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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Automotive Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6286
Experience:  30 years experience, Repairing, building, & designing, automobiles.
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acura tl: quart of oil every 4k miles..pcv..compression..Dealer says

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my acura tl (2010 SHAWD) is using a quart of oil every 4k miles. Have been through oil consumption tests, PCV and compression checks at dealer. Dealer says "nothing wrong" but no one can tell me where oil is going or suggest additional ways to figure out how to find out. Any idea what is happening here and/or what to ask dealer to do next? Car has 34k miles and is still under warranty.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. At Just Answer the deposit you pay is not payment to the Expert, I only get paid if you click on accept, we receive no other pay. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed. If you are satisfied with the answer, and feel you can leave a positive feedback please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do.

You may have already performed this test, but I want to make sure. It is a leakdown test, and it is the most accurate test to determine engine wear/oil consumption. I will tell you that according to industry standards 1 quart of oil consumed in 4000 miles is normally a very acceptable consumption rate for an engine in good condition.

Oil is used to coat the cylinder walls to protect the cylinders, pistons and rings. The thin oil residue on the cylinder walls gets direct exposure to the flames, and combustion pressures. The flames are 1200 to 1400 degrees, and the pressure can top 1000 psi. Under these conditions some of the oil film on the cylinder walls gets vaporized, and consumed. Engine oil doesn’t fare well above 375 degrees, so at this point the oil is pushed past its normal parameters, that is why some of the oil is vaporized. But the engine can't operate without this small sacrificial oil loss. This oil loss is because of the particular engine design, and oil formulation, engineers try to keep oil consumption to a minimum. Depending on the chosen motor oil, and particular engine design this is all a variable. Sometimes switching oil types can improve the consumption rate. Also higher performing engines experience this problem to a greater degree than low performance utility engines do. The higher performing engines have slightly wider clearances many times, they also have higher combustion pressures, and temperatures are more common, because of the power levels they produce. The recommended leakdown test will tell you if there is a problem. As a note the normal industry standard where problems are indicated is oil consumption over 1 quart per 1000 miles. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. Just Answer is here to serve you. If the answer is not clear, please let me know what additional help you need, and I will assist you further. When you're satisfied, please accept my answer. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.





Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am a novice. The dealer or trusted mechanic does all work on my car.

 

I was told that there might be an option to "scope" the inside of my engine. That would be to insert a camera to see what is happening inside .... in particular a focus on rings, pistons and cylinder leaks. What are your thoughts on that as an option? Is it an expensive diagnostic process? I ask as I am trying to anticipate why my dealer may be reluctant to perform the test.

 

I am struggling to accept that a quart p/4000 is ok. I have owned several cars and have never seen this type of consumption. I simply do not expect it from a Honda/Acura product.

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. At Just Answer the deposit you pay is not payment to the Expert, I only get paid if you click on accept, we receive no other pay. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed. If you are satisfied with the answer, and feel you can leave a positive feedback please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do.


I have seen this type of consumption on many Honda, and Acura engines. There are a lot of variables here. Changing oil types and weights can reduce the oil burn off. The scope you mentioned will give a visual of the inside of the cylinder which will actually tell you very little. A leakdown test is what the pros use to to find problems. If there is a piston, ring, or cylinder wall problem that is causing oil consumption, the leak down test will 100% identify the problem. This test is your best next step to seek an answer, as to whether the engine has an internal problem. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. Just Answer is here to serve you. If the answer is not clear, please let me know what additional help you need, and I will assist you further. When you're satisfied, please accept my answer. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.




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