How often do you really need an oil change? - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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How often do you really need an oil change?

I have about 11k on my 2018. I have had the oil changed once and tires rotated. Do you think I really need the oil changed every 5-6k miles? We have maybe put 50 gallons in since we have had it.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 12:10 AM
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At your rate I'd probably go a full year between oil changes. The car will tell you when it want's one.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have a two week reminder on the car, but I think that is a default indicator?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmyd View Post
I have a two week reminder on the car, but I think that is a default indicator?
Your maintenance message is probably saying A1, correct? Or it might say A01. A is for oil change, 1 is for tire rotation, 0 is for inspection (brakes, suspension, etc). What people have found is that if you have an A1 message, after rotating the tires you can reset just the tire rotation reminder and then the whole maintenance message goes away until the next time something is due. If that happens then it means it was really only tire rotation that was due, not oil change.

So then why does it also list code A when it is only time for tire rotation? The only explanation anyone has come up with for this that I know of is that Honda assumes you will go to the dealer for tire rotation so while there they figure you might as well get the oil changed at the same time. However for most people they don't need the oil changed that soon, like in your case with so few miles using gas. However you should still change the oil once a year. Some people think even once a year is too often if you rarely use the gas engine however it does state in the owners manual that if you don't get a reminder you should change the oil at least once a year.

Last edited by 2002; 10-25-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 05:32 PM
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Your maintenance message is probably saying A1, correct? Or it might say A01. A is for oil change, 1 is for tire rotation, 0 is for inspection (brakes, suspension, etc). What people have found is that if you have an A1 message, after rotating the tires you can reset just the tire rotation reminder and then the whole maintenance message goes away until the next time something is due. If that happens then it means it was really only tire rotation that was due, not oil change.

So then why does it also list code A when it is only time for tire rotation? The only explanation anyone has come up with for this that I know of is that Honda assumes you will go to the dealer for tire rotation so while there they figure you might as well get the oil changed at the same time. However for most people they don't need the oil changed that soon, like in your case with so few miles using gas. However you should still change the oil once a year. Some people think even once a year is too often if you rarely use the gas engine however it does state in the owners manual that if you don't get a reminder you should change the oil at least once a year.
In other words, Honda is driving business to their dealerships with their nanny maintenance system that tries to get you to do more maintenance than the car actually is asking for. This is possibly the biggest thing I dislike about the Clarity (the other is that the electric motor isn't big enough to propel the car in all situations by itself).

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 01:09 AM
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"In other words, Honda is driving business to their dealerships with their nanny maintenance system that tries to get you to do more maintenance than the car actually is asking for. This is possibly the biggest thing I dislike about the Clarity (the other is that the electric motor isn't big enough to propel the car in all situations by itself).[/QUOTE]"

Which is why I pay zero attention to the Honda Maintenance Minder. May be useful to some folks I guess but useless to anyone with a modicum of common sense.

Love the Clarity the car...Honda USA however is pathetic and their dealership network follows suit.

To answer the OP question...in my opinion any OCI should be based on ICE miles. Currently I use 15,000 miles on the odo as the barometer because at 15k odo...I have ~4500k miles on ICE which equates to using the ICE 30% of the time. At one year since OC, I will draw a sample of the oil and send for analysis to gauge life left and will base next OC on scientific data.

After 2 oil changes...and two lab analysis...I will probably settle on 20,000 miles odo/2 year OCI. This assumes the lab results will fully support oil life out to 24 months...which I fully expect.

Keep in mind 20,000 miles on odo only equates to 6,000 miles on ICE if I maintain the 70% EV/30% ICE usage split which I most likely will...or I'll adjust accordingly.

Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the responses. I wouldn't think changing it that often makes sense. Especially with what the dealer charges. Is there a way I can tell how many miles the motor has been running for sure? I would venture to guess 30% tops. MPG says 199.99
Must be the max on the car.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 12:42 AM
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One common way is to keep track of gallons of gas at every fill up...you can multiply 45 mpg x gallons of gas to approximate ICE usage...the remaining is EV miles.

The 45 mpg comes straight off the mahroney sticker which states 45 mpg as determined by the EPA.

I personally use a slightly higher mpg since I keep track of my miles/mileage. The data indicates the Clarity I drive gets a higher mpg but using the EPA figure is close approximation.

Hope this helps.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 10:34 AM
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I'm glad mine gets changed for free at the dealer everytime the MM says it needs one.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 01:16 AM
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I'm glad mine gets changed for free at the dealer everytime the MM says it needs one.
You might consider transparency about your "free" oil changes. Just be up front about the maintenance contract and all is well.

Good lawd son...life's too short.
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