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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2005 Odyssey Touring has almost 105 K miles, and aside from a couple of trips to FL and NY, those miles have occurred in the state of AL. All the maintenance on this vehicle has been performed like clockwork, by the dealer, per the maintenance minder. As a mom with 2 kids, I love this vehicle for all its convenience features. Thank goodness we bought the extended warranty; however, because you can go down the list of common issues, and this vehicle has had it: power steering (I think we were the pioneers on this issue due to our high mileage), torque converter, Pax tires (we're on our 4th set), catalytic converter, tailgate gas strut recall, and now our latest VSA issue.

Back in May, just prior to this van crossing the 100K miles, I was approaching a redlight on a damp, drizzly day (dry pavement). The light changed just as I was approaching, so I came to a fast stop, but not so fast I would slide or anything of that nature. As quick as I was stopped, the "Check VSA" indicator lit up the dash and the engine was running very rough, as if it might stall at any moment. The check engine light came on. When the redlight changed, I diverted down a side street, pulled off the road, shut off the engine, and consulted my owner's manual. It said to shut off the engine, then restart to see if the "Check VSA" would clear. The "Check VSA" did clear, but the check engine indicator was still illuminated.

The next day I drove the van to the dealership where they proceeded to do all the 100K mile maintenance. They cleared the check engine code, and installed a VSA software update which they assurred me was the reason the "Check VSA" had come on. I had no problems for approximatley 2.5 months.

Yesterday, almost the exact same scenario recurred. I came to a fast stop at a redlight on a damp day (dry pavement). The "Check VSA" indicator illuminated the dashboard, the check engine indicator illuminated and the engine was suddenly running very rough. I pulled off the road, shut off the engine, restarted and drove home without further incident, including driving up a significant mountain to my home where the overall performance of the vehicle was "very peppy", just as it usually is.

The next day, on my way to work (I am an engineer at NASA), things deteriorated rapidly. At almost every stoplight the "Check VSA" came on, and the engine started running very rough. I took the vehicle straight to the dealership where they spent most of the day diagnosing. And the diagnosis was ........ low engine oil level --- 2 quarts low. The rough running engine was the vehicle running in "safe" mode. The reason it occurred at the stoplight was most likely "slosh" where the remaining oil sloshed forward which the computer sensed and put the vehicle in a "safe running" mode.

I drove the vehicle home tonight and on several errands, and it ran like a champ. So, assuming this diagnosis is correct, here is what I don't understand ..... Why on earth would Honda design their system to where the first indication the driver had of low oil would be the vehicle going into "safe mode" .... which is a very rough running engine that feels like it could stall at any moment? I went back through my owners manual tonight, and sure enough, the only other "idiot" light is the oil pressure light(picture of an oil can). The book says that if it ever comes on and stays on continuously, shut off the engine immediately and add oil. It is a dangerous condition where you likely have already caused damage to the engine.

The lesson learned for me: just because you do your oil maintenance exactly per the book, you are not exonerated from checking your oil level. It appears that I may have an "oil consumer", and even within the recommended maintenance period, I'm consuming almost half the oil this vehicle holds. Oh, and by the way, I have NO oil leaks, no blue cloud, no fouled spark plugs, no indicator of any nature that the vehicle is consuming oil.

I am actually seriously doubting the diagnosis. Has anyone had a similar issue? Kate
 

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I'd bet it was something simple , and they were using the oil as the sly lie excuse. But go ahead and check it next time.
 

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I was totally skeptical too, when my wife naively asked me if our problem (Exactly as described in the OP) was that the van was low on oil. "Of course not!" I scoffed. I had to be something like EGR valve or ports, or throttle position sensors, or fouled plugs or maybe coils......

It was almost three quarts low on oil. Filled it up, trouble doesn't come back. The oil was low.

Now I just have to figure out where it went....
 

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3 qts low is a lot... how many miles was it since the last change? I would definitely keep an eye on it (out of habit, I usually check the oil level in both of our vehicles once every other week or so - we burn very little oil in our Odyssey (an 05 with approximately 150k miles on the clock) - at most it's been down 1/3 of the way from the full line after 6k miles (usually see that in the summer - in the cooler months, there is little to no drop in oil level)
 

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Wow! an oldie thread brought back here.

I haven't heard of too many oil consuming 2005+ Odysseys. My 2008 LX doesn't consume a noticeable amount between it's ~6500Kmi oil changes. I've done every oil change on it since new and have used the least expensive 5w20 I could find for most of them.

Joel
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Was surprised to see a reply on the old thread I started in 2010. Thought I would tell you all the stunning conclusion:

50K miles of running with low oil took its toll on the Odyssey's engine. From 50 to 100 K miles the engine was noisy. In April 2011 I took it in because the noise was really bothering me, and the diagnosis was worn cam lobes. I have to give that engine credit, it barely ever skipped a beat (except for the major incident that I posted) despite the low oil level that engine operated under for 10's of thousands of miles.

So in April 2011, Honda and I negotiated a deal for replacing the engine. The van itself was in pristine condition. I couldn't be happier with my decision to replace it. The new engine has a little over 25K miles on it and it purrs like a kitten. I also check the oil level frequently, and occasionally I have to add a little. This engine probably doesn't consume as much as the original, but it does consume some. (I believe the actual model year on the new engine is 2007). We also own a 2006 pilot (also bought new), and we have to add a little oil to it on occasion too.

So, our conclusion is these engines do consume a little, but as long as you keep the oil topped off, they will be with you for the long haul!
 
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