I have done all the oil changes on my honda everytime the oil indicator light lit up displaying 15% oil life. Last one was 15,000 miles ago. Two days ago oil light lit, yesterday cam shaft lockked, engine blown. Not once did the car advice me of mechanical problem. The previous oil changes were 10,000 miles apart. Yes I drive alot. Honda does not want to honer extended warrenty, car has 68,000 miles, I bought new of the lot. Comments, suggestions, anything to help me understand. Thank you.
Read your car’s owner’s manual for the required frequency of oil changes. If you changed the oil within those specifications you have an argument for a warranty repair. If you did not change the oil as frequently as required you have no leg to stand on for a warranty repair of an oil related failure.
If you have been following Honda’s recommended change interval, have receipts to prove it, and don’t let the oil level get low between oil changes, they have no right to deny your warranty coverage, as long as you’re within the time/mileage limits of the extended service plan (ESP).
What is your ESP coverage relative to the 68,000 miles currently on the car?
Did you use the recommended oil when you had it changed?
Per your Owner’s Manual (http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pubs/OM/K60909/K60909OM.pdf):
"Recommended Engine Oil
Oil is a major contributor to your engine’s performance and longevity. Always use a premium-grade 5W-20 detergent oil displaying the API Certification Seal. This seal indicates the oil is energy conserving, and that it meets the American Petroleum Institute’s latest requirements.
API CERTIFICATION SEAL
Adding Engine Oil
Honda Motor Oil is the preferred 5W-20 lubricant for your vehicle. It is highly recommended that you use Honda Motor Oil in your vehicle for optimum engine protection. Make sure the API Certification Seal says ?? For Gasoline Engines. ?? "
Finally, have you talked to the service manager at the dealer and/or escalated your concern to the zone manager? Always be calm and reasonable when communicating with them and they’re generally very reasonable. Start making demands and yelling and they won’t be so accommodating in return.
*** Information below is from http://www.ahm-ownerlink.com ***
Maintenance Minder A Scheduled Maintenance
Recommended service for your 2009 Honda Fit:
Replace engine oil*1 *1: If the message "SERVICE" does not appear more than 12 months after the display is reset, change the engine oil every year.
What exactly do you mean when you talk about “extended warranty” and did Honda offer an explaination why they would not honor it?
10-15,000 miles is way to long between oil changes. I’m not surprised your engine blew up. Now if Honda recommends an interval that long and your engine is still under a warranty, they should put in a new one for you. No matter what happens, in the future, never go 10,000+ miles between oil changes no matter what anybody says manufacturer or otherwise.
The oil life indicator probably has nothing to do with the oil level. It is very normal for a engine to use a quart of oil every 5,000 miles. So if you drove 15,000 without ever checking the oil, and the engine holds three quarts of oil then its very possible that the engine ran out of oil.
I suspect somewhere in the owners manual it says to check oil level regularly, and add as necessary to keep at the proper level between oil changes.
If you didn’t check the oil level for 15,000 miles, and the engine ran dry on oil then you may have to suck this one up as a hard lesson learned
More Information Is Needed. I’m With Oldschool On This. Tell Us About The Extended Warranty. You Must Have Purchased It With The Car, Right ?
There are all kinds of extended warranty plans that salespeople sell with car purchases. Many are “aftermarket” plans through any number of “underwriters”. Many aren’t much good. They exclude too many things, usually things that are likely to cost them money.
Then there’s a Honda genuine extended warranty or service plan which I am sure is much better than most (all?). If this warranty lists camshaft failure as an inclusion and not an exclusion then I can’t understand why Honda does not want to help. It makes no sense unless . . .
[list]You didn’t purchase additional warranty coverage and you’re beyond the factory warranty. [/list]
[list]You have an aftermarket policy that doesn’t cover your specific problem. [/list]
[list]You have a honda policy that excludes this problem (I can’t imagine it). [/list]
[list]You are resposible due to negligence, car abuse, failure to produce maintenance receipts, etcetera. [/list]
Fill us in or all you’ll get are wild guesses. Talk to us.
As with so many posts of this nature, I believe that vital details are missing.
The most important detail is…how often in those 15k miles did the OP lift the hood and pull the dipstick in order to make sure that there was sufficient oil in the crankcase?
If the answer to that question is…never…then Honda should honor the extended warranty on the same basis, namely…never. Failure to check the oil periodically falls under the category of owner negligence, and warranties do not cover owner negligence.
As to the issue of using the Oil Life Indicator as a guide to oil changes, I will not fault the OP on that count. While I personally would not use that electronic device as a guide to when to change my oil, the fact remains that the manufacturer has provided it and encourages owners to use it as a guide. In fact, as far as I know, Honda does not even publish suggested oil change intervals anymore, and just tells car owners to use the warning light as a guide. This is very short-sighted, IMHO, but that is what the manufacturer is doing.
In any event, it would appear that the OP’s engine simply used up its crankcase oil during that very extended period between oil changes. If the OP is one of those folks who never bothers to check the oil himself/herself, then the OP is the one who bears the blame for this incident. I think that Americar’s response summed it up very well.
I don’t own a Fit, but are there more than one “oil” light? Perhaps an oil light to indicate an oil change is due, and a “oil” light to indicate no oil pressure?
The failure you experienced is more likely a failure in oil pressure. Yes, you did have long oil change intervals, but you drive a lot of highway miles. If the oil light was showing no oil pressure and you didn’t check the oil level and add oil if needed then, sorry but his is going to be on you.
If the cam failed and the car has the normal oil level showing on the dipstick, then I feel you have a legitimate gripe with Honda. If the warranty period has past then you are going to have to see if Honda will help you with the repair but they have no legal obligation to do so.
It seems to me as though the engine ran out of oil. Those oil life monitors seem to always recommend a ridiculous amount of time and miles between oil changes. I suppose one thing they do count on is the owner of the car routinely opening the hood and checking the oil level. This seems to be something of a lost art these days. If you check your owner’s manual, it will probably list checking the oil level at a specific interval, probably either every month or every fill-up. Most, if not all, gas stations still put out paper towel dispensers for this very purpose.
If you never opened your hood to check the oil, and your engine still ran out of oil in 15k miles, I can’t fault Honda or their engine design for running out of oil in 15k miles, unless the crankcase holds five gallons of oil. Most manufacturers these days consider consumption of a quart of oil every 1k miles as acceptable. That is one advantage of the classic 3k mile oil change is less likelihood of owner negligence resulting in catastrophic engine failure.
You also stated that the car never gave any indication of mechanical problems, but you stated that the oil light came on the day before the camshaft locked up. The oil light is a strong indicator of mechanical failure, as it indicates that there is no oil pressure in the engine. In other words, the oil pump is pumping air and critical engine parts are not being lubricated. That little red light is your engine’s way of saying “goodbye cruel world!” and serves as a suicide note for the driver. If you shut the engine down immediately (as in seconds, not minutes or days) and have a mechanic look at it, in some cases the engine can be saved. Unless we hear otherwise from you regarding our suspected negligence, it seems as though you are on your own with this one and it will be an expensive lesson for you in proper vehicle upkeep.
As Others Have Questioned, Did You Frequently Check The Engine Oil Level By Physically Removing The Dipstick And Reading The Quantity Of Engine Oil Or Having It Done For You ?
Every car Owner’s Manual that I have (we currently have seven cars) and have had admonishes the owner to check (or have checked) the oil level at every gas fill-up. That is soley the responsibility of the owner / operator.
Religiously changing oil when prompted by an Oil-Minder may take care of the manufacturer’s requirements regarding oil quality, it does not meet their requirement for maintaining oil quantity.
Is any manufacture promoting the idea that you do not have to make any checks under the hood, that is, the sensing equipment on their car is so good that if you do not recieve a warning on your IP you are good to go? I think the public would like it if this was the case, no warning on IP, no issues under the hood. I do think that manufactures should accept that there is a large group that is simply not going to use the old style devices under the hood to determine fluid quantity status, and they should design their car around this understanding. I am not saying it is right to not pull the stick every once in a while, just accept that some are going to refuse to do this step, and it should be taken into consideration when the design is made.
Oldschool, We’re Just About There.
My Bonneville’s got a low oil quantity warning message. My wife’s Impala has an oil quality message (Oil Life System).
With all the other crap that is being loaded onto cars, what’s taking the manufacturers so long to put oil quantity and oil quality information on all cars ?
You could say that these should not tap into electronics that would shut down the engine to save it from destruction the way my home stand-by generator does, but if the thing blows up anyhow . . .
Maybe they could tie into the car not starting at the next start-up following a reasonable time passage after total gross negligence to maintain the car’s vital fluids.
As we get more drivers, the average of car savey drivers goes down. You are right, it seems fewer and fewer people check under the hood of the car themselves. This isn’t good, but sometimes you just have to face reality.
How hard would it be then to wire the car in such a way that when the “oil” pressure light goes on showing low or no oil pressure the power to the fuel pump or fuel injectors is cut off? Meaning that the lights goes on and the motor just stops. Obvious downside is the car could be going 75 mph in the middle lane of traffic on a busy interstate. So, do you protect the driver’s motor, or the other motorists on the road?
If people ignore the underhood checks, don’t understand the warning lights, and keep driving until the car stops; perhaps cars should have built in shut down systems. If all isn’t correct the motor quits.
After re-thinking this I do think the OP could have a legitimate gripe. Because how can the oil life indicator say there is oil life left when there is no oil in the engine to have life? Perhaps if a car manufacture puts a oil life indicators on it, it should have a low oil level light as well so its not being deceptive.
My ten year old Impala has both the oil life indicator, and low oil level indicator.
You’re going too long between oil changes and from the sound of things you’re not raising the hood to check the oil level but simply relying on the level to remain the same between those far too long intervals.
Oil level drops along with the oil pressure and from my somewhat fuzzy memory this story sounds like an echo of the one on this forum from some months back. Some of you may remember the oil pressure activated Honda camshafts and the poster who was up the same creek.
Extended warranty, just like the original factory warranty, will only pay for factory defects or workmanship. They will not pay for problems due to oil sludging or failure to inspect the engine oil and other fluids on a regular basis.
So, I guess the question should be asked. Do you raise the hood and check the oil level at all?
“how can the oil life indicator say there is oil life left when there is no oil in the engine to have life?”
Because the manufacturer uses an algorithm, built into the car’s electronics, to estimate oil life based on a complicated formula utilizing number of engine starts, engine temperature, idle time, length of trips, total odometer mileage, etc–in other words, the factors that do have an impact on the life of the motor oil.
A low level of actual oil in the crankcase might be a factor if the engine somehow managed to do a chemical and particulate analysis on the oil–but this is not the case. The algorithm that is running in the background has no idea about how much oil remains in the crankcase.
“Two days ago oil light lit, yesterday cam shaft lockked, engine blown.”
You were warned and did not understand the car was crying out for oil. It is not unusual for people to not understand the significance of the oil light, vs the multitude of other lights that are significantly less critical. The oil change needed is a separate function, from oil needed, as I fear you have just found out.
On a side note, many people have weird ideas. A former trucker and current chauffeur I was helping out with a heater variable resistor just had an oil change done on his daughters car. He said I like to put a little extra oil in, and proceeded to pour an extra quart into the engine. I thought, well he has been doing this probably for a number of years, who am I to say, though it is not something I would do. He religiously checks the oil level on his cars, so he has more brownie points than me. I rarely check oil level, usually only after getting inspired to by stories like this one, and have never had to add any.
You made my point. If the car is running low on oil then the life of the oil is far less then if it was running at full level. So with that important control variable absent the oil life indicator is only accurate if the oil is kept at its proper level.
A low oil indicator would insure that the oil level never gets too low. The low level indicator could also possibly be part of the equation of oil life, so if the low level is triggered the oil change interval would be shortened.
On the flip side the low oil indication could also be stored in the ECM so the dealer could see your letting the oil constantly get low. This possibly could be grounds for voiding the warranty, But at least you would have a undamaged engine with a voided warranty, verses a trashed engine with a voided warranty
I just changed oil yesterday in my Pontiac and the oil life said 48% and about 4000. I never go over 5000 or much over 50% regardless. Our Acura seems to also be around 50% at 5000 which should be similar to Honda. 10-15,000 between changes is absolutely too long regardless.
My 89 Buick had an oil level light, oil pressure light, and an oil pressure shut off. This is not rocket science and only requires a sender mounted in the oil pan and a switch on the pressure sender. The owner really needs to know the difference and also needs to check the oil but we don’t know for sure what the details were on this.
From my experience with Acura/Honda, I can’t believe they would deny a claim without good reason. I changed serpentine belts on my Acura and noticed a ticking sound around the idler pulley. Took it in and they said it was the pulley for the timing belt. Put in a new belt etc. with total cost of zero to me. Had to take it back again and they replaced the serpentine belt again. Had an oil change at the same time and had them put new wipers on. Total cost to me was $37. Never had to argue at all. In fact I argued that I should have paid for the belt at least. They gave me over $700 worth of work and never said boo on it. There has to be more to the story like no oil, major sludge build up, or the computer detecting over-reving or something.