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Thread: Excessive Oil Consumption Rebuild or Rering engine?

  1. #41
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    Excessive oil consumption

    Ok everyone, i think i finally got my overheating issue figured out. Now that ive been able to drive the van i am noticing that its using oil. I have put a little over 1000 miles on it ive had to add about 2 quarts, maybe a bit more. I dont see any signs of a leak, my compression numbers are uniform and my pcv valve is brand new. I dont see any smoke while driving either (except the other day i started it up from cold and accelerated to 55mph quickly as i pulled onto the highway, i saw some white smoke in the higher rpms, i couldnt replicate it when it was warm so i figured it was just from being cold)
    Last edited by Jlhollowx13; 11-10-2015 at 09:44 AM.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    I was looking over the recommended viscosities for the different ambient temps and am wondering if that may be the cause? I cant remember 100%, but i might have used 5w-30. Could that make such a huge difference in oil consumption? Im getting my new 4 core radiator hopefully sometime this week (woohoo!) and when that goes in im going to change the oil, using 10w-40 this time. Im also going to do a few more tests and what not to better get to know my van better and make it mine (put a T in the coolant line for easy flushes, test oil pressure gauge against tester, check pluga again, etc).

    Anyway, just a thought to provoke some thought elsewhere as i ran across this info today.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    I changed to a half crude half synthetic mix of 10-40 from a 20w-50. I burned more oil and created leaks, the engine is at 300k. switched back to 20w-50 and not near as much oil consumption. I feel it makes a difference.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    After I had my H.G. replaced I did a lot of high rpm driving on grades while moving to a new
    city. Not long after I checked my oil (which was 10w 40) the oil looked real thin and kinda burnt.
    I mentioned this to my mechanic and he said I should immediately change the oil and go with
    20w 50. This was a big improvement.

    Also, if your power steering line is leaking, you need to fix that right away, or it will drip
    onto your alternator and kill it.
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by austinfromflorida View Post
    I changed to a half crude half synthetic mix of 10-40 from a 20w-50. I burned more oil and created leaks, the engine is at 300k. switched back to 20w-50 and not near as much oil consumption. I feel it makes a difference.

    Thanks for the input. Im hoping thats the case here. Ive been experimenting with different oil wieghts in my other toyotas and still need to find something that works year around. May not be possible where i live as it gets extremely cold in the winter, might just have to switch seasonally. If i can at least use the same wieght in all cars seasonally it woukd help.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
    After I had my H.G. replaced I did a lot of high rpm driving on grades while moving to a new
    city. Not long after I checked my oil (which was 10w 40) the oil looked real thin and kinda burnt.
    I mentioned this to my mechanic and he said I should immediately change the oil and go with
    20w 50. This was a big improvement.

    Also, if your power steering line is leaking, you need to fix that right away, or it will drip
    onto your alternator and kill it.
    Thanks, i know about the deadly power steering, luckily mine is only leaking from the hose next to the alternator so its safe for now. Be fixing it soon anyway but wasnt a huge concern since its dripping safely away from the alternator.

    I think i used 5w-30 at first, just bought some 10w-40 to change it with but maybe ill go a little heavier. Ill definitely have to switch in winter though as its consistently below zero here for months on end (one of the coldest places in the country). Since my HG replacement i have been basically driving around mountain passes fully loaded and high rpms, so that makes me feel a bit better about it. Hottest it gets here in summer is 80s to 90s for a small portion of the day so its not extremely hot, but i do have to work the engine around these mountains. Maybe ill grab something heavier for now and save this other oil for my other cars or winter time.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    5w30 is far too "thin", IIRC, 10W30 is the recommended weight and I wouldn't go beyond that.
    20W50 will definitely reduce oil consumption but at the risk of starving the bearings when they need it most, it can be too thick to allow proper oil flow where its needed most.

    I too live in a cold area and have never had a problem, (we often see -30C / -40C in winter and +30C in summer) and I run the same oil year round.
    A block heater can make for an easier cold start on the really cold days but you want to have a heater that mounts to the block, not in the water jacket.
    They can be hard to find but are FAR superior.

    I would be tempted to give it a flush with some seafoam before dumping the oil, then change it out to the recommended grade and monitor it from there.
    BB

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by Burntboot View Post
    5w30 is far too "thin", IIRC, 10W30 is the recommended weight and I wouldn't go beyond that.
    20W50 will definitely reduce oil consumption but at the risk of starving the bearings when they need it most, it can be too thick to allow proper oil flow where its needed most.

    I too live in a cold area and have never had a problem, (we often see -30C / -40C in winter and +30C in summer) and I run the same oil year round.
    A block heater can make for an easier cold start on the really cold days but you want to have a heater that mounts to the block, not in the water jacket.
    They can be hard to find but are FAR superior.

    I would be tempted to give it a flush with some seafoam before dumping the oil, then change it out to the recommended grade and monitor it from there.
    BB
    Thanks for the input. I looked at every parts store in town and none of them sell anything heavier than 15w-40 ( and even that was limited), probably because anything heavier just isnt worth using out here with the cold. Ill see how it does with the next oil change, probably will opt to run 10w-40 or a little less heavy in the winter. In the winter one of the parts stores carries all types of those block heaters, ive been wanting to get one for each of my cars but at $100 a pop ive been putting it off. Maybe this year will be the year.

    Its a bit challenging to choose the correct weight to accomodate my town as well as my traveling needs. In the summer it doesnt go above 85F, and thats HOT for here (usually stays in 70s), but drive an hour and it could be 100F or more. In the winter its never gets above freezing and typically hovers around 0F, up to about 20F on hot winter days and will drop as low as -40F and below 0F consistently (this place is very hard on cars). But again, drive an hour and your in the 30s to 40s. Block heater is definitely a plus here, guess i just need to do it!

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlhollowx13 View Post
    Its a bit challenging to choose the correct weight to accomodate my town as well as my traveling needs. In the summer it doesnt go above 85F, and thats HOT for here (usually stays in 70s), but drive an hour and it could be 100F or more. In the winter its never gets above freezing and typically hovers around 0F, up to about 20F on hot winter days and will drop as low as -40F and below 0F consistently (this place is very hard on cars). But again, drive an hour and your in the 30s to 40s. Block heater is definitely a plus here, guess i just need to do it!
    Maybe some first hand experience of a similar situation with my van will help you a bit. My 89 2WD Cargo burns about the same amount of oil as you are going through. It has for the last 80,000 miles or so. I've never been able to find any leaks. It doesn't smoke, compression is good and it runs like a top. So my solution was to just add a quart every two fill ups. I've been doing that for six years or so now with no ill effects that I can notice. I've just chalked it up to the fact that my van likes oil. I also only do a full oil change every ten thousand or so because at the rate it burns it it's cycling every 2000 miles. My oil change is more of a filter change really.

    As far as oil weight I use 10w-30. I live in a high desert town on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. My home is at 4000 feet and in summer it gets well over 100 more often then I would like. A twenty mile drive puts me at 10,000 feet. I wok in a town that sits at 8000 and has quite cold winters. 10W-30 has never been a problem in all those varied conditions. Just some food for thought.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Start off by changing your oil and use 10W40. Then report how much it is burning or even leaking. Sometimes a slow rear main seal leak is there but is harder to spot until it eventually gets worse.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Thanks for the input everyone. Im waiting on the arrival of my new 4 core radiator from ability radiator (might be here today!), once that comes in im going to change the oil, fix the power steering leak and do a couple other little things while installing it and then ill be ready to test it out with the thicker oil and new radiator. Ill post results as soon as i can.

    In the mean time can anyone tell me the deal with the low oil level light? Does it come on at startup or when the key is in a certain position to let you know its working? Mine doesnt seem to anything and id like to know if its working if this ends up being a long term thing. Thanks!

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Have you tried 5w50 or 0w50? Might give you everything you need for all season performance while minimizing oil consumption.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverUserName View Post
    Have you tried 5w50 or 0w50? Might give you everything you need for all season performance while minimizing oil consumption.
    They dont sell anything heavier than 15w40 where i live or anything lighter than 5w30, probably because anything heavier becomes maple syrup or worse in the winter. Probably could order it, but im going to try the 15w40 first and see if that helps, i dont want to jump around too much and i dont really mind switching oil with the seasons. If that doesnt help ill look into some other options but we will see. My radiator only gets here monday so ill have to wait until then to do it all.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlhollowx13 View Post
    They dont sell anything heavier than 15w40 where i live or anything lighter than 5w30, probably because anything heavier becomes maple syrup or worse in the winter. Probably could order it, but im going to try the 15w40 first and see if that helps, i dont want to jump around too much and i dont really mind switching oil with the seasons. If that doesnt help ill look into some other options but we will see. My radiator only gets here monday so ill have to wait until then to do it all.
    5w50 and 0w50 are multigrades. This means that during cold weather the oil acts as a thin 5w or 0w, and then thickens up to a 50w oil at 210F. That is how all multi-weight oils are rated. A 5w30 and 5w50 flow the same during cold weather. So it is thin 5w in cold wheather and thick 50w while at operating temp.

    5w50 and 5w40 are fairly common, Mobil 1 makes oil in these viscosities. Walmart and Pepboys has them in stock. Pepboys will ship and they usually have 25-35% off coupons w/ online orders.

    I copied this from the Blackstone labs website:

    Straight Weight vs. Multi-Grade
    Engine oil can be either a straight weight or a multi-grade viscosity. Originally, all oil was straight weight. Relatively few straight weights are manufactured today since most gas- or diesel-engine manufacturers recommend multi-grades. At operating temperature, a straight weight performs just as well as a multi-viscosity oil, and there is nothing wrong with using a straight weight. It's just a simpler form of oil. Some diesel fleets still use straight weights, as do about half the piston aircraft operators. The difference between multi-grade and straight-weight oil is simply the addition of a viscosity improving (VI) additive. The most common grade of automotive oil in use today is the 5W/30, which is a mineral oil refined with VI additives that leave it reading as an SAE 5W viscosity when cold, yet an SAE 30W when hot (210F). The advantage to the multi-weight is that when starting the engine, the multi-viscosity oil (with its thickness of an SAE 5W when cold), allows the engine to spin over more easily. The most common diesel use oil is 15W/40. It is an SAE 15W oil with a VI additive that leaves it the thickness of an SAE 40 weight at operating temperature. What makes an oil a diesel-use oil (rather than automotive-use) is the level of additives used. Diesels require heavier levels of dispersant and anti-wear additives. These heavier additive levels are objectionable for automotive engines since they may interfere with the emission controls mandated by the EPA.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverUserName View Post
    5w50 and 0w50 are multigrades. This means that during cold weather the oil acts as a thin 5w or 0w, and then thickens up to a 50w oil at 210F. That is how all multi-weight oils are rated. A 5w30 and 5w50 flow the same during cold weather. So it is thin 5w in cold wheather and thick 50w while at operating temp.

    5w50 and 5w40 are fairly common, Mobil 1 makes oil in these viscosities. Walmart and Pepboys has them in stock. Pepboys will ship and they usually have 25-35% off coupons w/ online orders.

    I copied this from the Blackstone labs website:

    Thanks for that explanation. So in all reality, a 5w-50 should be ok for use here (assuming i can track it down locally or otherwise order it), even in the dead of winter. Ill see how this 15w40 does, i just got my radiator yesterday, so i put it in and just need to burp the system today and i shoukd be good to go. Hopefully ill notice some sort of sifference in oil consumption with this new oil.

    I did check my spark plugs yesterday while installing my radiator. They all looked great, very dry, mocha colored, so everything there seems fine. Doesnt seem like any signs of burning. Anyway, im off to finish up my new radiator install, yay!!

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Ok, so im looking for a bit more insight. I changed my oil to 15w-40, i drove the car about 200 miles and was 1/4 quart low, it was perfectly at the full mark before that. Still im not seeing any leaks and at this rate i would imagine a leak would be pretty evident. Im mulling over a few scenarios to try to figure out the cause but am not sure if my thinking is correct, so any help is appreciated.

    1. If i am burning the missing oil shouldnt my spark plugs be an indicator? I would expect to see black spark plugs, but mine are the normal mocha color.
    2. Are there any other conditions that would indicate a problem inside the motor other than discolored spark plugs? Im not getting any smoke when warm or any fluids mixing.
    3. Are there any hot spots i should look at where oil might be leaking and burning away instantly? I dont smell any burning oil in the engine bay but thought there might be some places to check.
    4. Does enough pressure build up in the valve cover and is there enough oil present there to leak out of the valve cover gasket? Im thinking if so, then i might be leaking from there and burning off instantly?

    Id like to figure out where this oil is going, one so that i can maybe track down or prevent a serious issue and two that i may be able to remedy this issue so i dont have to add so much oil. I just want to be sure this isnt an indicator of something going wrong in the engine, but with the spark plugs looking good I am not sure if thats the case.

    The mocha colored spark plugs make me think im NOT burning oil, can someone confirm this is correct thinking?

    Thanks for any help!

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Ok, so a little update and bump to see if anyone might have some input.

    I bought some seafoam to run through the crankcase as many have said that could help. I ran it 100 miles then changed the oil, put more in per the manufacturers instructions and have been driving it since. I also added a bottle of injector cleaner in the gas just for kicks. Not sure if its a fluke but we took it in about a 400 mile camping trip and im getting 2 more MPGs than before! Might do this same treatment to my other vehicles haha.

    Anyway, i sprayed off the engine as best i could to cleanit up and make any leaks more noticeable. I did see some seapage from my oil drain bolt and around my oil pressure sensor/oil filter area and on my starter. I replaced the drain plug which has helped the seapage i saw on the oil pan, but i still see some on my starter. I cant really see where its coming from, but my oil pressure gauge seems dry so maybe im getting some past my oil filer and its leaking onto the starter? Ive never had a problem with a leaking oil filter. I also seem to be using about the same amount of oil.

    Can anyone confirm im NOT burning oil based on my spark plug color being mocha? Im just trying to determine if it is in fact a leak or something else. Seeing as im not getting any drips while parked it leads me to believe either its only leaking when im driving or not at all. Also at the rate its disappearing i would imagine i would be getting more oil build up around the engine. I also thought maybe i didnt spray the starter well enough since its up there a ways and thats why im seeing stuff there. Ill go try to wash it better today and see how that works.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Well another update and some closure on the situation.

    Im now running 20w-50 and i seem to still be losing oil. Im still not seeing any leakage from anywhere nor any smoke. Still not sure what it is but im over chasing it as ive exhausted all my resources. Ill just make sure and check it often and keep an eye out for leaks, so far its super clean in there besides my power steering hose leak.

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Ok, another little update as I feel this needs addressed before too long. I recently took about a 500 mile round trip and I seem to be loosing oil at a rate of about 1/2 to 1 quart every fill up, so about 225 to 250 miles. This is a bit excessive to me and I feel at this rate it's bound to get worse. I've done a little research and now suspect sticking piston rings. Any input on that? The van was horribly overheated enough to Crack the head, could that have something to do with it? There is nothing externally leaking.

    With only 135k miles on this engine I would really hate to need an entire rebuild, especially after the amount of time and money I've already dumped into it. I didn't notice anything bad on the cylinder walls when I did my head gasket but I didn't pay super close attention as that was not my concern. I'm wondering if I can get away with just new rings? Also, what other parts should be considered for replacement, what and where do I order a kit from and can I do it without pulling the engine or the head again?

    The engine runs great, seems to have plenty of power and the compression is within spec when I ran a compression check after my head gasket job. Just using way too much oil for my liking.

    Thanks for any insight and help!

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    Re: Excessive oil consumption

    Sorry to hear that you have tried so hard to figure out your problem and cannot figure it out. 250 miles / burning 1 qt of 20w50 is highly excessive.

    If you have ruled out all potential leaks. Rear Main Seal, Front Seal. Then I really dont have any idea where the oil could be going. These vans usually leak alot out of the rear main seal, but you would see the leak on the drive way or under the van where the engine meets the transmission.


    If you have a friend rev the engine a bit while you stand behind it near the exhaust im sure you would be able to smell the oil burning.

    One thing you could try is putting half a qt of transmission fluid in your engine oil and drive around a day or two and then change the oil and put fresh engine oil in there. (I recommend Castrol GTX 10W40.) If there is gunk built up around your rings this could clear it out a bit and perhaps the rings would grip the cylinder walls better and it would burn less. I wouldn't do it more then once tho.

    My van almost reduced its consumption by half when I did that once.

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