Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Checking car for oil burning

asked by on

Hello I know a mechanic who once told me that I can check if a car is burning oil by opening the oil cap( where engine oil is poured) while the car is running and checking visually for smoke. However I don't really know what to look for excatly ..I know there are other ways to check for oil burning ..but I'm interested in this way..thank you

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

The crankcase is a closed system and this kind of test does not show anything on this cars engine since if you open the oil cap the engine will run rough due to sucking in all the fresh air. The best oil consumption test is to do a fresh oil change and make sure it is full of oil on full mark on indicator and then drive the car as normal and measure how many miles is driven until the oil is low by 1 quart before adding. If you are going more than 1000 miles before you have to add a quart of oil then you are not burning excess oil. If you are getting less than 1000 miles before it is 1 quart low then you have excessive oil consumption and need to have PCV system checked and a compression test done to find the cause.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Checking car for oil burning

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Seat will not move back and forth

Hello. You would need to have the seat switch checked to see if it is bad or the seat's bottom power frame has a defective motor that needs to be replaced. Only a complete check would be able to isolate...

Q: Where is the hazard/ turn signal flasher located? 1993 BMW 525i

Hello, the turn signal/emergency flasher unit is a black plastic unit - rectangular, golf ball size - located just left and under the steering column. The lower portion of the steering column black plastic cover, and potentially the left knee...

Q: Air conditioning is blowing hot air - car stalls when A/C is on

In order to diagnose all the different problems you have, I having the A/C pressures checked to see if the system is low on refrigerant from a leaking compressor or another component. The rough idle may be due to a...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...