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Honda Regular Maintenance

I have a 2008 Honda Civic with just about 18K on it. I have been taking it to the dealer because my Dad insists on it to keep my warranty. I now know that not to be true. Anyway I did an oil change with them yesterday and they said I needed a Fuel System Service. Thanks to the forums I know I don’t, but they are also recommending a 20K service next time I’m in but due to the previous recommendations I am not sure about this one.



So I went to the manuel and it just keeps talking about doing what the Maintenance Minder says and replace those things when the Maintenance Minder on the car says to, but NOTHING about how often I should do regular maintenance. The last car I had the manual clearly stated a 30K, 60K and 90K maintenance and what those all entailed, but nothing in the Honda manual. I have been searching for over and hour and I can’t find anything. Do I need this 20K regular maintenance?

It probably consist of inspecting things such as brakes, fluids, belts,etc… along with a wallet jacking.

These are things worth checking, but this inspection IMHO should take less then a half hour labor. No flushing or cleaning of any kind. Replace the air filter at the mileage interval per manual.

Your Honda will display messages when service is needed - doesn’t the manual explain this? And ignore your dealer’s 20k service, they invented it for their benfit, not yours. A friend has a Honda, and the dealer even went to the trouble of printing up a separate ‘maintenance guide’ that recommended far more service than the factory manual.

You need to be VERY careful here…Should you ever NEED a major warranty repair (blown engine / transmission) and your maintenance records are not PERFECT, they will DENY your claim for that reason. Read your warranty very carefully so you are familiar with its requirements.

Some cars have a separate maintenance schedule booklet if this information is not found in the owners manual. I would go back to the dealership and ask for a written maintenance requirement list. If they say “Just bring it in to our service department and they will take care of it” just say “No thanks, I already KNOW they are pushing services that are not required”…

The fuel system service is not likely needed. As to other things it’s quite possible they’re needed more than recommended.
Oil changes may need to be done more often if your driving is mostly short hop stuff. In some cases 2500 miles/3 months depending on habits and environmental conditions.

Air filters, also depending on the conditions. In OK it’s possible to have a new filter gone south in a month.

Fuel filters every 15k miles. It’s quite possible to have a partially clogged filter and yet the engine will run fine. However, the clogged filter will shorten the fuel pump life. I change filters regularly on all of my cars and family members cars and on several occasions have run across clogged filters followed by my prediction the pumps will fail and sure enough; within 6 months they all did. On one of my personal cars the pump failed 5 days later.

The real nasty one is valve lash adjustment. The factory recommends 120k miles and this is not a smart recommendation at all. It should be checked initially at 15k miles and every 30k miles after that.
While most people won’t have a problem with the usual procedure (which is to ignore it entirely), a certain percentage of unlucky people will be facing expensive engine repair bills because of this.

There have been several posts just recently on this board (1 Honda and 1 Subaru) in which the unlucky owners are looking at 4 figure repair bills due to what I consider an idiotic factory recommendation.
The only thing worse than this recommendation is the “audible inspection” theory, which can only be described as purely asinine.

Hope that helps anyway.

No. You need to follow the Maintenance Minder. The dealer wants to make more money from you. That’s Honda’s take on it, and they control the warranty.

This means you will spend more money at the Dealer than you would spend having an independent shop do any repairs for cash. In other words, the “Factory Warranty” is not worth much…It lets them advertise a 5 year / 50,000 mile warranty (or whatever) but to keep it in force you will spend thousands at the dealer performing their check-ups which include unneeded services…

Thanks everyone! You were all super helpful!

Honda seems to be determined to create a new service paradigm for people who won’t do anything unless a warning light comes on. The B interval service is the same one that they used to recommend for their cars at 20,000 miles. This is confusing to everyone who services the cars using the old fashioned mileage method: including the dealers who have tailored their own systems to remind you of maintenance intervals based on time and mileage. In any case, the 20k service is the same brake and safety item check that is (or was) recommended at 40K 60K 80K etc in the past. While it’s usefulness is great at higher mileages to identify worn brakes, ball joints etc. the first one is pretty superfluous and a profit enhancer for the dealer. I have never seen a dealer turn down a legitimate warranty claim because this service wasn’t performed at a dealer. This doesn’t mean it has never happened- just that I haven’t seen it happen in the last 25 years.

I’ve found with other cars that have an oil change monitor that the interval is a lot longer than I would have suspected. That would imply lower maintenance costs. My Honda is too old to have that new-fangled stuff, but I would imagine that it’s the same. BTW, California tells everyone to use the oil change monitor. They do on state motor pool cars, and they tested it to see if it was prudent.

Agree, my Toyota calls for “audible inspection service with respect to valve lash adjustment” In order to keep the warranty valid I will go through the motion on this and have my mechanic sing off on that inspection interval. I’m sure the dealer’s mechanics do the same.

After being tormented with CEL problems they had to fix free under warranty, they have decided to turn the tables and turn a warning light into a profit center for their dealers…Others will jump on that gravy train…

You’re likely wrong. Speaking for myself and the mechanics I know the valve covers come off and the lash is inspected and adjusted as necessary.

It’s critical in regards to the engine and it’s not hard to do (easy money) after the process is repeated a number of times. That’s exactly why special valve adjustment tools are sold.

I only know one mechanic (word used loosely) who worked for the same dealer I did who was skipping this process even when required and he only worked there for a month before bailing out. And his reason for bailing was not related to skipping valve lash inspections; it was due to a huge mistake on a VW wiring problem. I told him how to fix this problem, he Mickey Moused the process, and the car came back on the wrecker after it died. At this point his methods were uncovered and he was gone.

Some would have to explain to me how one determines a valve is out of spec audibly; unless it was way loose.