Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Maintenance on Honda Civic EX2000 two door. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Maintenance on Honda Civic EX2000 two door.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: maisy-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 20 Jun 2004 07:57 PDT
Expires: 20 Jul 2004 07:57 PDT
Question ID: 363590
Is flushing brake,flushing inductor, and flushing power steering a
necessary maintenance procedure for a 2000 Honda CIvic EX two door or
is it a dealership service department scam? I drive within a small
town, lots of stop and start, no long trips. Automatic.

Clarification of Question by maisy-ga on 20 Jun 2004 16:30 PDT
The car has 22,500 miles on it.

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 20 Jun 2004 16:53 PDT

The information provided in theaceofspades-ga's Comment below pretty
much covers what the manufacturer would recommend as far as changing
the fluids in your car is concerned. With a model year 2000 vehicle,
and only 22,500 miles, you are hardly using this vehicle at all. As a
rough guideline, most vehicle warranties are based on an average of
12,000 miles per year; you're running about half of that.

However, your driving pattern involves a lot of temperature cycles,
which over time can affect both the fluids and the systems that they
are used in. For example, brake fluid can accumulate water content
over time, which necessitates flushing. The majority of mechanics,
however, will do this in conjunction with a major brake service such
as changing the brake pads and shoes. Rarely will a mechanic recommend
a brake fluid flush without some other form of brake service. Has that
been recommended by this dealer service department? When was the last
time your brakes were serviced?

Power steering fluid very rarely needs to be flushed, unless moisture
has made its way into the system or if some part of the power steering
system needs to be replaced.

As for "inductor", do you perhaps mean "radiator"? If so, do you know
when your last radiator flush was performed?

Finally, do you have reason to suspect a possible scam? Does your past
experience with this service department leave a bad taste in your
mouth? Have others reported problems with unnecessary work being
performed on their vehicles?


Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by maisy-ga on 21 Jun 2004 02:39 PDT
Yes,the dealer has a reputation for that. There was no mention of
brake pads or shoes. The only explanation I got was that the fluid
looked dirty, for the brake fluid, I think, and that something should
be done every two years...not sure which one that was. I am a senior
citizen, and it is possible they took advantage of me. I have had all
regular check-ups according to the maintenance schedule. Is there some
way to get an honest mechanic to look at it and tell me? Or is there
someone at Honda hdqts. that deals with issues similar to this? I am
at a loss as to what to do, and cannot afford to do work that does not
need to be done, but I do not want to drive unsafely either. HELP!

Clarification of Question by maisy-ga on 21 Jun 2004 02:42 PDT
The written recommendation from the service manager says: induction flushing.
Subject: Re: Maintenance on Honda Civic EX2000 two door.
Answered By: aht-ga on 21 Jun 2004 09:37 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

"Looks dirty", coming from a dealership service department, is really
not an acceptable diagnosis, and I personally would want to find
another garage to deal with if that is what I was given as the reason
for wanting to perform a service on my own vehicle.

The reason why brake fluid is almost always serviced only when the
brake linings themselves are changed, is because during a brake lining
service it is necessary to bleed out some of the fluid anyway. The
main reason for wanting to change the brake fluid is to remove the
build-up of any water or dirt that has made its way into the fluid
over the service life of the vehicle. As the brake fluid gets "wet"
(ie. builds up water content), it will get progressively darker and
darker. The fear is that, if the water content builds up too much,
then rusting can occur in the brake hydraulics. Unless the dealership
can give you even this high-level of detail in their explanation, and
provide the results of a sample test to show that the brake fluid in
your car has indeed been compromised, then you can leave this until
your brake pads themselves need replacement.

Here is a bit of information about brake fluid flushing from a
self-proclaimed honest mechanic:

As for the power steering fluid... have you had any problems
whatsoever with the power steering? If the fluid were in need of
flushing, you would have first noticed some other issues such as hard
or loose steering that indicate a problem with the power steering
system. In a 4-yr old Honda Civic, this would be rare. Again, this
particular fluid service is usually only done in conjunction with the
repair or replacement of a power steering system component; if none is
recommended (and justified), then the fluid flush is also not

Again, here is some additional information about diagnosing problems
with your power steering system:

Finally, for "induction flushing", there are two possibilities
(besides some fancy new radiator flushing technique). The first is
that they want to flush the air induction system. That's actually a
fancy way of saying that they want to spray a $5 can of cleaner into
the intake manifold with the engine off, then on, to clean out any
dirt that has built up in there. And charge you $70+ for the job. In
cases where the intake manifold is especially dirty due to you either
driving in dusty conditions, or your air filter failing, for the most
part this is something that a dealership service department would
overcharge for versus a neighborhood garage.

The second is that they meant "fuel injection system flushing", where
again they hook up a $8 can of cleaner to your fuel injector fuel
rail, and run the engine for 10 minutes until the can of cleaner is
empty... and charge you $100 for the privilege. This service is
necessary if you notice that your car hesitates when you step on the
gas, or if you notice that your fuel economy has gotten worse
(possibly due to dirty fuel). If neither is the case, then as a
preventive measure it is almost always overpriced.

Obviously, the above is just my opinion of the situation given the
information that you have provided; however, I would recommend that
you take advantage of this situation to find yourself an honest
mechanic (yes, such creatures do exist!), explain to them exactly what
the service department told you was needed, and see what they think
when they actually see your car. If you are in a small town, the
easiest way to find that honest mechanic would be to ask around at
your local hardware store. Reputations, both good and bad, tend to
spread like wildfire among the do-it-yourself crowd who visit places
like hardware stores.

This is all, again, just my opinion based on the information provided
by Honda in their maintenance schedule (as referenced by
theaceofspades-ga's Comment below), and my years of do-it-myself
experience maintaining my own vehicles, and helping my friends and
family maintain theirs. In the course of those years, I have
encountered my own fair share of shady mechanics out to line their own
pockets, but there is always an honest one around the corner who
actually cares about their customers and only does what is necessary.
Without actually seeing your car for myself, I cannot provide absolute
conclusive answers; however, you have provided enough information to
cause me to suspect the service department's true motives in much the
same way that you seem to suspect them.


Google Answers Researcher
maisy-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Wow...excellent research and advice. I am very pleased with the advice
and the suggestion about the hardware store. Thank you so much. You
saved me a lot of money!!!

Subject: Re: Maintenance on Honda Civic EX2000 two door.
From: theaceofspades-ga on 20 Jun 2004 10:03 PDT
Flushing is another term for replacing, usually assciated with fluids,
as it is in your case. I have heard of flushing brake lines and power
steering fluid, however I have no idea what the inductor is nor why it
would need to be flushed. But, I still did a little research myself.
As a Honda motorcycle owner, I was wondering if there was a good place
where maintenance schedules might be kept.

As a Honda owner, a good resource for your vehicle is Honda's Owner
Link website at You can register for
free. It contains everything you need to know about your Honda
including a maintenance schedule.

I used your Civic model for a preview which gives access to the
maintenance schedule. They list two schedules listed for your car, one
for normal and one for severe, which sounds right for you (IE: short
mileage trips, lots of stop and go). Given that you didn't mention the
mileage on your car, I just checked each interval of 3750 miles and
this is what I found:

- Replace engine oil at every 3750 miles and filters every 7500 miles
starting after the first 3750 miles.
- Major maintenance checks every 15,000 miles where numerous items are
checked for fluid levels, smooth operations, and damage. At 15,000
miles, only the air filter and engine oil scheduled for replacement.
- At 30,000 the following is replaced: engine oil, air cleaner, spark
plugs, transmission fluid.
- At 45,000 the following is replaced: engine oil, brake fluid,
coolant, air cleaner.
- At 60,000 the following is replaced: engine oil, timing belt, air
cleaner, spark plugs, transmission fluid.

I didn't go further, because I didn't think you had more than 60,000
miles on the car, but feel free to look for yourself if you do. Within
the first 60,000 miles, I didn't find anything related to an inductor.
You may need to get some clairification on what that is exactly. I
also didn't see the power steering needing to be flushed at any time.

This dosen't mean that power steering fluid in your car shouldn't be
flushed. I would ask the mechanic why they thought that it should be.
If he says that it's regular scheduled maintenace, compare it to what
Honda (not the dealership) says and make your decision. There may be
an issue with the fluid that isn't covered under regular maintenance.

Brake fluid should be flushed on a regular basis to avoid dangerous
braking problems. Brake fluid should always be free of contamination.
Rust, water, air, dirt can sometimes leak in and cause blockages and
ineffective braking.

Hope this free advice helps. Maybe someone with more Honda specific
knowledge can help you, especially in respect to the "inductor".

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy