Oil changes

My Mother bought a Honda Fit 9 months ago. I think the owner’s manual says to change it onece a year regardless of mileage. well, it has 1,300 miles on it. I went to get it changed and they said i didn’t need to. the oil meter is still at 80% But, with such infrequent driving aren’t there other things that come into play?

Yes, you should change it. If you have used it only for ten or fifteen long trips in this nine month period, then once a year is probably okay. However, if you have used it for one hundred or so ten mile trips then you should probably be changing the oil every three months.

Wait three more months unless more convenient now. If you are at 80% the oil monitor is showing you must drive it pretty easy during those 1300 miles.

What does that mean? So I should wait an entire year? And yes, she literally just drives it to the store and church.

Yes, wait until it’s a year old or the monitor tells you to change the oil. Once a year oil changes are OK for cars that don’t get much mileage, unless the computer tells you otherwise. The computer keeps track of a LOT of data, and knows when the oil should be changed.

Changing the oil once per year is a good idea for removing the moisture condensate that can form. Its not a matter of life and death it its inconvenient to change before spring. If you are really worried about it one can have the oil tested for about $25.

Am guessing those 1,300 miles did not consist of 1,300 trips else the “oil meter” would not be showing %80 remaining. Automated oil meters are good for that sort of thing. The 3,000 mile scare mongers would have you believe a single 1 mile trip constitutes “severe usage.”

As others have said the oil meters do not really measure the oil properties, but accumulate a “use” factor based on the conditions you drive. Would be very useful if an inexpensive sensor could measure fuel and water content in your oil, if only such a sensor existed.

That was my worry, moisture in the oil. But then I figured that there are cars that sit on the lot for longer than a year and I’m sure they don’t change the oil in those.

Except for maybe a couple 30 mile trips, all of her driving is less than 10 miles. Most are less than 5.

Hi, I own two Honda Fits… o8 and 09. After much reading on this subject, there is some concensus that Honda puts break-in oil when the car is new and should be run until the oil meter get to the 15% level, at least, for the first oil change. That will take from 7,000 to 9,000 miles dependant on the driving. More rpms eat up more oil mileage. Then you can put in whatever oil you want and change as often as you like. Use 5W-20, as recommended. I prefer full synthetic Mobil 1. I personally will not change the oil until the meter says 0%. Honda engineers have tested their engines and have found that to be perfectly acceptable. However, if the car is not driven often, I suggest once a year with semi-synthetic or regular auto petroleum-based oil and save some money.

That’s really the issue. It’s going to be at least 5 years before we see mileage like that. I’m trying to do it once a year (10 months anyway) and they’re telling me “No way”. That time doesn’t factor into the equasion at all. I have to imagine that dirty oil sitting in an engine for a long period of time has to be worse for seals than new oil.

I agree with you from the standpoint that new oil is great. But, also consider, that, if the original oil is break-in oil, and you change it prematurely, you may not wear the cylinders in properly, and may suffer with less compression in the cylinders. I would still suggest that you not change the first oil for at least the 50% (ie. 4,000 miles) level and then use full-synthetic oil after that, as it does not degrade the same as straight petroleum oil will.

 Does Honda really use a break-in oil?  I've heard both sides of this and no one ever can ever convince me that Honda uses a break-in oil on new engines.  Rocketman

Here is something that might be convincing. It came from Honda Acura site. I believe that it would hold for all Hondas.

Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?
Your Acura engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their “natural” wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.
American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner’s Manual, based on your specific driving conditions.

And here’s why we will never find it for sale at Honda.
“At the time of production, the original oil used in all Acura automobiles has additives to seat internal bearing surfaces. This oil is designed and intended for use withing the first 12 months or 7,500. Unfortunately, we do not provide this product for sale in the retail market.”

I think it should be changed once per year. What does the owner’s manual say?

Our other brand car says once per year also if the mileage limit is not reached first. There must therefore be some validity to that requirement. By 1300 miles, break-in should be complete with modern machine tooling and cutting bits. Our 09 GM car does not require any special break-in consideration after 500 miles.