Okay, not that anyone's interested, but I'm almost finished with my 120k mile routine maintenance... plugs are done (WHAT A PAIN); PCV replaced (plus a new rear breather hose); air filter replaced (plus a new front breather hose!); new serp. belt; oil change & engine flush; tires rotated; fuel filter replaced; tranny fluid/filter replaced. Breather hoses were hard as a rock and crumbled as soon as I touched them. Only required *one* extra trip to the dealer.
Now all I have left is a messy coolant job. I've had a slow coolant leak for a couple of weeks and thought at first it was probably the hose; but after more reading it probably is the o-ring on the water pump, so I'll be putting a new WP on tomorrow when I flush & fill. (Argh, time to take the drive belt back off...
) I'm also replacing the top/bottom radiator hoses at the same time.
The reason I wrote all this is to share a point -- none of these little jobs were difficult (even the plugs weren't all that bad, now that I've figured out how to reach the rear ones), and yes, I did save over $400 USD in labor (local Chrysler dealer wanted $570 just to get started; no doubt the water pump would have cost me a lot extra); but most importantly, doing the work myself forced me to crawl around underneath my car. In the process I found an inner CV boot leaking (and making a real mess of my underbody) and also a rear shock leaking oil. Most likely the CV joint has been leaking for months and no doubt it was leaking when it went in for inspection in June. But do you think anyone bothered to mention it to me when they had it up on the rack? ha!
And, I've gotten a chance to get acquinted with my *very* metric American van and put some "road miles" on my Haynes manual. It's no FSM but actually, I can't complain too much about the content. Definitely worth the $15.