My oil light and engine lights are on :(

civic
honda

#1

Let me start from the beginning. I let a friend do an oil change and he put in an oil treatment after the change. The car started blowing massive amounts of white smoke. Took it to Honda and they flushed the engine, but instead of 100% of smoke, they got it down to 20%. They said the pressure in the engine was fine and didn’t know where the fumes could be coming from. The oil light came on and stayed on longer than usual, but they said that it would go off and to not worry about it. A few days later while driving, the engine light came on. The car still drove fine, but it was burning gas like crazy. And the oil light would still stay on longer at start up. Then it would go off and come back on and off while driving. Took the car to a mechanic, hooked the computer up to it, and it needed a new air/fuel sensor, and spark plugs. I totally forgot to tell them about the oil light though. Got the car back, the engine light was off, put gas in it, and everything was fine. Then the oil light comes on. Then when I go on the highway and hit 40 mph, the engine light comes back on. Now yesterday, I had to pick my grandmother up from the mall, and the mall is in a mountainous area. While going up the hill on the highway, the car was working harder than usual to get up the hill. It always has since the first day I got the car, but once it got over 45 mph, it flew up the hill. At 50 mph it was still struggling, and that’s when the oil light stayed on for the entire ride. Got to where I had to go, turned the car off for 20 minutes, and this time when I turned it back on, the light stayed on. It would still flicker off, but it was staying on more often. Now it’s home and that’s where it’s going to stay until I save enough to get it fixed. I know that was a long story, but does anyone have any idea of what the problem is?



Oh, and the car has enough oil.


#2

what kind of oil treatment did he put in there? How long had you driven it before it started blowing the smoke? When they flushed the engine, did they also change the oil?


#3

I forgot the name of the oil treatment he put it. I do know that I haven’t been able to find him since all this happened. And tt took about 15 minutes before it started blowing smoke. And they flushed the engine and changed the oil. That was the first thing I checked when I noticed that the light was coming on and off and there’s oil above the second hole on the dipstick.


#4

Model year?? Mileage?? Did the car do ANY of this BEFORE you changed the oil??


#5

2003 Civic EX, and it has 72,000 miles. And it did none of that at all.


#6

I’m not an expert on this, but I think your problem might be low oil pressure. That would turn on the Oil light. Oil pressure is also used, I believe, to activate the variable valve timing and failure to do that properly might be what the check engine light is about.

I think that your next step might be to read out any stored codes from the vehicle computer. Your local Autozone might do that for you. Write them down and post them here. If you live in California, where for some reason parts stores are forbidden to read codes, you might have to buy a code reader. It’ll cost less than $100 (cheaper than going to the dealer again I’d bet).

You might try a local independent mechanic. He may be less puzzled and more helpful than Honda. And his advice – even if it is unhelpful – will probably be cheaper.


#7

It sounds like your friend put in too much oil in addition to the oil treatment (always a bad idea). The too much oil way be what has done the real damage.
I suspect that at this point (after driving with those problems), you need a new engine.


#8

What brand / type of “Treatment”??


#9

Was there any special reason the oil was being changed? How long ago (miles and months) was the last oil change?

I suggest that you don’t use any additives, unless there is a reason. Oils and other engine fluids are really good right out of the can. Additives can cause as many problems as they fix.


#10

The car started blowing massive amounts of white smoke. Took it to Honda and they flushed the engine, but instead of 100% of smoke, they got it down to 20%. They said the pressure in the engine was fine and didn’t know where the fumes could be coming from.

This is astounding. Massive amounts of white smoke is almost certainly coolant being burned by the engine. What service dept would be satisfied with reducing the amount being produced and returning the car without establishing a cause??? Are you sure it was white smoke? Could it have been blue? Thinking your “friend” may have seriously overfilled the crankcase with oil…

Then the oil light comes on. Then when I go on the highway and hit 40 mph, the engine light comes back on.

The oil light should never be ignored. Likely, you’ve done a lot of damage to the engine by driving it with insufficient oil pressure.


#11

In addition to overfilling it, if the additive was sea foam it would have thinned out the oil. You aren’t supposed to drive more than 10 miles with that stuff in there before changing the oil out. That could have done permanent damage as well.


#12

Well, I’ll give you some consolation instead of the (mostly) irrational doomsday rhetoric that you’re getting from everyone else. “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

You report NO noise. No anomalous performance.

I’d say that the sender was fouled by whatever he put in there. I cannot quite figure out the massive clouds of smoke. It may have been true that the engine was over filled, but this would generally result in oil being sucked up into the upper ring area under vacuum. It could get whipped up by the crank and that COULD result in low oil pressure, but you would MOST ASSUREDLY HEAR it if that were the case. If there was any coolant involved with the white smoke, you would have surely overheated by now. You haven’t. It’s not coolant and no reason to suspect it of being coolant.

Relax. You’re not going to be buying an engine…at least in my opinion based on what you’ve described. Have the sender changed and do a few slightly shortened oil changes.


#13

You report NO noise. No anomalous performance.

How do you define anomalous? from the original post:

While going up the hill on the highway, the car was working harder than usual to get up the hill. It always has since the first day I got the car, but once it got over 45 mph, it flew up the hill. At 50 mph it was still struggling, and that’s when the oil light stayed on for the entire ride.


#14

Now that’s a scary thought I hadn’t considered. You might be right and it fits the story given so far…


#15

Thanks for all of your input. The good thing is that I work in NYC, so I never really have to move my car except to the other side of the street on street cleaner day. I’m just going to leave it until I can take it to the shop to get looked at.

Now, if it turns out I have to replace the pump, how much will be looking at paying? Or if it’s the sender like geeaea suggested it might be, how much is that?