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lostrider, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3075
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, Ford Senior Master Technician,Diesel certified, ASE Master, 22 yrs FORD exp.
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I have a 2006 F150, with a 5.4 3 valve engine. I have major

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I have a 2006 F150, with a 5.4 3 valve engine. I have major oil consumption-about 1 litre per 1,000 kilo. It's not burning or leaking. What could be the problem?

Hi Juan this is lostrider, Ford states that it is normal for the engine to consume 1 quart for every 1500 miles, allot of it is based on the type of oil and filters used and the type of driving that the truck is being used for, with it being a 2006 model, there is what is called an oil consumption test that needs to be done on the truck to determine the amount of oil that is being consumed, its best to have the dealer perform this test, that way it is documented and will get better attention from Ford if there is a consumption concern, here is a copy of the procedure from the Ford service manual, hope this helps.




Excessive Engine Oil Consumption

Nearly all engines consume oil, which is essential for normal lubrication of the cylinder bore walls and pistons and rings. Determining the level of oil consumption may require testing by recording how much oil is being added over a given set of miles.

Customer driving habits greatly influence oil consumption. Mileage accumulated during towing or heavy loading generates extra heat. Frequent short trips, stop-and-go type traffic or extensive idling, prevent the engine from reaching normal operating temperature. This prevents component clearances from reaching specified operating ranges.

The following diagnostic procedure may be utilized to determine internal oil consumption. Make sure that the concern is related to internal oil consumption, and not external leakage, which also consumes oil. Verify there are no leaks before carrying out the test. Once verified, the rate of internal oil consumption can be tested.

A new engine may require extra oil in the early stages of operation. Internal piston-to-bore clearances and sealing characteristics improve as the engine breaks in. Engines are designed for close tolerances and do not require break-in oils or additives. Use the oil specified in the Owner Guide. Ambient temperatures may determine the oil viscosity specification. Verify that the correct oil is being used for the vehicle in the geographic region in which it is driven.

Basic Pre-checks

  1. For persistent complaints of oil consumption, interview the customer to determine the oil consumption characteristics. If possible, determine the brand and grade of oil currently in the oil pan. Look at the oil filter or oil-change station tags to determine if Ford-recommended maintenance schedules have been followed. Make sure that the oil has been changed at the specified mileage intervals. If vehicle mileage is past the first recommended drain interval, the OEM production filter should have been changed.
  1. Ask how the most current mileage was accumulated. That is, determine whether the vehicle was driven under the following conditions:
    • Extended idling or curbside engine operation
    • Stop-and-go traffic or taxi operation
    • Towing a trailer or vehicle loaded heavily
    • Frequent short trips (engine not up to normal operating temperature)
    • Excessive throttling or high engine-rpm driving
  1. Verify that there are no external leaks. If necessary, review the diagnostic procedure under Engine Oil Leaks in the Diagnosis and Testing portion of this section.
  1. Inspect the crankcase ventilation system for:
    • disconnected hoses at the valve cover or throttle body.
    • loose or missing valve cover fill cap.
    • missing or incorrectly seated engine oil level indicator.
    • incorrect or dirty PCV valve.
    • a PCV valve grommet unseated in the valve cover (if so equipped).
  1. Inspect for signs of sludge. Sludge affects PCV performance and can plug or restrict cylinder head drainback wells. It can also increase oil pressure by restricting passages and reducing the drainback capability of piston oil control rings. Sludge can result from either excessive water ingestion in the crankcase or operation at extremely high crankcase temperatures.
  1. Inspect the air filter for dirt, sludge or damage. A hole in the filter element will allow unfiltered air to bypass into the air induction system. This can cause premature internal wear (engine dusting), allowing oil to escape past rings, pistons, valves and guides.
  1. If the engine is hot or was recently shut down, wait at least 5 minutes to allow the oil to drain back. Ask the customer if this requirement has been followed. Adding oil without this wait period can cause an overfill condition, leading to excessive oil consumption and foaming which may cause engine damage.
  1. Make sure the oil level indicator (dipstick) is correctly and fully seated in the indicator tube. Remove the oil level indicator and record the oil level.

Detailed Pre-checks

  1. Check the thermostat opening temperature to make sure that the cooling system is operating at the specified temperature. If it is low, internal engine parts are not running at specified internal operating clearances.
  1. Verify the spark plugs are not oil saturated. Oil leaking into one or more cylinders will appear as an oil soaked condition on the plug. If a plug is saturated, a compression check may be necessary at the conclusion of the oil consumption test.

Oil Consumption Test

Once all of the previous conditions are met, carry out an oil consumption test.

  1. Drain the engine oil and remove the oil filter. Install a new manufacturer-specified oil filter. Make sure the vehicle is positioned on a level surface. Refill the oil pan to a level one quart (liter) less than the specified fill level, using manufacturer-specified oil.
  1. Run the engine for 3 minutes (if hot) or 10 minutes (if cold). Allow for a minimum 5-minute drainback period and then record the oil level shown on the oil level indicator. Place a mark on the backside of the oil level indicator noting the oil level location.
  1. Add the final 1 quart (liter) to complete the normal oil fill. Restart the engine and allow it to idle for 2 minutes. Shut the engine down.
  1. After a 5-minute drainback period, record the location of the oil level again. Mark the oil level indicator with the new oil level location. (Note: Both marks should be very close to the MIN-MAX upper and lower limits or the upper and lower holes on the oil level indicator. These marks will exactly measure the engine's use of oil, with a one quart differential between the new marks.) Demonstrate to the customer that the factory-calibrated marks on the dipstick are where the oil should fall after an oil change with the specified fill amount. Explain however, that this may vary slightly between MIN-MAX or the upper and lower holes on the oil level indicator.
  1. Record the vehicle mileage.
  1. Advise the customer that oil level indicator readings must be taken every 320 km (200 miles) or weekly, using the revised marks as drawn. Remind the customer that the engine needs a minimum 5-minute drainback for an accurate reading and that the oil level indicator must be firmly seated in the tube prior to taking the reading.
  1. When the subsequent indicator readings demonstrate a full quart (liter) has been used, record the vehicle mileage. The mileage driven between the 2 readings should not be less than 1,500 miles. The drive cycle the vehicle has been operated under must be considered when making this calculation. It may be necessary to have the customer bring the vehicle in for a periodic oil level indicator reading to closely monitor oil usage.

Post Checks, Evaluation and Corrective Action

  1. If test results indicate excessive oil consumption, carry out a cylinder compression test. The cylinder compression test should be carried out with a fully charged battery and all spark plugs removed. See the Compression Test Chart in this section for pressure range limits.
  1. Compression should be consistent across all cylinders. For additional information, refer to the Compression Testing portion of this section. If compression tested within the specifications found in this section, the excessive oil consumption may be due to wear on the valve guides, valves or valve seals.
  1. A cylinder leak detection test can be carried out using an Engine Cylinder Leak Detection/Air Pressurization Kit. This can help identify valves, piston rings or worn valve guides/valve stems, inoperative valve stem seals or other related areas as the source of oil consumption.

NOTE: An oil-soaked appearance on the porcelain tips of the spark plugs also indicates excessive oil use. A typical engine with normal oil consumption will exhibit a light tan to brown appearance. See Spark Plug Analysis in this section for details. A single or adjoining, multiple cylinder leak can be traced by viewing the tips.

  1. If an internal engine part is isolated as the root cause, determine if the repair will exceed cost limits and proceed with a repair strategy as required.
  1. Once corrective action to engine is complete and verifying that all pre-check items were eliminated in the original diagnosis, repeat the Oil Consumption Test as described above and verify consumption results.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Recently serviced by 2 licensed mechanics to evaluate oil consumption. Their diagnoses, contamites in the air chamber, serious contamination in the air filter from internal chamber, contamination in the crank valve. Attempted to remove spark plugs, some were too tight. What is your opinion on this diagnosis?


Thank you for your early response.

Your welcome, from what their diagnosis indicates is excessive blow by, piston rings?, base engine problem.


~How many miles are on the truck?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
49,000 Kilo.
Can I get your 17 digit vin number to run it on the fords computer to check service bulletins?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you again, there are no special service messages for oil consumption, or base engine oil concerns, if there is excessive blow by in the engine then a cylinder leak test needs to be done to determine if the piston rings or base engine is at fault, the problem there is that the spark plugs will need to be removed to perform this test and on the 3 valve engines there is a problem with the plugs breaking off in the cylinder heads, there is a special tool to remove the broken plugs from the heads that the dealer has, the truck is out of warrenty by mileage but still in by time, so the dealer may be able to get you some assistance from Ford on the engine repairs, but first there going to have to do the oil consumption test to see if it is out of Fords specs and perform the diagnosis, they wont accept any outside diagnosis towards any type of repairs, here is what the cylinder leak test consist of.


Cylinder Leakage Detection

When a cylinder produces a low reading, use of a cylinder leakage tester will be helpful in pinpointing the exact cause.


The leakage tester is inserted in the spark plug hole, the piston is brought up to dead center on the compression stroke and compressed air is admitted.

Once the combustion chamber is pressurized, the leakage tester gauge will read the percentage of leakage. Leakage exceeding 20 percent is excessive.


While the air pressure is retained in the cylinder, listen for the hiss of escaping air. A leak at the intake valve will be heard in the throttle body. A leak at the exhaust valve can be heard at the tail pipe. Leakage past the piston rings will be audible at the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) connection. If air is passing through a blown head gasket to an adjacent cylinder, the noise will be evident at the spark plug hole of the cylinder into which the air is leaking. Cracks in the cylinder block or gasket leakage into the cooling system may be detected by a stream of bubbles in the radiator.

lostrider and 10 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for all your help lostrider!



your welcome and thank you.