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alvin

High Oil Usage

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So what causes stuck rings?

 

There are only a handful of additives I'd really trust to put in my fuel or oil, but the LCD products (FP60 and LC20) and AutoRX are among them.

 

The single best resource for information on additives that I've found is the BITOG forums at http://theoildrop.server101.com/forums/ubb...p?Cat=0&C=2

 

Personally I wouldn't spend $2000 to save a quart of oil per 1000 miles, but I would experiment with a wide range of additives. Those guys at BITOG do all sorts of crazy things, like piston soaks, fogging, adding MMO to gas, and they are serious about their oil and oil additives...

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So what causes stuck rings?

 

Good question - we hear that term used alot, some may be unclear or just want to know more about it.

 

A stuck ring is caused by a mechanical issue either with damage to the cylinder, piston, rings themselves or from some foreign object. Most of the time - it is the latter variant, usually in the form of carbon deposits that force their way under and behind a piston ring "locking" it into place in the piston lands (cutouts in the piston head for the rings) - hence the term "stuck" rings. Normally the rings have a set amount of clearance to work with and are free to move slightly. This enables them to adjust to the extreme temps and pressures of the typical combustion chamber and to wipe the thin film of oil off the cylinder walls in normal operation. If they become "stuck" they are not able to do their oil control job - leading to oil consumption. Also, loss of power can occur in very bad cases, since they will not be able to make a good seal with the cylinder (usually determined with a dry/wet compression test).

 

These excessive deposits generally come from normal combustion processes - oil quality and filtration, engine design, and maintenance all influence how much of these deposits form in any given time. By using a good quality oil with an extensive additive package, you can help prevent excessive formation of the precursors to stuck rings, but again that means nothing if you don't maintain the engine regularly (if the additive package wears out or the filter is used up - you will start to get into trouble) or if the engine was poorly designed (excessive engine hot spots, poor circulation of oil, poor engine crankcase breathing, etc).

 

So what happens if you get "stuck" rings? Garrett mentioned a great site on just about any kind of oil/engine related issue - lots of info on UOAs (Used Oil Analysis) and results of VOA/NOAs (Virgin or New Oil Analysis). Add more additives will generally not help the matter - but products like Rislone, Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO), AutoRx, SeaFoam, Lucas products, BG products, etc. help flush out and or break up these deposits due to their detergency and/or dispersive properties. A good quality oils like Mobil 1, Amsoil, Shell Rotella, others can also do this as well - just at a slower pace.

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I changed my oil and added AutoRx. Looks like I'm losing oil at about a 1/2 qt per 500 miles (that's all I've driven since I added the AutoRx). Since I have 170K on the engine, I'm planning to do a second treatment after the oil flush after 150,000 miles per the AutoRx instructions.

 

Would my oil consumption go down immediately or is it more likely that I shouldn't expect any improvement (if the rings are just gunked up) until after the second treatment?

 

Thanks.

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If you have a physical problem causing excessive oil consumption (completely worn rings, scored cylinder walls, leaky gasket, etc.) - then all the Auto-RX in the world will not help.

 

But if it is a stuck rings (pretty common on the 8th gen Corollas) - then you should see something change in that case. Might take more than one treatment - depends on the how bad it is in there.

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I changed my oil and added AutoRx. Looks like I'm losing oil at about a 1/2 qt per 500 miles (that's all I've driven since I added the AutoRx). Since I have 170K on the engine, I'm planning to do a second treatment after the oil flush after 150,000 miles per the AutoRx instructions.

 

Would my oil consumption go down immediately or is it more likely that I shouldn't expect any improvement (if the rings are just gunked up) until after the second treatment?

 

Thanks.

Oil consumption at the rate of about 1 quart per 1,000 - 1,200 miles seems to be common.

I use about that much in all my cars. I just check the levels frequently between oil changes.

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Oil consumption at the rate of about 1 quart per 1,000 - 1,200 miles seems to be common.

I use about that much in all my cars. I just check the levels frequently between oil changes.

 

I doubt about the "common" part. None of my 10 cars I have or had (all imports BTW) had that level consumption. Well, except the one with failed main oil seal but I fixed that myself.

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Oil consumption at the rate of about 1 quart per 1,000 - 1,200 miles seems to be common.

I use about that much in all my cars. I just check the levels frequently between oil changes.

 

I doubt about the "common" part. None of my 10 cars I have or had (all imports BTW) had that level consumption. Well, except the one with failed main oil seal but I fixed that myself.

There are always exceptions and I am using "common" as the mileage reported for those that consider their cars high oil consumers. If a car is really built well and kept tuned correctly, it should not use much oil at all.

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After the first treatment with Auto Rx, my oil consumption seems to have dropped about 20% based on the amount of oil I was adding. I just started a second treatement of Auto Rx and will see if that makes another drop in oil consumption.

 

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that he spent $100 to have the valve seal replaced. Is that a doityourself kind of job? What's that involve? I have access to an auto hobby shop with a lift (where I change my oil), and try to do as much user maintenance that I can.

 

Thanks.

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After the first treatment with Auto Rx, my oil consumption seems to have dropped about 20% based on the amount of oil I was adding. I just started a second treatement of Auto Rx and will see if that makes another drop in oil consumption.

 

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that he spent $100 to have the valve seal replaced. Is that a doityourself kind of job? What's that involve? I have access to an auto hobby shop with a lift (where I change my oil), and try to do as much user maintenance that I can.

 

Thanks.

I think valve seal replacement is do-able. You need a spring compressor to get the valves out.

Check the manual on engine overhaul, especially about valve seal changing. Good information there.

Edited by Bikeman982

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After the first treatment with Auto Rx, my oil consumption seems to have dropped about 20% based on the amount of oil I was adding. I just started a second treatement of Auto Rx and will see if that makes another drop in oil consumption.

 

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that he spent $100 to have the valve seal replaced. Is that a doityourself kind of job? What's that involve? I have access to an auto hobby shop with a lift (where I change my oil), and try to do as much user maintenance that I can.

 

Thanks.

I think valve seal replacement is do-able. You need a spring compressor to get the valves out.

Check the manual on engine overhaul, especially about valve seal changing. Good information there.

 

I don't see how you'll get the valves out to replace the seals without removing the head - a fine PITA that is. If you're losing this kind of qty of oil through the valve seals (even mine wasn't leaking through the valve seals) then you'd quickly get serious carbon buildup on the valves, probably bent or at least poorly sealing valves and a loss of compression/power. Consider a fine low cost replacement engine from a junkyard or something. Or live with it. Seriously. More than likely the problem is a combination or factors - stuck rings, a little valve seal leakage. At least these engines only have 1 oil seal that really matters - on the serpentine end of the motor. Check for oil wetness on the bottom of the motor, it could be that it only leaks while the engine is running.

 

Also, while replacing the seals may sound simple, expect a job like this to take a solid 12 hours. You'll need a head gasket set (be sure it includes an exhaust gasket and intake gasket!). I'd replace the fuel injector o-rings since they come with it - my first time I reused them to my dismay - and had gas spraying all over the front of my engine.

 

Good Luck!

Edited by tomservo

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Well I have to face the inevitable emissions test. If I can't get the cel to stay off for a week, the car will fail the test. I can't keep it off for a day.

 

Is there any inexpensive way to reset the cel and keep it off for at least a week?

 

I am afraid to ask, but does this mean I either put the $$$ in and get the oil problem fixed or junk the car (can't sell it if it won't pass emissions)?

 

Thanks for your comments.

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Depends on what CEL code is popping up. Similar thing happened to me on my Corolla, getting ready to due emissions - was actually waiting in line for testing when the CEL popped on (it was running like a top, almost two years and 45K miles with NO CEL !!! - then pulls this 15 minuted before I get the car smogged). Ended up getting an extention on my registration, miss two-three days of work, spent 7+ hours tracing down vacuum hoses and testing valves - about $150 in parts, finally got the CEL to finally turn off long enough to complete an I/M cycle and refresh all stored values (tooj it about a week+ and a few hundred miles - the way I was driving). Been about a year a no problem.

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Well I have to face the inevitable emissions test. If I can't get the cel to stay off for a week, the car will fail the test. I can't keep it off for a day.

 

Is there any inexpensive way to reset the cel and keep it off for at least a week?

 

I am afraid to ask, but does this mean I either put the $$$ in and get the oil problem fixed or junk the car (can't sell it if it won't pass emissions)?

 

Thanks for your comments.

You may have to delay your emission testing until you can get it fixed enough so that the CEL will not come on.

The CEL on is an automatic failure.

The CEL should not come on because your car burns or leaks oil, only because something is outside of normal operating parameters that triggers the Light.

Find out the fault code and concentrate on taking care of that system.

Reset the CEL and drive it for a short time, to see if it comes back.

Edited by Bikeman982

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My CEL code has been one that says something about my O2 sensor. I was assuming that oil is being blown out my engine and fouling the sensor. Does that sound likely or something else? My engine has 180k miles and has been losing oil (no smoke and no signs of leakage) at the rate of about 1qt/1000miles, even after 2 treatments with Auto Rx, so it seems like a significant amount of oil could be passing through the exhaust system.

 

Can I replace the O2 sensor 'easily' or is that something that I would have to take to the shop? At my rate of oil loss, would it stay clean enough for a week to pass my emissions test?

 

I would rather keep driving my car for another year or two for minimal expense, if I can get the CEL to stay off and get past the emission test (got the notice in the mail, which is what prompted this thread).

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