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Honda Accord burning oil at only 45,000 miles

My 2008 Honda Accord started burning oil at the rate of 1 quart per 2000 miles. It currently has 48,000 miles on it. The dealer told me that this is within Honda’s specifications. Honda won’t do any warranty work unless it is burning oil at the rate of 1 quart every 1,000 miles. The dealer service person told me that if I use their oil and filters - get my oil changes there at the dealership - it will burn much less oil. Question - if they are using some sort of high mileage oil, and it does indeed burn less oil, is this problem considered fixed? Should I hold out for some engine work before the warranty runs out? How should I approach this?

I’ve never heard that a pretty new healthy car can burn oil and it’d be considered normal.
That story smells…

The dealer is incorrect in telling you what they did about the use of their oil and filters. That’s bunk and sounds like tripe being spouted from a service writer or service manager.

IF the engine has never been overheated and IF there was not an engine assembly fault when the car was built (odds of this are about zero) then the oil consumption could be related to irregular oil changes which have an affect on piston rings. Much could depend on the oil change regimen as to both time and miles and any factory recommendation is not always the final, or best, word.
It could also be caused by an improper break-in when the car was new; especially if the car was a dealer demonstrator.

Car makers tell people that oil consumption like this is normal for one reason; they do not want to start buying expensive engines or engine repairs under warranty. Every new car has a budgeted amount for warranty repairs and this amount is comparatively small. One warranty engine replacement would kill not only the budget for that car but also dig into the budgets of X number of others.

I’m afraid I can’t offer much advice about how to proceed with something like this because it can easily turn into a pushing and shoving match and Honda Motor Co. has more lawyers than the consumer.

ALL car makers consider a quart every 2000 miles to be perfectly normal…Most consider a quart every 1000 miles to be normal…

With the engine technology Honda uses, (Alumasil), it amazes me they ALL don’t burn a quart of oil every 1000 miles…

Honda is not going to do anything unless it starts burning a quart every 800 miles while it’s still under warranty…

Sorry but I have to disagree with you there, Caddy.
I’ve never had a car that dropped any oil that early in its life.
Maybe I’ve been lucky but certainly never heard of a healthy Honda dropping any oil.

I agree that 1 qt per 2k miles is within the “normal” limits specified by most manufacturers.
Please note that I did not say this rate of consumption is desirable at such a low number of odometer miles, but that it is really not going to be considered excessive by a car mfr.

Just think–it could be worse. You could own an Audi, a make for which the mfr claims that consuming 1 qt every 600 miles is “normal” for some of their engines.

That’s crazy… I guess Caddy is right. My situation must be just be because of the roll of the dice - even my son’s old Impreza (over 240K right now) does not drop oil.

I’m curious now: How many people, besides the OP, actually have that kind of oil dropping?

Some brands of oil do “burn off” at a faster rate than others. Honda brand might be better and it might be worse. When you have an oil change, you should burn less oil in the first 2000 miles and then start to see more “burn off” in the 2nd 2000 miles. After 5000 miles rate of burn off and oil consumption goes up with most conventional oils. Full synthetic oils usually experience lower rates of burn off compared to conventional motor oils.

In your case I would change brands of oil. If you go with a conventional oil, change it at 5K miles or 6 months. See how much oil you need to add between the oil changes. Top off 1/2 quart at a time and keep the level between the 1/2 and full marks on the dipstick. If you go with Full Synthetic I’d still change it at 5K miles but you can go a full year between changes if you are a low miles per month driver. If you must top off the synthetic you can use conventional oil or buy an extra quart of synthetic for top offs.

Don’t let the level on the dipstick drop below 1 quart low. When the car is low on oil the remaining oil burns off faster. If you get 2 quarts low, even faster; 3 quarts low faster yet. Hopefully monitoring the oil level and 1/2 quart top offs as needed will result in acceptable oil use between changes.

Honda engines have had a long history of what many feel is “excessive” oil consumption…Many a Honda went to the scrapper after it failed an emissions test for “Visible smoke”

Today, refinements in engine design and rigid quality control have all but eliminated oil consumption problems in Hondas and other makes but there is still a wide range of oil consumption that is considered “normal” and getting a new short-block under warranty is a difficult thing to do…

  1. You will not win the fight with Honda, becasue like it or not that is considered “normal”
  2. Are you sure you dont have a leak?
  3. @uncleturbo gave the best advice, change oil brands and see if that helps you at all.
  4. This maybe the MOST important, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT your interaction with your Honda dealer… If this problem gets worse, you maybe able to have Honda “Good will” work on your car after its warranty expires… BUT only if you have the documentation to back up this issue.

This is a common complaint on the 2008 Accord 4 cylinder;

Honda has a software update that is believed to correct this. Campaign 11-049.

“The fuel injector timing and VTC timing at cold start may create deposits on the oil control rings that could contribute to increased oil consumption.”

If this recall/campaign has been performed on your car it may take a while before the oil rings become clean and oil consumption is reduced. The oil Honda dealers use may be formulated to help this issue.

Seems like this is a new problem. I will check the PCV (Valve) and make sure it is not stuck. Also, I am assuming no leaks found/noted on close inspection of the engine from above and bellow.

Now, as mentioned, the industry has said that 1qt per 1000 miles is normal. The only car I had that burnt any oil at 150K miles was a Mitsu Galant and that engine was smoking real bad. My current high mile car is a Caravan with the 3.3 engine that doesn’t need any topping off at 3500 miles intervals.

There are so many possible variables to consider that require some close attention to determine if there is a real problem or just a matter of an acceptable level of oil usage. And a quart every 2,000 miles seems perfectly acceptable to me. Has the oil been changed regularly by the same shop since it was bought? Is the oil being topped off properly when it is changed? What brand and grade is used? How often is it changed? How is the car driven on a daily basis? Has anyone inspected the PCV valve?

I had a 2004 PT Cruiser that burned 1 quart every 2500 miles from new. Never got any worse, got slightly better, 1/3000, before it was totaled in an accident. Current cars, a 2002 Town & Country and a @012 Gamry burn none but the Camry’s manual says burning less than one quart in 500 as normal !

One quart in 2000 miles is a little high for only 45K but it isn’t excessive either. Honda won’t fix whatever is causing this under warranty – if there even remains a warranty on a 2008 – I suspectthey’ll take a wait and see unti the consumption approaches one quart per 500-1000 miles. Which it may never do. It might remain right at one quart in 2000 miles, which is annoying, but you can live with it.

Theres a couple of things you could do. First, make certain that the oil and filter being used meets Hondas specs. Honda doesn’t spec a certain brand, but they probably spec a certain SAE performance rating, and a certain range of viscosities for the oil. Oil filters FRAM or better should be fine I suspect.

Second, visit your local library and check the All Data data base on their computer. MOst public libraries offer this service. This will show all the recalls affecting your car.

Clogged PCV/CCV is a common reason for burning oil.
It may also cause your valve cover gaskets to leak.

My BMW with 120k burns 1 quart every 1000 miles.
I am told this is normal. I add a 1/2 quart every 500 miles.

This is ok oil consumption. You shoulda seen my 1971 vw microbus. the engine was a bunch of machined parts and seals designed to leak oil. On the otherhand you basically already had an oil change at 2000 miles.LOL.

Nice - and a microbus doesn’t have a filter.

I added one. Sorry I missed that. But the Bus did have a good coffee strainer in what passed for the sump. As long as you used coarse ground coffee.

Yeah, I full flowed my bug’s engine as well.
ACVWs are supposed to mark where they live.