Suggestions for An Oil Consuming Civic

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Mar 16, 2004
Hi All,

We own a 96 Civic with about 160k miles on it. It has started in the last 15k miles to consume oil at the rate of 3QTS/5000 miles using what you guys call dino oil. It currently has at least a Havoline oil change reminder sticker. Typically we use 5W30 as that's what the manual suggests.

Any suggestions on a type to use considering the oil usage and she insists on using 5000 miles for oil change. The manual says 3750 severe or 7500 miles for normal service. We fall into the normal one.

Thanks and great board. I hope I'm not repeating a question.

[ March 17, 2004, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: rjundi ]
One very real option is "do nothing". If that were a brand new GM product they would tell you it's perfectly acceptable.

Based on what I have been reading here I would give Auto Rx a try but I have no first hand experiance with how it works.
You're going to get (and this might be what your looking for) lots of recommendations for different makes and weights of oil, various oil additives, treatments, etc..

Just from what you said, without examining or driving the car, you likely have some sort of mechanical problem. Some seal somewhere is wearing out, the piston rings or valve guides are going, something along those lines. Pfutzing with fluids is not going to fix this. The problem needs to be properly diagnosed and repaired. This takes a mechanic and, if the mechanic isn't you, money. The car might not be worth the money necessary to fix the problem. This is especially true given the fact that if you using conventional (ie. dino) oil, you talking a whole $3-5 extra expense between oil changes.

If that's the case, feel free to:

A). Do nothing unless the problem gets worse.

B). Pfutz with fluids, and MAYBE get a little less consumption. Just make sure you don't do anything that makes the problem worse.
Various oils show signifigantly different consumption rates. One-half to one-quarter the consumption rate of 5w-30 dino can easily be achieved. Options vary based on climate and cost. A simple switch to hi-mi oil seems an obvious way to go, you can stay 5w-30 because it is a little heavy for it's stated grade. In the $2 range, Syntec Blend falls into the same catagory. If you engine internals look a little dirty (probally are)a 15w-40 HDEO would show improved consumption due to a heavier baestock and the robust additive pack will clean the 5w-30 dino deposits, a good first step. 15w-40 needs to be above +10f for cranking. Next step up would be a 5w-40 Euro synth..."the real thing" Rotella T synth 5w-40 actually strattles these 2 catagories, a synthetic HDEO for $3 at WalMart. Mobil 1 5w-40 is similar, better though. M1 0w-40 falls into a high-tech long-life oil, like GC. A simple solution would be some 5w-30 Mobil 1 with 1 quart of 15w-50 mixed in. All of these would work better than 5w-30 dino.

[ March 17, 2004, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Audi Junkie ]
try an auto-rx treatment--even if it doesn't slow consumption, it's definitely gonna improve performance in a 160k mile civic...

also try a "hi mileage" oil like valvoline 10W-30 maxlife.
rjundi, your in the same boat as I am. I have an 01 Corolla that has over 150k miles on it. I've ran every 30wt synthetic oil their is for the most part and my car is consuming 1qt every 3k miles, which isn't too bad, but not good enough for me. So what I'm going to do is try and run a Mobil 1 15w-50 and see if that helps. Their is a TSB on my car that I'm trying to track down that talked about the Corolla buring oil. This car has by design a tendency to burn oil at high speeds. Whether or not the 50wt stops remains to be seen. BTW, I've also done 3 AutoRx treatments. Smoothed out the engine but didn't correct the consumption problem.
You'll find that Honda mechanics in the Northeast and New England will tell you to follow the severe maintenance schedule, because of the climate. So oil changes would be at the 3,700-4,000 mile range. Although since you're putting in 60%+ fresh oil, your oil should be in decent shape at 5,000 miles.

I agree with the recos to try Auto Rx and see if it slows down the consumption, at least improving the ring seal. Unless it gets much worse, cheapest solution would be to just keep putting 5W-30 in.
Use AutoRX.

My aspire was burning a quart of Mobil1 5w30 every 800 to 1000 miles. Then I switched to AMSOIL and after 4000 miles I didn't even have to top it off.
My 220K mile Pathfinder is using about a quart in 3K-4k miles using 10W-30 Mobil 1. We just did an Auto-Rx treatment and I'm trying Rotella T 5W-40 synthetic to see if there's any difference. Nissan allows oil that heavy in my climate anyway and the A-Rx treatment couldn't have hurt...
I have a '93 Taurus SHO with 195k on it. It was going through a quart every 700 miles or so. Switched to Castrol High Mileage 10w30 and the car now uses a quart every 2000 or so.
there are a number of ways you can try.

auto-rx, thicker oil. since your up north, maybe a mix of the same brand. 10w-30 three quarts, 1 quart 20w-50 or a high mileage oil such as Pennzoil or a diesel oil
Thanks for all the suggestions. I will either try the Pennzoil High Mileage oil or Castrol Syntec Blend at the next change and see what happens as both are available at our oil change place. I'll look into Auto Rx if consumption does not reduce. We only plan on keeping the car another 2-3 years (30k - 50k miles).
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