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90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
12-28-2011, 06:41 PM
Post: #1
90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
Our Saturn Vue is a 2007 FWD with the Honda V6 engine and drive train (last year made in the Vue). It has just turned over 90k and I am wondering what might be expected to go wrong at this milage, and what out-of-the-ordinary maintenance might be looked at?

I have been told that one should always replace the radiator thermostat at 80-90k as they can become erratic and allow the engine temp to vary in an undesirable way. Any guidance on this?

Should the transmission be flushed and new fluid put in, or not?

Should (original) struts be replaced even if they are not leaking?

What other things should be considered as I approach 100k miles?

Thanks.
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12-28-2011, 07:06 PM
Post: #2
RE: 90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
I don't claim to be an expert on Honda or Saturn but given the age / mileage I would be looking to change the fluids in both the trany and the cooling system, and you might as well do an inspection of hoses / belts along with the t-stat. It's cheap insurance for the future. While we are on the topic, you should also consult the owner's manual for tune up items that may be close to their change intervals. Certainly spark plugs before 100k and air / fuel filters too. The manual will also have a list of other safety related items that need to be inspected, like brakes, bearings, suspension bushings, etc.

I run a small fleet shop and I find that regular inspections do help avoid unexpected down time. What I generally do is make a list of things to do down the road. IOW, maybe the brakes are ok for now but should be looked at again in 6 months. This way I can prepare for the next service and have parts on hand when they are needed.
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12-28-2011, 11:14 PM
Post: #3
RE: 90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
Rupe, thanks for yours. I follow the recommended changes quite religiously. It is the stuff that is NOT in the service manual that I am interested in finding out about.

I have never been sure that the transmission fluid should be changed as I have heard stories about transmissions failing immediately after a change. Is this just wives tales, or is there a reason why those instances may have occurred?

Coolant change has been done already. Any thoughts about the thermostat? (general, not specific to this car).



(12-28-2011 07:06 PM)Rupe Wrote:  I don't claim to be an expert on Honda or Saturn but given the age / mileage I would be looking to change the fluids in both the trany and the cooling system, and you might as well do an inspection of hoses / belts along with the t-stat. It's cheap insurance for the future. While we are on the topic, you should also consult the owner's manual for tune up items that may be close to their change intervals. Certainly spark plugs before 100k and air / fuel filters too. The manual will also have a list of other safety related items that need to be inspected, like brakes, bearings, suspension bushings, etc.

I run a small fleet shop and I find that regular inspections do help avoid unexpected down time. What I generally do is make a list of things to do down the road. IOW, maybe the brakes are ok for now but should be looked at again in 6 months. This way I can prepare for the next service and have parts on hand when they are needed.
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12-29-2011, 01:08 AM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2011 09:17 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #4
RE: 90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
Good point about the suggested service schedule not having everything listed. What I have found is "reading between the lines" helps. Some manuals have a schedule A and a schedule B. One is for the so called normal driving and the other is for extreme duty. IOW, hard driving or short trips, or lots of highway driving. I scratch my head when I read that because it sure sounds like "normal" to me and I know for a fact that steady highway drivng is usually fairly easy on a car. With that in mind I have to say the reality is that the manuals are written based on minimum requirements developed by the gov. for maintaining the emissions (including safety items) etc. IOW, doing things more often is not "required" for the warranty on any part of the car but the mfgr is not allowed to say that except for "extreme" cases. It's a word play and the consumer is both caught in the middle and protected at the same time.

Now, does changing the fluids actually cause problems? I would not use "old wive's tales" but would hedge that in many cases people try to do the "quick fix" and they really have a problem waiting in the wings. I changed the oil on an automatic transfer case yesterday and it "fixed the problem" but with that vehicle I expect to have another issue soon because it's got 275k on the clock. IOW, I bought some time and I know it's not really a true fix.

On a t-stat change, you can either keep your fingers crossed or just change it every 4-5 years using a brand name or OEM replacement. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to how long they last and why they fail. After 40 years in the business all I can say is if you do nothing it will eventually fail... and usually at the worst time. The other thing I see often enough is a leaky radiator. The newer ones are a combination of plastic and aluminum and the plastic quite often stresses out right where the hot water first hits it. Look close at the front side of the "tank" area directly in front of where the top hose connects. This is the part that gets the shock each time the t-stat opens. It's called thermal stress, which is from repeated heating / cooling extremes.

Other things to consider, and not mentioned in the manual, is at a certain age many critical parts of the car will start to rust. You should be far from there and most people don't even need to think about it till you have reached the 10 year mark. We're talking about steel brake lines, PS lines, exhaust pipes, etc. Again, you probably don't need to worry just yet but a full inspection on a regular basis will keep you informed as things develop.
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12-30-2011, 03:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: 90,000 Mile Preventative Maintenance
Rupe,

Yours is fantastic guidance and greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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