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Honda Civic Care and Maintenance



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,052
    USA Today had an article (on Thursday I believe) about using premium fuel when the cars were designed to run on regular. Not needed... may leave extra deposits in the burning process which may mean that if you use premium in a car designed for regular, you may need to spent the extra money for the mouse milk additives to try to undo the deposites from the slower burning fuel.

    I had heard a mechanic say that the premium fuels caused deposits and now that USA Today's article verified that, I'm sure that's what happens.

    bd21: 27.5 @ 75+!!! My LeSabre does better than that mileage and it's a 3800 v6... it delivered 31.5 through the PA mountains coming back from Philly at 75. Going around Phila to Washington's Crossing it gave 35.5 on the tollroad. Have you had the car checked for something wrong?
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    I've had the car thoroughly gone over by two different dealers. They couldn't find anything wrong. My 91 Mercury with a six cylinder got 30 MPG consistently on the highway. You bet I'm disappointed, I expected to always get at least 30 MPG on the highway and sometimes around 33-35 MPG. My father in-law's Camry gets that and I thought I should have too. Accords are not known for outstanding mileage, but they are great cars. Back up a few posts and you will see the discussion that I've been having with Greg about additives and premium gas. You hit the gas issue right on the head, but it is hard to convince people. They think they are taking car of their car by giving it the (good) stuff.
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    Barry, ----lots of luck with your retirement from the Airforce in 05. I spent 33 years teaching Industrial Arts at the elementary and high school level. I also earned two MA degrees in the process. Prior to entering the teaching profession I graduated from Lincoln Technical Institute with a diploma in "Automotive Mechanics",(1962). I worked as a mechanic for a Buick agency. After my active duty in the Army, I returned to college to earn my BA in Industrial Arts Education. Over the years I taught Automotive Technology, Woodworking, Architectural Drawing & Model Construction and Computer Aided Drafting , (AutoCAD 2000). I enjoyed the profession and the young people, but if you want to do the job as a "professional", it will burn you out! -----With regards to using Premium Fuel in my vehicles, I think you are missing the point of my posting. The Honda manual states that you can use 86 octane "or higher". It does not state that you cannot use premium fuel in a Honda engine. When I come out of a toll gate under "hard acceleration", I find that using a mixture of "premium fuel" and MM oil as an upper cylinder lubricant gives me "maximum performance", without the possibility of a spark knock. I don't get the same feeling with "regular fuel". I also use premium fuel and MM oil in my 7.4 MerCruiser Marine engine. The engine runs VERY SMOOTH, and it has GREAT ACCELERATION!--- Like they say in the movies: ----"I love the smell of MM oil in the morning. ----It smells like "VICTORY"! -----Have a great day. Give MM oil a try, (4 ounces to each ten gallons of fuel). Hell, ---you might like it!------Greg
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    I knew you had more automotive background than you were mentioning. Why did it take a crowbar to get it out of you? I didn't miss your point, I was waiting for your logic to go along with it. O.K. you sold me on your reasoning. MM is great stuff and if you can really feel the difference in your car with your driving style using premium gas, than by all means go for it. I just see so many people using premium because they think it is a better gas for their engine. Generally the average driver is better off with regular gas, if that is what the maker suggests. Again, I'm tight with a buck, so I just use the minimum fuel required. Since most car computers are set to primarily optimize their performance based on regular fuel I think your best bet is to use the grade the car is tuned for, however, you can always use a higher grade of fuel. My cars run fine on regular, so I'm happy. If it didn't I would investigate going down your path. I really enjoy these exchanges Greg. Barry
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    Barry, --If you have any questions about going into the "teaching profession" after retirement from the Airforce, you can write to me at: -----Lots of luck. I enjoyed my military experience. (9 yrs. in the USAR). Have a nice day. -----Greg
  • seafseaf Posts: 339
    I'm planning on changing the engine coolant in my 99 civic soon. In the manual it says to drain the coolant from the drain under the radiator. But in the service manual (I bought one for about $65 a while back), it says to also drain from a bolt on the left side of the engine oil filter. I was wondering if there's any difference if I just drain from the radiator and not the engine itself. Thanks.
  • I bought a new 03 Civic Sedan. The owners manual says I need oil changes every 5,000 miles, but the car dealer I bought it from said every 3,000. What gives? Let me know please!! I'm already at 3400 and the oil seems fine.
  • seafseaf Posts: 339
    Car manufacturer wants to maximize the time so less user hassles, dealer wants to shorten the time to maximize profits. I'd go about every 5k, since I lean more towards normal driving, (more highway than city stop and go driving)

    Although the first oil change should probably be done sooner to get rid of the new engine break-in debris.
  • If you want a "sweet running / sludge free engine", change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles. Let the Honda dealer perform this service, so that all your service records are in one location, (should something happen to your vehicle of a mechanical nature). This is just my opinion. There will be people on this board who have other opinions on this subject. Naturally, the final decision is yours. ----Greg
  • Ok so here goes.

    I have a 2002 civic ex. I had the first service done a little late (around 8500). The second service (oil change) was done around 12k or so. The little sticker the dealer put on my windshield says my next service is coming up at 16,600 which is where I'm at now. What can I expect for this service? I assume it's some kind of "15k service" or is it just an oil change?

    This time around I have to take it to another dealer due to geographic circumstances, and on this particular dealer's site the have listed the basic oil change (29 bucks) and then a "every 7.5k mile service" which includes the following for 100 bucks:

    7,5K at 7,500-22,500 - 37,500 - 52,500 MILES: (Includes 3,750 mile services plus the following)
    Every 7,500 miles
    Check Coolant Condition & Top Off Fluids
    Inspect & Adjust All Drive Belts and Hoses
    Inspect Emission Control System
    Inspect Engine Air Filter
    Inspect Wiper Arms and Blades for Operation
    Inspect Drive Train for any Fluid Leaks
    Clean and Tighten Battery Terminals & Check Electrolyte Level
    Lubricate Parking Brake Cables and Linkage
    Rotate Tires
    Inspect Exhaust and Heat Shields
    Check All External Lamps for Proper Operation
    Inspect Lap/Shoulder Belts for Proper Operation
    Clean and Adjust Rear Brakes
    Inspect Tie Rod Ends, Steering Gear Box & Driveshaft Boots
    Inspect and Adjust Clutch Release Travel (Standard Transmission)
    * Brake Adjust recommended at 7500 mile intervals

    THEN, there's the "every 15k service" which is 200 bucks:
    15K AT 15,000 - 45,000 - 75,000 - 105,000 MILE SERVICE (Includes 7,500 mile services plus the following)
    Every 15,000 miles
    Inspect PCV Valve Operation
    Inspect Cooling System: Pressure Test and Cap, Inspect Hoses, Drive Belts and Core Plugs
    Lubricate All Key Locks
    Inspect Suspension Mounting Bolts
    Check Shock Absorbers/Struts for Leakage and Proper Operation
    *Replace Valve Cover Gaskets and Seals
    Inspect Distributor Cap and Rotor
    Replace Air Filter
    *Add $49.95 Cooling System Service at 45K,75K, & 105K
    *Adjust Engine Valves (*Add $55.00 for 1993 and earlier) includes Valve Cover Gaskets and Seals
    *Wiper inserts included in some services

    my question is: what do i need here? I am thinking only an oil change/tire rotation, but am i missing something? is there some big 15k service i should be doing???
  • It looks to me like your dealer is nickle and diming you to death. Read through the maintenance schedule in your manual to determine exactly what you need.

    I don't think it's so much that the inspections your dealer packages are worthless; it's that he's charging you a hunk of money for 5-10 min worth of work. An oil change and tire rotation here at the dealer runs $30-$35, and one dealer does the comprehensive inspections for free.

    Dunno how many Honda dealerships there are in your area, but I'd use these routine maintenance visits to try 'em out until I found one that doesn't gouge on service.
  • I suspected it was all pretty unnecessary. I looked in the manual, and under "normal driving conditions" there's nothing specified for 15k miles. Only 10k and 20k. So I guess at this point all I really need is an oil change, does that sound right?
  • Mine is an '02 Si, but it sounds like we have similar maintenance scheds. I use the severe sched, since most of my driving is short trip and stop and go. Thus, my oil change interval is 5K miles; and that's about it 'till 30K miles, except for the inspections.
    Take a look at the definitions of the 'normal' and 'severe' conditions and take it from there.
    I was surpised, too, at how little scheduled maintenance there is to the new Civics.
    If my dealer got what yours does for checks, I'd buy a Chilton's manual and do it myself.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    Helms is the best manual out there for Honda, even Haynes manual is better than Chilton.
  • you're doing 5k oil changes for 'severe' conditions? I consider my conditions to be 'normal' and I'm doing it every 3750. Is that wrong?
  • Blue - That's not wrong. It's just more often than needed. Like I keep saying, pull out the manual and read it carefully. The definitians of 'normal' and 'severe' make sense, though I'm being conservative. There's also a section on the 'maintenance needed' warning light that I think would help.
    The maintenance schedule does indeed seem very frugal, but I guess I trust Honda on this one.

    Dudka - Thanks. Helms it is.
  • I consider myself to be driving in "Normal" conditions. In the manual it says nothing about regular oil change intervals, it only has the chart that says:

    10K - oil change
    20K - oil change + rotate tires

    I had made an appointment for tomorrow to get my oil changed (I'm at 16,600) but now I'm thinking I should just cancel and wait until I hit 20-22K before getting the next change - does this make sense?
  • That makes sense to me.

    On mine, the chart translates to every 10K miles under 'normal' conditions and every 5K miles under 'severe'.

    For the recommended service, there's a mileage interval and at time interval. So, for example, Honda recommends an oil change every 10K miles or every 12 months, whichever comes first - under 'normal' conditions. You should be fine if you realistically assess 'normal' vs. 'severe' and have the recommended service performed. Most of the simple stuff, lube locks for example, we can easily do for ourselves. Changing oil, coolant, brake fluid, filters, etc. is a little messier but still not very tricky.
    Rather than buying your dealer's "packages", I'd ask for the specific services you need according to the manual. If you get kick-back and/or confusion at that point, that's when I think it's time to find a new dealer to service your Civic.
  • An Oil & Filter change is "cheap maintenance". Engines are expensive. "Sludge" in any engine will void your new vehicle warranty. We have two Honda Vehicles, (2000 Civic & 2003 Accord). Both vehicles get oil & filter changes, (at the dealer), at 3,000 mile intervals. The Civic has 25,000 + miles on the clock, and the Accord has 15,000 + miles. No problems. Very quiet & powerful 4 cylinder engines. We use our vehicles extensively. We took delivery of our Accord in Feb 2003, and we already have 15,000 + miles on the clock. By Feb. 2004 we should have between 22,500 to 25,000 miles on this vehicle. This is why we have a 100,000 mile extended warranty on this vehicle. The final choice is yours with regards to preventive maintenance. Now you have heard the rest of the story! --- Just my opinion. -----Greg
  • That was a pretty famous commercial slogan pointing out the benefit of frequent oil changes. Going several thousand miles extra has the potential to be a penny wise, pound foolish exercise. I follow the old Honda system of 3750 mile intervals. I may be getting one change every year or two that I could skip by going further but if I'm only spending an extra $1.50 a month to further protect a $15,000 expense then I find it well worth the 1% of 1% investment.
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