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Honda Civic 1.5 oil dilution scandal

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Hello Scotty,

I have a 2020 Honda Accord Sport 1.5L Turbo CVT that I bought brand new in May of 2020. It currently has 29,000 miles and has been having oil dilution problems since 27k miles or more. I've been changing the oil every 5000-7000 miles, added an oil catch can, and recently switched to using OW-16 oil (GF-6B). Also, based on other people's solutions who have also had this issue, I've switched to using 91 octane instead of 87. 

The car has no problems at all right now and I've only had to do maintenance oil changes (which I do myself). Around 27k miles I noticed the oil level rising above the maximum line and the dipstick oil strongly smelling like gasoline. I decided to change the oil at 28k miles and used OW-16 full synthetic, which after watching one of Scotty's newer videos, I thought would fix the dilution problems. I always use full synthetic oil (was using OW-20 until my last oil change at 28k miles) and fill the oil to about half or just above the halfway mark on the dipstick. But now it's around 29k miles and the oil level is back up above the maximum line again (See pictures attached please). Of note, I live in a warm climate in California and I drive short distances daily lasting approximately 10 mins at a time (which I know can be an exacerbating factor for the dilution). 

My question is, what else can I do at this point to make the car last as long as possible (regarding the engine) besides change the oil and filter every 5000 miles?

Also, should I just go back to using OW-20 oil if the dilution amount is the same anyway? Or should I continue with the OW-16 oil. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any help you can provide! 

Best,

Arsen M. 

 


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5 Answers
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Posted by: @arsen_2872

I called the dealer and they said they would have to charge me for multiple oil changes costing hundreds of dollars and charge me more for doing additional diagnostic tests. Sounded like a scam to me, and considering honda has said that this is a known issue and a "normal" part of the engine life,

You're damn right it's scam.

Honda's own internal bulletins say that they are responsible for covering oil changes.

There is nothing normal about this issue. Shame on Honda.

And shame on Honda salesmen who keep assuring shoppers that the problem was fixed in 2018 or whatever.

 

Yeah, it's honestly so messed up. If I would have known the issue was still such a problem, I would have bought 2.0L accord. Supposedly they fixed it with a software update in the 2019 and 2020 vehicles but seeing as mine is a 2020....I don't think it's fixed.

I guess all I can do is change the oil every 5k miles and take longer drives when I can.

Thanks for your input!

least I can do

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I was debating buying the 2022 Civic Touring or not because of the turbocharged engine and I ended up buying it after watching the above video from Scotty. I've had mine since last year and so far no oil dilution problems. But yeah I also do a lot of highway driving and actually city driving is the least I do. I use the 0w-16 Scotty mentioned and as far as fuel the octane 87 suggested in the owners manual. Not that this would solve your issue, but maybe they've fixed something with the new Civics that they didn't with the older Accord.

A wild ish idea; maybe see what you can get for the car now and then buy a new one but not with 1.5L turbo if you plan on keeping the car for a long time.

I'm glad you're not having any problems! It's good to be cognizant about it.
Yeah I'm worried about longevity, cause I do like to keep my cars for a long time.
I've gotten offers for my car that are around what I payed for it, but after evaluating the costs, I would still be losing a lot of money if I did the sale and bought a different car. Car prices are too crazy right now for both used and new.
I think my plan is to just continue taking care of it how I've been doing, and hopefully the dilution will improve over time.
Maybe once prices get better I can look at a different car, cause as of right now there are no issues with it at all and I love driving it.
a

Just a personal opinion; if you can get what you initially payed for it and get a new one at msrp I think the difference would be only taxes and a couple fees depending on where you live. Because later on/when market goes back to even near normal you won't be able to get what you will get now for this used Accord.

Yeah of course. I've been thinking about it for months now and have been looking around, but I haven't found any good deals cause although I can get a lot for my car, other cars are also costing me a lot (more than just taxes and fees right now). I'll keep looking and see if I can find a deal. I'd preferably want to upgrade to the 2.0L turbo, but those are going for like $37-40k with all the market "adjustments" and fees. It's just insane.
I think (hopefully) that the used car market will stay pretty high for a while and the new car market will be the first to recover once manufacturing and distribution begins to improve. But nobody can say forsure. If that happens then I can still get a good amount for my car and buy something around its MSRP price at least.

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Posted by: @arsen_2872

I've switched to using 91 octane instead of 87. 

How does 91 octane fuel help oil dilution?

It's caused by poor direction injection design.

Posted by: @arsen_2872

recently switched to using OW-16 oil

thinner oil? Wouldn't that make make a weaker seal, and make blow-by worse?

Posted by: @arsen_2872

I drive short distances daily lasting approximately 10 mins at a time

This is the real problem. Take a for a long hard drive every week to get the engine nice and hot to evaporate the fuel. Maybe even warm up the engine for a while every time you go for a drive so the metal has a chance to expand and seal up.

 

Did you get the software update, or talked to the dealership at all?

@mountainmanjoe thanks for your response.
As for switching to 91, I watched a series of youtube videos where people would get their oil analzyed for dilution before and after switch from 87 to 91 and everyone had less dilution overall, but they weren't sure why that was happening. Either way, at least for me, 87 or 91 I'm having oil dilution as you can see.

For the 0W-16 oil, I watched one of scotty's videos and he said specifically for the 1.5L Turbo honda engines to stop using the 0W-20 as it says and to use the 0W-16. Here's the link to that video:

I do try and drive it on long drives every week or 2. Seems to help a bit.

I called the dealer and they said they would have to charge me for multiple oil changes costing hundreds of dollars and charge me more for doing additional diagnostic tests. Sounded like a scam to me, and considering honda has said that this is a known issue and a "normal" part of the engine life, I didn't go with the dealer. My software is up to date!

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I heard that the oil dilution problem was fixed post 2018 and I was looking at getting the Ex model civic for the safety features but can only get the turbo engine with it. All i would want is to make it to 150k without any issues regarding the powertrain so how likely of a hope would that be?

Please use the search. This question was already answered.

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Posted by: @arsen_2872

My question is, what else can I do at this point to make the car last as long as possible (regarding the engine) besides change the oil and filter every 5000 miles?

(I know this thread is old, but I'll just add that)

As long as your engine is being "lubricated" by gasoline instead of oil - it's chances of lasting long are very slim.

I'd try and demand a new engine from Honda, or if yours is under warranty I'd just let it blow.

Terrible engines, currently Honda are trying to figure out why $1,400 injectors last under 30k miles.

 

If you can't get a new engine from Honda, sell it or trade it in.

 

Just get a Corolla, 1.8L ZR engines are tanks, CVTs are more reliable than the competition - great cars.

The Corolla Cross is definitely an honorable mention, it's a good value for what it is (but the engine really doesn't like short drives - in humid areas it cases condensation to mix with the engine oil.)

Or if you'll shop for used cars, the 3rd generation (not 4th) Mazda3 2.0/2.5 wit a conventional automatics - sadly it's a GDi engine but they're decent and they offer a very nice sporty experience that's similar to the Civic.

@dan
Thank you for commenting and for your advice.
Yeah my plan is to take it to a different dealer and get it looked at once I have more time.
This time, I'm gonna come with proof showing that they are responsible for fixing the issue without charging me for it.
We'll go from there.
If they can't fix it or won't give me a new engine, I'll drive it around for a few more years and trade it in for a different car.
In the meantime, I'm changing the oil every 4-5k miles and going on longer drives when I can.

I really wonder if there's a specific brand of oil that does best with oil dilution. I'm gonna try the new Mobil 1 0W-20, GF-6A oil Dexos Gen 3 on my next oil change and see if that makes a difference. Right now I have in the Valvoline 0W-16 GF-6B (as per the Scotty video).
The 0W-16 oil didn't make any difference with the oil dilution as far as I can tell, at least not for me.

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