Perrya is a major car enthusiast and loves sharing his extensive vehicular knowledge with his readers.
Honda and other auto makers have their on-board computers monitor the car's service and condition. Based on the miles driven or elapsed time, the car's computer will give notices that services are due. Many times, the owner can actually do some of the services called for.
What Is a B12 Service?
The B12 service for the Honda is really a basic check performed by a Honda mechanic. It costs about $80 in parts and the remaining cost is labor at $120 or so an hour. A Honda mechanic can do this within 20 minutes, at most 30 minutes if taking their time. A dealer will charge a full hour.
This service consists of:
- oil and oil filter change
- air filter change
- cabin air filter change
- visual checks of fluids and refills (brake, tranny, windshield washer)
- visual checks of axle boots and brake pads
- tire rotation
The first three items can easily be done by the owner within 30 min. The cabin filter is behind the glove box, and the air filter can be easily accessed and changed if necessary (they don't always need to be changed). The oil change is a little more of a challenge but can be done in 10 min.
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The axle boot inspection is simply looking at the wheels from under the car. Axle boots are rubber and usually are where the rim location is. If they are ripped, they must be changed. This is where you do need a Honda mechanic!
Brake pads can be inspected with the wheel off the car. It can be difficult to get a good look at them. But if you need brake pads, not only will your car make a noise as you drive (like a scraping sound) but, on many models, your car computer will let you know. Again, you should have a Honda mechanic change the brake pads, unless you have done it yourself. Tire rotation is simply rotating tires from the rear to front and vice versa. Again, more easily done by a mechanic.
The B12 service really is overrated and costly. The tire rotation is really optional. A car can operate fine for a while with brake pads close to replacement thickness, depending on how often you brake. Axle inspection is visual. Thus, changing the oil is really the most important service, but again, you can put this off for a while. Changing the air and cabin filters is also optional, you may not need new ones, and in any case you are not likely to notice the difference.
The Honda mechanic will change the first three items even if not needed. Topping off the brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, is just too simple for the owner not to do.
So, in the end, the B12 service is something you can skip, if you have been changing the oil and other fluids yourself.
You can save $200+ dollars by doing it yourself.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.