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Discussion Starter #1
2020 Pilot EX-L FWD
Running perfectly and no concerns until Friday, 20 Dec 2919...

-At 4800 miles get warning there is only 15% oil life remaining, have to clear warning every time I drive it.
  • Sunday, 22 Dec, take Pilot to Valvoline Oil Change place I have used many times.
  • Oil Change tech says, "why are you here, first oil change should be 7500 miles."
  • I decide to change oil anyway with Valvoline full synthetic.
  • As soon as techs begin work (its one of those places I sit in the car and watch them) they say it is a quart low on the dip stick.
  • They look around under the car, but not leaks are evident. Also there has been no leaks on my white concrete driveway.
  • They complete the oil change and reset oil change indicator.

Is this in any way normal oil usage for the first oil change? Vehicle was not driven in any extreme fashion or used to tow anything. No oil lights or other engine warning lights were ever present, only the oil change warning. I'm bad at math but I think at 5000 miles it should have had 33% oil life remaining if normal first oil change is 7500. I admit the low oil reading could be user error and they didn't know how to read the dipstick... I hope that is the case.

I will be calling the dealer tomorrow but expect to get a story about how that is normal for first oil change or something.... I figure the experts here will know if this is a serious issue or not. Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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Have you checked what was the actual level when you purchased the car? To say it’s low a quart you’d need to know reference level


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Didn't check oil level closely when I bought the car - no benchmark. However the 15% oil life at 4800 miles is odd even if the oil level wasn't low from the factory.
 

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Didn't check oil level closely when I bought the car - no benchmark. However the 15% oil life at 4800 miles is odd even if the oil level wasn't low from the factory.
When engine was hot it was showing bottom of acceptable range on dip stick.
 

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Didn't check oil level closely when I bought the car - no benchmark. However the 15% oil life at 4800 miles is odd even if the oil level wasn't low from the factory.
OLM has really nothing to do with oil level. I’m having to change every 4k on mine due to short trip driving my wife does and OLM going early as a result. Park the car in a garage, let it sit overnight and pull the dipstick in the morning. Using same spot in the garage, do the same thing 1miles later and you’ll get an idea whether it is using oil ir not.


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Many newer cars no longer use mileage as the determining factor for oil change. As Sergey stated, short trips will cause a shorter interval for oil changes. My first oil change alert came on at 5000 miles, and that just happens to be when I prefer to do oil changes anyway. Just got back from a 700 mile round trip, and my oil level is right on the full mark - 2500 miles since last oil change.
 

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Didn't check oil level closely when I bought the car - no benchmark. However the 15% oil life at 4800 miles is odd even if the oil level wasn't low from the factory.
Both of ours were not full from the factory, many others reporting same, don't worry about it. MM at 15% is still has plenty of time, get the oil changed when it hits 5%. If most of your driving is city with lots of short trips, then 4800 miles will be about normal for the MM. It monitors your driving habits, everyone will have a different number. For reference, we do mostly interstate driving with MM hitting 5% around 9k miles.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the feedback -- I do mostly short trips however not in much traffic. I knew the car was taking type of driving into account but my last vehicle was a 2016 Tahoe, driven on the same roads, and its oil life monitor seemed to follow the 7500 mile standard. The Honda may be more sensitive to type of driving and that reflects in oil life calculation. One big difference between the Tahoe and the Pilot is the Tahoe defaults to overdrive gearing at basically all speeds and the only way to wake the V8 up is to floor it (which I rarely did). Pilot is much more responsive and achieves higher RPM with better acceleration in most situations -- but that probably counts against oil life. Thanks again for all the advice, I feel much better about it now.
 

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I had about 3,800 miles since my last oil change and the reading was at 30%, Then I took a 1,000 mile road trip and when I returned home, it was still at 30%. As previously noted, your actual trips and type of driving will impact when the oil is due for a change. BTW, I checked my oil level before and after the trip and it was full.
 

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Oil life monitors are all over the map between vehicles and makes - some may allow up to 15K miles between changes. Hondas are generally on the conservative side requiring oil changes at low miles. 4800 miles at 15% means it will hit 0% at around 5600 miles which is well within normal tolerances and expected for a car that doesn't see a whole lot of long trip mileage. IOW, nothing wrong here.

Likewise, I wouldn't put much credence into the oil change guy saying you're a quart low, especially since you don't really know what the car started out with - it should have been full, but it could have been down a bit to start with. If it is using a qt in 5K miles, this is probably a little higher than average, but well within normal variation, especially considering that new engines may use more during break in. IOW, nothing that out of the ordinary here as well.

But.... you should be checking your oil level now and then. While most folks get away with never checking oil level, it is not guaranteed you'll make it between oil changes and checking oil every month or so is something you should be doing, especially early on when you're getting familiar with a new car and how much oil it tends to use. Honda's "acceptable" rates of oil consumption are much higher than most think, on the order of a qt per 1K miles. If you happen to get unlucky and get one of these and don't check the oil, you'd have a smoking heap on the side of the road before the first oil change.

- Mark
 

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Data on our 2019 Pilot Touring bought early in 2019.
Oil level when brand new was exactly 50 pct, oil was so clear it was hard to read :)
Have changed oil twice by now, Maint Minder called for at 7500 miles and 15000. I change filters every time regardless of Maint Minder. Mostly highway miles, limited slow city time.
I check oil level every 1 or 2 weeks, no oil used at all so far.
To monitor repeatably: Park on level surface (inside garage slab, not a driveway), run engine 5 minutes, shutoff engine, pull dipstick and wipe off, reinsert all the way, count to 3, pull dipstick out and hold almost horizontal and read level. Park in the same place everytime, a slope changes the reading - my driveway slopes to street and lowers the level 25 pct.
I top off level after oil change to get to 100 to 90 percent of the hatched area when engine is hot. This gives a fixed point to monitor for level.
New vehicle under warranty should not use any oil.
I am into the oil level monitoring since I have a 06 Pilot w 262kmiles and an 11 Odys with 181kmiles that both have small oil leaks that need about 0.5 quart or less added between changes.
 

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2020 Pilot EX-L FWD
Running perfectly and no concerns until Friday, 20 Dec 2919...

-At 4800 miles get warning there is only 15% oil life remaining, have to clear warning every time I drive it.
  • Sunday, 22 Dec, take Pilot to Valvoline Oil Change place I have used many times.
  • Oil Change tech says, "why are you here, first oil change should be 7500 miles."
  • I decide to change oil anyway with Valvoline full synthetic.
  • As soon as techs begin work (its one of those places I sit in the car and watch them) they say it is a quart low on the dip stick.
  • They look around under the car, but not leaks are evident. Also there has been no leaks on my white concrete driveway.
  • They complete the oil change and reset oil change indicator.
Is this in any way normal oil usage for the first oil change? Vehicle was not driven in any extreme fashion or used to tow anything. No oil lights or other engine warning lights were ever present, only the oil change warning. I'm bad at math but I think at 5000 miles it should have had 33% oil life remaining if normal first oil change is 7500. I admit the low oil reading could be user error and they didn't know how to read the dipstick... I hope that is the case.

I will be calling the dealer tomorrow but expect to get a story about how that is normal for first oil change or something.... I figure the experts here will know if this is a serious issue or not. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Maybe if you changed oil at dealership you would get correct answer and besides who is to say they read the dipstick the correct way
 
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