Conflicting Advice: Wrench Light/Maintenance Reminders [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Conflicting Advice: Wrench Light/Maintenance Reminders


Cat
04-10-2007, 03:49 PM
I'm getting conflicting advice from the two local Honda service stations about how to respond to my 2007 E's maintenance reminder signals. I can't decide whose advice is more sound, and if I DO decide that one of the two is definitely wrong, that may determine who I take the E to for servicing from now on.

I'm sure I'll get varied opinions on this one, but what would be MOST helpful is if folks could respond if 1) they got their 15% oil depleted warning light on as soon as 3500 miles and 2) the wrench light came on when their oil depletion warning came on.

Here's the situation: at 3500 miles, my E started flashing me a warning that my oil was down to 15%... and the wrench light came on too.

I happened to go to a car clinic at a competing Honda service station the first day the light came on, asked them about it, and they said that while 5,000 is the normal recommended point for an oil change, I should listen to my car. They said the wrench light was an indication of something more serious that should be checked out immediately, and that if I wait too long, ignoring the 15% warning light, I could screw up my E's maintenance system, which times itself in a certain way that relies on your compliance with its reminders... or something like that.

The next day, I called "my" service guy at the dealership to schedule bringing the E in and he talked me out of it. Unlike the competing Honda place, "my" guy told me that regardless of what my E was telling me, it was fine to wait til 5,000 miles... and at the very least to hold off til 4,000 miles... and that the wrench light was just coming on for the same reason as the oil change indicator, and didn't mean anything more serious.

It's been a couple of weeks and now that my E's at 4,000 and the 15% oil light and wrench light are still on, I'm going to take her in. I just can't decide which mechanic I should trust with my E, since they seem to have pretty different ideas about how to translate the maintenance reminders...

So I'd love input on

1) whether your new Es similarly flashed at you to get oil changes as soon as 3500-4000 miles
2) if so, whether the wrench light simultaneously came on
3) which of the above mechanics you think gave better advice, and why?

(oh, and another question... when I say "my" service guy, I mean that when I bought the "E," the dealership assigned me my own personal service guy (*rolling eyes*) who works at the dealership's service station. I'm thinking there aren't any restrictions in my warranty about taking my E to a satellite Honda-owned service station instead, but anyone ever have any problems with doing that, switching from their "assigned" service person at the dealership?)

Thanks!

Kiwi_Box
04-10-2007, 04:43 PM
Well "your" service guy is an idoit. If oil light indicator says 15% get it done. 2. If the wrench light came on something is not right. take it to the other dealer. Then tell "your" guy to shove it:evil:

Dial Tone
04-10-2007, 04:44 PM
Send it in anyways. There's no harm in checking especially that its still under warranty.

Better to be safe than sorry.

lizzurd
04-10-2007, 05:19 PM
Ok silly question time....when you opened your owners manual what did it say about when the wrench lights up?

This is an excert from Honda Canada's web site about maintenence minder....

2007 Element Maintenance Schedule

Your vehicle is equipped with the Maintenance Minder system. The on-board computers will calculate when service is required.

One of the most convenient and important features on your Element is the advanced technology of the Maintenance Minder System. The maintenance requirements for your Element are determined by an internal algorithm, which considers the engine starting temperature, driving distance and engine RPM. The onboard computer also judges your driving conditions and habits, and then calculates the remaining engine oil life, displaying it as a percentage. The technology of the Maintenance Minder System allows you to enjoy your Element without the worry of when you are due for your next servicing.

The remaining engine oil life and maintenance service symbols are displayed in either the odometer/trip meter area or in the multi-information display area. As part of the Maintenance Minder System, a separate "wrench" icon also appears indicating that required maintenance service is due. Based on engine operating conditions, the onboard computer in your Element calculates the remaining engine oil life. When the remaining oil life is approximately 15%, the Maintenance Minder will indicate that an oil change is due soon. When it reaches 5%, the system will show that an oil change is due now. When it reaches 0%, the system will show that an oil change is past due by an indicated mileage. Along with these reminders, the system will also display either a Maintenance Main Item A or B along with Maintenance Sub-Items 1 through 6 as required.

I dont have access to a 2007 manual at the moment.....but from what i have read you can go till it shows 5% before getting it changed.If im not mistaken all the wrench means is that maintanence is required...it doesnt indicate a problem with your E.

ramblerdan
04-10-2007, 06:05 PM
Just as Lizzurd says.

2007 Owner's Manual, page 181:

When the engine oil life is 15 to 1 percent, the maintenance minder indicator comes on every time you turn the ignition switch to the ON (II) position, then it goes out if you switch the information display. When you see this message, have the indicated maintenance performed by your dealer as soon as possible.

When the remaining engine oil life is 0 percent, the engine oil life indicator will blink. The display comes on every time you turn the ignition switch to the ON (II) position. The maintenance minder indicator also comes on and remains on in the instrument panel. When you see this message, immediately have the indicated maintenance performed by your dealer.

If you do not perform the indicated maintenance, negative mileage is displayed and begins to blink after the vehicle has been driven 10 miles (10 km) or more. Negative mileage means your vehicle has passed the maintenance required point. Immediately have the indicated maintenance done by your dealer.

Cat
04-10-2007, 06:35 PM
Hmmmm. Maybe I was too hasty just now.

Here's the update: I got to my car after having read the first coupla responses and saw that now my warning was that I was at FIVE percent! Oooh, scary. I decided that "my" mechanic was wrong to tell me to wait, and swung by the competitors' place (mechanic #2) on my way home to see tell them they'd stolen my business and see when they could schedule me for tomorrow.

I gotta say, they were MOST gracious... and I have a little egg on my face.

Because
1) you're right, it was in the manual. Doh. I was just going on what I'd *remembered* mechanic #2 telling me but
2) my memory was wrong! Mechanic #2 reminded me that what he'd ACTUALLY said was that it depends on what the service code flashing on the dashboard is, and that we'd even checked it together during the car clinic and confirmed that it was just an "A," which means that the wrench probably meant nothing more than that I need a oil change. Somehow I'd forgotten that whole part of the conversation. (double doh) In other words, he didn't tell me that the wrench meant something was wrong when it came on along with the oil light, but that it COULD be cause for concern IF there were certain service codes that popped up along with it... but no such codes popped up in my case.

So it turns out that the advice I got from them both was consistent after all... I'd just remembered it wrong. Mechanic #1 by being abrupt and short with me actually got the point across clearly and Mechanic #2 by being all friendly and taking the time to explain it all to me in detail the last time actually ended up confusing me with too much information :rolleyes:

I'm an idiot.

So, yes, the answer is that the wrench light DOES come on automatically once you reach 15%. Doh. Doh. Doh. (but now everyone else knows, who stumbles across this thread, and is bearing down on 4-5k on your own new Es! :) Ok, I'm just an idiot. No saving grace to this thread whatsoever)

After Mechanic #2 defended the honor of Mechanic #1 and told me not to be harsh on him, that his advice had been just fine (even about waiting on the oil change! it does no harm to wait all the way to 0%, he said)... I decided to just go ahead and stick with Mechanic #2 anyway. He's nicer, and he gives the Great Red Shark free carwashes and flashlights and stuff :D

boxedup1
04-11-2007, 09:46 AM
i just bought a pilot for the wife and have to get used to all these lights also. ill just keep doing what i do. oil ill change at 15%. the other things like tranny fluid and the rear diffill do at my own intervals.

dog-e
12-30-2007, 11:24 PM
i just bought a pilot for the wife and have to get used to all these lights also. ill just keep doing what i do. oil ill change at 15%. the other things like tranny fluid and the rear diffill do at my own intervals.

Why not do the other stuff at the intervals recommended by the manual (and the computer) as well?

Alaskan_Toaster
12-30-2007, 11:37 PM
My "wrench" (oil change) reminder came on about 800 miles ago. I change my oil at the 7K mark, but the computer disagrees (I still have about 700 miles to go). I have changed to synthetic (with the Honda A01 filter) and have no intention of changing it earlier. I used to manage a quickie lube, so my knowledge of oil changes and intervals is pretty solid.
If it is only the oil change nanny, then going in at 5k is just fine. If you are still not sure, take a look at the oil itself. If it's black and gritty - CHANGE IT NOW!!!
If it is "normal" - darker, but still slippery, then another 1k miles would cause no harm. Every 5k, with quality oil and filter, would be great oil change interval for any vehicle.

Good luck and Happy New Year!!!! :-P:-P:-P

paulj
12-31-2007, 12:47 AM
What ever happened to the good old days when the maintenance light started flashing at 8K - that is, 8K since it was last reset? Then the obvious answer was - RTFM, and reset it yourself. Now it seems the car's computer is smarter than the Honda techs (or even the service managers). :)

paulj

Twilightzero
12-31-2007, 11:16 AM
My first oil change light came on at around 1650 miles...:rolleyes:

I believe the maintenance minder on at least hte 07/08's monitors not only mileage but also average rpm, high revs, how you accelerate, etc. to come up with an overall view of oil life. So if you think your Mario Andretti (like me), you'll end up doing a lot more oil changes than if you drive like Grandma Ethel...

paulj
12-31-2007, 11:37 AM
Either that, or there are some bugs in the software. The difference between 1600 miles for this computed change, and 10,000 in the older owner manual, makes me question the computations. There may be combinations of circumstances that produce unrealistic results.
paulj

Alaskan_Toaster
12-31-2007, 11:38 AM
..... and reset it yourself.

At least it's easy to do yourself. I remember a car I had where the "Service" reminder was a physical plastic tag that covered up 2/3ds of your odometer and needed to be reset by the dealer or somebody with the right equipment.

At least Honda manuals DO cover how to reset it (pleseantly surprised)....... :shock::razz::razz::razz:

Both times my light came on about the 5800 mark, but, I also do alot of hi-way driving (13k in5 months!! :shock: ). Nope, not because I drive like Grandma Ethel, either...... :lol::lol::lol:

Twilightzero
12-31-2007, 12:36 PM
Either that, or there are some bugs in the software. The difference between 1600 miles for this computed change, and 10,000 in the older owner manual, makes me question the computations. There may be combinations of circumstances that produce unrealistic results.
paulj

I believe doing every shift around 5000 RPM's for a month and a half as soon as I hit 600 miles probably had something to do with it...:rolleyes: :lol:

TheAntirice
01-01-2008, 02:55 PM
After reading this thread I became curious and decided to check my "oil life" which now reads 90% and I have (get this) 325 miles. I have been driving like a grandma trying to break in the car properly as well as maximize fuel economy I was pretty shocked to lose 10% in the first week lol.

spdrcr5
01-02-2008, 07:44 AM
Driving like a grandma is probably one of the worst things you can do for oil life. One of our AARP female customer's had her oil life down to 5% in 3 months and less than 1800 miles.

It's also the worst possible way to "break in" an engine. You drive like a granny and your computer will tune itself to react the same way. It will take a battery disconnect to reset the computer then you need to retrain it.

Twilightzero
01-02-2008, 08:18 AM
Interesting, my dealer just about told me flat out to drive like grandma during the break-in period. Then again I pretty much ignored that like I always do...

lizzurd
01-02-2008, 08:22 AM
The only change i made to my driving style during break in was to not use the cruise control and not rev it up to redline getting on the highway......

Twilightzero
01-02-2008, 11:21 AM
Twi, I think in your case it was probably your reputation that preceded you. I'm sure when you pulled into the lot they were going "Oh S***! Everybody quick! Hide your staplers!" And then they sent the new guy out to go for a road test with you. :D

...have you been talking to my dealer?? They DID send the new guy out to do the road test with me! :shock: Or is there a back room bulletin board in every Honda dealer with my pic on it...?

TheAntirice
01-02-2008, 11:38 AM
Driving like a grandma is probably one of the worst things you can do for oil life. One of our AARP female customer's had her oil life down to 5% in 3 months and less than 1800 miles.

Well, how would you suggest to drive the car to break it in? It has less than 350 miles, and its a manual transmission I would like to properly break in the clutch as well as the motor in general. I guess "driving like a grandma" is a little of an overstatement, but I guess compared to the way I might normally drive it holds a little ring of truth :-P As the miles are put on, I plan to get a little more into it but lets face it, its not a sports car..ripping it to redline every shift is not going to be neccesary.

spdrcr5
01-02-2008, 11:54 AM
Well, how would you suggest to drive the car to break it in? It has less than 350 miles, and its a manual transmission I would like to properly break in the clutch as well as the motor in general. I guess "driving like a grandma" is a little of an overstatement, but I guess compared to the way I might normally drive it holds a little ring of truth :-P As the miles are put on, I plan to get a little more into it but lets face it, its not a sports car..ripping it to redline every shift is not going to be neccesary.

Just drive the Element as you always drive. Just don't do the following two things.

Don't use Cruise Control for the first 1,000 miles.
Don't remain at Red Line, shift if you reach it.There is nothing wrong with "driving it like you stole" it... I have done that with every single vehicle I have ever owned. Never had a single engine issue and all of my vehicles have always performed above the norm.

Leggo
01-13-2008, 11:41 PM
Honda Tech, do you know how the Honda oil life percentage is figured out by the computer. My experience with other manufacturers, specifically GM, it is calculated by the time the engine is running, distance driven and driving style i.e. highway, city, hard driving, towing etc.
I am new to the Honda side, but I have been a tech for 5 years now, in an independent shop, at a GM dealer, and now at a Honda dealer. It was learned pretty quick that the GM oil life system was essentially useless and almost never right, and it seems that there is more faith in the Honda system.

theoldwizard
01-14-2008, 10:31 AM
Honda Tech, do you know how the Honda oil life percentage is figured out by the computer. My experience with other manufacturers, specifically GM, it is calculated by the time the engine is running, distance driven and driving style i.e. highway, city, hard driving, towing etc.
I am new to the Honda side, but I have been a tech for 5 years now, in an independent shop, at a GM dealer, and now at a Honda dealer. It was learned pretty quick that the GM oil life system was essentially useless and almost never right, and it seems that there is more faith in the Honda system.
It sounds to me like Honda is using a running time, distance, style algorithm. Short time/distance and hard driving will shorten the interval.

GM, at least on some vehicles, uses a physical oil "quality" sensor.

Further aside, Ford now recommends 7,500 miles between oil changes, assuming "normal" driving, but still twice a year.

dog-e
01-14-2008, 09:40 PM
it seems that there is more faith in the Honda system.

I'm no expert (by a long shot), but I trust Honda's algorithm, simply because of Honda's reputation for building quality cars. It seems like it would be pretty stupid of Honda to risk destroying their hard-earned reputation by allowing people to run the engine on bad oil.

Leggo
01-17-2008, 12:28 AM
I'm no expert (by a long shot), but I trust Honda's algorithm, simply because of Honda's reputation for building quality cars. It seems like it would be pretty stupid of Honda to risk destroying their hard-earned reputation by allowing people to run the engine on bad oil.

I completely agree with you about Honda not wanting to risk their reputation. And I am in no way doubting their process, no manufacturer is going to waste the time and money in research and development for something that they don't believe in. And it is always better to change the oil to soon rather than to late.

sloweddie
01-18-2008, 08:26 AM
Well GM and Ford wasted a heck of alot of money on projects that were ill advised to begin with and yanked the plug before they made 'em right.
se

Old Blue
01-18-2008, 11:30 AM
Well GM and Ford

...and those 2 words are why :rolleyes: