If you are a new owner of a Honda Accord, you need to know what motor oil is best for your car. Using the wrong oil can cause significant malfunctions and a total engine failure. To make matters worse, not all Honda Accords require the same type of oil.
So, we created a guide to help you determine the best oil for your Honda Accord. We’ve also included tips to help you avoid voiding your warranty and the best oil for aging vehicles.
Honda Accord Motor Oil Requirements
Over the years, the Honda Accord has gone through many design and equipment changes. Some engines require less viscose lubrication. The automaker does extensive testing to determine which motor oil is best for use in that specific engine.
For example, the correct oil for a 1985 Honda Accord is either 10W-40 or 5W-30. These are much thicker oils, and they contain less synthetic additives and more refined crude oil. Due to the viscosity of these oils, they stick to the engine components.
In modern engines, the thicker oil would damage the fast-moving parts. These oils also cause the engine to run less efficiently, leading to lower gas mileage. If you compare cars from the 80s to similar models made today, you will notice that newer cars get much better gas mileage.
Due to the investment into research and development by Honda, it is best to use its recommendations. If you have a question about it or you want to make a change, visit your Honda dealership to ask them about it. The service department technicians and managers are highly trained. So, they can tell you what options you have.
There is a quick guide below to help you determine which oil is correct for your year model. However, there is one more factor. You need to make sure that you use the right oil for your climate. If the oil is thick, it will get even thicker in cold weather.
- 1976-1985: 10W-40 or 5W-30
- 1986-2001: 5W-30
- 2001-2011: 5W-20
- 2011-Present: 0W-20
Note: Your car may require a different oil type depending on the motor and engine configuration. So, you should always check your vehicle owner’s manual.
What Happens If You Use the Wrong Oil?
Using the wrong oil could damage your engine. If you put the incorrect oil in your car, it should not damage your vehicle to drive it to a shop for an oil change, though. Your car is at greater risk if you consistently use the wrong oil.
It is worse to put thin oil into an engine that requires more viscosity for lubrication. So, if you put 0W-20, which is what Honda currently recommends for new vehicles, in an older Accord, it may not offer enough lubrication.
The oil offers protection to the rocker arms, camshafts, and pushrods (if your car has them). When you put oil that is too thin, the movement of these parts creates more heat which can warp the elements over time. If you fail to change the oil, eventually, the motor can lock up, at which time you would have to purchase a new one.
What If You Do Not Put Oil In Your Car?
Oil is essential in all vehicles. If your car is low on oil, the worst thing you can do is drive it. It would be better to put in any oil than to run your car with no oil. If you do have to use a petroleum-based or synthetic blend that is not rated for your vehicle, you should get an oil change and make sure they change the oil filter as soon as possible.
Honda Accord Vehicle Maintenance
Maintaining your Honda Accord is not only the right thing to do if you want to extend your vehicle’s life. It can also affect your warranty. One of the most common reasons that automakers reject warranty claims is failure to maintain the car.
Can You Change Your Oil?
You can change your oil. Oil changes are relatively affordable, though. So, it is not a bad idea to have them done at the dealership if you are inexperienced. If you decide to change your oil, you must adhere to the instructions and requirements outlined in your car’s manual.
What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil?
The motor oil acts as lubrication for the engine. The oil helps keep the parts in the engine moving freely, avoid overheating, and reduce friction.
If you run your car without oil or with the wrong type of oil, the key components can heat up. In the beginning, your vehicle may keep chugging along. However, with inadequate lubrication, the parts will create excess heat, which could cause warping in the motor.
Since the motor is one of the most expensive parts to replace, you want to avoid damaging it at all costs. Luckily, most mechanic shops will put a sticker on your windshield that reminds you when you need to change it next. As long as you adhere to that timeline, you should be fine.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
The type of oil you use in your car makes a big difference in the frequency of necessary oil changes. Synthetic oil gives you nearly three times the use of traditional alternatives. You have to change the standard Honda synthetic blend oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Full synthetics will last for as many as 15,000 miles or one year.
How Much Oil Does the Honda Accord Take?
The volume of oil your Honda Accord requires depends on the engine under your hood. The 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine takes 3.4 quarts, and the 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder holds 4.6 quarts. When you change your oil, you have to refill it to the correct capacity.
Overfilling your motor oil can create too much pressure in the engine. It also increases pressure on the pistons, camshaft, and other components, which could cause engine failure. So, you must fill your Accord with the correct amount of oil.
Checking Your Oil
If you have your oil changed regularly, you should not have to check your oil very often. However, it is a good idea to know how to do it.
First, you need to allow the engine to heat up for two to three minutes if your car has been sitting for more than an hour. If you have been driving, allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
Then, with a paper towel, take the dipstick out and wipe it clean. Replace the dipstick, ensuring that it is fully seated in the engine, and pull it back out.
Next, check the oil level at the end of the stick. You should see an etched space. The oil level should fall between the lines.
Changing Your Oil
When you change your oil, you should follow a guide to ensure you do not miss a step. Licensed mechanics do oil changes all the time, and while it is a task you can do at home to save some money, doing it incorrectly or failing to replace an essential part can be catastrophic.
If you cause damage during a botched oil change, Honda will not cover any claim under your vehicle warranty. So, it is crucial to use only Honda’s original parts and oil. When you visit the dealership to buy supplies, the service department will use your VIN to determine the correct components.
Supplies You Need
- Honda Oil
- Honda Oil Filter
- 17mm Pliers
- A drain pan
- A torque wrench
- Oil filter wrench
1. Prepare Your Honda Accord
After you have your supplies, you need to prepare your car. If you have been driving, you will want to let the oil cool for about 30 minutes. A little less time and you could burn yourself. Too much time, and the oil will thicken too much to flow out.
2. Remove the Oil
Next, you need to place the drain pan under your car. Then, at the lowest point of the oil pan, locate the drain plug and remove it. Wait until all of the oil drains out, and then replace the plug. Replacing the plug is one of the most critical steps in changing your oil. If you leave the plug out, your oil will quickly run out of the motor leaving your vehicle unprotected.
3. Change the Oil Filter
After you replace the engine oil cap, you need to change the filter. You will find it above the drain pan near the back of the engine.
When you locate it, remove it. Then lubricate the new filter gasket with oil to protect it before tightening it with your filter wrench.
4. Check Your Oil Level
After you complete your oil change, it is a good idea to check the oil levels. You may also want to recheck them a few days later and keep your eyes open for oil spots on your driveway. That way, you know if there is a leak or if you forgot to replace the drain pan plug.
5. Dispose of the Oil
Frequently asked questions relating to the best oil for the Honda Accord may give you answers you are looking for about changing the oil in your car, and they may help you avoid common mistakes. When looking up information on the best oil for the Honda Accord, consumers also asked:
Answer: It would be best not to use 5W30 in a late model Accord, especially one built after 2011. Before that, if you accidentally put 5W30, it is not a big deal. Using thicker oil will cause your vehicle to run less efficiently, though. So, you may want to have the oil changed anyway.
Answer: The Honda.com website says that the company uses petroleum-based oils for engine lubrication. It goes on to say, owners may use synthetic oil if it adheres to the requirements outlined in their car’s manual. Synthetic oil is more costly to change. However, it lasts longer.
Answer: Honda 0W-20 oil is partially synthetic and partially petroleum-based. Before 2011, Honda used 5w-20 synthetic blend motor oil. While Honda does not use a full-synthetic, there are 0w-20 and 5w-20 fully synthetic engine lubricants you can use.
Answer: You can mix traditional petroleum-based oil with fully synthetic. Most motor oil is at least partially synthetic. The problem with mixing oils is that you do not realize the full benefits of using the costly synthetic. You will not be able to go longer between oil changes because the conventional oil will create build-up in your engine.
Last Thoughts on the Best Oil for Honda Accord
Honda Accords are excellent vehicles that last for a few hundred thousand miles if you take care of the motor. One of the most critical chores, when you own a car, is changing the oil. It is a DIY chore that takes careful planning and knowledge of the appropriate components for your vehicle.
Having a trained service technician change your oil is not much more than it costs you to purchase the job supplies. So, if you are wary about performing this critical task, you should consider scheduling a service appointment at your local Honda dealership.