Honda Service said to use semi-syn for new engine

Messages
5
Location
tx
Just got a new Honda Civic. I had oil laying around that belonged to the car I traded in. I replaced it to the owners manual (optional) specs, as the standard factory oil is semi-synthetic. My GTI used synthetic always...(don't roll your eyes.) When I told my the service guy I would provide my own oil. He warned me that the new engine would benefit from using the factory fill oil because the parts needed to settle into each other. Smells like [censored], but made sure his tone had air of expertise. What do you think. I want to use Mobil 1 0w20 Advanced and other service adviser vouched for his "expertise". What can you tell me?
 
Messages
2,220
Location
Indiana
Honda is working through significant oil consumption complaints with both 4 and 6 cyl engines. They made changes to the VCM 6s for the 2011 model that included new oil control rings and moly-impregnated piston skirts. Another BITOG member posted a current TSB for the fours involving a software patch to try to improve the issue. The dealers have had much instruction from the factory on the oil consumption issue. They are taking a hard line that 1,000 miles per quart is the threshold of "normal". We bought a VCM Accord in March and were warned in no uncertain terms that we MUST leave the FF in until the MM hit 15%. Today, the engine has 5400 miles, is at 30% and still running the FF. I plan to change it at 6,000 which will be the longest I've ever kept the FF in a new car. I have Honda Genuine Full Synthetic 0W-20 waiting for the first oil change. Normally, i wouldnt think twice about the syn vs semi issue but at this point with Honda, who knows? IMHO, 0W-20 M1 should be fine but since Honda has a track record of playing hardball on this oil consumption issue, I'm sticking with all OE products during warranty. Google 'Honda oil consumption' and you'll be shocked at the depth and duration of this dirty little secret. Just my guess, but Honda always had great engine reliability before they pushed the light-oil-for-max-mpg-issue perhaps too far. It is my suspicion that these engines would be much happier with 5W-30.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,164
Location
Fresno, CA
Here's what I found on the Mobile 1 website: 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 Answer: 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. Sounds normal. No need to worry, just follow the owner's manual and you'll get several 100k's of miles. thumbsup
 
Messages
14,668
Location
The Old North State
Quote:
When I told my the service guy I would provide my own oil. He warned me that the new engine would benefit from using the factory fill oil because the parts needed to settle into each other. Smells like [censored], but made sure his tone had air of expertise. What do you think.
If by using the 'actual FF' till the MM is close to max, then yes, that has been a long time Honda recommendation. Afaik, it contains some assembly lube which 'Honda says' is supposed to be beneficial. Beyond that recommendation though, I don't believe there is any benefit to using SS over the M1 0w20 synthetic you have chosen after the FF is dumped. Sounds as though they would like to sell you Honda branded SS oil, and rather than pit M1 Syn against the Honda Syn, the Honda SemiSyn being different, would be an easier sell. JMO
 
Messages
324
Location
USA
My gut, which is backed by absolutely nothing, is that the MM goes too long between changes and the dealers use the cheapest swill there is. I have followed the MM to 15% and used full synthetic since I bought the car (new) and it does not consume oil. Even using quality syn (My first changes were with the Rousch branded Valvoline, QSUD since) I get nervous with the ~9k the MM goes between changes.
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
We've used the M1 0w-20 (SM flavor) for about 25k miles or so. It doesn't burn a drop during the MM-recommended oil change interval. Ours typically work out to be about 10-11k miles, although that'll change on the next OCI thanks to different driving habits. IIRC the L15 in our Fit is easier on oil than the R18 in the Civic, although both are still quite easy on oil.
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
Honda break in oil historically DOES have extra additives. I would leave it in there for their recommended mileage. Or at least a substantial length of time.
 
Messages
595
Location
Hither & Yon
Rodrigolara: I've read your post carefully, but I'm still not sure I understand what you were told. If the service writers told you to leave the FF unchanged until the MM indicated an oil change was due, that's certainly Honda's "official" advice. It's also stated in your owner's manual, and if you log onto Honda Owner Link (www.ahm-ownerlink.com) you'll find this explanation and advice: "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." Turning to the issue of semi-synthetics, synthetics and "Genuine Honda Motor Oil," this gets a tad more involved. Honda now sells two API SN 0W-20 weight motor oil products. Both are supplied and bottled for Honda by ConocoPhillips (one word)(NYSE symbol "COP"). One, part # 08798-9036 is a semi-synthetic -- i.e., a "blended oil" in other words. The other, part # 08798-9037, is a full synthetic. They are essentially the same as the two products that COP bottles for Ford under the Motorcraft label. (To make this a bit more confusing, until recently Honda sold a third 0W-20 weight full synthetic bottled motor oil supplied by Idemitsu. (Silver bottle, green label.) That one, and only that one, had approximately 800 ppm of molybdenium, and Honda distributed it initially for use in its Insight hybrid. It can, of course, be used in any automobile that specifies a 0W-20 weight oil. Connoisseurs of motor oil loved it for its whopping dose of molybdenium which, arguably, is important (if not crucial) for proper lubrication in an engine that is subject to frequent starts and stops (i.e., a hybrid, in other words) and/or frequent cold- and semi-cold starts (again, a hybrid). Whether it offers any special or unique long-term anti-wear benefits when used in a conventional motor has been, and remains, the subject of considerable debate. The stuff also was expensive in comparison to other 0W-20s.) Which brings us to Mobil 1's Advanced Fuel Economy (AFE) oil. Comparing apples to apples -- i.e., comparing Honda's (COP) full synthetic to Mobil 1's 0W-20 -- the Mobil 1 product has a slightly greater viscosity range and its cSt at 100 degrees C is slightly higher. It also has a robust additive package. (Neither point is a matter of conjecture. You can compare oil analyses of the two products here, on bobsistheoilguy.com.) FWIW, I like the stuff. As for which oil product is better, IMHO it doesn't matter which one you choose. All have been tested extensively (the M1 0W-20 weight oil for over a decade), and all produce virtually identical UOAs (used oil analyses). Finally, in my experience accounts excessive oil consumption in any four-cylinder Honda engine are, at most, anecdotal and far, far from the norm. But you can research this for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
 
Messages
2,990
Location
Northeast
We've called several HONDA service centers and get not until nearly 10,000 miles or 7,500 miles for first O.C.. Is a bit confusing and having an episode of the O.C. itch blues doesn't help . There's around 6,200 miles on the '11 FIT and the oil life just turned to 50% . Another reason for the early O.C. is the possiblilty of having to do an O.C. in late DECEMBER to FEBRUARY in frigid temps since no garage . So would rather do it in late November to mid December . Bought the HONDA SN 0w-20 synthetic ( COP ) and the better HONDA oil filter .
 
Last edited:

rodrigolara

Thread starter
Messages
5
Location
tx
Thank you everyone for responding. I really appreciate your responses. To clarify, the service advisors told me I should use Honda semi-syn for at least two cycles. One even told me he's applied additives to conventional oil that make it perform to better than synthetic. - Although, that's not the point. I tuned him out after he said that sentence. Again, thank you for the input. I will use synthetic as per the manual, not the service advisor...
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,170
Location
North Coast
FYI, I have been using Q-Horsepower 5w20 in my daughters 2009 Civic 1.8L with no consumption at all between changes of 5000 miles. The engine seems to really like it and it is the lower cost of the synthetics.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
I have a few comments. First, a "new" Civic should "require" a 0W-20 viscosity grade. As it is now, the only main-line options for that grade are either semi-synthetic (Honda's own semi-syn 0W-20) or synthetic (including Honda's own syn 0W-20 and a passel of others like M1, SynPower, etc). The counter person or service advisor may be confusing or merging these two facts in saying that your car requires at least a semi-synthetic oil. It's more accurate to say that it requires a 0W-20 oil, and use whatever you want to use as long as it's a 0W-20. We do know that at least in the past, Honda's (and Toyota's) 0W-20 oils have used a lot of molybdenum in them, and this is typically also found in assembly lubes and other additive products. Honda's adament recommendation of leaving the factory fill in for long periods of time is nothing new, and the notion that the OEM oil (Honda in this case) may have a stronger additive package is also not new. That said, I recall seeing that Toyota's 0W-20 doesn't have the moly that it once had, and the same may be true of Honda's 0W-20, I'm not sure. 1,000 miles/quart as a consumption specification is pervasive in the industry, and is not unique to any one manufacturer. I know from first-hand experience that Chrysler's and GM's tolerance is 1,000 miles/quart as well. For what it's worth, neither of our two Hondas (one with a J-series 3.5L and one with a K-series 2.4L) consume any measurable oil on the dipstick. My wife's parents have owned three Honda products in the past few years, and her brother has an Accord as well, and none consume any oil. I'm sure yours will be just fine, regardless of the oil you use. (I would probably stick with 0W-20 of some kind, personally.)
 
Messages
2,115
Location
new york
Yes, 2cents I have the same 09 Civic and it uses the Q Syn you are using and too it loves it. At first I had a half quart loss in 3k but now after a year of using Q no burn off 5k. I used once Edge and had starting problems that nobody said could happen with oil. Guess what after switching back to PP?? Wish we could go back to the old cars that just needed plain old oil.
Originally Posted By: Doog
FYI, I have been using Q-Horsepower 5w20 in my daughters 2009 Civic 1.8L with no consumption at all between changes of 5000 miles. The engine seems to really like it and it is the lower cost of the synthetics.
 
Top