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Why is my car burning oil – All you need to know

  • Car Care Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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Burning car oil is something you should not take lightly, and we recommend getting it fixed as soon as possible. Here’s our detailed answer to the often-asked question: Why is my car burning oil?   

Burning oil is a common problem that almost all automobiles face, even the new ones. However, if you ignore it, it can cause expensive and irreparable damage to your car over time. Therefore, it’s important to identify and solve the issue as soon as possible. In this post, we’re breaking down why your car is burning oil and its possible reasons. Keep reading to know more.   

Why is my car burning oil - pouring oil into the engine

Why is my car burning oil?

Your car is burning oil internally because it has found a way to enter the combustion chamber – it shouldn’t be there! The oil enters the combustion chamber and burns because of faulty engine components in your car. It could be worn-away piston rings, valves, gaskets, and other components in the car. Sometimes the oil can leak externally too. Here’s a list of reasons for the burning oil issue in the vehicle:   

A worn-out PCV valve  

The positive crankcase ventilation, also called the PCV system, is an important component in your car’s engine. The PCV eliminates the harmful gases that get generated during the combustion process. Before the gases exit the exhaust, the PCV routes them back to the combustion chamber, burning them again.    

When the PCV system gets clogged instead of the gas, oil is sucked into the engine, which causes the burning of oil. Replace the PCV to eliminate this issue.  

Worn out piston rings  

The piston rings in the engine form a seal against the cylinder to prevent the combustion gases from escaping. Worn-out piston rings will allow the oil to enter the combustion chamber, then burn.  

Damaged valve seals  

Valve seals prevent the oil flowing in the valves from leaking down into the combustion chamber. When the seals get worn out or damaged, the oil can leak into the combustion chamber and get burned.  

A broken gasket  

The gasket prevents the oil from spilling on other components in the engine. Over time, the continuous heating up and cooling can cause damage and gaps in the gasket – this can cause the oil to leak. Examine your gasket during your regular car maintenance. If you notice a worn-out gasket, replace it immediately.   

Damage in the oil pan  

The oil pan in your vehicle can get damaged if you drive on uneven surfaces or when it gets hit by road debris. Damage in the oil pan can make the oil leak fast. If you notice a puddle of oil near your car, a damaged oil pan is most probably the reason for the leak.   

How do I know if my engine is burning oil?   

Here are the signs and symptoms you can notice when the engine is burning oil:   

  • If your car’s oil level starts getting low faster than the usual rate  
  • A burning smell  
  • Blue smoke from the tailpipe of your vehicle   

What happens if you ignore the burning oil issue?   

You should never ignore a burning oil issue in your car. The burning engine oil issue can cause the following damages:   

  • It can roughen up the vehicle’s engine or, worse, seize it  
  • The spark plugs can be damaged   
  • The catalytic converter can overheat or malfunction 

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