I drive a 2011 Honda Odyssey. The last time I had my oil changed, they neglected to reset the oil change indicator (relevant because I'm assuming it would have come back on sooner when my oil level dropped but it didn't occur to me that my oil level could drop so excessively in a short period of time with no oil leak).

I've learned today that these vehicles have a problem with excessive oil consumption. I learned this as a result of finding my engine light on this morning. I drove straight to my oil change place so they could hook it up to the diagnostic machine and had my oil changed. Turns out I only had about 1.5 quarts of oil running through it.

The van seems to be running fine but the engine light is still on. The codes it gave are P3400 and P3497. P3497 is a service bulletin indicating a need for a software update to address the excessive oil consumption so I don't expect the light to go off until we've had a chance to do that but I'm wondering if there's a chance that I did irreparable damage to the engine driving it with so little oil. Would it be obvious or could something still happen like throwing a rod?

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    Welcome to the site! 1.5 quarts is low, but as long weren't flying around any corners, you probably didn't lose oil pressure, and your engine will probably be alright. If the code remains after the oil change and software update you may need to replace the oil sensors. There seems to be a good write-up on this page: odyclub.com/forums/52-2005-2010-odyssey/… Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 14:58
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    listen for any new engine noises. Tapping, ticking, knocking. These noises will be present at idle and vary with engine speed.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 15:21
  • I'm voting to leave this one open, the other question is similar, but it seems "too technical." I think it would be good to have a clear straight forward "practical" answer to this question along with the other one.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


There are two oil related warning systems on that car. One is the oil light which warns of low oil pressure and the other is the maintenance light (the wrench). I'm assuming that you got the maintenance light.

If you're pretty sure that you haven't been seeing the oil light there is a good chance that nothing too terrible has happened, you will probably have been running with the oil a bit (or even a lot) hotter than it should be, but as long as there was consistent oil pressure chances are good that you haven't suffered major damage.

If you'd like the peace of mind you could get an oil analysis done at your next oil change. If damage was done (and you don't notice significant differences in the sound or behavior of the engine) it will most likely be in the form of damage to bearings that will result in accelerated wear. This will show up as a higher than normal level of bearing metals in the used oil when you have it analyzed.

But all-in-all if you are a relatively conservative driver – and aren't noticing any change in the car's performance or sounds – you are probably ok.

But do get the codes attended to and see if you can make it a habit to check your oil with the dipstick. You could do it at every fill up. When you do that also take some time to look at the engine a bit over time you will become familiar with it and noticing any other changes can really help with maintenance.

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