I own a 2009 Honda Civic which has just reached the 30,00 mile mark. I went to my manual to check for service needing to occur around this mileage mark. The manual (and one dealer!) tell me that ‘the car will let me know what it needs’ with service codes which are supposed to flash on the LED display.

I do not feel comfortable with waiting for ‘the car to let me know’. What if I misunderstand or miss the message? I am getting mixed answers from various mechanics and I fear getting bamboozled by the balderdash!

Isn’t there some standard or aren’t there some general recommendations for a 2009 Honda Civic with 30,000 miles?

Can anyone help this Damsel in Distress?

Big smile with eyelashes batting,


I hate this new philosophy of Honda’s. I like their cars, but this particular philosophy is for the birds.

Pick up a Haynes Repair Manual at the local bookstore. That’ll have the maintenance schedule in it.

You are the BEST!!! I’m on the way to the library right now!

I’m back from looking online. After checking the public library, Amazon, Books-a-Million and Borders, I am unable to find a Haynes Repair Manual for a 2009 Honda Civic. The book for the latest models is one for 2001-2005 Civics.

Other suggestions?

My sincerest apologies for having sent you on a wild goosechase. I just checked the Haynes website and they apparently don’t have one in print for the 2009 Civic. I just checked Chilton and they don’t either.

Perhaps you’ll need to do an internet search or find out from the dealer where you can get a repair manual. They shoudl have a website or a phone number.

Checking The Owner’s Manual, Warranty, And Service / Maintenance Schedule Is Something That Should Be Done While Car Shopping, Not After The Purchase. However, I Can See Where People Would Believe That These Documents Would Be Included With A Car.

Apparently Honda has “dumbed down” car maintenance (idiot lights / messages) so that some customers feel insulted or slighted.

Since you seem to be into maintaining your car properly, how about spending a little (well . . . not little, little) money proactively, while the car is still relatively young ? Do what I do with every car I purchase and buy a factory Service Manual. I feel that these manuals should come with each new car.

I can’t guarantee that the schedule is in there, but I’d have a difficult time believing that Honda “dumbed down” the service manual, too. Perhaps the folks in the manual sales department could tell you or look it up for you. You could possible see a manual at the Honda dealer in the Service Department.

The Helm site says, “An average of 1,500 pages of detailed repair instruction and diagrams written by Honda service professionals make this the best manual available for accurate repair. Each Section includes a Table of Contents, and many have a Component Location Index showing parts disassembly sequence, bolt torques, thread sizes, and page references to descriptions in text. Book includes Maintenance Schedules, Specifications, Troubleshooting, Special Tools, Removal/Installation, Disassembly and Adjustment. Repair instruction on Engine Electrical, Engine, Cooling, Fuel and Emissions, Transaxle, Steering, Suspension, Brakes including ABS, Body, Heating/Air Conditioning/Ventilation, Body Electrical and Restraints.

Here’s the link to the supplier of official Honda service publications:

You may have to call Helm. I get conflicting information when looking up the manual. It shows the 2006 - 2009 Civic manual ($125 + tax, S&H) as out of stock and the 2006 - 2010 Civic manual in stock ($150 + tax, S&H). You’d have to see if the 06-09 manual will be restocked, shortly.

My Service Manuals all pay for themselves and save me time and money over the course of several years.


I always did that too, however the Scion dealers won’t sell the manuals any more. I had to do an internet search just to find out where to get one. Hond seems to be headed down the same path.

The counter guy gave me a big speech: “cars today are complicated. You can’t just work on them like you used to. You need special training and special tools”. I was “taken aback”, but if I’d thought of it I would have said “so, you think we’re better off WITHOUT manuals?”.

You could just let the computer work its magic. Our 2003 Olds Silhouette has a similar oil use measuring system. Sensors monitor the engine and determine when the oil needs to be changed. We have more than 100,000 miles on it; I’ve followed the oil monitor system the entire time. We use no oil between changes and the car runs very well. California uses the oil monitor system on all their fleet cars. They tested oil monitor systems in their motor pool and found that they reduced oil change frequency while performing very well. California even advises anyone who reads their web site to do the same. I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but I think it is what you need to hear. Who knows better than Honda’s engineers what is good for their cars? Honda has a great reputation for excellent cars, and they are not about to ruin it with a half-baked oil monitoring system.

Bypass Helm and give a shot first. Helm applies a substancial processing fee to every order (OK it is under $20.00 but still I don’t like it) Helm is used to selling to Dealers who don’t squawk at price. I get all my FSM’s at the used book store, but I never see books so current as 2009, 1998 being themost current I have found at the used book store.

I use Helm as a last resort, in their defense they do have an excellent selection and a good return policy.

There is a company called alldata and for a low price you can get access to all the data about your car. I like to have both. In fact I would like a garage alldata subscription but the cost is above $150.00 per month.

Oldschool, Unless I’m Doing Something Wrong, The 06-09 Civic Manual At Starts Out At $159.95, Considerably More Than Helm, + $8.95 S& H. There May Be No Savings Or It Could Be A Wash.


Alldata’s website would be a good place to look for this information. You may have to pay for it, but it will tell you everything you could ever want to know about your car. If you do this from your home computer, a single car subscription runs about $15-20 a month. For this, you get all the information your local garage gets about maintaining and repairing your car, including technical service bulletins, recalls, and maintenance schedules. Alternatively, you could try your local library or community college. Sometimes they have the full subscription to Alldata, particularly if it is a community college that teaches automotive.

If it were me, I’d follow the Honda system’s recommendations. The only change I’d make is to change the filter with ever oil change, and make sure the transmission fluid and brake fluid get changed at about 40k miles. Your manual does say what each of the services includes, doesn’t it?

I have this same system in my '08 Ridgeline and frankly I like it, it makes it real easy for me. For those suggesting the factory service manual I have the service manual for my vehicle and it also says to follow the maintenance minder system and simply defines what the codes mean (just like the owners manual does).

With these new longlife coolants and sparkplugs, the only thing you might need is an air filter, and they may even have a sensor or a computer program for that now. Honda has had problems with their transmissions in the not to distant past so you may want to get the fluid changed as a PM. Make sure you only use the Honda fluid, dexron III will mess up the transmission.

Anyway, there should be a maintenance schedule book with the owners manual or the schedule may be in the owners manual. It will be spelled out in there.

After 30,000 miles you should have gotten more than one service reminder message on the LED display. There’s a section in the owner’s manual that explains what you are supposed to do for each service code that comes up.

The service intervals are determined by the engine computer (the same one that controls the fuel injection and the ignition timing), which tracks oil temperature and counts engine revolutions to determine when an oil change is called for. Oil temp and engine revolutions are a pretty good indicator of how hard or gently a car has been driven, so Honda has based all the other service intervals around the number of oil changes a car has had, not the number of miles driven. So do what the service codes tell you to do and you should be fine. Honda has earned a reputation for building dependable cars, so if they say that the new maintenance reminder system will work I’m inclined to believe them.