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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,
The VSA system on my granddaughter's CRV would not turn off. The steering was stiff and the check engine light was on. I don't drive the car, but I see it every week. And I did drive it to the dealership for the repairs. I noticed the brake pedal was going to close to the floor before breaking actually started. When I pushed the VSA button to turn it off, I got the triangle symbol with the exclamation point light on the dash board. It stayed on. I maintain this car on a regular basis. I have synthetic oil changes every 7,000 miles. I have maintained the transmission on schedule. I have the fluids changed on time according to Honda's maintenance schedule. The car has 111,000 miles on it. I took it to my dealer for service to the VSA. They told me the VSA is on because the car only has 1/2 a quart of oil in it. That's right, 1/2 a quart. Bear in mind the low oil pressure light never came on. The car is not showing blue smoke or steam out of the tail pipe. There are no oil slicks appearing below it. I drove this car myself. It was not making the noises you would expect to hear with a low oil situation. And I'm not even sure a car would move with 1/2 a quart of oil in it.
I'd like to know what you think. I'm angry and concerned. I don't have the car back yet as I took it in on a Friday and they haven't repaired it yet because I don't think I've been given the right diagnosis yet. It need a brake job with replacement of the calipers and rotors. I'm not sure if I should spend the money.
I bought this car used 5 years ago. It had 42,000 miles on it. It has never had any problems with oil burning.
Please, does anybody have and ideas or been through anything like this? If you have, I'd appreciate a reply.
Thanks,
Grammy
 

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It's a 2006 4WD EX-L 5AT, according to the profile.
I find it very hard to believe that the engine only had 1/2 qt in it. There must be a miscommunication problem somewhere.
With no excessive smoking or oil spots on the driveway or on the engine, it is very unlikely that it used that much. I don't believe 1/2 qt will even give any oil pressure.

Best of luck. I have no personal experience with that engine, but I'm sure other posters here do.

Are you sure you need calipers and rotors. I believe doing a brake job on that CRV is not very difficult for someone to do it themselves.

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a 2006 Honda CRV. I just picked it up from the dealer. There was no explanation for the low oil indicated by the technician. The service man had no answer when I said it would be impossible for a car to drive with 1/2 quart of oil in it. Since the VSA system was on and wouldn't shut off they checked and said "Oil level found extremely low causing 2 codes, 56-03 VTC Oil Pressure Test, and 83-01 Computer Fail/ both are cleared and are not returning. There is no indication of oil leaking out, so the technician penciled in the margin "could be sticky rings". Some have suggested I do the brakes myself but I am not physically able to do that kind of work myself. Then they tried to tell me future service would include maintenance I just had done in September, i.e. 100,000 mile service.
 

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Is your grand daughter or her possible boyfriend capable of doing the brakes? If they are not grinding or vibrating you can most likely get away with just the pads and some grease. They really are pretty easy to change yourself. Normally 2 screws holding the rotor on and 2 bolts holding the caliper on. The rotor screws most likely require an impact screwdriver (~$10) and the pads are around $10 - $50 depending on where you buy them and which kind you get. The little grease packets are about $2 each at a parts store. Might want to grab 2 of those.

I have heard synthetic oil can be a little thinner than conventional oil and lead to some oil loss on older engines. Keep an eye on it and if you continue having problems maybe try some basic oil. It doesn't hurt to try.
 

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It's a 2006 Honda CRV. I just picked it up from the dealer. There was no explanation for the low oil indicated by the technician. The service man had no answer when I said it would be impossible for a car to drive with 1/2 quart of oil in it. Since the VSA system was on and wouldn't shut off they checked and said "Oil level found extremely low causing 2 codes, 56-03 VTC Oil Pressure Test, and 83-01 Computer Fail/ both are cleared and are not returning. There is no indication of oil leaking out, so the technician penciled in the margin "could be sticky rings". Some have suggested I do the brakes myself but I am not physically able to do that kind of work myself. Then they tried to tell me future service would include maintenance I just had done in September, i.e. 100,000 mile service.
sounds like sticky rings. you could do an overnight piston soak with Seafoam or Gm top engine cleaner before your next oil change. would help free up the piston rings and possibly stop the oil consumption. also change the PVC valve as this could be part of the problem.
joe
 

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Make a habit of actually checking the engine oil yourself. At least once a week. Don't take someone else's word for it. Then you can determine if and when the oil level is going down or staying statis quo.
 

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When you push the VSA button to turn the stability system off, it's SUPPOSED to turn on the VSA light as a warning...isn't it?

The CEL was probably the indicator of a problem. The VTC valve in pour engines don't like low oil situations.


Yeah, time to start doing a routine check of oil level as jimbob15 said. But in another recent post here, it seemed that it was a one-time thing...perhaps due to the oil not totally refilled at the previous oil change.


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Don't be too annoyed about the recommendation for additional service. Dealer technicians are 'encouraged' to generate revenue these days. A lot of folks ignore the 100K maintenance (just look at some of the posts here) so IMO it's not a bad thing to be reminded.

You are a smart consumer who keeps up with your grand-daughter's maintenance needs, so you knew not to do it again. (PS, I would teach her to check fluids under the hood herself!)
 

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perhaps due to the oil not totally refilled at the previous oil change.
This seems like the most likely explanation to me as well.


My 2012 has used about a quart between changes since it was new. When it gets down half a quart I top it off, then it will be down a half again when due for a change. It seemed excessive to me, but the dealer said it's completely normal.

I have a 2004 Vibe (Matrix) with 160k that uses maybe 8 oz every 5-6k, and a 2008 Vibe with 90k that doesn't use any oil at all. I also have a 2000 Corolla that uses a quart every 6-800 miles. No noticeable smoke from the tail pipe unless you're following it down the road, then you might see a puff now and then. But I check the oil on all of them every week.
 

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Wymark - Have you ever let your CR-V oil level ride at half a qt down to see if it goes any lower? Reason I ask is, when I do an oil change w/filter, I put in the required amount and it only comes to half way between the marks on my dip stick. If yours is the same you may be overfilling it and it's just reaching a point where it won't 'use' any more if left at the half way mark. I'd never be happy with any Honda I've owned if it used that much between changes.
 

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To the original poster (Grammy), I'd recommend you find an independent mechanic to help you maintain your car. It sounds like the dealer is trying to take advantage of you. You're right, the engine wouldn't have run with only 1/2 qt in it. The oil pump would scavenge that out on start up and it would be starved for oil then.
While brakes are relatively easy to do yourself, it's not something I'd recommend for a beginner to start with.
I am with all the guys here recommending weekly checks of the oil yourself. It's easy if you can open the hood.
 

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I am going to say that Wymark is burning a little oil. I always fill mine up to the full mark , it takes 4.5 qts with filter and it never drops below full between changes. I change every 5k which is about once a year for our V.
 

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BicycleGrammy,
I tend to agree with Carbuff2 regarding that it was probably not filled properly at the last oil change.
Did you do it yourself, someone you know, an independent shop or a Honda Dealer?
Amazed that no engine damaged occurred. What brand of synthetic oil was used at the last change? Must be some really good stuff. :)
Best of luck and do check the oil level at every gas fill up for around at least a month or two or weekly during the first thousand miles.

Buffalo4
 

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Wymark - Have you ever let your CR-V oil level ride at half a qt down to see if it goes any lower? Reason I ask is, when I do an oil change w/filter, I put in the required amount and it only comes to half way between the marks on my dip stick. If yours is the same you may be overfilling it and it's just reaching a point where it won't 'use' any more if left at the half way mark. I'd never be happy with any Honda I've owned if it used that much between changes.
Yes, when it was new and again after the first change. It got down pretty close to the low mark on the dipstick right about when the MM came on both times. I check my oil every week on a flat garage floor, and after it's sat overnight. I freaked out when it only had 5,000 miles and was down half a quart. The dealer assured me that it was "normal" and within Honda specs, and this being my first Honda I didn't argue too much. Guess I should have have pushed back some on them but I don't know what that would have got me.

The dealer did offer to do some testing on it, they were going to seal the dipstick and filler cap then have me come back in every 1,000 miles so they could check for leaks, check the level and seal it up again. But they're 40 miles away and having to take it in and wait on it that often was going to be a major pain in the rear. I can check with the local Honda dealer to see if they would do the same thing for me. Still a major PITA but a lot less time involved.
 

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wymark - sent you a PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't do any maintenance on my cars myself. This Honda has always been maintained by the dealer. It was changed by them, using what I call 100% synthetic, (they once put in a blend that I didn't order). I know a little about cars. More than the average consumer I would say. This car never gave any indication the oil level was low. The engine always gives off a tick, tick, tick, for the first few seconds, just until the oil gets circulated, then it stops. There were no unusual sounds, and an engine running with 1/2 a quart of oil would make a lot of noise. There was never any smoke or steam. No oil on the ground in any location this car sits. No low oil pressure light. I didn't know that hondas can burn oil. Now that I know that I'll keep a closer eye on it. Thanks for your reply.
Grammy
 
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