Honda oil life indicator

I have a 2019 Honda CRV with the 1.5L turbo engine. My previous car was a 2011 Honda CRV with a non-turbo engine. I am finding that the oil life % indicator on the new one is dropping much faster than it did on the old one. Same kind of oil and driving habits. Are the turbos known to go thru oil quicker than normal engines? Has Honda learned something and become more conservative on oil changes? Anyone know what is behind this?

No, but they can be harder on the oil depending on how they are driven.

Very likely they have become more conservative since they don’t have as much turbo experience as other manufacturers. Can you blame them? Oil is cheap, turbos are not, nor are engines.


Why would there be anything behind this . The oil life monitor system appears to be working so just pay attention to it .

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I usually change oil at about 50% but with a turbo I would guess they are being more conservative because of the expense and additional maintenance needed for a turbo. If I had one, I’d never go over 5000 miles between oil changes.

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What’s the new vs. old oil change interval, in miles?

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The problem is they aren’t giving you mileage anymore, just watch your oil monitor. Honda at least and suspect others are following suit.

It’s not strictly miles. I would say the new one is going down about twice as fast as the old one. Guessing this might translate to 4000 versus 8000 miles the way I drive.

You understood what I meant, @melott - what’s the expected interval, based on the drop in % so far.

Direct injection means more opportunity for fuel dilution for the oil (gasoline makes it into the oil pan) which isn’t good for the oil. Also turbocharged engines in general are harder on oil than N/A engines,particularly if engine oil is used to cool the turbo. So it makes sense that OCI’s are more conservative with turbocharged engines.


what i said

I dunno about that. They had turbos as far back in the 80’s with the City Turbo.

I suspect it’s because they’re having issues with oil dilution from gasoline in those 1.5’s, and because turbo cars need more stringent oil change regimens.


when you have issues with oil dilution by gasoline,
can you smell the gas on the dipstick?

Yes, you can smell gas on the oil when enough accumulates.

I am not familiar with Hondas, but the oil life on most (all?) is a computer calculation. If you drive it hard, the computer adjusts accordingly. I would guess you probably drive with foot to the floor, or at higher RPMs?

As an example, I have a Fiat Turbo. The dealer’s window sticker (to next oil change) is 6 months, 5000 miles. The oil light will come on somewhere between 5000 and 8000 miles, with most around 6400.

I think your owner’s manual says something like… “Honda recommends 7,500 miles or annually whichever comes first. And that’s when you drive in easy conditions. Poorer driving conditions are every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.”

The most obvious symptom is increasing oil level on the dipstick.

Sadly, my owner’s manual says to change it when the service indicator says so. NO other instructions.
I am a moderate driver.

What is sad about that ? You have a warranty period so the monitor will keep that from being voided . Just because you might change oil and filter a little more often then your last vehicle I don’t see anything to be concerned about.

Sorry, I looked at the owner’s manual and it does not explain. The quote at the bottom is from my manual (a different brand). It appears this car uses standard high grade oil. Many turbos require synthetic. The 1.5L holds 3.7 quarts, 4.7 on the bigger engine… a lot of wear on that oil. I can see why it could require 4K oil changes.

Basically, idling is counted as operating time. Cold operation, medium acceleration, high temps, are factored in. My car’s meter can come on at 3K, or go to 8K… most at around 6400.

From my manual: "Based on engine operation conditions, the oil change indicator message will illuminate. This means that service is required for your vehicle. Operating conditions such as frequent short-trips, trailer tow, extremely hot or cold ambient temperatures, and E85 fuel usage will influence when the “ChangeOil”or“OilChangeRequired” message is displayed. Severe Operating Conditions can cause the change oil message to illuminate as early as 3,500 miles (5,600 km) since last reset. Have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible, within the next 500 miles (805 km). "

I’ll have to ask my Dad if he’s noticed a difference with his 2019 CRV’s oil life but with the previous 2007 CRV he changed oil more on the 1yr recommendation than on mileage since he averaged a little over5,000 miles a year for the 12 years of ownership.

We’ll see how often the '19 needs an oil change but at $55 before any coupon special it’s the same as our favorite independent charges.

So, 2016 -2018 Honda had problems with its turbo engines especially gas in oil. It promised a fix.
The fix was, for 2019 we go back to 1980’s era oil change intervals.

No problem. Some of us non-kids never left.

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