While it’s true that a Honda is likely to last longer on average than its competitors, it doesn’t preclude the need for regular maintenance. Without scheduled servicing, preventable issues can and will come up, resulting in higher costs of ownership, frustrating breakdowns, and yes, even shortening your Honda’s usable lifespan.

Avoid those annoyances and costly problems. It’s simple – keep on top of your vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Check under the hood.

You’re not expected to be a master mechanic, but as a car owner, you should be aware of your fluid conditions and levels. It’s really not as intimidating as you may think once you get under the hood.

For your car to operate as it’s designed, your engine oil, engine coolant (AKA antifreeze), power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid are common check points in the engine bay. They’re clearly marked on the caps, but if you don’t know where to look, consult your owner’s manual.

There’s a picture guide showing the precise locations of each reservoir or dipstick for your specific model.

While checking the fluid level is the main issue, it’s a good idea to know when the fluid needs to be changed as well. Get familiar with the look of new fluid by purchasing top-up containers of fluid from your Honda parts department and discovering what each fluid looks like when it is new and clean.

Our parts team will help you buy the specific fluids your vehicle requires, or you can check your owner’s manual for those specs also.

While you’re under the hood looking at the fluid levels, top up any low fluids with your top-up containers. Be sure to mention a fluid that was low the next time you bring your car to the Honda service department – it can be an indicator of a problem with that system.

Here’s a tip: perform a routine visual inspection on your own every fuel fill, or at bare minimum, once a month.

Monitor your tire condition.

Your Honda most likely has tire pressure sensors that warn you when the pressure is too low. Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) systems are a marvel of modern cars, but the onus is still on you to ensure your tires aren’t just inflated but safe to drive on.

For proper traction on acceleration and braking – in summer weather as well as winter conditions – your tires need to have sufficient tread. The bare minimum for safe operation is 2/32nds of an inch of tread measured from the deepest point between the blocks but more is always better. If you’re not sure if you have enough tread to drive safely, put a Canadian quarter into the tread with the caribou’s nose pointed into the tire. If its nose is covered, you have sufficient tread. If you can see its nose, it’s time to get your tires changed.

Improper tire pressures can affect your fuel economy as much as five percent for every five PSI they are low, so double-check your tire pressures with a pressure gauge from time to time. At the same time, inspect your tires for bulges or cuts in the tread or sidewall or exposed fabric or metal cords that tell you it’s time to get new tires immediately.

Include a visual tire check in your routine inspection.

Acknowledge warning lights and unusual noises.

The single-most panic-inducing problem you can encounter while driving your car (aside from a collision) is a warning light. Whether it’s a Check Engine light, ABS brake light, Service Engine Soon warning, or something else, it immediately strikes fear and trepidation in your heart. It doesn’t matter that it may be as simple as a loose gas cap, it’s the not knowing that makes you doubt your car.

The same goes for noises. A squeak from the brakes, a clunk when you’re turning, a whine when you start the car, or a rattle from the suspension may be tempting to ignore but some problems are serious safety issues.

Have all warning lights and noises checked by your Honda dealership if they are concerning or persistent. Feel free to Google the symptom and check what you are able to check. At the Honda service centre, you’ll get factory-trained technicians who will discover the problem in half the time and advise you if the condition is serious and in need of repair or if it can be delayed.

Get your recalls performed.

Recalls get a bad rap. A recall can be a replacement part to correct a common fault that is discovered through ongoing testing or it can be a simple upgrade to improve upon an already great vehicle. Regardless of the recall’s purpose, get outstanding recalls performed soon after their release to benefit the most from the repair.

To check recalls on your Honda vehicle, simply enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN number) in Honda Canada’s recall page. If there are outstanding campaigns, schedule a visit at the Honda dealer at your earliest convenience.

Use your car as it’s intended.

You’ve probably heard people complain about how their low-mileage vehicle has so many problems. It’s probably because it sits for extended lengths of time. Vehicles are built to be driven. Rubber seals are kept lubricated and moisturized by the oil they are meant to contain. If the car sits, those seals sit exposed and dry out, causing leaks. The same goes for belts, tires, and other rubber parts like hoses. Without movement, you can expect them to dry up, crack, and leak or break. Brake and suspension parts can rust up and seize, causing premature failure or drivability problems that can be unsafe.

The correction is simple: prevention. All it takes is a good drive once every couple of weeks. Wear the rust off the metal parts. Get the fluids moving and circulating. Bring it up to highway speed to get everything working. Your car will last longer if you use it regularly, not to mention you can avoid critters making their home in your vehicle.

Detail your Honda.

There are multiple benefits to keeping your vehicle clean:

 Clean windows and mirrors improve visibility and driving safety. Less likelihood of an accident means your Honda will stay in service longer.

 Materials last longer when they are clean. Dust and dirt wear on your fabric, leather, and vinyl, drying them out and dulling their lustrous shine. Cleaning removes abrasive dirt and rejuvenates dry materials.

 A clean Honda shows you take pride in your car. When you are proud of your car (as you should be), you take better care of it overall, not just in detailing.

Embrace your Honda warranty.

Whether you drive a new Honda or a Certified Used vehicle, you probably have warranty coverage in the infrequent event of issues. Use your warranty to its full potential! If there is a manufacturer’s defect you’ve discovered, let us get it fixed for you before the financial responsibility falls on you.

Warranty claims are nothing to be ashamed of and don’t reflect on you as a Honda owner. Things happen that are beyond your control and we want you to enjoy your car as much as you possibly can. Let us get them fixed up so you can get back to loving your Honda.

Adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule.

Every Honda has a prescribed set of maintenance procedures that are important to keeping your vehicle at its prime. It’s true that maintenance costs increase with vehicle age, though repairs due to neglected servicing are always more expensive.

You’ll find your recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s materials alongside your operating manual. Its pages contain the key to long-lasting vehicle performance with the fewest interruptions.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There’s no need to be intimidated by our staff, whether in the parts, service, sales, or finance departments. We’re all here to help. If you have a question about what really needs to be done to maintain your vehicle, what your warranty covers, or how to operate one of your car’s features, we are all at your disposal.

Our job is to ensure you are completely satisfied with your Honda and your experience at Cambridge Centre Honda.