Prelude Oil Consumption

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Oct 29, 2002
Hey all,

I have a 99 Prelude (2.2L VTEC) with an interesting oil consumption problem.

First off, I use 5W-30 Havoline conventional oil with OEM Honda filters. The odo is at 45K miles.

After I change my oil, I have incredible oil consumption for about the first 500 miles (about 1 quart.) Then, it tapers off to not consuming any until the next oil and filter change, when it does the same thing.

Is this a result of the fresh oil being burned until the viscocity increases as it ages? Could going to a 10W-30 help this? Any other Prelude owners have any ideas?
I'm sure you know what your oil capacity is, but I've seen people who had faulty dipsticks and were in fact over filling the crankcase when the oil was on the full mark. Is that a possibility?
Well, the recommended capacity is 5.1 qts, I always dump in 5 when I do the changes.
Could there be some sort of void or "hollow" area in the engine that is drained out and then holds air until the engine is run after changing the oil? Yeah, I realize how silly this sounds.
you may want to look again at the amount of oil your putting in. I am to understand that a 2.2 ltr is a 4 cyl motor? most 4 cyl motors require 4 quarts of oil. I do understand that Honda also make a V-6 for this car also? if so, most sixes carry 5 quarts. Just seems strange that you only 'burn' a quart, then nothing. Sounds almost like it is getting the V-6 quantity of oil until it 'burns' it down to the 4 quart level. Only other thing is maybe the dipstick is from the wrong motor?
JDG33, nice car! I have a 2001 Prelude. I sometimes have that problem, but it isn't only during the 1st 500 miles or so. I use Amsoil 5W-30 ASL and don't normally burn ANY oil (I've gone 4,000 miles without any noticeable oil level change on the dipstick), but there were 2 instances when I lost a half quart and I have no idea where they went. I believe it was after some VTEC-intensive drives, so then it would be normal for it to burn oil. Do you VTEC a lot? I'll try Amsoil's Series 2000 0W-30 next, which I heard burns less than the 5W-30. You could try synthetic oil, either Amsoil 5W-30 or Mobil 1 10W-30 and see what happens.

Tim H., the Prelude has a 2.2L 4-cyl engine. Honda never made a V6 for this car, and the manual recommends 5.1 quarts of 5W-30, either dino or synthetic. The oil level is very sensitive to inclination, I can "lose" 1/2 quart just by parking on my 3-5 degree driveway.
from my personal experience with 2 B16's (99/00 civic SImotor) and a b18c5 (integra type R motor)
VTEC for some reason burns oil. i dont know why but i am almsot sure i can go thorugh a 1/4 qt in an hour long mountain drive
Johnzm, from what I read, VTEC is designed to burn oil in order to protect the engine. Maybe someone that understands engine internals would be able to explain this. Honda manufactured the engine to burn oil oil during VTEC.
Thanks for the inputs.

I usually shift gears between 4-5K rpms, engage the VTEC rarely (except when merging on the freeway, passing, etc.)

For what it's worth, a coworker of mine has an S2000 and he doesn't burn a drop; and he spins it up to 8,000 rpm a few times a week.
i have heared that valve guides on these honda motors usually wear very quickly due to high rpm use. this particular motor i have no does not burn oil to my knowledge, but i havent had a chance to hit any heavt VTEC areas yet, so i dunno wether it will or not.
The H22A engine in the Prelude had two seperate piston ring suppliers. The educated guess is that one of those suppliers had bad rings. A lot of people in our club report heavy oil usage, sometimes up to 1L/1000km!

Personally I burn about a litre per 5000km, depending on how I drive.
This sounds like an odd problem.. The H22a usually starts burning more oil towards the end of the interval, usually after 4K km it starts to drink oil heavily. Like Ferrari said, make sure you are on a level ground. Small inclines throw off the measurement.
that sounds odd, try to check your oil levels under consistent conditions. You could be checking the level hot right after turning off the engine one time , then checking it cold after the car has been sitting for a while another time, etc......, that can throw off the readings. Also, when you change the oil, try filling the oil filter with oil before you put it on. A dry oil filter can suck up a good bit of oil and hold it, making it seem like oil has disappeared. Lastly, a 5w-30 can vapourize easier than other viscosities due to higher Noack numbers, so that can lead to a decrease in the level of oil as well over time. Small things like that can have an effect. good luck.
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