Berlin wrote:... as far as the battery goes ... if it's 3 or 4 years old it's living on borrowed time
Well, yes and no. Most decent shops have testers that can tell you the condition of your battery, by putting a load on it and checking how long it can supply adequate voltage and amperage. I bought a used Civic six years ago, and the battery was ??? years old then, and I just replaced it this Fall because my mechanic said it was marginal. So replacing at 3-4 years makes you extra secure, but may not be necessary.