The engine of any vehicle contains a large number of components. To reduce the friction between the various components, engine oil is added to the engine, which provides lubrication and ensures that the vehicle functions smoothly. Usually, the amount of engine oil required for lubrication is not much, .5 liter is adequate for a vehicle which covers a distance of 5000 miles at normal speeds. Most vehicle manufacturers will usually specify the amount of engine oil that will be consumed, and the recommended brands. Sometimes the vehicle driver will notice that the oil consumption is higher than expected, and before fixing the problem it is important to understand the causes of Excessive Engine Oil Consumption.
Wrong or poor quality oil
The vehicle manufacturer will usually recommend a particular oil for lubricating the engine. In some cases, the vehicle driver may not get their particular brand of oil or may prefer to use another oil which may be cheaper. The cheaper oil may not be of good quality and it will not provide the lubrication desired, so more oil will be required. In other cases, after the same oil has been used for a longer period of time, there will be a lot of dirt and debris in the oil. If it is not replaced, more of the dirty oil will be required for lubrication.
Leaky seals and gaskets
The engine and transmission of the vehicle are fairly complex and has a large number of components with gaskets and seals to get a proper fitting. Since they are subjected to a lot of friction, wear and tear, the gaskets and seals may get torn or have holes. The engine oil may leak through the holes, and over a period of time, the holes will become larger in size. When the oil is leaking away, the oil consumption will increase. The valve cover gasket is the gasket which is most likely to leak oil, though other gaskets and seals like the crankshaft seal will also leak oil.
Damaged piston rings
In many vehicles which have been used for a longer period of time, the piston ring may get worn out or damaged. The oil will leak through the damaged piston rings, and oil seal belts to enter the internal combustion chamber. Here the leaked oil will burn, due to which carbon deposits will be formed on the cylinders and piston rings., adversely affecting the functioning of the vehicle. This will also increase the amount of engine oil required since the leaked oil is burned and lost and the engine will require more lubricating oil to make up for the lost oil.
High oil pressure
In most of the newer vehicles, there is a sophisticated system installed, which controls the various parameters of the vehicle, including the engine oil pressure. In some cases, the settings may be incorrect, due to which the pressure of the oil is very high. Hence the oil which will flood the engine will be more than what is required. This excess oil may leak to the cylinders of the vehicle, where the oil is burned and lost. So higher pressure settings will increase oil consumption. When the engine is functioning at a low speed, more torque is required, increasing the stress on piston and oil consumption.
Age of the engine
Like most gadgets and appliance, the vehicle and its engine will function best in the first few years after it has been purchased since most of the components are new. Over a period of time, due to wear and tear, the components will get damaged and may develop leaks. The friction between the components in the engine will also increase and they may not be aligned perfectly. So new vehicles whose engine is also new will require less engine oil, while older vehicles are likely to require more engine oil, due to misalignment, leakage and other factors.
It is advisable for the vehicle owner to monitor the engine oil consumption regularly and take immediate action if there is a sudden increase in the consumption of the oil. Ignoring the problem can adversely affect the functioning of the engine since the oil getting burnt will form carbon deposits and reduce its power. Hence if the amount of lubricating oil required increases, it is advisable for the vehicle owner to check the vehicle engine for oil leakages or damage to any component. Depending on his level of expertise, he can repair the fault or use the services of a mechanic.