Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Vehicle burning oil

asked by on

My truck burns oil, but it does not leak oil. When I accelerate, I hear a crackling noise from the engine. I suspect that it might need the intake manifold gasket and plenum gasket. Also, it does not smoke. Your input would be appreciated on this matter. Thank you!

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hey there. Every vehicle will begin to burn...

Hey there. Every vehicle will begin to burn oil as it ages. It is completely normal and expected. Most likely, there is an oil leak somewhere on the motor that just doesn’t reach the ground in the form of a drip. Oil and coolant can leak slow enough that it will evaporate before it is noticeable without a thorough inspection from underneath, in front of and behind the motor. And then there is oil that finds its way past he rings and into the cylinders, which is a completely normal and engineered part of the rings sealing in the cylinders during combustion. The combination of the two of these oil leaks can be found on virtually every older vehicle on the road. When I say older, I speak of anything more than ten years old.

If you don’t see any oil leaking on the ground, then it isn’t something to worry about. Just know that oil leaks of this nature will contribute to oil usage. When it comes to burning oil, it depends on how much oil it burns between oil changes. The general rule of thumb is a quart of oil between an oil change interval of three or four thousands miles is acceptable. My own vehicle uses a little over a quart of oil between oil changes.

If you find yourself adding several quarts in a three thousand mile period or it smokes out the tail pipe, then its time to consider an engine build. I have personally seen vehicles last decades in this state. So depending on how much oil is lost between oil changes, I would’t be to worried.

If you require further assistance with this, I recommend having an inspection of the low oil levels so that this can be correctly addressed.

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!

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: Starter problem

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a faulty starer relay or potentially a bad starter. If you hear a clicking sound when turning the key, it is quite likely you have a faulty starter solenoid. This is a...

Q: Won't hold idle - 1999 Ford F-150

Hey there. This may be a sign of a dirty or failing idle air control valve or potentially an intake air leak. The idle air control valve monitors the air intake as it is mixed with fuel as it gets...

Q: My truck cranks but is slow to start. It idles rough and stalls out. I've already replaced my fuel pump - what could it be? 1997 Dodge Ram 1500

Hello - I believe your problem is low fuel pressure, at least during the cranking phase. If the fuel pump check valve is not maintaining pressure in the fuel system while the engine is turned off, cranking time is long...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.