Q: Why does my 2002 Chrysler Town & Country consume so much oil?

asked by on July 26, 2016

Why would this vehicle use 14 quarts of oil on only a 1400 mile trip?

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are quite a few possibilities when it comes to oil consumption. But with this amount of usage, it should be fairly simple to figure out. It is either leaking it or burning it. There is no other way for oil to be used.

If the oil is leaking out, you should be able to look underneath the car and see a lot of oil. If this is the case, I recommend booking and appointment with one of our technicians to figure out where it is leaking from. Locating oil leaks can be difficult and it requires a significant amount of experience to become good at it. For this reason, I am not going to attempt to direct you on how to do so. I recommend having an oil/fluid leak inspection if you see a lot of oil underneath your car.

The other possibility is the motor is burning oil. There is a caveat to this though. For a motor to burn 14 quarts in 1400 miles, it would clearly have smoke coming out the tail pipe. The causes of this are likely to be rings or valve stem seals. If it is piston rings, or a problem with the piston itself, there will be smoke present at all times while the car is running. If it is the valve stem seals, you will most likely only see smoke when you let off the throttle, or under light load conditions. Either way, these two failures will require a large repair to fix. I recommend an oil level is low inspection to help you figure this out

Good luck!

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If you are really using one quart of oil for every 100 miles, then you should have a steady stream of oil coming out the tail pipe. You should have a clean PCV valve and air filter. Make sure the air filter inlet is not blocked at all. If either of these are dirty or clogged the engine will suck in excess oil.

Before anything internal is addressed I will have to say that you should start with the engine with the oil fill cap removed, and observe to see if you see heavy smoke coming out the valve cover or if you put your hand over the cap hole and you feel pressure pushing your hand away from thee hole?

If you do, then you have excessive blow by the piston rings of the engine and the engine may need to be rebuilt. If you feel a slight suction on your hand on the oil cap hole, then you may have a broken valve seal on one or more cylinders. Have the system checked for leaks by a verified by a mechanic. Remember that manufacturers normal oil usage on a used engine with over 50,000 miles is 1 quart for every 750 miles.

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