2016 Honda CR-V - Oil life question

I enjoy reading your weekly column in the Minneapolis StarTribune. I have a 2016 Honda CRV with the “feature” that supposedly tells me the remaining useful life of the engine oil. Your column and Bob Weber’s Motormouth column both appear on the same page of the Saturday StarTribune so I’m not sure which column this was in, but a few weeks ago, one of the columns suggested going by the useful life indicator rather than the mileage between oil changes to save on “unnecessary” oil changes. In today’s column, you suggest changing oil every 5,000 or 7,500 miles, or 10,000 if using synthetic. Could you please clarify one more time?

Ray doesn’t post here and I don’t think he reads our posts but let me see if I can clarify things. The vehicle he was writing about was a 2011. Vehicles that old don’t generally have oil life monitors and this was a 2011 Hyundai. In the absence of a reliable oil life monitor you should go by mileage and time. There’s usually a recommendation in your Owner’s Manual, something on the order of every 6,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. But if you have a newish vehicle with an oil life monitor you can generally go by that, provided you don’t go more than a year between oil changes. And remember that the guy who wrote in hadn’t changed his oil since 2015!

Stop saying that because you don’t know that to be correct . There was a member several years ago that claimed that Ray did post under a screen name but that was never verified .

No. Show me a verified post by Ray and I’ll shut up. Except you can’t. AFAIK nobody has ever seen a post that was definitely by Ray. His absence is enough for me.

The owners manual has some sort of language about following the oil life monitor but also to change the oil every year even if the service A doesn’t come on. Same as on dad’s old 2007 Honda CRV.

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My daughter’s 2006 CRVs manual is specific on when to change oil in various driving habits. I would recommend using these guidelines. Unless you do it more often. With VVT systems clean oil is imperative.

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If–as I suspect–that monitor has a % readout, I would suggest that you change the oil when it indicates that 25% of the oil’s “life” remains. Don’t tempt fate by going close to the limit.

And, as was stated, no matter what the readout might say, you should change the oil at least once per year. More often is better, of course.

That’s very brand specific, I don’t know about Hyundai, but my Odyssey (2005) has an accurate OLM (I can tell it takes types of drive cycles and whatnot into the algorithm, because my oil life depletes much quicker in the winter when we’re typically only driving short distances, and more frequently)

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My 00 Honda had an oil life monitor as did my 01 Saab, 02 Chevy and 04 Chevy. My 07 Ford did not but my 13 Ford does. Only the 13 Ford has it as a percentage. The others were just a service light. The Saab triggered at one year intervals as it must have had calendar feature in the software while the others did not.

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To me the simple answer for the person who is using a car as an appliance and wants only to not screw it up royally is to say if the car has a monitor, then follow its guidance.

If I lived in Minnesota I would change oil every 5000 miles unless most of my driving was cross country. Then I would go 8000 miles. Cold starts contaminate any oil (synthetic or not) quickly.

I live in a similar climate and have always changed oil very 5000 miles with no measurable engine wear after 10 years of driving.

Oil is cheap; engine repairs are expensive! Maximize engine life!!

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I don’t know for sure that there are no invaders from Pluto either, but I have a feeling the answer is no.

Actually I happened to pick up the Saturday Tribune to try and see where exactly the fires were and if they burned down my old stomping ground. I just saw the article this morning. So yeah you can go by the oil life monitor of do what I do because the dang car cost close to $50,000 and oil is $25 for 5 quarts. I change every 5000 miles and my oil life indicator is usually at about 50% by then. I have never understood why the cost of oil is such a big deal compared to the cost of everything else.

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I stand corrected. The only time I’ve seen an oil life monitor in a vehicle that old it was in a Lexus or the like. My Corolla certainly doesn’t have one, just a “service” indicator that comes on every 5k.

I suspect lots of people don’t change their oil themselves and the cost is therefore higher. Also, it requires that someone take a piece of time out of outerwise busy days and get it done, and that can be a big problem.

OK, $70 instead of $25. I understand people not wanting to do things themselves but here’s a pitch for being a little more self reliant. Good life skills and provides a sense of satisfaction. I’m not saying ya gotta grow a garden but as Red Green says, they ought to at least think you’re handy. Too many people don’t have the foggiest idea how things work or what the trades and others need to go through.

What about this issue. Working a job or two, a couple of kids in school, a home to take care of, maybe an infirm parent? Not so easy to stop off at the local Jiffy Lube, wait a while til it’s your turn, hope the person doing the work knows what’s up, put up with some eager beaver telling you you need a flush of your engine, transmission, wallet, air filter and an emergency dose of an additive to counter the effect of you cutting it close waiting until the oil life was ONLY 10%. Let’s be real here.

Real: Either take the time to do required maintenance, or take a high risk of losing your transportation due to repetitive break downs and catastrophic failure. Then you will be doing very few of the things that didn’t allow an oil change, plus a whopping repair or replace bill.


Yes but changing the oil twice as often as necessary isn’t “required maintenance”.

I agree. Required maintenance is per the manual. But I would say this: my daughters 06 CRV has very high milage. She’s had it for 4 or 5 years. She did oil changes per manual. She still ended up with sludging enough to cause VVT troubles. An engine flush fixed it. So now she will use synthetic and change it a little sooner than recommended. (Not twice as much) until it dies.

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