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#4503486 - 08/31/17 03:08 PM Burning oil - Acura TL
RyanL Offline


Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
I'm a long time lurker but finally registered just to get some opinions on my issue. There's a ton of good info on here I've used in the past so thank you in advance for the knowledge.

I have a 2012 Acura TL with 126K miles. I've owned it since 58K and it's always run like a top. I've owned two other vehicles with the J-Series Honda V6 and have never had a problem. This includes my 2009 Honda Pilot which now has 210K on it and doesn't burn/leak a drop of oil. I've typically used Mobil 1 EP with a Mobil filter and stuck with the viscosity recommended by the manufacturer (usually 0W-20 or 5W-20 depending on the vehicle). Always change around 6-8K or so even though Mobil 1 EP can supposedly be run for 15K. Pretty textbook with what I've done with all my cars.

My current issue is the TL. It began burning oil, just out of the blue, about 6 weeks ago. If I got above about 2500RPM I could visibly see smoke in the rear view along with a whole lot of sooty buildup on the tailpipes. I checked all the spark plugs and found that the plug in cylinder 5 is fouled. Badly. All others are fine. Took it to 2 different shops and they came to the same conclusion - oil rings. The valve seals appear to be fine. No puff of smoke on startup and the leak down test confirmed air was escaping out the PCV. Burning about 1 quart every 300-500 miles. I have no idea how this happened. The current oil was about 3000 miles, 3 months old. No over-revving. Just dumb luck I suppose.

So I moved up to 5W-30 Mobil 1 which helped a little but not a ton. My mechanic recommended I use Restore along with conventional oil and see if that worked. I refilled with Pennzoil 5W-30 HM conventional and added a 6-cylinder bottle of Restore. I didn't let it go very long before I got impatient with it continuing to burn, even though I had to get to higher RPM before there was any visible smoke. Drained and refilled with 10W-40 Pennzoil HM and put in an 8-cylinder bottle of Restore. Currently has about 500 miles on that round. It seems to be better in terms of smoke. I have to nearly hit redline before I see anything visible. Consumption is down but certainly still there. About 1 qt. in the last 400 miles or so.

Oh, and to add to the fun, the engine has begun to spark knock, presumably from carbon buildup. Using a boroscope, I can see a whole lot of buildup on the exhaust valves and piston head. The valves on that cylinder have also begun making noise, again, presumably from carbon buildup. They're in spec when I opened the valve cover to do an adjustment. Oh, and when I did that I saw that the heads are super clean. No sludge, uniform color - light brown. Very clean as expected.

So I'd like to hear how you'd proceed at this point. I've gotten a few bids on an engine rebuild/replacement. I currently have a bid for about $4000 for a replacement using a 30K engine. That would include the normal replacement components (full timing set, seals, spark plugs, oil pan, etc.) that's standard when engines are replaced, as well as the engine itself and labor. However, I would much rather mitigate the issue, even if it still burns a little, rather than pouring $4000 into the car. I also got a bid for around $2000 which would be nothing more than tearing down the engine, replacing the rings on just that one cylinder, then putting it back together. I'm a DIY'er but that's above my pay grade.

I do plan on keeping it for a while. I've pushed all my Honda's past 200K miles and still sold them running well after that.

My current plan is to keep on with the current 10W-40 and 8-Cylinder Restore and see what happens. I'll add oil as needed. Any opinions are welcome smile

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#4503490 - 08/31/17 03:11 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8764
Loc: Phoenix
Clearly you have a broken oil control ring and it is already causing drivabilty issues. Trading it would be my first choice, second would be the used engine. Save your money on the miracle cures, no miracle is big enough to fix this!
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#4503492 - 08/31/17 03:14 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Sorry, post edit. Did not read your full post, missed the part about only one cylinder being bad. Sounds like a broken ring on that cylinder. Would have to pull off the head to properly check the condition of that cylinder. Can get away with just replacing that one piston and rings if the cylinders are not scored. Continuing to drive it could cause the damage to get worse and require a new block.

We actually had something similar on a new RDX, apparently Honda forgot to put an oil ring on one cylinder.


Edited by mightymousetech (08/31/17 03:27 PM)
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Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

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#4503525 - 08/31/17 03:45 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
RyanL Offline


Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Thanks for the responses. I'm curious how continuing to drive it would damage the cylinder wall. Wouldn't it just score the cylinder liner? Would damage to the block have to result from the ring first digging through the liner?

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#4503539 - 08/31/17 04:06 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: RyanL
Thanks for the responses. I'm curious how continuing to drive it would damage the cylinder wall. Wouldn't it just score the cylinder liner? Would damage to the block have to result from the ring first digging through the liner?


Honda won't let us machine a block and go oversize. Either replace just the piston or a new short block. There is no in between.

We are actually doing so many short blocks on the TL and MDX, Honda can't make them fast enough and they are on back order.


Edited by mightymousetech (08/31/17 04:09 PM)
_________________________
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2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

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#4503548 - 08/31/17 04:21 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
VetteElite Offline


Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 116
Loc: -
Honda owners are funny.

"I have this Honda. It has a major problem. But I've had other Hondas that are good, so that make everything Ok. In fact, I'm gonna keep it and that replace it with another!"

I understand that every company rolls a few bad cars off the line here and there and I also understand second chances for a brand, but I've never once heard of a Honda owner blame Honda for anything.


Edited by VetteElite (08/31/17 04:23 PM)

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#4503553 - 08/31/17 04:33 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: VetteElite]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24620
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Listen to Fernando Alonso for a few minutes. I suppose he's on lease, though. wink
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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#4503558 - 08/31/17 04:41 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: VetteElite]
RyanL Offline


Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Easy there turbo. I never said it was Ok. I'm not happy about it at all. However, having owned 7 Honda products and not having a single problem with any of them, I'm willing to accept this issue and resolve to fix it. I'm relatively certain this is a manufacturer defect, and I can say all kinds of trash on Honda. For example, their automatic transmission suck. Over on Acurazine we call them "glass transmissions" because they break so easy. Also, Acura is far behind other luxury brands in terms of innovation and they've been using essentially the same engine for 20 years without any major improvements. But bottom line is, they're still better than 90% of the brands out there so yes, I'm a bit of a Honda fanboy. There's no way in [censored] you'll catch me with a Chrysler or BMW product unless it's a lease....

Anyway, back on topic. I contacted my mechanic and scheduled the repair. He's going to drop the oilpan, remove and replace the rings, hone the cylinder and replace the liner. He also informed me that damage to the cylinder wall could occur but that it's probably unlikely based on his experience.

I appreciate the advice.

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#4503560 - 08/31/17 04:44 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: mightymousetech]
RyanL Offline


Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Originally Posted By: RyanL
Thanks for the responses. I'm curious how continuing to drive it would damage the cylinder wall. Wouldn't it just score the cylinder liner? Would damage to the block have to result from the ring first digging through the liner?


Honda won't let us machine a block and go oversize. Either replace just the piston or a new short block. There is no in between.

We are actually doing so many short blocks on the TL and MDX, Honda can't make them fast enough and they are on back order.


Are those from the 3.7L? From what I understand, they dropped the ball pretty bad on that engine. Bad liners or something like that. Consume oil like crazy.


Edited by wwillson (09/01/17 09:22 AM)
Edit Reason: bypassing censor

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#4503583 - 08/31/17 05:03 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11018
Loc: Idaho
Put the restore in and see how it runs then trade it in on a new car.
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#4503595 - 08/31/17 05:16 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6578
Loc: Hudson, NH
Maybe try a new pcv valve
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#4503608 - 08/31/17 05:27 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
philipp10 Offline


Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 1184
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: RyanL
Easy there turbo. I never said it was Ok. I'm not happy about it at all. However, having owned 7 Honda products and not having a single problem with any of them, I'm willing to accept this issue and resolve to fix it. I'm relatively certain this is a manufacturer defect, and I can say all kinds of trash on Honda. For example, their automatic transmission suck. Over on Acurazine we call them "glass transmissions" because they break so easy. Also, Acura is far behind other luxury brands in terms of innovation and they've been using essentially the same engine for 20 years without any major improvements. But bottom line is, they're still better than 90% of the brands out there so yes, I'm a bit of a Honda fanboy. There's no way in [censored] you'll catch me with a Chrysler or BMW product unless it's a lease....

Anyway, back on topic. I contacted my mechanic and scheduled the repair. He's going to drop the oilpan, remove and replace the rings, hone the cylinder and replace the liner. He also informed me that damage to the cylinder wall could occur but that it's probably unlikely based on his experience.

I appreciate the advice.



Honda SHOULD step up to the plate and offer a fix for free or very low cost.....I am a Toyota fanboy but even they have tested my limits....

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#4503635 - 08/31/17 05:52 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
Originally Posted By: RyanL
I also got a bid for around $2000 which would be nothing more than tearing down the engine, replacing the rings on just that one cylinder, then putting it back together.

Was this person serious?

Also, isn't Restore that emulsion of copper and lead particles? Yuck. If it is, then no wonder the buildup and spark knock... emissions equip. probably brutalized if it burned enough Restore-doped oil.

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#4503660 - 08/31/17 06:14 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: RyanL]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15729
Loc: OH
If all cylinders were bad, I'd figure stuck rings and recommend Kreen.
Can't hurt and could well help.
If only one is bad, that indicates a mechanical problem with that pot.
The cost to fix at $2K isn't too awful and would require that you only get another 20K out of the engine to drive your money out of it, which you will.
I'd contact Honda and ask for some warranty on this, since this is pretty clearly a bad part or an assembly error from when this engine was built.
126K isn't that many miles for any decent engine.
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17 Forester 12K MSS 0W-20
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09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
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#4503683 - 08/31/17 06:32 PM Re: Burning oil - Acura TL [Re: philipp10]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 188
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted By: philipp10
Honda SHOULD step up to the plate and offer a fix for free or very low cost.....I am a Toyota fanboy but even they have tested my limits....


After 100K mi? Anything can happen to a vehicle within that many miles. I'm not saying it's right for a manufacturer not to stand behind their product when a responsible owner has a problem, but if they were to (almost) free replace or rebuild engines for everyone who had a failure after 100K mi and claimed they did nothing wrong, it would have to raise their costs which gets passed onto consumers one way or another.


Edited by Dave9 (08/31/17 06:33 PM)

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