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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently, our 2009 Honda Odyssey, with 195k, is burning through about a quart of oil every 400-500 miles. By the time the oil change percentage gets to 60%, the car is throwing a code (I forget which one, but I read it can be related to low oil) and then a short time later, the oil level/pressure alert will come on. I'll put in a quart of oil, reset the code, and then about 400-500 miles later, same thing happens.

Any thoughts on what is causing this issue potentially? I've seen posts here and there about a VCM Muzzler, but I don't know anything about this or if the VCM would just be causing this issue now.

Also, based on what I am reading in this forum, it sounds like by the time that light comes on, some serious damage might already be occurring.
 

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You are pretty much on the right patch. First if you have not put a muzzler on it, do so.

Secondly if your engine is eating up a quart around 500 miles, that's lots of oil burning through and probably afraid the damage to the piston rings have already been done.

Perhaps, muzzle it and keep adding oil every 500 miles to keep it throwing codes.

Has it past inspection recently?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's overdue for it's inspection. It was supposed to be done in January. I am planning on bringing it this month.

In terms of the VCM, what does it do that would cause this issue to finally come to a head this many miles in?
 

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Currently, our 2009 Honda Odyssey, with 195k, is burning through about a quart of oil every 400-500 miles. By the time the oil change percentage gets to 60%, the car is throwing a code (I forget which one, but I read it can be related to low oil) and then a short time later, the oil level/pressure alert will come on. I'll put in a quart of oil, reset the code, and then about 400-500 miles later, same thing happens.
How low is the oil level when the oil pressure light comes on? I can't imagine adding a quart is enough to get back to the full level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Usually what I do is I put quart in and then I schedule an oil change in the next week or so. Usually then, they would be putting in 5 quarts of oil. Based on what I am learning today, I am guessing that running a car with only a quart of 2 quarts of oil in it might cause an issue?
 

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VCM muzzle should fix it. Your piston rings are allowing oil to come through. A VCM muzzle will fix this because no more VCM operation will allow the rings to free up.

I'd muzzle and keep consistently monitoring the oil level for a while until you see decreased consumption. I was losing a quart every 1k in my Accord, and although no permanent damage was done, I knew that the engine didn't seem to run as smooth as it got closer to that 1k mark.
 
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In your case, you've got a 12 year old high mileage vehicle.

Start using 5W30 oil, which is what Honda uses in Europe.

Do not, do not wait for the oil light to come on! Start topping off the oil every 200 to 300 miles.

You could also switch to one of the high mileage oils, as you are what those oils were made for.

Also, as was suggest, and if you have an EX-L or Touring, disable the VCM with some form of the Muzzler.

As you're constantly refreshing your oil, you can safely stretch your oil changes out to 10K miles.

Start looking for a newer van, or just keep adding oil.
 

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@thscott , if that's the case, in addition to the VCM muzzler, should I also be trying to fix the potential piston ring issue?
As WiiMaster said, there is a good chance the "stuck" piston rings may free up on their own once you install a VCM Muzzler device. If not, there are other things you can try to free the rings up.

It would be extremley expensive to replace your piston rings - a complete engine teardown. FYI, Honda issued an extended warranty for misfires caused my VCM which included replacing the piston rings at no cost to the owners.
 

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I guess what I am asking is that if this VCM issue caused the piston rings to get damaged, won't that damage still be a problem even after disabling the VCM feature?
Sometimes the piston rings are not damaged but simply stuck and unable to do their job.
 

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Usually what I do is I put quart in and then I schedule an oil change in the next week or so. Usually then, they would be putting in 5 quarts of oil. Based on what I am learning today, I am guessing that running a car with only a quart of 2 quarts of oil in it might cause an issue?
I think running very low can lead to the oil getting too hot and breaking down and creating deposits or sludge in the engine. On my cars, I check oil at every fill-up, probably a must with an oil burner like you're dealing with.
 

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@bbrages , I considered doing that, but I thought I read that you needed to check the oil on a cold engine vs. after it's been running for a while
my understanding is that when oil is hot, it reports higher level. IF oil is low even when hot, then you are definitely running low, put enough oil at least to get to just over "MIN" level and you should be ok.
 

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@bbrages , I considered doing that, but I thought I read that you needed to check the oil on a cold engine vs. after it's been running for a while
Owner's manual says to "wait a few minutes after shutting the engine off" to check the oil. (p. 371 of the 2009 manual). It also says to check the oil every time you fill up. (p. 423).

I believe the oil doesn't expand much, the only catch is if you check right after you shut off, there may be some oil still draining down into the pan from the head.
 
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