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Discussion Starter #1
I read through some of the old threads where owners were complaining about excessive oil consumption and thought I'd offer the following recent observation. Our 2005 EX-L currently has approximately 130K miles and since approximately 80K I have noticed that it seems to consume an excessive amount of oil. I'd estimate that we burn about 1 quart every 1200-1500 miles. If I didn't check the oil level frequently by the time that the maintenance minder would alert to an oil change I'd only have about 1.5 quarts left. Plugs were done at 90K as well as all other maintenance. Everything else seems fine.

So this is my recent observation. Several weeks ago we were driving on a long stretch of a flat road near the coast and I had a friend following us on the trip. He called me on my cell at one point and he said that about every minute or so our van would put out a puff of smoke. I thought about it for a bit and wondered if it happened when the VCM kicked in an out. To test it I drove for a mile of so with very light throttle so that the VCM would stay engaged. With him on the phone I accelerated slightly to disengage the VCM and ask if he just saw a puff and he said yes. Said it looked like grey/blue oil burning type smoke.

Does anyone think that the VCM could be responsible for what seems like an excessive amount of owners reporting high oil consumption?

--Adam
 

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I'd be willing to bet more likley its your PCV valve seeping oil into your intake system. This could be caused by excessive blow by or a bad pcv valve.
 

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I would guess that it is related, just from a few google searches. Appears that this is a large manufacturing defect, I'm surprised they haven't done some sort of recall.

I hate oil usage. My van (not a honda) doesn't use oil, 5,000 miles since the last oil change and the level hasn't dropped!
 

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I would guess that it is related, just from a few google searches. Appears that this is a large manufacturing defect, I'm surprised they haven't done some sort of recall.

I hate oil usage. My van (not a honda) doesn't use oil, 5,000 miles since the last oil change and the level hasn't dropped!
Replace the PCV valve, and see if that works. You might also want to clean out the intake too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi, I pulled the PCV valve yesterday and it did seem to be gunked up. I shook it after taking it out and couldn't hear any noise (usually I can hear the flap jiggling). I cleaned it well and then could now hear the flap moving when I shook it. Now all I need to do is run it for a few thousand miles to see if that resolves the oil consumption issue. Thanks again for the suggestions.

--Adam
 

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How hard was it to find/remove/clean the PCV? Will you have a friend follow you and look for the smoke again? My service advisor doesn't think it could be a PCV problem, but who knows.
 

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Hi, I pulled the PCV valve yesterday and it did seem to be gunked up. I shook it after taking it out and couldn't hear any noise (usually I can hear the flap jiggling). I cleaned it well and then could now hear the flap moving when I shook it. Now all I need to do is run it for a few thousand miles to see if that resolves the oil consumption issue. Thanks again for the suggestions.

--Adam
Double check on cleaning out the intake to get rid of all the oil thats seeped in through the PCV hose. Basically just a wipe down with a paper towel or oil cloth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How hard was it to find/remove/clean the PCV? Will you have a friend follow you and look for the smoke again? My service advisor doesn't think it could be a PCV problem, but who knows.
So far, cleaning the PCV seems to have done the trick. I have almost 1K miles since the clean and notice no oil consumption. I'll post another update at 1500-1800 miles which is where I would have been a quart low. I'll try to get someone to follow me to see if the smoke has gone away from the VCM disengaging. For those that haven't done it this is a 3 minute job. The PCV is black plastic and held in with one 10mm bolt. It's close to the oil dipstick and documented in several online pictures. Remove the bolt and the PCV is held in by the friction of a rubber O ring. It didn't want to pull out at first but with a small flat head I was able to get under the plastic and it popped right out. I was unsure if this was the PCV when I was first looking around since the PCV in the 05+ does not have a vaccum hose attached like PCVs that I have seen in the past. Anyway thanks again for the suggestion that this might be the culprit. BTW,for those interested in my attempt to diagnose this problem over the past year or so I unbolted the manifold about 6 months ago to clean the EGR ports (thinking that this was the problem). Everything was actually very clean unlike some of the EGR plugging complaints on the prior model ody.
 

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Areno, did you replace the two O-rings along with the PCV value, or just the PCV valve itself. I am getting ready to order one, and see two o-rings in the parts diagram?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, I just cleaned it (with B12 Chemtool but I'm sure carb cleaner would work as well) and put the PCV valve back in. I didn't replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So here's another update with not so good news. I'm at 1800 miles since my last oil change and the PCV cleaning and I'm now almost 1 quart low. It appears that the PCV cleaning did not resolve my high oil consumption. What is strange is that there was no consumption for the first 1k after the oil change so I have lost almost 1 quart in the last 800 miles. Here's are some options that I'm considering but feel free to add others that I have not considered:

1) Since the high oil consumption didn't start until 80,000 miles or so maybe that's when the PCV first started to clog and over the past 50K miles with a clogged PCV the engine has built up some varnish and possibly sludge from the failed PCV over time. Cleaning it a month back may have worked for a bit but then reclogged as the sludge began to loosen up from the oil change resulting in the high consumption again.

2) Maybe the PCV is just bad and even my cleaning didn't do enough to help. This still doesn't explain why the oil level stayed perfect for the first 1K after the oil change.

3) Maybe as the oil becomes dirty it clogs something and then starts the high consumption.

Notes: I change my own oil when the MM says there is 20% oil life left. I have used motorcraft 5W20 semi-synthetic oil and purolator pure one filters since purchasing the van new in 05. I almost always change the filter and the oil at the same time along with a new crush washer. Maybe only twice have I left a filter to the second change (even though this is what our manual says to do). I have never seen any oil drops on our driveway and the underside of the van doesn't display anything that would look like a leak.

I think I'm going to buy a new PCV valve to see if this helps.

Thoughts? Thanks, Adam
 

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I would buy a new pcv valve to see if that helps. It can't hurt. Maybe when you cleaned it, it was clean enough to make it work but now it is clogged again.
 

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So here's another update with not so good news. I'm at 1800 miles since my last oil change and the PCV cleaning and I'm now almost 1 quart low. It appears that the PCV cleaning did not resolve my high oil consumption. What is strange is that there was no consumption for the first 1k after the oil change so I have lost almost 1 quart in the last 800 miles. Here's are some options that I'm considering but feel free to add others that I have not considered:

1) Since the high oil consumption didn't start until 80,000 miles or so maybe that's when the PCV first started to clog and over the past 50K miles with a clogged PCV the engine has built up some varnish and possibly sludge from the failed PCV over time. Cleaning it a month back may have worked for a bit but then reclogged as the sludge began to loosen up from the oil change resulting in the high consumption again.

2) Maybe the PCV is just bad and even my cleaning didn't do enough to help. This still doesn't explain why the oil level stayed perfect for the first 1K after the oil change.

3) Maybe as the oil becomes dirty it clogs something and then starts the high consumption.

Notes: I change my own oil when the MM says there is 20% oil life left. I have used motorcraft 5W20 semi-synthetic oil and purolator pure one filters since purchasing the van new in 05. I almost always change the filter and the oil at the same time along with a new crush washer. Maybe only twice have I left a filter to the second change (even though this is what our manual says to do). I have never seen any oil drops on our driveway and the underside of the van doesn't display anything that would look like a leak.

I think I'm going to buy a new PCV valve to see if this helps.

Thoughts? Thanks, Adam


Get away from the motocraft oil, the higher compression of the ody combined with a thin dino oil would cause the oil to sludge up due to heat. If you want to continue using motocraft bump up to a 5w30 oil or 10w30. I would also consider making the jump like myself and many others have over to the amsoil 0w30 signature oil and filters cheaper to get from amsoil.com if you buy a preferred membership. I've tested it myself to last over 20k, I just changed it last week at 165k and 0 sludge or varnish.

As for the PCV valve, pull it out again, I'm willing to bet your oil is dark and its clogged up. My guess on the sludge is due to the high heat of the summer and likely a few spirited drives causing more heat than the oil can handle.
 

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@ Areno:

I have an '05 EX-L, 69500 miles, with the exact same problem except the dealership has done all of my oil changes. I found that the oil loss was more prevelant on highway trips. I have only noticed smoke at highway speeds when the VCM disengages (under acceleration). Like your example, the VCM has to be engaged for a longer period of time before the puff of smoke appears. I called my dealership and they said the rings may need to be replaced. However, he is going to call Honda tech support tomorrow to find out if it could be something else. Have you resolved the issue with yours?

Kevin
 

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@Areno,
For me, what you are experience, dealership (or Honda) decided to replace my engine.

For unknown reason, my cylinder #2 didn't hold the required pressure. After the tear down, no one knew for sure why...

Honda decided to replace the engine at the end (with Honda care).

I have my theory which is similar to yours that the VCM has something to do with it.

I've been using Mobile 1 since about 40k...and engine was replaced when it was around 120k.

I don't want to get into the argument of using different oil, but today's engine is built for typical oil that you can buy on the market.

Unless you don't change your oil for 20-40k miles, and change it anywhere from 5-7.5k miles, you should be ok...
 

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I'd be willing to bet more likley its your PCV valve seeping oil into your intake system. This could be caused by excessive blow by or a bad pcv valve.
Yeah, that would be if it were stuck open, but also, if it were stuck closed, (even though the OP stated he had no oil on the driveway), the subsuquent crankcase pressure would force oil out every seal on the engine. With the timing covers and lower gravel guards and wind blowing seeping oil onto the undercarriage, it could be going anywhere.

OP, IMHO, I wouldn't clean the PCV valve, it's too cheap to not replace it. :cheers:
 

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areno - Good explanation of the problem. I'm going to have to say that I think your gut feeling about it being related to the VCM is correct. My opinion is that your pcv cleaning was adequate and that's not the problem. Running thinner 5W-20 oil might make it consume even more oil.

I'm a firm believer that if a problem like this bothers you to the point that you can't live with it (like just adding oil as required), then maybe it's time to spend money on a different vehicle by trading that jewel in. I wouldn't attempt to repair something related to the VCM though. Too much like shooting in the dark.

But ... something that I've been thinking about for a long time, don't know that I've ever read on here about it. I wonder if disconnecting a connector under the hood would disable the VCM. I mean, there's not a tremendous benefit from it. So if it were possible to disable it (without encountering a continuous check engine light), that would be something to consider. It's not likely as simple as just a connector ... but you never know.

One time, I had a warning for a loose gas cap. That warning alone disabled the VCM, strange as it sounds. I confirmed it by clearing the code and the 'ECO' light would then operate again, and I could feel the VCM kicking in.
 

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areno - Good explanation of the problem. I'm going to have to say that I think your gut feeling about it being related to the VCM is correct. My opinion is that your pcv cleaning was adequate and that's not the problem. Running thinner 5W-20 oil might make it consume even more oil.

I'm a firm believer that if a problem like this bothers you to the point that you can't live with it (like just adding oil as required), then maybe it's time to spend money on a different vehicle by trading that jewel in. I wouldn't attempt to repair something related to the VCM though. Too much like shooting in the dark.

But ... something that I've been thinking about for a long time, don't know that I've ever read on here about it. I wonder if disconnecting a connector under the hood would disable the VCM. I mean, there's not a tremendous benefit from it. So if it were possible to disable it (without encountering a continuous check engine light), that would be something to consider. It's not likely as simple as just a connector ... but you never know.

One time, I had a warning for a loose gas cap. That warning alone disabled the VCM, strange as it sounds. I confirmed it by clearing the code and the 'ECO' light would then operate again, and I could feel the VCM kicking in.
If there is a way to disable the VCM, I would to. Yes, I would lose 1-3 mpg, however, it might be worth it.

My 05 ody being the first generation to use the VCM, it might needs couple of generations for Honda to really understand and reengineer the VCM to work properly as well.

Just a thought...

So, is there a way to disable the VCM?
 

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+1

I'd consider abandoning it, too. Someone mentioned that a tech postulated the lack of firing in the cylinders disabled by the VCM might contribute to a cooling/shrinking of the rings in those cylinders, allowing some oil...bypass.

I could do without the NVH when the ECO light comes on.
 

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So, is there a way to disable the VCM?
Well ... you could loosen the gas cap! :D

I forget how the VCM works. It either quits cyclng the valvetrain combined with not injecting fuel, or just stops injecting fuel. But either way, that row of pistons is going to start cooling off (I'm guessing). That cooling, and then warming back up means additional heat cycling. Additional heat cycling will inevitably lead to something reaching it operational lifespan quicker that other parts that don't have as many heat cycles.

I'm a big fan of simpler is better, but I guess I'm a bigger fan of bells and whistles so I got roped into this VCM thing. I'm just an innocent victim here. :D
 
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