Ray Laks Honda: Honda Maintenance Minder FAQs -
To help vehicle owners know when scheduled maintenance is due, Honda has introduced the
maintenance minder system in these models:
2006-2010 Accord, Civic, Ridgeline
2007-2010 Fit, CR-V, Element
Q: How does the Honda Maintenance Minder work?
A: The maintenance minder system shows engine oil life in the information display to let the
owner know when it is time to have the engine oil replaced and regular engine maintenance done.
There is no longer a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. The system shows engine oil
life as a percentage, which drops over time as the vehicle racks up miles. It starts out at 100% with
fresh engine oil, and winds down to 0%, signaling the oil life is over.
Q: How does the Honda Maintenance Minder know when the 0% trigger occurs?
A: The system counts down oil life based on engine operating conditions (both normal and
severe). The on-board computer continuously monitors engine operating conditions such as
speed, engine temperature, ambient temperature, time, and vehicle use to determine when an oil
change and regular maintenance is necessary.
Q: How do I operate the system?
A: The Honda Maintenance Minder is very easy to use. As the on-board computer
continuously monitors your vehicle, it provides continuous information on the remaining engine oil
life left - simply depress the Select/Reset knob on the information display and you will see use
When the on-board computer determines that your vehicle has reached 15% of remaining life, it will
turn on the Maintenance Minder light for you. In addition, each time the vehicle is started; the
information center will default and automatically display the percentage of remaining life. To return
to the odometer/tripometer, simply depress the Select/Reset knob.
The following chart will explain exactly when service is due:
Oil Life % Message What to do
15% Service Due Soon Plan to take your vehicle in for service.
5% Service Due Now Take your vehicle in now for maintenance.
0% Service Past Due Service is overdue. Take your vehicle in now.
Q: What happens to the Maintenance Minder if I do not perform maintenance when
the remaining life gets to 0%?
A: If you do not perform the recommended maintenance the display will start to show negative
mileage. This indicates how many miles that the vehicle is past due for service.
Q: Along with the and the percentage of remaining life, there is a letter and
sometimes, a number displayed - what do they mean?
A: All maintenance items in the display are in code. There are two codes: Main-codes and
Sub-codes. Your vehicle will always be due for a main code, and at times for a sub-code. Please
Main Code What it means:
A Replace just the engine oil
B Replace engine oil, oil filter, rotate tires, inspect front and rear brakes,
check parking brake adjustment, and inspect other items specific to your
Sub Code What it means:
1 Rotate the Tires
2 Replace the air cleaner element, check the drive belt, and replace the
dust and pollen filter
3 Replace the transmission fluid and transfer fluid (if equipped)
4 Replace the spark plugs, replace the timing belt (if equipped), inspect
the water pump, and inspect valve clearance
5 Replace the engine coolant
6 Replace the rear differential fluid (if equipped)
Q: Why will there always be a Main-code?
A: The sub-codes are turned on when the main-codes are triggered. Main-codes are USER
SPECIFIC and are triggered based on the vehicle's operating conditions. The system is designed
to maximize customer convenience.
Q: Why is there only sometimes a Sub-code?
A: These items require maintenance on a time/mileage based schedule, similar to the
maintenance schedules of the past. The Maintenance Minder also calculates time as it factors
vehicle use and automatically moves up or delays the sub-codes so they get done with the
For example, if tire rotation is normally done at 7,500 miles, but the oil life ends around 6,000 miles,
the system will move up the tire rotation. Or, if the life appears to be ending around 9,000 miles,
the system will delay the rotation. In either case, you would see the maintenance item code A1 in
the information display.
Q: How many miles can I expect to go between oil changes when using the system?
A: It will vary. The beauty of the Honda Maintenance Minder system is that it automatically
adjusts the maintenance intervals based on engine operating characteristics, your driving habits,
and the climate that you have operated your vehicle in. For instance, mild highway driving in a
warm climate will maximize the interval between required maintenance. Depending on the vehicle,
this could be as high as 12,000 miles. On the other hand, short-trip driving in a cold climate may
limit the maintenance interval to 3,000 miles or less. In general, most people who combine city and
highway driving find that the Honda Maintenance Minder will indicate maintenance needs about
every 6,000 miles. Most people maintain constant driving habits; this means that mileage between
maintenance will be consistent.
Q: With my Honda truck, the first time the Honda Maintenance Minder turned on was
7,700 miles with an A1. The second time, it turned on at 12,000 miles. Why did I only get
A: Driving habits. The first 7,700 were racked up with mostly highway driving in warm weather
- conditions that are favorable to oil life. The next 4,300 miles were racked up in warm weather,
mostly highway, AND mostly pulling a boat trailer. The Honda Maintenance Minder system is very
intelligent and monitors engine load to determine oil usage. With this situation, there were
inconsistent driving conditions and the Honda Maintenance Minder responded as such.
Q: I change my oil every 3,000 miles. How does this system help me?
A: It is recommended that you follow the Honda Maintenance Minder. While your driving habit
may be such that it is recommended every 3,000 miles, it may be that your driving characteristics
indicate maintenance due at 2,500 miles, or, most people will see about a 6,000 mile
recommendation. The system will help you and the environment with the following benefits:
· There will not be unnecessarily wasted natural resources (oil).
· There will not be unnecessary hazardous materials that will require proper disposal (oil and
· As a consumer, you will only pay when it is necessary, saving you time and money.
Q: The oil change station recommends that I change my oil every 3,000 miles. Why
should I not believe them?
A: The 3,000 mile oil change is a very conservative approach to maintaining your vehicle that
dates back to 1968. Since then, there has been much advancement in both oil technology and
engine design. These advancements, along with the Honda Maintenance Minder, allow you to
increase maintenance intervals without risking harm to your engine. In addition, as your Honda
dealer, we are trained by Honda and specialize in Honda, this allows your dealer to know your car
better than non-Honda service facilities.
Q: Typically my Honda Maintenance Minder light comes on at 6,500 miles, but I am
only at 4,500 miles and am going on vacation. I want to get my service done before I go.
What should I do?
A: It is recommended that you follow the Honda Maintenance Minder. However, should you
choose to have maintenance performed early, be sure to reset the Maintenance Minder light - this
will keep the main-codes and sub-codes synchronized.
Q: The Honda Maintenance Minder is telling me I need a "B" service. I choose to
have only an "A" service complete. Is there a problem?
A: Yes. The Honda Maintenance Minder is not just an "oil change" indicator, it makes
recommendations for the entire vehicle's maintenance. Main and sub codes will get out of harmony
and the Maintenance Minder cannot properly predict required maintenances. When proper
maintenance is followed, you will realize the following benefits:
· Better resale value
· Continued reliability
· Longer vehicle life
· Continued warranty coverage
Q: What do I do if I had the improper/not recommended service completed?
A: If you reset the Honda Maintenance Minder light, you reset the maintenance schedule of
your vehicle. By doing this, the Honda Maintenance Minder will not be able to properly predict
required maintenance. Your Honda dealer can reset the Honda Maintenance Minder system.
Resetting the system is not as simple as resetting the dash light, and you may be charged. Your
Honda dealer will have to use a computer called the Honda Diagnostic System (HDS) to complete
what is called a forced activation - this will allow your vehicle to have proper time and mileage set
with the current maintenance completion.
When the dash light is reset, the input tells the on-board computer that ALL required maintenance
was performed. The Maintenance Minder system will not allow for line-item maintenance, the
system requires maintenance completion as indicated.
Q: I change my own oil. Should I reset the light?
A: The Honda Maintenance Minder is not just an oil change indicator, it reminds us of all
maintenance requirements. If you change your oil, it is important that you complete all Honda
Maintenance Minder recommendations and reset the light.
Q: I use synthetic oil. Should I expect to get more miles before the Honda
Maintenance Minder indicates that I need an oil change?
A: Honda does not recommend the use of synthetic oils as your Honda was designed and
engineered based on the oil recommended in your owner's manual. The Honda Maintenance
Minder calculates your vehicle's needs based on the oil recommended by the Honda engineers
that designed your engine. The use of synthetic oil will not extend the oil change interval.
Q: My husband and I equally share our Maintenance Minder Honda, does the system
average our driving styles to determine when maintenance is due?
A: No. The Honda Maintenance Minder is an intelligent system and monitors every drive
cycle. A drive cycle is defined as each time the car is turned on and off.
Q: I have taken my vehicle to a non-Honda facility and had the oil changed, the
facility did not know how to reset the Honda Maintenance Minder light. Will my Honda
dealer reset it for me?
A: That depends. It is very important that all recommended maintenance be completed, if
more than just an oil change was necessary, your Honda dealer would be doing you a disservice
by resetting the light as the light is not just an oil change indicator - it monitors the complete
maintenance requirements of your vehicle.
In addition, if you racked up miles before you came to the dealer, there has been wear and
degradation of the oil in your vehicle - your Honda dealer may have to change the oil again to
properly set your Honda Maintenance Minder.
Q: Do I have to check my oil level with the Honda Maintenance Minder System?
A: Yes. The system does not sense oil level. Please follow the owner's manual
recommendations for Service Station Procedures.
Q: I have driven 6,000 miles since my last maintenance, and the light has not come
on. When checking the oil, it looked dirty. What do I do?
A: The oil may discolor under normal conditions, depending on driving conditions. This is a
Q: I have a need to know what the next recommended service will be. Can the
Honda technician tell me?
A: Yes. Your Honda technician has been trained on the Honda Maintenance Minder and will
use the Forced Activation mode to determine what the next recommended services are. The
option to check this will only work between 100% oil life and 16% oil life, as when the system gets to
15%, it automatically turns on.
Q: My Honda is equipped with break-in oil, should I change it early?
A: No. To ensure proper engine break-in, the factory-fill engine oil needs to remain in the
engine until the first scheduled maintenance interval.
The factory fill oil is the same as Honda Service Replacement Oil. The difference is the
Molybdenum lubricant that is applied to specific internal engine components
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