Why Does My Honda Accord Burning Oil?

It can be frustrating dealing with an engine that continually needs oil between changes. Honda Accord burning oil is usually a sign of a problem within the engine that allows oil to leak past worn parts and get burned off in the combustion process. This article will explore the common causes behind Accord oil consumption issues and the steps that can be taken to remedy them. With some investigation and repairs, most causes of Honda Accord burning oil can be resolved.

Common Causes Of Honda Accord Burning Oil

There are a few key engine components that tend to wear over time and cause oil to be consumed at higher than normal rates in Honda Accords. Here are some of the most common culprits.

  • Worn Piston Rings
  • Damaged Valve Seals
  • Worn Valve Guides
  • Excessive Oil Consumption

Worn Piston Rings

The piston rings play a crucial role in sealing the small gap between the pistons and cylinder walls in the engine. As the rings wear over time, their seal deteriorates and allows oil to leak past into the combustion chamber. This oil then gets burned off during engine operation.

Look for: Blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, especially after starting up a cold engine. Compression test will show low results indicating loss of seal.

Damaged Valve Seals

The valves are sealed with rubber valve seal components that keep oil from getting into the combustion chamber around the valve stems. When these seals harden, crack or wear down, oil can seep past into the cylinders.

Look for: More blue smoke upon startup but also possible at higher RPMs. Oil residue around the valve covers.

Common Causes Of Honda Accord Burning Oil
Common Causes Of Honda Accord Burning Oil

Worn Valve Guides

The guides that the valves slide up and down in can wear over time, especially from lack of lubrication. This allows oil to leak past down into the cylinders.

Look for: Blue exhaust smoke, especially when revving the engine. Cylinder leakdown test can help diagnose this issue.

Excessive Oil Consumption

If the engine is burning too much oil, the rate of consumption itself can accelerate component wear by not providing adequate lubrication. This exacerbates the oil burning problem over time.

Look for: Having to add more than 1 quart of oil between normal oil changes.

Model Specific Oil Consumption Issues

Certain Honda Accord models have been more prone to oil burning issues over the years. Here are a few examples:

2008-2012 Honda Accord

The 2008-2012 generation of the popular sedan had multiple complaints about excessive oil consumption. Both 4-cylinder and V6 engines were affected. The problem was due to piston rings not maintaining a tight seal and allowing oil to be burned. Honda extended the powertrain warranty to address oil consumption issues for these model years.

2003-2007 Honda Accord

The prior generation Accords had some sporadic oil burning issues related to the valve seals and guides wearing prematurely. The V6 engines were more susceptible than the 4-cylinders in these years.

1998-2002 Honda Accord

These Accords had fewer systemic oil consumption problems overall but would still experience issues as mileage accumulated beyond 125,000 miles or so. Worn piston rings and guides were mostly implicated.

How To Diagnose Honda Accord Burning Oil

Diagnosing the cause of higher than normal oil consumption in your Accord involves a few important steps:

Monitor Oil Level Frequently

Check oil level at each fill up to determine rate of loss. More than 1 quart burned per 1000-2000 miles indicates a problem.

Note Symptoms

Look for blue exhaust smoke, especially upon start up and acceleration. Check for oil leaks around the valves and seals. Loss of power can indicate low oil.

Perform Engine Tests

Compression and cylinder leak down tests by a mechanic can help pinpoint if the piston rings or valves/guides are allowing oil to pass into the cylinders.

Inspect Internally

The only way to conclusively find the root cause is to disassemble the engine and inspect the condition of rings, seals, guides and cylinder walls.

Taking these diagnostic steps methodically can zero in on why your Accord is consuming too much oil.

How To Fix Honda Accord Burning Oil?

Once the root cause of the oil burning is found through proper diagnosis, the repair approach can be determined. Here are some common fixes:

  • Replacement Parts
  • Engine Overhaul
  • Adjust Driving Habits
  • Use Higher Viscosity Oil
How To Fix Honda Accord Burning Oil
How To Fix Honda Accord Burning Oil

Replacement Parts

Worn piston rings, valve seals and guides will need replacement with new OEM or aftermarket components to stop oil consumption. Proper installation is key.

Engine Overhaul

If there is significant internal wear or damage, a full engine rebuild or replacement may be needed. This will provide completely renewed sealing surfaces.

Adjust Driving Habits

Going easy on cold starts, avoiding lugging the engine and accelerating smoothly can help marginally. But worn parts still need to be addressed.

Use Higher Viscosity Oil

Switching to a slightly heavier oil like 5W-30 from 5W-20 can slow oil consumption in some cases by improving seal. But it’s only temporary.

Fixing Honda Accord burning oil requires being methodical – proper diagnosis first, followed by replacement of worn parts or overhaul as needed. Adjustments to driving habits can help extend the repairs.

Honda Accord Engine Oil Consumption Problems By Year

The Honda Accord is known for reliability, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to problems. Engine oil consumption issues have impacted certain model years more than others. Here’s a look at the Accord’s oil burning history:

Engine Oil Consumption Issues
Suspected Causes
Frequent complaints of excessive oil consumption
Faulty piston rings allowing oil to be burned
Sporadic oil burning issues, mostly V6 engines
Worn valve seals and guides
Oil consumption outside normal after 125k+ miles
Piston rings and guides wearing over time

The 2008-2012 Accords were the most notorious for burning oil. Honda extended the powertrain warranty and issued technical service bulletins related to oil consumption for these model years. Problems were apparent in both 4-cylinder and V6 engines.

Other generations saw fewer widespread oil consumption problems, with issues developing gradually over time due to normal engine wear. Proper maintenance and driving habits can maximize longevity for these Accord model years.

What Causes A Honda Accord To Burn Oil?

The most common causes of a Honda Accord burning oil are worn piston rings, damaged valve seals, and worn valve guides. These engine components lose their tight seal over time which allows oil to leak past into the combustion chambers. The oil then gets burned up during engine operation. Replacing worn parts is typically needed to stop excessive oil consumption in Accords once it begins happening.

Why Is My Honda Burning Oil So Fast?

Rapid oil burning in your Honda is usually due to accelerated wear of internal engine seals and gaskets. Particularly, worn piston rings, valve seals, and valve guides will allow oil to pass into the engine cylinders faster as the gaps widen. Aggressive driving habits can worsen the wear on these critical components. Replacing the affected parts may be required to slow the rate of consumption.

Is It Normal For A Honda To Burn Oil?

Most Honda engines are designed to consume less than 1 quart of oil every 1000-2000 miles. Using oil at a faster rate than that generally indicates worn piston rings, valve seals or guides which are allowing oil to leak by. While some oil usage is expected over time, excessive consumption can lead to additional engine damage if left unchecked.

How Do I Stop My Engine From Burning Oil?

Finding the source of the oil burning is key to stopping it. Replacing worn piston rings, valve seals, and guides will help minimize oil getting into the combustion chambers. Adjusting driving habits to be less aggressive also reduces strain. Using oil additives can slow leaks. But typically worn parts must be swapped out to fully resolve excessive oil consumption in an engine.

Preventing Future Oil Burning Problems

Once an oil consumption problem has been resolved in your Accord engine, here are some tips to help maximize longevity of repairs and prevent issues from developing again down the road:

  • Closely follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, particularly for oil and filter changes. This keeps contaminants from accelerating wear.
  • Use only the viscosity and quality of motor oil recommended by Honda. Heavier oils can potentially slow leaks but thin oils ensure optimal lubrication.
  • Be diligent about checking oil levels frequently and topping off when needed. Running low accelerates wear. Carry extra oil in your trunk.
  • Avoid aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and lugging the engine. This puts more stress on internal components.
  • Address any oil leaks, unusual noises or performance changes right away to prevent bigger issues down the road.
  • Consider using oil additives that can help condition seals to keep oil consumption rates low as the engine ages.

With proper diligence and preventative maintenance, your Honda Accord can continue running for years after an oil burning problem has been corrected without issue. Be attentive and patient with your car.

Common Questions About Honda Accord Burning Oil

How Much Oil Consumption Is Normal?

Most manufacturers consider 1 quart burned per 1000-2000 miles to be higher than normal. Newer engines tend to consume less than older ones.

Does Oil Viscosity Impact Consumption?

Using the manufacturer recommended viscosity, such as 5W-20, will provide the best consumption rates in most cases. Heavier oils can potentially slow leaks.

Can Driving Habits Influence Oil Burning?

Aggressive driving and lack of regular maintenance can contribute to accelerated wear and oil consumption over time. Gentle driving helps.

Does The Warranty Cover Oil Consumption?

Honda extended the powertrain warranty for excessive oil consumption to 8 years/125,000 miles on certain Accord models. Others rely on normal warranty terms.


Honda Accord burning oil is a fairly common problem, particularly for models with some years on them. In most cases, worn internal seals and engine parts are allowing oil to sneak past into the combustion chambers where it gets burned up. Identifying the root cause through diagnostic testing allows the proper repair approach to be determined. Replacement of worn parts or even engine overhaul may be needed in some instances. But with the proper fix, oil consumption can be brought back to normal levels.

Also Read: How To Reset Oil Life In Honda Accord?

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Ammar Masoud

I have had a long and fulfilling career in the automotive industry, primarily with Honda and Acura. With 15 years of experience as a Honda service technician, I became highly skilled in repair and maintenance, gaining a deep understanding of these vehicles. After many years in the automotive field, I decided to embark on a second career in industrial manufacturing. It was a significant change, but I found that the skills I had honed in the automotive industry were incredibly valuable in my new role. In my current position in industrial manufacturing, the demand for quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Fortunately, these are traits that I have cultivated throughout my years in the automotive industry. I take pride in applying these skills to meet the high standards expected in the manufacturing sector.