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P1259 Code on a V-Tek System Failure, Just OIL?!


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#1 ginaT

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 11:39 AM

I'm a first timer, and not so good at cars, but I sure could use some advice. My engine light came on and stayed on for two days, until I got it into the shop. The car seemed to be running fine. I was only 200 miles past my scheduled oil change, but they told me it had error code P1259 V-Tek system failure. They said my oil was down almost a quart. No oil light ever came on. The car has 120,000 miles and I wanted to keep it 'forever'. There is a history, that is partly my fault. Two years ago, I didn't change my oil for 5-7K miles, and I think they said I blew a valve seal, and it was replaced. Since then, I have been going in on time. About six months after that, I was down oil once and they said they couldn't figure out why. This time, they told me I should expect the car to burn 1 qt of oil per 1,000 miles. That seems crazy to me! They said my car is older and to expect that on Hondas. They said in a worst case, if I keep burning oil like this, I will have to have the engine sent out for diagnosis and repaired and that's not worth the $1,500 on a car that old.

They told me this type of problem on 98-2002 accords is known. huh? Should I get rid of this car that I love, or should i just keep putting oil in if it needs it. Is this reasonable. Somebody out there knows a lot more than I do and I hope you can help me. THANKS!

#2 Jeffro

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 12:52 PM

To not be able to figure out where a quart of oil is going every thousand miles tells me there is a problem with the shop. But to answer questions:

VTEC failure is common if the oil is low. What happens is your car goes into a "safe mode" so it won't engage vtec (at about 4,000 rpm's.) Add oil, reset the CEL and you're usually fine with that problem. It all results in the fact that if there isn't enough oil to lubricate the camshaft, the engine won't engage the vtec. Pretty neat, huh?

Second, I have over 225,000 miles on my 2000 Accord and have never burned a drop of oil. I hate to say it, but if you're losing a quart every 1000 miles, you should know it to because I could imagine the smoke pouring out the back would be noticeable from the next state over. I have never heard of the 98-02 accords having an oil burning problem, especially with average every day driving. Honda's with the proper care can last several hundred thousand miles and never have a major problem. The biggest problem in the 98-02 accords is the automatic transmission problems, not engine problems. Even that is primarily a V6 problem.

I'd say keep in mind you need to do more regular maintenance than just oil changes too, and our car will be fine. I'd find a new shop too, but that may just be me.

Edited by Jeffro, 20 October 2008 - 12:53 PM.


#3 mpearce1974

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 01:23 PM

What are you running for oil?? Wieght, and brand, full synthetic?

#4 James Matteu

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 02:27 PM

Driving my CRX, I used to be down one quart at every 3,000 mile change, but I was burning it from a leaking valve seal. I even got a ticket for the smoke screen I was laying out at each traffic light.

Are you 007 with a smoke screen, if not you need to find out where the oil is going.

Edited by James Matteu, 20 October 2008 - 02:27 PM.


#5 Jeffro

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 07:34 PM

I'm wondering if the shop didn't put enough in to begin with. A quart every 1000 miles is a lot. There should be a puddle under the car or something. It should be fairly obvious if its losing that much oil.

#6 ginaT

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:08 AM

I'm a first timer, and not so good at cars, but I sure could use some advice. My engine light came on and stayed on for two days, until I got it into the shop. The car seemed to be running fine. I was only 200 miles past my scheduled oil change, but they told me it had error code P1259 V-Tek system failure. They said my oil was down almost a quart. No oil light ever came on. The car has 120,000 miles and I wanted to keep it 'forever'. There is a history, that is partly my fault. Two years ago, I didn't change my oil for 5-7K miles, and I think they said I blew a valve seal, and it was replaced. Since then, I have been going in on time. About six months after that, I was down oil once and they said they couldn't figure out why. This time, they told me I should expect the car to burn 1 qt of oil per 1,000 miles. That seems crazy to me! They said my car is older and to expect that on Hondas. They said in a worst case, if I keep burning oil like this, I will have to have the engine sent out for diagnosis and repaired and that's not worth the $1,500 on a car that old.

They told me this type of problem on 98-2002 accords is known. huh ? Should I get rid of this car that I love, or should i just keep putting oil in if it needs it. Is this reasonable. Somebody out there knows a lot more than I do and I hope you can help me. THANKS!



#7 ginaT

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:13 AM

Sorry I didn't see your replies until today. Thank you so much for your advice on this. I haven't had to put in the quart per 1,000, but the shop told me I might have to expect this. I'm going to call the service manager there who in the past has been more helpful to me and get his opinion.

There is no leaking oil, and I asked that of the SM who spoke to me. He said, nothing is leaking, but it is 'burning' oil because its an older car. This doesnt jive with what some of you are saying.

I'll let you know if I find out more. I have done 'regular' oil changes ever since two years ago when I was late one time, and yes i did cause a valve seal (I think) to go. I called it my $400 oil change! Yikes!

hey, mpearce1974, you ask a good question, and I don't even know the answer. I will find that out, too. Since I've never actually had to put the oil in myself---it's always done at the shop, I haven't asked either.

Thank you all for your patience and help to somebody who is embarrassingly naive about this!

#8 Tubbith

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:18 AM

There is a possibility you are burning oil. Just not at the rate at which they told you. If you cant notice any smoke comming from your exhaust while driving, then its probably not bad. But have a firend drive be hind you as you ride for a few miles like you would on any normal day. Have them look for any signs of oil being burnt. If there is no oil being burnt off, then you may need to have someone else look at your car, b/c you shouldnt be low on oil. (assuming no leaks/no burning oil)

#9 BrIaN EG2

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 01:14 PM

err whats V-Tek? :crazy:

#10 DOMIN8R

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 06:21 PM

err whats V-Tek? :crazy:



I'm sure that helped him.

#11 ginaT

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:49 PM

err whats V-Tek? :crazy:


Um.....errr, I'm sure you're making fun of me, but I'll answer anyway: I meant to say V-TeC. You see, I'm from Massachusetts and I like the Red Sox, and my favorite player always was the catcher, Jason Varitek.....We call him 'Tek' for short, so I just got confused about the spelling.

#12 Hondahunter

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:54 PM

Um.....errr, I'm sure you're making fun of me, but I'll answer anyway: I meant to say V-TeC. You see, I'm from Massachusetts and I like the Red Sox, and my favorite player always was the catcher, Jason Varitek.....We call him 'Tek' for short, so I just got confused about the spelling.


It was all done in good sport :thumbsup:
I got ragged on because I put my sol was an Si Vtec when I first got on the forums!

#13 StAnGbAnGeR

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:34 PM

that is a pretty neat function. I had the same exact thing happend to me last week. I've got a leaking oil pan gasket, and I went a little low on oil. I didn't discover it for a few days. My car would not pull over 4,000rpm or so. It was when I was looking under my car at the air dam, then I noticed some oil on the pan about to drip onto the concrete, then I checked the oil, added some. I hit it getting onto the highway, and it was all there. I found out from someone locally that the engine won't accelarate over 4,000 rpms on low oil. Then when I saw this thred, I learned that the person I talked to was right. Thankfully nothing (besides my pan gasket that needs to be replaced) is really wrong with my motor. Too bad more auto manufaturers don't have this feature.