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I was wondering about this too. My EX was built 6/2018 (number 3900+) and purchased July 29. I have only 4400 miles but the Oil Life just reached 15%. I am planning a 700 mile trip to Maryland from North Carolina this weekend. I was thinking about making the trip and then getting the oil changed next Monday on my return. This would give me 5100 miles and 1 year with the benefits of the 'factory oil'. The Oil Life may hit 0% during the trip. I don't drive every day and the majority of my miles are 1+ hour drives. The alternative is to change the oil before the trip (at 4400 miles, 15% life). Any opinions ?
I wonder if the Oil Life calculation also has a built in 'time' factor to let you know it's nearing 1 year since last oil change... rather than non-use being considered 'severe use'? If the Oil Life calculation was only based on miles driven without a timing component, it would give a misleading high estimate of remaining Oil Life after 1 year for a low-mileage driver. I'm guessing there's a "timing countdown" (or maybe minimum miles per month criteria?) in parallel to mileage counter for the Oil Life calculation to offset any over-estimation.
 

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I wonder if the Oil Life calculation also has a built in 'time' factor to let you know it's nearing 1 year since last oil change... rather than non-use being considered 'severe use'? If the Oil Life calculation was only based on miles driven without a timing component, it would give a misleading high estimate of remaining Oil Life after 1 year for a low-mileage driver. I'm guessing there's a "timing countdown" (or maybe minimum miles per month criteria?) in parallel to mileage counter for the Oil Life calculation to offset any over-estimation.
Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and the specific equipment used, oil indicators come in two basic varieties: algorithm-based and direct measurement.


Algorithm-based oil indicators measure lots of factors and then plug the resulting numbers into a formula. Based on the answer to this complex, ongoing math problem, the indicator display will tell you whether the oil is OK, is close to requiring replacement or needs replacing immediately.


Interestingly, with these types of indicators, there are no sensors to detect the quality of the oil itself. Instead they combine data on how many miles you've driven, the temperature variations during that time and data about how much work the engine has performed. Typically, the indicator (monitoring system) will receive such data from the powertrain control module, or PCM, which is the main on-board computer. Engineers have figured out a fairly accurate and reliable way to calculate the remaining oil life this way, without having to actually sample the oil.


Direct measurement oil life indicators measure the condition of the oil -- the opposite approach to the system described above. This method uses sensors to sample the oil and determine its remaining life based on any of the following:

  • Conductivity -- how easily electric current passes through the oil (typically, the lower the electrical resistance, the more contaminants are in the oil)
  • Mechanical properties -- piezoelectric sensors can tell how thick the oil is by the force feedback it gives when sloshing around
  • Soot concentration -- dirty oil's days are definitely numbered
  • Presence of water -- water is an impurity in oil, since it hampers the oil's effectiveness and can corrode metal surfaces
I'm pretty sure Honda went with algorithm-based otherwise the Maintenance Minder wouldn't require a manual reset after an oil change plus it saves them money from adding a sensor of some sort. We still need to check oil level from time to time with the dipstick because the Maintenance Minder doesn't detect oil level.
 

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I'm pretty sure Honda went with algorithm-based otherwise the Maintenance Minder wouldn't require a manual reset after an oil change plus it saves them money from adding a sensor of some sort. We still need to check oil level from time to time with the dipstick because the Maintenance Minder doesn't detect oil level.
Yes, agree that we have an algorithm-based metric as per prior thread - but my add/comment was that the algorithm perhaps includes a "time counter" to complement the calculations. It might be included as a simple "time since last reset" measure, which reduces the oil life indication if at/near 1 year... over/above distance and other factors. When the Maintenance Minder gets reset, perhaps is when the "time since last reset" counter restarts for the next calculation of oil life.
 

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Yes, agree that we have an algorithm-based metric as per prior thread - but my add/comment was that the algorithm perhaps includes a "time counter" to complement the calculations. It might be included as a simple "time since last reset" measure, which reduces the oil life indication if at/near 1 year... over/above distance and other factors. When the Maintenance Minder gets reset, perhaps is when the "time since last reset" counter restarts for the next calculation of oil life.
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.
^I did find the above information on a Honda dealer's website for the Maintenance Minder. It does indicate time is a factor but not sure if the time is factored in only when the car is on or both on/off.
 

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i'm at 50% oil life with 3,050 miles. During the winter i had plenty of trips under 10 miles, idled my car while trying to de-ice/shovel it out, bad traffic here with tons of stop/go, and driving on salted roads.
[...]
i currently average 52mpg per tank. Winter average was around 40-42mpg per tank. Lifetime average is currently somewhere between 46-47mpg.
average commute ~22 miles. Just noticed oil life drop to 60% from 70% @ 5000 miles. Lifetime gas mileage 50.1. And that's also with 3 or 4 drive in nights (leave the car on for the 6 hours, engine comes on once every hour or so for a minute.)

just wanted to compare to andrew28, because we are relatively the same weather conditions albeit him getting it a day later than i. I probably do more "mountain" driving, he definitely deals with "stop and go" more than i. Of course we didn't have our insight for winter, it hasn't seen anything below 42* since we took ownership.
With this comparison, I believe even more in the "time" OR "use" factor being part of the algorithm and running calculations in parallel, to ensure low-mileage drivers change their oil after 1 year... even though "time" isn't listed as a severe condition (posts 58-61).

andrew28 has operated the car for half a year (6.6 mo = 0.55 yr), and oil life is ~half (50%). The driven miles aren't triggering the oil life to change, and the on-board computer must instead be tracking the amount of time the car is powered on and/or time since maintenance minder was last reset.

Wifey'sInsight has operated the car half that amount of time (2.7 mo = 0.23 yr) but has driven more miles. The driven miles must trump the 'time' counter to trigger the oil life to change. If driven miles decreased, I think the time counter would take over similar to the case above.

The oil life calculation factors in speed, engine temperature, ambient temperature, time, and vehicle use (as andrew28 mentions in post 61) and my gut says some of these factors are compared in parallel, and the 'larger' of the factors (e.g. "time" vs "use") determines the oil life output.
 

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Late to the party. I decided to check the oil and I noticed it looked a little low (6,500 miles and supposedly at 50% life), plus I live in an extreme climate (HOT) and drive 80 - 90 mph most of the time on the highway. So I decided to add a half quart to see where it registered on the dipstick. I'm not sure if it's me, but I really couldn't get a good sense of the oil level, so I decided to change out the oil + filter. I'm extremely happy that I did because the oil that can out was extremely dark brown/black (maybe the additive I'm hearing about????). I have read a few earlier posts on this thread that the oil % is based on the oil health, and not the mileage registered. Can anyone confirm or elaborate?
 

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Late to the party. I decided to check the oil and I noticed it looked a little low (6,500 miles and supposedly at 50% life), plus I live in an extreme climate (HOT) and drive 80 - 90 mph most of the time on the highway. So I decided to add a half quart to see where it registered on the dipstick. I'm not sure if it's me, but I really couldn't get a good sense of the oil level, so I decided to change out the oil + filter. I'm extremely happy that I did because the oil that can out was extremely dark brown/black (maybe the additive I'm hearing about????). I have read a few earlier posts on this thread that the oil % is based on the oil health, and not the mileage registered. Can anyone confirm or elaborate?
Oil life is calculated based on mileage or age. The car doesn't measure any quantifiable oil measurements at all.

If you drive a lot, oil life is based primarily on mileage (more than 12k miles a year)
If you don't drive a lot, oil life algorithm is based primarily on age (less than 12k miles a year. The car will recommend an oil change at about 1 year interval regardless of how few miles were driven).
 

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I have read a few earlier posts on this thread that the oil % is based on the oil health, and not the mileage registered. Can anyone confirm or elaborate?
Honda eliminated mileage-based maintenance recommendations in cars where in-dashboard "maintenance minder" systems were added.

Here are some soundbites and links to prior discussion on how we understand Honda's oil life calculation:
  • Oil life monitoring is INDIRECT. Oil condition itself isn't directly measured, and other/related factors are used to calculate/interpret remaining oil life.
  • Electronic sensors send info on engine rpm/speed, ambient/engine temperature, coolant temperature, number of starts/stops, drive time, drive style (time throttle is open), and engine timing/load. Every drive cycle (on/off) is tracked, rather than an 'average' driving style.
  • Short trips, frequent stop/go (city driving) and hilly terrain cause higher engine temperature (and shorten oil life). These were formerly called "severe" driving conditions, but are now included as part of the calculation.
  • Different modes (EV/Econ/Normal/Sport) affect engine use and are tracked as output from electronic sensors in the drivetrain.
  • The car's computer tracks/logs these key factors affecting oil life (until reset). It runs the factors through a mathematical algorithm to predict conditions for oil life degradation, and the resulting 'remaining oil life' value is posted for the driver in the maintenance minder area.
  • The algorithm includes a "time counter" to complement the sensor readings, to ensure low-mileage drivers change their oil after 1 year (even if driving conditions or sensor measurement doesn't trigger).
Since these are INDIRECT measurements for oil life, any physical/actual check of the dipstick that shows gummy, milky, gritty, dirty or unusually low level should trump the indicator and trigger oil replacement. You did the right thing by checking and changing as needed, despite the oil life reading.

You've probably already seen post #58 thru 61 of this thread; additional posts on this 'oil life' topic can also be found in the following related thread: https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/153-2019-powertrain-technical-discussion/2106-maintenance-schedule-2.html
 

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Sorry for my over simplified explanation
 

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I'm still at 30% oil life. I'm going to wait until it shows 15% because my fuel economy has been really good lately.
Interesting that you're still at 30% oil life. Since we're both low mileage drivers, I thought yours would trigger first since your build date was September (mine was October). However, you picked up your car in December later than I did (October), so maybe that explains the time-based oil life difference...?

I've been averaging 62 mpg, but temperatures are starting to drop. It will be hard for me to decouple how much upcoming mpg difference is due to 'natural' temperature difference (-25% hit?) and post-oil change fuel efficiency.
 

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Interesting that you're still at 30% oil life. Since we're both low mileage drivers, I thought yours would trigger first since your build date was September (mine was October). However, you picked up your car in December later than I did (October), so maybe that explains the time-based oil life difference...?

I've been averaging 62 mpg, but temperatures are starting to drop. It will be hard for me to decouple how much upcoming mpg difference is due to 'natural' temperature difference (-25% hit?) and post-oil change fuel efficiency.
The maintenance minder probably doesn't start calculating until the car is first turned on outside of the factory. Maybe when it gets to the dealership which takes a few weeks to a month.
 

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The maintenance minder probably doesn't start calculating until the car is first turned on outside of the factory. Maybe when it gets to the dealership which takes a few weeks to a month.
Hmm... I would think the quality checks before leaving the factory would trigger the clock to start (example in Accord video below)? I also had this impression since 2-3 forum members got the oil life reminder ~1 year from build date, despite short time of ownership/driving.

https://youtu.be/4zWh5nv-ePw?t=498
 

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Hmm... I would think the quality checks before leaving the factory would trigger the clock to start (example in Accord video below)? I also had this impression since 2-3 forum members got the oil life reminder ~1 year from build date, despite short time of ownership/driving.

https://youtu.be/4zWh5nv-ePw?t=498
When they do those quality checks I assume they have the car in some sort of diagnostic mode that prevents things like the odometer to start counting. I don't know maybe my maintenance minder is off a little...
 

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Hi All,
My 2019 Insight had its first Service at about 10,000 miles and the Maintenance Minder indicated it was time with the appropriate codes.
It's now been over a year and I have a little over 16,000 Miles and the Maintenance shows 40% oil life. Should I wait for the Maintenance Minder to come on? or Take it in for service? The service center chat guy said they would research and call me. I thought I'd research this on my own too.
Thank you,
Lonnie
 

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It's now been over a year and I have a little over 16,000 Miles and the Maintenance shows 40% oil life. Should I wait for the Maintenance Minder to come on? or Take it in for service? The service center chat guy said they would research and call me. I thought I'd research this on my own too.
Have the driving conditions been different from the first 10k miles (i.e. lower speeds, fewer hills, longer trips, lower outdoor temperatures, Econ mode)? Or could the maintenance minder have gotten accidentally reset sometime since last oil change (e.g. any other people using the car)?

I think you should get the oil changed on the basis of >1 year. Even before maintenance minders, that was the maximum life and recommended practice due to oil degradation.

Might also be worth having Honda Service check/diagnose components that are associated with the Maintenance Minder. These are 'indirect' electronic sensors for coolant temperature, rpm, speed, ambient temperature, drive time, number of starts/stops, throttle position, and engine timing/load.
 

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2019 Honda Insight EX (White Orchid Pearl)
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Hi All,
My 2019 Insight had its first Service at about 10,000 miles and the Maintenance Minder indicated it was time with the appropriate codes.
It's now been over a year and I have a little over 16,000 Miles and the Maintenance shows 40% oil life. Should I wait for the Maintenance Minder to come on? or Take it in for service? The service center chat guy said they would research and call me. I thought I'd research this on my own too.
Thank you,
Lonnie
4934


Oil needs to be change once a year even if the maintenance minder doesn't alert you.
 

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Have the driving conditions been different from the first 10k miles (i.e. lower speeds, fewer hills, longer trips, lower outdoor temperatures, Econ mode)? Or could the maintenance minder have gotten accidentally reset sometime since last oil change (e.g. any other people using the car)?

I think you should get the oil changed on the basis of >1 year. Even before maintenance minders, that was the maximum life and recommended practice due to oil degradation.

Might also be worth having Honda Service check/diagnose components that are associated with the Maintenance Minder. These are 'indirect' electronic sensors for coolant temperature, rpm, speed, ambient temperature, drive time, number of starts/stops, throttle position, and engine timing/load.
Thanks!
I'll take it in for service.
 
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