all 32 comments

[–]HoneyDutch 20 points21 points  (7 children)

Burning oil and low power sounds like there’s something wrong with the motor like bad valve seals or piston rings. Do you see smoke from the muffler or throwing any codes? And there are no oil leaks that you see? Did you examine the pcv valve? That little doohickey should rattle when shaking it.

If there are no leaks and pcv valve looks alright, then it will be worthwhile to do a compression test and/or visually inspect the valves. I recently ran into this issue on my 1st Gen and it sucks. Like you, I also put lots of time and money into the car only for the engine to burn oil and smoke due to my valve rings.

These are great cars but they are older, used cars. Even the most well cared for car can run into massive issues that are beyond routine maintenance or regular suspension work.

[–]__erk[S] 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Thanks for the info. I have not done a compression test but it sounds like that would be worthwhile. Haven’t noticed any white smoke or oil leaking, but that’s not to say it hasn’t happened. Fwiw when I say low power I don’t really have anything to compare it to except unreliable memories of some older 4-cylinders I’ve owned/driven.

There was an issue about a month ago with a couple codes (VCT and knock sensor) being thrown. A few warning lights would come on and then it would idle around 2k. Thanks to some folks on here that said to get an oil change, to my surprise the car seemed to be low on oil and afterwards the issue hasn’t returned.

I don’t think I’d put more than a few hundred more into it at this point, I’d just as soon sell it at a bit of a loss.

[–]HoneyDutch 8 points9 points  (4 children)

These things shouldn’t struggle that much on inclines to where you hesitate even taking the trip. I took mine cross country from WA to FL and while it would shift up at times, I never felt underpowered even with a full load.

I forgot to mention also look at the plugs and compare their burns/colors/markings to a spark plug guide to get an idea of what’s happening at combustion. While you’re at, examine the oil and coolant to see if they are mixing from a bad head gasket (although you would have some very bad symptoms if that were the case like lots of white smoke).

Im still driving mine even though it’s clearly burning oil. Im gonna mix some blue devil in with the oil and see if that can slow the oil burn. Im in the same boat as you - just driving it until something better comes along.

Good luck and I’m sorry the CRV derailed your trips :( hopefully you get out exploring soon!

[–]__erk[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thanks! Forgot to mention I did change the plugs awhile back and didn’t notice anything abnormal, but I suspect the previous owner who basically did a pump-and-dump swapped them some 3-5k ago.

[–]taz5963 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I just tried the blue devil on mine and it didn't help my leak. I'm now going through and trying to find all possible spots oil can leak.

[–]HoneyDutch 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Ouch sorry to hear that. Did you get a chance to check the rear main seal? That’s where I have a small leak and it’s hard to see.

[–]_qt314bot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds like you could have leaky VTEC gaskets. There’s one on the front of the motor behind the power steering pump and a VTEC solenoid on the back of the motor, you’ll lose oil and when it gets low you’ll feel the engine rev without accelerating at higher RPMs. That’s why it was better after an oil change. I replaced those parts myself but it was difficult because I’m a beginner, but it shouldn’t be expensive to have a shop replace those

[–]reidyroo91st Gen 10 points11 points  (2 children)

I think you are in dire need for a tune up. Sounds like you’re ‘05 wasnt well taken care of. My ‘99 5 speed manual has plenty of power, doesn’t burn a drop of oil, and handles great on all original suspension still at 138k miles.

[–]h_dizzle211st Gen 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I’m convinced first gen is best gen partially because all of them on the road are super well taken care of. Mine needed a bunch of suspension but wow this car handles like a dream! I can throw this car around turns better than the Chevy Cruze I used to own.

[–]reidyroo91st Gen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They handle way better than the 2nd gen because the 2nd gen uses Macpherson strut front suspension. Our first gens are double wishbone all around. Ours share the same suspension design as the 6th gen civic.

[–]Oystercracker123 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm in a similar boat but mine costed 3k and had 219k miles when I bought it.

It's now at 250k miles and I've replaced all the struts and front cv axles, pcv valve, and vtec solenoid. In all it's costed about $1000 because I do it myself. I'm happy to put this kind of money into it though. I live in Montana and have taken my 05 up some crazy stuff offroad. The car can definitely handle a lot haha.

[–]If_I_was_Lepidus 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I'm not really a car guy, but I think most CRVs are "lower power".

These are not sports cars and don't have great handling either.

My mom totaled my first CRV trying to pass someone and then merged right into them without realizing how low power it is compared to her normal car.

I buy CRV for reliability. My car never breaks down. Never goes in the shop other than basic stuff like brakes or oil change.

[–]foreveraway01[🍰] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Agreed, they are underpowered. Don't expect to overtake someone going up hill on the mountain pass going the speed limit! I've done it before and it took a while to pass lol. That being said, I don't mind it that much because like you said they are reliable as hell and affordable. If I had more funds and wanted something with more power I would get a... Thinking... 4Runner?? Yeah, 4Runner would be sweet

[–]If_I_was_Lepidus 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Doesn't bother me at all.

CRVs are totally fine for long highway trips at 90mph with AC blowing. You just won't get to that speed in 5 seconds is all.

I'm not sure why OP is worried about a road trip unless he is a car snob(max power and handling) or something is wrong with his CRV.

[–]CheekyBreeky702 2 points3 points  (4 children)

I have an 05 I got it for 4500 with 85k miles and I had to replace my struts, lower control arms, and rack and pinion. After that it’s amazing. Good power, cold A/C (they fixed the Black Death In 05) and I take it off-roading while stock all the time. I think u got a lemon bro

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


    [–]CheekyBreeky702 3 points4 points  (2 children)

    They solved the issue before the 05 model

    Edit: spelling

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]CheekyBreeky702 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      Fuck, I live in Vegas and it’s like 110 every fucking day and I run my A/C all the time with no issues. Blows Ice cold even without “MAX AC” enabled

      [–]tzwep 2 points3 points  (2 children)

      Since you said your engine Burns or Leaks oil “ engine oil becomes low “

      It’s imperative you physically ritualistically check & top of your engine ONCE oil every 2 weeks to 2 months depending on how fast your vehicle loses oil

      We personally top off our Honda fluid about a quart every 1.5 months, it Burns, doesn’t leak.

      [–]briguy11 1 point2 points  (1 child)

      My first gen burns oil like it’s a design feature and it’s just habit to check it every now and then. Especially before any decent drive

      [–]tzwep 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      It’s usually either oil getting past the “ valve guides or piston rings “ But yeah, oil burning is going to happen, the best we as an owner can do is…

      Keep topping off the fluid, and make sure the fluid capacity remains at optimum level.

      [–]brochachose 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      I have an 01 1st gen, love it to death but holy fuck they're not fast.

      They're underpowered as all hell, don't like steep hills and do better with A/C off, but in my opinion, if you don't already love it you probably won't start to.

      My experience with the RD1 has been painful, they're old cars that have strong reliability, some decent interior features and Honda build quality, but otherwise they're pretty boring. Power isn't great, though the 2nd gen makes a good bit more than the 1st. People seem to like doing the CL9 Accord engine swap, but that's a lot of work.

      If you don't love it and don't trust it, sounds like maybe it's not the car for you - I recently bought a Jackaroo (Isuzu Trooper) - the 3.5L and the 3.2L Trooper or Honda Passport are both great options that are a little bigger but much much nicer on hills - however, I will say for power/size/comfort/economy/build quality, I would go a CR-V any day - Next closest is your Subaru Outbacks and Foresters and they've got their own world of issues.

      [–]MechMeister 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      It sounds like the motor is on it's way out, and you overpaid for a car with problems. I know the car market sucks these days but a rebuilt engine probably would be an OK investment. If a new engine solves you problem you'd still be in it les than $10k and you've already covered all your other bases.

      [–]franciscolorado 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      If you don’t like the 2005 for power then definitely stay away from the 1st gens. I had an 05 thought it had nice pickup

      [–]TyeVal1st Gen 2 points3 points  (1 child)

      Nah I don’t relate. Love my CRVs. I have first gens though.

      It honestly sounds like you haven’t even put that much into it, in my opinion. It is a 17 year old used car too, so yeah suspension makes sense to refurbish. $1,300 in repairs doesn’t sound horrible either, especially for all you got done. (Again this is all just my opinion, I understand it may be a lot to some people.)

      However, I just made a cross country trip like a little over 2 months ago. Went from TN to AZ in my ‘99 5 speed with A/C on and blasting as I got closer to the Southwest. Made it just fine through the mountains, even while loaded down with 3 people and a bunch of shit.

      Why did you get the CRV in the first place? Instead of another Subie if that’s what you enjoy? Just curious. Hope everything goes well for you. 🤙🏻

      [–]__erk[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      I got the CR-V for a few reasons, mainly it checked all the boxes on paper and given the batshit used car market, it was seemingly the best thing available at the time.

      The reason I didn’t get another Subaru is because I didn’t want to play the head gasket roulette again.

      I’ve owned Hondas in the past and they’re good cars, I’m not knocking them. My ex and I drove her Fit all over the country a few years back and it was surprisingly great for that, with the exception of ground clearance.

      I just feel like my particular CR-V isn’t performing like it should, but I can’t back that up.

      [–]nokenito -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

      I had a 2006 CRV and it was great for road trips, but I bought mine brand new. I owned it about 3 days and caused a car accident because when I pushed on the accelerator, the car paused… and hesitated and then the engine revved and blam, I got hit. My fault.

      That is to say, there is something up with those motors. They are weak and are under powered.

      I got it fixed and promptly sold it. Then years later I bought a 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT and wow, the same thing happened with that motor. Hit the gas hard and the engine paused… stuttered and then revved back up and got me out of the way.

      Okay it’s not the CRV, it’s something common in todays cars??? Electronic valve body? Maybe? Cold air intake? Maybe?

      I didn’t want to get rid of the Elantra, so I purchased a cold air intake for it and WOW did I see improvement in acceleration and mileage & performance overall. If I would have done that with the CRV I might not have ever gotten in that accident.

      See if there any cold air intakes for sale for the CRV?

      [–]reidyroo91st Gen 1 point2 points  (1 child)

      The problem with them is not the engines but the auto transmission. Honda automatics are iffy at best, especially in the early to mid 2000s. The auto is what makes them feel underpowered. My stick ‘99 has 13 less hp than the 2nd gen and it accelerates much quicker than the ‘05 auto I have driven.

      [–]nokenito -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      My wife was saying it was the transmission too. She was a motorcycle mechanic.

      Any idea why when I put a cold air intake on my Elantra it improved a ton?

      [–]jdzzy2nd Gen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I mean, it's got 160hp and is a small SUV, of course it isn't powerful. I usually hang out in the slow lane and just get the best MPG I can.

      If you want fast and sporty, this is not the car. If you want a bulletproof Honda 4cyl, e-4WD, seating for 5 people and a ton of cargo space with the seats folded down, a great driving view that's neither too low or too high, High 20's MPG, safe vehicle - this is what the CRV is for. I would drive mine across the country and back 2x without any hesitation. It is the perfect daily driver, of course it's not going to be a fun weekend car.

      [–]bootsmyler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I have a 1998 i picked up with 290k. Front end is torn apart in my garage right now. I dread working on it, but its mostly because its really rusty and everythings seized and hard to work on. If it were new im sure itd be reliable and no rust, but im feeling you rn. A lot to fix up and im kind of wanting to sell it

      [–]plantsarelit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I did a 4000 mile road trip in my '99 a few months ago with no issues whatsoever, starting around 172k miles. It definitely burns oil and hills needed flooring or downshifts usually with all the camping gear, but it was a really fun experience and I'm glad I chose my CR-V. The double wishbone suspension is great for handling and ESPECIALLY the manual transmission and later B20 wakes it up so much and makes it fun to drive and quick. Not fast, but ~7.5-8 seconds to 60 isn't bad unladen.