OK-never really on here because the 09 awd is actually my sons that i picked up for him as an upgrade from his 03 corolla (he was going about an hour away to college and with coming home down I5 on the weekends, wanted him to have something safer). So some friends had an 09 awd they were trying to sell (with no luck) as they were going to buy a new 2019 crv. Decided just for gits and shiggles i would go check it out as we were really looking at civics. To make a short story long, i saw the reason they were having a hard time selling it-it had 230K and the inside looked like it hadn't been detailed since new. But, being a car guy (we have restored 2 vintage mustangs ourselves and always have something fun in the stable to drive on nice days!) that didn't bother me but i was ready to politely just tell them we were looking for a car instead of an suv. Then i saw a folder on the pass. seat and after talking with them, they always had it serviced at the same local shop since new. I looked through the folder and they had records since day one-the shop overkilled them to death with syn blend oil changes every 3k, etc, but everything, and i mean everything had been maintained way more than i would have done it (and i am mega meticulous with maintenance!). So, picked it up for 4,250 which i thought was a great deal as the miles didn't scare me with that kind of maintenance. Now, this is where it gets interesting. We have had toyos and hondas forever, and i know there are certain oem fluids that those with way more expertise than me say you don't want to get away from. (ie Honda PS fluid, tranny fluid). So, in looking through all the pages of service/maintenance (he is home for the summer so we just finished going through everything), here are some things that shocked me and go against everything ive read/heard. Keep in mind this car has 235K on it now and hasn't had any problems at all since new except they replaced a wiper motor. In looking through the records i found:
1) Manual specifically says you can use another PS fluid besides Honda temporarily, but then says "DO NOT USE ATF". What have they been putting in there for the past 10yrs/230K? yep, ATF!
2) I have always read that MOST people say a tranny flush is a big no no, as you can break lose stuff during the flush and that is no bueno. They flush the tranny every time! (They are using a BG flushing machine).
3) In my manual IIRC Honda always makes it a point to say "DO NOT USE ADDITIVES", whether it be in the engine, trans, diff, whatever. These guys used additives in everything!!! (thus enforcing the fact that additives are a HUGE moneymaker for shops! They were plunking in an unspecified motor oil additive with their syn-blend at $20 a pop, some additive in the tranny at $30, on and on..they must not make an additive for the wiper fluid tho, as that was only $10 to refill!)
4) There is ALWAYS discussion/debate about oil/filters (we currently have a c5 vette and those guys will debate that forever!) These guys used napa's pro-select which they say is made for dino oil and 3K change intervals (which they did...again, more $$$$!!!) but they were using a syn-blend (which is probably not a big deal as i'm not sure what the ratio of syn to dino is on the blends-IIRC i think 1:4?) but, cheapest oil filter napa has-not the silver, or the gold, or the platinum...the pro-select!
So, this stuff kind of rocks my world being a car guy-i could see if at 120K the thing blew a tranny or the PS pump went out-could mark that up to possibly the wrong fluid or an unnecessary additive...but this car has been incredible! So what does it prove? That the never ending debate about fluid type/brand is really irrelevant and that its the frequency of the fluid changes that REALLY MATTER? (oh crap, i can feel the pitter patter of Royal Purple and Amsoil enthusiasts ready to break down my door!!) I don't know the answer? I'm a tried and true M1 full syn user, along with a wix/napa gold filter in EVERYTHING i own, even the vette, but am i just throwing away money? Is all the talk about YOU NEED TO USE ONLY HONDA OEM FLUID IN THE TRANNY and DON'T EVER FLUSH IT!, etc really just a way for Honda to make more money? Man, i don't know...with 235K on the clock and still running like new, i think it brings up questions about the validity of such statements? Not trying to stir up any huge debates or anything, i just found this super interesting and there probably aren't a ton of "sample vehicles" out there that something like this was done to consistently for 10 years and 230,000 miles. Just something to mull over!!!!
ps-i can kind of see no problems in the tranny becasue of the flushes, because with all those flushes they have gotten i'm sure there has never been a spec of anything in there! I can see the no flush thing if someone looks down and says "crap, i have 150K and i've never changed the tranny fluid-better get it flushed!) That could go south pretty quick!
pps-just for fun, i added up how much they spent at the shop for all their maintenance....$11,872.63 !!!!!!!!!