On 5/28/06 5:03 PM, in article email@example.com,
Took it to the Honda dealer today. The service rep claims that what I am
experiencing is 'normal' oil consumption. He cites some technical bulletin
written in 1988 that gives validity to the notion that a quart of oil lost
every 1000 miles is normal. I just spoke to Honda at their toll-free
customer service number and they are also claiming that this is their spec.
They are not willing to open the engine unless I foot the bill.
What to do now? My inclination is to let an authorized Honda service center
do an oil change and not add any oil for the next 3500 miles, letting the
engine burn up. I only hope that it doesn't choose to fail when I'm in it
with the family on a tall highway bridge. My warranty doesn't obligate me to
top it off between oil changes.
That's funny. My '88 Civic with 244,800 miles on it uses less than 0.25
quarts in 3000 miles. Moreover, a service bulletin written in 1988 is not
going to be applicable to a newer car. How could they have known what
problems a 2005 model, for example, was going to have in 1988?!?!?
You may need to get someone to be your advocate and deal with Honda. I
would take your car to a well respected independent Honda shop in your area
and have them change the oil and then document the consumption (and absence
of leaks). Then have them deal with Honda for you if they are willing,
e.g., you've been or will be a good customer of that particular shop.
Moreover, sometimes it's best to skip the dealer and go direct to Honda's
Actually, I'm pretty sure it does. You are required to properly
maintain the vehicle. Checking and adding oil is routine maintenance.
Read your owners manual.
Much better that you insist they document oil consumption by topping
it off and having you drive it for 1000 miles. If it takes more than
a quart to bring it back up to full, then your consumption exceeds the
limits of normal and repair is needed.
On 6/2/06 12:45 AM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org,
Well, that's what I did - I got them to do an oil change and documented the
miles. One thing they found was that the washer on the oil drain plug was
incorrect - a thin substitute for the thicker Honda part was in place. I
guess one of the other oil change places I took the van to put the wrong one
back on. I don't know if this could have had any role in the oil loss...
An incorrect washer might cause a leak problem but won't change oil
consumption. you would have to be making a huge mess for a leak to
cause measurable oil loss. Be aware that the correct washer is called
a crush washer because it is crushed when installed and should be
thinner when removed than before it was installed. That is why it
should be replaced each time.
If I understand correctly, the dealer has measured and acknowledged
that your consumption is greater than 1 qt./1000 mi. Hopefully you
have this documented in writing. If the dealer does acknowledge that
the engine needs repair, insist on talking to the Honda rep. The 1000
mile standard is barely justifiable as it is. Even being near it
should merit at least consideration for a warranty claim. If you are
over it, even by just a little, they should fix it.
Can the car really meet modern clean air standards burning oil like
My old Alfa Romeo required a quart every couple of fill-ups, but that
was a design "feature" described in the manual.
And we won't even talk about the 1960's two-cycle Saabs where you just
poured the quart right into the gas tank!
Daughter's Civic, 55,000 miles and just out of warranty, had the same
problem--oil didn't show up on the dip stick. Filled the oil to the full
mark and within 250 mi it was below the dip stick again. Because it was so
severe an oil loss, the Dealer got Honda's OK to look for the problem with
only parts to be charged. Found some cracked carbon valve seals, replaced
them and put things back together again. Same oil loss recurred. Honda
authorized as complete an engine teardown as needed to find and resolve with
no further $$$ charged. Tore the engine down and found some bad piston
rings; replaced them all and the oil loss problem went away. So she
basically ended up with a rebuilt engine *zero timed* for very little cost
to her. Honda's response to the problem was excellent, obviously their
concern and motivation was "How many more are there out there like this, is
there something about 55,000 mi. in this engine that we've got to worry
about and if so, what. She got the car new and was putting about 400-500 mi
a week on it so it was probably one of the fleet leaders in mileage.
Do you know if a compression test had been done prior to teardown and if the
rings were compression or oil control? I'd expect a dealer to do at least
one compression test (that probably came out okay enough) and swallow hard a
couple times before tearing an engine down.
Don't know what the dealer did to troubleshoot--In fact, before they even
started doing anything, they actually drained and refilled the oil and sent
her on her way. After the 250 mi and no oil on the dip stick they became
believers. Obviously, the cracked (broken) rings were not associated with
compression, the dealer wasn't that bad. Honda responded as well as they
did because 55,000 miles is relatively low for their engine and the need to
know if this was "one of a kind" or a symptom of "what was to come" from
that family. BTW, she ended up with over 200,000 miles before giving the
In most cases, if there is a defective ring--it can be detected by a
compression check. I was surprised that the Honda mechanic did not conduct
a compression check prior to a teardown of the engine. Perhaps the
mechanic conducted a compression check and done the teardown of the engine
as a direct result of the compression check test results.
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if they were an experienced professional, they'd know that a broken top
ring makes the most difference to compression [and little difference to
oil consumption], the second ring, much less to compression [and a
reasonable difference to oil consumption], and the oil control rings,
none at all to compression, [but a whole ship-load to oil consumption].
since oil loss is the the problem, and lack of compression apparently
not, what conclusions do you draw here about the efficacy of a
compression test here jason? hint: the professional mechanics' actions
here should give you a clue.
dude, compression can vary quite a lot from cylinder to cylinder, and
the engine still be perfectly serviceable with little oil consumption.
i respectfully suggest you either get some training and experience under
your belt OR you stick to topics you actually /do/ know about. thanks.
Uh, all ring sets contribute to compression AND oil control.
As an example, a couple of years ago I inherited an early 1980's Mazda
B2000 P/U with about 160K miles on the odometer that was running lousy
along with oil control problems. The reason, three pistons had broken
In real life, cause and effect can vary widely vs. the published word...
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