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Over the years, Hondas have received criticism for requiring more maintenance than other cars. Our 1990 Accord recommended valve-lash checks every 6,000 miles.

Can you imagine having to pay a shop twice a year? Neither could Consumer Reports. o_O

So, around the late '90s, Honda decided to arbitrarily increase valve check intervals to 100,000 miles. In other markets, the recommendation was 30,000 miles.

Guess what? The B-series engines in Gen1 CR-Vs often suffered burned exhaust valves. Honda replaced MANY cylinder heads on warranty, most of them on goodwill.

I guess this anecdote emphasizes that Honda never thought that doing maintenance was a 'bad thing'. Some of the maintenance was dictated by unique design of the assemblies.


The RT4WD system was unique in that it didn't require locking clutches/differentials, yet was 95% as effective as those that did. Less weight, better fuel economy than other designs, too.


Now, I have nothing against Porsches (owned one!) and I know that one time, Porsche was challenged to design components that were very robust, and they did it! Would have cost a significant amount more than the then-current prices. (Couldn't find that old article just now)
Just to add that “back in the day” valve lash adjustment was part of a routine tuneup along with distributor points, whatever they are, and applying grease to the grease nipples. My 69 VW van had valve covers that were held in by spring clips and were removable by hand without any tools, and had nothing blocking them. Then again, that was just a glorified lawnmower 😂

So 30ish years ago.. Honda had valve lash problems with their engines. That painful experience probably got factored into future engine designs though.... knowing Hondas historical penchant for continuous improvement in design. :)

Time to put the "way back machine" away here. :p The new engines don't really need valves adjusted now days.

In the modern era of maintenance and service, Hondas keep getting better in terms of the amount of maintenance required. However, when something in the vehicle does break, the cost to repair is higher and higher with all the high tech components. Cost to routinely maintain CRVs though is among the lowest in the industry. Of course labor costs keep going up, so it is amazing we can properly maintain a modern CRV at such low ongoing costs. :)
I have to change my frame of reference. To me my 99 CRV is modern…. 😂
 

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Now how much more does a 911 cost over a CRV? Bet it's more than a few hundred dollars.🤣 Let's see a 911 Turbo S Cabriolet can be had for around $220,00+. For that price I could just trade out and get a new CRV when it's time for service and come out ahead😉
Porsches have thierown quirks and design flaws...expensive ones.
 

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I liked my Hondas until I tried to do some DIY maintenance on our 2002 and 2014 CR-Vs. Here is what I found out:
1. Brake pad changes require 4 bolts, removal of a bracket, and some strange retaining clips. Requires a lot of cleaning to put the clips back in. Over the past 40 years in US engineering colleges I have seen zillions of Japanese students snapping photos everywhere. Apparently they did not take any pictures of the brake pads of a Porsche 911 (my experience with 1982 and 1987 models). No bolts except for the lug nuts. For brake pads, just 2 retaining pins that easily get tapped out, then the pads just slide out, new pads in, tap the pins back in place, bleed the brakes, done. My grade for the Japanese brake design: F
2. Why can I not totally flush the ATF, the Differential fluid, and the coolant, from a bottom drain, then refill each from near the top of the fluid system? Is this too difficult to design?
3. Radiator in-part coolant renewal (at 1.6 gallons, it is not a flush): After refilling carefully, front of car on jack stands, and squeezing the lower and upper hoses repeatedly in the process (measured 1.6 gallons drained, 1.55 gallons in, almost no air pocket due to my careful fill, took 20+ minutes...) guess what? The engine just cannot reach a temperature to open the thermostat. Air pockets??!! The thermostat reaches near operating temperature, and stays there, it just does not open. I have read people leaving their engines running for 20, 40, 90 minutes for the thermostat to open. Guess what temperature the cylinder head reaches in between with no coolant circulating? I mentioned this to the local Honda parts guy, and he just smiled. He had thought of it before, but that is what one has to do!!! Oh, yes, and turn the heater on. I am currently in 98 degrees ambient temperature, and the highest setting on the heater system is 90 degrees. What genius put the thermostat at the lower radiator hose, and no bleed valve anywhere? A plastic housing for the radiator?!?! My 1964 Plymouth Valiant had a better radiator/thermostat design! Again, F for the Japanese design.
I liked my Hondas until I tried to do some DIY maintenance. Oh, yes, I am a professor of engineering. I teach the capstone mechanical engineering design courses regularly. With grade inflation, almost everyone gets an A in these classes. But if my students turned in these inferior designs, I would award them Ds (only because F would mean I would have to explain why to administrators), and never write these students a recommendation letter for any engineering job.
Engineering incompetence or accountants being "thrifty"? That is the question. It would seem that the engineers go out of their way to make simple maintenance a complicated process. The only thing I can come up with is they are purposely designing the cars to be D.I.Y.er UNFRIENDLY. It's one way to insure that the owners' will more than likely bring their cars to the dealer for service.
 

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I didn't read all post yet but will. I have worked on some vehicles that only required one pin bolt to be removed then hinge the caliper to remove the pads. I have never had to bleed the system after changing the brake pads or shoes, that is unless the system had a problem before I did the parts change. Why does a 911 need that step? That is more hassle than the honda's as described.
I fully agree with the stupidity of the designs of vehicles now, especially for the mechanic person to work on. Just think how long have they been building cars now? They still can't build a car that a mouse can't get into and ruin stuff, gosh they even make the electrical wires desirable to eat and chew on. They still can't build a car that won't leak rain water at some point in its life, and some times with in a year or so. I have a few cool ideas for the ICE cars but don't care to give the ideas away on the net, the OP would give me an A for a few of them.
 

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I remember the thoughtlessness of the cabin filter replacement procedure on my 99 crv, I think I hacksawed the offending brace and reattached it with more easily removable screws. On my first gen 99 I removed my starter in ten minutes in an Autozone parking lot with one tire up on a curb for clearance. When I did the starter on a 2nd gen they had moved it to where it took me at least an hour and lots of knuckle scraping and cursing. Brake pads on either one, 30 minutes for both sides on the fronts at least. Grew up with VW buses and a Karman Ghia, at some point realized my friends with Datsuns or Hondas or Toyotas didn't spend their weekends on their cars.... It's all Toyotas and Hondas for me the last 30 plus years because (can you keep a secret?) I don't actually love working on cars.
 

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Ditto on cabin filter replacement - very similar problem with our first Accord, 1994. You have to wonder if the engineers who design things actually use what they design in every day life.
 
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