When cars burn oil, the short explanation is that some motor oil has leaked into a part of the vehicle it wasn’t supposed to. As a result, the oil has come into contact with extra high temperatures, causing it to burn. And yes, you should be concerned. A car that burns oil is a serious problem that needs prompt attention.
This phenomenon can affect both older-model and relatively new vehicles. The common thread is that their regular maintenance has been neglected.
Professional auto repair is required for any car that is burning oil. Still, the solution could range from a piston seal ring replacement (if you’re lucky) to an entirely new engine installation.
Find out why your car is burning oil and what you should do.
What To Do When Your Car Is Burning Oil?
Never ignore the fact that your vehicle is burning oil. The longer you neglect this issue, the worse it will grow. True, you’ll be able to keep driving … for a while. However, sooner or later, your vehicle will be hit with various problems, like:
- “Check Engine” light signalling that your spark plugs have become dirtied with oil
- Engine functioning roughly
- Vehicle backfiring or stalling
- Overheated catalytic converter
- Engine seizing up
Be a smart automobile owner and avoid these problems. When you first suspect that your car burns oil, take it into a reliable local auto body shop for repair.
Reasons Why Your Car Is Burning Oil
Oil is necessary for lubrication and the smooth operation of moving parts. Various auto components work to keep the oil enclosed and out of the engine combustion chamber.
However, modern motor oils tend to be less viscous than they once were to reduce friction and cost. Their drawback is that this lack of viscosity may allow them to leak more easily out of their designated area and onto auto parts with extreme heat. Burning oil is the result, as in the following instances:
Damaged PCV Valve
Your PCV valve, or Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, to give it its full name, has the very important function of releasing the car’s engine pressure due to combustion gases. If this essential auto part gets damaged, the resulting pressure buildup is capable of forcing oil up into your cylinders or blowing seals.
Engine Oil Leaking
You might not notice a small engine oil leak until you check your oil consumption with a dipstick. If the engine oil level is just a bit lower than expected, your engine might be leaking oil. That oil may congeal and eventually burn on metal car parts. In this case, you’ll need professional engine leak repair plus an oil top-up.
Faulty Piston Rings
Oil lubricates pistons so they can move up and down. Normally the oil is kept inside the crankcase by piston rings (also known as oil control rings). However, if the piston rings are faulty (“stuck, worn, broken”), oil can get into the engine combustion chamber, where it will burn.
Leaking Head Gasket
Head gaskets are another type of seal. In this case, they keep your engine oil contained in “oil galleries” between the cylinder head and the engine block. That way, the oil can’t leak into the engine…unless the gaskets spring a leak.
How To Tell If Your Car Is Burning Oil
While your car is running normally, the engine components will reach extremely high temperatures. When leaking oil comes into contact with a super-hot component, it will produce a burning smell.
Bluish fumes from your exhaust pipe — rather than the usual grey — are a visual signal that oil has leaked into the engine combustion chamber and is being burnt, together with your gasoline.
Bemac Will Keep Your Car Safe
If you suspect that your car is burning oil, bring it to Bemac. Our qualified mechanics will inspect for any problems that could be causing an oil leak. We’ll then recommend an effective repair that will get you and your car back on the road again safely!