Oil loss

I bought a 2000 Honda Accord 2 Dr in 2004 from a family friend. It was for my son to go to college. It had 55,000 miles on it. It now has 110,000 miles on it. We religiously changed the oil every 3-4000 miles with little or no loss of oil between changes. About 2 oil changes ago after about 2500 miles the oil light came on. It was 3 quarts low! We filled it up but after that it continues to burn a significant amount of oil. About a quart every 500 miles. There is no smoke or anything on the ground. The car runs great and gets over 30 mpg. Dealer was baffled and talked about a stuck oil ring? He suggested an oil additive to try and free it up. We tried that but didn’t seem to help. Were using 10-40 when we change oil. Any suggestions would be helpfull, thanks Michael

Replace the PCV and clean the plumbing from one end to the other, especially the vacuum port the PCV hose connects to. Is there any oil inside your air filter housing? This is where it will go if the valve is plugged up. if that checks out, you should know this. Honda uses a an engine building process called “Alumasil Block”. The pistons/rings ride directly on the walls of the aluminum block which as a high silicone content that has been chemically machined to provide a hard surface for the rings to ride on. The technique USUALLY works very well. But sometimes, the rings dig through the silicone surface badly scoring the cylinder walls and heavy oil consumption results. The catalytic converter will burn the smoke for a while…

Today, tools are available to peer inside cylinders to verify this problem without tearing the engine apart…

All manufacturers that use this process are aware of this problem, but they pretend to be unaware when confronting angry customers. Since this process greatly reduces the cost of building an engine, ALL manufacturers would use it were it not for these drawbacks…

At that rate you are likely losing oil, as well as consuming some. Especially this sudden change; if an oil control ring was stuck or broken, you would be blowing smoke out the tail pipe.

The dealer is not really interested or capable in helping you; I suggest you find a good independent mechanic who will surely be able to find where the oil is going.

Caddyman you are on quite a “roll” lately, you get stars.

Does it get cold where you live? If so. you’re using the wrong motor oil. Honda recommends 5W30 motor oil for that engine.

The reason? 5W30 flows better in cold temperatures than 10W40. The 5W and 10W reflect the Winter weight of the oil. So in very cold temperatures it takes longer for the 10W40 oil to lubricate vital engine components when the engine is started when cold than it does for 5W30. And that’s a recipe for worn cylinders and rings.


Most automakers tell you not to use 10W-40 oil. The increased viscosity index improvers in it can cause ( you guessed it ) sticky rings. I would use 5W-30 oil, I have had good luck with Valvoline unsticking rings.