Burning oil

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  #1  
Old 10-11-07, 06:00 PM
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Burning oil

My GF has a '96 Contour. She's starting to lose a lot of oil. We haven't noticed any leaks. Eventhough I haven't noticed smokey exhaust, I'm guessing that if it's not leaking, it's burning. Sound right? If so, what are all the possible causes? I'd rather nip it in the bud now, if possible, before it gets worse.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-12-07, 04:28 AM
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Things to check

First I would check the positive crankcase ventelation system (pcv valve) You might have too much pressure causing oil past the seals.
Next how many miles? Engine might be worn and rings might be shot. Do a compression check.
Also make sure you are using the correct oil and a good quality oil.
 
  #3  
Old 10-12-07, 05:14 AM
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whats alot of oil? would probably check it for leaks by giving it a good look over from underneath.
rings or valve guides or guide seals can cause oil consuption and cause the engine to burn oil would suspect compression is fine and a compression check really doesnt tell you what condition the oil control rings are in. it might be time to trade it off as repairs to rebuild or replace engine could cost more than what the cars worth.
 
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Old 10-12-07, 05:52 AM
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I agree with bejay, an oil burning engine on an 11-12 year old car isn't worth the cost of repair/replacement. Time to shop for a new car.
 
  #5  
Old 10-12-07, 09:30 AM
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How much oil?

Exactly how much oil is it using? How many miles do you go on a quart of oil? I have talked to people who think it isn't normal for a car to use any oil between oil changes and that of course is unreasonable, most engines will consume some oil and that does not indicate there is a problem.
 
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Old 10-12-07, 10:58 AM
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I've got 240,000 miles on my '99 Contour, and the oil level stays at "full" on the dipstick throughout the 3,000 mile oil change intervals. Like mentioned earlier, check the PCV valve, as its often overlooked. I think my owners manual recommended changing the PCV valve at 100,000 mile intervals.
 
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Old 10-12-07, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachboy View Post
I've got 240,000 miles on my '99 Contour, and the oil level stays at "full" on the dipstick throughout the 3,000 mile oil change intervals. Like mentioned earlier, check the PCV valve, as its often overlooked. I think my owners manual recommended changing the PCV valve at 100,000 mile intervals.
That's nice about your car but you leave the impression that an engine shouldn't burn any oil and that is not real world.
 
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Old 10-12-07, 03:43 PM
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wait and see

Lets wait and see if the poster gets back with us and tells us more. Like how many miles, how much oil, and if oil was only changed every 30 thousand miles at best.
I agree some cars burn 1 qt every oil change and that is normal to some. I have never had a car use any oil between oil changes except 1 a 1977 Datsun with over 200 thousand hard miles.
The oil might be going back into the intake because of exessive crankcase pressure.
I have seen a Ford escort with that problem, The air filter was soaked with oil the PVC could not keep up. When the oil filler cap was removed you could really tell with large quanities of blowby coming out.
 
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Old 10-12-07, 04:10 PM
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Oil Consumption

Of course I am only speaking of my involvement with hundreds and hundreds of engines run on test cycles and in real world tests such as major city cab fleets! Some engines are very miserly with oil useage and some regularly use 1 qt in 2000 miles even though the engine was blueprinted when it was built and tear down showed no out of specification areas. Engines that are worked hard usually use more oil than one that is driven in light duty.
 
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Old 10-15-07, 03:07 PM
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OK, sorry it's been a while since I've gotten back to you guys. I kind of got side tracked into designing and building an alarm for my garage. It's something that I've planned to do for a while since I use it as a workshop and keep a lot of expensive tools in there. The urgency of this project was brought to my attention when some goof tried to steal my grill last week. I had a little suprise in store for him though. He could not see this because the grill had a cover on, but it was chained to an eyebolt that I had anchored into the concrete. When he tried to yank it free of whatever it was catching on, the grill fell over. It had quite a bit of weight to it and must've scared the hell out of him when it came crashing down. He took off without even taking the spare propane tank that I neglected to lock up. Ha ha! I'm just waiting for someone to try to get into the garage now. If the grill falling over was enough to send someone running, just imagine what spot lights flashing both inside and surronding the garage along with a couple of car horns going off will do! Sorry, that was a little off topic, but I think it's a funny story.

Anyways, my GF bought the car used so I'm not sure what kind of maintenence it underwent throughout the years. I believe she got it at around 80,000 miles and it is now around 100,000. I first noticed that she was low on oil when I checked it about a month and a half ago. She was a couple of quarts low. I topped it off at that point. # weeks later, she took it in for an oil change and they told her it was really low. It had to have lost at least 2 quarts of oil in less than 1,000 miles. A good chunk of that was highway miles and I know she's an easy going driver. I'll admit that I haven't visually inspected the car for leaks yet, but we've never seen any oil spots where she parks.

If it could be something simple, like the PCV valve, then I'll replace it. My fear was that it was the seals, in which case I'd tell her to keep checking her oil level and just drive it into the ground. Although I doubt she will check the oil and it'd go real fast. Let me know what other simple solutions I can try first.

Also the guys at Scrub-A-Dub told her that it could be her fuel filter. I don't know exactly what effect a gummed up filter has on an engine, but I imagine that it's more of a feul economy effect and they're trying to scam her. They tried the same thing a year ago when she took my car in for an oil change. They told her that my fuel filter needed to be replaced and that dirt could get into the engine and seize it up if she didn't. You should've seen the look on the guy's face when I went back there with her, explained to the guy that I had just changed the fuel filter less than a year ago, and asked him to explain how a clogged fuel filter would allow dirt to get into the engine. Unfortunately I was never able to get ahold of a manager at that location and got no response to my online complaint. This leads me to believe that it's a common practice with them. Quite frankly, I'm kind of upset that my GF still goes there.
 
  #11  
Old 10-16-07, 03:22 PM
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Are you getting oil in the air filter box? PCV needs changing.
2 quarts of oil has to go somewhere.
What type of oil do you use? 10w30 for warmer climate needed.
I use Mobil 1 in my Contour. Runs great.
 
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Old 10-17-07, 01:08 AM
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Last time I topped it off I used 10w30. I think Scrub-a-dub uses the same during the warmer months. There's no oil in the air filter. Are you saying that's what happens with the PCV goes?
 
  #13  
Old 10-17-07, 01:53 AM
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PCV valve

The PCV valve is a one way check valve that sucks crankcase air thru the valve cover back into the intake were it gets sucked back into the engine intake. If your engine is worn out and oil is going past the rings it gets sucked also.
Oil in the air filter with a working PCV valve is a good sign of a tired engine with exsessive blow by.
With Engine running remove valve and put finger over hole it should suck, also take it out and shake it ,it will click as valve opens and closes. Also make sure the tube it hooks to and rubber grommet are not cracked.
You can also remove the cap were you put in the oil and with engine running feel for air with the palm of your hand.
A little air pressure coming out is ok but if you feel and hear a lot I would be concerned.
 
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