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Old 12-02-2014, 04:40 AM
Location: Minneapolis
1,617 posts, read 4,594,040 times
Reputation: 1204


I'm pretty smart, thank you very much, and I drive a lot. The maintenance minder in my Honda (146,100 miles as of earlier tonight) hasn't made me "retarded" in any way. It's just given me one less thing to think about or write down.

It's so simple. First, it calculates your oil change intervals based on things like number of cold starts, miles, and of course, total revs. Honda's oil life calculator is basically a copy of the oil life calculator used in the first Cadillac Northstar engines. (On my car, with my driving, it tends to call for an oil change every 7,000-9,000 miles, depending on the season.)

When oil life gets down to 15%, it looks at your mileage, does a little give and take since 0% probably won't fall right at 60,000 or whatever, and then it then calls for additional services for you to schedule along with your next oil change, such as air filters, coolant flushing, new spark plugs, timing belt or valve adjustment if applicable, and of course, transmission fluid changes.

As far as I'm concerned, it's quite a pleasant improvement over the old spreadsheet in the back of the owner's manual.

OP, the next time your oil life hits 15%, bring it to Honda for the oil change and have them add a transmission fluid change at the same time (it can't hurt, and many Honda owners on Honda forums recommend more frequent changes). After that, just follow the MM.

As far as Honda ATF-Z1 vs. DW1 fluid is concerned, don't worry. They are fully compatible with each other; there is no need to completely flush out the old Z1 in order to use DW1. The main difference between the two is that DW1 is fully synthetic, and Z1 was semi-synthetic. DF1 is now the recommended replacement for Z1, as Z1 has been discontinued.

(edit) P.S. When the MM calls for it, get your coolant done at Honda too, since Honda also uses their own special brew in the cooling system. (It's not orange like GM DexCool or pink like Toyota's special brew, but it does seem to be a deeper shade of green than ordinary Prestone.)

Last edited by Thegonagle; 12-02-2014 at 05:06 AM..
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:30 AM
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,959,516 times
Reputation: 9188
Originally Posted by mbuszu View Post

Sometimes I feel like there's no hope for future generations as everyone is now being trained to be retarded. Electronic gizmos that don't actually measure the wear or condition of hardware or fluids are a joke. Mechanics who just make judgement calls based upon what they are told online (versus a real inspection). *sigh*

Honestly, none of this stuff is rocket science, and even rocket science is doable with some knowledge of math and physics. Why in hell are people becoming so clueless as to believe that their mechanics are somehow trustworthy authority figures looking out for the consumer's self interest vs actually just paid employees of a Garage with a continued job only if they meet particular financial targets on an ongoing basis?

Don't people get it, that mechanics refer to the same manuals, schedule-guides and instructions available to the rest of us and other than having more practice doing their thing, they aren't super human repair people with mystical insight regarding what needs to be done, when and how.

Question everything folks; if for no other reason than that you are just as smart as the people you are hiring to do work for you! Question what the "maintenance minder" actually does vs what it sounds like it does s well.
Even if all the MM did was follow a mileage schedule to notify the driver that maintenance is needed - it serves a useful function for lots of people. Jiffy Lube, the idiots that they are, put a sticker on your windshield to remind you when the next oil change is due.

How many people read the owners manual? I bet no more or less than did 20 years ago. The vast majority of drivers, male or female, are not gearheads. Open the hood and most people can't find much more than the windshield washer tank cap.

The Honda MM isn't mileage based for oil changes. It considers mileage, temperature, and accumulated engine revolutions. BMW's system apparently assesses the oil itself. The Honda system helps the driver to follow Honda's recommendations, without falling victim to Jiffy Lube or the "my grandpa did it this way" schedule.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:44 AM
2,641 posts, read 4,211,766 times
Reputation: 1891
Originally Posted by marykate1 View Post
I drive a Honda Accord 2008. I am reading the manual and it has a section on Maintenance Minder. Maintenance Minder is a small screen in the car which indicates if the car needs maintenance.

My mechanic told me that I need a transmission fluid change $280. My car is 72K miles. The maintenance minder does not indicate anything.

The same thing with normal oil change. The maintenance minder says 50% left but the sticker the mechanic put on the car says I need to change oil right now.

Which to trust?
I have an 09 Fit w/112K miles and only follow the MM. I figure Honda engineers know more than anyone else regarding their cars. Keep in mind (that for the Fit at least), the MM only goes on at 15% and below. This link is for the Ridgeline, but shows you how to activate the MM before 15%.

By the way, the manual should also have the intervals for major changes (e.g. transmission fluid change).
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