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This section describes maintenance products that I use or have used.



Mobil 1 engine oil

Engine Oil
I first used Castrol GTX 5W-30 when I bought the car, but at 15,000 miles I switched to Mobil 1 5W-30 synthetic. I have no complaints about the Castrol, but synthetic oil is always better than conventional, and Mobil 1 has a very good reputation. I developed a leak afterwards at the exhaust cam seal (next to the distributor), but that problem is common on these engines and may not be from the oil. Regardless, I fixed the leak by taking the seal out and reinstalling it with plenty of RTV gasket-maker. Otherwise, I've had no problems with the Mobil 1.

Red Line MTL

Transmission Oil
At 15,000 miles, I changed the transmission oil to the popular Red Line MTL synthetic manual transmission oil. It's a deep red color unlike normal oil's brown, but seems to work fine. I haven't noticed any drastic differences.

Prestone Extended Life Coolant
Crappy Sierra antifreeze

Engine Coolant
At the first two-year interval, I changed the coolant to Sierra's propylene glycol-based product, wooed by the highly-marketed reduced toxicity and attractiveness to animals. Unfortunately, Sierra failed to mention that their coolant has a high silicate content, which destroys seals in Honda engines. So, I now have a slow coolant leak at the water pump seal, although this will be fixed when I change the timing belt. Luckily, I became informed about the silicate issue fairly early and dumped the Sierra after less than a year, so the damage could have been worse. I now use Prestone's orange-colored Extended Life 5/100 coolant, which has no silicates, borates, or phosphates, as recommended by Honda for all their engines. It seems to be working fine.

Red Line Water Wetter

I also have used Red Line's Water Wetter product which claims to reduce the surface tension of the coolant, thereby promoting heat transfer from the engine to the coolant. I haven't noticed any differences.

Valvoline Brake Fluid

Brake and Clutch Fluid
I used Castrol GTLMA DOT4 brake fluid the first time I changed these fluids, and recently replaced it with Valvoline's new synthetic brake fluid which has higher wet and dry boiling points than conventional DOT4 fluids such as the Castrol. I haven't noticed any problems with either.

Meguiar's Deep Crystal carnauba wax
Meguiar's Body Scrub

Car Wax
I've used Meguiar's Deep Crystal pure carnauba wax since I got the car, and it seems to do a nice job. I also use their Body Scrub paint cleaner to thoroughly clean the surface if necessary, and to hide small scratches. It excels at both of these.

Formula 2001 Protectant

Interior Cleaning
I've used Formula 2001 since I got the car to clean all plastic or vinyl surfaces inside the car, and have been very pleased with the results. It leaves a good shine and cleans the surface, but you have to reapply on a regular basis or it'll attract dust.

Armor All Leather Care

I also have used Armor All Leather Care on the steering wheel wrap, with moderate success. It helps keep the leather from getting too dried out, but it doesn't condition it as much as I think it should. I'd like to try some saddle soap.

Armor All Tire Foam

Tire Cleaning
I use Armor All Tire Foam to clean the tire sidewalls occasionally. It doesn't leave as greasy and shiny a finish that some people would like, but it easily removes dirt and grime from the tire, leaving it with a smooth, clean finish that looks good without attracting too much attention.

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