pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,050 miles
Total Complaints:
64 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (28 reports)
  2. check their oil level very often (21 reports)
  3. replaced engine (6 reports)
  4. replace piston ring (4 reports)
  5. add oil (3 reports)
  6. replaced timing chain (2 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

problem #64

Feb 012014

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

About 3 years ago, I started to notice the engineer oil level was too low and I had to add more oil between oil changes. The problem was getting worse every year. At this moment with the mileage at 145,000 miles, I need to add one quart of engine oil every 800 miles. From online search, I know this is something can not be fixed cheaply and Honda is not helpful at all.

I will try to stay away from Honda for next two or three cars I will buy.

- xu111, San Diego, CA, US

problem #63

Jul 242015

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 83,885 miles

If you do much research you will find many complaints of excessive oil consumption on these motors. Honda will do nothing or admit a problem. Probably because it isn't a safety issue. I contacted former Honda mechanics who own their own repair shop. They said a common problem. Should have been a recall. They have tried everything to fix. Thicker oil, additives etc. Nothing works and no one will replace the engine , not sure it's even available. So basically these cars get passed around as lemons to unsuspecting buyers like me. Have owned many Hondas and they were all great. This one is like I just took the money and burnt it. I can't sell the car because I have to tell the buyer the truth. So I am stuck with it. Have read many others who feel the same way. Honda should have maned up but they got away with it. I am a film maker so am considering making a video about the car and posting on the internet. It's in perfect shape otherwise, best standard shift I have owned and great pickup and handling. But if you can't fix the motor ...what's the point. Creates a lot of bad publicity for Honda. Every guy with one of these motors tells 10 people and they tell 10 people. Well you get it. You lose customers. Perhaps a u-tube video will hit the millions if I make it funny. Not funny for Honda.

- Francis D., Tofield, Canada

problem #62

Mar 092016

Accord EX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I'm using about 2 qts of oil per 1,000 miles. Will have to keep adding oil or replace the engine. Honda America won't help with any repair cost.

- omc13001, Willow Spring, NC, US

problem #61

Aug 252014

Accord SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have a 2003 Honda Accord that had the oil changed and serviced regularly. At around 120k miles, the oil consumption started to become excessive. When I first noticed it, it would burn through a quart about every 1,000 miles or 3 weeks. I have been watching and adding oil regularly ever since. The car now has 149k miles and requires a quart about every 300 miles or weekly. I replaced the valve seals and also replaced the PCV valve. Neither helped.

There are no visible leaks and no smoke from the exhaust ... however the inside of the exhaust does have black moist soot which is a sure sign of oil in the combustion system. It should be completely dry. After much reading on this site and others, it appears this is a common complaint related to failed piston control rings. Honda settled a class action law suit on the 2008+ Accords for this very issue but they did not recognize the same problem or at least did not care to issue a recall for the 2003-2007 years which exhibit the same problem. I contacted my local dealer and they said the repair is approximately $2,500. I have owned 4 Accords, a Prelude and an Acura TSX. I have also owned several Toyota's and Lexus vehicles.

This is unacceptable and Honda should at a minimum be offering a discounted rate for this repair given it is a known issue and a very expensive repair. They need to be loyal to their customer base so they don't lose these customers for good. Come on Honda .. step up. Do the right thing for your owners. It will pay off in loyalty long term.

Update from Feb 19, 2017: I want to add an update to this complaint in case it can help others. I took a long shot and purchased zMax Engine & Fuel treatment after reading a review that it helped solve an oil consumption issue on an Acura TL. Believe it or not .. it actually worked for my kids Honda Accord. I was skeptical and expected nothing but for $30 figured why not give it a shot. It has been nearly 3,000 miles since I added zMax and I have barely seen any oil consumption. I will continue to monitor and update if this changes but my plan is to add zMax with each oil change going forward and go back to full synthetic. Apparently, the Honda recall on the 2008-2012 is being tied to carbon deposits on the piston rings, which can eventually reduce the rings’ effectiveness and allow oil to seep past. zMax will help reduce those deposits and it seems to have worked for me.

Update from Jun 18, 2017: The ZMAX seemed to improve things for a bit but lately it seems to have returned to excessive consumption. Now going through about a quart of oil about every 500 miles.

- jlsaz, Scottsdale, AZ, US

problem #60

Jul 152015

Accord 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Bought this 2003 2.4L Honda Accord from a private person in Colorado. I was looking for a good college car for my son and thought this would last him for many years with limited issues. Car had 103k and about 1000 miles after buying it began to burn a liter of oil every 800 miles. Now it is burning at least a liter every time I fill up with fuel. So much for the Honda reputation. I have owned American made cars for many years and have not had an issue like this. I am highly disappointed in Honda and will be looking to other car makers in the future.

- bculpepper, Byron Center, MI, US

problem #59

Sep 152010

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

After owning a 99 civic and getting 275k miles from it, I thought a 2003 Honda Accord with would be a good safe bet. That's what the leading consumer magazine told me as well. I found a low mileage(61k) Accord for a reasonable price - but soon after found out I had inherited someone's problem. I discovered to my dismay that the oil in this car was disappearing at an alarming rate. I began having to add oil at a rate of 1 quart per 500 miles. My catalytic converter failed multiple times and was replaced due to oil burning. I have babied this car for 5 years, determined that I would coax as many miles as I could out of this poorly engineered piece of junk. The oil burning rate began to get worse, and went to 1 quart every 300 miles. The car gave up the ghost last week at 161k - I originally expected to get alot more out of it. But I'm finally free of it and the constant oil checking and adding. I just bought another Civic from the late 90's with low miles, from a time when Honda knew how to make reliable cars - something they've apparently forgotten how to do. Wish I had access to a site like this before I bought the Accord.

- Mark B., Valdese, NC, US

problem #58

Jun 092015

Accord EX 4 Cyclinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

I currently have an 03 Honda Accord EX. This is my 3rd Honda Accord Ex since early 80's and I loved them!! Unfortunately THIS 03 is burning oil excessively and costing me money. I have replaced the O2 sensors 2 times in 3 years, timing belt changed, the catalytic converter 3 times in 4 years and I replaced the entire exhaust system in Jan. 16 at the tune of $1500 which was recommended by my local Honda dealer because my check engine light kept coming on due to exhaust and/or O2 sensor issues.

Well as I was at my local automotive shop purchasing my gallon of oil and complaining to the employee as to my car burning excessive oil, he informed me he had the same problem and it was the piston rings!! He then proceeded to inform me that this is a well known issue with this year of car but no recall had been made. Of course I was pissed!!!

My local Honda dealer never mentioned this to me at all and I've taken my car there at least 8 times about this issue. Then the AutoZone employee proceeded to tell me that it effects the O2 sensors as well ( I didn't see how but I'm no mechanic). I am VERY disappointed with Honda not putting out a recall for this issue, especially after seeing this is a common issue. HONDA fix your mess!! I was so discouraged last year that I actually contemplated buying a newer Honda, but I said why spend my hard earned money with a company who doesn't appreciate their customers.

- P. S., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #57

Jun 012013

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

My Daughter purchased this Car From Honda used, due to its quality product we though she would have a pretty decent and reliable vehicle for my daughter to drive to and from work and college. Needless to say we have had to put a quart and a half of oil in her car every time she fills her gas tank. Therefore I believe the oil Consumption problem started even in there earlier cars. I am just surprised that the Honda Dealership did not make her aware of this problem when she purchased the car. Because it was sold as is we cannot get any help. Yes the car has high mileage but it is not leaking oil anywhere so Why does it burn it. To rebuild engine is too costly just to fix a potential piston problem which may not solve the oil burning. It was great that Honda jumped on the air bag issue so quickly. I do know the stand by there product I just wish if this is another concern of their vehicle's they would stand by it. It makes me wonder if there quality is going down and if we can rely on them having a dependable product. We went with them because they had the best reviews and were highly recommended by consumers report. The car my daughter bought only had one other owner and was taken care of very well so we thought it would be reliable due to Honda's history of making great cars.

- joanwi, Greendale, WI, US

problem #56

Jul 092014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Uses 1 ltd/qrt every 200 miles. Tried the "pour in Seafoam in the spark plug holes and soak trick"- didn't work. My mechanic with smile on his face after hearing the "fix" says it is frozen oil rings- a common problem. He has seen them all carbon filled in his experiences. Solution? I will trade the car off as soon as the $ comes in to afford it. Will buy Toyota next time but will check this site before I buy!

- Neil T., Morris, MN, canada

problem #55

Feb 052009

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

2003 Honda Accord using engine oil.. Need I say I still like Honda products and Japanese cars for that matter. My 1991 Honda accord used a lot of oil too but the cars are very reliable and I find them easy to work on. I have also determined that Honda Runs very well on Castrol GTX or Pennzoil motor oil in that order. This is based off of several people I know that run with Honda and Acura. You can use either synthetic or dino oil for the car but I have stuck with synthetic.

My 2003 Honda uses oil but I was told mine has a small leak near the oil pan below the engine. It doesn't seem to burn any but perhaps after reading several of the previous post on this board it very well could. By the way I guess I am the odd man out because my transmission runs and operates great. Auto too and I disagree with many of consumers complaints about transmission failures. Honda makes a great product and although I admit adding oil all the time gets annoying it is sort of a good habit to get into.

- Gavin P., Louisville, KY, US

problem #54

Sep 102015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,069 miles

Got a Accord 2.4 ltr cheap. I soon found out why. Burns 1 ltr oil every fill up. Does not matter if I use synthetic or conventional oil. The only thing that slows it down is STP. Which means only half a ltr every fill up.

Cist 2000 to do rings etc. $2000 is the cost of about 150 ltrs of cov oil. That works out to oil consumed in 150 x 600 miles. Or about 90,000 miles . I will sell the car in about 60'000 miles from now so why spend the money fixing it. Because it is such a crappy engine it will probably only last for 60,000 miles on a rebuilt anyway.

After having just about every car made from a Lada to a Jag and Mercedes, i finally bought a Honda after hearing all about their Great Quality and customer service. Biggest mistake i ever made. Never will buy a Honda again and will tell all who ask me to stay away from that car company. Honda is just plain Stupid by not fixing this problem. They should make a movie about it like they did with 911. Jerks no wonder they lost the war.

- Rod H., Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #53

Aug 132015

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


Apparently, HONDA knows ALL ABOUT this problem, and will NOT be issuing an expensive recall...and they have a procedure full of un-meet-able requirements for you to prove your oil maintenance.

They'll also make ridiculous talking-points of it being 'normal' for a 4 cylinder with only 4.4 quarts of oil in the engine to burn through 1 quart every 1,000 miles or so...since you're expected to have oil changes every 10,000 miles...You'll be empty and seize up your engine 2/5 of the way to your expected oil inspection.

Our 2003 Honda Accord with the 2.4L 4-cyl was apparently consuming excessive oil for the last year or so, after reaching 120k miles or so. Only driven locally for short distances, however, so didn't really put it together since I had occasionally added 1/2 quart at a fill-up during normal check, as-in every gas-tank fill-up, and had noted was about that much low at spring and fall oil changes, so didn't really realize it was 'excessive' just yet.

Until a couple of weeks ago, first really long cross-country road trip in the Honda to Florida and back...it ate 3+ quarts during the trip!

Last weekend, saw a sale and bought a round of the regular 5W20 fully synthetic I've been using, and this time a container of the dual-chamber oil treatment specialty stuff that is supposed to clean sludge and seal up rings to prevent oil consumption... ...but we didn't make it.

Earlier this week, wife mentioned that the engine stuttered at idle and quit while sitting at a stop-light at idle. Said the transmission was trying to push the car forward a bit while she held foot on brake, so I figured that's what caused it, and bought some Lucas Transmission oil, intending to drain a bit out and replace with the slip-fixit stuff when I changed the oil this weekend... ...but we didn't make it.

Yesterday, wife tried to go to work, and said the engine wouldn't start on first try, as it always had before. Tried again and it 'sounded like the starter just spun instead, like it wasn't engaging...' ...so she didn't make it.

Mechanics on this thread will be cringing right now. I tried it myself, and sure enough, sounded like starter spun without the engine turning over. Had it towed to mechanic. Just got the call...

ENGINE FAILURE The engine is turning, but fast, due to NO COMPRESSION, due to VALVE DAMAGE, due to an apparent period of recent lack of good oil circulation in the engine or similar. I have bi-annually changed the oil with fully synthetic and am that strange guy who checks&tops-off oil nearly every gas fill-up, keeping extra quarts in the trunk.

What's the prognosis? Any help from Honda available to 'fix' this, now at 135k miles? good luck. Best course of action: Head/Valve +anything related, replace? *higher compression, will only result in more oil consumption, since the problem turns out to be THIS:

HONDA KNOWS THEY HAVE BAD OIL-RETENTION RINGS ON 2.4L ENGINES. AVOID 2003-2007 2.4L ENGINES. IF YOU HAVE ONE, SELL IT, OR TRADE IT TO A HONDA DEALER if the oil starts to disappear. OR: Replace entire motor with a used one from a salvage yard? $1,500+labor+parts OR: Replace entire motor with a re-manufactured motor with some kind of warranty? BUT: Is a 2003 even worth it? (BlueBook ~$4,700 resale)


- mrsandman, Marion, IL, US

problem #52

Jul 272015

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 218,000 miles


- Regina R., Pflugerville, TX, US

problem #51

Oct 052013

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

I have had five Accords and this one (2003) is the first time I have had a problem with excessive engine oil usage. Had lots of work done save for a valve job (Valve cover replacement, etc.) but have to add a quart of oil every 1,000 miles and have been doing so for two - three years now. Any suggestions?

- John N., Ashland, VA, US

problem #50

Dec 012014

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,800 miles

Every 600 miles I have to put a quarter of oil in my engine. I check the oil level frequently to may sure I have enough oil in it.

- gabriel5769, North Miami, FL, US

problem #49

Jan 082015

Accord LX 2.4L V-Tec 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Totally disgusted with honda. After speaking with them on all issues, 10 as of now, basically told me Im screwed!

"We are very sorry about that",LOL

Stay away from Honda!!

- groomer101, Boca Raton, FL, US

problem #48

Dec 132014

Accord EX-L Sedan AT 2.4L L4 Dohc 16v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,223 miles

Bought at 162724 km from neighbour with confidence. 3397 km later oil light flashes. Needed almost 4 liters to fill! Had an oil change done at 167532 km. Had it topped-off at 168313 at the same garage with 1.25 L. Again at 169200 with 1 L. That's 2.25 liters for 1668 km. Or, 2L for 1500km. Anyway you look at it it's way too much!

The maintenance records show that every oil change had been done following the correct schedule. Wasn't in possession of records till 2 weeks after purchase! They even show that the excessive oil consumption started at 127393 km. All the maintenance had been done at the dealer. There is no mention in the records that there was a problem.

I believe the manufacturer is acting irresponsibly with these oil problem issues.


- Louis F., Quebec, Quebec, canada

problem #47

Sep 202012

Accord EX-L 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I have always been a Honda fan my entire life, be it motorcycles, ATV's, small engine applications you name it, and yes of course cars as well. My dad has a 1999 Honda Civic that has 235,000 miles that is his daily driver and never has or has had any major problems with it. I also owned a 1999 Honda CRV with over 200k miles with no problems, just didn't feel the need anymore to have an SUV. So being Honda has a good reputation with me, I decided to go out and buy a 2003 Honda Accord 2 door 5 speed. I never came on this site or did much in-depth research before I bought the car (thinking I didn't have to being Hondas have always been good to us) but boy was I wrong. When I bought the car it had around 140,000 miles and was absolutely loving the car, except for one MAJOR flaw, the excessive oil consumption. My case wasn't quite as bad as some of those I have read on here, and other forums, but now that I have hit 150k miles it is getting worse. Always having to check my oil and almost always having to add oil is really getting annoying. Recently I let my friend borrow my Honda to take to Wisconsin (400 mile drive from where he lives) and topped off the oil to just barely above the full mark. And when he gave it back to me it was slightly below the "low" dot/mark meaning in that time it burned a quart of oil. A QUART OF OIL IN 400 MILES!!! I couldn't believe what I was seeing, a HONDA with only 150k miles burning oil at that rate just blew me away, unbelievable.... I have tried Lucas oil stabilizer which slowed the burning a noticeable amount, but I still have to add which is stupid that the car can't make it just under 3000 miles without having to add oil which is when I do oil changes, and having to add multiple times at that! The only true fix I have read for this is to have your engine taken apart by a professional and have them replace the oil control rings, which were apparently of poor quality or not installed properly from the factory which is why it burns oil. It pisses me off that it is an unpreventable expensive problem FROM the factory that no matter how often or what kind of oil you use can and probably will happen to your Honda. Shame on you Honda for not standing by and recognizing this problem, and lessening and maybe even ruining your renowned reputation for reliability.

- Tanner B., Saint Cloud, MN, US

problem #46

Dec 232013


  • Manual transmission
  • 167,000 miles


- Guadalupe L., Lakeside, CA, US

problem #45

Jan 012007

Accord LX 2.4L Inline 4

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Another comment about oil consumption. One quart per 500 miles.

The solution was to sell it Carmax. They gave us $4000 credit towards the 2007 Civic EX we bought from them.

Honestly, I would have take $500 for it.

It is pretty sad that a car company with a good record of building cars flounders like that.

Our next car will probably be a Toyota. We are done with Honda. So long, it's been real....

- Ben H., Chapel Hill, NC, US

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