Why Is My Car Burning Oil? (Symptoms and Solutions)

Having a car that burns a lot of oil can be hard on the wallet and car performance level. In general, a vehicle will burn oil fast when underlying problems with the engine exist. Anything that wears down the engine will cause oil problems. We will dive deeper into specifics in this article.

Why Is My Car Burning Oil So Fast?

There are a few reasons why a car might burn oil quickly. One possibility is that the engine does not have proper lubrication. Unfortunately, poor lubrication can cause excessive wear and tear.

Engine compression can lead to oil seepage. The piston rings fit tightly and compress the oil as the engine works, so imperfections in the rings can allow oil to escape and burn faster than normal.

The type of fuel you are using can also play a role. Cars that run on gasoline burn more oil than ones running on diesel fuel. Any malfunctions with the car’s valve can also lead to oil burning.

Car Losing Oil But No Leak or Smoke

There are a few reasons why your car will lose oil but not show obvious signs.

PCV Valve Issue

If there is no leak and the car is not smoking, the issue might be with the PCV valve. The PCV valve helps remove gasses from the engine and recycle them back in. If this valve is not working correctly, it can allow oil to escape.

Replacing the PCV valve should take care of the problem.

Piston Rings

The fit of the piston rings is vital because they need to compress the oil as the engine works. If the rings don’t fit well, they will not do their job properly. Poor piston ring fit results in the engine burning oil.

The compression of the piston rings is also necessary because it helps keep the oil where it needs to be. If the compression is too high, it can force the oil out and lead to oil seepage. Oil is not able to lubricate the engine, leading to other problems.

Head Gasket

The head gasket is a seal that helps keep the oil and coolant in the engine. If it starts to leak, it can allow oil to escape and burn.

One way to test for a head gasket leak is to check the oil level. If it is low, there is a good chance that the head gasket is leaking. Another sign of a head gasket leak is coolant in the oil.

Replacing the head gasket should take care of the problem.

Poor Engine Lubrication

When the engine is not lubricated well, this causes excessive wear and tear.

There are a few things that can cause poor engine lubrication:

  • Using the wrong type of oil
  • Low oil level
  • Dirty oil
  • Old oil

Using Regular Gas Instead of Diesel

The type of fuel you are using can also play a role in burning oil. Cars that run on gasoline burn more oil than those on diesel fuel.

Is My Car Burning Oil or Leaking?

When your car leaks oil versus burning oil, the signs can be a little different.

If your car is leaking oil, you will likely see a puddle under the car. The oil might also be coming out of the exhaust pipe. Leaking oil is more dangerous because it can cause the vehicle to lose power or even catch on fire.

If your car is burning oil, you will likely see a cloud of blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe.

Car Burning Oil Symptoms

Keep an eye out for these issues because they likely indicate that your car needs maintenance.

Exhaust Pipe Smoke

If there is a cloud of blue smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, it’s a pretty good indication that the car is burning oil. This smoke is usually black. This smoke will get worse as the car runs.

Poor Driving Performance

You might also see a drop in performance. Don’t be surprised if the car starts to vibrate more.

Low Oil Level

If the oil level is low, it can cause the engine to overheat. A lack of oil stops the engine from staying cool.

The Smell of Burning Oil

Another indication that the car is burning oil is the smell. The smell of burning oil will become stronger as the car runs.

Oil Seepage

If there is oil seepage, the oil is escaping the engine fast.

How Do You Fix a Car That Burns Oil?

 Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do if your car is burning oil.

Tools and Equipment Needed

To fix this problem, you will need a socket set, screwdriver, wrench, oil pan, rags, and funnel.

Step 1: Check the Oil Level

The first thing you should do is check the oil level. Remove the oil cap and check the level on the dipstick. If the oil level is low, add more oil.

Step 2: Clean the Oil Filter

Remove the filter and spray it with a degreaser. You can also use a wire brush to clean it off.

Step 3: Add New Oil

After cleaning the oil filter, it’s time to add new oil. You can do this by pouring the oil into the engine using a funnel. Be sure to check the level on the dipstick to make sure you added enough oil.

Step 4: Start the Engine

The final step is to start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. Be sure to check the exhaust pipe for smoke to make sure the car is no longer burning oil.

If there is still smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, it means that you need to take the car to a mechanic for further repairs.

What Do You Do if the Problem Persists?

If the problem persists, it means that you need to take the car to a mechanic for further repairs. The mechanic will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Is It Bad to Drive a Car That Burns Oil?

No, it’s not bad to drive a car that burns oil. However, you will need to top off the oil levels more. Don’t drive it during an oil leak though.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car That Burns Oil?

You will see various prices to fix this issue. It typically costs about $600 to fix a car that burns oil. This will depend on the severity of the problem.

Best Engine Oil Additives/Products to Stop Burning Oil

Try the following products when you are dealing with a car that burns oil:

  1. Lucas Oil: Great for oil and engine extension
  2. Bardahl 2117 No Smoke + Stop Leak: Stops oil leaks and burning
  3. Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal Engine Oil Burning and Leak Repair: For work on gasoline and diesel engines
  4. Restore 8-Cylinder Formula Engine Restorer & Lubricant: Helps restore engine power, oil consumption, and horsepower

FAQs

Here are some quick answers to other questions you may have about your vehicle.

Will a car burning oil pass emissions?

It’s possible that a car burning oil will pass emissions, but it’s not guaranteed. The results depend on the state you are in.

What color is the smoke when a car is burning oil?

The smoke can be any color, but it is usually black or blue.

Should I get rid of my car if it’s burning oil?

It is not necessary to get rid of your car if it’s burning oil. You can take it to a mechanic to have the problem fixed.

How long can you drive a car that’s burning oil?

You can drive a car that’s burning oil, but you should stop once the oil light comes on. You should also add more oil to the car. The average time you can drive a car with little to no oil is about 15 minutes.

Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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