High oil consumption but no oil on driveway engine light on all the time


Asked by cmcdonald824 Jan 10, 2013 at 01:03 PM about the 2003 Honda CR-V EX AWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2003 CRV uses lots of oil but no smoke or on driveway.  Parents took it in repeatedly for the engine light but never a fix, light always stayed on.  Car has low annual mileage, now at 50,000.  Local mechanic wants to but in ignition coils, redo a fuel induction service and replace the valve cover gasket.  Sounds excessive for an oil leak.

26 Answers


Define "lots of oil". A quart every thousand miles is considered normal consumption. It's a lot cheaper to pour in $20 worth of oil per year than replace engine parts. Replace the valve cover gasket since it could be a source of oil usage. Get the codes read and report back to see if coils will shut the check engine light off. What is "redo fuel induction service"?

16 people found this helpful.

I have to buy a 5 quart container of oil a month, driving about 40 miles a day. The fuel induction service ($100) was on the repair estimate and I know that the service owner mentioned that we just had the service the last ime we were in.

8 people found this helpful.

it could be an oil scraper ding damaged on the bore or it could be an oil feed pipe damaged where it is leaking onto the catch pan underneath

3 people found this helpful.

That is a lot of oil. Works out to a quart every 200 miles. Way too much for a engine with 50K. Oil is used in three ways. One way is a leak which you say that there is no sign of. Another way is that it is getting by the rings and burnt. That usually leaves blue smoke when running. The third way is leaking valve guides. When a car sits for a few hours and oil leaks through the guides. When the car is started, blue smoke will be in the exhaust until the oil burns off, --- To find out where your oil is going, have the engine compression tested. First test is with the spark plugs out and the cylinders dry. Second test is with a squirt of oil in the cylinders to seal the rings. If the pressure numbers for the second test are higher than the first, the rings are bad.

14 people found this helpful.

Saw posts on other sites concerning leaks around gasket of sensor. Is there a picture or diagram of the oil feed pipe location or/and the location of the sensor so I can locate them? This car was in a front end collision and was fixed before my brother bought it for my parents. With my parents being elderly and my dad not a car person, they had a dealer $2300 estimate to have fix whatever, my brother vetoed that. Another repairshop said that the engine light being on was no big deal. However, the codes that the recent shop discussed was that the car was misfiring. They replaced the plugs and wires last time and the light went off for a day. I assume that is when the codes reset. Now this shop is hinting at replacing the induction coils and the plugs and wires again.

3 people found this helpful.

if the vehicle is coil over plug then the ign coil . can fix it but if return with the same problem. then u have internal problem like tight valve or burnt exhaust valve.

4 people found this helpful.

it does sound like either the valve guides or a damaged valve causing the missfire and the excesive oil consumption would recomend a top end rebuild or a second hand head to combat it regards j.s autos

4 people found this helpful.

It sounds as though your car has the problem described in the following. I'm just figuring out if mine has it as well: http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2963428

18 people found this helpful.

Honda knows about this, there is a technical bulletin on it.I have a 2010 CRV . I got one from my car guy. Talks about deposits on the oil rings cure -replace pistons and piston rings. This bulletin was issued 4/30/13 .

33 people found this helpful.

i have a 2003 crv with 160000 miles on it...it loses 4 quarts every 2800 miles...i have it at a very good mechanic...hesfinding nutin wrong with it... no leaks and good compression..but have lost 8 quarts in 6000 miles... just gought it in january this year...im a decnts mechanic and honda is a bunch of morons if they think a quart per 1000 miles is normal...im getting rid of mine and suggest every one else with the same prob do the same...they just dont want that size of recall... im done with honda..

18 people found this helpful.

I think that the problem is with the oil seals in cylinders, if the recommended oil is not used it will screw up the oil seals too. This is a known problem with the 4-cylinder Accords. Hasn't been acknowledged with the CR-Vs. The problem with this whole thing is that once a car is discovered using a lot of oil with an unknown resolution the vehicle is dumped onto the next person without Honda being taken to task for this deficiency in their engines.

9 people found this helpful.

if honda nos its happenin. it should be a recall.. all the years ive been driving and workin on cars i have never seen a car do that...maybe honda needs to use better quality parts...idk...but its seems to be a widespread problem...bought it for the fuel mileage and think im goin to go back to american made products...like i said im done with honda

7 people found this helpful.

I heard that if the PVC valve is replaced that it would remedy this problem.

15 people found this helpful.

I am a 40 year auto tech. my 2002 crv started burning oil at 150k. have 190k on it now. uses 1qt every 800 miles. I have installed rebuilt cyl heads on customers cars due to valve damage from timing chain failures and oil consumption got worse. may be due to higher compression with rebuilt head. I have seen this happen over the years even with v-8s after doing valve jobs. So I believe the problem is in the lower end. Honda is still one of the most reliable vehicles we work on.

11 people found this helpful.

re tenspeed comment That is insane. A quart per 1000 miles- that like tank. Somebody should get jail time for setting specification like that. Worst cars in communist system 40 years ago were better than that Shame on Honda. Do not buy this BS. Stop Japanese polluter in US

4 people found this helpful.

I have a 2010 Honda CRV and it is using oil (2 quarts every 4,500 miles). This started when the vehicle had 15,000 miles on it. This was an expensive vehicle, and I cannot afford to replace it. I got the same line from the dealer, that my oil consumption was not excessive. This is the first, and last Honda I will buy. Honda, and quality, do not belong together, when talking about my CRV.

10 people found this helpful.

My 2002 CR-V throws the first quart out rather quickly then continues to use oil. No leaks or blue smoke.

8 people found this helpful.

I have a 2010 CRV and after my first oil change as the new owner (only had it 8 months), it was nearly bone dry 3k miles later! My mechanic found out that Honda put out a service bulletin extending the warranty to 8yrs/125,000 miles due to high oil consumption caused by something wrong with the piston rings. I've since brought it to the honda dealer and am in the middle of the consumption test. Just went back for my 1000 mile oil check and they said i've used 6/10 of a quart, but I need to be down 1 quart or more per 1000 in order for Honda to do the repair per the service order. How is burning 1 quart of oil per 1000 miles "normal"????

6 people found this helpful.

I have my 2015 CRV in the shop due to low oil capacity after having 2 oil changes on dealer ...came down to the dealer repairing install new pistons and rims ect which seem to be the problem .....very disappointing ....apparently the older Honda Pilots had the same issue ...and this was the fix.....

7 people found this helpful.

Honda needs to step up and own the issue. Just traded in the last Honda I will ever buy. It’s too bad because they had a good thing going.

3 people found this helpful.

i don't know DT the oil evaporating and smoke or oil on the ground...i had to put a rebiult engine in my 2003 honda crv...iDT the car stopped running...'m driving it for a week now and they tell me i need a tune up??? HELP i bought it for $5,000 6 months ago and have put $4,000 in it??? I'm ready to get rid of it and take a loss cause very time I bring it in it is something else!!!

2 people found this helpful.

Oil rings are stuck. Guaranteed. Engine time! 10,000 mile recommend for the oil changes? This problem is on Honda, 100%.

4 people found this helpful.

We have a 2015 crv exl bought it new regular oil and filter changes. Bosch oil filters used Mobile 1 0 -20 synthetic oil used. at 37000 engine started using oil. Wife drove car to realitives 400 mile round trip in 5 days crv used over a quart of oil. If honda does not make good on this I will contact the Indiana Attorney fraud division and this will be the last of 4 Hondas for my family.

5 people found this helpful.

Our 4th Honda is a 2013 CRV that has both the accuator issue/noise at start up and the oil consumption issue. This may be our last Honda.

1 people found this helpful.


I have 227000 kilometres on my 2014 CRV. Usually I top up oil when it has 50% life. Now at 70 % life oil dried up, because of this the timing got stretched, engine and couple of other indicators ON. Went to dealer, they replaced timing chain , actuator etc. Now there is no rattle noise. Runs very well. But Honda saying same old story that we have to top up 1 litre for every 1500 kilometres.

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