Sunday, July 14, 2024
NewsOil issues with Honda’s 1.5L turbo engines

Oil issues with Honda’s 1.5L turbo engines

Honda’s turbocharged 1.5L engine is common in a number of products, most notably the CR-V. It would seem as though there’s a known oil problem with the engine where the level rises almost inexplicably.

In actuality, gasoline finds its way into the crankcase thus diluting the oil. The mixture explains why the level increases but it’s what happens once the oil is diluted that could be the real issue. The contaminated oil loses its ability to protect and lubricate the engine. The exact cause for this occurrence is still under investigation.

While Honda is well aware of the situation, they do not yet have a fix. In China, a recall for the same problem has been issued while Honda Canada is asking its dealers to monitor, and report related issues. A class-action lawsuit is actually in the works in the US.

For the moment, the best advice is to regularly monitor the engine oil level. Should it be above normal, get an oil change done as soon as possible.



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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


  1. I read an article that made sense, saying that the issue was related to continuous short drives in cold conditions. In the cold the engines computer runs the engine rich letting gas go past the rings.
    After any engine warms up it will start to boil off water/gas etc. Continual short drives especially in the cold, will lead to accumulation of unwanted contamination in the oil.
    The great fix, go on a long road trip:)

  2. Whatever the drive times are or the temperatures, I don’t see how and more importantly, where the oil and fuel are mixing. This should not be happening in a 4-stroke engine. This is either a major fault with the Variable Valve Timing system which allows oil to enter the cylinder when the injector valve is open or faulty piston rings that simply don’t keep the fuel in the chamber. This is made worse by Honda’s claim that fuel simply isn’t fully burned up in the process because the engine is cold. No Honda, if fuel isn’t burned up it’s because it is either not atomized enough by your injectors or isn’t compressed enough by the VVT system (or both). However, it still shouldn’t be seeping into the oil unless there are faulty piston rings. The fact that it’s taken Honda so long to find a resolution signals that the problem is due to multiple system issues, not just one.

  3. Automobile is a given convenience of our daily life. Why we have to warm up before driving and run the car for a few minutes after driving as recommended by Honda ? Why we have to change oil every 2500 miles instead of 10000 miles. Why we have to suck up those gas fume in the cabin ? Why we have all these problems with the direct injection turbo engine while nothing happen to the regular 2.4 and 2.5 engine. Are we stupid or what ?

  4. I purchased a new 2018 Honda CR-V and have the same problem.
    While I was purchasing this crv , nothing was said about the gasoline seeping into the oil pan .
    I feel that I should have been advised about this but wasn’t.
    After 2 oil changes I still smell gas on my dip stick.
    Honda dealership told me I have nothing to worry about ????

  5. I have a 2018 Civic 1.5 turbo I was notified about a soft wear fix.The fix did nothing. 400 kilometers later I had my 2nd oil change because of extra fluid in crankcase. Honda now has a video to show customers that this is normal. Once an issue for them but not no more. How does a person start a class action in Canada?

  6. Conventional turbo engines suffered from turbo lag. Acceleration lags behind depressing the accelerator, as exhaust energy has to rise to spin the turbines, which then increase intake amount. With the VTEC TURBO, this problem is avoided by using a turbocharger with electronic wastegates equipped with small-diameter turbines that spin efficiently on small exhaust energy. The result is a sharp, responsive turbo engine, which rapidly responds to how the accelerator pedal is depressed. The Intercooler is a device that reduces the temperature of intake air compressed and heated by the turbocharger, before it is sent to the engine. Without the high-temperature air being cooled first, the temperature within the engine would rise, causing knocking. The intercooler also sends more air to the engine by cooling intake air to reduce its density (as heated air expands and reduces air density and increases volume) allowing the engine to operate even more efficiently.


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