I bought a salvage-title 2007 Honda Fit with 73k miles. Since then I’ve put 10k miles on it.
The owner’s manual has no maintenance schedule. Instead, everything is driven by the “maintenance minder”. A small display shows alphanumeric codes when certain conditions are reached. For example, the “1A” service is oil, filter, and hose/boot checks. Other codes like “1C” and “2C” are more rigorous things like belts & plugs, trans fluid, etc. There is an infamous oil life monitor which, if followed, has me draining blackstrap molasses at enormous intervals.
I’m stumped as to the mileage or conditions that prompt these. Without any previous service history I don’t know when to change plugs (are they 30k or 100k plugs?), transmission fluids (either on a normal or severe schedule) or serpentine belt (it was nearly dust at 74k).
Is there a database that reveals the mileage behind these reminders? I’d like to keep the car as long as possible. I love it and I love car maintenance. How can I be a maintenance hypochondriac with a maintenance minder?
As this informative–yet questionably biased–blog post shows, Honda’s maintenance minder is all about telling you when you need stuff. Lotsa stuff! And apparently you must use Honda approved oil…which means no synthetic oil. Other than that depressing note, this system is a good idea for a self-proclaimed “Maintenance Hypochondriac”such as yourself.
Combined with the fairly low-maintenance nature of modern cars, I am a little concerned for your well-being. Because, by definition, Hypochondria is a serious illness not to be taken lightly.
I have yet to Google a relevant analysis of how these maintenance minders (Honda or otherwise) actually work. And I rarely doubt modern “minders”, but my older cars that run Mobil 1 are a different story: I’m not throwing out perfectly good, still kinda golden, M1 oil after 3500-4500 miles no matter what my dashboard says. It would be nice to see an algorithm that explains how driving styles affect oil life, how engine performance (determined by the rather brilliant sensors in your EFI system) degrades to the point of needing a tune up, etc. but it seems like a case of “Pay No Attention to that Minder behind the Curtain.” The world may never know!
My advice? Question the machine by doing a visual on the wear items in question. Definitely get your oil analyzed the moment a warning light comes on: you know, just for funzies. Then you’ll know which items to trust, especially if Hypochondria is a valid concern.
Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:
If you wish to seek the truth, check your spark plugs. That is all.
Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.