OIL LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
Checking the oil level is one of the simplest and most important checks. It should be performed frequently since low oil level can lead to engine overheating and eventual starvation of the oil pump. This can mean inadequate lubrication and immediate, severe engine damage. Because oil consumption patterns of an engine can change quickly and unexpectedly due to leakage or internal causes, check the oil every time you stop for fuel.
If the engine has been running, allow it to rest for a few minutes until the oil accumulates in the sump, before checking the oil level.
- With the car parked on a level surface, raise the hood, pull the oil dipstick from the engine and wipe it clean.
- Reinsert the dipstick into the engine until it is fully seated, then, remove it and check the reading.
The oil level on all Hondas should register within the crosshatch design on the dipstick or between the two lines or dots, depending on the type of stick.
- Oil is added through the capped opening of the rocker arm cover. Do not add oil if the level is significantly above the lower mark on the dipstick. If the level is near or below the lower line, ADD oil but do not overfill. The length covered by the area on the dipstick is roughly equivalent to one quart of oil.
- If oil has been added, install the dipstick and recheck the level. It is important to avoid overfilling the crankcase. Doing so will cause the oil to foam with the motion of the crankshaft; this affects lubrication and may also force oil by the seals.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10
The oil and filter should be changed at least every 7,500 miles (12,000 km), although circumstances often dictate more frequent changes. The type of engine used in the Accord and Prelude (overhead camshaft) is particularly sensitive to proper lubrication with clean oil. Don't risk an expensive repair or diminished performance by neglecting the easiest maintenance item on the car. Change the oil and filter regularly. The filter must be changed every time the oil is changed.
The oil drain plug is located on the bottom, rear of the oil pan (bottom of the engine, underneath the car). The oil plug has a washer on it to seal it to the oil pan. The washer should always be replaced when the oil is drained. Purchase a new washer at the same time you get the filter; if the store tells you they don't have the washer or the washer isn't required, take your business elsewhere or find another source for the washer.
On 4-cylinder models, the oil filter is located on the side of the engine, between the block and the firewall. On 6-cylinder models, the filter is located on the bottom of the engine block, near the oil drain plug. When purchasing an oil filter, spend the extra dollar or two for a quality part. It must be a Honda filter or its equivalent. Keep in mind that not all aftermarket filters meet this specification.
The oil filter cannot be reached or changed without working from below. The car must be elevated, safely supported and the filter removed by reaching up between the block and firewall. Additionally, the space available makes removing the filter with a standard band wrench very difficult. Use of a cap or filter-end wrench is recommended; the tool is inexpensive and available in most automotive retail stores.
The mileage figures given are the Honda recommended intervals assuming normal driving and conditions. Normal driving requires that the vehicle be driven far enough to warm up the oil; usually this is about 10 miles or so. If your everyday use is shorter than this (one way), your use qualifies as severe duty.
Severe duty also includes dusty, polluted or off-road conditions, as well as stop-and-go short haul uses. Regularly towing a trailer also puts the car in this category, as does constant operation with a near capacity load. Change the oil and filter at 1 / 2 the normal interval (3,750 miles or 6,000 km).
Always drain the oil after the engine has been running long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature. Hot oil will flow easier and more contaminants will be removed along with the oil than if it were drained cold. To change the oil and filter:
- Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature, then shut it OFF .
- Jack up the front of the car and support it on safety stands.
- Slide a drain pan of at least 6 quarts capacity under the oil pan.
- Loosen the drain plug with a wrench. Turn the plug out by hand. By keeping an inward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it, oil won't escape past the threads. When the last thread is released, whisk the plug out of the way and the hot oil will flow into the pan.
- Allow the oil to drain completely, then install the drain plug. Tighten it to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm). Don't overtighten the plug, or you'll be buying a new pan or a replacement plug for stripped threads.
- Using a filter wrench, remove the oil filter. Keep in mind that it's holding almost a quart of dirty, hot oil. Make certain the old gasket comes off with the filter and is not stuck to the block mating surface.
- Empty the old filter into the drain pan. Place the filter in a plastic sandwich bag. The filter should be disposed at a recycling center or your local gas station.
- Using a clean rag, wipe off the filter adapter on the engine block. Be sure that the rag doesn't leave any lint which could clog an oil passage.
- Coat the rubber gasket on the filter with fresh oil. Spin it onto the engine by hand; when the gasket touches the adapter surface give it another 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn. No more, or you'll squash the gasket and it may leak.
- Double check the drain plug; is it in place and snug- Refill the engine with the correct amount of fresh oil. See the capacities chart in this section.
- Double check everything: Filler cap on- Dipstick in place- Oil drain pan and tools out from under the car- Lower the car to the ground.
- Check the oil level on the dipstick. It is normal for the level to be a little bit above the full mark since the filter is still empty. Start the engine without using the accelerator and allow it to idle for a few minutes.
- Shut off the engine, allow the oil to drain for a minute, and check the oil level. Check around the filter and drain plug for any leaks, and correct as necessary.
So it's all done; either your first oil change or just another oil change. You now have about 5 quarts of dirty oil in a pan and one rather nasty oil filter in a bag. Use a funnel and an empty gallon milk jug to store the oil. Wipe out the drain pan and discard the rags.
Inquire by phone or in person at your gas station, parts supplier or municipal office about a place to deliver the oil for recycling. Most gas stations are willing to accept small amounts of used oil from regular customers. You can further this relationship by giving the station your business when buying the oil and/or filter. Many local governments have established oil drop-off points within the township or county. Used engine oil is a toxic waste; you are responsible for the proper disposal of your oil.