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Discussion Starter #1
So we drove to Montreal this past Labor Day weekend. It's about 320 miles. Before leaving, I checked the oil level [engine cold]. The oil was a hair-line below the max indicator on the dipstick. Before leaving Montreal, I checked the oil level [engine cold and at engine temp halfway] , and I was freaked out. The oil was barely touched the dipstick. The engine burned close to 2 Quarts of oil for 320 miles? It was Labor Day, and I needed to hit the road early to beat the waiting at the border checking so I just drove with that much oil in the engine. Got home 7 hours later, and waited about an hour before checking the oil level. It was 93 degree and the engine was still very hot, and I proceeded to check the oil. It was midway between the min/max indicator so I added 1/2 quart to get to the max line.

So the question is, how do you explain the lost of about 2 Qts of oil just for 320 miles of driving? I think the oil became so thick that it lost its volume. It was apparent that when the engine was very hot, it seemed I lost only about 1/2 quart.

I use Pennzoil Ultra Platinum PurePlus. Maybe it's the natural gas thing? It's an excellent oil, but I am afraid to use it for a long trip now.
 

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So we drove to Montreal this past Labor Day weekend. It's about 320 miles. Before leaving, I checked the oil level [engine cold]. The oil was a hair-line below the max indicator on the dipstick. Before leaving Montreal, I checked the oil level [engine cold and at engine temp halfway] , and I was freaked out. The oil was barely touched the dipstick. The engine burned close to 2 Quarts of oil for 320 miles? It was Labor Day, and I needed to hit the road early to beat the waiting at the border checking so I just drove with that much oil in the engine. Got home 7 hours later, and waited about an hour before checking the oil level. It was 93 degree and the engine was still very hot, and I proceeded to check the oil. It was midway between the min/max indicator so I added 1/2 quart to get to the max line.

So the question is, how do you explain the lost of about 2 Qts of oil just for 320 miles of driving? I think the oil became so thick that it lost its volume. It was apparent that when the engine was very hot, it seemed I lost only about 1/2 quart.

I use Pennzoil Ultra Platinum PurePlus. Maybe it's the natural gas thing? It's an excellent oil, but I am afraid to use it for a long trip now.
Dipstick Min-max is only 1 quart, not 2 so no need for concern yet!

Have you done very many long trips with the MDX lately? Oil gets diluted with fuel and moisture and sometimes a long road trip is the only way to get it out.

Porsche has a warning about taking a long trip and finding you are low on oil!

I've been using Mobil 1 High Mileage Extended Performance (gold cap, rated for 15K) for around 10-12K miles and have noticed very little consumption. The 0W-20 Honda put in my car once made it burn a 1/2 quart in 5k miles.

Just keep checking the oil level over the next few weeks. I doubt it'll change much since you've burned off most of the stuff in the oil that shouldn't be there.

Also engine oil viscosity shouldn't have an effect on the volume of fluid!
 

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It was not between min-max while at Montreal. It was barely touching the tip of the dipstick. Between that and min, it's almost the distance of min-max. But back at home, it's back to between min-max.

I rarely drive long distance. My commute to work is 10 minutes all local roads.
 

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It was not between min-max while at Montreal. It was barely touching the tip of the dipstick. Between that and min, it's almost the distance of min-max. But back at home, it's back to between min-max.

I rarely drive long distance. My commute to work is 10 minutes all local roads.
Your local commute doesn't give a chance for the oil to warm up and get rid of moisture and fuel dilution hence the large loss on the long trip.

Be sure to get the car nice and warmed up to temp once a month to help out. Also sooner oil changed might be necessary, are you changing the oil minimum once a year?
 

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Also what year is your MDX? 2010+?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Twice a year so far. Before the trip, it was only about 900 miles after oil changed.

2011
 

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I've noticed my oil level changes about 1/2 quart if I check my oil in my level garage compared to 10-12 feet back on my driveway with a very slight downward slope. I usually try to only check my oil in my garage after letting the engine sit overnight (I use about 1/2 - 2/3 between +7000 mile changes using Mobil 1 5w-20). Maybe the X wasn't level when you checked the oil? Syn oil suppose to do a better job of coating engine parts after the engine stops and it might just been doing its job when you checked it in the middle of your trip and it didn't have time to drain into the oil pan?
 

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It wasn't in the middle of the trip. I checked it in the morning before leaving Montreal. I did check it on a level street. But before that, I moved the X from a level street into a driveway which was about 30-degree down slope and the front of the car was tilting up. I parked there for about 15-20 minutes. Then I moved the X back to the level street, and loaded the luggage and stuffs into the car. That was like 20 minutes or so. Then I checked the oil level, and it was barely touched the tip. Then I started the engine and waited until the temperature gauge moved to the middle. Waited about 1 minute or so, and check the oil again. The oil level increased a bit, but was way below the min level. When I got home, I checked the oil level one hour later, it showed between min/max. So, I added another 1/2 quart to get to the max line.

This morning I checked the oil level after overnight parking, it showed about 1/4 above the max line. Then I drove my son to school, and that's about 10 minutes. When I got back home, I waited about a minute or so, and checked the oil level. It showed perfectly at the max line.
 

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I think you are getting paranoid over nothing. Let it sit overnight and check it on level pavement at the same spot first thing in the morning for the next couple days worth. If no change, then no big deal. There are a lot of variables you can introduce in checking the oil. You'll want to eliminate as much as possible and do it consistently each time.
 
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