What is Honda's Plan For CR-V and Civic Oil Dilution?
Excess fuel vapors in Honda’s 1.5-liter engine aren’t burning off and diluting the engine’s oil. This raises the oil level, triggers warning lights, creates a terrible smell, and brings into question the prospect of long-term damage caused by the oil’s inability to properly protect the engine.
In certain cases owners have said their engines have mis-fired or stalled once the oil becomes diluted.
Direct Injection Engines Have a History of Oil Dilution Problems ∞
Honda’s Earth Dreams technology is part of a direct-injection engine which pumps fuel directly into the chamber under high pressure. These engines are great for performance and fuel efficiency, but have been more susceptible to oil dilution.
Sprayed fuel sticks to the cylinder walls and eventually travels down into the crankcase where it mixes with the engine oil in the oil pan.
Automakers depend on engine heat to help burn off these fuel vapors, but if the engine never gets hot enough the fuel eventually dilutes the engine oil and raises the overall oil level.
Long term effects of gas thinned oil in the engine? ∞
The Honda Technology Research Institute conducted lab and real-world driving tests in the extreme cold of northern China and determined that high oil levels do not cause engine damage.
Tell that to these owners.
"Although Honda in China stated in a press release that this issue would not cause engine damage I believe my oil analysis report provides evidence to the contrary. I was told upon receiving my report that oil was at approximately 5% of the viscosity it should have and that the wear metals number should not be higher then 20. My number was 218. That's insanely high. Honda has yet to respond to this oil analysis report.”
“…the dealer has told me they will replace entire cylinder head. They have not told me that there is a fix to the cause of the problem nor can they tell me how long it will take to fix the damage. Honda needs to address this problem and communicate with their affected customers as to what the plan is. They also need to either offer buy-backs or extend the warranty once resolved to 6 years.”
The first is drivers who only take short trips, especially in cold weather areas, aren’t allowing the engine to sufficiently heat up and burn off excess vapors.
Listen, they’re right – lots of short trips aren’t good for any engine. But 2016 and older Honda owners aren’t the first group to take short trips. So why is there a higher-than-average number of complaints about dilution issues in the 2017 and 2018 CR-V, and the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Civic?
Honda says that the design of their efficient engine design doesn’t waste any heat.
With minimal wasted heat your engine can develop condensation and excess fuel vapors than combustion if not driven in a manner that allows the engines to fully reach operating temperature which would normally burn off the contaminates.
Out of the gate, Honda Canada took an agressive approach by offering service campaign N60 to Canadian owners of the 2017-2018 CR-V and 2016-2018 Civic starting in November 2018. Additionally, owners received a warranty extension on “certain engine components” for up to six years from the original date of purchase, with no mileage limit.
This is all part of Honda CA’s more aggressive approach towards the problem:
April 2018: They released a TSB regarding the engine misfiring and oil pressure warning lights coming on during cold weather. The TSB confirmed reports of a higher-than-normal engine oil level due to contamination from fuel build-up in the 2015-2018 CR-V and 2016-2018 Civic.
August 2018: They took it one step further by releasing a statement saying they were aware of the problem and were working on potential counter-measures. Those counter-measures appear to be the inspiration for the fixes mentioned above.
October 2018: They released a new statement regarding Irregularly High Oil Levels in Certain Honda Vehicles. In it, they confirm news about the software updates and offer extended warranties on “certain components” in the 2017-2018 CR-V and 2016-2018 Civic.
Similar protections have eventually made their way across the border and into the states, but barely at first.
When Honda US first announced their service campaign in October of 2018, it was limited to owners in five cold-weather states – Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Additional states would be added as parts became available, for a grand total of 21 states.
Please note that this is an extreme cold weather issue related to drivers who rarely drive longer than very short trips, often before the engine can properly warm up. Thus, it’s not very common in the US when compared to overall CR-V sales volume (nearly 380k sold last year in the US).
By May of the following year, Honda US changed their tune. Not only is the service campaign now available to owners in all 50 states, but Honda US also extended the powertrain warranty for more than 1 million vehicles. The extended warranty matches Honda Canada's offer of 6 years from the original purchase date, with no mileage limit.
The law firm of Sauder Schelkopf LLC is currently investigating a class-action lawsuit on behalf of owners of 2016-2018 Honda CR-V vehicles that are prone to engine oil contamination.
Sauder Schelkopf (www.sauderschelkopf.com) is a leading national class action law firm that advances the interests of its clients by recovering the money they have lost, and obtaining the relief to which they are entitled. The lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of consumers and have earned their reputation as skilled and aggressive veteran litigators
This problem has been reported by owners of the following generations. While there's no guarantee it affects all the listed model years, most years within a generation share the same parts, manufacturing processes, and problems.