Which maintenance is needed on my Honda Accord with limited driving?

Thanks to Covid and working from home during the past several years, I haven’t been driving my car as much as I normally would have a few years ago. I have a 2020 Honda Accord that I bought new in December 2019, but haven’t even reached 5000 miles on it yet.

In that time, I’ve gotten 2 oil changes (1 per year), a tire rotation, and a wheel alignment, and got 2 recalls fixed. However, I’m not sure if I’m doing enough or when I need to get the next items done based on the car’s Maintenance Minder (my previous car didn’t have one).

At the moment, the Maintenance Minder says my oil life is at 70%, but it lists codes A 1 7. A is the standard oil change, so I’m assuming it’s not due yet with oil life at 70%. 1 is tire rotation and 7 is brake fluid replacement. I just got the tires rotated in October though, so is it really needed already? Or is it ok to wait until the oil change is needed? And is the brake fluid change critical at a little over 2 years, or can that wait?

I know that having the car sit a lot and only make short trips may do its own sort of damage, and I want to make sure I’m doing the right maintenance.

Thanks in advance.

You will have to check with the dealer. At my low miles they said 1 oil change per year to maintain extended warranty. Oil change and tire rotation done at 20000 miles. So at 22300 miles and 1 year it was done. I had oil change and tire rotation done 1 year previous, so I said just oil change, they did the tire rotation also but before I even asked they had taken it off the bill as tire rotation is every 5000 miles and they noted I had requested oil change only. Will do the rotation at 25000 miles, nothing else needed for me. They do the whole inspection thing, tires good brakes good etc. etc. Let the manual or shop advisor be your guide.

Thanks! I think I may have figured out the Maintenance Minder “logic” after I posted here, though I will confirm with the dealer. It seems like it’s all based on an oil change at minimum, with everything else tacked on for the next oil change. So I won’t have to get the tire rotation and brake fluid change until the oil needs changing (unless it warns me sooner).

It’s taken some getting used to this new system, but also going from commuting and driving about 12K a year, to barely driving 5K in about 2 years’ tims. I don’t know how much that changes the maintenance schedule though.

Trust the maintenance minder. All of your concerns are being accounted for by the computer.

Oil change is based on miles or time which ever comes first. One year is perfect for short miles as your manual says.

Tire rotation is mileage only. Every 5000 or so is great.

Brake fluid is time only. It absorbs water whether you drive or park. There are tools to measure water content and your shop should have one. Depending on where you live, 2 or 3 year or even 5 year changes is about right. Without the tool, change whenever the minder in your says it is time.


One other thing to watch out for is keeping the battery charged.
Chronic under charging will shorten battery life. No symptoms until one morning it won’t start.

If you park in a garage with a power receptacle available get a small automatic charger and charge the battery overnight every 1-3 months.

If you park outside on the street (like me) and it can get some sun, consider a 10 watt solar panel to sit on the dash.
You can use an adapter cable to plug in the OBD socket under the dash if the 12V cig lighter port doesn’t stay on when the car is off.






The OP lives in an apartment and parks outside.

One other thing to watch out for is keeping the battery charged.
Chronic under charging will shorten battery life. No symptoms until one morning it won’t start.

How would you define “chronic under charging” of the battery? I’ve been driving it a bit more lately, at least 1-2 times a week, though usually no more than 15 minutes. And that may involve making stops too.

I actually posted a question related to this back in 2020, after I had an injury that kept me driving it for 2 months. When I was able to drive again, the car started up just fine, and I’ve not had any problems with it. I’ve tried to drive it at least once a week, aiming for 20-30 minutes if I can, which is what was recommended at the time.

I park either on the street or in a covered carport, but I may consider looking into a charger if I’m not able to drive it as much.

Do whatever the Maintenance Minder tells you to do as long as it’s under warranty. If you don’t and something goes wrong, you lose.

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Driving less than an hour per week.

That will most likely lead to a short, unhappy life for the battery.
Less than 5 years I estimate.
If you’re in the southern US it probably doesn’t matter, since the heat will kill it in that time anyway.

I drive once or twice a week (don’t drive to work), mostly short trips; in a moderate climate; keep the battery charged up.
My last battery was still working okay when I changed it at 9 y.o.
Didn’t trust it for a 10th winter.

Since you do not drive that much you should get a battery tender. it will keep your battery fully charged (but will not over charge it) and your battery will last a lot longer.

Had my 2017 battery checked this year, mostly short trips, parts store said battery tests like new. When I was working 5 miles to then from work, and had no problem with battery life, 7 or 8 years. Other car mostly short trips also, got to 18 below, no start after 3 years, replaced battery, unfortunately the best cca battery was 630.

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If it helps, I live in California, SF Bay Area, and the weather here is relatively mild. At least no extreme cold winters or snow, though the summers can get a bit hot (but not humid).

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The main reason for doing all the maintenance in accordance with the maintenance minder is to maintain your warranty. I agree that it is overkill but if something goes horribly wrong, you don’t want the warranty claim denied because you didn’t maintain the maintenance schedule.

Even if the service advisor tells you that you don’t really need to do it as often considering your condition, that will not count for squat if you need warranty work.

After the warranty is up, then feel free to schedule your own maintenance as you see fit.

For what it’s worth, my car isn’t telling me to get anything done right now, just what will need doing at the next oil change. I was concerned that I might need to get something done sooner, but looks like I’m good for now.

My warranty is up in December, and I’ll definitely be going in before then for a full inspection :slight_smile:

Agree with most but why don’t you take a vacation after two years of sitting at home. Drive on down where it’s warm and put an extra 5000 miles on it. It’ll do you and the car good.

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I suspect that you had the maintenance performed before the maintenance minder indicated it was due and these items were not reset at that time. You can reset the individual maintenance items that were performed. See page 617 of the owner’s manual.

There is no need to rotate the tires more often than 5,000 miles and no one will ask for maintenance records for common warranty repairs.

If the maintenance minder notifications came on recently you need to get them done. If they’ve been on since the last service they weren’t reset. Which is it?

As I said earlier in the thread, it’s not telling me to do anything at this moment, just listing the upcoming services I need to do with my next oil change. It just wasn’t clear to me initially, because the Honda documentation and explanations online weren’t well-written or detailed enough.

These codes probably appeared at my last service, when a dealership mechanic marked the previous services done. I just hadn’t checked until now, and am still getting used to relying on this system instead of tracking it myself.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I’m clear on what I need to do now. :slight_smile:

I’m surprised that’s how it works. Are you sure? I’d think a notification would show up when the service is needed.

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