Maintain my 2008 Honda Civic LX

Hello, I recently purchased an automatic transmission 2008 Honda Civic LX with 56,000 miles and I am compiling a list of all preventative maintenance items that I should address to keep my car running like a top. My 97 Civic LX just died, so I would like to maintain it as well as I can.

I like to do things myself to save money, but I am not super knowledgeable about cars. I don't have a garage or all of the proper tools, but I learned a lot while working on my 97 LX. I am prepared to keep up with this car religiously.

Here are some of the things I've thought of, but if you could answer my questions, and also add to the list of things I should keep up with, I would greatly appreciate it!

-How often should I change the oil? I've been wondering about changing it more often than recommended. I assume I should continue using synthetic oil. Are there better brands for synthetic oil? How about brand and type of oil filter?

-My power windows in my 97 had some troubles. Should I silicone spray my windows' side trims to help them slide better, and help the motor switches last longer?

-What are thoughts on fuel additives? Oil treatment additives? Engine treatments? Injector cleaner? Which are the best brands/types? Should I even use them? How often? I've seen products such as SeaFoam, Gumout, Lucas, Chemtool, STP, and other brands.

-Should I change the power steering fluid? What brand replacement fluid should I use? How often? Is this something I can do myself? I would be checking YouTube, and I also have a buddy with a garage who can help.

-Should I change the brake fluid? How often? Just DOT 3? I assume there's a video on youtube with instructions.

-Should I change the automatic transmission fluid? How often? I've read that I shouldn't "flush". Could someone explain the difference between "flush" and "drain and refill", and why I should or should not? The Owner's Manual says I should use Honda ATF-Z1 fluid

-Should I change the coolant/antifreeze? How often? Manual says to use Type 2.

-The seller told me I need a new battery. I was pricing them and found CA: 512, CCA: 410, RC: 70m for $70 w/ 2 year warranty OR CA: 625, CCA: 500, RC: 85m for $80 w/ 3 yr warranty (I use coupon codes at Advance Auto Parts online). Is the $80 overkill? Thoughts on car battery selection?

-How often should I change the air filter? Are there preferred types/brands? I've heard of one that you reuse and add oil, but I figure I don't mind spending $10-15 periodically for a new normal dry filter. I used to buy FRAM filters from Wal-Mart.

-How often should I change the cabin air filter?

-I read that changing the fuel filter is unnecessary, especially because I think it's located in the fuel tank of my 2008 Civic LX.

-Should I clean the mass air flow sensor? I got CRC brand spray.

-Should I clean the throttle body? I purchased CRC brand spray.

-How often should I rotate the tires?

-I used to purchase cheap tires, but should I be looking for anything particular when buying new tires for this 2008?

-I check the tire pressure pretty often, especially with free air and digital gauge at some gas stations

-I'll change tires when the tread is low

-How often should I get a wheel alignment?

-Should I spray the undercarriage during the winter with water to remove salt? Just wondering if spraying water on the exhaust in the winter would cause freezing and damage.

-Is there a way to keep the muffler from rusting? I had an issue with my 1997 LX muffler rusting. The weep hole kept rusting closed, causing the muffler to fill up with water.

-Do I need to change the PCV valve?

-Change spark plugs and wires? How often?

-Check and change hoses. How often?

-Change brake pads and rotors. How often? I'm pretty sure I have drum brakes in the rear. Are those difficult to change?

-Check belts. How often?

-This is my first automatic transmission vehicle. Should I use the parking brake when parking? I've heard its better to use the brake than the just having the transmission in park.

-Opinions on when to fill gas tank? Should I not let it get less than 1/4?

-I read that there is NO idle air control valve in a 2008, so that won't need cleaning.

-I believe this has a timing chain, not a belt. Is there any upkeep on a timing chain?

If anyone can think of anything I forgot, or provide more insight on maintaining my vehicle, I appreciate it. Thanks!

Wow hoss that is a lot of questions for your first posting. Change your oil following the cars oil reminder and it will be fine.
Your windows will be better off if you pop the door panels off and regrease the tracks underneath with good grease.
Fuel additives are mostly just smoke and mirrors. I do use Lucas fuel treatment maybe twice in the winter tho.
I use advance batteries myself with never any problems. I stick to the top series advance batteries just for the extra coca.
Transmission is kinda tricky in these cars. There is a difference between a flush and a fluid change at shops. If you do it yourself you will need at least 12 to 16 qts. You can't drain all the fluid out in one shot. You drain refill, drive maybe 100-200 miles and repeat that 2 more times.
I'll try to remember to get back to ya on the rest. Mainly follow your manual for proper service intervals.
I almost need 2 screens to finish replying to your whole post.
A lot of people use various brands of oil. As long as you change the oil when it's supposed to and you use one of the bigger brands your fine with oil brand. Brake fluid and power steering fluid change I've personally never done that ever on a car I've owned. My 08 has 170k on it. Changing your spark plugs and air filter should be done following your manual maintenance intervals. I do not recommend cleaning your mass air sensor or your throttle body unless your having problems. At that point make sure you get someone experienced to help you.


fill it with wires!
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5+ Year Member
@joenobodyyet, congrats on the new car :thumbs up Glad to see someone eager for maintenance, doing those tasks yourself can be really rewarding and educational!

In brief:

A good service manual is worthwhile, and they usually provide intervals for most of the tasks you're interested in.

I'd stick with stock oil change intervals, the key is to be reliable about it. Which brand to go with is a religious war.. I'd just recommend you try a couple brand names and then settle on one, and shy away from generic brand oil.

Changing automatic transmission fluid is a tricky subject. The fluid is supposed to be changed on an interval, but I'd say the vast majority of people forgo this.. Then after too long has passed changing the fluid can just free up debris and ruin the transmission. So if it's been flushed and changed at the right intervals previously, then keep doing it. Otherwise give it some serious consideration first.

I don't know about newer Civics, but my 98 has a filter "sock" on the gas pump in the tanks, and then a real fuel filter located on the fuel line to the engine. The sock pretty much lasts the life of the pump, but the fuel filter in the engine bay needs replacing every now and then, but usually has gradual symptoms to let you know it's time.

Change the PCV valve when it breaks or causes a CEL. Usually you can just clean them out with solvent instead of replacing them though.

You can test spark plug wires with a multimeter. Once they have a certain electrical resistance through them, it's time to replace.

Fuel additives are like oil, but even more of a religious war. In the past I've put SeaFoam in my gas and my car didn't blow up :what: I'm inclined to believe those products are rarely necessary or suitable for a well maintained vehicle though.

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