out next time I tried to change the oil and had to have the dealer helicoil the pan. Now we come to this time. My knee was getting better so I decided to do the routine maintenance on my Nissan truck. I'm glad I did. The oil filter was not even close to being snug. I'm surprised it had not started to leak. That was not the bad part. The air filter cover has rubber grommets that seal the cover to the clamping posts. You guessed it they were gone. Someone had taken the air filter out and forgot to put the grommets back in, so in effect the engine was bypassing the air-filter, sucking in dirt and dust. I have yet to do the first oil change on my Pilot but you can be sure those bozos are not going to touch it. My wife and daughter may have to winch me up from the floor because of my bum knee but no way am I going to allow this to happen again. :bonk:
 

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Wow. I've heard a similar story from a friend who took their Toyota to one of those quick lube places and the drain plug came out on the way home. No excuse for this type of mistake. This is why I try to do all the work on my cars. I dread taking them in because you never know what they'll screw up. I once brought my 1987 Firebird in for a recall on the power steering pump. It was working fine until they touched it. Well, they screwed up something when they installed the new one and it was a problem from then on. Then another time I took my Volvo in for new belts. They installed them on the wrong pulleys such that two belts were rubbing against one another. Idiots!

About a month ago, my neighbor brought his brand new 2004 Toyota Siena minivan in for a recall on the gas tank. Well he drove home after the repair, went inside for lunch, went back out to the van to go somewhere and it wouldn't start. He then noticed that gasoline had all leaked out on his driveway. He had to be towed back to the dealership for another try.

I'm to the point with recalls that, if it works, don't fix it. That's why I'm a bit leary about the airbag recall on my Pilot. I can just see the damn airbag going off in my face for no reason!
 

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After using a quick change (Jiffy Lube) for the first three oil changes I decided to do my own again. I had also seen others get their drain plugs stripped out over the years and was a little suspicous of the quality of work they do. I often wondered what kind of oil I was actually getting also.

I used the honda filter and new washer from the dealer and Mobil 1 0w20. I plan on keeping the pilot for a long time and tow a boat some so I decided to go with the synthetic.

When I removed the drain plug the washer was really compressed and I would bet it had never been replaced by the JL guys. I had a hard time getting it off it was flattened so much. I had not experienced a leak so far but I would have been more likely in the future.

Bottom line is I feel more confident that the job will be done correctly if I do it myself. I also changed out the VTM fluid at 15K which was an easy job.

Yea, these activities are kind of messy and you have to dispose of the used oil but if you are the least bit mechanical I am sure you will get longer service out of the Pilot in the long run.
 

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I could not agree more with what everyone above has said. I do all my own maintenance and think long and hard before taking my vehicle in for any type of warranty work, recall or not. Because guitarman is right, you bring it in to get A fixed, B & C are guaranteed to be f##cked up. Then when you ask the service mgr how the stuff got screwed up, you get nothing but rude responses and dirty looks.

I remember my dad and I took his 626 in for a tire rotation a few years back. As the tech was removing the lugnuts, one of them flew off the car and in the drain. He sheepishly looked around and went about his business. He then pulls the car out front and tries to duck back into the shop. I stopped him and asked what happened to the missing lugnut. You know what this MF had the balls to say to me ?!?!?! He said there never was a lugnut there to begin with!!! I could have broken this little Edited by colorider [email protected]#*k’s neck!!! Anyway, the service mgr comes and out and supports this little geek. Man, I’m getting mad just thinking about this all over again. My point is that you cannot trust these guys. They do not give a s**t about your car or the job that they are doing in general.

Hence, as a rule, I do as much as I can on my vehicles. I did not spend hard-earned money of my cars only to have it neglected by some chronically pissed-off tech!!!
 

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Ive been using my local quick-lube for oil changes and dealership for general maintenance since we bought our Acura in 1996 and have never had any problems whatsoever. The car has 105K on it and is still going strong.

I guess these places are hit and miss. Seems I've been lucky!
 

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OLDJEEPMAN-VTM FLUID CHANGE-HOW?

OLDJEEPMAN,how did you do the VTM fluid change.I usually do as much of my old maintenance as possible,so I would appreciate the a how to on this one.
I also use Mobil 1,but I use the 5-30.The 0w20 isn't available at our Walmart.Thanks,Charlie
 

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Re: OLDJEEPMAN-VTM FLUID CHANGE-HOW?

charlie said:
OLDJEEPMAN,how did you do the VTM fluid change.I usually do as much of my old maintenance as possible,so I would appreciate the a how to on this one.
I also use Mobil 1,but I use the 5-30.The 0w20 isn't available at our Walmart.Thanks,Charlie
charlie: Click here to see the page from the Service Manual that explains how to change the VTM-4 fluid... :)
 

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Just a reminder to the DIYers to make sure the filler plug is loose before you drain the fluid via the drain plug... just in case the filler plug can't be loosened.
 

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Warranty Validation and DIY

I have always done the oil changes,on my off warranty cars, or gone to a trusted old fashioned garage, where you make an appointment and watch your car and talk to the guys doing the work, and they don't mind telling you stuff about your car.

But on new cars, I have always gone to the dealership to get the oil changed so there is no question if there is warranty work to be done on the engine.

How would you prove that if you DIY and only have an oil/filter purchase receipt. If there is an engine problem, can they not blame it on improper oil change?

Sunday Rider
 

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How would you prove that if you DIY and only have an oil/filter purchase receipt. If there is an engine problem, can they not blame it on improper oil change?
Legally, the dealer cannot refuse warranty work due to improper maintenance unless the improper maintenance was the cause of the failure. The burden of proof is on the dealership.

Obviously, there are several things you can do to help yourself like keeping receipts, maintenance records, record of when you disposed of the oil and how much, and performing routine oil analysis. I do an oil analysis once a year that basically demonstrates my maintenance routine is doing its job by keeping the engine wear metals within acceptable ranges or hopefully even lower.

I try to do as much of my own maintenance as possible to save money, so I can use what I believe are the best products in my car, and because no one cares about my car as much as I do. You don't have to do much of a search to find many stories like Bulldogs. Even at a dealership, if you don't bring you own oil, you really have no idea what brand you will get.

As someone already posted, an excellent site on oils, filters, additives, etc. can be found here.
 

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I do an oil analysis once a year that basically demonstrates my maintenance routine is doing its job by keeping the engine wear metals within acceptable ranges or hopefully even lower.

I try to do as much of my own maintenance as possible to save money, so I can use what I believe are the best products in my car, and because no one cares about my car as much as I do. [/B]


Thanks gilberttribe that is a great idea about the analysis. I hate line ups and waiting, so I like to do my own oil changes too. I am having a hard time finding the 0W20 that is recommended. But will keep trying. I may have to buy at the dealership for now.

Thanks,
Sunday Rider
 

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Sunday Rider said:
Thanks gilberttribe that is a great idea about the analysis. I hate line ups and waiting, so I like to do my own oil changes too. I am having a hard time finding the 0W20 that is recommended. But will keep trying. I may have to buy at the dealership for now.

Thanks,
Sunday Rider
Unless it changed from '03 to '04, 5W20 is what's recommended. Castrol and Valvoline, and perhaps others by now, are available in 5W20, at least in the D.C. metro area they are.
 

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jay said:
Unless it changed from '03 to '04, 5W20 is what's recommended. Castrol and Valvoline, and perhaos others by now, are available in 5W20, at least in the D.C. metro area they are.
No change. I noticed that folks who want to put synthetic into their Pilots want to use 0W20. I don't know why. Maybe synthetic isn't available in 5W20? Or, maybe the viscosity properties of synthetic are different such that a 0W20 is equivalent to a 5W20?

kad
 

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kadiir said:
No change. I noticed that folks who want to put synthetic into their Pilots want to use 0W20. I don't know why. Maybe synthetic isn't available in 5W20? Or, maybe the viscosity properties of synthetic are different such that a 0W20 is equivalent to a 5W20?

kad
The 5W20 I've seen around here was not synthetic, but 0W20 was available in synthetic even before the Pilot was available, IIRC.
 

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kadiir said:
No change. I noticed that folks who want to put synthetic into their Pilots want to use 0W20. I don't know why. Maybe synthetic isn't available in 5W20? Or, maybe the viscosity properties of synthetic are different such that a 0W20 is equivalent to a 5W20?

kad
5w20 is a bit of a waste for synthetic since one of the benifits is a wider temperature range.

0w20 is acceptable as a 5w20 replacement.

It is always acceptable to use a lower "Xw" oil.

The issue is the first number indicates the viscosity when cold.
Since motor oil thins when heated, a lower "Xw" rating just tell you it starts out thinner before heating. Since synthetics don't thin with heat as fast as conventional oil, it is easier to get a 0W20 syn, then it would be to get a 0w20 conventional.
 

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jay said:
Unless it changed from '03 to '04, 5W20 is what's recommended. Castrol and Valvoline, and perhaps others by now, are available in 5W20, at least in the D.C. metro area they are.
Whoops that was my error. The owners manual says 5W20. I put a sticky note in the glove compartment that has the height, oil cap, tire pressure and so on for quick reference, but I wrote the wrong oil weight.

Thanks,
 

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N_Jay said:
5w20 is a bit of a waste for synthetic since one of the benifits is a wider temperature range.

0w20 is acceptable as a 5w20 replacement.

It is always acceptable to use a lower "Xw" oil.

The issue is the first number indicates the viscosity when cold.
Since motor oil thins when heated, a lower "Xw" rating just tell you it starts out thinner before heating. Since synthetics don't thin with heat as fast as conventional oil, it is easier to get a 0W20 syn, then it would be to get a 0w20 conventional.
A new, or maybe it has been covered elsewhere, thread on %age of users who use synthetic, versus dinosaur oil.:D
 

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N_Jay said:
.....
Since motor oil thins when heated, .....
Doesn't the oil THICKEN when heated? Or are you referring to the oil base before the additives are added?

As I understand it most fluids "thin" when heated, including the oil base stock. It's the additives that give the final product the ability to do the opposite, which is to thicken as it gets hotter.

Maybe we're saying the same thing.

EDIT: I should clarify that I mean it thickens to it's maximum viscosity. Not that it keeps getting thicker forever.
 

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5w-20 Motorcraft semi-synthetic is available at Wal-Mart for about $1.78 per quart. Readily available, cheap, it's what I'm going to start using.
The oil does not thicken when heated...a 5W-20 when hot would be no thinner than a straight 20 at the same temp. When cold it is the same viscosity as a 5.
 
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