At present, there is no formal guidance on how much oil is considered “too much” for a vehicle to burn, but some manufacturers like BMW and GM state what they consider to be normal consumption in their owner’s manuals.
In general, it is estimated that newer cars will burn less than a quart of oil between each regularly scheduled service appointment, but as a vehicle ages you can expect an increase in oil consumption due to normal wear.
In the event that your car is consuming excessive amounts of oil, there is a variety of possible causes, many of which require immediate action be taken to avoid damage to your vehicle. The most common causes of oil leaks are worn valve stems, piston rings, gaskets, or seals. In such cases, oil can enter the combustion chamber and result in a blue tinted smoke coming from the exhaust.
Because excessive oil consumption and oil leaks can be caused by a wide variety of factors, it is recommended that you see a trained automotive repair technician as soon as you notice a blue smoke coming from the exhaust or a rapid decrease in oil level when you check your vehicle’s dipstick.
At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we continue to champion regularly scheduled preventative maintenance so our trained mechanics can help catch early signs wear before they result in an oil leak or excessive oil consumption.