Oil Consumption, Blowby’s earliest warning symptom.More oil loss than that and you are seeing the beginnings of engine failure if you don’t address the consumption issue. Addressing oil consumption first requires knowing how much oil your particular engine is using and if it is within the normal range of consumption. Seems pretty self intuitive. Prefacing this, running your engine on less oil than called for greatly increases the wear and tear on a normal engine, period. This practice is more damaging to an engine than running it with the proper level of dirty oil. Rule #1 for slowing the increase of oil consumption, blowby, seal, and gasket failure. Change and maintain your oil regularly. 3000 miles for conventional products and 5000 miles for synthetic products or as the manufacture recommends.
*IMPORTANT NOTE – Most oil filters cease to function at around 5000 miles – period. If consumption rises dramatically over a short time or mileage interval, get it checked immediately. Damaged bearing seals can cause this and the damage of a failing bearing can be quite costly. OOPS – We spilled the beans…
Not all oil consumption is related to blowbyWe need to make it clear that not all oil consumption is related to blowby. Leaks also contribute to oil consumption. Leaks in bearing and valve seals. Drying or cracked gaskets at oil pans and valve covers will allow oil to escape as well. “Oil is a slippery thing and finds all types of ways to elude your engines vital parts.” – Bob Pond
Oil leaks are not always obvious and can be hard to find. For those leaks like valve cover and oil pan gaskets, replacement usually remedies the problem. Bearing seals and valve seats are a little tougher to find but they do leave their trails as well. Oily blocks, and fouled plugs may give a clue. If you’re a savvy wrench you’ll know the signs. If not, your mechanic will.