Excessive Oil Consumption


Rick Norwood
08-13-2006, 12:41 PM
I have a 2001 S-10 4.3L 4x4 4-Door with 83,000 original miles. For the past 8 months or so, I have noticed excessive oil consumption. I believe I read some where that 1 quart of oil every 3 months or so is "Normal" for these engines. But I'm adding 1 quart per month. It is not leaking, nor do I see any clouds of bluish-white smoke.

I use Castroil 5W-30 in this truck. I suspect the usual things like Valve guide seals.

I added some stuff called Lucas Oil Stabilizer, but then did a search on this forum to find out that this stuff has caused engine failures, but the one oil change that I did use it, it did seem to cut down on the consumption. But I am a little leary about continuing to use it because of the bad reviews.

Has anyone had similar experiences? Would synthetic be better? I know going to a little thicker oil (Maybe 10W-40) would probably help, but I'd like a little guidance.

Throw me a rope here, you guys are the best.

Thanks - Rick

old_master
08-13-2006, 09:39 PM
How many miles would one month encompass for you? And as for the Lucas; there once was a time when the auto parts stores couldn't keep it on the shelf. As of recent though, there have been several independent laboratory studies and the results have not been the greatest. As for me... Mobil One full synthetic and a Purolator Pure One filter every 4,000 miles. With 140,000 miles on a 98 Blazer, I drain out 4.5 quarts at every oil change. I'm happy with those results... why change?

Rick Norwood
08-14-2006, 09:28 AM
How many miles would one month encompass for you? And as for the Lucas; there once was a time when the auto parts stores couldn't keep it on the shelf. As of recent though, there have been several independent laboratory studies and the results have not been the greatest. As for me... Mobil One full synthetic and a Purolator Pure One filter every 4,000 miles. With 140,000 miles on a 98 Blazer, I drain out 4.5 quarts at every oil change. I'm happy with those results... why change?

As a rough Guesstimate, 1 month is approx. 1000 miles. This is actually my Daughter's truck so I'll try to get a better idea on the milage.

I read on this Forum that you should not use Synthetic oil if you have a leak, but I wasn't sure if the engine is burning it. You said you use Mobil 1, would you suggest I use the 5W-30 or the 10W-30? Does it come in 10W-40? I use the Mobil 1 5W-30 in my 2000 Jimmy 4.3L, and I like it. I do not have a problem in the Jimmy, as I also drain 4.5 quarts at oil change.

I guess my big question is would be, would synthetic oil be better in an excessive oil consuption issue?

I am too afraid to use the Lucas additive. There are too many bad posts on this Forum about burning up engines. There is a good link somewhere in one of those posts that shows how the stuff works. But as you said, in the end, it appeared to be a Fad that was disproven.

muddog321
08-14-2006, 11:26 AM
Use the high mileage 5w-30 that has the additives to keep the oil seals working better and the 5w for startup lube as GM states. My daughters 98 has 155k now and uses/burns about a qt every 2000 miles - good would be 1 qt per 3000 on older motors. After I replaced the oil cooler line leaks are mostly gone - only a few minor drips. If you go syn you will run low before changes and its a chore to get them to check it!

Cloud Strife
08-14-2006, 03:44 PM
This may be a time to try AutoRX. Do a search on the item here and view the testimonials. I myself got a leak stopped after using the stuff as well as other things.

It is just a thought because it may fix your burning oil problems.

Rick Norwood
08-14-2006, 05:00 PM
Not quite sure about ANY oil additives. I am not saying they work or they don't. I'd simply like some information.

I do know there are many different brands out there, some are good I'm sure, and some aren't.

I've seen the testimonials about AutoRX, but as you said, I don't know what it would or wouldn't do for an oil consumption problem.

BlazerLT
08-14-2006, 10:08 PM
I have a 2001 S-10 4.3L 4x4 4-Door with 83,000 original miles. For the past 8 months or so, I have noticed excessive oil consumption. I believe I read some where that 1 quart of oil every 3 months or so is "Normal" for these engines. But I'm adding 1 quart per month. It is not leaking, nor do I see any clouds of bluish-white smoke.

I use Castroil 5W-30 in this truck. I suspect the usual things like Valve guide seals.

I added some stuff called Lucas Oil Stabilizer, but then did a search on this forum to find out that this stuff has caused engine failures, but the one oil change that I did use it, it did seem to cut down on the consumption. But I am a little leary about continuing to use it because of the bad reviews.

Has anyone had similar experiences? Would synthetic be better? I know going to a little thicker oil (Maybe 10W-40) would probably help, but I'd like a little guidance.

Throw me a rope here, you guys are the best.

Thanks - Rick

1.) Replace your PCV valve.

2.) Search for PCV catchcan in this forum. I wrote an article on it. Works awesome.

3.) Add only 5.0quarts when you change the filter and the oil, DO NOT FILL TO THE TOP OF THE DIPSTICK AND GO OVER 5.0 QUARTS. The engine might be just trying to get the excessive oil out of the system.

tylernt
08-15-2006, 12:11 AM
I guess my big question is would be, would synthetic oil be better in an excessive oil consuption issue?I know nothing about these engines but I do know that my VW Fox burned a quart a month of dino 10W30. Switched to 5W40 synthetic and now I burn maybe half a quart between oil changes. Big difference, though how much of that is viscosity and how much is synthetic, I don't know. Far safer than snake oil additives, though! ;)

Rick Norwood
08-15-2006, 01:31 AM
1.) Replace your PCV valve.

2.) Search for PCV catchcan in this forum. I wrote an article on it. Works awesome.

3.) Add only 5.0quarts when you change the filter and the oil, DO NOT FILL TO THE TOP OF THE DIPSTICK AND GO OVER 5.0 QUARTS. The engine might be just trying to get the excessive oil out of the system.

BLT, Thanks for the reply. I did replace the PCV Strangely enough around the time I started noticing this problem. I found your thread on the catch can, and read the whole thing, (not a bad read either! Pretty darn ingenious too.) I never add more than 5.0 quarts at oil change.

One of the things that I don't quite understand (from your thread) is why the Catch-can collects so much at first then slows down or stops collecting gunk.

If I may taylor this to my own specific need, My problem (consuming approx. 1 qt to 1 1/2 qts. every 1000 miles) is trying to keep the oil in the crankcase. This is my daughter's Truck, and I get to do the Maintenance. Wouldn't one of those PCV valves with the smaller hole tend to keep the oil in the crankcase? Any info on those PCV valves? Do they adversely affect anything? I can appreciate the Catch-can keeping the oil from burning in the engine, but I'm trying to keep it in the engine, meaning if it is getting past the PCV valve, it is too late.

I've got a hard time believing that I'm loosing that much oil through the PCV valve. As I stated earlier in this thread, the driveway is clean (no leaks) and no bluish/white clouds. I realize, or at least I think that I might have some beginnings of a major issue with this engine and that I'm just buying time.

Your thoughts?

Thanks - Rick

BlazerLT
08-15-2006, 02:54 AM
Hmmm.....

Thats more than average oil being consumed.

No blue smoke rules out the valve seals.

What oil filter do you use?

Rick Norwood
08-15-2006, 09:26 AM
Hmmm.....

Thats more than average oil being consumed.

No blue smoke rules out the valve seals.

What oil filter do you use?

I use the A/C-Delco PF52 filter without exception every time.

Also, just to clarify a point. I need to get out there at night with a bright flash light and look for Bluish white smoke . But I don't want to be misleading and say there is none, what I am trying to say is, for as much oil that I seem to be loosing, I should be driving in a freeking bluish/white cloud visible from a 1/2 mile away at high noon. But this is not the case.

I had another thought (last night while this thing kept me awake). This I will have to check this evening when I get home from work (and try to corral the kid for 20 minutes) is there any difference between the PCV valve on the driver's side valve cover and the Intake valve that is on the passenger's side valve cover? There simply has to be. The PCV valve is a pressure relief valve, right? When I changed the PCV valve approx. 6-7 months ago, I noticed the 2 parts do look alike. If a PCV valve were installed where the intake valve is supposed to be, wouldn't there be a drastic reduction of fresh air causing the PCV valve to suck out only the blow by air etc. and possibly more than average oil too? I think I'm thinking right, right? It at least bears a look.

Rick Norwood
08-15-2006, 09:30 AM
I know nothing about these engines but I do know that my VW Fox burned a quart a month of dino 10W30. Switched to 5W40 synthetic and now I burn maybe half a quart between oil changes. Big difference, though how much of that is viscosity and how much is synthetic, I don't know. Far safer than snake oil additives, though! ;)

Not a real big fan of snake oil either. I was thinking along the lines of a thicker oil at first and may go that route. I haven't seen any 5W-40 in the stores but haven't looked for it either. I will look next time I go.

BlazerLT
08-15-2006, 12:19 PM
Not a real big fan of snake oil either. I was thinking along the lines of a thicker oil at first and may go that route. I haven't seen any 5W-40 in the stores but haven't looked for it either. I will look next time I go.

Not everything is snake oil so make sure you take a look around before you believe something doesn't work.

There is only one PCV valve and that is in the driver's side valve cover.

The other side should not have a pcv valve in it and if it does, it is not supposed to be there.

Rick Norwood
08-15-2006, 01:37 PM
Not everything is snake oil so make sure you take a look around before you believe something doesn't work.

There is only one PCV valve and that is in the driver's side valve cover.

The other side should not have a pcv valve in it and if it does, it is not supposed to be there.

Point taken. I was told to look for a product call Seal Swell. Ever hear of it?

BlazerLT
08-15-2006, 01:44 PM
don't start listening to people that don't have a friggin clue about oils and their additives.

This is not something that will be solved with unknown products.

Rick Norwood
08-16-2006, 09:34 AM
Not everything is snake oil so make sure you take a look around before you believe something doesn't work.

don't start listening to people that don't have a friggin clue about oils and their additives.

This is not something that will be solved with unknown products.

O.K. I'm listening. What is your recommendation?

I changed my PCV valve 6-8 months ago, and even though I like the idea of the catch can, I don't think it will help me in this case.

Here are my specific questions to stop or slow my oil consumption:
Dino vs synthetic?
What weight, 10W-40, 5W-40?
If there is any specific brand name additive that you recommend, please tell me what it is.

tylernt
08-16-2006, 10:09 AM
You probably don't really care what the number before the W is as long as it's 10 or lower. That number describes cold weather performance. 10 is good, 5 is better, 0 is best. Most engines that need 10W will also run on 5W or 0W without damage.

The number after the W is how thick the oil is when hot. 30 is thinner, 40 is thicker, 50 is probably too thick (for most watercooled car engines, you see it more in aircooleds).

I'm oversimplifiying but that's the general gist.

Mobil 1 is full-synthetic, many others are only partially synth. I use Mobil 1 in my VWs. It's expensive though.

534BC
08-16-2006, 01:08 PM
This is interesting post, using a quart in 1000 miles. If the underside and driveway is clean then it must be going out the pipe. If it is not smokling when idling a long time (high vac) then it is using it when vac is low and really should be all over the rear window?

I think that changing to snythetic is a waste of money in this case. Two tests I would do is allow the first quart to burn out and then monitor very closely. Change to a thicker oil and see if consumptiuon goes down.

One thing is for sure, it is using a lot.

Rick Norwood
08-16-2006, 03:09 PM
If the underside and driveway is clean then it must be going out the pipe. If it is not smokling when idling a long time (high vac) then it is using it when vac is low and really should be all over the rear window?

Strangely enough, the driveway, underside and back window are all clean, and it doesn't smoke.

I am at a bit of a loss as to where it is going. I bought this truck in Jan 2006, right after an oil change. I initially discovered this problem in April (approx. 3000 miles later) and it took 3 1/2 quarts to fill it back up to the full line on the dipstick.

tylernt
08-16-2006, 03:26 PM
Strangely enough, the driveway, underside and back window are all clean, and it doesn't smoke.

I am at a bit of a loss as to where it is going.Yep, my Fox did the same thing. You'd get a little blue smoke on startup if the car had been sitting for a while, indicating the intake valve seals were leaking, but driving the car I never saw any smoke. Even passed emissions tests! Yet I was losing about about as much oil as you are. I think part of the reason you don't see smoke is the catalytic convertor is eating it up. Eventually you will burn out your catalyst from excessive hydrocarbons, and then you will see the smoke *and* need an expen$ive new cat.

Rick Norwood
08-16-2006, 03:32 PM
Eventually you will burn out your catalyst from excessive hydrocarbons, and then you will see the smoke *and* need an expen$ive new cat.

Wonderful, just F@#$% Wonderful! :banghead:

BlazerLT
08-16-2006, 03:41 PM
Hold on, it will take years for that to happen.

Replace the PCV valve again with a good name brand part.

tylernt
08-16-2006, 03:44 PM
Well if it makes you feel any better, I went through about 12 qts of oil and while I did fail my last emissions test, leaning the mixture was all it needed to pass and I still have the same cat installed. So it's not dead yet. :cheers:

Rick Norwood
08-16-2006, 04:03 PM
Replace the PCV valve again with a good name brand part.

Will do. The one that is in the truck came from a GM Dealer, because I had to replace the broken plastic fitting on the intake manifold, and it came in the set, actually, it was cheaper to buy the entire assembly than it was to buy just the fitting. I got the PCV Valve, hose and fitting for $11.00 US. Apparently the plastic can't take the heat and breaks pretty easy.

534BC
08-17-2006, 09:42 AM
I can sure go along with the oil being burned, it must be going past oil rings and get burned while driving without any evidence. To get rid of a quart while driving really wouldn't be hard in a 1000 miles. An atmospheric crankcase would also be a good test.

Rick Norwood
08-17-2006, 09:52 AM
An atmospheric crankcase would also be a good test.

Please elaborate, I've never heard of this one.

534BC
08-17-2006, 10:08 AM
A crankcase without a ventilation system, no pcv. A lot of engines have just an atmospherice crankcase and whatever blow-by gets past the rings just gets released to atmosphere. Lots of old engines, industrial engines just have a diverter and a tube or "vent" to the air. It sometimes cauases some condensation and sludge to build up , but would make an interesting test (temporarily) for your setup to eliminate the pcv system, at least that would eliminate it from the equasion.

534BC
08-17-2006, 10:13 AM
Oh you just reminded me that revving engine with the oil cap off may show a lot of blow-by. I'd have to do a side by side comparion though with a known good one, a comp test and a leak down test may also help diagnose the rings set.

My way has always been to diagnose problems to be sure what to replace, it is not always cheaper . I see there are a lot of parts changers here and if enough parts are replaced the problem has a better chance of not showing up, but user doesn't learn anything that way. lol.

ps I think it is a "bad" engine and needs to be replaced, exagerrated for effect, but you get the picture.

billibong
08-17-2006, 10:19 AM
Rick - I noticed that when I switched over to a High Mileage oil (GTX High Mileage), i stopped losing as much oil. I was losing about 1 qt every 1500 miles or so (not too far off what you are describing), now I lose less than a half qt every 1000 miles.
I use the GTX High Mileage 5W 30, with the Pure One filter. It seems to be working for me, and might be worth a try.
bill

BlazerLT
08-17-2006, 11:08 AM
A crankcase without a ventilation system, no pcv. A lot of engines have just an atmospherice crankcase and whatever blow-by gets past the rings just gets released to atmosphere. Lots of old engines, industrial engines just have a diverter and a tube or "vent" to the air. It sometimes cauases some condensation and sludge to build up , but would make an interesting test (temporarily) for your setup to eliminate the pcv system, at least that would eliminate it from the equasion.

That will not work.

The vacuum used from the intake removes the blowby before it impregnates the oil.

No using the functioning PCV system will have the oil being diluted with fuel faster which will thin the oil out which again will have the oil burn off faster.

534BC
08-17-2006, 12:50 PM
Millions of engines are out running without any positive cranckase vent, they all work, besides this is just a test to see if the pcv is sucking oil.

BlazerLT
08-17-2006, 12:54 PM
First thing I would do is just monitor the oil drop to see if it will level out after a while.

This will show that possibly an overfilling is happening and the engine is just spitting out the excess which is getting kicked up by the crank.

Rick Norwood
08-17-2006, 02:17 PM
The oil consumption does not level out. The oil just keeps disappearing. As I stated in an earlier post, when I first discovered this problem, I had to add 3 1/2 quarts to bring it up to the full mark. I don't overfill the crank case, but even if I did, once enough of the oil was eliminated, wouldn't it stop disappearing?

BlazerLT
08-17-2006, 09:41 PM
The oil consumption does not level out. The oil just keeps disappearing. As I stated in an earlier post, when I first discovered this problem, I had to add 3 1/2 quarts to bring it up to the full mark. I don't overfill the crank case, but even if I did, once enough of the oil was eliminated, wouldn't it stop disappearing?

Hmmm........

When you change your oil completely and add 5.0qts, where does that leave you level wise on the dipstick?

Rick Norwood
08-17-2006, 10:20 PM
Hmmm........

When you change your oil completely and add 5.0qts, where does that leave you level wise on the dipstick?

Right to the top of the full mark, maybe slightly, slightly, slightly above it.

BlazerLT
08-17-2006, 10:23 PM
I would get an after market pcv valve and see if it improves.

Rick Norwood
08-17-2006, 10:58 PM
I would get an after market pcv valve and see if it improves.

O.K. Start the clock. The new PCV Valve is in. The milage is 83388.0, the oil and filter was changed on Sat. 8/12/06 and is right at full on the dipstick and today is 8/17/2006.

I'll keep you posted.

BlazerLT
08-18-2006, 12:38 AM
ok, keep us up to date.

Rick Norwood
10-07-2006, 01:00 AM
O.K. today is Oct 6th, the truck now has 85488 miles on it for a total of 2100 miles on it since I added oil. I just dumped 1 1/2 quarts of oil into it to bring it back up to full.

7 weeks, 2100 miles, 1 1/2 quarts of oil. Too much oil, I should be able to go at least twice the miles without adding any additional oil.

BlazerLT
10-07-2006, 01:36 AM
Ok, Rick, check the tube going to the passenger side and make sure it has no obstructions. Take it off and clean it out with brake cleaner to make sure it is clear.

1.) Are you leaking any at all?
2.) What exact oil are you using?
3.) Have you insspected your oil cooler lines for leaks? They might only leak while you are accelerating and thus you never see a drip.
4.) I would advise installing a PCV catch can like I did to monitor whether the oil is coming up through the PCV line or whether it is disappearing other places.
5.) Check the coolant. Your oil might be going through a crack in your oil cooler and into the coolant.

Rick Norwood
10-07-2006, 11:20 AM
Ok, Rick, check the tube going to the passenger side and make sure it has no obstructions. Take it off and clean it out with brake cleaner to make sure it is clear.

1.) Are you leaking any at all?
2.) What exact oil are you using?
3.) Have you insspected your oil cooler lines for leaks? They might only leak while you are accelerating and thus you never see a drip.
4.) I would advise installing a PCV catch can like I did to monitor whether the oil is coming up through the PCV line or whether it is disappearing other places.
5.) Check the coolant. Your oil might be going through a crack in your oil cooler and into the coolant.

No leaks that I can see, nothing on the drive way. Using Castrol 5w-30, but plan on going to Castrol 10w-40 high milage. Radiator is brand new, replaced last January.

534BC
10-07-2006, 11:57 AM
I think your problem is in the rings and it is wise to go to the mi-milage / thicker oil. I have an idea your documentation and recording is exact and hopefully you will cut your consumption in half. Still not great, but maybe She can go for 1 oil change and not have to add any?

The strange thing still is where is the oil going? I'd like to follow you for 1 hour and check MY windshield. lol.

alblogg
10-07-2006, 12:02 PM
A crankcase without a ventilation system, no pcv. A lot of engines have just an atmospherice crankcase and whatever blow-by gets past the rings just gets released to atmosphere. Lots of old engines, industrial engines just have a diverter and a tube or "vent" to the air. It sometimes cauases some condensation and sludge to build up , but would make an interesting test (temporarily) for your setup to eliminate the pcv system, at least that would eliminate it from the equasion.
Did you ever have one of the older model Small Ford Ranger PUs with the 4 cyl engine in it. You are talking about engines without ventilation systems most of them started getting a little gummed up you could not keep the oil cap on them the motor would buildup pressure inside and blow out the weak points.

534BC
10-08-2006, 01:23 PM
I was not really talking about any specific engine, but a lot of industrial engines have no pcv and they have a vent pipe that is huge enough to allow anty pressure build up from blow-by to escape to atmosphere.

The point of my post was a "test" to completey eliminate the pcv system and see whether or not the comsumption goes down. I do realise a non-breathing system will allow condensate and gunk, but the test will point in the right direction.

BlazerLT
10-08-2006, 03:18 PM
I was not really talking about any specific engine, but a lot of industrial engines have no pcv and they have a vent pipe that is huge enough to allow anty pressure build up from blow-by to escape to atmosphere.

The point of my post was a "test" to completey eliminate the pcv system and see whether or not the comsumption goes down. I do realise a non-breathing system will allow condensate and gunk, but the test will point in the right direction.

No it won't, all you will do is make it worse when the blowby impregnates the oil with gas which will thin the oil and make it even more easily burnt.

Let's not add to the problem and find a solution.

In my mind I would check for a fuel injector leaking gas into the oil.

But first, the all important compression test.

Castrol GTX is a really good oil, but maybe it is a little too thin. But worn out rings at 85k with decent maintanance is next to impossible.

PCV catch can is the way I would go.

534BC
10-08-2006, 11:24 PM
Even if that did hapen (which it probably won't) making a change to the symtoms (in the wrong direction by making it worse) may indicate what the problem is. The first indication of any fuel leak would be an increase in level, not a decrease.

As far as the possibility of worn rings at 85k is completely understandable and would not surpise me at all. I've learned how to wear out rings in no time doing all sorts of experiments. It is very possible.

In any case I think doing only 1 change at a time is good and will soon see how the thicker oil did. Another post reminds me that a compression test with and without oil in cylinder may check for worn (compression) rings. When pulling plugs a nice story may also be told.

BlazerLT
10-08-2006, 11:32 PM
Even if that did hapen (which it probably won't) making a change to the symtoms (in the wrong direction by making it worse) may indicate what the problem is. The first indication of any fuel leak would be an increase in level, not a decrease.

As far as the possibility of worn rings at 85k is completely understandable and would not surpise me at all. I've learned how to wear out rings in no time doing all sorts of experiments. It is very possible.

In any case I think doing only 1 change at a time is good and will soon see how the thicker oil did. Another post reminds me that a compression test with and without oil in cylinder may check for worn (compression) rings. When pulling plugs a nice story may also be told.

A slow leak could dilute the oil enough that it is being burned more than the level is increasing. Only a small amoutn of fuel in the oil will dilute it enough to make it a lot more consumable.

Thicker oil is a cover up for the real problem. Using thicker oil is not the solution to the problem seeing this engine is made for 5w30 so it should be able to use it no problem.

534BC
10-09-2006, 12:05 AM
I think the idea behind the thick oil is not a fix, but to help find the problem. Although in this case if it does turn out to be some rings or other well worn part then this very "test" may also be a good "fix".

Rick Norwood
12-13-2006, 08:23 PM
Hi Guys, I'm Back again. Here's the latest update. It is Dec. 13 and it has been almost 10 weeks since I last added any oil. My current milage since my last "Crankcase Fill-up" is 2800 miles and I had to add 2 Quarts to bring the oil level back up to the full mark on the dipstick. I changed oil last time to Castrol 10W-40 High Milage, and that is what I added this time. So it doesn't appear to me that the thicker oil helped, nor did the High Milage formula.

There is one ray of sunshine in all of this, I have started to notice a few drops of oil on the driveway now. I suspect the Oil cooler lines, but I will have to corral the kid to keep the Truck home long enough to do a proper inspection.

BlazerLT
12-13-2006, 10:42 PM
Time to do a compression test.

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