As you might have already know, the all-new 10th generation Honda Civic is equipped with a Maintenance Minder function that reminds the driver when the Civic is due for service. However, unlike similar features adopted by other models in the segment, Volkswagen models for example, the Maintenance Minder is not just a simple countdown function as it actually adjusts the service interval based on the car’s driving conditions.
Like all current Honda models, the standard recommended service interval is every six months or 10,000 km, whichever comes first. However, depending on the sort of driving conditions that the car is subjected to, some drivers might be reminded to service their Civic earlier, while others might be able to delay theirs.
To further emphasize on the improved ownership experience accorded by the all-new Civic, Honda Malaysia also took us on a short visit to Honda Sungai Buloh (AutoWorld Asia), one of their many 3S centres around the country.
To answer the question on whether the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo engine in the all-new Civic requires any new or engine-specific maintenance measures, the short answer is no.
The turbochargers and its related ancillary components are maintenance-free and since Honda has adopted the highest SN grade lubricant (formulated by Idemitsu, 0W-20 for fully synthetic oil) for all its engines, the Civic does not need a different lubricant.
We also noted several measures taken by Honda that are unlikely to be carried out at your typical independent workshop at your neighborhood.
1. Replacing the drain plug sealing washer
Many independent workshops that offer lube change services often just change the oil filter and drain plug, and ignore this tiny little sealing washer part.
Without the washer’s soft aluminum material acting as a buffer between the drain plug and the oil sump, tightening the drain plug will overtime, damage the threads that are holding the drain plug in, leading to oil leaks. As any mechanically savvy person will tell you, there is no simple fix to damaged threads.
As the washer’s material is intentionally made to be more malleable to absorb the force from the tightened drain plug, it needs to be replaced at every oil change.
2. Using a torque wrench
On the same topic of avoiding damaged threads from overtightened nuts and bolts, Honda’s authorized service centres do not use air guns to tighten any nut or bolt. A torque wrench is used instead.
3. Tyre tread depth inspection
When rotating the tyres, Honda technicians don’t just do a visual inspection of the tyres, which is acceptable if you are doing your own DIY work on the car, but since this is a service centre, a proper tread depth inspection tool must be used.
4. Brake pad thickness inspection
As part of the tyre rotation process, the brake pads will be removed to have their thickness inspected, not just visually, but with an inspection tool.
If the thickness is within marginally tolerable limits or less, the service advisor will recommend to the owner to replace the pads.
5. Maintaining the air filter
The Civic’s paper-type engine intake air filter cannot be washed or cleaned in anyway. They are to be replaced as per recommended in the service plan.
Blowing compressed air into it, like how many workshops usually do, might damage or clog up the filter even further, even if the compressed air is blown in the direction of the intake flow. The correct way to maintain it is to remove the filter from the air box, take it away from the engine area, hold it flat and knock the sides of the filter with your palm to dislodge any large or heavy particles.
Unless the filter is unusually dirty (if the car is driven in dusty conditions a lot), the filter is to be replaced according to the recommended owner’s manual or when indicated in the Service Minder).
6. Battery health check
Before the service is completed, a battery health check is done using a battery analyzer tool, which will then give a print out of the reading.
While this is just precautionary move, it doesn’t mean that the car will be immune from a flat battery between now until its next service six months later, especially if the vehicle is driven mostly in stop-go traffic.
Owners are reminded to keep a set of jumper cables in their cars, and refer to the owners manual on the correct response procedures, and to keep the roadside assistance telephone number (1800 18 1177 for owners using the Honda Insurance Package).
On a related note, owners should also read the owner’s manual on the correct procedures to unlock and start the engine if the Smart Entry key’s battery is low.
Some Honda 3S centres, like this particular outlet that we visited in Sungai Buloh, even offers complimentary shuttle rides while you wait for your car to be serviced.
So how much do all these cost? You can refer to here for the maintenance cost of the Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo.