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One would think that the EPA would actually drive cars to get the mileage ratings, but they do not, it is a mathematical formula based on many factors, a big factor being emissions. 2 cars that get the exact same real life mileage will not be rated the same by the EPA if one has less emissions.
The testing protocol does involve driving, just driving inside on a dyno rather than outside in the "real world".

If you think a minute about this, it makes complete sense as the "real world" involves variable weather and traffic that is virtually impossible to account for while being fair and equitable to each vehicle mfg. Your "it is a mathematical formula" probably refers to the use of a correction factors to account for the fact that an indoor stationary dyno cant account for aerodynamic factors.... there are detailed and well-tested procedures involving outdoor testing to correct for this. Fuel usage is inferred from tail pipe emissions, but this is a scientifically proven and very accurate way to compute fuel usage, much more accurate than attempting to measure fuel usage directly.

There is a push right now to have dyno tests verified by some "real world" driving. This is not intended to replace the dyno tests but to act as a final check for reasonableness so as to avoid blatant cheating like VW did.

In short, your criticism is essentially unfounded - the EPA fuel mileage ratings, while perhaps not representing the "real world" in an absolute sense, do provide a very accurate comparative measure of how vehicles will perform in the majority of owner's hands. That is to say, if Car X gets 3 mpg higher on the rating than Car Y, then it is very likely Car X will get about 3 mpg better than Y in "real world" driving. The EPA tests have never purported to be an accurate measure of what fuel mileage individual drivers are going to get; they are a tool to compare cars and they do this quite well.

This assumes the mfgs are actually testing according to the protocol and are not making errors or "cheating", like Hyundai, Ford, and VW did. But this is a different discussion.

- Mark
 

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The point was that Honda implemented the VCM system to improve fuel economy.
In practice, VCM seem to have a negative impact upon oil consumption.
Yet, Toyota, with its competing vehicle, manages to achieve equal or better EPA ratings without resorting to cylinder deactivation and its attendant side effects.


Are you sure about that?
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/how_tested.shtml
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml


See above.

We are kinda on the same page. Where I think we are disagreeing...is why..I believe they implemented VCM for fuel economy and emissions reasons, but the main driving factor being legal reasons, the secondary factor being consumer reasons.

I'm going to stand by my statement of the comparison between the Highlander and the Pilot. Basically it sounds like you are saying that the Highlander has the better engine. I don't disagree with you on that. Being that the engine is about a 6 year newer design, it should be better. Being that the Highlander weighs about 300lbs less, has better aero, and a 6spd transmission that allows a smaller spread between ratios than a 5spd can..... it should get better fuel economy. When thinking about all that, one could argue the Highlander should get even better mileage than it does.

On the EPA thing...hmm, they must have changed the testing procedure, I should have verified that before posting. Do you remember the (I use this term loosely) "scandal" for the stated fuel economy when the Prius first came out? At one point, based on EPA testing procedure, Toyota was able to advertise 60mpg (or close, maybe 58) when in actuality, the car was not able to get close to that. During the investigation into it, it was discovered that the time during the test cycle that the car was in full electric mode and producing no emissions completely threw off the test results, and resulted in the much higher number. That's what I was going off, but I should have known that it was changed by now...my bad.


Ultimately, I should have stayed on the topic of oil consumption. All I can go by is my experience with GM cylinder deactivation (had a buddy with a GMC that had it, had same issues on oil consumption, did a lot of research of GM based forums for that), and now Hondas issues with VCM, and it appears to be exactly the same thing.

Re-reading this thread, it also sounds like there are maybe 2 different things getting confused together. It sounds like (not me saying this, but based on what I have read in this thread) there may have been a bad patch of piston rings the got installed into some engines. If that is the case, that is completely separate issue than VCM related oil consumption, but easy to understand how people could get those confused.

I guess my main point is that like GM, Honda did not want to spend the money to speed up development time of a new engine, and since they did not want to pay the fines, added VCM not really because they wanted to, but because they had to. That last sentence is my main point. I do not believe Honda added VCM because they wanted to. I do not believe Honda added VCM as a benefit for the consumer. I believe it was financially/politically driven, and for no other reason. I also believe that Honda most likely knew it was going to create issues, but figured the cost of handling said issues later down the line was cheaper than dealing with it upfront.
 

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Add another 2009 Honda Pilot that is losing oil. Changed oil on May 7, 2016 (102,000 miles). Mobil 1 synthetic (good for 15,000 miles). Changed it again on 1/28/17 (113,500 miles). The drain was 1 quart short!

Now I get to read all the threads, research, and watch our oil level more closely. Sigh.
 

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Add another 2009 Honda Pilot that is losing oil. Changed oil on May 7, 2016 (102,000 miles). Mobil 1 synthetic (good for 15,000 miles). Changed it again on 1/28/17 (113,500 miles). The drain was 1 quart short!
Now I get to read all the threads, research, and watch our oil level more closely. Sigh.
One quart usage over 10K+ miles isn't remotely close to an oil consumption problem.
Even one quart in 1,000 miles is considered borderline.
 

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Yes, from what I have read, the problem is usually much worse! Never had a car lose oil before, but also never changed oil at 10k miles before....
 

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My 08 2WD Pilot loses about 1 qt every 4-5k miles. This is the case with 5w-20 or 5w-30 synthetics. I was also getting p0300-p0306 generic cylinder and random misfire engine codes once every 30 days or so. I have since deactivated my VCM about a month ago so we will see if this makes a difference with anything. It runs pretty great though.
 

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Excessive Oil Consumption

I came to notice excessive oil consumption when I went to change my oil for my 2010 Honda Pilot and the mechanic said there was only two quarts of oil in my engine. I take my car in for oil change every 6000 to 7000 miles which is before my oil change warning light comes on. I have owned many cars from different makers and never before at 40,000 miles did a car consume so much oil. I read Honda recal and service bulletins and it is a design defect whereas the openings on the piston rings align vertically to leak lots of oil into the combustion chamber.

I took my 2010 Pilot into the dealership to complain about this excessive oil consumption and they quoted that it is normal for a Honda engine to consume one quart per 1000 miles driven. Bull____! I told them that is not acceptable. So they topped my oil to the full level and asked me to come back after 1000 more miles of driving. I went back to the dealer and they measured more than a quart of oil consumption so they replaced my short block under warranty. I am hoping the new engine is going to be better.

March 2017
Cabo Jack
 

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My 2009 the same problem but Honda would only cover 25 % of the cost of the shortblock. How did you get them to cover the whole cost?
 

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@Cabo Jack: 1 quart burn per 1000 miles? Thats insane. Don't ever bother to change your oil again, if that's the case. Maybe a remedy would be to look into the class action lawsuit that Honda lost in 2014 related to the VCM. Also consider the VCMuzzler or the like.


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VCM Muzzler Helps

I have noticed a significant reduction in oil consumption since applying the vcm muzzler. I will post back when I have more concrete findings as to how much oil is being consumed now.
 

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Just another voice...

When I would get the oil changed in my 2010 Pilot after I drove it a lot (long trips... I tended to try to keep the ECO light on) that they would say I was a bit low. Now the wife, she has a lead foot and probably does not see that light driving around town and I usually hear the oil level was Ok when I take it in for a change and she's been the primary driver. Just installed the VCMuzzler II and I could not make the ECO light come on and I kinda liked not having the "delay" when it would have to switch the other cylinders back on like when going up a slight hill. I'll post back on what my used oil analysis looks like and how mileage reacts. I'm guessing not too much, but I'm hoping this fixes my oil issue. I'll give up a slight bit of MPG as I could barely get over 18 on long trips away.
 

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Is the general consensus that if the dipstick reading is at the min. line that you are 1 quart low?

About every 6 weeks, I check the oil in my 2010 in the morning prior to any driving. Prior to the 105k oil change service (which showed fouled plugs in cylinders 1-3), I don't recall ever seeing the oil read below the max line. After the 105k service, the dipstick read at the max line (always check after service too). However, at about 70% on the MM the reading was about 2/3 between max and min. At about 40% on the MM, it was 1/2 way between min and max. Now the wrench has popped up at 15% on the MM and the dipstick reading is 1/3 between max and min. During the entire time, there is no sign of oil leakage on garage floor so it is likely consumption, not that we notice any oil burning smell or smoke from exhaust. I realize I don't necessarily have to add oil until it reaches the min mark which will likely not happen before I get the next oil change. However, this being the first time I have seen this kind of decrease between oil changes, I am at least taking notice.

My plan is to see how it goes after the next oil change. A more rapid decrease would be concerning, but I suppose if this pattern continues there is no harm done as some would consider 1 quart between oil changes normal. Anything else I should check?
 

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I don't check as often as I used to, as we've turned over our cars a little in the last year, but experience with several brands suggests that max to min is a quart or close to it.

Your advice about checking oil level immediately after a change is important to this conversation. Too many garages shave half a quart or more. But charge for it. This habit has, I think, caused many of the my car is consuming oil threads.

After 230k miles on my 05 Pilot I usually add half to a quart between changes and check the level every 2k.
 

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Is the general consensus that if the dipstick reading is at the min. line that you are 1 quart low?

About every 6 weeks, I check the oil in my 2010 in the morning prior to any driving. Prior to the 105k oil change service (which showed fouled plugs in cylinders 1-3), I don't recall ever seeing the oil read below the max line. After the 105k service, the dipstick read at the max line (always check after service too). However, at about 70% on the MM the reading was about 2/3 between max and min. At about 40% on the MM, it was 1/2 way between min and max. Now the wrench has popped up at 15% on the MM and the dipstick reading is 1/3 between max and min. During the entire time, there is no sign of oil leakage on garage floor so it is likely consumption, not that we notice any oil burning smell or smoke from exhaust. I realize I don't necessarily have to add oil until it reaches the min mark which will likely not happen before I get the next oil change. However, this being the first time I have seen this kind of decrease between oil changes, I am at least taking notice.

My plan is to see how it goes after the next oil change. A more rapid decrease would be concerning, but I suppose if this pattern continues there is no harm done as some would consider 1 quart between oil changes normal. Anything else I should check?
Just an update. MM @ 5% and dipstick was at low mark, time to add a quart if it wasn't time for an oil change. Took to dealer with coupon and they overfill of course. Oil is now above the max mark slightly. Will continue to monitor oil consumption over this next cycle.
 

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Since installing the VCM Muzzler, the oil consumption on my 2009 4WD has decreased significantly. It was 1qt per 1000 miles previously, now it has remained about 1/2 qt low for nearly 2000 miles, most of that a highway trip pulling camper. My MPG is average 17.5 with mixture of City/Highway. It will still get 20 MPG on the highway at 70MPH (65 on the speedo). I am running Castrol Edge 5w20.
 

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PCV every 30k + VCMuzzler solved my Pilot's 1 quart in 5k consumption.
 

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Just an update. MM @ 5% and dipstick was at low mark, time to add a quart if it wasn't time for an oil change. Took to dealer with coupon and they overfill of course. Oil is now above the max mark slightly. Will continue to monitor oil consumption over this next cycle.
After that last oil change, I noted a similar slow decrease in oil under it was at the minimum on the dipstick when the MM was at 15%. That was about 6,000 miles. Took it to dealer and asked them to check seals for signs of any leaks - none were noted. Seems to keep burning a small amount which they were not concerned with. Oil was changed and now above max line again. Will monitor until the next change.
 

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Did you change the PCV yourself? Hard to do? I saw the PCV referenced in another post and it seems this and the VCMuzzler II change make a substantial impact.
 

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PCV every 30k + VCMuzzler solved my Pilot's 1 quart in 5k consumption.
PCV hard to install? DIY? Seems like this and the VCMuzzler II make a big impact. I'm a new "used" Pilot owner (2011 EXL w/RES - 86K miles). Drove a previous Odyssey to 220K but always had ECO kicking in. Want to take advantage of other people's learning since I'm driving a used vehicle.
 
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