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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 Honda Pilot with 149k miles. I have had a recurring issue where I am going to slow down and my check engine light, my VSA light, and my tire pressure (? triangle with exclamation point inside) light come on and the care won't accelerate. The oil will be almost empty, with at least 1000 miles to go before my next oil change, and the oil light DOES NOT come on. Once I add oil all of the lights turn off and the car runs fine. Has anyone had this issue?
 

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Hmm... My 08 Pilot has 149K miles and does not use oil, so no... I'm wondering why your engine is even low on oil in the first place? I have no idea why your oil light does not come on.

Sorry - not much help here.
 

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First, the triangle with the exclamation point is the VSA Activation indicator, not the low tire pressure indicator.

If there's a problem detected with the VSA system, it is normal for both the VSA and VSA Activation indicator to simultaneously light. So you've probably got some problem with the VSA system, likely a sensor. A fault code read with an OBD II reader might pin the problem down more specifically.

The CEL might be related.... perhaps the computer puts up the CEL when it notes certain faults in the VSA system. Or something going on with the VSA failure is triggering a sensor in the CEL system. In any event, I'd chase the VSA problem first and then see what happens to the CEL.

As to the oil consumption issues, I suspect it is unrelated. When you say the oil is "almost empty", I assume you mean the level is down near the add mark on the dipstick which indicates the system is approximately one qt low which is far from empty as the system holds over five qts. The car doesn't have a low oil warning light - it has a low oil pressure warning light which typically doesn't come on unless the system is VERY low on oil (MUCH lower than the add mark on the dipstick), often after engine damage has already occurred. So the fact you're not getting a warning light for the low oil level is probably normal.

If you're getting within 1K miles of an oil change without adding oil, that's actually doing more/less fine on a car with 149K miles. Honda would consider this level of consumption acceptable on a new car. I would be sure to monitor consumption so you keep the level above the add mark between changes.

As to why adding oil causes all these lights to go out, I'm stumped. Are you sure this is happening?

- Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have had the VSA system checked multiple times by multiple mechanics and they can't seem to find anything wrong! And yes all the lights turned off once I add the oil which is super strange considering the oil light wasn't one of the ones to come on. But when I check the dip stick, the oil is practically empty.
 

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There is no sensor on the Pilot for oil level, so it is essentially impossible for the car to know that you've added oil. So there must be something happening when you add oil that is resetting whatever other faults are present. I suspect that just the act of raising the hood and closing it might extinguish the lights.

I'd be looking for weird electrical problems, like loose battery terminals, bad grounds, etc. And I'd certainly want to read the ODB II fault codes for when the lights are on. Did your "multiple mechanics" do this?

Regardless of lights, you need to keep the oil between the marks on the dipstick.

- Mark
 
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