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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2020 Honda Clarity is displaying it needs A19 service. It seems this means 3 things: oil change, tire rotation, and brake service. I’m wondering if this is based on actual need, or just distance or timing.

My car has ~21000 km on it (~13000 miles). From my records and calculations about 4000km have been on gasoline and 17000km have been electric (~2500 miles and ~10500 miles respectively). I already changed the oil since buying it, maybe around 6000km or so. 4000km on an engine seems low to require an oil change, I’ve already changed the tires when I switched to winter driving, and I barely ever use the brakes. I drive to work and back for 60km each way (38 miles) and mostly just leave the car in cruise. When I do slow down I almost always use the regenerative braking and then only apply the brakes at 13km/h (8 mph). The drive is very straight, but there is one turn on my trip to work. I’m guessing two turns a day won’t wear the tires unevenly too quickly.

So I’m wondering if the three services are actually required. One reason I bought the car was for lower maintenance costs, but I also don’t want to avoid necessary maintenance and have problems down the road. Does anyone know how closely the service reminders need to be followed?

Thanks
 

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How long has it been since your last oil change? There is a timer on the oil life as well as a mileage tracker. You shouldn't need a brake check at 13,000 miles. Also, when was your last tire rotation? You should be rotating the tires every 3,000 miles (5,000 KM) if you have a full-size spare like I do or 5,000 miles (8,000 KM) if you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How long has it been since your last oil change? There is a timer on the oil life as well as a mileage tracker. You shouldn't need a brake check at 13,000 miles. Also, when was your last tire rotation? You should be rotating the tires every 3,000 miles (5,000 KM) if you have a full-size spare like I do or 5,000 miles (8,000 KM) if you don't.
Thanks for the reply.

It‘s been around six months since the last oil change. My understanding is I should do an oil change at least once a year with the Clairty? I had assumed that the oil change depends on how much the gasoline engine runs.

The tire change would be about the same time, so about 15000km = 9000 miles ago. I have a second set of winter tires on rims, so they get changed at least twice a year. Usually we keep an eye on the tires to see if they’re wearing evenly. If not, I get a tire rotation and an alignment. It seems to have worked with the cars I’ve had before, but this is the first hybrid car I’ve had.

I don’t have a separate spare, other than an entire second set for when the season changes.
 

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Gasoline car oil change interval is primarily based on miles driven, so it follows that the same should apply to a PHEV, i.e. oil change interval based on the miles that the gasoline engine operates. Unfortunately Honda chose not to make this information available to us on the display, but we can do a reasonable estimate by recording gas purchases and then multiplying the number of gallons pumped by the average mpg, this will give an estimated number of miles driven on gas. The way to determine your average mpg is to run a couple of tankfuls completely in HV mode. People who have done this say that for them it wasn't that far off from the published 42 mpg. So if you don't want to go through the painful withdrawal symptoms of not using EV mode for two entire tankfuls then you can just go with 42 mpg.

Some people drive repeated routes like a work commute and they know generally how many miles of that commute is EV and how much is HV, so they can do an estimate that way. None of this has to be precise, after all there are endless debates about whether to change oil at 5,000 miles or 10,000 miles, etc. so being off a few hundred miles in your estimate probably won't make that much difference. You gave some estimate numbers for your car, I'm not sure what method that you used to come up with your estimate.

If you find that the number of gasoline miles is lower than whatever your oil change mileage criteria is, you should still change the oil at least once a year, at least while you are still under warranty because that is the specified minimum that is stated in the owners manual.

The exception to this would be someone who drives almost exclusively EV and the gasoline engine when it does come on is only for a few minutes of warmup cycle. Some people can go a year without having to fill up. However that makes their situation more like owning a classic car that is only driven a few miles every other week. In that case the oil can degrade faster because of moisture that doesn't get burned off. I have read that because of this classic car owners typically change their oil every six months. But it sounds like your gas engine is being used regularly so probably you can just go with changing the oil once a year like many of us are doing.
 

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How long has it been since your last oil change? There is a timer on the oil life as well as a mileage tracker. You shouldn't need a brake check at 13,000 miles. Also, when was your last tire rotation? You should be rotating the tires every 3,000 miles (5,000 KM) if you have a full-size spare like I do or 5,000 miles (8,000 KM) if you don't.
My message has nothing to do with your oil change requirements. But I noticed you had the Moonlight Forest Pearl (dark green) Clarity. I just bought mine, had it shipped from California because we cannot buy them in Florida, so I bought sight unseen , but it seems like this color is closer to black than to green.....would you agreee? I mean in certain light there is a bit of a green cast, but honestly, it really does not seem green
 

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My message has nothing to do with your oil change requirements. But I noticed you had the Moonlight Forest Pearl (dark green) Clarity. I just bought mine, had it shipped from California because we cannot buy them in Florida, so I bought sight unseen , but it seems like this color is closer to black than to green.....would you agreee? I mean in certain light there is a bit of a green cast, but honestly, it really does not seem green
My wife and I had the same reaction to the Moonlight Forest green Clarity. Looking online, we thought we wanted that color, but when we test drove one in person we came to the same conclusion, it's more blackish than green. We went another direction -- the other two colors I liked were white (which we bought) and the cherry/maroon color.
 

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My message has nothing to do with your oil change requirements. But I noticed you had the Moonlight Forest Pearl (dark green) Clarity. I just bought mine, had it shipped from California because we cannot buy them in Florida, so I bought sight unseen , but it seems like this color is closer to black than to green.....would you agreee? I mean in certain light there is a bit of a green cast, but honestly, it really does not seem green
Ours is definitely green. In low light levels it turns towards black but in the sun it's definitely a nice forest green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If anyone’s interested I just had my service done. The mechanic recommended the oil change if the car was calling for it (it had been 7 months), the tires were rotated since I put the all seasons back on instead of the winter tires. He said the brakes looked new and didn’t require any service. It has about 15000 miles on the car so I thought that was good (I almost always regen to slow down and rarely need the brakes). It sounded like there was no fee for checking the brakes since the tires were off anyways. He charged me about $100 USD (although the bill and payment was in Canadian) for everything (materials, labour, tax).
 

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If anyone’s interested I just had my service done. The mechanic recommended the oil change if the car was calling for it (it had been 7 months), the tires were rotated since I put the all seasons back on instead of the winter tires. He said the brakes looked new and didn’t require any service. It has about 15000 miles on the car so I thought that was good (I almost always regen to slow down and rarely need the brakes). It sounded like there was no fee for checking the brakes since the tires were off anyways. He charged me about $100 USD (although the bill and payment was in Canadian) for everything (materials, labour, tax).
Always nice when everything checks out! Ongoing you many want to consider whether you want to have the oil changed every time the maintenance minder calls for it. From what we are able to tell the maintenance minder calculates oil change based solely on miles driven (km in your case), and it seems like it's set for around 6-7,000 miles. First of all many would say that the synthetic oil that our Clarities use can go much longer than that. But even more important, for most of us a high percentage of our driving is EV which does not use the gas engine at all. But the maintenance minder does not seem to take that into consideration. More than half of my driving is EV, so when my maintenance minder told me that I needed and oil change at 6,000 miles, I knew that the gas engine had been operating for less than 3,000 miles, so no way was I going to replace the synthetic oil that early. So I just reset the minder when the oil change message pops up and change the oil once a year, which is the minimum that the owners manual specifies. A lot of Clarity owners do this. Not telling you what you should do, just something to think about. If you want a more accurate estimate of how many miles that you are putting on the gasoline engine, you just have to keep track of your gas purchases, and multiply the gallons pumped by 42 miles per gallon and that gives a ballpark estimate of the number of miles driven with the gas engine. Of course in your case it's liters pumped and l/km.

By the way even when you use the brake pedal it uses mostly regen, so you don't have to use the paddles all the time to save wear on the brake pads. If you like using the paddles that's fine but it probably makes little difference on efficiency or brake pad usage. Next time you step on the brake pedal look at the power meter on the instrument panel and you will see that pressing the brake pedal does quite a lot of regen.
 

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Always nice when everything checks out! Ongoing you many want to consider whether you want to have the oil changed every time the maintenance minder calls for it. From what we are able to tell the maintenance minder calculates oil change based solely on miles driven (km in your case), and it seems like it's set for around 6-7,000 miles. First of all many would say that the synthetic oil that our Clarities use can go much longer than that. But even more important, for most of us a high percentage of our driving is EV which does not use the gas engine at all. But the maintenance minder does not seem to take that into consideration. More than half of my driving is EV, so when my maintenance minder told me that I needed and oil change at 6,000 miles, I knew that the gas engine had been operating for less than 3,000 miles, so no way was I going to replace the synthetic oil that early. So I just reset the minder when the oil change message pops up and change the oil once a year, which is the minimum that the owners manual specifies. A lot of Clarity owners do this. Not telling you what you should do, just something to think about. If you want a more accurate estimate of how many miles that you are putting on the gasoline engine, you just have to keep track of your gas purchases, and multiply the gallons pumped by 42 miles per gallon and that gives a ballpark estimate of the number of miles driven with the gas engine. Of course in your case it's liters pumped and l/km.

By the way even when you use the brake pedal it uses mostly regen, so you don't have to use the paddles all the time to save wear on the brake pads. If you like using the paddles that's fine but it probably makes little difference on efficiency or brake pad usage. Next time you step on the brake pedal look at the power meter on the instrument panel and you will see that pressing the brake pedal does quite a lot of regen.
The above post seems to make a lot of sense to me. Synthetic oil, used in a moderate climate (SoCal for me) should last at least a year, if not more in normal driving - probably longer the less the gas engine is used. You of course can check the level and how dirty the oil might be as an additional indicator. Also there can always be the factor that with a car that may need less maintenance by design (i.e. much lower gas engine use), the dealer and manufacturer have an incentive to push more maintenance than may be necessary. Even for maintenance that is really necessary the intervals are probably designed for the roughest environments. I did a major consulting project for a large Ford dealer once and found that servicing is a big profit driver. I'm going to go at least a year between oil changes (did my first one 13 months after buying the car), and will be going to one of those fast lube places next time for half the price.
 

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The above post seems to make a lot of sense to me. Synthetic oil, used in a moderate climate (SoCal for me) should last at least a year, if not more in normal driving - probably longer the less the gas engine is used. You of course can check the level and how dirty the oil might be as an additional indicator. Also there can always be the factor that with a car that may need less maintenance by design (i.e. much lower gas engine use), the dealer and manufacturer have an incentive to push more maintenance than may be necessary. Even for maintenance that is really necessary the intervals are probably designed for the roughest environments. I did a major consulting project for a large Ford dealer once and found that servicing is a big profit driver. I'm going to go at least a year between oil changes (did my first one 13 months after buying the car), and will be going to one of those fast lube places next time for half the price.
You may want to stay within 12 months because that is specified in the owners manual. Although our cars are unlikely to have any engine problems, still it's probably best to be able to prove that the maintenance schedule was followed. That doesn't mean you have to take it to the dealer, just keep a copy of service receipts, or copies of oil amd filter purchase receipts if doing it yourself.
 
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