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oil changes

cdawncdawn Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Honda
I recently purchased a new honda accord V6. I have been told by several people that instead of the first oil change at 7000miles (like the owner manual says) I should first change it at 500 miles. Is there any damage in doing that? Why would Honda recommend 7000 miles for the first oil change?


  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Go with the dealer and manual (if they concur) on this one!
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Honda uses a special oil....keep in for 7500 miles. It is designed ensure proper break-in of the engine. After the first 7500 miles, then every 3000 miles regular oil changes.
  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    I would dump it at 2500-3000 miles.there will be metal particles,sand from casting and other manufacturing dirt that will be suspended in the oil.Besides,the engine will generally be "broken in" by then.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Metal particles went away in the sixties.

    Keep the oil in for around 3500 miles. It has special additives in it for break in.

    After that, you can either follow the manual, or do it more often like I do. I change mine around 4000 miles.
  • gmlover1gmlover1 Member Posts: 60
    There is no need to change at 500 miles, if there is any sand or metal in the oil the filter would pick it up. I would change at 3000 to 4000 miles, any more than that is asking for trouble in the long run.
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    Isell, I have grown to respect your comments and suggestions but I continue to hear conflicting reports from Honda dealers regarding the break-in oil question. None of the shops I have encountered are able to identify this break-in oil. Do you have specs or a Honda P/N for the oil or additive? I do know of several high-mileage Hondas that had the initial oil change at ~500 miles and continue to perform beautifully - of course they may have done just as well if the initial oil had stayed in for 3500 miles.
  • jmsintxjmsintx Member Posts: 41
    special break-in oil. Modern engines are "broken-in" before they leave the factory. Follow your Honda manual recommendations, or you can change to synthetic oil at 1 mile or 500 or 7000 miles.
    Hope that helps.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    As I understand it, there are additives of some type in the initial oil fill that help with break in. I have no other information.

    Truth is, I doubt if it would make a twit of difference if the initial oil was changed at 500 miles, 2000 miles or 5000 miles!
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I've heard too many reports from dealers (both Honda and Ford, actually) regarding special "break-in" oil for them to be completely false.

    So, jmsintx, I don't think you can definitively say there is no such thing as "break-in" oil. It's not like the dealers are making extra profit from turning away initial service customers.

    For an definitve answer, I'd call the 800 customer service number for American Honda in your owner's manual. If you do, please come back here and tell us what they say.

    I know of some recent brand new Hondas that have had their oil changed very early and they seem to be fine ... but those same people baby their cars and often use synthetic oil. That kind of tretment could easily make up for a somewhat improper "break-in" procedure.

    To be safe, I'd split the difference and leave the factory oil in for 2-3 thousand miles and then change it.

    --- Bror Jace
  • vwracervwracer Member Posts: 90
    I have heard that factorys install a non-detergent oil for the first fill. Think about it. Why do you need detergent in a 0 mile motor with all new parts?

    When I build a new race motor for my VW, I use the cheapest non-detergent oil I can find. Then change it after the first 5 minuets of running before I even get 1 mile on it.

    I just bought a brand new F250. I will make first oil change at 1500 miles, then every 4000 after that using 5w20 as recommended by Ford.

    Remember the owners manual gives the MAXIMUM oil change intervals. you can change it more often if you wish.
  • jmsintxjmsintx Member Posts: 41
    is an urban legend. No such oil. Modern engines do not require any sort of break in for ring sealing or any other reason.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    Contact the regional Honda Tech Center

    For the East Coast, it's in New Jersey. The regional tech center does the training for the Honda Techs.
  • rbg1rbg1 Member Posts: 8
    The morning after a 500-mile drive recently (just days after an oil change), I noticed that the oil level in my 2000 Toyota Sienna had dropped very slightly. (Instead of reaching the "full" line on the dipstick, the oil covered about 80% of the "normal" range on the dipstick.) Since I was about to drive another 500 miles, I decided to top up the engine with about 6 ounces of oil. I did this very accurately, and am sure that I didn't overfill the engine. However, to my surprise, I couldn't get an accurate oil level reading for the rest of the trip. The oil was always a few inches above the "full" line on the dipstick, but that portion of the dipstick was only partially covered with oil. No matter how many times I cleaned off the dipstick and rechecked it, I kept seeing oil above the "full" line, but only partially covering this area of the dipstick. I've never seen this before, with any car. Has anyone else seen this? Thanks for your help.
  • vwracervwracer Member Posts: 90
    As the engine is running, oil is splashed up into the tube in which the dip-stick sets. When you remove dip-stick after running engine some of this oil will contact the dip-stick above the full marks as you pull it out possibly giving you a false reading. When you pull the dip-stick up, the oil on the bottom will adhear to the sides of this tiny tube, so when you put dip-stick back into tube and recheck oil, some of this oil in the tube will get back on the dip-stick. Oil should be checked when engine is cold. Your oil level is where there is full wet oil on both sides of the dip-stick. Also after tearing apart several engines and throwing many dip-sticks into one box then looking at several when I need one to assemble an engine I have seen dip-sticks differ 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.

    hope this helps.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    He's exactly right. When you keep pulling it out you keep coating the dipstick tube and then the dipstick. I change oil on my son-in-law's Quest and it has a square reading area with a cable dipstick and the ends are bullet shape. Its hard to get a reading on it anytime. I resorted to keeping the dipstick out and then inserting it in the mornind and reading it the first time. Also in the morning to take a reading-read it on the first pull. Then you can confirm the reading on the second insertion. I know this sounds like overkill-but it isn't on some vehicles.

    Does anyone else have this Quest dipstick?? Is it just me who has difficulty with it?
  • hudraheadhudrahead Member Posts: 169
    I am a "old geezer" that has had over 60, (yes 60), new cars in the past 30 years or so. I ALWAYS change the original oil @ 1000 miles, use the recommended oil thereafter and I have NEVER had a car of ANY make EVER use oil and that includes many with over 100K on the clock before trade-in. More important is how you drive for the first 2000 miles or so. Drive normally,avoid long periods of steady speeds, vary your speed and your new little gem will serve you well. Modern mfg. methods insure engines are so well put together that the term break-in is old hat. heck, I know some family members that just run the crap out of their new cars and they too seem to be ok and not oilburners in the long haul, go figure.

    As to "sand" from the casting process, well, not too many modern mfg. even use sand anymore in the molds. Mostly a plastic is used that vaporizes in the process leaving NO foreign material to clog up the oil galleries etc. Ahhhh, modern technology. The next thing you know they'll be running cars on fuel cells LOL.

    hudrahead :)
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Member Posts: 1,203
    Anybody use synthetics in their car? I've got a 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS and while I certainly do not abude my car, the 3.5 liter V6 just loves to rev and I'm more than happy to do so. I typically change oil between 3-4K despite the manual stating that the car go over 7500 miles before oil change. Just curious about opinions on synthetics.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Past 10 years, newest is a 2000 Buick GSE SC and last chagne had 12,190 miles on oil. Analysis fine.
    Stuff works

    If you change oil every 3000 miles any ole liquid called oil that meets the SL standard will work.

    Beyond 3000 or so, synthetics
  • wwaite1wwaite1 Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2000 Honda Accord and in the manual it says to change the air filter in the heating & air cond. sytem every two years. It doesn,t explain were it is or how to change it.I do all of my own maintenance, oil changes, trans oil , brake fluid, and anti-freeze changes but I cant locate this filter. This filter must be somewhere in the duct work before the fan air enters the car. If anyone knows kindly fill me in. I would be very thankful. Bill
  • yettibuttyettibutt Member Posts: 98
    I think all of this oil stuff is hear-say and urban legend. Yes, you may have changed your oil at 500 miles and ran 100+ thousand miles. Im sure there are just as many people that didn't change till 3K that did the same thing. I think may people are being WAY overly cautious about this. I think the break in oil is an urban legend. I just follow the manual. It usually says "first oil change 5000 miles" then, somewhere else, it will say, "if you drive under extreme conditions (which most of us do by their definition), change the oil every 3,000 miles." Any metal etc. in the oil will be picked up by the filter, use your heads, isn't that what the filter is for? Do you think your engine never has another bit of sand or metal in it other than the first 1000 miles?
  • jharley1jharley1 Member Posts: 2
    Normally those filters are located underneath the plastic between the hood and the windshield (wiper cowl). I'm not 100% sure about your honda, but that is where I usually find them.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    or hydrocracked oil. Testing indicates that 25% syn blends provide 80 percent of the benefits of synthetic when it comes to wear protection. Costs half as much.

    I have Syn in one car that works very hard, really like it for very cold weather startup, but frankly for the 15--20 degree winter nights, both start well.

    Hydrocracked is essentially a molecular reshaping from crude oil. Not quite as good as pure synthetics, but they are very good on seals (sounds good to me since I have replace seals on 2 cars this year). It also is very good on high temperature protection, and oil consumption. It is also very good at resisting sludge formation.

    Personally for my next change on a car I want to keep for a long time I will put in 3 quarts of Maxlife and 1 quart of synpower and see how that runs in the long term.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    yettibutt,/b> & jmsintx, break-in oil an urban myth?

    No, not unless American Honda was in on it for a while. About a year ago they had the information from all owner’s manuals on their official website and the issue of break-in oil was addressed there in detail. So, it was part of the official Honda policy. Even if they have since changed their practices and policy (I don’t have a brand new Honda), the break-in issue cannot qualify as an “urban myth”.

    Sometime last spring, Honda pulled all this info down. Read into that what you will.

    wwaite1, you are best to post your filter question (dust & pollen filter?) in the Accord threads as that is a vehicle-specific query. This thread is about oil changes in general and the average participant will be unable to help you.

    --- Bror Jace
  • jmsintxjmsintx Member Posts: 41
    Brorjace, I think that the reason that Honda removed that information, if it were there ( I have not seen that information ) is that "break in oil " is indeed an Urban Legend. There really is no " break in " period for modern, oem engines. Regards.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    "I think that the reason that Honda removed that information, if it were there ... is that 'break in oil' is indeed an Urban Legend."

    So American Honda was in on it? I'm skeptical of things I feel are actual urban legends ... but one thing I never buy into are conspiracy theories.

    --- Bror Jace
  • mwiklemwikle Member Posts: 62
    Some manufacturers (OEMs) demand special OEM factory fill oils, some OEMs demand special QC & Tests but pretty much use the standard, current PCMO, and some OEMs just take standard PCMO [PCMO=Passenger Car Motor Oil].

    My understanding is most engines are much less sensitive to break-in, in general, than was the case say 20-30 years could guess that may reduce the need for special oils, but it depends on the individal OEM "design philosophy" execution of course.

    Follow the owners manual is ALWAYS my boring and simple advice.

    FWIW I change at 5K, and have never seen a bad oil analysis (or even close) when I test---which is not that often as with a 5K change testing is a waste. Major brand engine oil is high-tech, and very impressively engineered product, that most oil suppliers sell very inexpensively due to intense competition.

    I am a ChE working in finished lubricant sales for one of the largest multinational energy companies in the other words on this arcane subject I know of what I speak (but not on most other subjects according to my spouse!!!)

    (info and opinions are my own)
  • pluto5pluto5 Member Posts: 618
    Does anyone know who makes Walmart's store brand oil?
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Quaker State
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Cdawn: Follow the manual as far as oil changes go. Good rule of thumb is if you drive over a 1000 miles a month (15,000 + miles a year), go with the extended service schedule (not unless you do a lot of stop and go driving). Generally if you drive this much, it's mostly highway driving which is the best for your car. If you drive less than 1,000 miles per month (less than 12,000 miles per year), I would do the severe duty maintenance schedule. Generally if you drive this many miles it's made up of shortere trips which can be hard on your vehicle. Once you've determine which manitenance schedule best fits your driving then follow the manual. If it say to wait until 7,500 miles to change your oil then change it at 7500. There is no need to change your oil at 500 miles or 1000 miles. Obviously Honda doesn't use a special "break-in" oil or they would have mentioned it in the manual that it was necessary to change the oil at 500 miles. Follow the manual. Most of the people that have responded are going on their own maintenance schedules they have developed over the years. While they may be good advice, there are no facts supporting them. One thing you don't want to do is begin over maintaining your car. It's a waste of money and can be a burden on the environment, believe it or not.

    So my two cents is follow the manual. Good luck with your Honda.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    All maintenence schedules list a time element regardless of miles. For example my mazda lists 5 months or 5,000 miles minimum on the severe schedule. Normal service 7.5 months or 7500 miles.

    I don't do many miles on my cars. 3 cars 2 drivers really cuts the per car mileage down. so I do a hybrid for the around town car. I always change the oil on the severe miles, but not if I have gone 7.5 months. Then I change regardless. ON one car I had only gone 3000 miles in the 7.5 months. Had an analysis. Came back that it was ok, but ready to be changed.

    If I take a long trip, then I use the normal schedule.

    Tom and Ray of and National Public Radio believe that going longer than 5000 miles is one of the ways you can be ruining your car without knowing it. Certainly with a Toyota I wouldn't exceed that limit.

    I am currently trying 6000 with a synthetic. In a few months I'll have the oil analyzed to see if it's ok.
  • knapp3knapp3 Member Posts: 112
    The other night I accidently came upon a web site for Nissan Maxima owners which is posted in England. It is...

    I was really surprised to see a copy of the Nissan maintenace schedule scanned on to the web site. It showed the manufacturer's recommended oil change interval to be 9,000 miles or 12 months. No distinction was made for severe or normal service. I've owned Nissans for 6 years, and every "American" model owner manuals that I have shows the 3K (severe) or 7500 mile (normal) oil service interval. I understand Nissan only makes the Maxima in one plant in Japan, and only puts a V6 engine in them. Granted, there are different variations of that V6 engine design, but to see such a dramatically different oil change interval was jaw dropping, to say the least. I've often wondered if 3K mile oil changes were overkill. This sort of discovery only tends to confirm my suspicions. Is this news to others too? Or have I lead a sheltered life?


  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    it is at 4,500 miles. The US severe schedule is 3,750. that's only 750 miles difference.

    I wouldn't do anything longer than recommended without oil analysis. I did 3k over a 7.5 month interval, had analyzed. The oil needed to be changed. TBN was 3.5. Could have gone a little longer, not much. Use a trend of analysis if you want to extend to see what your particular car can do.
  • knapp3knapp3 Member Posts: 112
    You're right. They do list a severe schedule. I didn't read it close enough. It's interesting. My '96 Nissan owner's manual calls for severe duty at 3K, my '01 lists severe duty at 3,750 miles and now cars Nissan is selling in England list severe duty at 4,500 miles. All similar V6 engines. I guess that's progress. I wrote to the guys who posted the English web site. He simply said their driving patterns in England were different than the states, but didn't elaborate. Plus the English Nissan manual calls for replacement of brake fluid and transmission fluids, which isn't even mentioned in the American manuals. Those are good practices, but I'm still left wondering why a car manufacturer would call for different maintenance on the same model sold in different parts of the world.
  • yettibuttyettibutt Member Posts: 98
    I just copied this off the Honda owner site:

    Your Honda engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their "natural" wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.
    American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner's Manual, based on your specific driving conditions.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, I sort of disagree on changing the oil just because it has gone 6 months or 9 months. I have one car I always go 7-8 months and 7,500 between changes and analysis has been fine for the 141,000 miles on it. My Toy has gone 1 1/2 years between changes and current oi and filter will be a year old next month and I guarantee the analysis will be fine.

    Primary reason is that 95% of the time I start that engine I drive at least 10 miles. Maybe if not heated up I would consider changing at 6 months but it just seems to be a pure waste of time and money to change oil at 6 months with 2000 miles on it. In my experience it makes no difference! Yea, heard the moisture arguements etc but reams of analysis print outs do not indidate those comemtns have any validity
  • yettibuttyettibutt Member Posts: 98

    There you go. Hope it works. This is in the owners section of their website. I am a member so Im not sure if you have some problem. Its real, I was VERY suprised. I always that all that crap was urban legend, but apparetly its not. Im glad I follow the manual!

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Doesn't work. Anyway, is this information written right from the factory or is written by a dealer or member who "claims" that startup oil is present? Anyway-it doesn't matter to me because I'll probably never own a honda. But its strange their cylinders and rings which are manufactured by the same machines which make other vehicle cylinders/rings are "special".
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    European cars have lower emission requirements. Therefore engines are generally not as hot when running. When I lived in England some years ago, most manufacturers had 9K to 15K mile recommended oil change periods for normal driving conditions.

    Also, the gas is different. It is higher octane in Europe. That is a contributing factor also.

    So cars are different for different markets. For instance in Europe the Maxima comes with a 3 liter V6 that has 190 HP. In the USA we have the new 3.5 liter Maxima, and even the previous version had a 3 liter 222HP engine. The engines are tuned differently to satisfy the emissions for the specific market where the cars are sold.
  • yettibuttyettibutt Member Posts: 98
    This is on the Honda website under FAQ about maintenance and oil changes. This is from Honda, not a dealer. I didn't believe it myself, but now I do. Basically, the answer is if you manual says don't change till 5K the first time, don't change it, simple. The manufacturer knows more about the car than anyone else and wouldn't tell you to do something if it harmed the vehcile. You can probably surf to it, just go to the Honda website, go under autos, and there is a link for owners. click on it and go through all the bs. its really there.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    Just re-read my previous post:
    European cars have lower emission requirements.

    I meant to say the requirements are less strict, i.e. Euro cars allow higher emissions.
  • wa3morewa3more Member Posts: 4
    i'm doing an oil change on a 1990 V6 camry i just got. Someone said to loosen the oil drain plug, i need to turn clockwise not counterclockwise. Is this correct ? Also, do i need to change the gasket on the plug with every change ?

    Any help is appreciated.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
  • wa3morewa3more Member Posts: 4
    Why should i have to take it to the dealer for an oil change ?
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Gasket no, but does not hurt. Worse that can happen is a small leak!
  • wa3morewa3more Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info, tom.
  • pjksrpjksr Member Posts: 111
    Has anyone ever used an oil extractor? These are vacuum pumps that supposedly pump oil out thru the dipstick pipe, using a long, thin hose.

    I don't think I'd use one for my oil, but they may be helpful in differentials or trannies.
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    on which one you buy I've used them and they are pretty good also used on tranny fluid.

    each time I've always taken the drain plug out just to see how much was left in the pan, it usually took 15min for a drip to form and fall into the pan.

    Now I don't bother I use this apparatus and it works beautifully
This discussion has been closed.