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Motor Oil Consumption in Honda Engines
I own a 2006 Honda Accord with a 3.0L V6. Oil consumption when new was 1/2 to 1-qt. between change intervals, (about 6,000 miles). My Honda dealer uses the least expensive conventional oil that meets Honda specifications. I switched to Mobil 1 5W-20 and oil consumption remained the same, so I used Mobil 1 5W-30 and oil consumption is reduced to 1/2-qt between changes. Although I disagree, my Honda dealer feels the amount of oil consumed by my V6 is normal, and they imply there is no value in synthetic oils in Honda engines. My questions then: 1) is there something unique about Honda engines that would make conventional oil more suitable for Midwest driving conditions, (city driving); 2) should I consider increasing viscosity of either a synthetic or conventional oil to 10W-40 or 0W-40 to further reduce oil consumption?
-- Bruce Griffin, St. Louis, MO
We can honestly say that there is not a single performance parameter where conventional motor oil outperforms a synthetic motor oil. So using a synthetic motor oil for your driving conditions makes sense. There is nothing unique about the Honda engine oil requirement that would dictate using conventional motor oil for driving conditions in your part of the country or elsewhere. In fact, I have the exact same vehicle and use Mobil 1 in it. In general, you should use the viscosity recommended in your owner’s manual since the vehicle is designed around a certain viscosity oil. In today’s modern engines, the oil performs additional functions besides lubricating the engine and sometimes it is used as hydraulic oil as well. However as an engine ages, oil consumption can sometimes increase due to “normal” wear as clearances can become wider. In some cases, using higher viscosity oil can help to control oil consumption. Keep in mind that using a higher viscosity oil can lead to poor fuel economy.