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Acura Maintenance Minder FAQs

Performing regular maintenance according to the factory-recommended Maintenance Schedule is the best way to keep your Acura running in optimal condition. Each vehicle has its own maintenance needs, so Acura develops specific maintenance schedules based on model equipment, such as transmission choice or the addition of a towing package. The Maintenance Schedule calculates service needs based on your car’s mileage. It checks engine-operating conditions and helps coordinate oil service dates and other maintenance check-ups. Prevent problems before they occur

Q: How does the Acura Maintenance Minder work?
A: The maintenance minder system shows engine oil life in the information display to let the owner know when it is time to have the engine oil replaced and regular engine maintenance done. There is no longer a maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. The system shows engine oil life as a percentage, which drops over time as the vehicle racks up miles. It starts out at 100% with fresh engine oil, and winds down to 0%, signaling the oil life is over.

Q: How does the Acura Maintenance Minder know when the 0% trigger occurs?
A: The system counts down oil life based on engine operating conditions (both normal and severe). The on-board computer continuously monitors engine operating conditions such as speed, engine temperature, ambient temperature, time, and vehicle use to determine when an oil change and regular maintenance is necessary.

Q: How do I operate the system?
A: The Acura Maintenance Minder is very easy to use. As the on-board computer continuously monitors your vehicle, it provides continuous information on the remaining engine oil life left – simply depress the Select/Reset knob on the information display and you will see use progression.

When the on-board computer determines that your vehicle has reached 15% of remaining life, it will turn on the Maintenance Minder light for you. In addition, each time the vehicle is started; the information center will default and automatically display the percentage of remaining life. To return to the odometer/tripometer, simply depress the Select/Reset knob.

The following chart will explain exactly when service is due:

Oil Life % Message What to do
15% Service Due Soon Plan to take your vehicle in for service.
5% Service Due Now Take your vehicle in now for maintenance.
0% Service Past Due Service is overdue. Take your vehicle in now.

Q: What happens to the Maintenance Minder if I do not perform maintenance when the remaining life gets to 0%?
A: If you do not perform the recommended maintenance the display will start to show negative mileage. This indicates how many miles that the vehicle is past due for service.

Q: Along with the and the percentage of remaining life, there is a letter and sometimes, a number displayed – what do they mean?
A: All maintenance items in the display are in code. There are two codes: Main-codes and Sub-codes. Your vehicle will always be due for a main code, and at times for a sub-code. Please refer to your owner’s manual, Acura Service History booklet, and the following chart to interpret the code:

Main Code What it means:
A Replace just the engine oil
B Replace the engine oil, oil filter, rotate the tires, inspect the front and rear brakes, check the parking brake adjustment, and inspect other items specific to your vehicle
Sub Code What it means:
1 Rotate the Tires
2 Replace the air cleaner element, check the drive belt, and replace the dust and pollen filter
3 Replace the transmission fluid and transfer fluid (if equipped)
4 Replace the spark plugs, replace the timing belt (if equipped), inspect the water pump, and inspect valve clearance
5 Replace the engine coolant
6 Replace the rear differential fluid (if equipped)

Q: Why will there always be a Main-code?
A: The sub-codes are turned on when the main-codes are triggered. Main-codes are USER SPECIFIC and are triggered based on the vehicle’s operating conditions. The system is designed to maximize customer convenience.

Q: Why is there only sometimes a Sub-code?
A: These items require maintenance on a time/mileage based schedule, similar to the maintenance schedules of the past. The Maintenance Minder also calculates time as it factors vehicle use and automatically moves up or delays the sub-codes so they get done with the main-codes.

For example, if tire rotation is normally done at 7,500 miles, but the oil life ends around 6,000 miles, the system will move up the tire rotation. Or, if the life appears to be ending around 9,000 miles, the system will delay the rotation. In either case, you would see the maintenance item code A1 in the information display.

Q: How many miles can I expect to go between oil changes when using the system?
A: It will vary. The beauty of the Acura Maintenance Minder system is that it automatically adjusts the maintenance intervals based on engine operating characteristics, your driving habits, and the climate that you have operated your vehicle in. For instance, mild highway driving in a warm climate will maximize the interval between required maintenance. Depending on the vehicle, this could be as high as 12,000 miles. On the other hand, short-trip driving in a cold climate may limit the maintenance interval to 3,000 miles or less. In general, most people who combine city and highway driving find that the Acura Maintenance Minder will indicate maintenance needs about every 6,000 miles. Most people maintain constant driving habits; this means that mileage between maintenance will be consistent.

Q: With my Acura truck, the first time the Acura Maintenance Minder turned on was 7,700 miles with an A1. The second time, it turned on at 12,000 miles. Why did I only get 4,300 miles?
A: Driving habits. The first 7,700 were racked up with mostly highway driving in warm weather – conditions that are favorable to oil life. The next 4,300 miles were racked up in warm weather, mostly highway, AND mostly pulling a boat trailer. The Acura Maintenance Minder system is very intelligent and monitors engine load to determine oil usage. With this situation, there were inconsistent driving conditions and the Acura Maintenance Minder responded as such.

Q: I change my oil every 3,000 miles. How does this system help me?
A: It is recommended that you follow the Acura Maintenance Minder. While your driving habit may be such that it is recommended every 3,000 miles, it may be that your driving characteristics indicate maintenance due at 2,500 miles, or, most people will see about a 6,000 mile recommendation. The system will help you and the environment with the following benefits:

  • There will not be unnecessarily wasted natural resources (oil).
  • There will not be unnecessary hazardous materials that will require proper disposal (oil and filters).
  • As a consumer, you will only pay when it is necessary, saving you time and money.

Q: The oil change station recommends that I change my oil every 3,000 miles. Why should I not believe them?
A: The 3,000 mile oil change is a very conservative approach to maintaining your vehicle that dates back to 1968. Since then, there has been much advancement in both oil technology and engine design. These advancements, along with the Acura Maintenance Minder, allow you to increase maintenance intervals without risking harm to your engine. In addition, as your Acura dealer, we are trained by Acura and specialize in Acura, this allows your dealer to know your car better than non-Acura service facilities.

Q: Typically my Acura Maintenance Minder light comes on at 6,500 miles, but I am only at 4,500 miles and am going on vacation. I want to get my service done before I go. What should I do?
A: It is recommended that you follow the Acura Maintenance Minder. However, should you choose to have maintenance performed early, be sure to reset the Maintenance Minder light – this will keep the main-codes and sub-codes synchronized.

Q: The Acura Maintenance Minder is telling me I need a “B” service. I choose to have only an “A” service complete. Is there a problem?
A: Yes. The Acura Maintenance Minder is not just an “oil change” indicator, it makes recommendations for the entire vehicle’s maintenance. Main and sub codes will get out of harmony and the Maintenance Minder cannot properly predict required maintenances. When proper maintenance is followed, you will realize the following benefits:

  • Better resale value
  • Continued reliability
  • Longer vehicle life
  • Continued warranty coverage

Q: I change my own oil. Should I reset the light?
A: The Acura Maintenance Minder is not just an oil change indicator, it reminds us of all maintenance requirements. If you change your oil, it is important that you complete all Acura Maintenance Minder recommendations and reset the light.

Q: I use synthetic oil. Should I expect to get more miles before the Acura Maintenance Minder indicates that I need an oil change?
A: Acura does not recommend the use of synthetic oils in models that do not require them as your Acura was designed and engineered based on the oil recommended in your owner’s manual. The Acura Maintenance Minder calculates your vehicle’s needs based on the oil recommended by the Acura engineers that designed your engine. The use of synthetic oil will not extend the oil change interval.

Q: My husband and I equally share our Maintenance Minder Acura, does the system average our driving styles to determine when maintenance is due?
A: No. The Acura Maintenance Minder is an intelligent system and monitors every drive cycle. A drive cycle is defined as each time the car is turned on and off.

Q: I have taken my vehicle to a non-Acura facility and had the oil changed, the facility did not know how to reset the Acura Maintenance Minder light. Will my Acura dealer reset it for me?
A: That depends. It is very important that all recommended maintenance be completed, if more than just an oil change was necessary, your Acura dealer would be doing you a disservice by resetting the light as the light is not just an oil change indicator – it monitors the complete maintenance requirements of your vehicle.

In addition, if you racked up miles before you came to the dealer, there has been wear and degradation of the oil in your vehicle – your Acura dealer may have to change the oil again to properly set your Acura Maintenance Minder.

Q: Do I have to check my oil level with the Acura Maintenance Minder System?
A: Yes. The system does not sense oil level. Please follow the owner’s manual recommendations for Service Station Procedures.

Q: I have driven 6,000 miles since my last maintenance, and the light has not come on. When checking the oil, it looked dirty. What do I do?
A: The oil may discolor under normal conditions, depending on driving conditions. This is a normal condition.

Q: I have a need to know what the next recommended service will be. Can the Acura technician tell me?
A: Yes. Your Acura technician has been trained on the Acura Maintenance Minder and will use the Forced Activation mode to determine what the next recommended services are. The option to check this will only work between 100% oil life and 16% oil life, as when the system gets to 15%, it automatically turns on.

Q: My Acura is equipped with break-in oil, should I change it early?
A: No. To ensure proper engine break-in, the factory-fill engine oil needs to remain in the engine until the first scheduled maintenance interval.

The factory fill oil is the same as Acura Service Replacement Oil. The difference is the Molybdenum lubricant that is applied to specific internal engine components.


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