We all know the main purpose of oil is to lubricate the components of an engine, so they can keep running smoothly. There is a certain level of oil consumption in which an engine will have under normal conditions. For modern engines, they will consume roughly under 0.50 quarts of oil within 5,000 miles of driving. This is not a lot of oil and most car engines will get along just fine with this much. But there are still things that can happen to change this oil demand by making the engine demand more oil. If you don’t supply the engine with enough oil or at least fix the problem that is causing it to demand more oil, then you could end up damaging your engine. That is the last thing that you’ll want to happen.
The Top 5 causes of Excessive Engine Oil Consumption
Below are the top 5 causes of excessive engine oil consumption.
- Worn Seals or Gaskets – If your vehicle has worn out or damaged crankshaft seals or valve cover gaskets, then it will be leaking oil. Once that happens, your engine will be losing oil which means it will need to consume an excessive amount just to satisfy its
- Bad Quality Oil – If you use the wrong type of oil in your engine, or your oil has accumulated a lot of debris and dirt, then it will start to burn. More importantly, the oil won’t be able to adequately lubricate the components of the engine because it’s not fresh clean oil. This will force the engine to consume more oil in order to get the lubrication that it needs.
- Worn Piston Rings – If you have worn out or damaged piston rings, oil will be able to get through them and then enter the internal combustion chamber. This will cause the oil to burn while carbon deposits form on the piston rings and cylinders. Worst of all, the engine will try to consume more oil to make up for the lost oil from the leak.
- High Oil Pressure – When there is high oil pressure, oil will flood through the engine in excessive amounts. This oil will likely fall on the cylinders and get burnt up. This high oil pressure could be due to a faulty setting on the vehicle’s central computer.
- Old Engine – The first five years of your engine’s life will be the best years. These are the years when the engine will need the least amount of oil because its components are still new and strong. But after you’ve put enough miles on your engine, the components will start to become stagnant and will require more lubrication just to keep moving smoothly. This means the engine will need more oil. So, if you have an older engine, you can expect this to be the reason for its high oil consumption.
How to Fix
Most of these causes are fixable and preventable if you simply pay attention to the oil that you’re using and all the components that work with it. If you have an old engine, then you should seriously consider just selling your vehicle for a brand new one that has a new engine in it. There is no sense in spending thousands of dollars just to replace the engine of an old vehicle, since there are so many other components that could still go wrong too. As for the rest of the causes, just remember to use top quality oil that is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Fix any oil leaks as soon as you notice them and replace your piston rings and valve stem seals when necessary. If you follow this advice, you should be in good shape with your engine’s oil consumption.