, Gloucester, MA


April 16, 2013

Change synthetic oil at least twice per year

Q: I purchased a 2011 Honda Odyssey van to go to Florida. The last trip coming home was rough, and as a result, we plan on flying to Florida. The van will just be an around-the-town vehicle. My question is, when will I need to change the oil? Honda says to use synthetic oil every 6,000 miles. Also, when do I flush everything that is in radiator, transmission, etc.? I estimate I’ll be driving approximately 4,000 to 6,000 miles a year.

A: The van will now be used around town more than on the highway, which means you are putting the vehicle through more torturous use. I would recommend an oil change at least twice a year. If your owner’s manual calls for synthetic oil, well, you have to use it in order to stay in compliance for warranty issues. Radiator and transmission flushes should be performed at either three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Further, I recommend having the tires rotated every six months in order to get the most out of your tires. Two fluids that should be checked for water content and cleanliness are the power steering fluid and the brake fluid. The Honda Odyssey has a great reputation, and it should give you years of trouble-free miles.

Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. Write to Larry at the Gloucester Daily Times, c/o Auto Scanner, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930, or

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