Q: Burning oil and have to add oil from time to time. Could it be the valve cover gasket?

asked by on May 01, 2017

Burning oil too fast and need to replace oil in engine from time to time. Thinking it may be a valve gasket.

My car has 89688 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Valve covers leak externally and so a faulty cover gasket could not cause oil to burn in the combustion chambers (cylinders). If oil is burning in the engine cylinders it has to leak in either through the valves, in particular past the valve stem oil seals and/or valve guides, or past the piston rings. You can test individual cylinder compression to get an idea of the condition of the rings. If oil consumption doesn’t exceed about 1 quart in 2,000 to 3,000 miles, that is considered acceptable. If you’re using a quart of oil every 1,000 miles, though, that’s a problem. There are a variety of approaches to diagnosing this (they will all end with the same result) so if you just request an exhaust smoke diagnostic - suspected burning oil the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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