how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
goonie
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by goonie »

I have a 15 year old car but I'm looking to get a new one. One thing I'm struggling with is how to determine the maintenance schedule/intervals on newer cars. I'm accustomed to there being a recommended schedule in the owners manual. However, it seems that many (most? all?) new cars only keep track of recommended maintenance in the computer system of the car and the owners manual does not contain a recommended schedule. I've looked at a few new Hondas and Acuras that belong to friends and there doesn't seem to be a way to see any kind of schedule in the car's computer beyond seeing the status of the engine oil or seeing the maintenance codes that need to be addressed soon.

I understand that the frequency of maintaining some items is going to vary based on driving style, driving conditions, etc. and therefore wouldn't have a set schedule to display b/c it's evaluated by the car's computer (for example, oil changes) but what about more regular type items like timing belt or even rotating tires? Is the car's computer monitoring those as well and evaluating when they need maintenance rather than going by a set schedule? And even if that is indeed the case...shouldn't there be a way to view their statuses (like there is with the engine oil) so that you know how long you have to go? If I understand correctly, the given maintenance code for the item will pop up some time before it really needs attention...but I'm looking for more than just a pop up that basically says "warning, get ready to do this".

I like to be more proactive than reactive with regards to car maintenance and I want to have a good idea when in the future each preventative maintenance item will need to be addressed. That kind of info can also be very useful when it comes to deciding whether or not to keep or sell the car. So I'm hoping that I'm missing something. :confused
User avatar
walkabout
Posts: 644
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 8:28 am
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by walkabout »

On the one hand, you can easily google for the maintenance schedule of any new car and can probably find one that is broken down by mileage increments and maintenance to perform at each.

On the other hand, why not just follow the recommendation of the Maintenance Minder (in the case of a Honda/Acura)? If the maintenance to performed is dictated by what the MM says, why put more stock in what a dealer might say about performing specific maintenance items at specific intervals? I just googled the maintenance schedule for Honda and found at least one dealer that specifies groups of maintenance items and which groups should be performed at which interval. I would guess that the maintenance schedule more or less corresponds to maintenance schedules before MM existed and more or less to the intervals at which MM would say that those maintenance items should be performed. My question is why is a Honda dealer publishing a non-MM-driven maintenance schedule? Convenience? Catering to people uncomfortable with MM-dictated maintenance schedule?

People here on BH typically say to perform maintenance per the schedule specified in the owners manual. I don't recall that my owners manual says anything more than to do the maintenance that MM says is required (it might say what each MM code means so that you have a good idea of what maintenance is due). The maintenance I perform is based on what MM calls for and at the time that MM calls for it. If someone were to ask me about maintenance schedules, I would tell them to do what I do.

Personally, I am happy to be told what to do and when to do it.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 3851
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by adamthesmythe »

The only time I can see this a problem is when you are about to leave on a long (thousand-mile) trip and you are not sure if the car will need maintenance soon. In such a case I might be inclined to do an early oil change.

Other than an oil change- I don't think there is anything that can't wait for a thousand miles.
User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 8078
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by vineviz »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:12 pm The only time I can see this a problem is when you are about to leave on a long (thousand-mile) trip and you are not sure if the car will need maintenance soon. In such a case I might be inclined to do an early oil change.

Other than an oil change- I don't think there is anything that can't wait for a thousand miles.
An oil change can wait for 1,000 miles too.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
User avatar
Topic Author
goonie
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by goonie »

wageoghe wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:53 pm On the one hand, you can easily google for the maintenance schedule of any new car and can probably find one that is broken down by mileage increments and maintenance to perform at each.

On the other hand, why not just follow the recommendation of the Maintenance Minder (in the case of a Honda/Acura)? If the maintenance to performed is dictated by what the MM says, why put more stock in what a dealer might say about performing specific maintenance items at specific intervals? I just googled the maintenance schedule for Honda and found at least one dealer that specifies groups of maintenance items and which groups should be performed at which interval. I would guess that the maintenance schedule more or less corresponds to maintenance schedules before MM existed and more or less to the intervals at which MM would say that those maintenance items should be performed. My question is why is a Honda dealer publishing a non-MM-driven maintenance schedule? Convenience? Catering to people uncomfortable with MM-dictated maintenance schedule?

People here on BH typically say to perform maintenance per the schedule specified in the owners manual. I don't recall that my owners manual says anything more than to do the maintenance that MM says is required (it might say what each MM code means so that you have a good idea of what maintenance is due). The maintenance I perform is based on what MM calls for and at the time that MM calls for it. If someone were to ask me about maintenance schedules, I would tell them to do what I do.

Personally, I am happy to be told what to do and when to do it.
I've looked online for maintenance schedules for a few new Hondas and found nothing other than a couple of pretty random dealer recommended lists. I don't care what any random dealers have to say either. I care what the manufacturer says.

As I said, I want more than just a warning code that pops up when something needs to be addressed. I want to know when in the future each item will need to be addressed. Those are two very different things.

I have no problem with being told by the car's computer what to do and when to do it. I think that's a good feature. But if you care about looking forward at what preventive maintenance needs to be done and when, the maintenance minder functionality as we've described here is incomplete.
User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 8078
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by vineviz »

The maintenance minder does tell you when to do preventative maintenance.

Other warnings will tell you if there is a problem.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
User avatar
Topic Author
goonie
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by goonie »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:12 pm The only time I can see this a problem is when you are about to leave on a long (thousand-mile) trip and you are not sure if the car will need maintenance soon. In such a case I might be inclined to do an early oil change.

Other than an oil change- I don't think there is anything that can't wait for a thousand miles.
I don't want to bring my car in for something and then get a pop up a couple weeks later that something else needs to be addressed in the next 1-2k miles. Or hell, even the next 3k miles.

Knowing ahead of time what is going to need attention would allow me to manage this into one visit instead of two.
graeme
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:50 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by graeme »

As someone that tries to do all preventative maintenance on vehicles so they last a long time and are very reliable, I understand the frustration of not having a printed maintenance schedule. The owner manual sometimes has initial info such as for oil changes. Beyond that, searching online forums for your specific make and model can be helpful. Sometimes there's a printed mechanic's schedule available you can use for planning. That worked for some Hondas and Lexus vehicles when the data was cross checked with forum recommendations.

Beyond that, it can take some research on forums to decide what maintenance is appropriate. For example, the transmission and differential fluid on my Lexus is classified as 'lifetime' fluid that should never need to be changed. However, discussions online and with some trusted mechanics convinced me it's best to change both every 60,000 miles. For a Honda, changing out the radiator at 120,000 miles was planned as preventative maintenance to prevent an issue on that model where coolant can contaminate the transmission fluid. That's not normal maintenance, but research showed that to be worth doing to prevent needing a new transmission.
User avatar
CaliJim
Posts: 3050
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: California, near the beach

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by CaliJim »

Image
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki
likegarden
Posts: 3029
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by likegarden »

I noticed that on our 2013 Toyota Camry the manual shows something, but the dealer's shop have to enter the mileage for maintenance reminders manually, and those were now twice several 1000 miles earlier. So it seems to always keep your own tables of when certain alarms have to come up on the dashboard.
User avatar
mmmodem
Posts: 2319
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by mmmodem »

goonie wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:33 pm I don't want to bring my car in for something and then get a pop up a couple weeks later that something else needs to be addressed in the next 1-2k miles. Or hell, even the next 3k mIles.
That's not how MM works. All maintenance items are segregated by oil change intervals just as they were with a standard maintenance schedule. The air filter is either changed this oil change or it waits until the next cycle. There are no maintenance items midcycle. MM warns me of an oil change when there is 15% oil life remaining. I go through about 5% a week so that's 3 weeks warning for me. I drive a lot so someone that drives less could have 4-5 weeks warning. That's plenty of time to make an appointment.
penumbra
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:42 am

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by penumbra »

My trip odometer in my 2016 Honda Accord has an Oil Life setting, telling me residual oil life in 10% increments. Can’t do better than that.
User avatar
midareff
Posts: 7234
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by midareff »

Owner's and/or maintenance manual will have the answers.
User avatar
Topic Author
goonie
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by goonie »

mmmodem wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:20 pm
goonie wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:33 pm I don't want to bring my car in for something and then get a pop up a couple weeks later that something else needs to be addressed in the next 1-2k miles. Or hell, even the next 3k mIles.
That's not how MM works. All maintenance items are segregated by oil change intervals just as they were with a standard maintenance schedule. The air filter is either changed this oil change or it waits until the next cycle. There are no maintenance items midcycle. MM warns me of an oil change when there is 15% oil life remaining. I go through about 5% a week so that's 3 weeks warning for me. I drive a lot so someone that drives less could have 4-5 weeks warning. That's plenty of time to make an appointment.
Thanks, good to know. It would still be beneficial to know what's upcoming longer term but at least it groups them together like this.
User avatar
five2one
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:05 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by five2one »

Do not trust the computer for maintenance beyond the most basic of data.
The manual is a good start then get the Haynes manual if you want the next level of detail.

A couple basic practices are knowing the signs of problems from tire wear to battery voltage and so on.
The just regular inspection like oil at fuel stops, tire pressure check once a month or oil change, etc.

I have an excel spreadsheet with everything plugged in then I just enter mileage and it tells me what is needed.
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by The Wizard »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:12 pm The only time I can see this a problem is when you are about to leave on a long (thousand-mile) trip and you are not sure if the car will need maintenance soon. In such a case I might be inclined to do an early oil change.

Other than an oil change- I don't think there is anything that can't wait for a thousand miles.
On a recent 6300 mile trip from MA to NM and back, I actually had an oil change done in central Kansas.
I'm not sure if this is hard to believe or not but with Google on your smartphone nowadays it's easy to do this sort of thing...
Attempted new signature...
Chip
Posts: 3106
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:57 am

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by Chip »

As someone who likes to plan ahead for scheduled maintenance I understand your frustration.

With our 2013 Accord I'm using the Maintenance Minder, but have observed the following over the first 90k:

Oil change intervals (I change ASAP after hitting 15% oil life), based on our particular driving styles, average about 10.5k. It's been remarkably consistent over time. So for us 1000 miles roughly corresponds to 10% oil life.

As the previous poster said, other maintenance items are triggered with the oil change. There are a bunch of recommended inspections every other oil change. Every 3rd oil change is an air filter and cabin filter change.

It appears that the CVT fluid change is triggered at the closest OCI to 50k miles. Spark plugs at 100k, though I haven't done that yet.

There is a severe service schedule in the manual that appears to correspond to a doubling in frequency, I.e. 5k mile OCI.

Given all of the above I've been able to piece together what is going to need to be done when.
User avatar
Topic Author
goonie
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 7:33 pm

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by goonie »

Chip wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:37 am As someone who likes to plan ahead for scheduled maintenance I understand your frustration.

With our 2013 Accord I'm using the Maintenance Minder, but have observed the following over the first 90k:

Oil change intervals (I change ASAP after hitting 15% oil life), based on our particular driving styles, average about 10.5k. It's been remarkably consistent over time. So for us 1000 miles roughly corresponds to 10% oil life.

As the previous poster said, other maintenance items are triggered with the oil change. There are a bunch of recommended inspections every other oil change. Every 3rd oil change is an air filter and cabin filter change.

It appears that the CVT fluid change is triggered at the closest OCI to 50k miles. Spark plugs at 100k, though I haven't done that yet.

There is a severe service schedule in the manual that appears to correspond to a doubling in frequency, I.e. 5k mile OCI.

Given all of the above I've been able to piece together what is going to need to be done when.
Thanks, great info.
User avatar
Alexa9
Posts: 1872
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:41 am

Re: how to determine the maintenance schedule for newer cars?

Post by Alexa9 »

I think it's good to have the maintenance minder and keep in mind a rough estimate of what is coming up. Depends on where you live and how many miles you drive annually. Also find a good mechanic unless your dealer is decent. Some people are overly proactive or put things off too long.

Tires: rotate every 5-10k, new ones at 60,000 or 8 years
Oil change: 10k miles or annually if low mileage (be sure to drive plenty before the 1st oil change, there's an engine break in additive)
Brake fluid: 3 years (owner's manual) Pads/Rotors: ~5 years / 50k miles
Battery: roughly 5 years
Engine/Cabin Air Filter (easy DIY): every few years, cheap
Transmission fluid: varies/debatable
Coolant drain/fill: varies
Timing belt, serpentine belt, tensioner, water pump every 100k miles / 7 years.
Post Reply