#1

My 2005 CRV is consuming a large amount of oil but the Honda dealer can find no leaks. They suggest a 1,000 mile oil consumption test. Is this common?

#2

What do you call a large amount of oil?

Tester

If the engine fails the oil consumption test will you buy a new engine? With a 14 year old vehicle I wouldn’t bother with an oil consumption test, a decision on whether or not to proceed with major engine work can be made based on your own oil consumption observations.

Yes. You don’t need to involve (or pay) anyone else. Check your oil and adjust level so it’s full according to the dipstick. Write down your car’s total mileage. Over the course of the next thousand miles, check your oil level several times and add up the amount of oil you need to add to keep it at the max level: how many 1 quart containers of oil did it need?

Sometime in the 2000’s the manufacturers started trying to get the maximum mpg from their cars that they could, b/c good mpg sells cars, plus it helps w/the fed’s emissions requirements. one way they did this was to design their engines to use thinner oils. This helped the mpgs, but had a downside of the engine sometimes using more oil that what car owners were commonly used to. Thinner oil can more readily slip past the piston rings and be burned along with the gasoline in the cylinder. There’s no leak b/c it goes out the tailpipe. This all creates two problems actually, first the customer notices the increased oil loss compared to their prior cars. Second, along with the thinner oils the manufactures started to recommend longer intervals between oil changes. Using oil at a faster rate and waiting longer before changing the oil, well you can see what that might cause: running the engine without any oil in it and doing severe damage.

So when customers complain about the oil usage now, beyond just checking the oil level, the dealership will usually require an oil consumption test before taking any further action. If the engine consumes more than say 2 quarts in 1000 miles (or whatever their limit is), then they may suggest to do something about it. If less than that, they’ll say just keep it topped off between changes. I concur w/the post above, if you don’t know what oil consumption is, common sense says to just do that test on your own. If it is using less than one quart per thousand miles, just keep it topped off between changes. Even if it is using 2 quarts in 1000 miles, it still may be the best path to just keep it topped off.

I think BMW considers a quart every thousand miles to be within spec…
(From Consumer reports)
“Audi, BMW, and Subaru stick firmly to the statement that oil consumption is a normal part of a car’s operation. Subaru considers a quart burned every 1,000 to 1,200 miles to be acceptable. Certain Audi and BMW cars’ standards state that a quart burned every 600 to 700 miles is reasonable.”
Really???

My 2012 Camry manual states thet burning one quart in 700 miles is nat abnormal. Luckily it burns less than 1/4 qt in 7000 miles.

#8

The average consumption and burning is also down to the type of oil. Full synthetic oils such as Shell Helix or Castrol have formulas that evaporate up to 50% less than other oils. What oil do you use ?

While I agree that this seems excessive, vehicle manufacturers have used this standard for decades - and I don’t think they are about to change now.

Extended oil change intervals make this more of a consumer issue. 3000 mile oil changes means the engine could be down 3 of 5 quarts of oil with an owner who never checks their oil. A “granny” driver may never turn the oil pressure light on when driving.

Today’s 7000 mile oil changes means that same driver has a seized engine at 4500 miles.

People treat cars like refrigerators - if the light turns on when I open the door and there isn’t a bad smell coming out, everything is OK.

I think it’s a CYA thing. I’ve never owned a vehicle (with exception of my Vega after 50k miles) that burned anywhere near a quart of oil every 1000 miles. Even when the vehicle had over 300k miles.

My 02 Camry does burn 1qt./500mi. But oil is fairly cheap and it does have over 198k miles on it.

#13

You youngsters worry too much about oil.consumption. I would have been happy with some of the cars I used to own if I only had to add just one quart every 1000 miles. Consumer Reports used to report the miles a car went before a quart of oil was needed after the engine was broken in. As I remember, the 1960 Plymouth Valiant with the now legendary slant 6 engine went through one quart every 475 miles. A lot of the cars CR tested used a quart every 1000 miles.
Let me tell you about real oil consumption. When we moved 120 miles so we could attend graduate school, I rented a U-HAUL truck and it was cheaper to rent the truck if I returned it to the location where I rented it. I should have been suspicious when I saw stenciled on the front bumper: “For Local Use Only”. After we arrived at our destination, unloaded our furniture, I filled the gas tank and checked the oil. It was down two quarts. I put in the two quarts and got a receipt. When I turned the truck in, the attendant checked the oil and again it was down two quarts. I gave him the receipt for the oil I had put in and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I think this truck uses a little oil”.
The truck also had other problems. When shifting from third to fourth gear, I had to double clutch to keep the gears from grinding. The muffler was also shot, so the trip was very noisy. However, the rental cost was half of renting on a one-way basis.
At any rate, for those who think one quart of oil per 1000 miles is excessive, you don’t know what real oil consumption is.

#14

We are spoiled. Look at some old newsreels, the cars all left a smoky trail back in the 20s, 30s, even late 40s.

#15

@texases I don’t need to watch newsreels. I remember seeing cars in the late 1940s leaving a trail of smoke. New cars weren’t produced for domestic consumers between February of 1942 and August of 1945 because of WW II. Many cars that survived the WW II period had engines that had well worn piston rings. The school bus I rode from the late 1940s through 1951 was on a 1939 chassis. It left a big smoke trail as did most of the school buses in the school corporation. The bus I rode didn’t pass inspection and was condemned. It was permitted to.soldier on because the manufacturers were way behind on their orders for new buses.

#16

If I can believe the old timers who are mostly dead now, way back they used to just put their cars up on blocks in the barn or garage for the winter around here. Then that was an opportune time to overhaul the engine. I assume valve jobs, rings, and bearings. Couldn’t have gotten more than 5000 miles between overhauls.

The more recent smoker I saw lots of was the Chrysler minivan with the Mitsubishi 3.0 L engine, back in the 80s and early 90s.

I must agree with @Triedaq. I got my driver’s license in 1968, and took over the family car which was a 1962 Olds Jetfire that my grandfather bought used in 1964. This car had a turbocharged 3.5 L aluminum V8 and burned a quart of oil every 100 miles. I’m surprised I wasn’t hired by the mosquito control commission to fog the neighborhood. I won’t even describe the nefarious things I did to that car before I traded it in.

I’d never heard of the Jetfire, so I googled it. According to Hemmings Motor News there were only 3765 sold in 1962. Should’ve kept that thing!

Pretty interesting car and article. Apparently, the engine had a high compression ratio, along with the turbo, which necessitated a water alcohol mixture be kept in a tank and, I assume, that mixture was injected into the combustion chamber to prevent detonation. Pretty wild.

The article said so many owners had problems with the engine that in 1965, GM offered to remove the turbo and install a 4 barrel carb and traditional intake at no cost.

So did you remember to keep your auxiliary “rocket fuel” tank topped off when you drove that thing, mopar guy?

You had to.if the fluid bottle was empty, the waste gate was kept wide open to prevent any boost. Jetfires with an intact turbo are now going for $60,000 on Hemmings. The turbo-rocket fluid was simply methanol, btw.

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