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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
My daughter bought her first car, a used 2010 Pilot fully loaded with AWD. Body has as few dings, but this 17 year old is in heaven.

Mileage is 110K. She saved all the money herself. Unfortunately, I let the teen enthusiasm/anxiety/pressure cajole me to not be as thorough as we should have been on inspecting the car. We should have done a compression test. We just changed oil and filter. Ran the engine, and topped up oil to the top of the "high" mark on the stick.

700 miles later, the level has gone down to 1/3 full on the hash marks. That makes it at LEAST one quart low. The underbody is pristine (I was almost HOPING to find leaks). So, not knowing it's history, somehow this V6 is an oil burner. We have a 2002 Odyssey with over 200K miles, and it won't quit, despite the body and trim (clear coat, window regulators) giving up the ghost.

Fast forward. Engine swap. The local JDM sourced Pilot engines are on sale for $1300 w/45K miles and a short warrantee. What they have in stock is a 2008 model year right now. Since we are in California, the smog laws say matching model year or younger (but swap must include all emissions equipment/computer "as a system"). I would not go near trying to transplant a newer mode unless I knew all parts were identical.

Presumably the 2010 Pilot was part of a two or three year "generation". Can anyone guide me to a detailed spec sheet that describes engine families and running changes on the emissions/computer systems? I want to be able to open my search to specific engine model numbers and not worry that the "Guaranteed" unit I buy which has to be shipped to me ends up not being compatible....

Thanks

Brian
 

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Hi All,
My daughter bought her first car, a used 2010 Pilot fully loaded with AWD. Body has as few dings, but this 17 year old is in heaven.

Mileage is 110K. She saved all the money herself. Unfortunately, I let the teen enthusiasm/anxiety/pressure cajole me to not be as thorough as we should have been on inspecting the car. We should have done a compression test. We just changed oil and filter. Ran the engine, and topped up oil to the top of the "high" mark on the stick.

700 miles later, the level has gone down to 1/3 full on the hash marks. That makes it at LEAST one quart low. The underbody is pristine (I was almost HOPING to find leaks). So, not knowing it's history, somehow this V6 is an oil burner. We have a 2002 Odyssey with over 200K miles, and it won't quit, despite the body and trim (clear coat, window regulators) giving up the ghost.

Fast forward. Engine swap. The local JDM sourced Pilot engines are on sale for $1300 w/45K miles and a short warrantee. What they have in stock is a 2008 model year right now. Since we are in California, the smog laws say matching model year or younger (but swap must include all emissions equipment/computer "as a system"). I would not go near trying to transplant a newer mode unless I knew all parts were identical.

Presumably the 2010 Pilot was part of a two or three year "generation". Can anyone guide me to a detailed spec sheet that describes engine families and running changes on the emissions/computer systems? I want to be able to open my search to specific engine model numbers and not worry that the "Guaranteed" unit I buy which has to be shipped to me ends up not being compatible....

Thanks

Brian
Before you throw in the towel on this engine. You might do a compression test and see if it's one or two cylinders. The rings may be stuck. You might do a piston soak to free those rings and then disable the VCM to save it. That's not a lot of miles on this engine.
 
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Before you throw in the towel on this engine. You might do a compression test and see if it's one or two cylinders. The rings may be stuck. You might do a piston soak to free those rings and then disable the VCM to save it. That's not a lot of miles on this engine.
I agree. If you don't have time, or just don't want the hassle, then a new engine may be a viable option. I think taking apart the engine may make it live much longer, and it's probably cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Before you throw in the towel on this engine. You might do a compression test and see if it's one or two cylinders. The rings may be stuck. You might do a piston soak to free those rings and then disable the VCM to save it. That's not a lot of miles on this engine.
Hi,
Well That's certainly worth the time.

As far as we know this car was in regular use before the parents gave it to their kid for their college car. The car sat in the parking lots at UC Santa Barbara possibly for up to a semester at a time. What does it take generally to freeze a ring?
Are we talking about compressing it so that the ring gap is closed, allowing oil to pass around the outside perimeter?
 

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Wait. Does it run right/OK? You're worried about it still registering on the dipstick 700 miles later?
Dies the tailpipe smoke?
And, you live in CA, right?
If it runs OK, and doesn't leave a smoke trail while driving, I'd just drive it
YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wait. Does it run right/OK? You're worried about it still registering on the dipstick 700 miles later?
Dies the tailpipe smoke?
And, you live in CA, right?
If it runs OK, and doesn't leave a smoke trail while driving, I'd just drive it
YMMV
It used up 2/3 of the hashmark from "Full" to "Low" in only 700 miles. That's alarmingly severe. For most people, that only two weeks driving. The other more important problem is access to the engine bay/dipstick is horrible on the Pilot. I can't believe how difficult it is to pull the dipstick, then re-insert it because of the radiator shroud being so high and engine tucked under it. I'm 5'11" and have difficulty. My daughter is very petite and even with a ladder, can't reach down to pull the dipstick. Frequent checking of oil level, and adding oil aren't an option for her. We need to fix the problem.
 

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Hi,
Well That's certainly worth the time.

As far as we know this car was in regular use before the parents gave it to their kid for their college car. The car sat in the parking lots at UC Santa Barbara possibly for up to a semester at a time. What does it take generally to freeze a ring?
Are we talking about compressing it so that the ring gap is closed, allowing oil to pass around the outside perimeter?
These engines equiped with VCM are prone to this problem. The VCM causes certain cylinders to lay dormant when coasting or in cruise. The cylinders that are shut down tend to accumulate excessive oil deposits that can result in stuck rings among other bad things. I personally have never done a piston soak. There are videos on the subject.
I'd disable the VCM. This will at least keep all 6 cylinders firing 100% of the time.
 
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It used up 2/3 of the hashmark from "Full" to "Low" in only 700 miles. That's alarmingly severe. For most people, that only two weeks driving. The other more important problem is access to the engine bay/dipstick is horrible on the Pilot. I can't believe how difficult it is to pull the dipstick, then re-insert it because of the radiator shroud being so high and engine tucked under it. I'm 5'11" and have difficulty. My daughter is very petite and even with a ladder, can't reach down to pull the dipstick. Frequent checking of oil level, and adding oil aren't an option for her. We need to fix the problem.
You could take the car to a Honda specialist if you can't do it at home, but I WOULD NOT go to a dealer. The price will be much cheaper than a new engine, unless you get a cheap engine.
 

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Is it smoking from the tailpipe? At that rate you should see blue smoke pretty regularly while following her around town.

I'd give what @Nail Grease said a try first. I'd also do the compression test, evaluate the spark plugs, look again for leaks. You could also replace the PCV valve, maybe it's stuck due to long periods of sitting.
 
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OK, it's running fine, so it's not burning any oil, not leaking any oil. Difficulty reaching the dipstick (no pun intended) = replace engine?

Our 08 w/ 184K- VCM still working- uses some oil. I'm not replacing the, unless it really needed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, it's running fine, so it's not burning any oil, not leaking any oil. Difficulty reaching the dipstick (no pun intended) = replace engine?

Our 08 w/ 184K- VCM still working- uses some oil. I'm not replacing the, unless it really needed it.

Not sure who said it's not burning oil.. clearly it IS burning oil unless a Troll is sneaking in and drinking it. Not sure why a Troll would be interested, but they so often Trolls just can't control themselves.
 

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I never read that you said the tailpipe is smoking. Sorry. Carry on then
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll run my OBDII diagnostic to pickup what the computer sees.

There is no doubt its burning oil as there is no other place for it to go (bottom of car is dry and clean). I was doing some homework and understand as mentioned how a PCV valve can get crudded up as well as the rings because of cylinder deactivation. Soaking all 6 cylinders with something to loosen (Seafoam?) the rings by possibly removing deposits is very attractive obviously because it's very easy. I do also like the idea of deactivating the VCM if not at least to let those cylinders get hot and possibly jar the rings loose (if that is the cause). Worst case is the rings have torn up the inside of the cylinders. I do have mechanics' scope so can fairly quickly take a peak in each cylinder and see if there is any scoring.

Compression test will tell me which cylinder is bad, but not why as far as my experience has been. If valve seats are shot that could be the source of oil into the cylinders.

Anyhow, it's worth these progressively more expensive diagnostic steps before looking at an engine swap. I'd sooner swap engines then pull pistons for an in-chassis re-ring as I don't have a clean sheltered area to do the work and too many projects that have higher priority.

I appreciate all the constructive tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
These engines equiped with VCM are prone to this problem. The VCM causes certain cylinders to lay dormant when coasting or in cruise. The cylinders that are shut down tend to accumulate excessive oil deposits that can result in stuck rings among other bad things. I personally have never done a piston soak. There are videos on the subject.
I'd disable the VCM. This will at least keep all 6 cylinders firing 100% of the time.
Interesting.. Our "Low Tech" 2002 Odyssey has far fewer systems to screw up, so at 215K miles, it's still running like a top. Shame on me for having confidence in the J-series engines and not doing my due- diligence on a compression check.

So this reminds me of another possible solution.. an "Italian Tune-Up". My daughter's commute (pre-covid) has been only 12 miles a day to and from high school. Now, she drives 1/2 mile to our shuttered family business and uses the quiet space to zoom her classes uninterrupted. She's been complaining about horrible fuel economy (14MPH). I attributed it to the teen-lead-foot and the extra weight from AWD in her Pilot.

Anyhow, it's probably the nicest car in the family now so we'll figure something out to fix it.

Thanks

Brian
 

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So, I'm hearing you also say, yes, it's smoking out the tailpipe too?
 
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