2005 Honda Odyssey Gradual oil loss

Tiny
MBATH20155
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 HONDA ODYSSEY
  • 3.5L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
Folks,

Any tips or suggestions for diagnosing what seems to be gradual engine oil loss?

Seems to need about 1/2 quart every 1000k.

No signs of burning oil nor spots on the garage floor.

I believe in driving my vehicles until they are falling apart around me. Just trying to determine if this is possibly the first sign that I may be reaching that point or something I can reasonably live with for another 50-80k.

Thanks.

Mitch
Gainesville VA
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 AT 4:50 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hi Mitch,

Have you look around the engine to see if you can spot any area that looks dark with oil? If so and still cannot locate source the you could purchase some oil dye to add to your oil then you would need a black light to illuminate the dye. In most cases I've come across the valve cover gaskets are the most likely culprit.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We have different opinions on "falling apart around me"! On my 25-year-old minivan the only thing holding the front and rear together is the carpeting! It has been so uncommonly reliable that I refuse to give it up until the engine is running down the road without the seat or me.

The amount of oil loss you described is not excessive. In fact, if you look at the markings on the dip stick, you'll see they do not list "full" and "add". To address the many complaints of oil usage in all newer vehicles, they list "min" and "max". As long as the level remains above the "min" mark between oil changes, you needn't be concerned. Of course, you have to start with close to the maximum level when your mechanic fills the oil at that oil change. On most engines I'm familiar with, when you put in the specified amount during the oil change, the level will not quite reach the "max" mark, but it shouldn't be close to the "min" mark either.

If you're still concerned, there is a way to identify the cause of the oil loss. You can add a small bottle of dark purple dye to the oil, then search a day or two later with a black light. The dye will show up as a bright yellow stain that you can follow back to the source. Don't forget to check inside the tail pipe. Auto parts stores will have the dye, and those that rent or borrow tools will usually have the black light.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 AT 5:16 PM
Tiny
MBATH20155
  • MEMBER
Many thanks for your humor and advice.

I should qualify that I'm spoiled by Honda's reliabitly. I have a 2004 CRV with 105k that I see as just getting broken in.

I have every intension of giving it my 5 year old son when he gets his license so when I see my wife's Honda Odyssey with, what appear to be, oil issues the spoiled brat in me comes out.

I'll surely take your advice and do some self-diagnosing as well as to temper my concern and view this as somewhat expected behavior.

Thanks again !
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 AT 5:26 PM

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