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Why Is My Car Burning Too Much Oil? Six Potential Culprits

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If your car is burning too much oil, then you're dealing with one of the following six culprits:

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  1. Issues with the seals and gaskets wear and tear
  2. Problems with the oil quality
  3. Troubles with the piston rings
  4. Problems related to the high oil pressure
  5. Very old engine
  6. Troubles with using synthetic oil

Your engine requires oil to lubricate the internal moving components and prevent friction. If there is not enough oil in your engine, you can easily deal with engine overheating that leads to engine self-destruction.

Maintaining the right quality and quantity of oil is extremely important, but monitoring how much oil your engine consumes as it runs is more important. Typically, most modern vehicles consume about half a gallon every 5,000 miles. Older engines used to consume more oil due to their design.

In some instances, you might realize that your engine is consuming too much oil than it should. When that happens, you must sit back and ask yourself, “why is my car burning too much oil?” Determining the culprits helps prevent future problems that might be more complicated and could be more expensive to repair.

This article highlights six potential culprits for vehicles consuming too much oil. Therefore, the next time you're dealing with excessive oil consumption, you should have a narrow list to focus on and determine where to focus your efforts.

synthetic versus conventional oil

Why is my car burning too much oil?

When your vehicle consumes too much oil, and if you notice that you need to top off the oil between now and then more frequent than before, then you're dealing with one of the following culprits in most scenarios:

1.    Issues with the seals and gaskets wear and tear

The first and most common reason for consuming too much oil is when you have bad seals or gaskets.

Your vehicle engine is designed in a secure way to prevent any fluids from leaking outside the engine compartment or the designated pathways. However, any minor leak around the engine compartments allows fluids to escape their designated paths and cause some problems.

As you might already know, your engine requires a specific amount of oil, and if this amount is reduced, the oil will not be able to lubricate the engine and prevent overheating. Therefore, you'll notice all sorts of engine overheating symptoms that will cause engine damage is in no time.

Therefore, you must check with your mechanic and have him thoroughly inspect the gaskets and the seals to confirm none of them is broken or damaged.

If the mechanic confirms some gaskets damages, you need to replace the worn-out components as soon as possible. Otherwise, problems can be more complicated and might lead to more negative consequences that you're not ready for.

2.    Problems with the oil quality

Trying to save on oil changes is never a good idea if you decide to go with lower quality oil. Your manufacturer requires a specific level of oil quality, and if you went with something lower quality, you would deal with engine problems that are more expensive to repair than choosing the right type of oil.

This also goes to forgetting about oil changes for a long time. As oil gets older, it breaks down and collects a lot of debris and contaminants, which could cause issues to the overall engine pressure and performance.

That's why your engine will try consuming more oil and will burn more oil than what it's expected because of all these foreign objects within the oil pathways.

3.    Troubles with the piston rings

Another potential culprit for overconsuming oil is when you have that December ring. When the piston ring is bad or cracked, it allows oil to escape and get inside the cylinders. Once the oil reaches the cylinders and considering the extreme conditions, it will get burned fast.

Then, you'll notice that there are other symptoms like smokes coming out of the exhaust by more than usual, and you will see that the oil level is dropping significantly. This will be clear in the form of low oil pressure on the dashboard.

Unfortunately, dealing with low oil pressure because of a bad piston ring is critical. You have to take care of it immediately if you don't want to damage the entire engine and need no engine replacement.

synthetic versus conventional oil

4.    Problems related to the high oil pressure

While it's important to maintain the minimum oil level in your engine, you also don't want to exceed the maximum. Therefore, your vehicle is designed precisely, allowing it only to accept a certain oil pressure range.

There are many reasons for the oil pressure to go more than the maximum limit. For example, if the oil is very old and contains a lot of contaminants or degrees, it will have more pressure, and this will cause damage to these seals and the weak parts within your engine. Similarly, if you talk of your engine with too much oil, this will also cause increasing the oil pressure significantly and lead to many consequences.

One of the most challenging consequences your vehicle might be like when having too much oil pressure is over-consuming oil. This system will push too much oil to the cylinders, and this oil will get burned more than it should, causing additional consequences.

5.    Very old engine

If you know that your vehicle's engine is very old, it's not surprising to deal with overconsuming oil. Or move experts mentioned that the first five years of the age of the engine are the best because all components are in good shape, and there won't be any signs of tear and wear throughout the engine compartment.

As the engine gets older, many internal components will wear out, leading to either having oil escaping outside of the engine or getting inside the cylinders and getting hurt burnt inside the cylinders.

Therefore, you might want to check with your mechanic about your options if your engine is very old and that's what's causing consuming too much oil. Unfortunately, there's no one solution for this, and you don't want to replace the engine if it's still serving you. However, there are some recommendations like using a better type of engine oil designated for high mileage vehicles, which prevents oil from leaking for getting burned too much.

6.    Troubles with using synthetic oil

Synthetic oil is one of the highest quality motor oils you will see in the old world of older water. However, if you use this synthetic oil in the wrong engine, you can easily deal with significant consequences that will cost you the entire engine in some scenarios.

When you use thetic oil in an old engine, the oil will be very strong, and it will clean all deposits, And carbon build-offs inside the engine. However, if the engine seals are very weak, synthetic oil will treat the seals as foreign objects, and it will cause cracks or damages within these seals leading to oil leaks and other problems that might involve consuming and burning too much oil.

How to Prevent Common Oil Change Complications

How to fix excessive oil consumption?

While the previous list helps you determine what could be wrong causing overconsumption of oil, it is essential for you to take action and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

To fix oil consumption problems, you need to do the following:

1.    Choose your vehicle's oil properly

If you're lucky enough, your oil consumption problem could be related to choosing the wrong oil type. In that case, all you have to do is refer back to your vehicle's owner’s manual and check what type of oil the engine requires.

Once you confirm the engine oil type, you can buy it to see if your engine's performance is doing any different or not.

Sometimes, even if your engine doesn't require it's if you're driving an older car, considering high mileage oil might be a great option, especially if you're driving a very old car. However, we still recommend that you consult with your mechanic to confirm that your vehicle is compatible with this type of oil.

2.    Replace the faulty components

If you confirm that a specific part in your vehicle is causing this issue, you'll have to consult your mechanic and replace it. Some people might go with used parts, but that's not an ultimate solution because it doesn't guarantee that you're not going to deal with overconsumption of oil down the road.

3.    Consult your manufacturer

Sometimes the manufacturer might have issues in the way the vehicle was designed in the first place. You must check with the manufacturer for any recalls for certain vehicles brands.

This is typically applicable for modern cars. For example, if you just bought your car for a couple of months and noticed that it's consuming too much oil, that could be related to a manufacturing issue where you must check on the brand recalls.

The manufacturer will take care of all these repairs and fix the problem for free in most areas. However, you'll have to make sure that you track their calls and go immediately to the designated dealerships to have your vehicle fixed.

4.    Sell your car

Sometimes oil consumption problems might be related to significant engine issues that could require a lot of money. For example, you might need to get to a point where you must replace the entire engine. Then, you'll either have options for buying a used engine, rebuilding your engine, or buying a brand-new engine.

In all scenarios, repair costs will be very high, and that's why automotive experts recommend evaluating the situation and comparing repair costs to your vehicle's overall value.

For example, if you realize that repair costs are approaching 75% for more from your vehicle's value, you have to decide about selling your car instead of wasting your time, energy, and money.

Do You Need to Change Your Oil Every 3000 Miles

Why is my car burning too much oil: Final thoughts

Motor oil is one of the most critical fluids in any vehicle, and you have to maintain it at the right quantity and quality over time. However, while it is critical for you to maintain oil, sometimes your vehicle might have certain problems consuming too much oil than the typical range.

This article highlighted the six most common culprits to help you answer the question, “why is my car burning too much oil?” You must take this issue seriously and resolve the faulty culprits immediately to prevent consequences that will cost you a lot of money.

Keep in mind that problems related to oil consumption might be severe and might require a lot of money beyond what you can afford. Therefore, it's never too late to evaluate whether it's the right time to sell your car and buy a better one.

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