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2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help #4402438
05/11/17 08:43 PM
05/11/17 08:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
maverickfhs Offline OP
maverickfhs  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
Hi guys, so we have a 2003 Honda Civic LX, with ~146k miles, runs like a champ. Had the car since 60k, now it's consuming oil, not sure where it's going though? Have to add almost 1 quart after every 500 or so miles. No smoke, no CEL and nothing. Just a bit background:

We replaced timing belt 3 years ago and somehow belt jumped and damaged the valves, ordered a replacement head from ebay and put everything back together. Then it started to leak oil from one of the seal in the cylinder head(o-ring). We fixed it and now no more leaks and it doesn't drip any oil either, but still consuming oil?

Where should we start to take care of it? So far we have used 5W20, occasionally 5W30, mixed with 5W20 in it.

Should we try to switch to a thicker oil or any known places to look for oil loss? I have 10W40 laying around, so as Shell Rotella 15W40.

Car is 100% stock, thanks for any of your help and input.


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402444
05/11/17 08:47 PM
05/11/17 08:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 867
MA USA
andrewp1998 Offline
andrewp1998  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 867
MA USA
Change the pcv and try a HM syn oil? Other with more exp will chime in..


2001 Honda civic HX vtecE- 5 spd,232k+
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: andrewp1998] #4402463
05/11/17 09:03 PM
05/11/17 09:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
maverickfhs Offline OP
maverickfhs  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
Originally Posted By: andrewp1998
Change the pcv and try a HM syn oil? Other with more exp will chime in..


Thanks, we have never touched the PCV on it. That would be a good first step, thank you.


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402471
05/11/17 09:13 PM
05/11/17 09:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
Change the pcv, try max life 10w-30 for an oci and see what you get. I'd also do a compression test to get an idea of how well the rings are sealing.

Recommend you find an oem pcv valve. The cheap ones are known to cause problems.

If it's not leaking externally then you have 3 main places to look. Pcv, piston rings, valve guide seals. HM oil can help the seals, and you can replace the pcv. If it's the rings then go thicker.


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402475
05/11/17 09:17 PM
05/11/17 09:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
maverickfhs Offline OP
maverickfhs  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
Thanks for your suggestions. Is OEM the best bet? If so, we can go OEM. I don't see any visible leaks anymore.

First PCV valve, then compression test and then mix 10W40 with a 5W20, maybe?


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402484
05/11/17 09:30 PM
05/11/17 09:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Thanks for your suggestions. Is OEM the best bet? If so, we can go OEM. I don't see any visible leaks anymore.

First PCV valve, then compression test and then mix 10W40 with a 5W20, maybe?


OEM was good enough for the first 100k smile

You can get oem without a dealer. Amazon has a lot of stuff. Just look up the correct part number and do some comparison shopping.

I'm not a fan of mixing oils because you don't know what you actually end up with. Of the two 10-40 will slow consumption more but that may be unnecessary. See what the pcv does. Try a 5w20 maxlife or m1 HM. I prefer 10w30 unless it's cold enough that you need a 5w or 0w to crank the engine.

If budget is an issue you can try Supertech 10w30 HM for $15 5qt jug at Walmart. Add a cheap Supertech filter and you're out the door under $20


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402488
05/11/17 09:33 PM
05/11/17 09:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
maverickfhs Offline OP
maverickfhs  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
Thanks for the reply, yeah we definitely missed on PCV valve just because it's not as obvious as other cars we have owned.

I have a bunch of oil in my stash, 5W20/5W30 Have some 10W30 too.

Maybe just changing the PCV resolve the problem. Compression test is on the to do list too!


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402507
05/11/17 09:50 PM
05/11/17 09:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,830
WI.
dblshock Offline
dblshock  Offline
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,830
WI.
should have run a 0/40 to avoid this thread, try it now.. you'll still like it.


16 Civic Coupe Touring 33k
640:1 TCW-3 E091
Edge 0/40 XG7317
Firehawk Indy 500

06 4Runner SR5 141k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0/40 XG3614
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: dblshock] #4402511
05/11/17 09:54 PM
05/11/17 09:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
I'm very curious to see what results you get after replacing pcv


2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402532
05/11/17 10:18 PM
05/11/17 10:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 789
Lynchburg, VA, USA
SF0059 Offline
SF0059  Offline
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 789
Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs


I have a bunch of oil in my stash, 5W20/5W30 Have some 10W30 too.


I agree, the first steps are to change the PCV and do a compression check.

If you want to use your stash prior to switching to a HM oil, I would recommend using Liqui-Moly Motor Oil Saver. You can get it on Amazon. I ran this in my Audi A6 with M1 0w40 and it stopped usage in its tracks.


2014 Honda Odyssey EX-L/RES: 54K mi, M1 0w-40 & FU, VCMuzzler V2
2017 Mazda 6 Touring 6MT: 22k mi, M1 AFE 0w20, OEM Filter
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402737
05/12/17 07:59 AM
05/12/17 07:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,628
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Online content
aquariuscsm  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,628
Dallas,Tx USA
I'd go with 10W30.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W20

Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4402797
05/12/17 08:51 AM
05/12/17 08:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
mightymousetech Offline
mightymousetech  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
Probably valve seals in that junkyard head.

Although these engines are notorious for head gaskets. Was the head machined before it was put on? How is the coolant level in the rad and overflow bottle?

Last edited by mightymousetech; 05/12/17 08:53 AM.

Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4410722
05/21/17 06:29 PM
05/21/17 06:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
maverickfhs Offline OP
maverickfhs  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,163
VA
Coolant and overflow bottle, everything is good and we did replace the headgasket when we were putting the new head on. No overheating or loss of coolant issues.


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: mightymousetech] #4411183
05/22/17 09:15 AM
05/22/17 09:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 8,177
Grand Rapids, MI
ThirdeYe Offline
ThirdeYe  Offline
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 8,177
Grand Rapids, MI
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Probably valve seals in that junkyard head.

Although these engines are notorious for head gaskets. Was the head machined before it was put on? How is the coolant level in the rad and overflow bottle?


The 05 model year was really the only one notorious for head gaskets. The 01-04 were pretty solid.


07 Honda Accord - 606k - Havoline High Mileage 5W-20/Purolator Synthetic PSL14610
98 Camaro Z28 - 120k - QS Defy 5w30/AC Delco PF46
Re: 2003 Honda Civic LX Oil Help [Re: maverickfhs] #4411189
05/22/17 09:32 AM
05/22/17 09:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
My sister owns a 2005 Civic 1.7L non-VTec (value package model) with ~210k miles on it. It burns oil between changes, probably a quart or so. Using a 10w30 has definitely slowed it down. I replaced the PCV before switching to 10w30 and it didn't help. I wasn't really surprised since the old one looked fine. I'd start with the PCV first though.

My guess is valve seals or rings.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (180k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (33k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
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