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Oil Consumption? Bad engine, piston rings?

Please read entirely, its a little long. (small hx of vehicle)

Here’s my situation:

Engine seems to be using to much oil. No noticeable leaks on garage floor.

2009 Honda Odyssey V6. ever since I bought the Car brand new, I have never had a full dip stick when the car is brought in for service/oil change. The Oil dip stick level is always down to the bottom line. I didn’t think anything of it til March 2016 when I noticed my warranty was coming up to expire
So I started to record my Van’s oil mileage hx from 2011 to current. I noticed I was taking the Van in more often than needed and I was not getting full mileage between oil changes.

And now I’m seeing a huge reduction in mileage.
July 2016 I requested an oil consumption test which they say it cleared since it does not use a quart of oil within 1k miles. Even though at the time I mentioned to them that it does not start to consume until mileage reaches 1200miles.
So I continue to drive and document mileage.
Only 3500 miles went by and now my dip stick is back to the bottom level, instead of taking it in, i add oil. ( i added 3/4 quart ) 10/15/2016, and now today 12/02/2016 i check oil dip stick and again oil line is at the bottom level, and I’ve only driven 1144miles since 10/15/2016.
Now I have to add more oil again. (Oil meter says 40%, so by car reading I’m 40% from having to have my oil changed cause the oil is dirty by their standards)
But my Van oil line is at the bottom level of the dip stick.

current mileage 105099

Why is this happening?
I’ve never had a Van / Car consume so much oil.

You post is a little confusing. Suggest you summarize, what’s the current oil usage in number of miles per one quart?

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Some vehicle manufacturers consider a quart/1,000 miles as normal consumption on their NEW vehicles.

Look in your owners manual.


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thank you for the quick responses.

At this current vehicle state i would have to add a quart of oil every 1k miles. This is acceptable?

All the previous cars I’ve owned I’ve never had to add oil between oil changes. Currently I own 2002 Accord, I never have to add oil between oil changes.

Tester answered this already :slight_smile:

Some engines use oil, and some don’t.

I still say how the engine is driven the first 1,000 miles, will determine if it uses oil or not.


thank you again,

Not that its consuming 1qt / 1k miles. Its my mileage between oil changes is drastically lower, and now I have to add oil, and at this rate i’ll have to add oil every 1k miles.

plus if I’m losing miles, and oil is being consumed quickly, whats gonna happen 2months from now, when I have to add oil after 500 miles.

something is wrong with engine

One quart per 1000 miles is right on the border. But it isn’t a problem yet. As long as it doesn’t start consuming considerably more than that rate, it isn’t anything to worry about. Just check it weekly and top off when required. If you get to 500 miles per quart, you’ll probably have to do something about it. My old VW Rabbit got to that rate, started fouling the plugs, , and I had to have the valve stem seals replaced, which fixed the problem straight-away.

fyi, oil can escape other ways than burned in the cylinders, leaking and dripping on the ground for example. Place a piece of cardboard under the car where you park and check for drips. Another thing you should pay att’n to is a possibility it escapes to the coolant. Any signs of oil getting into the coolant requires immediate att’n.


If the mileage has dropped, that means the engine is using more gasoline.

More gasoline means a rich condition.

A rich condition can dilute the engine oil.

Diluted engine oil with gasoline makes the oil volatile.

That means the oil is will be more readily to vaporize and be pulled into the PCV system to be burned.

Focus on the poor fuel mileage.


thank you,

wow, didn’t think about the PCV system. I did read about valve stem seals.

How should I ask the dealer to check all of this so it will be covered under the warranty?

To the above advice I can only add that if I had your vehicle I would change the oil when the second quart was needed or at 5,000 miles, which ever comes first. And for sure the mileage drop needs immediate attention.

At 7 years old there probably is no warranty remaining for this. But no harm to ask the dealership. Ask there about what warranty, recalls, and customer assistances plans they may have for excessive oil consumption on this vehicle. Beyond that about the only thing you can do is write them a letter stating the current oil consumption, that is worries you, and that you reserve the right to complain later if it becomes worse. Send it registered mail with return receipt. Or ask them to give you a receipt that they have received your letter and taken it under advisement. Reputable manufacturers and dealership may be a little greedy, not wanting to be bothered by stuff like this, but they don’t play games trying to deceive the customers, accepting letters then "accidentally’ losing them and having no record of ever receiving such a letter. But things happens., so better safe than sorry.

I’d guess tho after all is said and done, you are out of luck if the oil consumption increases. You’re choices at that point – should you ever reach that point 000 will be to pay to fix it or sell/junk the vehicle. In the meantime be sure to get all the routine services done on time. And ask your shop if using a different type of oil , but still within the recommended specs for that engine, might help. Best of luck.

The maintenance computer determines oil life based on operating conditions, not the state of wear or oil consumption of the engine. If you are driving shorter trips in cooler weather the maintenance computer will show a shorter oil life.

If you return to the dealer and insist that the engine is consuming a quart of oil in less than 1000 mile they may perform another oil consumption test, perhaps at your expense if the warranty has expired.

thank you,

I have an extended warranty 8yrs, 120k bumper / bumper warranty. (just for situations like this bought at time of purchase)

How do I get them to perform test on the vehicle to prove something is wrong with the engine.
What test should they be performing. Please list all. I do not want to get stuck with a worthless car.

You haven’t done yourself any favors by never checking the oil until your warranty was about to expire. A qt every 1,000 miles for an engine over 100,000 miles isn’t unacceptable. On the high side of acceptable, but not unacceptable.

Regarding not checking your oil between servicing, this is not a good practice. Now that the engine has some miles on it, you could go too low between servicing, and that could seriously lower your engine’s lifespan… and even do damage. [quote=“JG101, post:1, topic:96817”]
I noticed I was taking the Van in more often than needed and I was not getting full mileage between oil changes.
Are you taking it in only when an oil pressure warning light illuminates? If so, that could easily explain excess wear on your engine, especially if your original recommended oil change schedule was 10,000 miles. Every time that light comes on your engine has lost its pressurized oil barrier between critical bearings and their corresponding surfaces. Every time you do that you reduce your engine’s life span and make your oil consumption worse.

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Oil consumption appears to be rather consistent since day 1, so gas mileage drop means something else is going on imhop.

If I had this problem and it worried me, I’d ask them to do a wet/dry compression comparison test on all 6 cylinders to document the current state of affairs. That will provide some important needed information. Whether they’ll do it gratis or not, who knows. It depends on the exact wording of the warranty. They may want to do some other oil consumption tests of their own too. Sometimes owners don’t have the skills to make an accurate measurement of oil consumption, and so think there is one, when there isn’t. Not saying this applies to you, but think about it from the dealership’s point of view. They don’t want to be going on a wild goose chase. hmmmm … what else?

Check the PCV system for proper operation, and if there is any doubt, replace the PCV valve.

Might be worth it to have a tailpipe emissions test done. A finding of high HC’s could indicate excessive oil consumption at work.

Ask them if they have a test for the valve stem seals. Often it’s possible to see that’s the problem yourself, as they’ll be a very noticeable puff of black smoke come out the tailpipe when you first start the engine after it has been sitting awhile.

And what’s in the very end of the tailpipe can be diagnostic too. Take a look. A lot of oily, greasy stuff there? Soot? Or nothing much of import found?

This qualifies as owner abuse. From now on check the oil level at least once a week. I also suspect that a lot of required service has not been done.

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thank you,

The Oil light has never turned on, I never wait that long, I’m usually extremely careful with the van since they cost so much.

Oil light has never come on, I always brought the van in when it was due by % reader (for me always around 20% i would take it in or check dip stick and oil was low) i thought it was always better to take in rather just add oil.

Now I know better and that there’s something wrong with the engine,

Clarification: its not consuming 1k / qt, the mileage between oil changes is drastically low, and now its only been 1144miles from the last time i added 1 qt.

The next 2months i may have to add oil again when its only been 500miles from now. and if this happens. Then what…

I started checking the dip stick regularly when i noticed i was having to repeat oil changes more often when I was checking the dip stick, and the dip stick was showing little oil. above lowest line.

Is there specific tests that the dealership can perform to determine the problems.
I still have full warranty bumper/bumper on the van up to 120k miles / 8yrs

all service has been done on vehicle, at desired date by dealership. since it is under warranty.