The BATTERY CHARGE LOW or BATT LOW warning message on my dash is on. What does that mean and what should I do?
For vehicles equipped with the Battery Management System, this message occurs when the battery's State of Charge has dropped below a predetermined level. The message is intended to inform you that the battery requires charging to guarantee proper performance under all conditions (extremely cold conditions, high electrical system demands, etc). 

Conditions that may cause the battery charge to drop enough to prompt the BATTERY CHARGE LOW or BATT LOW message are:
  • Extended time spent with the ignition on, but the engine not running. The affect on the battery is made worse if the radio, lights, heater fan or other accessories are on at the same time.
  • Driving short trips repeatedly without a longer trip between them. The starter uses a lot of energy when starting the engine. If the engine is not run long enough, the charging system cannot recharge the battery to the level it was at before the engine was started. Running high-demand electrical accessories, such as seat heaters, can make this situation even worse.
  • Extremely cold weather is also hard on the battery. Not only does it require more energy to start the vehicle in the cold, but the battery just doesn't work as well.
If any of these conditions occur, and the battery charge drops below a certain level, the battery management system informs the driver that the battery may not be able to start the vehicle in extreme cases by illuminating the BATTERY CHARGE LOW or BATT LOW warning message. While this message does mean the battery charge is low, it usually does not mean that the battery won't start the engine. 

If you see the BATTERY CHARGE LOW or BATT LOW message, don't panic. It simply means the battery charge is lower than it should be. This can be fixed by taking longer trips between shorter trips, minimizing unnecessary electrical accessory usage during short trips, and spending less time using electrical accessories while the engine is not running. 

The battery management system is intended to protect the driver from allowing the battery charge to drop to a point where it cannot start the vehicle. By using it as a guide, not only will the life of the battery be extended, but the chances of the vehicle not starting due to a discharged battery will be greatly reduced. 

Where can I find out more about Bluetooth HandsFreeLink (phone compatibility, pairing a phone, etc)?

For information about Bluetooth HandsFreeLink (HFL), such as checking phone compatibility, how to pair a phone, or importing an address book, please visit // or call (888) 528-7876.

The battery was disconnected from my vehicle and now my radio display is flashing "CODE" and the radio doesn't work. Where can I find my radio code?
If an audio unit with theft protection is disconnected from electrical power, you must enter a unique code into the unit or it will not work. This code and the audio unit's serial number are listed on the anti-theft ID card that comes with the vehicle. If this card is lost, you must obtain the audio unit serial number in order to get the radio code. Once you have the audio unit serial number, you can go to the Radio & Navigation System Micro-site to retrieve your radio code. Some newer vehicles allow you to retrieve the audio unit serial number electronically from the radio. Refer to your owner's manual for the specific procedure. Most older vehicles (model year 2003 and older) require a visit to the dealer in order to retrieve the audio unit serial number. If dealer assistance is required to retrieve your serial number, the dealer will be able to provide the radio code as well.

How can I find out if my vehicle is affected by a campaign?
There are a number of ways to find out if your vehicle is affected by a campaign (recall, product update, or extended warranty). You can either call Automobile Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009 (press the appropriate option for Campaign information) or you can access information on any campaign affecting your vehicle through Owner Link.

How often do I need to change the oil in my vehicle?
There are many variables that determine how often an oil change is needed (climate, drive time, highway or city street driving, etc.). You should refer to the Scheduled Maintenance section in the appropriate owner's manual for specific information.

How often do I need to change the timing belt on my vehicle?
Depending on the model year of the vehicle, it is typically between 60,000 and 90,000 miles. If your vehicle has a timing chain, instead of a timing belt, replacement of the timing chain is not required. Refer to the Scheduled Maintenance section of the appropriate owner's manual for specific information.

My USB Audio Interface doesn't play music after upgrading to OS 4.0 on my iPhone/iPod touch.
A hard reset (complete power off) to the device should resolve this problem. To perform a hard reset, hold the home button (below the screen) and the stand-by button (on the top) until the device reboots (ignore the "slide to power off" and wait until the Apple logo appears). 

Note: if a non-reset OS 4.0 iPhone/iPod touch is connected to the vehicle and disconnected, other OS 3.x iPods/iPhones may not work until the vehicle has been restarted.

Is it possible to tow my Honda vehicle with all four wheels on the ground (dinghy towing)?
For model year 2006 and newer, if a Honda vehicle is approved for towing with all four wheels on the ground, it will be noted in the Owner's Manual for that vehicle. Please refer to the owner's manual for specific towing instructions. 

For model year 2005 and older, dinghy towing capability may or may not be possible. Please contact Honda Automobile Customer Service (800-999-1009) for additional information on whether or not your specific 2005 or older vehicle may be dinghy towable.

Where can I purchase an updated Navigation disc?
Updated Navigation DVDs can be purchased at You can also access this link through Owner Link if you have registered a vehicle that has a navigation system.

Why do my brakes make a squealing noise sometimes when I apply them lightly at low speeds?
As described in some owner's manuals, the squealing noise is caused by high-frequency vibration of the brake pads against the rotating brake disc. Vibration is the unavoidable result of friction generated by the pads as the caliper clamps them against the rotating disc. Under average braking conditions, some brake noise is normal and cannot be eliminated. 

Normally, the shims and the high-temperature grease between the pads and the brake caliper dampen and isolate most of the vibration. The level of vibration, however, is affected by outside temperature and humidity, by road conditions (mud, dust, and road salt), and by the condition or thickness of the brake pad material. 

If the squealing noise is abnormally loud, have the brakes inspected and checked for pad wear.

Why do my brakes make a single "click" noise when I back out of a parking place and once again when I drive forward?
A clearance between the brake caliper brackets and the ends of the brake pads allows for heat expansion and avoids corrosion between the caliper bracket and the brake pads. That clearance can cause the pads to hit the caliper brackets when you first apply the brakes in a new directions of travel. When you back up and apply the brakes and then drive forward and apply the brakes, the single "click" noise you hear is a normal characteristic of the brake system.

Why do I hear a groaning noise when I start my car and then leave for work in the morning?
On models with a compact anti-lock brake system (ABS) unit, the vehicle's ABS emits a brief grunt or groan when it does a self-check. The self-check occurs when a vehicle is backed up or driven forward after being started. The groaning noise associated with the ABS self-check is a normal characteristic; it doesn't mean there is a problem with the ABS.

Why does my brake pedal sometimes feel like it sinks when I'm holding my car stopped at a light?
This change in brake pedal height is caused by an increase in engine vacuum. The "power brakes" system in most modern vehicles uses engine vacuum to boost the amount of force applied to the brake pedal by the driver of the car. The device that does this, called the brake "booster", makes it easier for the driver to stop the vehicle. 

Engine vacuum is affected by many different conditions. Engine vacuum is highest when all accessories are off and the accelerator pedal is released (low load), and lowest when all accessories are turned on and the accelerator pedal is held to the floor (high load). Any change in engine vacuum (load) can affect the amount of "assist," or boost, provided by the brake booster.
One system that applies a noticeable load to the engine is the air conditioning. During normal operation, the air conditioning system constantly cycles on and off, changing the amount of load on the engine. When the air conditioning cycles off, the load on the engine is decreased and the amount of engine vacuum is increased. If the driver is applying the brake pedal when the air conditioning cycles off, the increase in engine vacuum increases the amount of boost applied to the brake pedal. That increase is felt as a slight drop in brake pedal height and is a normal characteristic.

When I look through the side of the windshield on my car, it's all wavy and distorted. Is this normal?
This distortion is called "cross-car distortion." You will notice it when you're watching a vehicle cross in front of your car and also when you're turning left and looking through the right side of the windshield at other vehicles. Front-seat passengers see the same distortion when they look through the left side of the windshield. Since cross-car distortion occurs when you look through the glass at an angle, it may be even more noticeable for short drivers. Wearing nonprescription sunglasses, which tend to reduce depth perception, also may increase the perceived distortion.
Some cross-car distortion exists in the windshields of Honda vehicles manufactured since 1994. In fact, all of these recent Honda windshields have this distortion to some degree, and the condition should be considered normal. Because the aerodynamic windshield of recent Hondas is at more of an angle than in the past, the cross-car distortion may be slightly more noticeable, even though the jump distortion is at the same low level as before. These windshields meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for glazing materials, and this minor distortion is allowable within the industry specifications for automotive glass.

Is it normal for my head lights to dim slightly and then come back to normal while my car is stopped at a light?
This is a normal characteristic and is caused by variations in the electrical system created by the onboard computer. The computer controls the output of the electrical charging system to improve fuel economy and minimize vehicle vibration. 

While the engine is at idle, the computer monitors the electrical usage of the car and then controls the electrical charging system so that it charges just enough to keep up with demand. This change reduces the load on the engine and, in turn, increases fuel economy and reduces vehicle vibration. As electrical accessories turn on and off, the computer changes the rate of electrical charge in response to the changes in demand for electricity. As the computer responds to the addition of electrical load, you may notice a momentary dimming of the lights. For example, the headlights or instrument panel lights may briefly dim as the air conditioning cycles on.

If my vehicle has a branded or "Salvage" title, is the warranty still valid?
Honda vehicles with titles that have been branded as salvaged, scrapped, or dismantled are no longer covered by the new car warranty, with the exception of some emissions warranties and safety recalls. For further information regarding the branding of vehicle titles, please contact your state's department of motor vehicles.

Can I change the size of the tires on my vehicle?
Honda does not recommend modifying the vehicle in any manner, including changing the original tire size or the suspension. Honda vehicles meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards when they are originally distributed, and modification could affect the safety and/or operation of the vehicle, as well as remove it from compliance with specifications and standards mandated by the Federal Government. As with any modification, if a failure occurs on the vehicle that can be attributed to the modification, the warranty on the affected components may be voided.

Who should I contact regarding the tire warranty on my Honda vehicle?
The tires that come as original equipment on your vehicle are warranted by their manufacturer and not Honda. The tire warranty information is located in the glove box of the vehicle. 

For additional warranty information or service assistance, contact the tire manufacturer directly. 

Consumer Affairs Dept.
P.O. Box 7988
Chicago, IL 60680-9534
(800) 367-3872 

Continental/General Tire
1800 Continental Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28273
(800) 847-3349 

Goodyear/Dunlop Tire Corporation
1144 East Market Street
Akron, OH 44316-0001
(800) 321-2136 

Michelin Tires
Customer Relations Dept.
P.O. Box 19001
Greenville, SC 29602-9001
(800) 847-3435 

Yokohama Tires
601 South Acacia Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831
(800) 722-9888 

These addresses and phone numbers are subject to change. Contact your Gardena Honda for current information.

What do the sidewall markings on my tire mean?
The sidewall markings on a tire provide descriptive information about the tire's design. The following refers to the tire illustration below with the sidewall marking of 225/50R16:
  • 225 - This number specifies the width in millimeters (i.e. 225 mm)
  • 50 - This number is the Aspect Ratio, the ratio of sidewall height to width
  • R - Radial
  • 16 - This number designates the tire's diameter in inches (i.e. 16")
  • 92 - This number indicates the tire's load-carrying capacity, known as the Load Index; as the number for the load index increases so does the load-carrying capacity (All passenger car tires in the U.S. are also marked with their actual load limit in pounds)
  • V - This letter denotes the Speed Rating, the maximum tire speed under controlled test conditions ("V" in this example is one of several types of speed ratings)
  • psi (pounds per square inch) - The maximum cold inflation rating for the tire
  • DOT (Department of Transportation) - This symbol indicates the tire meets or exceeds United States DOT safety standards; the letters and numbers following the DOT symbol provide information about the tire manufacturer, tire size, and the date it was manufactured

What is the VIN?
The Vehicle Identification Number, commonly referred to as the VIN, is a sequence of 17 letters and numbers that is uniquely assigned for each vehicle. The VIN can usually be found on the driver's side dashboard near or under the bottom portion of the windshield. It can also be found in various other places on the vehicle, including the certification label found on the driver's doorjamb. 

The VIN provides some information about the vehicle. It is typically composed of four sections. The first three digits are called the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). This identifies where the vehicle was manufactured or assembled and the type of vehicle it is. Honda has factories in Japan, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Each factory has it's own identifying code. For example, a VIN starting with 1HG identifies a passenger vehicle manufactured at Honda of America, while 2HG identifies a passenger vehicle manufactured at Honda of Canada. Honda currently has 10 different manufacturing locations. 

The next five digits (4 through 8) are the Vehicle Description Section (VDS). These digits provide information on the engine type, body style, and vehicle model type. The ninth digit is a check digit used internally. The 10th digit indicates the model year; letters (except "O" and "Z") were used for vehicles up to the 2000 model year while numbers are used for 2001 and newer vehicles. For example, "X" means the 1999 model year, "Y" is the 2000 model year and "1" represents the 2001 model year. The 11th digit is the plant code. Finally, digits 12 - 17 are the serial number, which is unique to each vehicle.

Does Honda offer seat belt extenders to increase the length of the seat belt?
No, Honda does not offer seat belt extenders for any of our vehicles. Although some auto manufacturers do offer extenders, Honda believes they are not the best or the safest solution for our customers. As required by Federal Standards, Honda's seat belts are designed to fit 95% of all U.S. adults in any seating position. 

Before buying a car, you should first sit in the intended seating position and adjust the seat to the most comfortable position. If you don't feel comfortable (your legs or stomach are touching the steering wheel, or you cannot reach and operate the controls), then you cannot safely operate the vehicle and should look for a larger car.

Can I use E85 fuel in my Honda vehicle?
No. E85 is a fuel being promoted by some other vehicle manufacturers. No current Honda products are compatible with E85. Refer to the owner's manual for gasoline requirements. 

Does Honda recommend snow tires during the winter for better performance?
For most vehicles, Honda does recommend using snow tires or chains in snowy or icy conditions. Refer to your owner's manual for information and recommendations for your specific vehicle.

What are PAX Tires?
The PAX Tire System is the latest in "run-flat" tire technology that, in the event of a tire puncture, allows a driver to remain in control of the vehicle and continue driving for up to 125 miles at speeds up to 50 miles an hour on a deflated tire. For more information on PAX tires, go to

Can snow chains be used on PAX tires?
Yes, the recommendation for snow chains on vehicles with PAX tires is located in the owner's manual. It is recommended that customers contact their local auto parts store to obtain snow chains.

Are PAX snow tires available for my vehicle?
PAX snow tires are currently available for the Honda Odyssey Touring model. Contact your dealer for assistance in obtaining these tires.

Can PAX tires be replaced with non-PAX tires?
No. PAX wheels will only accommodate PAX tires. Use of non-PAX tires will disable the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and is not recommended.

How far can a PAX-equipped vehicle be driven with a flat tire?
PAX-equipped vehicles may be driven up to 125 miles at up to 50 miles per hour.

How do PAX tires compare to regular tires for wear?
While tread life is determined by multiple variables that include speed, load, road surface abrasiveness and crown, driving habits and temperatures, PAX System tires should provide tread life comparable to a corresponding Michelin tire.

Do warranty repairs have to be completed at the dealership where the car was originally purchased?
No. Warranty repairs can be performed at any authorized Honda dealership.

How do I get the extra accessories (bag with leash and other items) that are included in the Dog Friendly Element Package?
To receive the Dog Friendly Extras portion of your package, including personalized items, you must fill out and send your mail-in order card. It can be found in the Dog Friendly Honda Element User's Information Manual (this is different than your Element Owner's Manual), which came with your new Element. You should receive your extras in 2-3 weeks. More information

Learn more about the Dog Friendly Package

I sent in the fulfillment card from the Element Dog Friendly User's guide but I haven't received the "Extras." What should I do?
You should have received an order confirmation email with a FedEx tracking number for your shipment. If you have not received your "Dog Friendly Extras" within 3 weeks, please track your shipment through FedEx. Should you have problems or concerns, give us a call at 1-800-999-1009.

How can I get additional Dog Friendly Extras?
If you've already received your included extras but still want more, feel free to order additional items at

Can the Honda Element Dog Friendly Package be applied to Element LX models or to models prior to 2009 model year?
The Element Dog Friendly Package was specifically designed for 2009-2010 Honda Element EX models and is not recommended for other trims or model years. 

I recently purchased a new Element EX. Can I purchase the Dog Friendly Package to turn it into a Dog Friendly Element?
Yes, the Dog Friendly Element Package can be installed on 2009 and 2010 Element EX models. Please see your Honda Dealer.

Learn more about the Dog Friendly Package

How can I get a replacement key for my Honda vehicle?
Any Honda dealer can provide you with a replacement key.

Where can I find Warranty information for my Honda vehicle?
Warranty information can be found in a number of different places. The most complete warranty information can be found in the Warranty booklet supplied with your vehicle. If the Warranty booklet is no longer with the vehicle, the same information can be found online through Owner Link. To access the information in Owner Link, you must first register and enter your vehicle information. The warranty information can then be accessed for each vehicle. To register for an Owner Link account, go to the Owner Link website: 

If you are not currently a Honda owner or prefer not to register for an Owner Link account, basic warranty information can be accessed by completing a search for "Certified Used Cars" in the search box located in the upper right hand corner of this webpage. Click on the "Certified Used Car" link and then pick the Warranty tab. This will provide new car warranty information as well as warranty information for certified used cars. 

Basic warranty information for current model year vehicles can be found on the Owner Resources page.