Honda 1.5L Engine Suffers Cold-Weather Oil-Dilution Problem

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1,161
Location
Fresno, CA
Thank goodness I live in a warm weather state and properly warm up my vehicles by driving 5-10 minutes before getting on the freeway each morning. Plus I take long drives most weekends. Haven't noticed any rise in the oil level dipstick. I think I can get and 250k miles on my Civic.
 
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9,614
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Pennsylbammyvania
Originally Posted by eddy21
My 1.6 EcoBoost showed < 0.5% fuel fuel on a 6k change .
Did that used oil still REEK of fuel at that low(ish) dilution level? I know that is NOT a good way to judge either fuel dilution, or OCI, but I get paranoid, especially during short trip winter OCIs with mine, (and the oil smelling like I should dump it into the gas tank!) and end up always dumping it early/short OCI (like under 4K miles, even with the best EP/'boutique' oils). frown
 
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233
Location
FL
Originally Posted by dailydriver
Originally Posted by eddy21
My 1.6 EcoBoost showed < 0.5% fuel fuel on a 6k change .
Did that used oil still REEK of fuel at that low(ish) dilution level? I know that is NOT a good way to judge either fuel dilution, or OCI, but I get paranoid, especially during short trip winter OCIs with mine, (and the oil smelling like I should dump it into the gas tank!) and end up always dumping it early/short OCI (like under 4K miles, even with the best EP/'boutique' oils). frown
Not at all .
 
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1,050
Location
NC
Many Honda 1.5T owners found a way to fix the dilution issue: - Use 0W40 in the Crankcase - Use 91/93 grade in the gas tank With this recipe fuel dilution is nearly non-existent, even in colder climates.
 
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697
Location
MN
Originally Posted by LazyDog
One other item that can be making the problem worse is the turbo system. The PCV on Volvo cars is huge and helps to alleviate the moisture/ condensation caused by the turbo system. The system also has a small weep hole in the inter cooler to drain some of the condensation. My friend has an F150 Eco boost, and we install a large catch can to deal with this moisture stuff. When you open it, it literally takes a pee for about 20-30 seconds lots of condensation. The inter cooler has no weep hole.
Ford has a TSB for the condensation issue, they had several motors come in hydrolocked because the intercooler was filling with water. Their solution is to add a weep hole in the intercooler and some more air baffling.
 
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336
Location
Lake County, Ohio
Originally Posted by Vladiator
Many Honda 1.5T owners found a way to fix the dilution issue: - Use 0W40 in the Crankcase - Use 91/93 grade in the gas tank With this recipe fuel dilution is nearly non-existent, even in colder climates.
Wonder why the owner's on the CRV forum don't know about this, or that Honda isn't saying to do this.
 
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7,768
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Oklahoma
Honda can't without the risk of losing their CAFE certification. Also, that engine has an oil cooled turbo unit. It was specifically designed for 0w-20, Honda won't go back on that either.
 
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9,427
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Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
I'm not suggesting that fuel dilution is a good thing, or even something that ought to be passively accepted. That said, has anyone actually seen or experienced a case in which actual engine damage was shown to have resulted from fuel dilution? I haven't exactly been "hawking" the issue, but I have seen a decent number of UOA here where the fuel appears elevated, but the rest of the indicators are pretty well normal. In the OP's linked article, a paragraph reads:
Quote
The issue already has prompted at least one class-action lawsuit alleging excessive oil dilution is causing engine damage due to high wear on inadequately lubricated components.
It would be very interesting to see what evidence is supporting this suit, assuming the suit is for real. Anyone know of specific examples of actual damage or failure linked to this issue?
 
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42,889
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Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by ekpolk
I'm not suggesting that fuel dilution is a good thing, or even something that ought to be passively accepted. That said, has anyone actually seen or experienced a case in which actual engine damage was shown to have resulted from fuel dilution? I haven't exactly been "hawking" the issue, but I have seen a decent number of UOA here where the fuel appears elevated, but the rest of the indicators are pretty well normal. In the OP's linked article, a paragraph reads:
Quote
The issue already has prompted at least one class-action lawsuit alleging excessive oil dilution is causing engine damage due to high wear on inadequately lubricated components.
It would be very interesting to see what evidence is supporting this suit, assuming the suit is for real. Anyone know of specific examples of actual damage or failure linked to this issue?
Apparently there have been engines that have locked up if you lookup the lawsuit. The engine was of course also banned from sale in China until Honda has fixed it.
 
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...
The circumstances in China are likely different. Not only do they have cold weather but their fuel quality may not be up to par as well. There is also a political slant to this as well. Not saying that the problem doesn't exist elsewhere, but China has put it in the spotlight.
 
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9,427
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Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
I've reviewed the Hamilton class-action complaint in the Georgia case. Interesting and alarming stuff. Pretty crazy that the Chinese took aggressive, consumer protective action far ahead of the US. Hmmm.... I'm sure my questions sound theoretical and perhaps even unsympathetic to or unbelieving of, those who are caught in this mess. That's not my intent. I've owned a troubled vehicle or two, though not at this level. Two things remain unclear, to me anyway. First, at what point does fuel dilution actually "go critical?" I get that no amount is truly tolerable. The article that is cited in the footnote on page 7 of the Hamilton complaint seems to suggest that the amount is somewhere between 5-10%, though I imagine the "magic" number might differ between applications. By "go critical," I mean the point where the oil, so diluted, can no longer "absorb" the fuel and continue to perform. Malfunction and real damage are happening NOW. The second question, is the frequency of actual catastrophic failure as a result of FD. Obviously, Honda isn't being too forthcoming about the issue, and some percentage of engines must be totally failing because of this problem. But how many? Anyone got some info on this? In Hamilton, the lawyers cited a bunch of NHTSA complaints about odors and overfilling, but not one that said, "FD actually killed my engine...". The intent in asking, by the way, is not to punch holes in the assertion that this is a problem -- it obviously is; rather, it's to get some understanding of where this broader FD issue is taking all of us. GDI with turbo is not just a Honda thing, it's getting more and more common, and so to perhaps is the FD issue. On a lighter note, you just had to know that as soon as some marketing clod decided to tag the engine with the "Earth Dreams" name, something was bound to go horribly, terribly wrong. . .
 
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Messages
115
Location
PA
Originally Posted by ekpolk
I've reviewed the Hamilton class-action complaint in the Georgia case. Interesting and alarming stuff. Pretty crazy that the Chinese took aggressive, consumer protective action far ahead of the US. Hmmm.... I'm sure my questions sound theoretical and perhaps even unsympathetic to or unbelieving of, those who are caught in this mess. That's not my intent. I've owned a troubled vehicle or two, though not at this level. Two things remain unclear, to me anyway. First, at what point does fuel dilution actually "go critical?" I get that no amount is truly tolerable. The article that is cited in the footnote on page 7 of the Hamilton complaint seems to suggest that the amount is somewhere between 5-10%, though I imagine the "magic" number might differ between applications. By "go critical," I mean the point where the oil, so diluted, can no longer "absorb" the fuel and continue to perform. Malfunction and real damage are happening NOW. The second question, is the frequency of actual catastrophic failure as a result of FD. Obviously, Honda isn't being too forthcoming about the issue, and some percentage of engines must be totally failing because of this problem. But how many? Anyone got some info on this? In Hamilton, the lawyers cited a bunch of NHTSA complaints about odors and overfilling, but not one that said, "FD actually killed my engine...". The intent in asking, by the way, is not to punch holes in the assertion that this is a problem -- it obviously is; rather, it's to get some understanding of where this broader FD issue is taking all of us. GDI with turbo is not just a Honda thing, it's getting more and more common, and so to perhaps is the FD issue. On a lighter note, you just had to know that as soon as some marketing clod decided to tag the engine with the "Earth Dreams" name, something was bound to go horribly, terribly wrong. . .
I have wondered about these issues, too. I think it's ludicrous that Honda is sticking to "no damage is occurring" as a public stance. Especially when some of these 3.7 quart capacity engines are adding a full quart of oil/fuel level in a few hundred miles. I think someone else mentioned it further up the thread, but IIRC Honda has replaced some engines and valvetrains, mostly when the issue first reared its head. I believe in the interests of liability deflection, they have stopped. I get the feeling that some dealers, either on their own or at Honda's behest, are doing frequent oil changes when the level rises alarmingly. Which pretty much destroys the light environmental impact of the engine, and of Honda's reputation.
 
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1,050
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NC
Originally Posted by ls973800
Originally Posted by Vladiator
Many Honda 1.5T owners found a way to fix the dilution issue: - Use 0W40 in the Crankcase - Use 91/93 grade in the gas tank With this recipe fuel dilution is nearly non-existent, even in colder climates.
Wonder why the owner's on the CRV forum don't know about this, or that Honda isn't saying to do this.
As I said - "MANY Honda 1.5T owners", but not all. Those who went the route of Higher octane and higher viscosity are happily motoring along. But those who refuse to think outside the box - end up with fuel dilution issues and some get their engines locked up, according to the lawsuits against Honda.
 
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2,153
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New Hampsha
I've got about 7300 miles on PP 0W20 with a Fram Ultra this change. Plan on changing out this weekend. 26K and some change on the clock so far. Commute is 100 miles per day r/t with 99% of that highway. Get caught in some stop and go some days on the way home. Use the remote start a lot so the car will idle anywhere from 1 minute to 7-8 at times. The oil level was over the dipstick line from day one with the FF. Have done 3 changes so far with 2 of the PP and the other one M1 0W20 Extended. Was going to send that one to Blackstone for analyzing but will hold off and probably send this PP off. After 7300 on this fill I don't notice any appreciable moving up on the dipstick. I did get the "product advisory" in the mail about bringing the car in for the "fix" From what I can gather all it does is make a software change that makes you engine run at higher rpms when you first start it. Car is running great and avg 41-43 mpg and stretching out to near 500 miles a tank at times. Undecided if I'm going to do the "product advisory" as they keep changing the "solution" it seems. Apparently they may need to replace some parts in the AC that I'm not keen on. If it involves taking the dash apart that's a no go and just an invitation to rattles plus I've read some horror stories on the Civic forums of a/c systems grenading after having the work done.
 
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22,252
Location
CA
Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
I've got about 7300 miles on PP 0W20 with a Fram Ultra this change. Plan on changing out this weekend. 26K and some change on the clock so far. Commute is 100 miles per day r/t with 99% of that highway. Get caught in some stop and go some days on the way home. Use the remote start a lot so the car will idle anywhere from 1 minute to 7-8 at times. The oil level was over the dipstick line from day one with the FF. Have done 3 changes so far with 2 of the PP and the other one M1 0W20 Extended. Was going to send that one to Blackstone for analyzing but will hold off and probably send this PP off. After 7300 on this fill I don't notice any appreciable moving up on the dipstick. I did get the "product advisory" in the mail about bringing the car in for the "fix" From what I can gather all it does is make a software change that makes you engine run at higher rpms when you first start it. Car is running great and avg 41-43 mpg and stretching out to near 500 miles a tank at times. Undecided if I'm going to do the "product advisory" as they keep changing the "solution" it seems. Apparently they may need to replace some parts in the AC that I'm not keen on. If it involves taking the dash apart that's a no go and just an invitation to rattles plus I've read some horror stories on the Civic forums of a/c systems grenading after having the work done.
I would definitely get the software update done. There are other changes that were made, not just the ones you mentioned. The HVAC module is accessed thru the side of the dash, it is a very quick replacement. No major disassembly is needed.
 
Messages
2,153
Location
New Hampsha
Originally Posted by The Critic
Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
I've got about 7300 miles on PP 0W20 with a Fram Ultra this change. Plan on changing out this weekend. 26K and some change on the clock so far. Commute is 100 miles per day r/t with 99% of that highway. Get caught in some stop and go some days on the way home. Use the remote start a lot so the car will idle anywhere from 1 minute to 7-8 at times. The oil level was over the dipstick line from day one with the FF. Have done 3 changes so far with 2 of the PP and the other one M1 0W20 Extended. Was going to send that one to Blackstone for analyzing but will hold off and probably send this PP off. After 7300 on this fill I don't notice any appreciable moving up on the dipstick. I did get the "product advisory" in the mail about bringing the car in for the "fix" From what I can gather all it does is make a software change that makes you engine run at higher rpms when you first start it. Car is running great and avg 41-43 mpg and stretching out to near 500 miles a tank at times. Undecided if I'm going to do the "product advisory" as they keep changing the "solution" it seems. Apparently they may need to replace some parts in the AC that I'm not keen on. If it involves taking the dash apart that's a no go and just an invitation to rattles plus I've read some horror stories on the Civic forums of a/c systems grenading after having the work done.
I would definitely get the software update done. There are other changes that were made, not just the ones you mentioned. The HVAC module is accessed thru the side of the dash, it is a very quick replacement. No major disassembly is needed.
Do you know offhand what the other changes are?
 
Messages
22,252
Location
CA
Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
Originally Posted by The Critic
Originally Posted by Blue_Goose
I've got about 7300 miles on PP 0W20 with a Fram Ultra this change. Plan on changing out this weekend. 26K and some change on the clock so far. Commute is 100 miles per day r/t with 99% of that highway. Get caught in some stop and go some days on the way home. Use the remote start a lot so the car will idle anywhere from 1 minute to 7-8 at times. The oil level was over the dipstick line from day one with the FF. Have done 3 changes so far with 2 of the PP and the other one M1 0W20 Extended. Was going to send that one to Blackstone for analyzing but will hold off and probably send this PP off. After 7300 on this fill I don't notice any appreciable moving up on the dipstick. I did get the "product advisory" in the mail about bringing the car in for the "fix" From what I can gather all it does is make a software change that makes you engine run at higher rpms when you first start it. Car is running great and avg 41-43 mpg and stretching out to near 500 miles a tank at times. Undecided if I'm going to do the "product advisory" as they keep changing the "solution" it seems. Apparently they may need to replace some parts in the AC that I'm not keen on. If it involves taking the dash apart that's a no go and just an invitation to rattles plus I've read some horror stories on the Civic forums of a/c systems grenading after having the work done.
I would definitely get the software update done. There are other changes that were made, not just the ones you mentioned. The HVAC module is accessed thru the side of the dash, it is a very quick replacement. No major disassembly is needed.
Do you know offhand what the other changes are?
I do not. But the product update document stated that the software update should resolve a P0172 so I am inclined to believe that there were some changes to the injector timing.
 
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