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Honda Fit Maintenance



  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I drive 150 miles round trip (with a 6,000 foot elevation change) daily - at least I carpool with my husband. And too many weekends find me driving somewhere - even if it is only 100 miles (round trip) to Costco or Walmart or the movies. Once a month (or more often) I drive 600 miles to visit family, so it doesn't take long for the miles to add up. On the other hand, I can drive 3 or 4 miles to go hiking, off-roading, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing etc. depending on the season. There are rewards to living in the middle of a national forest. I sold a 4 year old Tacoma with 188,000 miles on it (hated it), have 130,000 miles on a '98 Wrangler that has been mostly a second, off-road vehicle.

    And that's why I'm hoping to buy a Fit in the next couple of days - the Unlimited's 18 mpg (if I'm lucky) is killing my budget!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...100 miles (round trip) to Costco"

    Amazing! It's 20 miles, tops, for me to Costco. And I've always thought that's a pain! Did I say amazing? :P ;)

    I hope the Fit is up to the task of climbing all those mountains for you!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Check out the Long and Grinding Road article on the subject of Extreme Commuters in the May 1 Newsweek.

    Anyone commuting 90 minutes or more each way to work in their new Fit?
  • Hello,
    Some things I noticed.
    1) I like being higher than regular cars.
    2) the handleing is awesome.
    3) No heat gauge but a little blue light on until the car is warmed up.
    4) stereo is good not great
    5) Not a smooth ride. but the handeling is outstanding.
    Smooth enough though.
    Do I have to use the dealer to change the oil??
    The mecanic said to change the oil after 5K (Yeah Right)
    I want to do all oil changes and put in synthetic.
    So Is the warrenty void if I do the oil changes????
  • sntgizmosntgizmo Posts: 4
    Changing your own oil does not void the factory warranty. Be sure to use the specified grade and weight though. The oil filter is in a dream location on this car. It is right up front pointing straight down with nothing in the way to drip oil all over.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Fit has a timing chain, but Honda and Toyota both have about 60-80% chains these days.

    Toyota still has a belt on Solara V6, Tundra and Sequoia V8s, LandCruiser, 4runner V8 and Highlander V6.

    Honda uses chains on the Civic, Accord 4, CRV, Element, Insight, and S2000. The timing belts are with the V6 used on the Pilot, Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Accord V6.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I've heard from others that do change their own oil that a brand-new car needs the following schedule:

    First change 500 miles. The grit in the oil is noticeable. The engine is breaking in and that means bits of metal are breaking off as it polishes itself clean.

    Second change another 1000 miles. - Grit shoud be microscopic by now.

    Third change 3000 miles. Grit should be gone.

    After that, normal 3-5K changes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Honda IMPLORES and ENTREATS new owners to wait as long as they can stand it to do that first oil change - it is because of the special oil they put in at the factory, which helps the seals seat.

    On my RSX I waited until 7000 miles for the first oil change.

    Most internal engine parts these days are cut by machines with a lot more precision than in the old days - I don't think there are "bits of metal" to break off and get suspended in the oil any more.

    Just an opinion, but one that happens to be backed up by the manufacturer's own instructions.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    Agreed, Honda is insistent that you wait at least till the oil minder reads 10-15% percent befroe you change the oil the first time people. there are alot of self appointed oil experts on here that have no business giving antiquated advise from yesteryear, Honda is the premier engine builder in the world and they know their engines period. They say wait till 10 or 15% in the oil minder dash display. This is critical to the break in of you engine . The factory fill has a very high moly content that will help your rings seat. 10 or 15 % will probably put you in the nieghbor hood of 5,000 miles. This is OK.

    My salesman says Honda has directly told him there is 7 sensors in the crank case that analyse the oil for contaminents and that is linked to your maintenance minder. I asked him like 3 times if that is directly from Honda and he said that is directly from his Honda reps. Take it for what it's worth.

    Do some reading at and those guys are so anal they send in their used oil for analysis and they report it is perfectly fine for oil to go 6,000 miles are more. Just make sure you use a very good filter such as Napa Gold (the best wix filter) Do not use the Honda filter the dealers will use. It's Honeywell (made by Fram) Fram is crap. It's probably Ok for 3,000 mile but not up to the task of enduring 6,000 miles or more. The Honda filter on your car from the factory is one of the best filters out there, but it's probably not what you'll get at the dealer. Follow the maintenance minder. You can trust it. stop second guessing Honda. They are the experts.
  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    I think it is best to follow manufacturer guidlines.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Another poster assured you that you won't be voiding your warranty. This is true, but you have to be able to prove you did the oil change and used the required oil (5-20 API SM). My strategy would be to take it to the dealer's fast change oil lane (or use a coupon) but do my own "mid cycle" oil changes (when the indicator says 50% oil life left). I would use full synthetic and carry in the same full synthetic for the dealer to use when they change the oil for you.

    Prices can vary a lot for oil changes at dealers, so shop around. Virtually no "service" per se is required, so don't let them pad your bill by upseling a routine oil change to a "minor service" or "major service."
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I think the salesman is misinformed about sensors that actually check the oil for contamination; that would be new, and expensive (it's hard enough to check for contamination in a lab!).

    There are two current types of "maintenance minders":

    1. Simple mileage reminders, that read your mileage since their last reset.

    2. OLM or "oil life monitors" but really "oil life calculators" that take many pieces of information from your car's ECM (engine control module or computer) about the amount of time spent warming up vs. the amount of time spent driving at proper operating temperature; the average trip length; coolant temperature variations (stop and go in hot weather; short commute in freezing weather). Nothing requires special sensors, just grinding the information that is flowing through your car's computer all the time any way, and distilling it down to a personalized oil change recommendation.

    A lot of people who do easy freeway commutes (in their minds) are surprised to see the recommendation for an oil change come in earlier than expected; some drivers who think they are severe service drivers get longer than expected oil changes. For example, I have a 35 mile, one way, daily commute that entails a couple of blocks to get on the freeway, 10 blocks at the other end to get to work. Despite flying at 70-75 mph on the freeway, my trip computer indicates I only have an average speed of 38 mph, meaning the impact of the small portion of street, with a slow down or two on the freeway, is much greater than I imagined.

    The problem with OLM's (the Fit has the more sophisticated OLM/calculator, not the older "maintenance minder") is that they are driven by an industry agenda to minimize perceived maintenance costs and to be environmentally sound (longer oil change intervals).

    For example, Europe is biased towards long engine life rather than fuel economy, so the additives in most oils and very grade range of the oil itself (5-40 is not uncommon) optimize protection, not fuel economy. At the same time manufacturers like Benz and BMW demand "long life" oils which are designed to maintain a specified level of protection longer, so as to to keep their customers out of the routine service bay for as long as possible.

    Over here it is the opposite. Our oils emphasize fuel economy and catalytic converter life over longevity of engine parts; our public resists paying for full synthetic oils much less long-life full synthetic oils (the BMW and Mercedes spec oils are full synthetics); and manufacturers count on the widespread culture of 3,000 mile oil changes (which most consumers guiltily push out to 5,000 miles) to actually provide the real protection needed.

    Honda is the most aggressive about its oil change intervals (10,000 miles without a full synthetic or long-life spec requirement) and service categories (it is harder to fall into the shorter oil change, "severe service" category than it is with other manufacturers). At the same time, I bought two Hondas in the past five years from two different dealers, and both service departments scheduled me for 3,000 mile oil changes, over my protests.

    Now I ask you, who makes better engines - Honda, on the one hand, or BMW/Mercedes on the other? It's a trick question, because in many ways the small Honda engines are actually the better ones - due to their smaller displacement they get driven harder, and due to the younger age of their drivers they get driven harder. So which engines should get the better oil? If Mercedes and BMW's need full synthetic, how come Honda can get by with the cheapest oil on sale at Autozone? (That's another trick question - I don't think they can.)

    You said, in part "Stop second guessing Honda. They are the experts." I agree with the second part, but disagree with the first part. They ARE the experts, but what would they say if we told them (1) we drive our car like a taxi; or (ii) we really, really plan on driving it to 150,000 or 200,000 miles and don't want it to wear to the point of oil consumption during that interval? I suspect they would immediately get nervous and recommend 3,000 or 5,000 mile oil changes with a full synthetic or, better yet, a long life formulation full synthetic. Also, the engineers to design their cars are only part of the larger corporate "voice" that we ultimately hear.

    On that "other" website (bob's), both 20 and 30 weight multigrade oils are shown, by oil sample tests of used oil, as shearing down to 15 weight and 20 weight by the end of only 3,000 miles. Very few oils are shear stable (guess what - full synthetics do better). In manufacturer required wear sequence tests, the amount of wear permitted is surprisingly high - but the actual rate of wear (as opposed to total over the test) is less in the beginning and increases towards the end of the oil's life. The tests used prior to the development of 5-20 oil weren't even that severe, they were way out of date. That's why oils like Mobil 1 (and most recently Pennzoil Platinum) could honestly claim they greatly exceeded wear and other standards.

    Going 10,000 miles between oil changes also ignores other issues. How often do you check your tire pressure? I check mine monthly - but sometimes despite my best efforts forget. The average American consumer NEVER checks their tire pressure, it only gets checked when the oil is changed. So 3,000 (or at least 5,000, as opposed to 10,000)mile oil change intervals have significant hidden benefits.

    It would be nice to trust Honda (or other manufacturers that still have long oil change intervals - Ford and Chrysler have revised their recommendations significantly downward, and Toyota has revised their recommendation downward following their sludge problems). But in the meantime, I follow two rules:

    1. 3,000 miles for nonsynthetic oils;
    2. 5,000 miles or 50% of the OLM for full synthetic oils.

    And even for #1, I choose a conventionally priced oil that is really 50% synthetic (TropArtic).
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'm going to pick up the Fit tomorrow afternoon (Silver Sport Auto). I've been using nonsynthetic oil in one of our current vehicles (3,000 mile oil changes) and Mobile 1 in the other (5,000 mile oil changes). I thought that Mobile 1 was a full synthetic oil, but now I'm confused. Is it or is it a blend? Since I'm hoping to get at least 200,000 miles out of this car, I'm really interested in this discussion of oil changes and oil types.

    I will say we've had good luck with high mileage vehicles - we put 188,000 miles on a Tacoma using non-synthetic every 3,000 - 4,000 miles and 290,000 on a Nissan Hardbody with very irregular non-synthetic oil changes (my other half was terrible about getting it done on time way back when). When he sold the Nissan, it had a blown auto tranny but the engine was still running perfectly.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Mobil "1" (the "1" is the key) has always been full synthetic. They also sell a conventional and blended oil under the Mobil name, but drop the "1". When in doubt, read the label, or if you get it at a car dealer, specify "fully synthetic" and as for the left over oil back - that's good both for checking the viscoscity grade they used and to make sure they themselves did not confuse the various lines of Mobil oils.

    Also see
  • growwisegrowwise Posts: 297
    Don't knock the timing belts. They last longer than chains in some cars (chain failure is common but not because of what you think.. it's the oiler which can be at fault). Belts nowadays are kevlar reinforced (kevlar being the fibres used for bulletproof vests) so they are not just rubber.

    As far as mobil1 is concerned, its the best oil you can get out there. They did a test on BMW once where it ran for one million miles in the lab. I can attest for mobil1 since I have put over 100k miles on my car and engine is like new. I only wish my tranny will live as long as my engine does. Note: Do your tranny fluid flush every 30k miles. I mean full flush not just part of it.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    I did not knock timing belts, but I will now. I have had many cars and trucks with both. I have never had either break, and I have had many cars well over 100k miles and decades old. I have never had to replace or had a problem with a chain. I have replaced many timing belts some to the tune of 300 bucks.

    Yes, timing belts and timing chains have improved over the years. Timing chains tend to last much longer and require much less cost and time in maintenance.

    Soon (probably less than 2 years) this will be a nonissue with Honda and Toyota anyway. As soon as Toyota puts its new V-8 and V-6 in all models there will be no more timing belts. As soon as Honda comes out with the next Accord and Pilot/Ridgeline/Odyssey (both V6 engines), they will also have no timing belts. You may not like timing chains but you will no longer have a choice with a new Honda or Toyota.
  • shneorshneor Posts: 66
    I own a 1988 Mazda 323 with 241K miles on it, bought used with 88K miles. I use 20-50 oil with the addition of 4 oz. of Tufoil every oil chamge (5000 miles). I plan to use Tufoil on my new silver BM Fit starting with the first oil change. My Mazda engine runs very nicely but only 26 mpg.
  • Folks...

    It's nice to see so many different experiences and opinions about the FIT. I got my vivid pearl blue Sport AT last Wednesday and love it so far. But... sales person advised me that I the car has synthetic oil and it shouldn't be changed for...wait for it...

    10,000 miles!

    Now, I've gone every 3000 miles like clockwork with all my other cars. My eyebrows raised, the saleswoman indicated greed led to these 3000 mile intervals.

    I'm thinking the vast majority here are going to advise that the advice is crazy. Has anyone else heard such a thing? (I do understand there is an oil life maintenance "life" indicator as you flip through the trip odometers.)



  • gearhead1gearhead1 Posts: 408
    I'm thinking the vast majority here are going to advise that the advice is crazy. Has anyone else heard such a thing? (I do understand there is an oil life maintenance "life" indicator as you flip through the trip odometers.)

    Follow your oil maintenance minder on your dash display for your first oil change. Change it when it gets down to 10-15 percent which will probably be in the 5,000 mile nieghborhood. This is Honda's recommendation for breaking in their motor with the high moly factory fill. I don't think it's synthetic.

    If you feel you must change it arounf 3,000 miles just cahnge the oil when the minder says 50% after your first oil change. Don't reset the minder because it's tied to all the other maintenance schedules. You could change it at at 50%, then take it to zero and change it and reset the oil life minder at that point. Your car will never know what you did. ;)

    Personally after exhaustive research on this issue for myself. I am fully satisfied that even regular dino oil can comfortably go 5,000 miles or more, some say even 10,000, so I'm satisfied with Honda's recommendation which falls somewhere between 4,500 and 6,500 miles depending on your driving conditions.
  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    I think in general 5-7k is pretty good for oil changes. 3k is overkill I believe..and probably was nudged along by the oil and oil change industry. After all they put a sticker on your window that tells you to do MUST be in your best interest. ;)

    I would follow the owner's guide book rather than the salesperson. Might even effect your warranty if you don't.
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