Reader Question: Gas in Oil?

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Here’s the latest reader question, long with my reply!

Bob asks: Hello, just wondering if you have looked into this issue.  Some CR-V owners are complaining that the 1.5 turbo engine is leaking gas into the oil system.  How severe is this problem and would it prevent you from purchasing a 1.5 turbo engine?

My reply: Gas in the oil would prevent me from buying any car with this issue!

Gas is a solvent; if it gets in the oil, it will dilute the oil as well as wash off the protective film of lubrication that keeps critical parts from being destroyed by lack of lubrication.

If your car – any car – has this problem, it is critical to not drive it (run the engine) until the problem is found and fixed.

It could be a leaky injector(s) or related fuel system issue. Some of the new Direct Injection (DI, or GDI) systems operate at very high pressure (more than 2,000 psi; for reference, most port fuel injection systems operate around 40 psi; older carbureted systems 3-5 psi) and so even a minor leak would involve a significant leak. The Honda 1.5 liter engine is direct-injected and my early bet would be that’s the source of the problem – assuming there is in fact a problem. I haven’t found any hard data about this… yet.

Regardless, do not drive the car until the issue is resolved!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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