oil predicament - Honda Civic Forum



Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 07-08-2010   #1
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oil predicament

I have posted about this problem before. 2001 d172a2 manual tranny.
160xxx miles in an em2 model.
modded stuff on my sig. anyway, i pull 1 quart of oil every oil change. there are NO leaks.
the CEL comes on and the motor will idle at way lower than 500 RMP Before that the motor will refuse to break 3800 RPMs to hit Vtec. I add a quart of oil and its good a bit later. I am thinking it is over heating because this only happens when I drive it VERY hard. Like when me and friends are pushing for the fun of it.
I am thinking to change to a heavier oil than 5-20 because I don't think it is enough for the driving I do. When I daily drive everything is fine and I am thankful that the motor is protecting itself. But in reality if I need the oil to stay and not burn off what are my choices here? I have had 5-30 put in it but I am thinking 10-30. any thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2010   #2
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Re: oil predicament

I have a similar issue with my car 138k miles. No leaks just burning oil but I don't have any smoking to my knowledge. You can try 10W 30, as I have but its still burning. If anything figured it would protect the engine from the extreme weather we've been having in the north east.
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Old 07-08-2010   #3
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Re: oil predicament

try 5w30 first. u should be ok with that.

also use valvoline maxlife since ur car has high miles. the extra count in moly in maxlife is good for ur seals n stuff.
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Old 07-08-2010   #4
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Re: oil predicament

Quote:
Originally Posted by MajinB View Post
I have posted about this problem before. 2001 d172a2 manual tranny.
160xxx miles in an em2 model.
modded stuff on my sig. anyway, i pull 1 quart of oil every oil change. there are NO leaks.
the CEL comes on and the motor will idle at way lower than 500 RMP Before that the motor will refuse to break 3800 RPMs to hit Vtec. I add a quart of oil and its good a bit later. I am thinking it is over heating because this only happens when I drive it VERY hard. Like when me and friends are pushing for the fun of it.
I am thinking to change to a heavier oil than 5-20 because I don't think it is enough for the driving I do. When I daily drive everything is fine and I am thankful that the motor is protecting itself. But in reality if I need the oil to stay and not burn off what are my choices here? I have had 5-30 put in it but I am thinking 10-30. any thoughts?
1 quart every oil change is nothing. How many miles do you go between changes?
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Old 07-08-2010   #5
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Re: oil predicament

I dont know if ya wanna try it or not, but you could put some engine restorer in you oil. I have heard through a few friends that it helps out in the burning oil department. Make sure its for the 4 cylinder engine though!
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Old 07-08-2010   #6
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Re: oil predicament

I agree one quart of oil per oil change really is not major loss. Start by changing to 5w30, don't go 10w30 because its too heavy for the d17. Does the temperature gauge fluctuate? Why do you think your overheating? Does the gauge not work? If its overheating you probably would have blown a head gasket by now and have obvious signs of coolant loss and other overheating related failures. I say with 160k miles keep driving it the way it is until the engine finally gives out. Then replace the engine with a lower mileage one. It's probably cheaper than any kind of internal fix you might need (if any).

Also make sure you get your CEL checked. It will probably tell you whats wrong with the car. Codes get stored so the shop should be able to retrieve it, even if its not showing at the time of check.
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Old 07-08-2010   #7
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Re: oil predicament

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Originally Posted by mr22508 View Post
I dont know if ya wanna try it or not, but you could put some engine restorer in you oil. I have heard through a few friends that it helps out in the burning oil department. Make sure its for the 4 cylinder engine though!
none of that crap works. they're all gimicks..

and even if it did work, why one earth couldnt u use it for a 6cyl? because adding 2 more cyl will turn the treatment into sugar right?
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Old 07-09-2010   #8
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Re: oil predicament

use maxlife 5w30 and add a bottle of auto-rx. its the only oil additive that actually does anything (besides lubecontrol). it should cut the oil burning down by half at least. check auto-rx.com for more info and how to use it. works wonders in older engines that either have deposits or burn oil. after the auto-rx treatment, start using lubecontrol.com lc20 in the oil and fp plus in gas.
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Old 07-09-2010   #9
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Re: oil predicament

ok misunderstandings in my post. let me explain.
1. there is no smoke that i see. or anyone else sees i ask all the time.
2. i am not losing 1 quart per oil change. i do an oil change every 3 months regardless of mileage.
3. when I drain the old oil out the only thing that comes out is ONE QUART of oil. that means my car burned off 3 quarts in 3 months. or more when my motor starts flipping out. keep in mind this is only when i drive hard.
4. CEL codes HAVE been checked. it is the VTEC selenoid not engaging because I don't have enough oil to engage VTEC. how do i know this? I got the code checked the first time it happened. add oil, light goes away.
5. i do believe this is from the extreme heat here in GA. 90+ and me redlining will cause burn. plus if i run the air(i really have to sometimes even though i prefer windows down) its more strain as i try to go 80 MPH
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Old 07-09-2010   #10
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Re: oil predicament

I don't think extreme heat would cause you to burn that much oil. Also, if you notice the oil is burning you should be topping it up weekly to make sure your at the optimal level. To me it sounds like something wrong internally, it's possible your valve seals are toast
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Old 07-09-2010   #11
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Re: oil predicament

This thread makes me think more is wrong with my car than I wanna know.. Last oil change I did I pulled out just over a quart (3xxx mile oil change). I'm only at 1155xx miles, too
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Old 07-09-2010   #12
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Re: oil predicament

Run gasoline 15-40 for a thousand kms or so. MAKE SURE it's gasoline 15-40, not the diesel stuff. It'll run you a fair chunk of change, but i found it worth it. I did this with my stock engine. It didn't make the smoke disappear by any means, but it did help. And like 'tbohar' said, your valve seals could be cooked. Burning oil is a classic Honda problem, and the valve seals seem to be the biggest causing claim.
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Old 07-09-2010   #13
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Re: oil predicament

how do you guys let your oil get so low? im shocked the engine still runs lol. i never let it get down past the min line on our other cars. just keep checking and filling every week if you have to. my civic never burns oil, even with hard driving tho...
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Old 07-09-2010   #14
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Re: oil predicament

yeah technically your suppose to check the oil every time you fill your gas up.
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Old 07-09-2010   #15
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Re: oil predicament

I'm surprised too. Mine NEVER gets below the LOW line. I just ran 5000 miles on an oil change and I didn't burn any at all. That's with 95k miles on the engine. I check my oil regularly though. If your burning that much oil it might be time to pull the head and get everything checked out. Otherwise you won't have an engine for much longer Hopefully you can do the work yourself !
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Old 07-09-2010   #16
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Re: oil predicament

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
how do you guys let your oil get so low? im shocked the engine still runs lol. i never let it get down past the min line on our other cars. just keep checking and filling every week if you have to. my civic never burns oil, even with hard driving tho...
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlife9 View Post
yeah technically your suppose to check the oil every time you fill your gas up.
These guys are right. I always check my oil when I get gas no matter what. And Why do you just let it get so low, your not suppose to do that. Sounds kinda like that one guy on another thread where when he does a oil change and he runs his car with no oil to drain it all out lol. Always keep your oil level above the bottom dot.

Last edited by 02civicsi02; 07-09-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010   #17
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Re: oil predicament

I've got 120k km on my engine. I check the oil once a week, but I very rarely add need to add oil.

I've tried both 5w-20 and 5w-30 Royal Purple in my engine, and I find the 5w-30 burns even less than the 20. I also find the bottom end performs a little better with the 30 in it.
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Old 07-10-2010   #18
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Re: oil predicament

well the motor has fail safes that activate. and I can't check my oil every time I get gas. thats too much work for me. if I wanted to do that I wouldn't drive a civic. idk how i am burning so much oil either but there really is no smoke.
something is wrong i just don't know what it is. there are no leaks.
one occasion 2 weeks ago i put a quart in the car after the CEL came on and the motor was acting up. this was a thursday night? friday/saturday i had to do the same. how the **** did I burn a quart of oil in a day or 2??? driving hard is the only explanation. that and the extra strain from the AC and going 80 mph.

question is where am i burning said oil?
heres the thing about 5-30. when its hot, its still the 5, not the 30 part. so thats why i was thinking 10-30 instead. or is this the wrong philosophy here? i could try 5-30. but if we are talking viscosity here on a hot day it won't matter if its 5-30 or 5-20 right?
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Old 07-10-2010   #19
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Re: oil predicament

You might only be burning oil in the higher RPM range as you suggested. It's not likely your going to see smoke in the high RPM range unless someone is following you looking for it. That being said, I'm not totally sure what would cause oil burn in the higher RPMs. I have a feeling valve seals are not too far off though
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Old 07-10-2010   #20
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Re: oil predicament

the first number is cold viscosity, second number is hot. my car has all sorts of problems with 5w20 in the summer. in winter its fine. but now i always use 5w30 and never had issues. with 5w20, i would constantly have vtec problems and oil leaks. its too thin of an oil for driving in temps above 70F. only reason honda decided to recommend 5w20 is for the marginal gas mileage improvement. the engine works better with 5w30.
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Old 07-10-2010   #21
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Re: oil predicament

omg when you drain you only get 1 qt out? yeah youre definitely going to get a bad idle and no vtec if its only sitting at that low of a level. if youre checking every week or two, i dont see how youd ever need to add in more than 1/8 qt at all.

you should have started using valvoline max life at 110-120k miles, and youre at over 160. if youre using 5-20, thats what you should continue to use, especially in that climate. i personally only use 5-30 but the climate here is way colder. have you actually tried to use a cycle of maxlife yet? try that and see what the result is.

also i didnt see anyone ask, but even though you dont see any smoke, the oil is obviously burning if its not leaking out. do you have any grime or char on the bumper?

Last edited by unTuned; 07-10-2010 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 07-10-2010   #22
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Re: oil predicament

hey gearbox sorry i got the numbers mixed up. i thought the first number was when it gets hot and the second was when its cold.
yea i guess 5-30 would work.
the only reason i came onto this was because i was wanting a RX8 and read about the problems it had with 5-20 and burning it because it revs too much and gets too hot. i figured it might be the same for my car.
I will try 5-30 and see what happens.
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Old 07-10-2010   #23
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Re: oil predicament

5w-30 will do better. I was using 5w-20 for a while and seen alittle bit more oil burning than usual so I changed to 5w-30 and it works out a hole lot better
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Old 07-11-2010   #24
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Re: oil predicament

vtec does burn some oil as normal operation, but not so much that you would be below the min line. 5w20 is only good if you drive slow and live in colder climates with mild summers.
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Old 09-21-2010   #25
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Re: oil predicament

Try Maxlife 5-30. You have the mileage you have a small oil consumption, should work. Change in 5 k miles, see what happens.
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