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My 09 E was due for it's first oil change, so I brought it in to the dealer last Friday.

At somewhere between 5300 and 5400 miles, the L1 code and the 15% oil life message came up on my dashboard. I was about to take it in anyway, so the timing was perfect.

Anyway, I was seriously thinking about putting synthetic oil in but since I would probably be changing oil at about the 7500-mile mark if I did so, I asked the service guy if the oil life computer could be adjusted to allow for the longer oil-change interval with synthetic, or would the L1 code and 15% oil life message continue to come on at 5400 miles or so (As you know, when that code comes up, you can no longer see your mileage or the outside temp reading.). He said there is no way for the computer to know if there was regular oil or synthetic oil in the vehicle so, yes, the codes would continue to come up at the lower mileage.

Was he right ? Any way to "adjust" the computer for this ?

Thanks.
 

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My 09 E was due for it's first oil change, so I brought it in to the dealer last Friday.

At somewhere between 5300 and 5400 miles, the L1 code and the 15% oil life message came up on my dashboard. I was about to take it in anyway, so the timing was perfect.

Anyway, I was seriously thinking about putting synthetic oil in but since I would probably be changing oil at about the 7500-mile mark if I did so, I asked the service guy if the oil life computer could be adjusted to allow for the longer oil-change interval with synthetic, or would the L1 code and 15% oil life message continue to come on at 5400 miles or so (As you know, when that code comes up, you can no longer see your mileage or the outside temp reading.). He said there is no way for the computer to know if there was regular oil or synthetic oil in the vehicle so, yes, the codes would continue to come up at the lower mileage.

Was he right ? Any way to "adjust" the computer for this ?

Thanks.
He is correct. The MM system does not care what kind of oil is in the engine. It looks at a set of operation perameters and caculates oil life that way.
 

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Oil Life Monitor

Is there any documentation on exactly how the oil life algorithm works, or is it Honda proprietary? On my 2007 LX, it seems like the computed oil life remaining increments slowly until I get close to the next 5000 mile increment, then the algorithm accelerates so that I won't go more than 5000 miles between changes. Has anyone else seen this behavior?:twisted:
 

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The oil change interval is based on how the vehicle is being driven, and operating parameters encountered, and is fairly complex. Though it can't tell what oil you put in, it CAN tell things like operating temp, oil pressure, and other engine tell-tails., which can change according to the oil quality and type of oil used. I'd bet money that the oil change interval will be different dino oil vs. syn oil. It certainly was on another car-make a friend had, when he put in some on-sale dino oil on one oil change. He went back to synthetic real fast.

ps. have seen intervals as high as 7K - 8K on Mobil-1, so it just doesn't count down to 5,000 miles. I could see maybe an "accelerated" countdown on dino oil, as it nears end-of-life and begins to break down and degrade (showing up in temp and pressure readings).
 

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Reset oil life to 100%

I'm not a big fan of letting an onboard computer chip determine when I change my oil or perform "mandatory" maintenance of any sort. I stick with mileage, known conditions, and visual inspections. Since you have the added inconvenience of outside temperature being obscured, I suggest resetting the oil life to 100% and keeping to a mileage schedule. I think the instructions to reset are in the owners manual (it is for the '08).
 

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I'm not a big fan of letting an onboard computer chip determine when I change my oil or perform "mandatory" maintenance of any sort. I stick with mileage, known conditions, and visual inspections.
I'm the opposite. If Honda engineers spend a couple of hundred thousand $$$ and several years building and refining a computer system that monitors and protects the engine they designed and built with maintenance reminders. I'll rely on that vs. pencil marks on a calendar. :grin:

But, then I work with computers every day, so I know what they are capable of.
 

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I'm the opposite.
Same here. There's absolutely nothing magic about 5000 (or 3000 or 7500, etc.) miles. It's a loose "SWAG" where the engineers have determined the average service life in the very broadest sense of the word "average", and marketing has severely rounded-off the number to something convenient that common folk might remember over the entire life of the vehicle - even after considering that the change interval should also adjust to compensate for engine wear.

The computer will do a much, much superior job of considering heat load, RPM, demand cycles and engine hours in determining engine lube replacement intervals. The only thing it doesn't know is the type of oil, and therefore has to incorporate an average for computing that part of it.

The only thing better than instrumented intelligent guesses by the computer is to live your life by the "used oil analysis", which assesses engine and lubricant condition by actual laboratory analysis of the oil. Not too expensive, but, frankly, sort of a messy pain to deal with, and, in the end, sort of a 1% of 1% thing.
 

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The only thing better than instrumented intelligent guesses by the computer is to live your life by the "used oil analysis", which assesses engine and lubricant condition by actual laboratory analysis of the oil. Not too expensive, but, frankly, sort of a messy pain to deal with, and, in the end, sort of a 1% of 1% thing.

I'm Mike on this one! I do the Lab analysis on mine about once a year! I send out the oil from my boat to be tested each season. ( It gives me a good Idea of the Diesel engines internal condition.) So I include a quick sample of my Elements Engine oil as well.

I have taking the sample down to a science now. I have modified an old Turkey baster style anti freeze tester with a 2 foot long piece of plastic tubing. No mess at all now !!

Oh ,, The results have shown that I am able to go an additional 4,000 on synthetic vs standard petroleum based oil. That's just a bit over the 1% mike was talking about. Still, I don't like to extend the interval much beyond 7,000 miles. I think that is my comfort zone. When I have the test run on standard oil, With my driving style/conditions, 3,000 to 3,500 miles and it's nearing the end of it's life.

In short, In MY car, in this area, considering MY driving style, I get a slightly more than 50% gain in oil life with synthetic.

Without the laboratory oil analysis, I would have no way of knowing this. In fact, if I had to guess, I would never have come to that conclusion.

Dom
 

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I am at 29000 on my SC & changed my oil yesterday.
I changed the filter and switched to synthetic oil starting at 1718 miles.
Since then I have seen my oil life via the monitor rise consistently the first couple of changes, then show a slight rise thereafter.

Here are the mileage intervals between oil & filter changes:
3952 (odometer 5670)
4830 (odometer 10500)
6070 (odometer 16570)
6119 (odometer 22689)
6312 (odometer 29001)
 

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Hi Jay:
Interesting :)

Pretty much shows the Honda E engine break-in period, as described by the Honda engineers.

I guess the computer knows it's $hit, when it comes to how the engine and oil are performing. :-D
 

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Hi Jay:
Interesting :)

Pretty much shows the Honda E engine break-in period, as described by the Honda engineers.

I guess the computer knows it's $hit, when it comes to how the engine and oil are performing. :-D
My first change was at 7800 miles and it was still reading 30%, but I had it done because I was going on a long trip...now it has 13890 and it is still at 40%.....must be the way I drive ( all hwy ) mostly 50-70 mph...hardly any city driving.....hope the computers figure it properly.
 

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I was always told not to switch to synthetic until 20k miles. Any thoughts?
 

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I was always told not to switch to synthetic until 20k miles. Any thoughts?
The purpose of using the regular oil is to allow the rings to break-in properly...you may also have metallic particles left over from the build in the motor..the break-in oil will clean it out.. synthetic oil is very slippery and you dont want that with a "new" motor. Which is why Honda says not to change the initial break-in oil they put in a new E "early". But after the first oil-minder, synthetic should be fine. Waiting 20K is old-school. Engine manufacturing has gotten a lot better - so less break-in is needed. And any final break-in does continue with synthetic oil, just at a much slower pace.
 

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I use mobile one and trust the computer. I get between 7k and 8k between oil changes. Time will tell. So far I have put about 60k on it in two years.
 

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If you tap the odometer button it will bring back the mileage and outside temp. But you probably knew that already, right?

Absolutely !!

Everyone reads the manual !


Dom
 

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I use synthetic in my E, and I completely ignore the oil minder. I don't know that they did invest thousands of dollars into the system. They could have spent $4 on it. If the oil minder isn't testing the quality of the oil, just driving conditions, then its worthless. That assumes that all oils are the same.
 
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