Q: Should I get the piston rings replaced or just swap the entire engine?

asked by on

My car has been burning about a quart of oil every week and a half or so recently. I took out and checked the spark plugs and there is some oil on two of the plugs up the rings. My plugs are burning a bit hot as well. Im almost positive its the rings and not stem seals reason being there is little to no smoke coming out the tail pipe and im losing such a large amount of oil. So should I get my engine repaired or just replace it? About how much would it be to do either of them? Whats cheaper? Whats more reliable? Or is it worth just getting rid of the car? Thanks.
My car has a manual transmission.

First off, if it isn’t smoking, it probably isn’t burning all that oil. A quart a week is four quarts a month and about 1000-2000 miles. That’s a lot of oil. It is most likely a combination of leaking oil and burning it. To be able to advise you on the best course of action for your car, I would need to see it in person. There simply isn’t a substitution for seeing it in person in a circumstance such as this.

For informational purposes I will address a few items...

If it were burning that much oil, I would expect to see quite a bit of smoke out the tail pipe. It is possible it begins burning the oil on a steady freeway drive and you are unable to see it because the smoke dissipates quickly. Let’s say it is burning the oil; Most likely a motor with 100,000 miles or so from a wrecking yard would be the most cost effective repair in this case. Re-ringing has two disadvantages; one, it takes more labor so more money is spent; two, it introduces a lot of opportunity for human error.

Even then, compare what that estimate is to a similar car that you can purchase. Can you afford something that cost more? Is it better than what you have if you were to fix the car you have now. All this depends on the condition of the car you have now.

As it is, I am not yet convinced it is burning all the oil. My instincts tells me you maybe able to fix a leak or two and get the oil consumption to a manageable level. My own car uses a quart every oil change. This is normal. My car has 235,000 miles on it and I drive it every day.

I recommend booking an appointment with a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose your oil consumption and figure out the best path for you.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Should I get the piston rings replaced or just swap the entire engine?

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: When i start my 95 monte 6carlo at 15F it revs at just over 2k, its climb and has made it up to 3.1 before i put it in gear help?

Hello. Thank you for writing in. All vehicles need a higher RPM when cold. The engine needs more fuel and advanced spark timing. The computer monitors all of this with various sesnors. Due to yours being higher than usual, you...

Q: I was driving my car home when it started to lose power and the RED OIL CAN Light flashed for about 5 mins . The car stopped and

A flashing oil light is typically a sign that either the oil level is low, or the computer has sensed a lack of oil pressure. I hope it isn't the case, but usually when an engine starts to lose power...

Q: How Long Does an Engine Usually Last?

How long an engine lasts requires a long list of variables to consider before a time frame or mileage can be given. I have seen engines last less than 40,000 miles and others that lasted more than 300,000 miles. When...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...