Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Early first oil change for 2003 Accord?

big_dogbig_dog Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Honda
I just bought a 2003 Accord. The owner manual says that part of the break in procedure is to NOT change the oil earlier than the maintenance schedule (10,000 miles) for the first oil change because they have a special oil in new cars to help break in the engine. I talked to my mechanic and he said it is better to change the oil every 3,000 miles. What do you think? Is it o.k. to change the oil at 3K or should I wait until 10K for the first oil change?


  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    sounds to me your mechanic gave you sound advice.any seating of the rings and break in would have happened by 3000 miles.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I don't believe there are too many oils whose additive package can make it to 10K. I'd scan some online Honda clubs to verify exactly who makes the factory pour oil.

    The only way I know of to be sure your oil is still doing its job is by lab analysis. But oil changes are pretty darned cheap and are very beneficial obviously. You might want to do a quick cost/benefit analysis along with the lab analysis to determine when it makes sense for you to change your oil. That way you know for sure and don't have to guess or rely on others who may not have your best interests at heart.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I do believe it....keep the special break-in oil for at least 5,000 miles. 10,000 miles seems too long for a conventional oil to stay in the engine.

    Also check the dealership how stingy they are about 5w20 oil.
  • What do you mean by checking the dealership on how stingy they are about 5w20 oil? Isn't that the recommended oil?
  • kudikudi Posts: 8
    Took a look at the manual for a 2003 Accord...couldn't find any mention of a special break-in #? What I did see were 2 sets of maintenance schedules for the four cylinder based on the type of driving one does:

    1. Severe Driving - change oil every 5,000 miles or every 6 months, which ever comes first.

    Severe = a) most trips less than 5 miles, in cold conditions, or less than 10 miles otherwise; b) lots of driving in 90 degree + weather; c)lots of idling/stop and go; d) towing; e) off-road (paved) driving.

    2. Normal Driving - change oil every 10k miles or 6 months.

    Normal = living in Southern California or Florida, and commuting at 5 am, 2pm to avoid any stop/go traffic.
  • The special break-in oil is mentioned in the Honda Owner Link webiste on the Maintenance FAQs page (Oil FAQs). I attached the info below.

    Also I drive 20 miles to work against traffic each day and that is the bulk of my driving so I think I am a "Normal Driving" type of guy. I am still going to change the oil every 3K miles after this first confusing oil change.

    **** from the honda owner link website ***
    Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?
    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.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    It's the recommended oil yes.

    5w20 is also more difficult to find right now.

    So a lot of people run 5w30 oil, instead.

    Ford is the other company that mandates 5w20 oil, and they do mean it (voided warranty).
  • Sounds like the manufacturer is trying to drive down their yearly maintenance cost on their chart. By the way, the warranty will run out before you see the effects of not changing your oil frequently enough, especially on hondas. I would change it every 3000 miles, regardless. I used to work for honda as a service tech, sometimes we forgot to put the 5w 20 oil in even when required, it'd be a good idea to mention that even at the dealer. Also, dealers don't make very much money on oil changes, but they do on other maintenance (hence the reason why honda generally makes a more reliable car if only the maintenance is done). That is probably why honda is pushing the 10,000 mile break in oil. When I worked there I would have loved the idea, heck I would never recommend changing it at all so we could do more engine replacements (not under warranty, but at customer cost). Oil changes are nasty, no one wants to do them, even the dealer's technicians.
  • knapp3knapp3 Posts: 112
    8u6hfd: Qurious, why do you say that Ford really means it when it comes to mandating 5W20 oil? When I specifically asked my local Frod service manager, he told me that use of 5W30 oil would not void the warranty.
  • If you look at the manual, the oil filter "should" last 20k miles under normal conditions. UH, if I'm under there, I think I'll change out that $5 filter while I'm dumping $15-20 in oil in there.

    My intention is probably the same as my Trailblazer. Change myself every 5k miles w/ syn blend. =o)
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    Based on what you quoted from the manual, it does not appear so. Is it true that they state that no other service is required before 100 K miles? What type of oil do they recommend putting back into the engine when you change your oil?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    BEcause the fine print says, other oil weights will void the warranty. Ford earlier had issues with people using 5w30 and its complications...and left people stranded with voided powertrain warranties.

    If you're local dealership will stand behind the all means (make sure you get an official statement from them saying it beforehand, just in case)
  • Mobil 1 filters and oils. Just recently changed over from cheaper stuff. No big deal, just like the way the Mobil 1 lasts and how it looked compared to the cheaper stuff after 5k in my Trailblazer.

    If you check the maintenance schedule, there are two spots, one for oil change, one for oil and filter change... kinda strange how they set it up.
  • woxwox Posts: 5
    I believe changing the oil every 3000 miles is excessive. If it gives you extra piece of mind and you don't mind the extra cost, by all means stick to a 3000mi oil change schedule. A more reasonable schedule is every 5000mi. Todays refined non-synthetic oils in combination with reduced friction in todays engines (tighter tolerances, alternative construction materials) will easily perform flawlessly for this interval, even in harsh driving conditions.

  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    What if you only drive 5K a yr. Do you leave it in for a year without changing the filter? Never did it but would expect the dino oil to look like Jello. If you are going to change the filter every 6 mos. you might as well drain the oil while you're at it IMO.
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I have a confession, when I had two cars, an Acura Integra and a Benz E320, I didn't change the oil in the Integra for a period of over 12 months as the car only accumulated 3,000 miles that year. It's horrible I know, but the mechanic actually was amazed at the condition of the oil, it looked fine and was still translucent. However, I changed to a 4 month interval after that...
  • bburton1bburton1 Posts: 395
    Industrial engines typically have timers on them so that they change their oil and perform maintenance on the # of hours in operation. If you put 4K miles on at an average speed of 60 MPH-that is 67 hours of engine operation-the avg of 60 is about my average. If you drive in LA and average 25 MPH-which in my experience is about average in that traffic-that is 160 hours or 2.4X as much time. So your driving conditions are really important. Now add multiple short trips where the engine does not get hot enough to drive off gasoline and water-well you get the picture. Yeah I could make a case for 2K change intervals if you drive a lot in city traffic.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I agree, so I change oil and filter every 4 mos. even though vehicle only has about 2K miles--half of which is short trips. Use Wal-mart oil and filters so the cost is about $6/chg.
This discussion has been closed.