City-Data Forum Losing a quart of oil every 5000 miles. How big a problem is this? (mileage, gas)
 User Name Remember Me Password [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.

06-14-2013, 08:06 AM
 2,341 posts, read 8,664,397 times Reputation: 2040

Quote:
 Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr Sigh. Guys, those of you that are saying that losing 1 qt in 5k miles is not normal, are simply wrong. None of you must do your own oil changes, on a variety of cars. http://www.le-international.com/uplo...onsumption.pdf High oil consumption on new cars not unusual Motor Oil Consumption in Honda Engines Bottom line... Losing 1 qt in 5k miles is perfectly normal. Stop saying otherwise.
^ This.

If there's something wrong with your engine - like a broken ring, or leaking gasket or seal - it's going to go through a heckuva lot more than a quart every 5,000 miles.

I can't begin to count the number of customers I've advised against having me do an expensive fix to a minor oil loss problem. For instance, my brother-in-law was recently going nuts over the fact that he's dripping a little oil through the oil pan gasket on his '02 Escape. He's losing about 1/2 quart between oil changes. I had him do the math: How many quarts of oil could he buy, and how long would it take him to recoup the \$380 it would take to do the oil pan gasket. And why would you do that on an 11-year old vehicle, with 150,000 miles?

Sometimes we have to throw a little common sense into the mix.

06-14-2013, 08:20 AM
 Location: Ontario, NY 2,582 posts, read 5,860,138 times Reputation: 2482
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lgt ... I finally had the engine rebuilt with it went through 1/2 qt in 10 miles.
I think you have it confused, your not suppose to put oil in the gas tank and gas in the crankcase.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by DELL37 Typical POS GM crap. You'd be better off with your your old Toyota with 150k on it.
I agree, most people like to own a new car now and then, but it's going to be a shiny POS, you better off with the scratched and dented old Toyota.

06-14-2013, 08:49 AM
 469 posts, read 1,060,149 times Reputation: 174
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TechGromit I think you have it confused, your not suppose to put oil in the gas tank and gas in the crankcase.
No that is what happens when your engine has one of these. Actually two, but the other one wasn't nearly as bad.

06-14-2013, 10:12 AM
 6,368 posts, read 13,315,925 times Reputation: 5858
Quote:
 Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr Sigh. Guys, those of you that are saying that losing 1 qt in 5k miles is not normal, are simply wrong. None of you must do your own oil changes, on a variety of cars. http://www.le-international.com/uplo...onsumption.pdf High oil consumption on new cars not unusual Motor Oil Consumption in Honda Engines Bottom line... Losing 1 qt in 5k miles is perfectly normal. Stop saying otherwise.
+1

By the way, a compression test tells nothing about the condition of the oil rings. On a comp test, if you find a hole with low compression, standard procedure is to introduce oil into the cylinder and recheck.

Find someone with a borescope and have them inspect each cylinder for problems like the picture above.

06-14-2013, 11:01 AM
 Location: Vallejo 13,423 posts, read 14,990,342 times Reputation: 11913
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jaypee "1 qt every 1k miles is acceptable" really? so at a 5kmile oil change, there would be no oil left?
Park on a flat surface. They make this thing called a hood release. You can pull it. It's found typically under the dashboard on the left-hand side of the vehicle. Once you pull the hood release, the hood will then unlatch. With the hood unlatched, you can open the hood. There a variety of ways of doing this. The easiest way is to run your hand roughly in the center until you feel the latch and then open it. Some use horizontal latches, others vertical, so it may be necessary to squat down and take a look. Once the hood is opened, there's typically a support rod lying across the front of the hood right above the headlights. Take that and prop the hood open. There are slots in the hood for this so the rod doesn't slip out. Now, locate the dipstick. On many cars, these are color-coded (yellow is typical). Pull that out, whip it off on a piece of paper towel or an old rag. Oil is messy and will stain, so don't wipe it on your fancy blouse or \$200 designer jeans. Now put the dipstick back in all the way and pull it out again. Look at the dipstick. There are two lines. The line closer to your top of the dipstick is the "full" line and the line near the bottom of the dipstick is the "low oil" line. You should be able to see where on the dipstick the oil comes up to. If it's below the "low" line, then you need to add some oil. Typically, the amount of oil between the "low" and "full" marks is between .75 and 1 quart. Don't add too much.

Next, if needed, we'll go over how to add some oil to the car. Locate the large cap usually on top of the engine block that says "OIL" or has a picture of an oil can. Unscrew the cap and put it somewhere where you won't knock it down into the engine and have to fish it out. Get the appropriate oil (you can check your owners manual to see what weight that is) and pour the oil into the whole where the cap was located. Make sure you're not adding oil to the radiator. This wold be bad. If you aren't sure about this, find a man to help you. Men like to show women how to add oil to a car. It makes them feel good about themselves, plus a woman that can add oil is hot. If you're a man... well, your father failed you. Expect some ball busting. This is a male ritual, just accept it. If you're particularly hamfisted or the place to put oil is awkwardly located, a funnel can be useful. Don't take the one from your mother's kitchen. She will not appreciate this. A paper cup works in a pinch and beats pouring oil all over your driveway. Add the oil, replace the cap. If you're particularly cautious, wait about five minutes for the oil to drain down into the pan and recheck the oil on the dipstick as explained above.

06-14-2013, 01:59 PM
 865 posts, read 1,442,566 times Reputation: 942
Quote:
 Originally Posted by css9450 I would tend to agree, however the reality is some cars do tend to use some oil. Talk to almost any VW driver, for example. Some use a quart in less than a thousand miles, and the dealers insist its normal.
My parents had a 2008 wrangler with the 3.8 V6. They were assembled wrong and known to have excessive consupmtion,. Chrysler says it's normal for them to burn 1 quart/750 miles.

Towards the end (They ended up trading it), it was a quart per 650 miles ... or if they went on the highway to where I live, it would be about 500 miles a quart.

Chrysler would NOT warranty it.

My 2011 Focus consumes 1/2 quart in 5000 miles (very reasonable, IMO) and my 2000 Cherokee is at about the same (however, that weeps from the RMS and oil filter housing). The focus calls for 4.5 quarts but if I put in all 5 it will read at the top of SAFE (not over full) so I'm more than safe without adding.

06-14-2013, 03:43 PM
 Location: Pittsburgh N. Hills / Houston-Clear Lake 8,156 posts, read 26,384,934 times Reputation: 4394
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Miller88 The focus calls for 4.5 quarts but if I put in all 5 it will read at the top of SAFE (not over full) so I'm more than safe without adding.
Anymore than 4.5 and you stand the chance at ruining the seals. Put 4.5 qts in there at the next oil change, let it sit overnight on a flat surface and go out there to check the level first thing in the morning. You'll likely see it reads properly. That's how most Fords have been for the past 15 years.

06-14-2013, 03:56 PM
 2,341 posts, read 8,664,397 times Reputation: 2040
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tstone Anymore than 4.5 and you stand the chance at ruining the seals. Put 4.5 qts in there at the next oil change, let it sit overnight on a flat surface and go out there to check the level first thing in the morning. You'll likely see it reads properly. That's how most Fords have been for the past 15 years.
It's by no-means ideal to overfill the oil pan. But most (all?) engines are designed with a little tolerance for overfilling. Half-quart isn't going to be a problem. 2-3 quarts extra probably would be.

06-14-2013, 04:30 PM
 6,368 posts, read 13,315,925 times Reputation: 5858
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tstone Anymore than 4.5 and you stand the chance at ruining the seals. Put 4.5 qts in there at the next oil change, let it sit overnight on a flat surface and go out there to check the level first thing in the morning. You'll likely see it reads properly. That's how most Fords have been for the past 15 years.
The biggest problem from overfilling is aeration but it would take way more than a half-quart to cause any trouble. If the oil level is high enough, the crankshaft may be submerged and it can whip the oil into a pan full of bubbles. The oil pump ends up trying to push air instead of oil. Not good for any engine. One of the purposes of a windage tray is to control aeration.

And it may be bad for the seals too.

06-14-2013, 05:56 PM
 774 posts, read 1,978,203 times Reputation: 729
Quote:
 Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr Sigh. Guys, those of you that are saying that losing 1 qt in 5k miles is not normal, are simply wrong. None of you must do your own oil changes, on a variety of cars. http://www.le-international.com/uplo...onsumption.pdf High oil consumption on new cars not unusual Motor Oil Consumption in Honda Engines Bottom line... Losing 1 qt in 5k miles is perfectly normal. Stop saying otherwise.

Did you read the links you posted... 2 of the three told you that it not uncommon but there is a problem with the engine that is causing the consumption.

Having worked at a dealer I can tell you first hand that the verbiage in the owners manuals about "normal" consumption is there for one reason and that is to cover the azz of the manufacturer. At 51K miles miles you should not be using a qt of oil. My 160K Tacoma doesn't use any between oil changes at 5K miles. My old mans Supra with 260K on it doesn't use any between oil changes. He!!, my 40 yr old Monte doesn't use any between old changes and its got the original big block with 106K on the clock...

The only time I have every seen that kind of usage was when something was wrong.. I said it before, i'll say it again.. It might be as simple as a PVC valve that is causing excessive pressure in the block and pushing oil past the rings. This is common.... Or the problem might be more serious like rings frozen to the pistons or a nick in the oil ring.

Some how some way the oil is getting into the cylinders where it's being burned. This is not how a properly functioning motor operates....
 Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over \$68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned. Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.