- Mar 31, 2012
- Toronto, Canada
I'm in charge of servicing a 09 Civic with the R18 engine. The OLM seems to be really good at compensating for varying driving conditions. Oil was last changed in early Dec 2014 then the cold cold winter hit with morning temps regularly at -10 to -20C. Daily commute is about 7KM each way which means the oil NEVER gets up to operating temp. I just checked the OLM now and it's sitting at only 60% after 3000KM (about 1860miles). I've never seen any OLM go down so fast with such low mileage. If the oil life were to continue decreasing at this rate, it would hit 15% at only 6375KM! (~4K miles). Most civics that do mostly hwy mileage usually only hit 15% after 8K miles or more. The previous OCI for this car was in March 2014 and the OLM didn't hit 15% until 9 months, 8500KM later (~5.3k miles) since it was all warm weather driving (still mostly short trips). So the difference between spring/summer & winter temperatures is enough to cut the OCI from 5.3k miles to ~4k miles in the same car with nearly identical driving style/daily route according to Honda's OLM. Keep in mind that this OLM will normally take 8K+ miles on mostly hwy driving before hitting 15%, so there is a huge mileage spread possible. I'm pretty impressed by Honda's OLM system, but I know that not all manufacturers are accurate. For example GM had to recall their V6 engines due to OLM being too generous, causing timing chains to fail. Toyota's older cars also have a 'dummy' OLM that turns on every 5k miles regardless of driving conditions. I'm not sure about their newer cars.... anyone know? Moral of the story: too many people are worrying too much about when to change their oil. If you have a car with a decent OLM, just follow it by the letter and you can't go wrong. Life is stressful enough, why add another thing to worry about? If your car doesn't have an OLM, just read the manual and follow the "severe" interval if you do mostly short trips.