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Famous Honda break-in oil

Greetings and Happy Holidays -

I bought a '12 Civic CNG in October. It was made in Jul-12. It had 20 miles on it. So, it had sat on the dealer lot for over a year. According to the maintenance schedule/maintenance minder (mm), if the mm doesn’t come on after one year you should change the oil regardless of mileage. Dealer say that they put a “special” break-in oil at the factory and to not change sooner than the schedule/mm. So, does the year sitting on the lot not count? I have not changed it yet and know that CNG vehicles are much easier on oil than gasoline engines. I’ve got about 1500 miles on it so far. I’m inclined to change the oil in another month or so to be safe. What do you all think?


I’m not sure but few cars have break-in oil anymore. The oil does not deteriorate when the car just sits on the lot. So, your actual mileage driven should determine when to change it. I would go for 3000 miles in the absence of a minder. After that, with regular driving you can increase it to 5000 miles or so, or twice a year.

I dont think the time frame applies sitting in the lot and not being used. On two a iras though i changed at 5000 regardless of the oil life indicator and the dealer thought that was fine. You want to leave the break in oil in there though for at least the 3 to 5000 mile period.

I use the maintenance minder on those cars that have it. One has about 150,000 miles and doesn’t use oil yet. If it makes you feel good, change it now and reset the maintenance minder to start the oil life monitor again.

BTW, I have a 2005 Accord and there was no break-in oil at that time. I doubt there is now.

You won’t loose either way. The oil is the oil, but the recommendation in your owners manual assumes the vehicle is in service. Under in service conditions, short trips are usually the result of not tripping the oil life monitor, and short trips are rough on the engine. Just sitting on the lot does not deteriorate the oil.

However, if you will sleep better after changing the oil, then do it. If you will loose sleep by changing the “break in” oil too soon, then wait. Do what gets you the best nights sleep because it doesn’t make any difference which way you go. Split the difference if you like.

Thanks for the replies. I think I’ll wait for warmer weather and do it then. No need to lose sleep over it.


I wouldn’t include the time on the lot. You’re fine.

As said above, don’t lose any sleep as long as the oil level is still ok on the dipstick.

Maybe you could offer up some comments on how you like your natural gas Civic. Do you find it a better value on a cost/mile driven than the gasoline equivalent? How about the acceleration? What are the issues involved when it comes time to fuel-up? Is it easy to find a place that has the equipment for a fill-up? How many miles does a full tank of natural gas provide, compared to the gasoline version? Do you have an automatic transmission or a manual? Any other compromises you’ve discovered, good and bad? Any theories why this car sat on the lot unsold for so long?

Having read about this, Honda claims that the break-in oil has more Molybdenum in it and helps the engine seals set properly. I had one Honda that came like that and I changed it after a year of owning it-only 5K miles. I didn’t keep the car ling enough to know if it made any difference. but wasn’t burning any oil for the next 8K miles.

“Honda claims that the break-in oil has more Molybdenum in it”

I recall reading that in the Owner’s Manual/Maintenance Schedule of my '92 Accord, and I also remember that the dealer’s service department chased me away when I wanted to do the first oil change after ~2k miles.

@georgesanjose -

Honda increased production in '12 of cng as they rolled them out to a total of 38 states rather than just the 4 states previously. Demand was low and a lot of them sat on the dealers lots. I got $7K off sticker and that made it the same price as the Civic EX-L. Civic cng is auto trans only, 5 speed.

I live in PA and as you may have heard the shale gas boom has started. I will not go it to whole fracking debate but will say that PA and WV will have a network of cng stations within the next couple of years. There are about 4 within 15-25 miles of me. Some trucking companies are converting to cng and a new station will open near me in a couple of months. CNG is measured in gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) and right now it is $2 a gge. Mileage is also measured the same so you can compare directly between gasoline and cng. I get between 38-40 mpg. The tank is 8 gge’s and I get about 300 miles per tank.

Since cng has a much lower energy density, but is about 120 octane, the 1.8L engine only gives 110 hp. So it is slower. It is good enough for me. Sure if you are a lead foot and want to drag race light to light it is a little slow. But the Civic hybrid is also about 110 hp. I don’t have all those batteries weighing it down and the mileage is not too much less.

I still don’t understand why this can’t take hold. We would end our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs here in the US. As technology increases you will see large cng tanks and more hp from the engines. They are also trying to develop a home refueling station that would cost $500 instead of $3K. But all we really need is more cng stations. It is slowly coming, at least around here.

So, that is my take on it. Hope this isn’t too long a post.


Good info Mark. I’d definitely consider a CNG if I were looking to buy a new car. The fact that the Civic is only available in the automatic would be a show-stopper for me though. Hopefully there are other CNG vehicle that will be offered with manual transmissions in the future. Thanks again for taking time to post your excellent observations.

Glad to spread the word. Dodge and Chevy are bringing out bi- fuel pickups next year. We still need cars tho. Hopefully this will be the turning point for cng vehicles.


I advise you to err on the side of caution and do the oil change now

Many owner’s manuals state that an oil change should be done at least once a year, regardless of usage

For a few bucks, you get peace of mind

That’s the way I would look at it, if it were my car

My Ody is going on two years old with the factory fill. Manual says not to change it until it hits the mileage mark. No mention of time. It doesn’t get driven much but when it does it’s for long enough to burn off condensation. The OLM is not barking yet either.

The selling dealership pesters me every 3 months. The last time they caught me off guard and I answered. When I told them the mileage, they said never mind…

Unless you’re under the most severe conditions I’d leave the factory stuff in there as directed in the manual.

Yet many owner’s manuals state a 1 year time limit

My manual has a footnote at the bottom the of page that states the one year period if service light doesn’t come on. I’ll change it shortly. It’s only got 1600 miles on it and I got it 10-10-13. Thanks for the replies.


I still say honda uses a break in oil formula and leave it alone for 3-5000. I’ve got oil on the shelf older than that and I’m not throwing it out.

I’ve also got unopened, unused motor oil on my shelf that’s older than 1 year, and I’m also not throwing it out

But I personally wouldn’t leave any oil in my crankcase longer than 1 year, regardless of mileage

My vote is to change the oil now (especially if those miles are short hop, stop and go) and for what it’s worth, the engine on your car was broken in during the first 20 miles before you bought it.