2011 Honda Pilot Very Low Oil

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May 19, 2018
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Somewhat out of the blue, my sister called and asked if I would show her how to change the oil on her "new to her" car. Car is a 2011 Honda Pilot with about 90k miles on it. She said the check engine light had come on a little over a week ago and hadn't turned off on its own, and that her OLM had just reached 0%. When she pulled in the garage her car was making a pretty loud rattling noise. We drained the pan and out came a whole quart of oil including what was in the filter! I asked her how far she had gone on that oil and she said about 7500 miles. Oil used was Castrol 5w20 Synthetic from a local garage shortly after it was purchased. I checked the codes for the CEL and came up with codes for the cylinder deactivation on both banks. I am assuming those systems must use oil pressure to function. When I told her the codes, she said she did notice that the "ECO" light stopped coming on around the time the CEL showed up. Filled it with 5 quarts of fresh Mobil1 0w20 HM and a M1 filter, cleared the codes, fired it up and it was still making quite a bit of noise. Started listening under the hood and noticed she was 1/2 pint low on power steering fluid. I topped off the power steering fluid and it purred smoothly and quietly. She said on her way home the ECO light was working again. Should she be concerned about the longevity of this vehicle having run it so low on oil, or did she dodge a bullet since it seems to be running smooth a quiet now? I told her to keep an eye on it and that we should change it again around 3k, likely with 5w30 supertech, but I'm wondering if she bought someone else's problem with it being an oil burner and if she might want to get rid of it sooner rather than later. Thoughts?
 
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At this point it has to be assumed the damage has been done. Does she know how to check the oil level? Relying on the light is not the way.
 
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The Pilot has VCM, which is hard on oil mad I would also suggest using a muzzler to disable VCM. It might not burn oil as much. See how the car is running a month or two from now, and of course the next time you change the oil
 
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What's done is done. Just stress to her the importance of checking the oil regularly (which I suspect you've already done), maybe carry a qt or two in the trunk and pray it lasts long enough that she gets her money's worth out of it.
 
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As noted, water under the bridge now. Concerned about longevity, based on one quart oil left and noise, probably rightfully so. Engine reliability going forward certainly a major question mark. Check oil level frequently, when it gets quart low, top up and drive on. Hope for the best.
 
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Honda has a warranty extension on these engines for piston rings if it is within 8 years of the original in-service date. However, the car needs to throw misfire related fault codes before they will take action. If eligible, you will receive new pistons under warranty.
 
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Who knows if any damage was done. My sister brought her ford windstar over and there was literally a half quart in it. I changed it, checked it every few weeks and she ran that pos another 70k. The car didn't use much oil, half a quart every 1500 but she went almost a year without an oil change. My 07 Murano used some oil and the oil light came on @80k one time and I traded the car with over 200k and it's still running around town.
 
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Originally Posted by The Critic
Honda has a warranty extension on these engines for piston rings if it is within 8 years of the original in-service date. However, the car needs to throw misfire related fault codes before they will take action. If eligible, you will receive new pistons under warranty.
Would metal in the pan, filter and elsewhere be disqualifying? I wouldn't be surprised if this thing shedded a fair amount...
 
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She should just drive it, check the oil level frequently (at first, to see if it's leaking or burning oil, then increase the time between checking), and change the oil.
 
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.... She said the check engine light had come on a little over a week ago and hadn't turned off on its own .... Got to blame dad or husband or at least the Home Ec class for improper training! Now if there was something wrong with the smart phone , they would be immediately stopping at the Verizon store on the way home smile A few of the honda 4 and 6 cyl engines burn a ton of oil; a co-worker had one. I recall being in the Honda dealer in North Salem, and seeing a pile of used cats along the wall and one on the service writers desk. So I asked him what was up with all the cats. He said they were oil fouled and also shattered internally. Hmmm, I think there were a few a threads here a year ago or more concerning close-coupled cats and extensive idling having failures after VVT become de rigueur. In some operating mode there is self EGR through the ex manifold due to valve overlap. ____________ But on a quaint note, back in the mid 80's, my then psycho GF had her oil changed at the Jeep dealer in Newburyport and guess what? They "forgot" to put oil back in. She drove over the next day to my apt and said the engine was clacking. Pulled the DS, and no oil. long story short(er) put some oil in and - no hay problema. But, a year later we were rear ended by two drunks in a ford econoline van going 40 MPH whilst waiting to make a left turn from the center turn lane on route 114S in Middleton. So, Somthin' else got her. To bad; it was a nice (now) classic black Jeep Laredo CJ7 with the old straight six and a 4 speed stick. My Neck still hurts
 
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