Civic '08 miantenance intervals

This car (that my daughter uses, mostly out of town) is so modern that the manuals don’t give intervals like “change oil every 5K miles” (that’s the interval we have been using). Rather, there is a “Maintenance Minder” display that gives codes for what is needed NOW (they say). Well, OK – the manual does say to replace brake fluid every 3 years. And, based on advice on this forum I get the tranny fluid replaced about every 30K miles.

But can somebody please tell me the interval for changing spark plugs?

And can somebody please confirm what I infer from Gates Belts’ absence of a change interval for the timing (cam) belt: it does not have a timing belt?


I’m almost certain that your Civic uses a timing chain

It’s a chain. I would do the 5k on the oil. I know the MTC Minder is supposed to calculate oil service intervals based on driving habits, but I like fresh oil in my engines. It’s cheap compared to a new engine.

Spark plugs are at ~120,000mi (should check and adjust valve clearances at that time as well)

Oil should be about every 5k miles, but honestly for most drivers, the maintenance minder will read 15% (change) around the 5k-6k mark, so using either mileage or % is almost equivalent.

Thanks, all, for the info and advice.

Warning: tell your daughter to be sure to open the hood once a month and check the oil level by pulling and inspecting the dipstick, regardless of what the maintenance minder light says. The minder light will NOT warn of a low oil condition.

At least one forum member here has fried her engine by running it out of oil. She thought the maintenance minder light indicated that there was actually oil in the engine, which it does not. The engine either leaked oil or burned oil, but the maintenance minder light doesn’t know anything about the oil level, and she ran it dry and burned up the engine.


Valve lash should be checked well before 120K

You could have burnt valves LONG before that, if you never check

Not uncommon on Hondas . . .

I would check the valves at 60K.

I have adjusted the valves on my 1999 Honda Civic at least twice. Each time there were some that had moved out of spec. It now has 149,000 miles and runs like a top.


Here’s what often happens

First scenario
The valve lash decreases . . . which you will NOT hear
There are no symptoms, or you ignore them
The valves get burnt up, at which point you need a big ticket head job

Second scenario
The valve lash decreases . . . which you do NOT hear
You notice some symptoms . . . low power, misfires, hard starting, etc.
You adjust the valves and avert disaster

@db4690 … this valve clearance thing confuses me. It seems to me as things wear, the cam lobe, and the cam follower, the cam won’t push the valve down as far as when the car was new, and therefore the valve won’t open as much as it did. This means the valve will be in contact with the seat a higher % of the time. So, since heat is transferred from the valve when it is in contact w/the seat, the valves (if the clearance is never adjusted) should run cooler as the engine ages, rather than hotter.

Am I making an error in how I’m thinking about this, or are there other factors I’m not considering?

I change the spark plugs on my early 90’s Corolla at 30 K intervals. The recommended NGK plugs cost $2 each and it takes about 15 minutes to change all four, so I have no complaints. I think it makes sense to do this as it offers some insurance that the plugs won’t bind up from being installed too long and ruin the threads and creating a big headache. But newer cars I think use longer life plugs, and they might be more difficult to replace and are probably a good deal more expensive than $2 each, and they probably are coated so they don’t bind up as easily, so 60K or 100K or even longer probably makes more sense for newer cars.

I’d go oil at 5000, trans at 30,000, air filter and cabin filter at 20K, serpentine belt at maybe 50K, plugs 80-100K, hoses maybe at four years. The thing is with the service minders, about everything except resetting the oil minder, you have to take it in to have them put the computer on it to re-set the computer.

Valve clearance check is every 105k miles along with spark plugs. I think 120,000 means km potentially?

My wife never did it on her 96 Civic and sold running perfectly at 200k miles/10 years old. I think its a gamble.

105k is too long to wait IMHO.
This article is about the V6, but it’s relevant to the l4:

The Honda Civic has used a timing chain since 2006. So far as I’m concerned, keeping spark plugs for 100 K plus is crazy. My policy is to use Denso TT platinum plugs, which cost about $3 or less a piece. They are very good plugs and I change them every 30K. When I bought my car, a 2006, used, it had 100 K and the original plugs. I changed them as soon as I got a chance and my average mpg went from 32 to 38.

My policy is to use Denso TT platinum plugs, which cost about $3 or less a piece. They are very good plugs and I change them every 30K.

That’s a waste.

Platinum or iridium plugs do one thing and one thing ONLY. They increase the life of the plug…PERIOD. They do NOT give you better performance…or better gas mileage. They just last longer.

If you’re going to change them out every 30k miles…then use the standard plug anyways.

As for $3 or less apiece?? Where do you get such a deal. At that price the regular copper plug should cost you $0.50.

Ok, lets get serious here. Changing the plugs every 30k miles is silly on this car. Its not 1973, and the plugs are designed to go 100k.

A coworker has a 2007 Civic, 239k miles, with roughly 200k being highway miles. He is the original owner. Plugs were pulled at 100k and looked ok. He replaced them at just over 200k miles. No problems.

We figured that in 200k miles even if you figured 60mph average for the whole 200k miles, at 2400rpms, each plug fired over 400 million times.

He has followed the maintenance minder. Oil changes with whatever the honda dealer uses anywhere from 5500 miles to 8000 miles. No problems.

He has never had the valves adjusted, This I don’t agree with however he has had no trouble.