Motor Oil FAQs Back

Expand All
What type of oil should I use?

Always use Honda Genuine Oil, available at your Honda dealer. When Honda Genuine oil is not available, it is very important to choose an oil displaying the "Starburst" certification symbol, shown below. This symbol indicates that the oil meets the latest performance requirements set by the automotive and oil industries. Oil bearing the Starburst will provide superior performance in the areas of deposit and sludge protection, wear protection, and oil life. These oils will also protect the environment by extending the life of your emissions system and conserving energy through better fuel economy.

American Honda recommends the use of Honda Genuine oil for your vehicle. This oil meets the Starburst performance requirements listed above, but is also subjected to a series of Honda-specific tests to guarantee optimum performance and compatibility with your Honda vehicle.

Refer to your owner's manual to determine the proper weight (viscosity) grade for your Honda. Your vehicle was designed to use this specific weight grade. Confirm that the weight listed on your oil's label matches this recommendation exactly before using it in your engine.

What about synthetic motor oils?

You may use a synthetic motor oil if it meets the same requirements listed above. That is, it must display the Starburst symbol, and match the weight grade recommended in your owner's manual.

When using synthetic oil, you must follow the oil and filter change intervals given in the maintenance schedule.

Why should I wait to change the oil the first time?

Your Honda engine was delivered with an oil that is specially formulated for new engines that have not yet developed their "natural" wear patterns and may contain minute particles from the manufacturing process.

American Honda strongly recommends this special oil be left in the engine long enough for these wear patterns to develop, usually until the first maintenance interval specified in your Owner's Manual, based on your specific driving conditions.

How often should I change my oil after the first service?
  • Refer to your owner's manual for the recommended service intervals. Separate maintenance schedules are listed for "normal service" and "severe service." Read the description of severe service carefully. Most vehicles will fall under the normal service category. Note that the service intervals are listed by time in addition to distance. Your oil should be changed at whichever interval, time or distance, occurs first.
  • There is absolutely no benefit in changing your oil more frequently than recommended in your owner's manual. This will only increase your cost of ownership, and create an unnecessary burden upon the environment by increasing the amount of disposed oil.
  • Do not exceed the recommended maintenance interval. Oil eventually deteriorates and loses its ability to protect your engine, due to heat, friction, and exposure to exhaust components. Engine oil contains special additives to enhance the oil's performance, and these additives are also broken down or consumed with distance and time. Engine damage can occur if the proper maintenance schedule is not followed.
What's a "crush washer" and why is it important to my Honda?
  • As a Honda owner, the crush washer you should be most concerned with is the one that must be replaced every time you change your motor oil. This crush washer fits between your oil pan and the drain plug. It is a one-time-use washer. Discard the old washer at each oil change and replace with a new one. If you have your oil changed at any service outlet other than a Honda dealer, remind them of the importance to use a new crush washer.
  • When a new washer is installed and the drain plug is tightened, this washer "crushes" to form a very tight seal, thereby preventing motor oil leaks without overstressing the oil pan threads.
  • Oil changers who are not aware of its importance may think it's OK to re-use this washer. Since it has already been crushed, it will not collapse further. As a result, the installer may overtighten the drain plug to get a tight fit. This can eventually lead to stripped threads in the oil pan -- a very expensive repair.
  • This is another example of why your Honda dealer is the easy choice for your service needs. Honda dealers know your Honda best.
What about oil additives?

American Honda recommends against the use of any oil additives other than those already blended in the stock oil. Such supplemental additives are unnecessary when using quality oils displaying the Starburst certification symbol. Additives cannot prolong the life of a used oil, because the oil molecules have been broken down. The use of oil additives will increase your cost of ownership, and can lead to engine damage.

Does my Honda's oil system require periodic flushing?

American Honda strongly recommends against this process, which is sometimes called "engine flushing." Any engine damage resulting from this procedure will not be covered under warranty.