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2004 Acura TSX Oil Consumption

Hello. I have a question about what is considered a normal amount of oil consumption for this car. Bought the car last May from dealer (Certified Acura) at 42 k and in November had to add 4 quarts of oil when car was at 47 k. Took to Acura dealer and wondered whether oil might not have been full when i drove off lot after purchase. Anyway we began a documentation process. A month later car took 1/2 quart at 48k, and recently added 3 quarts at 52k. Dealer states Acura Company says this car will consume more oil than usual - service manager says this is normal for VTEC engine. They tell me car could consume 1/2 quart for 1,000 miles and that Acura says this is to be expected.

There is no oil leak, and car not exhaling gray smoke. Any advice for me?

Most vehicle manufacturers consider a quart of oil every 1,000 miles as normal consumption.


Most manufacturers consider any oil usage under 1qt per 1000 miles to be within the normal rage. Yours is using 1qt every 2000 miles.

By the way, don’t let it get down to 3 quarts low again. That is a no-no. Do that and you have only yourself to blame for early engine demise. Monitor the oil regularly.

I suggest you get in the habit of checking the oil more often. Having to add three quarts of oil means there’s not much left in the engine, and serious damage could result.

My '97 Acura consumes ZERO oil between 5,000 mile oil changes, but its engine is different from the one in your TSX. Most manufacturers will accept up to a quart of oil consumption in 1,000 miles as “normal.”

If you’re losing 1/2 qt. per 1,000 miles that’s not too bad. That’s about what my Subaru uses.

I have a 2004 TSX that is now using 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles. Acura first told me that using a quart every 1,100 was “within industry standards,” but when the tests showed the usage to be a quart every 1,000 miles, they just lowered the industry standard! I think this is nuts – if they advertised their cars as using 1 quart every 1,000 miles they would never sell a single car. The TSX runs as wonderfully as ever, but the resale value has to be very low given the excessive oil usage. Has anyone gotten Acura/Honda to do anything to fix the problem? How widespread is the problem – or is it just a handful of cars? I drive the car pretty easily, have never red-lined it, and change the oil every 3,500 miles.

There is a difference in oil “burn off” and some brands are better than others. Switch the brand of oil you use.

If it were my car I’d use a “full synthetic” such as Mobil 1 or Amsoil. The high quality synthetics burn off the least. My guess is your car is set up to run hot, which thins the oil and it vaporizes. This effect should be minimal with a synthetic.

Try it next oil change and check your oil level frequently (at least every 1,000 miles) and see if there is a difference. Or, keep using conventional oil and buy 3 to 4 quarts on sale somewhere and keep them for topping off between oil changes.

The truth is oil consumption is based off luck, driving habits, and maintenance.

You have no control driving habits and maintenance before your ownership. EVERY single car make has a model that consumes engine oil, just luck of the draw combined with the other two factors(maintenance,driving style) that make the difference.

It does not matter a bit if another car of a poster does this or that in 500k miles. It is case specific with way too many variables.

Watch your consumption and hope if it gets worse it is still under Acura’s warranty.

If I am reading your post correctly, it appears that you did not check the oil from May until November, a period in which you drove ~5,000 miles. If I am correct in my interpretation, all I can say is that your hands-off approach to maintaining your car does not promise great things for this car’s future.

As to the car’s apparent oil consumption, 4 qts over a total of 5,000 miles is “within industry standards”, or within normal limits. However, I do want to point out that running a car when it is low on oil can drastically accelerate engine wear, so if the previous owner–like you–allowed the crankcase level to fall to the point where 1 qt of oil was doing the work of 5 qts, then it is likely that the current oil consumption is higher than it used to be, and higher than it should be at 47k on the odometer.

Since the rate of oil consumption is still withing industry norms, all you can do (actually, what you SHOULD do) is to monitor the oil level every few weeks. As soon as you see the level drop by 1/2 qt, replenish the oil so that it is at a normal level on the dipstick. By checking the oil frequently, you can help to prevent further engine wear from running the engine on a dangerously low level of oil, and, in case the rate of consumption does increase, you will be aware of it.

It’s hard to believe you bought a car and then drove it for six months without once checking the oil. For future reference, that’s a really bad idea that could easily cost you thousands of dollars for a new engine. You need to check the oil regularly.