Q: Engine Burning Oil

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I recently had cracked heads replaced on my ford ranger. Now it is burning oil like crazy. Mechanic is clueless why. Says its probably now needs rings. Never burned oil before the head replacement.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

If the engine did not have excessive oil consumption prior to the repair, the rings are not likely to presently be the cause of excessive oil consumption unless you have somehow ruined the rings "overnight". There are two principal possibilities. One is that the head gasket(s) is leaking. That’s not inconceivable, particularly if the heads and the block were not measured prior to even contemplating installation of a new gasket. Cylinder head gasket replacement requires strict adherence to Factory Service Manual specifications regarding block and head flatness. The latter surfaces must be flat within .002 inches, which is one-half the thickness of a human hair. Also, head bolt replacement and torque sequence, surface preparation (surfaces have to be mirror-like before gasket is applied), and so forth, are all critical. Unless the conditions are perfect, leaks are actually common. That’s why a lot of shops won’t do the work because it takes too much effort and too much time. The second possibility is leaks through the valve guides and/or the valve stem oil seals. Leaks there, of course, would simply occur if the "new" or replacement heads were defective. If you desire that the excessive oil consumption be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an oil leak/consumption diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will identify the root cause of the problem 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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