Another Honda first oil change question!

Messages
4
Location
Oregon
Folks, Yes, I've got a new Honda Accord with the four-cylinder engine, and the "don't you DARE change that oil before your first scheduled change!" instructions in the owner's manual. Which (get this!) is 10,000 miles or 1 year for "normal" usage (with the filter change at 20,000 miles or 1 year!!). Or, make it 5,000 miles / six months for the oil and 10,000 miles / one year for the filter, for "severe" usage. Of course, I consider this INSANITY!! If I had my way, I'd switch over to Mobil 1 at 1,000 miles (or less), and never look back! Anyway, I know this has come up many times before, but let me give you my usual practices, and I'd very much appreciate your advice! I am =not= mechanically inclined, and wouldn't know "moly" if it crawled up and bit me on the leg. However, many years ago I adopted my usual oil change regimen: Change it with Mobil 1 every three months, whether it needs it or not. That's usually around 3,000 miles for me, so it's really the classic three months / 3,000 miles routine. I know that's probably considered "excessive" to some, but I consider my usage to be =quite= severe. My "commute" to work is about three miles, and about ten minutes. It's so short, I drive home for lunch every day. So, that's four short trips, at least, per day, five days a week. I often get out on the open road on the weekends, but often don't go over 35 miles per hour for a whole week, either. So, I think that qualifies as "severe." So, my mantra is "get the crud out of the engine," and let's also use Mobil 1 so I don't get so much crud, to begin with. Sure, I probably could get away with six-month changes, but what's the cost to do it four times a year? I go to a shop that's been changing my oil for over 20 years, I give them my Mobil 1 and my own filters, and their charge plus the oil and everything winds up to be about fifty bucks per shot. So what if I blow an extra hundred bucks per year -- it's the cheapest insurance you can buy!! Gosh, I guess I should also mention that I always plan to keep my cars a =long= time -- "ten years after I'm done paying them off!" Doesn't always work out that way, but that's what I always hope to do! So, gosh, I'm already past 1,000 miles -- coming up on 1,500. I'd love to change the oil RIGHT NOW, but then again, I don't want to compromise the break-in concept Honda is going for. From my reading here, it sounds like a high-moly oil is the way to go, and it sounds like Mobil 1 is high-moly. So, why not? Should I go for the Mobil 1 right now? Or, should I go for some dino oil this time, then go for Mobil 1 next time, three months later? So, I'd love to hear your thoughts about where to go from here. And, if you've got a preference for a filter, I'd love to hear that, too. It sounds like the OEM filter (and I've always used OEM filters in the past, other makes than Honda) is made by Fram, and it sounds like Fram doesn't get a whole lot of respect here, so by all means, throw your preferences about that my way, too! Thanks in advance for your advice, which sure looks like it's far better advice than what I get in most "Honda forums" -- such as "You think you know better than the Honda engineers??" And I'd say, "You mean the ones that say change your oil for the first time at 10,000 miles??" "You betcha!!" :-) Thanks again! thoots
 
I'd hold out for 5,000. I saw one comment about taking the factory fill out early and ending up with oil usage later...only one though. You can certainly run synthetics longer, but, hey, what ever floats your boat. I asked about this earlier in the month. Did you see this thread?. I ended going 4k on the factory fill (I have a V6), then I'll go 3k on Honda's 5w20, then 3k on Honda's 5w20 again, and then over to synthetic. It's kinda of a toss up there between Amsoil, M1, Redline and RP. I'm staying 5w20 for now. Shooting for 7,500 intervals with the syn. I'll do the first UOA on the next OC. Didn't see much point in doing it on the factory fill. I'm going to use the S2000 oil filter. You can too. Good luck, [ June 02, 2004, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: mountainhouse ]
 
Messages
24
Location
California
I would run those legs on your car a little, too. Like freeway driving 25 minutes or so. If you are really paranoid do a UOA at 2500 and see where things are at. I drive similar to you in a new Mercedes and it's 1st service is 10k, but it has a 8.5 qt sump amd a big cartridge filter and is a local (German) syn factory fill, though not Mobil 1 those are for AMG's I think. Anyway I am doing a UOA at 5k for my baby to see where I am at.
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
quote:
I'd love to change the oil RIGHT NOW, but then again, I don't want to compromise the break-in concept Honda is going for. From my reading here, it sounds like a high-moly oil is the way to go, and it sounds like Mobil 1 is high-moly. So, why not? Should I go for the Mobil 1 right now? Or, should I go for some dino oil this time, then go for Mobil 1 next time, three months later?
Do some hunting in the UOA & VOA sections for Chevron and Pennzoil 5w-20 oils. They're both high in moly, Chevron holds the crown. Honda's claims are purely weird IMO. Replacing the mediocre factory fill (that has extra moly) with an OTC oil that has a good dose of moly only makes sense. This way, the engine "breaks in" as per Honda's mantra, and the engine gets fresh oil that doesn't have all the break-in junk in it for 5K-10K. I don't think there's much sense in running M1 for the first 10K only due to the cost of draining it every 3K until the engine in "broken in". If cost is truly no object, then M1 it is! [Smile] I'd suggest to run the Chevron or PZ 5w-20 until 3-4K with couple extra drains in there, then go synth. [Cheers!]
 

2x

Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
If you had a GM, Ford, Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai or any other manufacturer besides Toyota or Honda, I could not say their engineers were smarter than you. But in the case of Honda or Toyota - I would say their engineers are more knowledgeable than any of us here. Why do I say this? Those two companies single handedly revolutionanized and modernized the current auto mobile industry (and still do). Without them and their innovation and product superiority, we would all be stuck with cars that needed rebuilds every 50000 miles. They are consistently producing the best engines in the world and are known for reliablility and durability in their engine designs. Do you honestly believe Honda would stake it's rep. by telling it's customers to do something they felt would in the long run hurt their main competitive edge over most other manufacturers? It is just like those who winced when they heard the 5w-20 switch Honda made in most of their vehicles. Now, based on UOA/VOA's on these oils, they show that they can hold their own. Ford also calls for 5w-20, but who cares what their engineers say. But when Honda says something, I tend to listen. I guess they have earned my trust. Until they mess up, I got to go with their expertise. You say you like your cars to last - well then you chose the right make. I have a Honda, and so do many others here. You'll get different answers on your question from many of them. My advice would be to go the minimum 5000 miles severe service OCI if you are nervous and then change it out. Honda is the only manufacturer that stresses about their break in oil/period.
 
Messages
1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
I bought a 2004 Honda Element for my daughter as a college grad present. I want to give her the best maintenance advice, and I am leaning towards 5000 miles on the factory fill, and then either 5K on Motorcraft or Honda before switching to Mobil 1 0W-20 at 7500mile OCI's. Or should I go directly to the Mobil 1 0W-20 at 5000 miles?
 
I agree 2x. If there's any doubt about Honda's intentions they were cleared up for me when I found this article (warning - 2Mb pdf) linked in the 'Interesting Articles' section of BITOG. See page 3. To quote Honda's chief chemist, "Durability is not an issue, either. If it were, we wouldn't recommend 5W-20." Thatwouldbegreat: I'm guessing about 25% of the folks here say wait until 10k to go syn, and other say it doesn't matter. I say, it can't hurt to go dino for a change or two. I'm not sure I'd do 5K on it. [ June 02, 2004, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: mountainhouse ]
 
Messages
1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
Not bad advice... I may reconsider and try Motorcraft 5W-20 at 5K and again at 7.5K and then switch to Mobil 1 0W-20 at 7500 mile OCI from then on.
quote:
Originally posted by mountainhouse: I agree 2x. If there's any doubt about Honda's intentions they were cleared up for me when I found this article (warning - 2Mb pdf) linked in the 'Interesting Articles' section of BITOG. See page 3. To quote Honda's chief chemist, "Durability is not an issue, either. If it were, we wouldn't recommend 5W-20." Thatwouldbegreat: I'm guessing about 25% of the folks here say wait until 10k to go syn, and other say it doesn't matter. I say, it can't hurt to go dino for a change or two. I'm not sure I'd do 5K on it.
 
Messages
164
Location
USA
I changed the oil to Mobil-1 in my 03 Honda CRV at 1300 miles with no ill effects. Running the 0W30 in it. Also my 2000 Accord V6 which I bought new I changed to Mobil-1 0W30 at 500 miles. Did the same with my 2000 Acura 3.2 TL. Actually I've bought several new cars/trucks which I've changed the break in oil out at 500 miles or so. I've never had any problems at all by changing the oil early and most of the engine break in occurs long before 10k. I agree that's CRAZY for Honda to reccommend 10k oil changes as it does in my CRV manuel. Even with the best synthetic I don't go much past 6k. Me I don't baby my engines during break ins either. I owned a lot of cars and never had any trouble.
 
Messages
1,130
Location
California
quote:
my usage to be =quite= severe
I think you would be very safe following Honda's severe service schedule. If your manual is like mine you will find that in Canada, *all* cars are suggested to follow the "severe" schedule. Weird if you ask me. For my Honda I did 2,500 mile OCIs up until 15,000 miles and then am switching to 5,000 mile. This is probably way overkill! Motorcraft 5W-20 is my current oil of choice as it seems to give excellent bang for the buck. I change the filter every time because I just can not retrain myself [Smile] . John
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,011
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
I think you would be very safe following Honda's severe service schedule. If your manual is like mine you will find that in Canada, *all* cars are suggested to follow the "severe" schedule. Weird if you ask me.
They do this because of the cold winter weather. In the warmer months it's not as necessary to follow the severe service schedule but in many parts of Canada it's brutally cold from November to March, so it shortens the life of the oil considerably.
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
quote:
Originally posted by 2x: If you had a GM, Ford, Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai or any other manufacturer besides Toyota or Honda, I could not say their engineers were smarter than you. But in the case of Honda or Toyota - I would say their engineers are more knowledgeable than any of us here.
I would say that any car manufacturer who's hired chemists for their engine's to figure out what's best would be better that just about everyone at theis board (except for a few notable gurus here!. To place Honda or Toyota on a pedestal isn't a good thing at all. I've always respeceted Honda's engineering very highly, they simply make some of the best products available. But sludge-prone V6 in the Sienna's? Oil consuming engines in the S2000? I respect your opinion, but with proven issues such as these, I completely disagree. No one on planet would be using Xw-20 oils if it weren't for CAFE....you've completely left the political pressure out of the argument. I'm not against thin oils...look at 4.6/5.4L UOAs for Ford products---they're outstanding in many cases! Are Ford engineers as lackluster as you infer? No. There's a TON of political pressure to sell the product, period. Getting back to the topic... Honda says leave the oil in for X number of miles. Why? It has a good dose of moly. That's all. If you change it with an oil that still has a good dose of moly, what's the difference?? There is none. Honda's marketing arm places the fear of God in any of us who dares to change their oil sooner than they recommend. With statistical evidence of a UOA, there's nothing really special about that oil, except for moly. To borrow words from Terry: let the UOA be your guide.... [Smile]
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
quote:
Originally posted by thoots: Yes, I've got a new Honda Accord with the four-cylinder engine, and the "don't you DARE change that oil before your first scheduled change!" instructions in the owner's manual Which (get this!) is 10,000 miles or 1 year for "normal" usage (with the filter change at 20,000 miles or 1 year!!). Or, make it 5,000 miles / six months for the oil and 10,000 miles / one year for the filter, for "severe" usage. Of course, I consider this INSANITY!! If I had my way, I'd switch over to Mobil 1 at 1,000 miles (or less), and never look back!
And why is this insanity? Honda makes the most reliable car on the market and has since the day company opened their doors. I personnaly have more confidence in the people that designed the car than an "expert" on this site. This is a great site, but be careful not to confuse opinions with facts. The fact that Honda states there is a "break-in" period should be enough to tell you there must something to it for them to go through the trouble of printing it. Follow what Honda says and enjoy a fine and reliable car for many years. You will never see an oil related failure in that car ever with regular maintenance.
 

2x

Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
1) Your explanation for Honda's actions are marketing related, not political. You initially stated that Honda was doing it for political reasons. 2) Perceived quality? It's not a perceived ideal, it's a reality. From Consumer reports to KBB to Edmunds to C&R the list goes on and on. Either those I mentioned are telling it as it is or there has to be the biggest conspiracy to market Honda's and Toyota's. This would rival JFK's assasination in terms of scope. If you feel it's marketing then you and I will have to agree to disagree. I don't feel Toyota nor Honda need to market or hype because they have the most effective marketing tool working for them right now - word of mouth. Toyota and Honda sell cars, and people keep coming back for more. I still don't think a dealer telling a customer not to show up for 10000 miles for a change will sell more cars. I do feel, however, that a rash of maintenance issues regarding high OCI's on Honda/Toyotas would impact sales and their rep. Why they would risk this to sell a few more cars is beyond me. For all the reasons I have heard or read why people love these cars, I have never seen the one that says "well, it's OCI is 5000 miles longer than GM or Fords so it has to be better".
quote:
You raise a great question! My thinking is that telling a customer about a longer OCI, especially shouting about it as the customer drives off the lot, goes hand-in-hand with the perceived quality of the Honda product. This delclaration with the perception of quality translates into less $$$ spent on maintenance for the consumer. To me, it's 100% marketing. Funny thing is, I would think that most people will still change their oil every 3000 miles as it's sooo engrained in the public's brain. [/QB]
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
[/qb][/QUOTE] Fact is that Honda shows a whole bunch of copper in the oil during the engine's first 10-20K of life. [/QB][/QUOTE] That is about as vague as it come. What is "a whole bunch of copper"? Compared to what? All new cars will have some metal wear when new and unless there is some specifications that list aceptable levels, it will hard to say what is too much. Every car is different so the "ranges" that the UOA companies list cannot be read as gospel. This is why we cannot, with certainty, determine what is too much. This is why I question people changing the oil at 500 miles on a new car when the manual clearly states it needs to break-in with the factory oil. To each his own I guess. PS - All the comments regarding Honda marketing and politics regrading oil changes are a prime example of internet brainwashing.
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
2x: 1. I should have written political/marketing as they both have their hand in how companies say what they say. 2. The "perceived" is purely to get people in the door...the feel good portion that brings them back for more...the marketing...the buzz, the aura, etc. I do agree that Honda makes some of the best stuff out there. They have their problems, too. 5-speed automatic recall to name one, but any company will. The "real" is when the car hits 280K and still hasn't needed any major repairs. My buddy's mom hit 325K on her 89 Accord LXi hatchback with 2 major accidents and that was 5 years ago! Honda has it nailed down when the "perceived" meets the "real". dagmando: You'll need to go to the UOA section to see that the higher copper numbers for Hondas. They're flagged by the analzying company, or reading obviously high. Compare them to some of the high-copper GM's or even some of the almost non-wearing Toyotas, 1.8L and 4.7L come to mind. With short-changing at the onset I'd rather get the offending metals out of the crankcase. I see only benefits from getting the stuff out of there earlier rather than later. That's all. [Smile]
 
dagmando: I agree with you. But for some reason, warranty concerns are preventing me from running anything but xW20 in my new Honda V6. Maybe I need to get over that. I'd really like to try GC.
 

2x

Messages
67
Location
Massachusetts
Honda using 5w-20 for CAFE? Ford, yes. Honda - absolutely not. What do they have to prove in regards to emmisions? When is the last time you heard of a Honda failing emmisions? Honda blows the doors off CAFE requirements. Political pressure on Ford? Yep I agree with you there because they produce so many smog monsters they have pressure to continue to sell their top selling trucks while maintaining CAFE. As yesterday's auto sales figures showed, Ford is losing market share while Toyota and Honda just had their best months ever. Ford needs to do something to allow them to sell SUV's while maintaining CAFE. If they were required by CAFE to scale back SUV sales to meet CAFE, it would be a disaster. In Honda's case, they have no such pressure. They meet CAFE by a landslide, and still sell like crazy. Honda and Toyota are not perfect for sure, but they come pretty darn close IMO. Thus, I take their reccomendations seriously.
 
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4,651
Location
The Garden State
If you look at some of the UOA's of new Honda's I think that you will see that the factory oils left in for the "suggested" time period have a lot of wear metals in them. Does this mean that doing so will shorten the life of the engine, don't know [I dont know] . But I'm from the old school and to me it doesn't seem right to have all that "crud" floating around in a new engine. I know this is not scientific but my friend has a 2003/2004 Element and had the dealer change his oil intially at 1300 miles and then every 5,000 miles. It runs great and uses "0" oil between changes. As stated above, other oils have good doses of moly also. To me it's more important to get the initial crud out of the engine as soon as reasonably possible. Then continue with a good oil and reasonable OCI. But then again, I'm not Honda Motor Company and don't know their reasons for such a long initital OCI [Big Grin] . American Auto Manufactures have 5,000 to 7,500 initial OCI's because they don't want you back at the dealer complaining and wanting warranty work too soon [Wink] . And if the engine fails after the warranty period, that's ok with them. Now a days chances are that most vehicles are leased and the most important consideration is low maintenance costs not vehicle longevity. Whimsey
 
Messages
233
Location
Midwest
quote:
Originally posted by mountainhouse: dagmando: I agree with you. But for some reason, warranty concerns are preventing me from running anything but xW20 in my new Honda V6. Maybe I need to get over that. I'd really like to try GC.
Great article, I wish everyone would read this. You want your engine to run the most efficient it can, THAT is how you ensure long life, just as the article says.
 
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