Oil Changes & 10,000 mile maintenance - Honda Civic Forum



Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 04-23-2005   #1
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Oil Changes & 10,000 mile maintenance

This is probably a stupid question, but as my 2004 Civic is my first car and I don't know much about maintenance...

I brought the car in for oil changes at 3,000 and 6,000 miles, and I'll bring it in again soon for 9,000. I know I also have to bring it for maintenance at 10,000 miles.

Now, should I have the maintenance done at the same time as the 9,000 mile oil change? Have the oil change done at 9,000 and then bring it again at 10,000? Or even have it at the same time as the 12,000 mile oil change?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-23-2005   #2
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Just wait until 10k to get it changed.
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Old 04-25-2005   #3
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you should wait at least 5000 miles between oil changes.

also next time you buy a car, dont change the factory oil at 3000 miles. factory oil comes with a high concentration of soluble moly, which helps the breakin. wait 5000 miles for that.
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Old 04-25-2005   #4
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I saw that in the manual (7500 actually, it said, to get the first oil change), but I talked to my mechanic and he said get the first oil change at 3,000.

Also, I've been using 93 octane fuel, as he said he wouldn't even put 87 in his lawnmower because it's that bad... I see people at this forum said the complete opposite is true.

Hmm...
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Old 04-25-2005   #5
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3000 is too early IMO because of the moly factor. and he probably said 3000 because there is still the common misconception that 3000 is the "norm". unfortunately it is hard for people to understand that oil changes can be made in much larger intervals, even as high as 15,000 miles with some synthetics.

and the 93 vs 87 octane. i seriously question he even knows what the hell he's talking about. there is no benefit to putting 93 octane in, and in fact, will probably cause quicker carbon buildup and slight loss of power at worst. use 87. and dont listen to this mechanic anymore.

there are far more knowledgeable people than him who have gone over this time and time again. your mechanic is wrong and is obviously unaware of the facts. not that he's a bad guy, but he has been greatly misinformed.
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Old 04-26-2005   #6
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I think I'll start using 87. Thanks.

As far as oil changes go though... while you say it's not necessary to do it before 5,000 miles, can it hurt to do it every 3,000 miles? (Other than hurting the wallet, of course)
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Old 04-26-2005   #7
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plenty of reasons to wait till 5000, the biggest being that the detergents in the oil that break down things like carbon don't take effect until 3,000. SO if you change at 3,000 you won't give the oil a chance to break down the carbon. While we're on the topic, a couple other tips: don't use synthetic oil (big waste of money on a non turbo or not so high compression engine) and use 5w-20, not 10w-30 or anything like that.
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Old 04-26-2005   #8
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If money is no object you could change the oil every week. One wouldn't do that because it's a waste of time and money ergo, let's strike a balance.

Iffy Lube is owned by Pennzoil and they'd love to see you every 3k for more than oil changes if you'd let them. 3k changes is a thing of the past along with toilet paper oil filters.

It's a complete and utter waste of time and money. Go to 5k because the technology is advanced enough to make that a minimum number of miles. 7.5k is also quite doable depending on your application.

The VTec system is a product of design evolution/technology and so is ABS. You don't poo-poo those so why do the same with the better oils.
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Old 04-26-2005   #9
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Originally Posted by Flashlightboy
The VTec system is a product of design evolution/technology and so is ABS. You don't poo-poo those so why do the same with the better oils.
Huh?
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Old 04-26-2005   #10
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3k mile change is directed at cars with bad compression(not compression ratio) aka fuel blow by, the richer the car runs the more blow by there is because the fuel isnt getting burned up like it should. Fuel gets into the oil and brakes it down. Thats what give oil the dark color over time, fuel. Our cars run around 16:1 a/f, which is very lean and very emissions likeable. which means we can go longer without changing the oil, although i personally wouldnt go more than 5k miles.
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Old 04-26-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightHawk04
3k mile change is directed at cars with bad compression(not compression ratio) aka fuel blow by, the richer the car runs the more blow by there is because the fuel isnt getting burned up like it should. Fuel gets into the oil and brakes it down. Thats what give oil the dark color over time, fuel. Our cars run around 16:1 a/f, which is very lean and very emissions likeable. which means we can go longer without changing the oil, although i personally wouldnt go more than 5k miles.
Well, yeah, I just didn't want to get that technical. Generally speaking, a car with higher compression ratios have more blow by, look at the BMW M3 that literally eats oil until it is broken in (around 15-20k). But yeah, he's right. My point is simplely that you don't have a performance engine, don't waste money treating like it is a performance engine becasue you won't help it. Honda civic are by design low maintance cars.
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Old 04-26-2005   #12
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JR,

My point was that auto performance technology improves year after year and we've embraced the changes i.e., Vtec and ABS as improvements in the safety, performance and quality of our rides.

Oil is better now than it was a few years ago and we should use the advanced oil technology in the ways it was designed for.
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Old 04-26-2005   #13
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^^^ so are you saying we should use synthetic or saying that we need to use 5w20?
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Old 04-26-2005   #14
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It depends on your app.

Hard driving, high RPMs, track time, lots of freeway driving at normal speeds and a desire for longer drain intervals suggests a quality syn.

Average driver with some blasts and thinner wallet suggests 5k changes with 5w-20 dino.

It's been my experience that with all things being equal, there isn't much of a difference in oil/engine cleanliness with either dino or syn changes at 5k. High temp operations or longer intervals is where syns shine.

Keep in mind that even syn oils are differerent. Some brands such as RL 5w-20 are nearly as thick as M1 5w-30 and M1 5w-20 is thinner at temp than RL. RL has good shear qualities and a solid TBN number but it isn't as easy to find as say, M1.

It all depends on your app but I wouldn't stress too much over it. M1 5w-20 would be my first recommendation if you wanted the benefits of syn without paying boutique oil prices but if you wanted to spend less any of the dino 5w-20's would be fine. Havoline, Motorcraft, Castrol or you pick 'em.

If you are running at max RPMs or high load/temp I'd suggest M1 5w-30 from Wally World in the economica 5 qt jugs.

Make sure you use a good filter such as K&N, M1, PureOne, Amsoil but nothing orange.
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Old 04-26-2005   #15
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I see. We agree then, synthetic isn't going to give much benfit in a stock civic.

To the oil filter list, add Hondas OEM one. Not the rebagded FRAM one, Honda has two filters, one a rebadged Fram filter and one made by someone else I forget who, but the non fram one is good too.
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Old 04-26-2005   #16
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Synthetic oil being a waste of money is an interesting opinion. If you're looking to get 10k miles out of your oil, you'll be much better off with the better additives and better stocks of a GF4 synthetic oil. If you're changing you oil based on the factory service schedule, a good 5w20 dino should suit you just fine.
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Old 04-26-2005   #17
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Originally Posted by VTEC01EX
Synthetic oil being a waste of money is an interesting opinion. If you're looking to get 10k miles out of your oil, you'll be much better off with the better additives and better stocks of a GF4 synthetic oil. If you're changing you oil based on the factory service schedule, a good 5w20 dino should suit you just fine.
Well yes, but you have other issues. For instance, some people may only drive 10k per year. I this case, I would not trust any oil for the full 10k becasue the light amount of sulfur in gas can break down and change the pH of your oil, this is bad. SO the 10k oil change thing is still to sketchy for me to try, I stick with 5k untill they out with more sulfur resistant oils, that will be a real long time.
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Old 04-26-2005   #18
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FWIW, the tribologist on s2ki.com changes his oil about every 9 months. He drives no more than 6k miles a year though.

A civic can benefit from synthetic just as any other car. Most synthetics have a higher TBN number, allowing longer oil change intervals, as well as being better than dino oils in several other categories. Of course, the oil change interval being the biggest benefit. With a good synthetic, you can wait a good 10k miles on the civic to change your oil. Valvoline synpower has one of the highest TBN numbers.
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Old 04-26-2005   #19
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I think you're both correct. For the average Civic buyer (not performance wrench heads like us) syn is a waste on economic/performance basis. High load/temp apps where shear factors come into play almost mandates a syn.

But if a driver drives to work on the freeway without hotrodding then a syn might be preferred if you want the longer drains. 10k on syn in these conditions wouldn't be too much of a sweat.

Now I'm a bit different because my civic is driven by the wife unit and she only puts on 9k a year and almost all of that is stop and go where the oil doesn't get warm enough to burn off the cooties. Because of the high TBN number, I'm using RL. The oil gets changed every 6 months but the mileage is rather low. Last time I only accumulated 3.5k miles. I might change to the new M1 5w-20 once they publish their data sheet.
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Old 04-26-2005   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2000man01
FWIW, the tribologist on s2ki.com changes his oil about every 9 months. He drives no more than 6k miles a year though.

A civic can benefit from synthetic just as any other car. Most synthetics have a higher TBN number, allowing longer oil change intervals, as well as being better than dino oils in several other categories. Of course, the oil change interval being the biggest benefit. With a good synthetic, you can wait a good 10k miles on the civic to change your oil. Valvoline synpower has one of the highest TBN numbers.
A good synthetic oil can probably go around 1 year in a normal sulfur environment. But in my case synthetic oil is not good enough. In Ohio, we have restrictions on sulfur, but not any way to enforce them, so gas companies take high sulfur gases they can't sell anywhere else and dump it in Ohio. Hence, cats generally go bad here too. On the other side, 94 octane is all over the place and the station just down the road sells 100 octane, leaded or non leaded, so we have some super fuels here. So the idea of going 10k is very dependant on your environment, driving style, and engine, but 5k is a safe bet for me.
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Old 04-26-2005   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashlightboy
I think you're both correct. For the average Civic buyer (not performance wrench heads like us) syn is a waste on economic/performance basis. High load/temp apps where shear factors come into play almost mandates a syn.

But if a driver drives to work on the freeway without hotrodding then a syn might be preferred if you want the longer drains. 10k on syn in these conditions wouldn't be too much of a sweat.

Now I'm a bit different because my civic is driven by the wife unit and she only puts on 9k a year and almost all of that is stop and go where the oil doesn't get warm enough to burn off the cooties. Because of the high TBN number, I'm using RL. The oil gets changed every 6 months but the mileage is rather low. Last time I only accumulated 3.5k miles. I might change to the new M1 5w-20 once they publish their data sheet.
True, most people can give a rat's *** about sythetic oil. All they know is every 3k go to the dealer or jiffy lube. It is so ingrained that they don't even think about it.
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Old 04-29-2005   #22
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"Also, I've been using 93 octane fuel, as he said he wouldn't even put 87 in his lawnmower because it's that bad..."

Sounds like a crock of horsey do-do to me! I use only 87 octane for my 01 Civic and it runs just fine. The car is now at 112,500+ miles and runs as good now as it ever has.

As far as oil changes - my first was at 5000 mile. I try for 4000 miles intervals , sometimes a little more. When my timing belt was changed and valve clearance was checked last Monday the mechanic said the engine components underneath the valve cover looked new.

The only oils I have used were conventional oil Castrol , Texaco Havoline , Valvoline (once) and the synthetic blend Motorcraft.
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Old 04-29-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullseye
"Also, I've been using 93 octane fuel, as he said he wouldn't even put 87 in his lawnmower because it's that bad..."

Sounds like a crock of horsey do-do to me! I use only 87 octane for my 01 Civic and it runs just fine. The car is now at 112,500+ miles and runs as good now as it ever has.

As far as oil changes - my first was at 5000 mile. I try for 4000 miles intervals , sometimes a little more. When my timing belt was changed and valve clearance was checked last Monday the mechanic said the engine components underneath the valve cover looked new.

The only oils I have used were conventional oil Castrol , Texaco Havoline , Valvoline (once) and the synthetic blend Motorcraft.
My dads car has 230,000 miles on 87 and no problems.

You put Motorcraft (FORD) oil in a Honda?
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Old 04-29-2005   #24
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motorcraft dino oil is actually a pretty good dino oil.
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Old 04-29-2005   #25
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"You put Motorcraft (FORD) oil in a Honda?"

Why the hell not? What kind of Honda oil do you recommend?
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Old 04-29-2005   #26
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Honda oil is just rebadged Mobil Drive Clean.
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Old 04-29-2005   #27
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S2000 is right. Next time anyone is at the Honda dealer pick up the "Honda" oil and it says right there on the front that's it's made by Exxon Mobil. It's no secret and there is nothing magical about it.

If I recall correctly, the Ford specs for their 5w-20 oil meet additional approvals that are more stringent than Honda. In other words, the Ford had tougher requirements than Honda but I might be wrong about this.
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Old 04-29-2005   #28
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No I agree. the motorcraft oil is superior to the rebadged mobil drive clean.
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Old 04-29-2005   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashlightboy
S2000 is right. Next time anyone is at the Honda dealer pick up the "Honda" oil and it says right there on the front that's it's made by Exxon Mobil. It's no secret and there is nothing magical about it.

If I recall correctly, the Ford specs for their 5w-20 oil meet additional approvals that are more stringent than Honda. In other words, the Ford had tougher requirements than Honda but I might be wrong about this.

Yeah, your right, the Motorcraft oil is different, they use a hydrocrakcing process to refine their oil. All this really is a cheaper way to produce oil of the same grade you normally buy. In fact I think it is actually made by Havoline. They do actually put a tracer into their oils though, that is probably what you are talking about. The tracer allows Ford to see if you are using Motorcraft or other oils. This actually makes Ford owners buy the Motorcraft oil at $4 something a quart to protect their warranty. In the Ford manual it actually says you have to use Motorcraft oil, otherwise your warranty may be void. There is currently a class action law suit against Ford for this because it was found that their oils really had nothing better than normal oil and they where voiding peoples warranties because they didn't use Motorcraft oil. However, the Motorcraft oil is good oil, and people who used lowwer quality oil are simply screwed, but you can by just as good oil at cheaper prices.
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Old 04-29-2005   #30
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Originally Posted by S2000man01
No I agree. the motorcraft oil is superior to the rebadged mobil drive clean.

Yeah it is better than Honda's oil, just not the best on the market for the price.
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