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A red 2019 Honda Civic is shown driving on a city street.

Mind Your Honda’s Maintenance With the Maintenance Minder System

No matter how reliable Honda’s vehicles might be, once you have keys in hand for your new car, truck, or SUV, its future is solely up to you. You are the one who is in charge of keeping up with your vehicle’s routine maintenance to ensure it’s running as safely, efficiently, and as clean as possible, so you can depend on it for years and miles to come. The choice is up to you whether you decide to do the service yourself or bring it to a Honda dealer, but there’s a schedule Honda recommends you follow for each model. While up-keep is nothing new to vehicle ownership, your Honda vehicle maintenance will be much easier to keep track of than you might think. Honda’s Maintenance Minder System replaces the recommended schedule in the owner’s manual that usually remains unopened and sealed in a ziplock bag inside your glove box and takes the effort and guesswork out of determining when your vehicle’s routine maintenance should be addressed.

How Does the Honda Maintenance Minder System Work?

The Honda Maintenance Minder System is more than just a computer system that notifies you when your Honda is due for an oil change. It’s actually much more advanced than that and has been since Honda introduced it in 2005. The Minder System is an onboard computer that monitors and notifies you of your Honda’s oil life based on climate, engine temperature, operation, and speed, and uses the data it collects to adjust the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle. The system will also notify you when the routine maintenance of other essential operating systems should be taken care of, including the cooling, brakes, suspension, and steering systems.

When the time for your vehicle’s next oil change is approaching, the Honda Maintenance Minder system will display a reminder message that correlates to the oil life percentage that your Honda has left based on the data it collected. ‘Service Due Soon’ will be the first gentle reminder message you’ll see pop up on your driver information display when the oil life reaches 15%. Once it drops down to 5%, the message you’ll notice changes to a firm ‘Service Due Now.’ If your Honda’s oil life drops to 0% or below, you’ll see a ‘Service Past Due’ instead to let you know it’s time for you to change the oil immediately to ensure optimum engine life and performance.

Although the reminder messages may be the first notification that catches your attention on your dashboard, you should also receive an alpha-numeric code about the type of service that is due. While the code may seem confusing, it is the exact opposite. The Minder service codes are used to make servicing your Honda easier; you just need to learn the meaning behind them.

A close up of the dashboard of a 2022 Honda HR-V is shown getting ready for Honda vehicle maintenance.

Honda Service Groups Explained

Have you ever seen a ‘B123” code displayed on the dashboard of your Honda? While it may remind you of a check engine code, which it essentially is, that’s a service code. You may have even seen a wrench symbol beside the alpha-numeric code, which is used to indicate that maintenance is due. The code and symbol are elements of the Honda Maintenance Minder system.

To properly care for your Honda, vehicle maintenance is essential. Whether you plan on doing the service yourself or bringing it to your local Honda dealer, it is crucial for you to at least understand the importance of the service codes and realize that they signify that it’s time for routine maintenance. It’s up to you if you want to learn more on how to decipher the service codes for a better understanding of what your Honda needs. But if you are curious or plan on servicing the Honda yourself, we got you covered.

There are two types of service codes for the Honda Maintenance Minder system: Maintenance Main Item codes, A or B, and sub-code numbers to represent Maintenance Sub Items. It is beneficial to understand that the main codes indicate what services need to be done, while the sub-codes are more of a suggestion of what else should be checked or serviced. Each letter and number represent a specific service. Main Code A means it’s time to change the oil, while Code B means it’s time for an oil change and oil filter replacement along with an inspection of the front and rear brakes as well as other components of the braking, steering, suspension, and cooling systems. The numerical sub-codes, on the other hand, can be one of seven numbers or be a combination of numbers.

  • Code 1: Time to rotate tires to prevent uneven wear.
  • Code 2: Inspect and replace air cleaner elements and filters, and check the drive belt for proper function and adjust as needed.
  • Code 3: Time to replace the transmission fluid and transfer fluid.
  • Code 4: Inspect spark plugs, the timing belt, and the water pump and replace them as needed. Plus, inspect engine valve clearance and adjust if needed.
  • Code 5: Check the coolant level and add fluid if low.
  • Code 6: If applicable, replace the fluid for the rear differential.
  • Code 7: Replace brake fluid.

Let’s break down the previously mentioned ‘B123’ to show you how it works. The main item, Code B, is informing you that your Honda needs an oil change, oil filter replacement, an inspection of the brakes, hoses, and lines, an inspection of fuel lines and their connections, and an inspection of other essential operating systems and their components. The numerical sub-codes are letting you know that it is also a good idea to:

  • Code 1: rotate the tires,
  • Code 2: inspect and replace any air filters, and
  • Code 3: replace the transmission fluid.

Although the sub-codes might not be the most critical services of the code, they should not be disregarded or put off for too long because they are just as important as the main item services and have manufacturer-recommended schedules that you should follow to keep your vehicle at its best.

A mechanic is shown performing maintenance on a Honda vehicle.

How Often Is Service Recommended?

We already know the Honda Maintenance Minder system adjusts the service schedule of the services based on the data that it derives from your vehicle’s operations and the conditions in which you drive. However, these services are primarily on a set schedule based on mileage and whether you drive in normal or severe conditions. Generally, in normal conditions, the main Code A will likely be due around 7,500 miles depending on your specific model since engines that require synthetic oil need to be serviced more frequently. Code B services are generally around 15,000 miles, with some, like replacing spark plugs and transmission fluid, every 30,000 miles.

If you drive in extreme temperatures of either freezing or hot, idle frequently and for long periods, drive in mountainous conditions, or even on muddy or dusty roads more often than not, then your vehicle should receive routine maintenance more frequently. Instead of the oil changes being needed around every 7,500 miles driven, you should expect to see the reminder messages and code every 3,750 and Code B services every 7,500 miles instead of 15,000 miles, but the 30,000-mile items stay on the same schedule.

What Did You Learn About Your Honda’s Vehicle Maintenance?

No matter what vehicle you drive or whether you’re a DIY person or feel more comfortable leaving the mechanics up to a professional, you are still in charge of your automobile’s routine maintenance. Even if it’s just knowing when it’s time for your next oil change or tune-up, it’s up to you to make sure the service gets done in a timely fashion to keep your vehicle operating safely and efficiently but also to prevent any unnecessary and possibly costly repairs. If you’ve recently purchased a Honda or have owned one for some time but never knew what the codes on the dashboard meant, the Maintenance Minder system is a useful onboard computer system that notifies you with reminder messages and codes of what services are due and when. It takes the guesswork out of scheduling, giving you more of a reason to mind your Honda’s maintenance.