What to do if Your Car is Consuming too Much Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of your car, but it does not last forever. Similar to human blood, it needs to be replaced when it runs through its lifecycle. The human body does this automatically, but oil in a car needs to be changed. There is a predictable pattern to how often this should happen. But cars can sometimes be more demanding.
If you suspect that your car is consuming too much oil, then you probably have two concerns: The first is confirming your suspicion. The second is fixing the problem. Carfix wants to help you with both, so we made this handy guide on what to do if your car is consuming too much oil.
Confirming the Problem
While diagnosing any car problem can feel overwhelming, given how complex cars are, overconsumption of oil is a problem that can be narrowed down to just a few parts. Those parts include the piston rings, which prevent oil from entering the combustion chamber of the engine. These can become loose or worn down over time.
It could also be a problem with your gaskets, which have a similar job to piston rings but are more general. They seal many parts of your engine together. Any engine that is old enough will have problems with these.
If any of those are showing signs of age or wear, then those could be the problem causing oil to be overconsumed. Of course, these usually happen in older cars, and older cars, in general, are susceptible to oil problems. It is a simple matter of age decreasing the efficiency of the system.
Addressing the Problem
This section is called “addressing the problem” and not “fixing the problem” because if you are reading this guide, then chances are that you are not a trained mechanic. There are some things you can do yourself in response to oil troubles with your car, but most times the best thing to do is take the car to a mechanic.
That being said, there are also a few things you can try before you resort to that.
Your gaskets and piston rings are too complicated to do at home. Those will be problems for a mechanic. In the case of gaskets, it is because the parts are hard to come by and not easy to install. In the case of piston rings, the part requires the whole engine to be taken apart in order to replace them. Leave that to a pro.
The most you can do is improve the efficiency of your engine by giving it an at-home tune-up. That means replacing old spark plugs, filters, belts, and tubes. Replacing these things will make it easier for your engine to do just about everything, which in turn will mean it requires less oil in order to function.
Any system of energy is going to be subject to entropy, and car engines are no exception. The best way to combat this entropy is by making it easier for the engine to run. Make it more efficient, and whether you have serious problems with gaskets and piston rings or not, your oil will last longer.