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Old 07-17-2010, 09:08 AM
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Oil consumption

My '09 TL SH-AWD consumes about 3/4 of a quart oil per 5,000 miles. Is this normal? I was always under the impression that older engines tend to consume oil, and that new cars don't require much "topping off". I did read somewhere online that V-tech engines tend to burn oil. Anyone want to share their experience?

I use Mobil 1 (5W-20).
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:34 PM
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My TL has never used a drop of oil. I use Royal Purple 5w20. Although mine never has, it is common to see oil consumption when you change the brand of motor oil. If this is the first fill of Mobil 1, wait till the second change to see if the oil consumption issue resolves by itself. Usually it does. New engines shouldn't consume any motor oil unless its supercharged or turbo engines that run hot.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:41 PM
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APHMD, That's consistent with the consumption I have registered on mine, and also with that of my 06 RL for the years that I owned it (same engine family). I don't think it should be cause for worry, but if you are still concerned you may want to send a sample of the oil for analysis to Blackstone labs in Indiana (http://www.blackstone-labs.com/). They do an excellent job of checking for abnormal levels of chemicals and interpreting the data. My only other comment is that you are using a synthetic oil: Honda does not prescribe a synthetic, so I stick to Castrol GTX mineral.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:21 PM
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the car should still be under warranty ... y dont u take it to the dealer and c if they will fix it for you
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:28 PM
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i have owned may honda/acura products and none have consumed oil like you have experienced...however, i have owned may chrysler products, and they all consumed oil like you described...i wouldn t worry too much about it...
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:55 AM
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I didn't think it was possible when I read this thread but I did check my oil level yesterday and it was below the normal range. I did the first oil & filter change myself, so I know I put in the right amount (I've been doing my own car maintenance for over 20 years). Also, when I checked the oil level I let the car sit overnight to make sure the oil drained back into the pan. I used Honda 5W-20 and a Honda oil filter.

What I am gonna do now is keep an eye on the dipstick level and record the mileage from the first day and then every 1,000 miles. I am almost due for my second oil change so let's see what happens.

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Old 08-23-2010, 09:37 PM
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Just checked mine based on this thread - 4200 miles and the level reads just at the low end of the range. I'll check it again in the morning - it just came off the freeway about an hour ago.

I've owned a number of Hondas/Acuras and none ever used a drop of oil. I'm hoping this is attributable to ring sealing, etc. on the new engine.

Anyone else had to top off the oil before their first change? (Oil life is showing at 50%).
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:56 PM
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My idiot message came up yesterday for the 3rd time ... A12 at 27,000 miles. Will moniter after the next service to see if this is even happening.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by aphmd View Post
My '09 TL SH-AWD consumes about 3/4 of a quart oil per 5,000 miles. Is this normal? I was always under the impression that older engines tend to consume oil, and that new cars don't require much "topping off". I did read somewhere online that V-tech engines tend to burn oil. Anyone want to share their experience?

I use Mobil 1 (5W-20).
Oil consumption can vary per vehicle. However, even with the improved tolerances in today’s vehicles it is still important to seat the piston rings within the first 25 miles by putting the hammer down under low RPM’s. Usually, this is accomplished by the Lot Boy or at the time of delivery. Another issue that can, and does, happen is the vehicle has traveled several hundred miles to the destination when the pressure expansion has not occurred. (If, for example, you had the car delivered from Seattle to Portland with nothing but cruise control and a light throttle it will be an issue.)
Disclaimer: No vehicle should be revved to its RPM limit in the first 1,500mi.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:17 PM
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To follow up on my previous post --

I added some oil last night and it took almost a quart to bring the level to the top mark on the dipstick. So the car evidently used about 7/8 of a quart over the first 4300 miles. This does not seem normal.

I called the dealer this morning and talked to an SA. I asked if this was normal with this motor during the break-in period, and after thinking for a few moments she said probably not. I'm taking it in Saturday - not sure what they'll do to check it out.

I'm pretty certain there's no leakage anywhere, so where is that oil going? Car runs fine, but this is concerning.

Last edited by JM2010 SH-AWD; 08-25-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:31 PM
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My guess is the oil is likely to leak past the piston rings and into the combustion chamber where it gets burned up. This means not only is the car consuming oil, it is also negatively affecting performance and fuel mileage. If this is the case, you would not see it and not smell it.

(BTW, I have not seen any oil stains on my garage floor or smelled any burning oil from engine compartment.)

Let's keep an eye on the oil level and report back with any results.

Anyone else notice their oil level going down?
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:47 PM
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Based on my previous reply, I decided to check my oil after fueling today. I have gone 213 miles since my 15% light came on, and I am quite concerned. I never had any kind of oil comsumption in either my Legend or CL, so imagine my surprise when I check the dipstick and notice I'm at the 1/2 mark ... somewhere around 2 quarts short of full! Obviously this Acura is not as reliable in this department as my previous ones are, and now it's something I need to moniter a whole lot more closely. I'm averaging somewhere around/over 9,000 miles between service intervals.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:09 PM
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^^ Six, I think if you're halfway between the high and low marks on the dipstick, you're only about 1/2 a quart low. Mine was at the lower mark; I added nearly a quart and it went to the top mark. So perhaps not quite as bad as you had feared.

Nevertheless, we've owned a Legend, two Integras and two Accords and none has ever used a drop of oil as far as I know. Maybe this is just ring seating on a new car (fingers crossed); maybe VTEC motors consume more oil, but I would like to find the answer.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:09 PM
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ok ... 4 hours later, I've read the owners manual, and it states the oil should be "between" the low and full marks. As mine is absolutely at the 1/2 way point, I interpret to mean I'm using zero oil. My confidence is restored.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Six Shifter View Post
ok ... 4 hours later, I've read the owners manual, and it states the oil should be "between" the low and full marks. As mine is absolutely at the 1/2 way point, I interpret to mean I'm using zero oil. My confidence is restored.
the difference between the marks on the dipstick is 1 qt of oil...if your half way between the marks, your 1/2 qt oil low, but it is in the acceptable range...1/2qt low is not considered a problem...when you get to 1qt low, thats too low....

its better to be 1/2qt low then it is to be 1/2qt overfull...
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:21 PM
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Just doing some research on this on the 'net. In the Edmunds Car Space TL forums, a couple of owners are experiencing the same thing. What they're hearing is that it's common until the engine gets about 6K miles on it to use a quart or so every 4-5,000 miles, with most of that occurring within the first 1500 miles (when no one thinks to check the oil on their brand new car). They attribute it to ring sealing and the break-in oil. Hope that's right.

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:58 AM
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Damn, I better check mine. My last two oil changes were around the 10k mile mark. I drive 98% highway. And to tell you the truth I never had any reason to check as I've never owned a car that really burned any significant oil....Accord, Integra, Maxima, Highlander.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
Just doing some research on this on the 'net. In the Edmunds Car Space TL forums, a couple of owners are experiencing the same thing. What they're hearing is that it's common until the engine gets about 6K miles on it to use a quart or so every 4-5,000 miles, with most of that occurring within the first 1500 miles (when no one thinks to check the oil on their brand new car). They attribute it to ring sealing and the break-in oil. Hope that's right.
Yes, low RPM pressure is required to expand and seat the ring. If you drive in stop and go to work when the car is new, youíll solve the oil loss issue. This is the reason new engines show better performance/hp after a couple thousand miles. Splash is also important, so donít just sit in the driveway and bump the throttle.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
Just doing some research on this on the 'net. In the Edmunds Car Space TL forums, a couple of owners are experiencing the same thing. What they're hearing is that it's common until the engine gets about 6K miles on it to use a quart or so every 4-5,000 miles, with most of that occurring within the first 1500 miles (when no one thinks to check the oil on their brand new car). They attribute it to ring sealing and the break-in oil. Hope that's right.
Well ... I'm currently sitting at 27.5K miles. Every Acura ... hell, every car I've ever owned since coming back from overseas some 20 years ago has been driven the same way - meaining 135 miles/day roundtrip to work/home. This one was no differnt. Only car that every used any oil was my '74 RX-4 until the dealer replaced the engine for me.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
To follow up on my previous post --

I added some oil last night and it took almost a quart to bring the level to the top mark on the dipstick. So the car evidently used about 7/8 of a quart over the first 4300 miles. This does not seem normal.

I called the dealer this morning and talked to an SA. I asked if this was normal with this motor during the break-in period, and after thinking for a few moments she said probably not. I'm taking it in Saturday - not sure what they'll do to check it out.

I'm pretty certain there's no leakage anywhere, so where is that oil going? Car runs fine, but this is concerning.
Came back from a trip from San Diego to Las Vegas. Read about this oil issue. 4,105 Miles and the car was down about 1/2 quart. Added in the oil and now I have 5686 and the oil is still right at the top! So as people stated, after the engine breaks in, the oil consumption stops. Still have not had my first oil change, probably do that at 6 or 7K. BTW, two Acura dealers in San Diego said oil consumption in the first 5k is not unusual. Half to one quart seems like a common amount.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:34 AM
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I'm not an engine expert by any means, but I'm not sold on this long break in theory. New engines today with available machining technology are so precise that I would think the break in period for a new car should be relatively minimal.

Referring to my TL, I have just a little over 11,000 miles on it with one oil change so far and I am experiencing some oil level loss. I would not expect that from a new vehicle.

I have to admit, I was very gentle driving the car for the first 1,500 miles. I get on the gas occasionally but not like I used to in some of my previous cars. But none of my previous cars consumed any noticeable amount of oil, not even my 300ZX TT which I used to drive hard. I've also had Maxima SE's, a Supra and some other cars and none of them consumed oil.

Anyway, I am going to continue to track my oil level every 1,000 miles to try and gauge the loss rate and report back what I find.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RSLTSX09XMNAVWX View Post
two Acura dealers in San Diego said oil consumption in the first 5k is not unusual. Half to one quart seems like a common amount.
May not be unusual for the first 5k, but 1/2 used between 18,000 and 27,000 is inconsistent with what is being reported. Guess i have something to talk to the dealer about in a couple of weeks when I take it in.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:09 PM
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Thanks RS. After reading more here and on Car Space, I decided to cancel my Saturday service appointment. Like SHAWD10, I'm just going to keep a log and check the oil every 500-1000 miles. If what's being reported is correct, the oil usage should be coming to an end soon (I'm at 4300 miles).

What really alarmed me initially was my dealer's SA saying that break-in oil usage was not normal. But from reading here and elsewhere, it is for this car, at least for the first 5-6,000 miles.

I wonder if this extended ring-sealing time has anything to do with the different bore liner used on the 3.7 motor? From what I've read, the 3.7 does not use a traditional cast iron bore liner, but instead employs a hard coating impregnated directly onto the cylinder walls, as most motorcycle engines use today. The advantages are better cooling and lighter weight. I've owned several motorcycles that use this kind of cylinder liner, and they are extremely durable.

I'll report back in a thousand or so miles. Let's hope this was a false alarm.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
Just checked mine based
Anyone else had to top off the oil before their first change? (Oil life is showing at 50%).
Yes, I did have to do that: approx. one quarter of a quart bottle to bring the level back from min to max at approx. 3,500 miles, which, based on experience with this engine family, I regard as normal at this mileage.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:10 PM
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Had it nearly two years, haven't needed to add any oil, level doesn't seem to change at all.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:22 PM
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I checked my oil today, it was at the lower 1/4 of the dip-stick, I'm going to top it off tomorrow and check it after 1k miles and I'll post an update.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:54 AM
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Ok, so I finally got 1,000 miles on the car since my last post and my engine oil level went down 1/4 of the normal operating band (the cross hatched area on the dipstick) from where it was before.

Doesn't look promising but I am not going to jump to any conclusions just yet. So, I am going to wait another 1,000 miles to see if it changes again and report back.

Anyone else notice any drop in oil level?
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:28 PM
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Interesting???

Originally Posted by SHAWD10 View Post
Ok, so I finally got 1,000 miles on the car since my last post and my engine oil level went down 1/4 of the normal operating band (the cross hatched area on the dipstick) from where it was before.

Doesn't look promising but I am not going to jump to any conclusions just yet. So, I am going to wait another 1,000 miles to see if it changes again and report back.

Anyone else notice any drop in oil level?
From what I read , you now have about 12,000 miles on the car.. I had lost 3/4 of a quart up to 4K miles, topped it off and had no loss from 4K to 6K. I just got my first oil change at 6235 Miles, I now have 6650 and so far the oil still shows full. It sounds like you would loose a quart every 4K miles.. Probably worth contacting the dealer for recomendations or? Sorry to hear this, but it may be what it is, just hard to tell.. It may be something related to the PCV system and some oil is blowing past a defective part in the smog system.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:31 PM
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I would assume you let the car sit for 15 minutes, and have it on a flat surface. I also TWIST the dip stick 2 complete turns to be sure the oil is distributed evenly. Remember that when you push in the dip stick it is Opening up a metal plate down in the engine. This prevents oil from blowing out if you forgot to put the dipstick all the way in.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:42 PM
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I always let the car sit overnight when checking the engine oil to make sure the oil drains back into the pan. My garage floor is level and I always make sure the dipstick is properly seated. I have never twisted the dipstick when checking the oil on any of my previous cars but I'll try it. Also, I always check the level several times cleaning with a paper towel in between checks.

I'll keep an eye on it and let's if anyone else on the forum has a similar issue.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:17 AM
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I wouldn't be too concerned about consuming some oil (less than a quart or so) during the first several thousand miles of a vehicle's life. Provided you're not mashing the accelerator every 10 minutes during this (break-in) period some oil consumption is considered to be normal. Also, break-in still does occur to some extent in today's mass-produced engines despite the improved machining techniques. Even "match-fit" components of hand-made engines in exotic sports cars will require some break-in period as well. If you're consuming more than a quart in that period or sooner, or you continue to consume oil at that rate beyond the first several thousand miles you should have it checked with the dealer just to be sure there isn't a problem.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:26 PM
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since this thread first started, i have used 1/2 qt during the first 5k miles...i am about to do my oil change now with 5k on the car, and will report back with any amounts that i loose after that....

if the car was using a qt every 1k miles, i would be worried, but being a 1/2 qt low in 5k miles wouldnt bother me at all, its still within the normal range on the dipstick...
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:54 PM
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Mine used between 1/2 and one full quart in the first 4400 miles. That alarmed me. I topped off then, and now, at 6700 miles, it's used very little additional oil, maybe 1/4 of a quart.

This seems consistent with what others have reported - expect a quart or so of oil consumption over the first 6000 or so miles. After that, it should pretty much end.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnier6 View Post
since this thread first started, i have used 1/2 qt during the first 5k miles...i am about to do my oil change now with 5k on the car, and will report back with any amounts that i loose after that....

if the car was using a qt every 1k miles, i would be worried, but being a 1/2 qt low in 5k miles wouldnt bother me at all, its still within the normal range on the dipstick...

Your MMM A1 popped at 5k miles? Or are you changing your oil early?
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jnc2000 View Post
Your MMM A1 popped at 5k miles? Or are you changing your oil early?
i change my oil every 5k....i dont like the mids standards...
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:44 PM
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Adding to the trend, mine also burned between 1/2 to 1 qt in the first 5K miles...far less than my Honda S2000 used to burn
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:17 PM
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Yes and NO!!!

Originally Posted by HiroY View Post
Adding to the trend, mine also burned between 1/2 to 1 qt in the first 5K miles...far less than my Honda S2000 used to burn
I burned 1/2 quart the first 6K miles, had my oil changed and now at 8600 Miles Zero oil usage.. This early oil consumption must be part of the oil type and break-in period... Change your oil and report back to us when you have 3K on your new oil.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:25 PM
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ok, put in the mobil 1 5w20 today, it took 4.5qts with a new mobil 1 m1-110 filter, added a tire rotation and i am beat...i will revive the thread in a few thousand miles to see what happens...
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:21 PM
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Dealer last changed my oil at ~12,500 but I didn't say anything about my concerns with the oil consumption. I checked the level the very next morning and it was exactly at top of the range.
Now I am past 14,500 (80% MMA) and the oil level is approaching 1/2 of the normal operating range. If I follow the MMA and change the oil around 20%, I'm gonna most likely be well below the normal operating range.
I am still going to track my oil level every 1,000 miles but I have a bad feeling there is a dealer visit in my near future. I am still not comfortable with this whole oil consumption thing on a new car.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:06 AM
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From my understanding, the synthetic oils tend to burn easier. Looking for a good 5W-20. Any recommendations? No synthetics.
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