When your engine starts to burn oil, it’s best to get that checked as soon as possible, as it usually means that there is some internal damage that might become dangerous if neglected.
Burning oil is usually indicated by a blueish smoke expelled by the tailpipe. It can also occur during acceleration or even startup, but if it’s more frequent than that usually indicates an underlying problem.
Your engine tends to burn oil with the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chambers, especially if you own a high mileage vehicle. This article will help you find the source and prevent any future oil burning by teaching you how to stop the engine from burning oil.
Why is My Car Burning Oil: Major Causes
There are several major internal damages to your engine or motor that might prompt it to burn excess oil.
But if you spot the issue quickly, you might be able to save a couple of hundred bucks by making sure it’s fixed as soon as it’s damaged.
1. Old Piston Rings
One of the main causes of burning oil is old piston rings that are no longer capable of blocking out the oil from entering the combustion chamber. The piston rings on your engine move along the cylinders.
Piston rings control the oil that lubricates the walls of the cylinder to keep the parts moving without being pushed into the combustion chamber.
The piston rings are in charge of regulating the oil around cylinders, and when these rings are old and worn out, the oil can enter the chambers and start to burn with the fuel/air mixture.
2. Broken Head Gaskets
The engine block and head have built-in oil galleries that create a circulation of oil within the engine.
As the oil is just outside the cylinders, the head gaskets seal it in, but in case of any leaks, the oil gets dumped into the cylinder, which damages the fuel/air mixture creating excessive smoke and internal damage.
3. Leaking Valve Guides
Valve guides make sure that the engine oil from the top of the combustion chamber doesn’t enter the cylinder during the fuel/air mixture intake and the release of exhaust gas.
The oil that lubricates the valve guides is prone to leaks if the guides are old and worn out. And the oil can get into the cylinder and burn in the mixture and cause significant internal damage.
4. Clogged PCV Valve
A positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve (PCV) is in charge of engine pressure, as it releases the pressure into the intake manifold and into the cylinders. And a PCV valve that is clogged can cause oil blowback from building up pressure.
The valve can stick under immense pressure and cause the oil to enter the cylinders by blowing the seals.
What Are the Signs of Burning Oil?
Excessive oil consumption, strong smell, and blue-tinted smoke are the best indicators of burning oil.
1. Color of the Smoke
Burning oil is usually indicated by the blue-tinted smoke coming from the tailpipe. The smoke can also happen during startup, so unless it’s excessive and constant, it’s usually not a problem.
This is why the smoke doesn’t always determine a problem, it’s best to look for other signs.
2. Smell of the Smoke
Engines that use synthetic oils usually don’t create the same color smoke. But the smell of the smoke is its greatest indication, as the burning oil smell is rather heavy, strong as usually off-putting.
3. Oil Consumption
If you don’t spot the smoke or the smell, your engine should still consume more oil than usual. Also, just because the oil is burning doesn’t necessarily mean it is leaking.
Your crankcase will show that it’s low on oil after a couple of days of refill, but if the oil consumption is higher, you may not notice until it’s too late. So, it’s best to keep an eye on the regular oil consumption on a maintenance basis, which is 2,000 miles per quart.
How to Stop Engine from Burning Oil
Unless the problem is a broken PCV valve, fixing an engine that’s burning oil is a rather expensive and lengthy process. Identify the problem by taking note of the color and smell of the smoke. Usually, you can fix this issue by replacing the old parts that drain the oil into the cylinders.
Consult a professional and determine which parts need to be replaced to stop the excessive oil consumption.
Identify the Problem and Stop Your Engine from Burning Oil Today!
Whether it’s a leak from worn out parts or even clogged pressure, which leads to the oil burning. It’s best to take your vehicle to the shop as soon as possible.
Neglecting maintenance will not only slowly destroy your engine but also cause significant internal damage outside the engine that might prevent you from bringing it back to the riding condition.
Use our guidelines to determine the internal problems of your engine and get them fixed before it is damaged beyond repair.