Any other helpful tips?
Yes, here are several more simple tips that will keep your Civic running at peak power and reliability for years to come.
1. Keep your tires properly inflated. You’d be surprised what an affect bad tire pressure can have on overall performance. Use your owner’s manual recommended tire pressure because optimal tire pressure is based on your vehicle’s weight, not the tire. If you run under-inflated, you’ll notice the side wear increases; over-inflated tires show more wear in the middle. The best time to check tire pressure is in the morning before you drive more than a few miles. You should re-check your tire pressure every month or so, or when the ambient temperature significantly changes (winter & summer).
2. Start using synthetic oil. It is best to switch to synthetic after your car has 3000 or more miles on it. Contrary to popular belief, synthetic oil is perfectly fine to use in older cars, even with more than 100,000 miles on them. If your car already leaks oil though, or has worn seals, using synthetic oil may cause slightly more leakage because of the oil’s superior flow properties. We consider Red Line to be the best synthetic out there, but there are plenty of other good brands such as Mobil 1.
3. Get a good quality oil filter. Two good ones that are commonly available are the Purolator PureONE (commonly available) and WIX. We recommend to stay away from FRAM filters just because the construction quality is not as good. A good filter will enhance oil flow and filter out more contaminants.
4. Get iridium spark plugs. Some newer Civics already come with iridium plugs. Iridium plugs give better fuel economy, increased power/acceleration and better throttle response. They last for a long time and are very easy to install. Just remember NOT to gap them – they come pre-gapped from the factory.
5. Change you transmission fluid about every 4 oil changes, or 16,000 miles. This will help preserve your gears and synchros, especially if you drive hard. Royal Purple makes transmission fluids that are of extremely high quality.
6. Get a set of magnetic drain plugs for your transmission and engine. Theses little things help to pick up a lot of metal particles that may be floating around in your transmission and engine. This will decrease engine / transmission wear and tear significantly. Make sure to clean off the drain plug after each fluid change.
7. Don’t run a higher octane fuel without a good reason. Use the octane specified in your owner’s manual unless you have modified your engine’s compression or power output significantly. Most Civics (except for the Si models) are designed to run best with 87 octane fuel. Octane is simply a fuel’s ability to resist detonation, meaning that it can withstand more heat before it ignites. High octane fuel is only suited for use in engines that create high cylinder pressures and a lot of heat. Many people think they can gain more power just by using higher octane fuel than specified in their owner’s manual. As long as the fuel does not pre-ignite, any grade of fuel will produce the same amount of power (again, assuming a mostly stock engine).
Note: There is one exception to this. If your engine has a lot of carbon buildup from years of use and you are “pinging” (a.k.a. knocking or detonating), using higher octane may help to alleviate the problem.
8. Use a fuel system cleaner. Despite what you might think from the previous two tips, it IS a good idea to use fuel system cleaners once in awhile (say every 6-8 months). There is not quite enough cleaner present in MOST gasolines to keep your valves and injectors from building up gunk. Some Honda dealers even do this as part of regular maintenance now.
That’s it! If you have a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help.