Q: Buying used car and checking for oil burning

asked by on July 17, 2017

If I'm buying a used car..what test can I perform to check if the car burns oil even for a little.

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Look in the tail pipe for oil residue indicating excessive oil or look for any blue smoke coming from exhaust when running. Other than this you would need to do oil consumption test. See when last oil change was done and see if level is low and how many miles were driven since last oil change? If driven more than 1000 miles from last oil change and not low on oil then you may not have any excess oil usage. Otherwise vehicle would need to be driven for 1000 miles to see if oil goes low more than one quart since this is normal amount of usage in most engines.

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Look in the tail pipe for oil residue indicating excessive oil or look for any blue smoke coming from exhaust when running. Other than this you would need to do oil consumption test. See when last oil change was done and see if level is low and how many miles were driven since last oil change? If driven more than 1000 miles from last oil change and not low on oil then you may not have any excess oil usage. Otherwise vehicle would need to be driven for 1000 miles to see if oil goes low more than one quart since this is normal amount of usage in most engines.

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Look in the tail pipe for oil residue indicating excessive oil or look for any blue smoke coming from exhaust when running. Other than this you would need to do oil consumption test. See when last oil change was done and see if level is low and how many miles were driven since last oil change? If driven more than 1000 miles from last oil change and not low on oil then you may not have any excess oil usage. Otherwise vehicle would need to be driven for 1000 miles to see if oil goes low more than one quart since this is normal amount of usage in most engines.

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Hello, thank you for writing in. Testing for oil burning usually means opening up the engine to see if the pistons and exhaust manifold show signs of oil. You can also check your spark plugs to see if there is any oil fouling. Since extensive testing like this is nearly impossible to perform on a vehicle you are looking to buy, you can also run your finger on the inside of the tailpipe (make sure it is cool!) and look for signs of oil. You will always find your finger is dirty afterwards, but you are looking for a thick, dark black, greasy soot. It is normal for most vehicles to burn a very small amount of oil, but it should be a minor amount and nearly unnoticeable. For more help with testing or a pre-purchase inspection, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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