First Oil Change and Castrol Syntec Blend

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Jun 26, 2009
I have a 2009 Honda Accord 2.4L 4cyl and was wondering when I should change the OEM oil. The manual saids wait until the oil life meter is down to 15%. The car has 6k miles on it and the oil life meter just is still at 60%. Should I change the oil at 7.5k or can I wait until the meter is down to 15% which will put me at around 10k since the meter isn't linear? About 85% of my driving is done on the highway cruising at 70mph. There is very little to no traffic in the remaining 15% of city driving. I do around 120 miles a day, 4 days a week. I'm fairly light on the throttle and rarely go over 3k RPM. I also take it easy on the throttle during the first mile or two from a cold start. The 09 is strictly a commute car since I use an older car for running errands. It doesn't get much colder than 30F in the winter and the summer can easily see temps of 100-105F.

I will be getting oil changes at the Honda dealer like I always have. They use Castrol Syntec Blend 5w20 and Honda Filtech oil filters. Can I get at least 7.5k miles out of this oil with my driving? My 01 Accord 4cyl went 165k miles on the same oil and oil filter until I sold it because the transmission was on its way out. The engine in the 01 felt extremely good at 165k. I was doing 5k OCI back then because I did more city driving and was still use to the old 3k OCI myth. I plan on getting a UOA once I start using the Castrol Blend but would like some feedback from you guys. Should I stick with the dealer or find another place that uses a different type of oil? Would I need to go with a full synthetic to get 10k OCIs?
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From what I understand here, the Honda FF is a special break-in oil. I would keep it in like the manual says, seeing that it is a "break-in oil".
I think your car and habits warrant a 7.5K OCI on the syntec blend, some may say more than that. A few UOA's on the blend will give you the answer if you can extend the OCI.
If your dealer has decent prices I would stick with them as opposed to some other quick stop lube places, they have a VERY bad reputation here. Me, personally I am a DIY guy. I love to get under my vehicles and know first hand that I did the work.

Armed ninja mercenaries will swoop down upon you if you change out the oil early. Now any other vehicle ..heck, you would want to get the garbage out of there ASAP ..but not a Honda.

They allegedly slather the engine up with moly and want it retained for the duration of the first OCI.

Ahhh, the Honda factory fill. To change or not to change, that is the eternal question.

As Gary said, most car companies you want a short OCI to get the break in wear metals out. But not Honda, because they have MMM!, Magical Moly Mixture in their factory fill.

Whatever you decide, early 1k mi, mid 3-5k, or late 6k(I wouldn't go more), with regular subsequent changes, your Honda engine will have a long life.
Originally Posted By: Spartuss
Stick to the oil change reminder light and change at 15%. There is a reason Honda recommends this.

There is a reason, supposedly. The problem is, nobody knows for sure what it is. If this "break in oil" thing was legit,it should be that the detailed information on it it would be easier to access than it appears to be. Very strange.

To the OP: I don't think you'd have any problems either way. Lots of people on BITOG have reported early drainings (myself included) and no ill effects, as well as vice versa. So, I'd suggest just relaxing and not worrying. Flip a coin. Eeeenie, meaney, minie, mo.... what ever. No seriously wrong answer.
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Originally Posted By: Accord09
The car has 6k miles on it and the oil life meter just is still at 60%. Should I change the oil at 7.5k or can I wait until the meter is down to 15% which will put me at around 10k since the meter isn't linear?

You are getting into the area of diminishing returns. After 7500 miles, the engine is already well lubed and treated with the added moly, basically as much as it ever will be. Pushing the mileage up around 10K or so, its no longer a "moly issue", it has become an "oil issue" at that point. And that oil, past 7500 or so, needs to go. Any theoretical, incremental gain of the moly continuing to stay past 7500 is far offset with the oil wearing out.

And no, this is not just a random opinion. I had this conversation with my Honda dealer a couple years ago. At 7500, change it out!
Oh, and don't forget Honda also recommends an oil filter every other oil change. Of course, since you're having them done at the dealer you'll have tell the dealer, not to put on a fresh oil filter because they will do that as part of the service. Just tell them, that there's a reason that Honda says that, they'll understand.

The key to this is they are recommendations, not requirements to keep your warranty in force. And, nowhere is it written that the factory fill must be left in to 15% or 7.5k to keep the warranty in force.

If it were me, and I planned on 10k+ OCI, I'd go with synthetic oil. A key thing to remember is the OLM is not sensitive to type of oil, dino vs synthetic. But, you know the difference, and that should tell you something about strictly following the OLM. Honda also doesn't recommend synthetic, it just says whatever oil it must meet specs and not go beyond OLM limits.

Example, I went 6k, 10 month OCI, on Honda dealer oil(MC5k) and filter for my last Accord OCI. The OLM was only at 30%, but I wasn't going to go any further. Thinking about it, it was too far for my comfort level. Had that been synthetic or even quality blend I would have felt more comfortable.

This time I did DIY with synthetic and a Pure One OF. I'll be more comfortable going deeper into the OLM, but no more than 7.5-10k. Or, no more than 1 year as required by warranty.

IMO, when figuring Honda OCI, you should add some common sense to the Honda OLM max out recommendations.

Hope That Helps
To answer your questions...

1) I would change the oil now at 6k, like someone else mentioned you are entering the area of diminishing returns with the FF. Don't try to go 10k on the FF.

2) Yes, you'll be able to go 7500 miles with the Castrol Blend given your style of driving.

3) It sounds like you're happy having the dealer change your oil. If you trust them, I'd stick with them. There are some reputable dealers out there, sounds like you found one.

4) I'm not 100% sure you'd need to use a full syn in order to go 10k. There are some good blended oils out there that will go that far under the right conditions, Castrol might be one of them. I will say that if this were my car and I wanted to do 10k OCIs, I would switch to a full syn.

Just to add something, I would definitely have them change the OF every time, despite what Honda says is OK to do.

Welcome to the forum :)
You need to drive it hard to seat the rings, then change it about 20-30%. I say to do the 1st oil change the same as you plan on doing subsequent ones.
Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
You need to drive it hard to seat the rings

Really? I thought that was an old wive's tale with modern engines.

I'm thinking the vast majority of engines never get driven hard when new and that thousands of them have gone 200-300 thousand miles. What would be the benefit of doing this to a modern engine?
This, sir, is what Honda's "Owner's Link" website states WRT to your Accord's initial oil change:

"Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?

Your Honda engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their "natural" wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.

American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner's Manual, based on your specific driving conditions."

WRT your other question ("Can I get 7.5k out of this oil with my driving?"), I'd be very surprised if the Maintenance Minder (MM) on your new Honda alerts you to change motor oil before 10k miles, much less at 7.5k miles, based on the sort of driving you described. You can, of course, have your oil changed more often than the intervals "prescribed" by the MM, and I would (but that's my choice). And, while I like Castrol oil products generally, I personally wouldn't go beyond 7.5k miles between oil changes, even with Castrol's Syntec blend. (Syntec or Edge, yes; but not with the blended oil.)

You also mentioned Honda "Filtech" oil filters. Honda no longer uses Filtech ("A01") oil filters. (I suppose there may be a few boxes of them around, but more likely your serving dealer is using the A02 filter.) For the last several years, the A02 filter has been manufactured for Honda by Fram/Honeywell. And, I think it's fair to say there aren't a lot of Fram oil filter enthusiasts on this board.
Which bring up another issue. If your Honda dealership follows Honda's current service recommendations, they will only change your Accord's oil filter every second oil change. You put these facts together and it's conceivable that, were you to follow the MM, you could end up with a Fram/Honeywill filter in place for 20k miles or more. Even if you love Fram filters, I'd never do that.

So, IMHO, while your car is within the warranty period, I'd stick with your prior oil-service schedule: 7.5k miles for the oil and filter. You can, of course, opt for MM schedule. If you do that, however, I'd insist the filter be changed every time you change oil.

Finally, you didn't ask about oil weight, so I'll let that sleeping dog lie.
Originally Posted By: hate2work
Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
You need to drive it hard to seat the rings

Really? I thought that was an old wives' tale with modern engines. . . .

Even though you didn't ask, your owners manual also says you should use 5w20 in your Accord. When you read it you will see that it is the only viscosity mentioned in your owners manual.

You said your dealer uses 5w20 Syntec. That sounds good. You didn't really have to ask about viscosity because to imply otherwise, means you would be using other than Honda's 5w20 recommendation. That would be strange coming from anyone recommending OLM to min 15% each and every time. Strange as it seems though, that's what some believe.

And, just as your dealer says he uses Syntec rather than the standard Honda oil, your dealer could still have some Honda Filtec filters left. Though the newer standard A02 Honda oil filters are made by Fram/Honeywell.

FWIW, the break in procedures say for the first 600 mi., to avoid full-throttle starts and rapid acceleration.
Thanks for all of the replies.

I've set the rings back at 500 miles with a series of revs going all the way to redline. I guess I will change the oil at 7.5k and do a UOA after putting on 7.5k on the Castrol Blend. The dealer still uses Filtech oil filters the last time I went to change the oil on a 97 Accord and 04 Civic. If they really are using the A02 Honda oil filters then I might have to start changing the oil myself. The dealer has always changed the oil filter with every oil change. As for the 5w20 vs 5w30, I've heard the gear clearance on newer engines are smaller than before so the 5w20 goes a better job. I can understand going to 5w30 when the engine ages and the clearance increases.
Any suggestions on a good oil filter? What seems to be the most preferred full synthetic oil on here? How do I edit one of my post?
Amsoil EAO13, Mobil M1-110, Purolator PureONE PL14610, Baldwin B1402, K&N HP1010, HAMP H1540-PFB-515, Fleetguard LF3537 or LF3644, Royal Purple 10-2867, Wix 51356, etc., are all good 3rd-party filters.

Synthetic Oil: pick an SM/GF-4 oil in the proper viscosity and let the MM tell you when to dump it.

Click the edit button at the bottom of your post to modify it. After a certain grace period the edit button disappears, and you can no longer change your post.
I actually like the Fram Tough Guard. Silicone ADBV, PTFE gasket, screen-over bpv, glass-celuose media, heavy grippy can, bigger sized.

Many oil-burners are traced to soft break-in.

Neither my 150k Honda nor my 40k Honda burns a drop of oil.
Accord09; Sayjac: I apologize for jumping the thread, but I'm curious where you are now finding Filtech filters. My '09 Accord was delivered with one, but the engine was manufactured in Japan.
I'm from California and my dealer was still using Filtech filters when I last changed the oil on my 04 Civic in May.
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