Honda States:  

“To Help Honda Owners know when Scheduled Maintenance is due; Honda has introduced the Maintenance Minder System. Honda no longer has a 'recommended maintenance time/mileage schedule'. To save you, the customer, time and money Honda created the Maintenance Minder system to show the engine oil life in the information display, letting the vehicle’s owner know when the engine oil needs replacing and maintenance is due.”

There are conflicting opinions on the benefits of following your maintenance minder's schedule.  Following is some information to  help you decide how you can best protect your investment in your vehicle.
Different vehicle owners have different vehicle goals: 

          - Some owners replace their vehicle every 3-5 years, etc. 

           - Some owners want to keep their vehicle as long as possible. 

There is no right or wrong.  As the goal differs, so does the process.




        A                      Replace Engine Oil Only - Not Filter

        B                      Replace ngine Oil, Oil Filter, Inspect Front and Rear Brakes, 

                                Check the Parking Brake Adjustment, Inspect other items specific to the vehicle


        1                       Rotate Tires

        2                       Replace Air Cleaner Element, Check the Drive Belt, Replace the Dust and Pollen Filter

        3                       Replace Transmission Fluid and Transfer Fluid (if equipped)

        4                       Replace Spark Plugs, Replace Timing Belt (if equipped),

                                 Inspect Water Pump, Inspect Valve Clearance

        5                       Replace Engine Coolant

        6                        Replace Rear Differential Fluid (if equipped)


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Manufacturer Implemented - Confidence in the state of your vehicle

Convenience of the dash light – hard to ignore

Will certainly sustain the first few years of ownership

  • Control - Your owner’s manual contains the Code Chart

  • Fewer oil changes

  • Fewer trips for service



If you plan to have your Honda for more than 5 years - 75,000 - 200,000+ miles, these items are for your consideration:

Real-Time Engine Oil Monitor?

  • Maintenance Minder system does not evaluate your vehicle’s actual engine oil.  If it did, why would the light have to be reset? The computer would detect fresh oil. If the mechanic forgets to reset the light after an oil change, you will still see the oil life light at the same percentage as when you arrived for your oil change.  The indicator light is controlled by a computer system based on algorithms and driving trends – hot weather, mountains, highways, city, etc. 

  • The Owners Manual recommend owners check oil level at every gasoline fill up, and include instructions on how to top off the engine oil.

Engine Oil Level?

  • The oil life indicator does not measure the oil level in the engine or oil pan. Engine oil can be moderately low or even severely low (none on the dipstick) – the maintenance minder program is not equipped to detect low oil.  How many times has your mechanic told you that your engine oil was low? How many mechanics actually look at the oil level on your dipstick before they put your car on the lift and drain the engine oil?  That takes time and care – and time is money.

Synthetic vs. Conventional Engine Oil?

  • The Maintenance Minder Program is not equipped to determine traditional engine oil from synthetic.  Synthetic oil is designed for higher mileage oil change intervals versus traditional engine oil. The Maintenance Minder Program recommends service based on the programming, not the type of engine oil.

Ensure longevity of vehicle?

  • Main Code A code dictates “Replace just the Engine Oil.”  The oil filter does not get changed.*  The oil filter’s job is to remove carbon, dirt and fragments of debris from the oil that runs through your engine.  If the oil filter is not changed, it clogs and becomes more of a ‘plug’ which allows those contaminants to cycle through your engine, which compromises the lubricating properties of the oil.  This thickens the oil, leading to sludge.  This can damage your engine over time.

  • Main Code B is when the engine oil filter replacement is recommended (inspect front and rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, inspect other items specific to the vehicle).

  • Elongated oil change intervals (more than 5000+ miles between) can lead to oil consumption issues.  With the added “A” services, these elongated oil changes can become an even bigger problem.

  • Oil consumption can stretch a timing chain over an extended period of time (for example: 5 years or more of enlongated oil changes). A timing chain replacement is not cheap.

* Main Code A should be eliminated entirely as discussed above – detrimental to engine

Fewer Trips for Service?  

       It's like going to a fast food place three times instead of once to order a meal

  • Brake Inspection Every Other Oil Change?  Main Code B requires a brake inspection. Tire Rotations are a separate line item ($).  Traditionally, when tires are rotated, the is a visual inspection of the brakes at no additional cost. Complete brake inspections require additional time which means more labor ($). Complete brake inspections have historically been done during a major service (every 30k) with the visual inspections at every tire rotation unless there is a complaint regarding brakes.  This is also the code that calls for changing the engine oil filter.  One would assume that Code B is at every other oil change.  

  • 4 trips instead of 1?  Yup.  Main Code B and Sub-Codes 1 (Rotate tires); 2 (Replace Air Cleaner Element, Check the Drive Belt, Replace the Dust and Pollen filter); 3 (Replace Transmission Fluid & Transfer Case Fluid (if equipped) & 6:   2 - ; 3 - ; and 6 - Replace Rear Differential Fluid (if equipped) are all included in the 30/60/90+ Major Service Schedule.  A packaged service benefits the customer - cost and convenience and ease of recordkeeping.

  • Do I have to do everything at once?  Main Code B and Subcodes 4 (Replace Spark Plugs) & 5 (Replace Timing Belt (if equipped) Inspect the Water Pump, Inspect Valve Clearance)  -  Both Maintenance items are recommended at 105k.  Both are expensive. Some owners may want to get everything done at once, and others may want to separate the expense by a few months.  

  • Do I Really Save Money With a Packaged Service?  Yes.  If the water pump starts leaking any time after the Timing Belt replacement, that timing belt has to be removed to replace the water pump.  Replacing the water pump with the timing belt is additional labor, but a fraction of what it would cost to replace it later. The coolant must be drained to replace the water pump.  You will have fresh coolant at job completion.  100% labor overlap. Drive belts must be removed to replace the timing belt – 100% labor overlap – just the cost of the new belts.  The odds are in your favor -- the timing belt is replaced at 105k miles.  How long do you think that water pump will last? Not another 105k.  The hydraulic timing belt tensioner and motor mount(s) also realizes a great savings in overlapping labor.  Normally these tensioners and mounts are failing at 105k.  Performing 210k is a long shot, and a very expensive bet.

  • Will Subcode 5 appear even if I had the coolant done with the timing belt package? The Maintenance Minder does not track the real time fluids, filters and components in your vehicle.

At no time does the Maintenance Minder recognize any item replacement. 

The System must be reset by the technician or the codes will continue to display.



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