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Dale Stockstill
Dale Stockstill, Automotive Diagnostic Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1238
Experience:  40 years of Automotive Technical Knowledge, Teacher, Diagnostic Specialist
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see the oil level drops about 1/4 inches on the stick..pipe..emission

Customer Question

engin oil leakage: every two weeks, i can see the oil level drops about 1/4 inches on the stick, but no stains on the ground and no smokes from the pipe. no problem for the emission test either. what can be the problem?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 4 years ago.

hi

first,replace the pvc valve,,it may be sticking

sense you have no leakage that you can see...i would think the engine is in fact burning it.....maybe from worn or broken piston rings...it can use a little oil like this without noticeable smoke

thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
do you mean pcv valve? can you check if it's wrong before replacing it? Also the pressure check on the pistons are fine. do you think it can be the engine problem?
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 4 years ago.

hi

yes..the pcv,sorry..yes..i think it is the engine..if there are no visible leaks,there is just one place for it to go....this is through the engine and out the exhaust

thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
a bad pcv valve can cause oil puddle on the ground, can it? Also with a broken ring, the pressure check on the piston will not be good?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

a bad pcv can cause oil puddle on the ground, can it?

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 4 years ago.

well...it isn't likely...though you say you have no visible leaks

thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
can you let another expert answer my question? since my question has not been quite answered.
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

Hello There,

 

My name isXXXXX of all I doubt very seriously if there is a PCV Valve problem. It would be unusual. I do agree that the engine is using a small amount of oil. Actually this does dot hurt an engine unless it gets out of control. How many miles on the engine? How many mile (Approx) do you drive this vehicle every 2 weeks? How long have you owned the vehicle? Did this just start all at once or come on gradually? Also, I do not think it has a broken piston oil control ring or you would be having a mis-fire from time to time.

 

Try to give me a little more information and I will try to help you.

 

Sincerely,

Dale

 

PS-I am disabled and I subsidize my income by the earnings I get from my customers. I am available about 50% of the time and I must rest when I am not working for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It has 126k on the engine and I drive about 400 miles every two weeks. If it has a broken ring, the pressure check on the pistons shouldn't be good . Should it ? I checked pressure when I bought it in 2003. It already had this problem and after years driving, the problem increases a bit more.
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the detailed information. My honest opinion is that the oil control rings are gradually getting weaker as the mileage increases. It is not unusual for an engine to start using some oil at 80-100 K Miles. Actually, if it does not bother you, I would not be that concerned. In the old days we use to say " a quart every 2-3 K miles is actually good for the engine because it keeps the top side of the engine lubed. An unscientific estimation of your consumption would be 400 miles = 1/4 quart which would come out to be a quart every 15,00 to 2,000 miles. That is getting over on the high side but your options are simply limited to replacing the rings, ( which gets into quite an involved procedure or put up with the consumption. I would be interested in what Brand & Viscosity of oil you are using. Sometimes you can slow down the consumption by changing the viscosity and in some cases the Brand of oil. I have had 100's if not 1,000'a of engines apart during my career and I will tell you that ALL Automotive Engine OIL'S are not created and do not function the same. Now if your engine gets to using much more oil than it is right now, you are not going to have a choice. Let me know what oil you are using and I will try to advise you as to what I would do under the circumstances. The reason you are not seeing the blue smoke is because the Catalytic Converter is burning the oil up (Which is what it is designed to do) so the oil smoke never gets to the end of the tailpipe.

 

I hope this explains the situation a bit more clearly for you.

 

I will wait for your reply.

 

Sincerely,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also if the ring is broken, the oil leaks even if you do not drive it and it shows on emission test, does it? i use sae 5w-30.

Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

Sorry I got 2 customers confused.

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As I indicated before nothing shows up on the emission test. Also If I do not drive it, no visible change in oil pan either. Can you explain these?

Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

Again, the catalytic converter is burning up the oil before it exits the tailpipe where the emissions values are read. Therefore it will not show as long as it is as minimal a burn as yours is. As the engine continues to wear it will eventually exceed the capacity of the converter and either plug it or pass the emissions on through and then it will start to show as Oxides of Nitrogen but you are a quite a ways away from that happening. If you do not drive it, it will not and obviously cannot burn the oil. You need to understand that this is a very very small amount of oil that is going through the system.

 

Sincerely,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If there is a breakage there, the oil will trickle though it, doesn't it? no matter you burn it or not.
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry but I do not understand your question. Do you mean trickle through the rings? The answer is yes if one of the oil control rings was broken, but if there was a ring broken it would be fouling a sparkplug and/or using more oil than it is using. I realize the prior expert thought that you might of had a broken oil ring but I totally disagree. If you want to be sure. Pull all the sparkplugs and keep them in order. If there is one cylinder with a broken oil control ring, the porcelain on that spark plug will be very dark or black and sooty when compared to the others. I do not think that is the case here but it is up to you if you want to pull the sparkplugs and look or not.

 

Sincerely,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What do you mean 'the oil control rings are gradually getting weaker' to cause the consumption of oil by the engin?
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

The oil Control rings wear just like any other movable component in an engine. They eventually become weaker as they wear and start allowing a small amount of oil to get up on the top side of the piston.

 

You never told me what Brand and weight of oil you are using. Did you pull the sparkplugs to look?

 

Sincerely,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I currently use autozone sae 5w-30 motor oil. The spark plugs are checked and no such problems. If the wear causes the oil to trickle through into the engine, it seems to me that this problem can occur even you do not drive it.

Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

Your premise is wrong. The engine must be running to create the vacuum on the top side of the piston in order for the oil to get past the rings. It is not a trickle it is an extremely small amount of oil combined from all the cylinders.

 

I would change the viscosity to a 10W-30 or run straight 30 Weight motor oil to help control the oil. DO NOT PUT ANY OF THAT GUNK OR OTHER SHELF PRODUCTS IN YOUR ENGINE! All that stuff does is gum up an engine. I personally use Phillips 66 Trop Artic 10-30 in everything that I do not run Mobil 1 in. An engine must be sealed tight to run a synthetic motor oil.

 

Sincerely,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I sent you another reply yesterday afteroon, did you receive it?
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

I have said about all I have to say about your engine. You either accept the facts that I have provided you from 45 + years of knowledge and experience or you can sear for another answer, but you will not find anyone that is more detailed and/or knowledgeable about you situation.

 

Respectfully,

Dale

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A note I sent to you on Friday afternoon is missing. I mentioned some important facts in that note.

If wear is important for causing the leakage, the pressure check on the cylinders shouldn't be good, right?

Also you said in a previous correspondence 'oil control rings are gradually getting weaker as the mileage increases', but the fact is contrary to your premise. Last summer this car was at a storage place and idle for about three months. When I came back and drove it for two weeks, I found that the oil level dropped a bit more than before.

Afterwards, I drove it regularly until now, no more change occurred. This is why I doubt that this phenomenon has much to with the wear. Is it possible it is caused by the oil pan, since I see grease around it.

Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 4 years ago.

I have no comment.

Sincerely,

Dale

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Dale Stockstill
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40 years of Automotive Technical Knowledge, Teacher, Diagnostic Specialist