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Discussion Starter #1
I have been experiencing engine oil consumption about 3/4 to 1 quart of oil around 3000 miles. I found the source, at least to my MDX. If your MDX is consuming oil, you may want to double check it. I found out when I replaced the antifreeze over the weekend. Initially, I thought the driveshaft boot was black, not until I touched it and the black residue came off revealing the driveshaft to be gray. I attached the photo...take a look. It is the upper oil pan. The bolt is a 14mm with a washer. You cannot put a socket wrench in there. I tried to tighten it with a combo-wrench, not sure it was tightening it. I cleaned the area and if I see oil residue again, I bring it to the dealer to have them tighten it.
 

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thanks. can you attach a few more pictures to illustrate where it is exactly? Also how can u be sure this is the source? It might seep a tiny little bit and most the oil consumption happens somewhere else. To me, this does not seem like a definitive diagnosis. Just being curious. That is all.
 

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I don't have any other pictures. Let's see if I can describe the location. On the right side driveshaft, locate the inner driveshaft rubber boot, look to the front of it there's only 14mm bolt with a washer there. It is the top section (cylinder block?) where oil pan attaches to. Another way to look at it, from the back on the oil pan, it is about 6-8" directly above the 17mm drain plug.

I am certain that 14mm drain plug is the source, fresh oil covers it. The bolt is not loosely at all, maybe the combo wrench is too short to apply any significance force to it. It could just be unique to my mdx, but it's not bad to double check it. It's either that or the driveshaft rubber boot ruptured, but the rubber boot is in good shape and the area/wall behind it does not cover with oil.
 

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Do you park in a private garage or space? I would imagine if it's leaking close to a quart every 3k, you'd see a spot on the floor for sure.
 

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Do you park in a private garage or space? I would imagine if it's leaking close to a quart every 3k, you'd see a spot on the floor for sure.

I park on my private driveway. The funny thing is, I don't see a drop of oil on the pavement. Under the oil pan, there is no trace of oil anywhere that is why I don't see any oil on the ground. I suspect the oil seeping out only when drive on the road.
 

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Thanks I found this bolt. It is in such an awkward place that it is very hard to put a wrench on. Maybe you have to have others to tighten it. Mine is super clean.

Also it should be called 'drain pan upper bolt' right? I was wondering what is an upper drain pan. Anyway, thanks.
 

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Quite awhile back, I noticed a similar occurrence on the drive boot and the general area you describe. I cleaned up the pan area and wiped off half of the drive shaft (so I could monitor any change easier) and it has never returned. That was about 40k miles ago and I believe it happened after one of the few times I let the dealer change my oil. I believe they may have slopped some oil that ended up getting blown around off the control arm/pan, or at some point the oil filter leaked a bit which would easily blow oil in that same area. Obviously I can't be 100% sure where it came from but my engine loses zero oil between changes so I'm confident it wasn't a continuous leak that caused that film of oil.

I would monitor it and see what happens going forward. It could have just been a fluke like mine and if it's truly where your oil is going then it will return in a hurry.
 

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You might want to make look at the tightening sequence of the oil pan. If you tighten it out of order, you may introduce leaks in another area. You also want to pay attention to the torque value and do it with a torque wrench. It is easy to overtighten it in which case, you may get more leaks eventually. Just a thought...
 

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Thought the main source of consumption was due to the new cylinder wall or piston ring material / potential scoring? I'm hoping this is the real cause, as it's a much easier fix. Any updates on this bolt/area? Maybe a steam clean and then monitor after? I'll check this on my '10 as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You might want to make look at the tightening sequence of the oil pan. If you tighten it out of order, you may introduce leaks in another area. You also want to pay attention to the torque value and do it with a torque wrench. It is easy to overtighten it in which case, you may get more leaks eventually. Just a thought...
I've never taken the oil pan off or installed a new one. The leak is not coming from the seal perimeter of the oil pan. The leak seems to come from the secondary drain/fill port above this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quite awhile back, I noticed a similar occurrence on the drive boot and the general area you describe. I cleaned up the pan area and wiped off half of the drive shaft (so I could monitor any change easier) and it has never returned. That was about 40k miles ago and I believe it happened after one of the few times I let the dealer change my oil. I believe they may have slopped some oil that ended up getting blown around off the control arm/pan, or at some point the oil filter leaked a bit which would easily blow oil in that same area. Obviously I can't be 100% sure where it came from but my engine loses zero oil between changes so I'm confident it wasn't a continuous leak that caused that film of oil.

I would monitor it and see what happens going forward. It could have just been a fluke like mine and if it's truly where your oil is going then it will return in a hurry.

I'm keeping my eyes on the area. I'll check again in a few days to see if there is any oil returns. I changed my oil the weekend before Memorial Day, and this past Sunday, I refilled 3/4 Quart. That's like 6 weeks and about 1500 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thought the main source of consumption was due to the new cylinder wall or piston ring material / potential scoring? I'm hoping this is the real cause, as it's a much easier fix. Any updates on this bolt/area? Maybe a steam clean and then monitor after? I'll check this on my '10 as well.

This may not be the real cause for everyone, and it could just be uniquely my car. I have not checked again yet because I didn't want to jack the car up and remove the wheel.
 

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I've found another source of oil consumption. This appears more serious.
That doesn't look good. Maybe it's time to borescope the cylinder walls.

What year and how many miles on your car? Forgot if you already mentioned it somewhere.

Also where abouts do you live and is it garage kept?
 

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Alpine003, it is 2011 with 77,400 miles. I'm the 2nd owner and live in Massachusetts. I bought it a little over 50K miles. I garaged it for 1st year owning. The 1st owner was in Georgia, and traded it for Infiniti when he moved to Massachusetts.
 

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So to educate someone who hasn't torn apart an engine in about 35 years ( and that was a 1-cylinder motorcycle engine in which I burned a hole through the piston ), the concern is the oil and carbon residue on the threads of plugs 4-6, suggesting that engine oil is getting past the piston rings?
 

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Alpine003, it is 2011 with 77,400 miles. I'm the 2nd owner and live in Massachusetts. I bought it a little over 50K miles. I garaged it for 1st year owning. The 1st owner was in Georgia, and traded it for Infiniti when he moved to Massachusetts.
The reason why I asked and I know this is highly speculation at this point with no concrete evidence whatsoever, is that the Alusil coating has been known to not be that durable in some cases from past history with other manufacturers. With some other models using Alusil based engines, there's a very loose and generally unproven correlation between cold weather operation which seems to increase the chances of steel expanding at different rate than aluminum thus causing any engines that might've been assembled on the "tight" side in regards to piston ring tolerances, to score the bores and thus damage the liner.

Based on your spark plug pic from the other thread, I would really advise you to get a simple $20 USB borescope camera and remove the #5 sparkplug and look down and see if you can see any signs of scoring. You may have to rotate the engine at the crank(clockwise) to get the #5 in the low position.

Also what kind of oil did you use and what was your oil change intervals? I know this isn't totally reliable info as previous owner could've done anything in their 77k of ownership.

You want to look for something like this:


the concern is the oil and carbon residue on the threads of plugs 4-6, suggesting that engine oil is getting past the piston rings?
Correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Alpine003 - Thanks for suggestion. I'll look for a cheap borescope camera to check out the cylinder wall. By the way, if the oil gets past the piston rings, how would the oil ended up in the spark plug thread? I mean, wouldn't the oil be burned off before it ever reached the thread?


I use Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5w20. The original PUP didn't consume as much oil as the new PUP. The new oil's NOACK is twice the NOACK of the original PUP. Maybe this plays a role too, but then again, my Odyssey didn't burn a lick of oil with this same oil. I went up to Montreal over the weekend, the car drank about 1/3 of quart for 320 miles.
 

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Alpine003 - Thanks for suggestion. I'll look for a cheap borescope camera to check out the cylinder wall. By the way, if the oil gets past the piston rings, how would the oil ended up in the spark plug thread? I mean, wouldn't the oil be burned off before it ever reached the thread?
Sorry if I wasn't clear, I wasn't discounting you having bad gaskets, it could be a combination. I just found it odd that you were consuming that much oil in a short period of time to be just the gaskets. Was all your plugs tight? Or were any of them loose?
 
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