My car’s engine burns a lot of oil. Why?

A car engine that burns oil not only wastes oil, but can damage spark plugs, which will end up in ignition system problem (engine misfire). Sooner or later it  will affect the catalytic converter.  Oil burning can and will also cause higher emissions, resulting in failed emissions tests due to excess hydrocarbon production.

All cars consume oil, at different rates depending on the engine model, driving patterns, engine load, maintenance history, age of the engine, driven km, motor oil quality, etc.

But excessive engine oil consumption should be taken seriously. If you know your car engine burns too much oil,  get the problem diagnosed, before it cause some serious and costly damage.

On occasion could be a simple fix to the problem perhaps a damaged, aged gasket. However there are a few things you should know as follows.

The modern engines of late went thru some serious diet to increase horsepower and to reduce fuel consumption.

The law of physics has not changed, skinny piston rings and valve stems has one thing in common they reduce friction and fail to seal properly in the internal combustion engines of late.

Take a look at to the next photos, to see the differences. Click on the thumbnail to view bigger images.

Today most of the engines are turbo charged for efficiency reasons, in particular to reduce pumping losses. Turbo charging will increase the thermal heat load on the internal components. Once you got thin parts with double the heat exerted on them, equates to baked valve seals, clogged oil scraping rings with clogged piston oil drain holes.

The efficiency war on the internal combustion engines has produced some remarkable output at the expense of engine life and longevity.

For comparison see when I started working as a mechanic a 1.5 liter engine produced 74 horsepower on average. Today they can make as much as 230 horsepower in a moderate automobile.

As I said earlier the law of physics has not changed, the internal parts has been reduced to the bare minimum, so efficiency is the new magic word, unfortunately comes at the expense of reliability.

Take a look at to the photos at next and you will see the differences. Click on the thumbnail to view bigger images.

Internal combustion engine valves:

– 15 years ago

– 10 years ago

– and today

 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Telephone: (1) 905.795.0419

Related:

Proper maintenance,  oil change in timely manner, with good quality approved by the manufacturer motor oil  will extend engine life.

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Why is my BMW burning so much oil?

The answer is low friction, read narrow and thin oil rings with miniature holes-slots on the ring are the answer.

Traditionally the lower oil rings were responsible to bleed and scrape off the excessive oil which in turn got returned to the oil sump. The worst is the twin turbo V8 engine code named N63 with all the thermal load coming at it from the turbo chargers between the two banks.

The motor oil goes thru a significant heat stress, furthermore carbon build up made worst by the extended oil change intervals and lighter weight oil all contribute to the oil rings not being able to do their jobs properly.

BMW piston

As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, if you look at closely the piston’s picture above, you will see the miniature horizontal slots are closed, clogged up shut so the oil will be drawn up into the combustion chamber and burned off in the combustion process.

It’s worth to note the valve seals are also marginal in this particular engine again due to thermal overload, the seals get baked to rock hard and the oil gets sucked in thru the cavitation of the components. The only viable cure is frequent oil changes. We recommend 5/40 grade motor oils and the occasional oil flush also recommended to reduce the carbon build up at crucial places.

We use LM professional oil flush to clean the engine, (engine flush) which is made and tested in Germany, in extreme cases the LM motor oil saver can be used temporarily to soften up the hardened valve seals as a cost effective alternative to major engine repair.

If you have any further questions we will be happy to answer them in person .

Thank you for reading and all the best from Techmax.

Related:

Superior oil filtration for increased engine protection.

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FUCHS German Synthetic motor oil

BMW recommended motor oils