Why is my car burning oil?

When your car or truck starts burning oil you’ve got a serious problem and the sooner you fix your burning oil problem the cheaper it will be. It will not get better on its own. If you are smelling a foul odor and seeing a bluish color in your exhaust you’re likely burning oil. This both hurts your vehicle’s performance as well as can cause real damage.

Think about how an engine’s lubrication systems are designed to work. Oil circulates throughout your entire engine, ensuring that everything that moves, slides, or rotates is well lubricated. The only area that should not have oil in it is the fuel system, including your combustion chambers.

Typically when your car is burning oil it means somewhere there is failed seal that is allowing oil to enter the combustion chambers. This may be due to leaking around your piston rings or faulty valve seals. We usually see this in older, high mileage, vehicles. When this happens, it is time to get into the shop to have the problem addressed.

However, just because you find your oil level low, doesn’t mean you are actually burning oil, you may be leaking as well. The telltale sign of leaking is that nasty stain or drips on your driveway where your car is parked. If this is the case you should also get into the shop as soon as possible to find the leak, fix, and ensure you never actually run out of oil.

Category: Frequently Asked Car Repair Questions
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