Help Doing Oil Change on 2020 Honda Civic


I’m working on my friends car. Can anyone let me know about doing an oil change on a 2020 Honda Civic? The owner has had the oil changed done in the past, but doesn’t remember when. There aren’t many miles on it. Trying to determine if/when I need to do it.

I’m hoping someone with an all data membership or similar database can help with a few things:
What’s the torque specification on the drain bolt for the engine?
What’s the torque specification on the oil filter?

Is there any official suggested maintenance from Honda on this car? I’ve looked through the owners manual and found the following. I’m wondering if there’s anything else I need to be concerned with as regular maintenance, at least per Honda.

There’s a maintenance reminder light that goes off when the oil needs to be changed.

Is this just based on mileage or is there some sort of oil quality sensor that illuminates this light? I’m coming from an old car whose maintenance light just goes off every 5000 miles.

I would suggest to have all maintenance done at the dealership until warranty is out. If you still decide to do it anyways there is the type of oil, filter and schedule in the owners manual. You just have to look harder.


Why do people make oil changes such an ordeal . Stay away from your friends 2020 Honda and have him get the oil changes at the dealer at least until the warranty is expired . Moshi you said you are taking classes but it sure seems they are not helping you .


The drain plug torque is 20-25 ft/lbs.

But mechanics go by feel.

The oil filter has no torque spec.

That’s tightened by hand.



Right I found in the owners manual that it’s supposed to be every 7,500 miles. 0W-20. But so is the maintenance reminder light just based off of mileage or is there some sort of oil quality sensor that illuminates the indication on the dash based on the quality of the oil, or does it just go off every 7,500.

Thanks for the torque specification on the drain plug! I couldn’t find it. I’m not good about going about things by feel.

Due to previous experiences, I’m not so sure I trust bringing my cars to the dealer, even while under warranty. Would it be an issue with the warranty if I just change the oil myself but kept the receipts, empty containers of oil, and filter box, as proof we did it?

I learned a lot from my engine class. Completely tore down an engine and put it back together. It was a great class! Cheap at a community college too.

A dealer cannot void a warranty if you or someone else changes oil/filter.

Just keep a record of when it was done, and what oil/filter was used.

The computer uses an algorithm to determine the condition of the oil and when it should be changed.


Oil and filter is $35. Dealer oil change is $75? A dealer might give you a discount for several years. Maybe not.

Interesting about the maintenance reminder indicator light. Sounds like it’s not really testing the oil quality with some sort of sensor then.

So we can just wait for the maintenance indications to go off to change the oil if my friend doesn’t remember when it was done last? It sounds like the indication goes off not based on measuring the quality of the oil, but just every 7,500 miles. At which point it was likely reset at the last oil change.

Yea to save on labor costs.

I would wait for the oil monitor to indicate when to change the oil/filter.



2020 Civic $20,000+, wants to save $20/year on oil change!
Oil changes are simple, but we continue to hear stories of oil change errors resulting in damage. If you err, will you cover the damage?
To answer your question about the oil change light, no your engine does not test the oil. It employs an algorithm that monitors engine use.


The place that changed the oil will have records ( if he can even remember where that was). Did he not get a receipt or a small sticker on the windshield ? If nothing else Carfax might even show the oil change record if the place reported to them.

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The oil should be changed when the oil life monitor shows 15% oil life, or at one year, whichever comes first. It’s that simple.


Asemaster, thanks for the reminder, I like to do mine at 20%, going out to check it now.

As I’ve learned over the years, a good deed never goes unpunished at times.
This person is having you change the oil on a near new car to save a couple of bucks and it sounds like your skills may be a bit thin so to speak.

You can safely bet that if that car ever develops a premature engine fault (maybe not even related to what you did) that person is no longer going to be a friend and will blame you til hxxx freezes over.


As a school counselor, I learned that the hard way, as did our school nurse.
That type of experience can make one cynical, to say the least, and I hope that the OP gives some thought to your statement.

More than likely, ANY problem that ever develops with that car will–somehow–be linked to the OP’s oil change(s) in the car owner’s mind.


This is unlikely. The alert is usually based on an algorithm that accounts for length of trips, temperature, and driving style.

Here’s what I’m seeing for the 2 L standard engine

  1. Idle engine until warm, fan comes on twice, to make sure oil drains well
  2. Remove under-cover plate
  3. Remove drain bolt, drain oil.
  4. Reinstall drain bolt, use new washer, 40 N-meters (30 ft lb)
  5. Add oil (4.4 qt with filter change, double check w/owner’s manual) , double check oil level shows full on dipstick if equipped
  6. Run engine 3 minutes, check for leaks.

I’ll add: Change the filter too. Be sure to use a new washer. Don’t use the old one. If you don’t have a new washer, go to the dealership and buy 10-20 of the oil change washers; keep them in the glove compartment for future oil changes. Suggest to continue to check for leaks, & check dipstick level for the next few days. If you jack the car up for access, be sure to fully support it with jack-stands. I use ramps for oil changes on my older Corolla, but the low front-piece on newer cars can make driving the car up ramps difficult. If you can’t use ramps, you may be able to do this just by crawling under the car. Don’t rush the oil drain time; the longer it drains the more of the old oil comes out. I use that time to oil the door hinges, hood latch, check the CV boots, make sure the exhaust hangers are all there, etc.

I’m sorry but these are far too basic questions to be asking to then work on someone else’s new car. Sure you have to start someplace but I started at 10 with a go cart. Then lawn mower, and helped Dad, and then on my own 10 year old car. No way would I have worked on someone else’s new car. Oil changes are cheap even if you have the dealer or a qualified shop do it-compared to the risk of not doing it right. How many oil changes would a person do in a year?


Do NOT just dump 4.4 quarts in. Pour in 4 quarts and check the dipstick as it registers in the accepted range, start the engine, watch to see the oil light goes out. Check for leaks. Shut it off. Let sit 3 minutes, check the oil level. Add as needed to get to the full mark. You will need to add some as the filter was mostly empty when you started it and now it is full.

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This is a 2020 vehicle so I doubt that is needed . And do you really think Yoshi has any business doing anything to someone elses vehicle ? I certainly don’t.

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