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Hi there
I have just read through a lot of the posts on this forum as I too have the same problem with oil consumption. I have the same make of car and it uses a lot of oil and I regularly have to add it.
I'm afraid I have no mechanical knowledge of cars (I'm a female that drives them but doesn't understand them!) but because of the problem I started to search to see if other owners of the same car had the same problem.
No idea if I have the R3A pistons but will try and find out.
If anyone does decide to contact Honda about this I'm more than happy for my details to be included.
Thanks

Hello AliB,

Replacing pistons and rings is generally an expensive repair.
I think that might be useful to understand as first if your problem may come from the R3A pistons/rings or from something else.
It would be helpful if you could tell us:
  • Civic Model and year of registration
  • Engine type and serial number. (Engine serial number should be engraved on the front lower side of the engine, near the gearbox. You could ask it to the garage where you go for the oil change.)
The engine serial number may also be found more easily on the barcode sticker attached to the left side of the engine (near the pcv valve), if still present.
  • Total mileage of the car
  • Every how many kilometers you need to top up the oil

Cheers
 

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GOOD NEWS !! MAYBE !!
I posted my experience of this oil consumption problem with my Civic several months ago. I tried adding this stuff Super Charge | Wynn's Europe and it appeared to reduce the oil consumption by almost half. However at around 900 miles per litre I still wasn't particularly happy. I went to the local Honda dealer in Northampton to explain the problem. I mentioned this thread and of course they denied all knowledge of there being an issue - which may well have been genuine.
However something has now changed quite dramatically. At my last top up I bought another tin of the Wynns product but on a hunch I also bought 10-40 oil (i.e. slightly thicker than the recommended 5-30 grade). I added slightly less than my usual litre of oil - because I'd already added the Wynns - recorded the mileage and left it at that.

Because of this problem I've been recording my mileages between top ups since January 2020 (after adding a 3rd tin of Wynns) and the figures are as follows:

Jan 935.......Feb 833......Mar 936 ........lockdown !.....Jul 989......

.............September (after adding another tin of Wynns and 0.8 litre of 10-40)...........1696 miles !!

I've checked my figures and they are definitely correct. Two other things have changed - without fail the range after filling up with petrol always showed 460 miles. Now it always shows 480 miles. Secondly I had always thought that the car never quite seemed to accelerate cleanly - there was often just a hint of hesitation. It also didn't seem to be quite as quick generally as I expected a 1.8 VTEC to feel. But now the hesitation has gone and power seems to have improved. Obviously these last 2 points may be a bit subjective - won't be the first time I've fooled myself that something has improved because I wanted it to !

So what has changed ? I'm assuming that the problem is something to with the relationship between the piston rings, the pistons themselves and the cylinder bores - either the rings are sticking in the grooves or as has been suggested there is a parts mismatch and the pistons/rings are wrong for the bores. Either way the rings aren't sealing against the bores leading to high oil consumption and to a lesser degree - a loss of power. I think that either the last tin of Wynns finally freed off the piston rings OR the thicker oil is doing a better job at sealing around the piston. Or a bit of both. Anybody else have any thoughts on those conclusions ? I must admit I'm surprised that less than 1 litre of 10-40 mixed in with 3 litres of 5-30 could have made so much difference but oil is weird stuff and I've never really understood how it does its job anyway

The annoying thing is that - like a bad scientist - I made 2 changes at once (the Wynns and the 10-40) so I don't know which one had the effect.
I'm now waiting for the next full oil change next month when I will be using only 10-40. Hopefully there will then be a very long wait until that damned oil light comes on again !
 

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Anyone tried to change the engine with one from a newer generation which does not have this problem? I found a R18Z4 second hand engine from a 2016 Civic. It has run 20.000km and costs around 750 eur. I do not know if it will work with my ECU, with the catalytic convertor. At an official Honda dealership I received a quotation of about 2500 eur for repairing mine. And they said this is the best case, when they open the engine it may increase depending what is inside. So replacing the engine seems a good solution. If only it worked...
 

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Hello TM93HRC. Please share the year and the serial number of your engine (and the kilometers).

If your problem of excessive oil consumption is due to the thin oil rings of the R3A pistons, you should have a 2012 IX series R18Z4 with a serial number lower than R18Z4 1030320

If the R18Z4 engine you found is a 2016, the serial number should start with 50XXXXX. The serial number is engraved on the front side of the engine (exhaust side), in a small plane surface at the bottom right next to the gearbox.

Buy it only if it has R1A pistons in good condition (Honda no longer supplies R3A pistons and rings as spare parts).

You can check the piston type and status with your phone using a cheap 15euro chinese amazon wireless endoscope inserted into the spark plug holes.

You can replace the entire r18z4 engine without any problem, if it is actually in better condition than yours (low mileage means nothing if the engine has been badly treated).

Once installed, reset the throttle valve, or simply run and wait until the ECU relearns the idle, usually it takes about 500km).

If you find any defect in the engine you bought, or if you think yours is better, you can also replace the pistons only.

In the latter case it is better to install new rings for a good job, as MiCyran successfully did.

Cheers
 

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Thanks for your detailed response :) It's good to know newer engines seem to be compatible. In my case I have an R18Z4 from 2012 with a serial number below 1030320 (100xxxx to be precise).
In my case it does not suffer from excessive oil consumption yet (engine at around 83.000 km with oil consumption in range of 1 liter 5W30 per 8000 / 10000 km).

Though I read about the oil consumption sadly after I bought my car, otherwise I would have gone for a 2013 or later model. At least I know what my options are now when oil consumption is not acceptable anymore.
 

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@andrew914
This is a very interesting. I just bought the same stuff (Wynns) and will start addig to my engine so I can check how this will work. Thanks for sharing your expierence! Do you have any further observations? Your last post is 6 months old so you must have some more feedback.
 
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