2013 Honda CR-V - OLM and oil change interval question

Jul 7, 2014
Winnipeg MB CA
Some friends got a great deal on a 2013 Honda CR-V. It really is the classic "one-owner, low-mileage, old lady only drove it to church on Sunday" vehicle. It's got a mere 26,000 km (c. 16,000 miles) on it after nine years, and I think the new owners have put almost a third of that on in the last few months. :oops:

They got the oil changed when they got the vehicle a few months ago, and put 8,000 km (c. 5,000 miles) on that first oil change, so my friend took it in for a 2nd one. The OLM was still at 60%. They figure half of the 8K km was a highway trip this summer, and much of the rest has been easy suburban driving.

So the question is, in future should they go by mileage, or by the OLM?

And all the sub-questions -

- Should they have run it down to, say, 10%?

- Is the Honda OLM of that era considered valid?

- Is the Honda 2.4 known to be easy on oil?

- I think the car specs 0W-20, so any compliant oil would have to be synthetic, right? That is, the OLM's recommendation shouldn't be exceeded just because synthetic oil was used, correct?

I really liked the thread a few months back about oil life being inversely proportional to the amount of fuel the car consumed. As I recall, the algorithm applied to the CR-V (4 litre sump, and using an average of 8 litres of fuel/100 km) would be:

4 litres (sump capacity) x 200 = 800 litres

How long to use 800 litres of fuel?

8 litres/100 km x 10,000 km = 800 litres of fuel used

So, by that rationale, 10,000 km would have depleted the oil (i.e. low TBN, etc.).

However, per the OLM, and assuming the oil was 'wearing out' linearly, they could have gone more like 20,000 km (12,500 miles). [8,000 is to 40% as 20,000 is to 100%.]

Of course the vehicle will use more fuel as the temperature drops here, so that 20,000 km would be valid only for the easy driving they've done over the past few months. But still, the question remains - can they trust the OLM, or should they go by time and mileage?

I believe the owners manual says to go no longer than one year & 10% OLM.
However they must do what makes them sleep well at night.

My daughter's 2015 Civic(insurance totaled) was similar.
Even with high miles on an oil change, the OLM was still at a high %. I mean, holy cow, even with ~9000 miles on the odometer, OLM still showed 50%...WHAAAT! .

I changed the oil 2X/year and the filter 1X. I'd change the oil/filterAutumn(around our Thanksgiving/November) and again ~May no filter.
We had a 2007 CR-V for 100k miles (woman hit my wife, their insurance totaled it). IMO, this and the 2008-2009 year models were the best ever. I should say this WAS my opinion, but I still hold that opinion for those that were very well maintained, as ours was.

Fast Forward to March 2022, I bought a "one-owner", self-described as well-maintained 2008 CR-V EX-L for my daughter with 162k miles on it. You gotta understand that oil changes, per some manufacturer recommendation, is "good maintenance" to most people. Yes, the previous owner had the oil changed every 3-5k miles, started using Mobil-1 at 100k miles.

I think they had the transmission fluid dropped once or twice.

But the brake fluid was original, the brakes are pad-slapped and there's cheap chinese tires on it and they needed over 3 oz of balancing, each wheel, when I took it in for a rotate, balance and alignment. Spark plugs had never been done, nor valve adjustment at 100k miles, either. Nor has the power steering fluid ever been serviced.

I had to replace the high pressure PS hose recently, the VVT Spool Valve and I'm putting a set of Michelins on it this weekend. I need to do the rear brakes soon.

Bottom line, Do 5k mile oil changes with the filter change. I always liked the Motorcraft semi-syn in the 5W-20 and I used a Wix or Napa Gold filter. Don't forget all that other stuff as well, brake, power steering fluid, filters, transmission fluid, etc.
That era of CRV’s seemed to be more prone to timing chain stretch than the earlier K24 ones.
Would you recommend going with a 0W- or 5W-30
Honda specs oils from 0W-20 to 10W-40 for the same engines, just depends on what country you're in.... Their engines really don't seem to care. Our daughter's Civic has the 1.8L engine and I may or may not use 5W-30 in it but if I tell anyone, the "experts" often feel the need to tell people how wrong they are.
I would run a nice syn 5w30, service it every 5K and swap the filter every 2nd or 3rd service. A MityVac makes this super easy. Like this: