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Honda Civic Basic Maintenance Questions



  • jet10000jet10000 Posts: 656
    If you sign into the Honda Ownerlink site (, in the maintenance FAQ it says:

    Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?

    Your Honda engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their "natural" wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.

    American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner's Manual, based on your specific driving conditions.

    And no, the first oil change for a 2009 civic isn't 7,500 miles. It's whenever the maintenance minder indicates it. On my civic it's usually between 5 & 6,000 miles.
  • atlkep1atlkep1 Posts: 4
    But this doesn't really say anything to me.

    Other than the ". . . . may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.", which is why I do so many oil changes at the start of a new engine, to remove those particles so they don't become part of the "natural wear patterns".

    I don't have this car yet, so I was using 7500 because that was the recommended oil change interval on my Odyssey.

    I've never had a car with something that told me when to change the oil. I just do it every 5000 miles, which makes it easy for my wife ("If it ends in a 5 or a 0 I need to know because it's time to change the oil.")

    Thanx for letting me know about the ownerlink site. I wasn't aware of that.

  • jet10000jet10000 Posts: 656
    I've never had a car with something that told me when to change the oil. I just do it every 5000 miles, which makes it easy for my wife ("If it ends in a 5 or a 0 I need to know because it's time to change the oil.")

    With the maintenance minder, when it's time to change the oil, it shows the code in the odometer display and you have to press a button to clear it out of that display until the minder is reset to 100% by the dealership or by yourself if you have the oil change done elsewhere.
  • iluvmycariluvmycar Posts: 1
    I've got the maintenance minder sign activated with a code (B1) on the left. Just wanted to know ballpark how much we need to pay for this service. I bought my car from herb chambers and when i called them up they mentioned 140bucks. This sounds to be ridiculously high amount. Any idea how much it might cost?
  • jet10000jet10000 Posts: 656
    I've got the maintenance minder sign activated with a code (B1) on the left. Just wanted to know ballpark how much we need to pay for this service.

    The 1 is for a tire rotation. If you look over the list for B, the only thing that is not an inspection is the oil change.

    When an oil change is done at my dealership, they do a fairly detailed list of inspections at no charge anyway and give me a checked off summary sheet of the conditions. So whenever I get a B 1, I just ask for a simple oil change and a tire rotation. Saves me some money over what they'd usually charge for a B1.
  • kmp7kmp7 Posts: 1
    I am way out of my league.........
    I have a 98 Honda wit 106. miles. It spends most of its time in airport parking lots.
    I left it off at a Honda Dealer to get a new headlight and oil change and was contacted later with a list of things that needed to be done ASAP.

    I would really appreciate any feedback on the need and estimates if they sound about right.

    I do not know what "bushings" are but I guess they are important. I was told that the rear trailing arm bushings need to be replaced @$668.77.
    2.) Drain and replace brake fluid $133.09
    3.) Drain and replace Power Steering Fluid $151.69
    4.) Replace valve cover gasket and Spark Plugs $176.30

    Just checking on the urgency as it looks like I would be making their weekly budget
    in the service department!

    Thanks for any help.
  • Just my perspective, as I am certainly not an expert...

    1.) If the bushings really are bad, you need to get this done. I would get a second opinion before I spent any money, though.

    2.) Probably not necessary (brake fluid)

    3.) Probably not necessary (power steering fluid)

    4.) Are you leaking oil? The gasket, I think, would correct that. Spark plugs might improve performace, but they are very easy to do yourself, if you're so inclined.

    For the sake of comparison, I had a '97 Civic that I drove into the ground. I traded it in about a year-and-a-half ago with about 180,000 miles. I never did #2, #3, or the gasket; and I never needed the bushings replaced. Granted, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do the brake fluid or power steering; I'm just saying I never did. What ultimately killed my car was a very slow transmission fluid leak that I didn't know about until it was too late... So there is something to be said for routine maintenance, fluid flushes, etc.

    Whatever the case, you're Civic is barely broken in and you should get many more miles out of it. Good luck!
  • The brake fluid and the spark plug changes should be done according to the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.

    You can probably get better prices on everything if you go to a mechanic you can trust.
  • I owned my last civic from about 71,000 miles to 180,000 miles which covers the time period when most maintenance items need to be taken care of, including the ones you mentioned. Based on my experience here are answers to your questions:

    First of, you are correct. You will be helping the Service Dept meet the weekly budget targets, because:

    a) Trailing Arm bushings are good to replace at a future time, but are not critical and not Have to be replaced ASAP. Not having them replaced will affect your tire's alignment and wear n tear so you may check it out later. Perhaps call around and get quote from repair facilities. Sears, Pep Boys or go to and search for independent honda mechanic.

    b) Brake Fluid change / flush:
    This is Important. But there are two things to consider: 1) $133 is too high a price. most honda dealers run specials to do this for $89.99 or $79.99. Call around to get good price. Now the second part (2) check your records to see when was the last time you changed the brake oil. Honda recommends changing this every 3 years regardless of miles driven.if you've changed regularly, then go right ahead and get this done for less than $90.
    But, if you have never had a brake oil changed, thats a whole different ball game. The thing is, old brake oil has aged with the car and its seals, that the new brake oil will be stronger and will cut through the old seals resulting in a failure of master cylinder ($600), aka brake failure.. thats a life threatening situation. I had this exact thing happened to me and then later to my brother to his 2000 civic. perhaps you can benefit from experience. Ask the tech how bad is the brake oil? Take your car to other shop and get second opinion. If you can hold off on this, thats great, but if you must change right away, keep checking your master cylinder for any brake oil leaks.

    c) Power Steering Fluid:
    Thats just total BS. Honda does not recommend changing P/S fluid, and you will notice that in the Scheduled Maintenance' section of the owners manual that p/s fluid change is not mentioned. The Honda service dept cooks this up to get your money. I talked to the Honda Master tech I've known for 10 years and these were his words. He recommended I don't change the p/s fluid.

    d) Valve Cover Gasket and Spark Plugs:
    These items are usually done when changing the timing belt of the car. Check the scheduled maintenance section of your owner's manual to see when timing belt is due. At that time you'll also need to get the water pump changed.

    If you are not married to your civic, the time has come to think about replacing it. Even though the miles are low, it still is a 10 year old vehicle and things are going to start going south soon. In the next 3 to 6 months you will need:

    a) Trailing Arm Bushings - $600
    b) Brake Fluid change - $ 90
    c) Master Cylinder change - $600
    d) Timing Belt package (timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, gasket etc) $1000

    In total you'll end up spending about $2300 on the car in 6 months with more to come soon. If I were you, I would consider the possibility to replace this car. Take the $2300 you need to fix this car, + about $5k you can get by selling it, you can make that a down payment on a new(er) vehicle that will not have these many issues.
  • I recently bought a civic LX-S with Continental tires. The car runs fine but the tires are very noisy..Are Continentals just lower quality and run noisy? Has anybody else had a similar issue with these tires.My wife also has a civic but it came with Goodyear RS-A tires which seem quieter..Any suggestions on what I can do..I do not want to go spend 400 on new tires..Any suggestions would be appreciated...
  • After many years of buying tires, I eventually learned that not all tires are made equal and some are just noisy to begin with ... yes, i know i am a slow learner!

    To your question, I would say check out and lookup your exact tire and see the survey test results. That will tell you how your current tires stack up against other and whether that means you to look for replacement in the long term. good luck
  • What is the general recommended milage to replace the serpentine belt of a Honda Fit?
  • Excerpt from Honda Factory Service Manual for Honda Civic 2001 LX sedan

    "For compressor replacement, subtract the volume of oil drained from the removed compressor from 130 ml (4 1/3 fl oz, 4.6 lmp oz) and drain the calculated volume of oil from the new compressor: 130 ml (4 1/3 fl oz, 4.6 lmp oz) – Volume of removed compressor = Volume to drain from new compressor.

    NOTE: Even if no oil is drained from the removed compressor, do not drain more than 50 ml (1 2/3 fl oz, 1.8 lmp oz) from the new compressor."

    Hi All,

    Please read the factory excerpt above and give me some advice on how much oil to put back into my newly replaced compressor. I am confused from reading the factory service manual as to how much oil to put back into the system.

    I drained a total of 32mL from my old compressor. My new Honda compressor came prefilled with 130mL of oil from the factory. So does that mean the new compressor will get 32mL put back in??? The confusion starts with the added "Note." If I follow the Note instruction then (130-32=88mL) 88mL is too much to be drained since 50mL is the maximum allowed and therefore the new compressor to be installed should get 80mL and not 32mL. Or do they mean 80mL only if the compressor is completly dry which would not apply in my case???
  • No judgments please, and only minor lectures - I feel awful enough as it is.

    I have a 06 Civic just shy of reaching the 25K milestone. I used to commit via public transport so which explains the lower mileage. However, this reason I've been lax on regularly scheduled maintenance outside of oil changes whenever the maintenance minder indicated so.

    My question for the pros here -- I want to have a dealer do my first maintenance on it, but I'm not sure if I should ask for maintenance schedule A, B, C or what.

    Thoughts? Much appreciated.
  • jet10000jet10000 Posts: 656
    My question for the pros here -- I want to have a dealer do my first maintenance on it, but I'm not sure if I should ask for maintenance schedule A, B, C or what.

    Well there is no C. Only A & B and 1 thru 5. You should have them do B which is:

    Replace engine oil*1 and oil filter
    Inspect front and rear brakes
    Check parking brake adjustmen
    Inspect tie rod ends, steering gear box, and boots
    Inspect suspension components
    Inspect driveshaft boots
    Inspect brake hoses and lines (including ABS)
    Inspect all fluid levels and condition of fluids
    Inspect exhaust system#
    Inspect fuel lines and connections#

    Have them do #1 which is the tire rotation. And #2 which is changing the air filter and the cabin air filter. If you want to save a bunch of money, you can pick up the filters from the auto parts store and do #2 yourself. It's super easy. The engine air filter lid is only held on by clips which can be flipped off by hand---you don't even need a screw driver. The cabin air filter, is behind the door of the glove box and is replaced fairly easily as well.

    Then you'll be all set and you can follow the maintenance minder from there on out.
  • saqisaqi Posts: 1
    There is a green light in the dash board which says econ on it what does in mean when its on?? :confuse:
  • Awesome. 'ppreciate it.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    Have a '06 LX with 25k also and have replaced the fronts pads once but never have had the brake fluid changed yet. This service wasn't recommended when I had the front brakes done so can I assume that it's o k? They probably would've recommended it if it needed it as this same mechanic has worked on our cars for years now.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • The manual for my new '09 Civic says to replace oil, cooling fluid, window washer fluid and brake oil with only Honda approved materials. Which of these is absolutely necessary to be replaced by Honda only brands and which can be off the shelf materials?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,630
    Note it says "Honda approved" fluids, not Honda fluids. As long as the fluids, e.g. oil, meet Honda's specs, you're fine. The owner's manual should give you the specs, if not check with your dealer's service department.
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