The current landscape of automobiles is heavily oil-dependent. Petroleum is still the most readily accessible fuel option for automobiles. But with the global rising cost of fuel, it became imperative to be efficient with oil consumption. Besides this, some factors cause excessive fuel consumption in vehicles. Have you ever checked whether your car is consuming more fuel than usual? Here are several methods to reduce oil consumption in cars.
Signs of Excess Fuel Consumption in Cars
Before diving into efficient oil consumption, it is important to understand the signs of excess oil consumption in cars. One of the more telltale signs of high oil consumption is the constant low bar on the fuel gauge. Other indicators include:
If you constantly smell burning oil in your car, chances are high that there is an issue with the oil flow. This problem might occur from a faulty gasket or a piston ring. Whatever the case, it causes oil to leak into the combustion chamber of the engine.
This is not ideal as oil isn’t supposed to directly enter the combustion chamber. In addition to running the risk of accidents, it also causes the inside of the car to smell like burnt oil as you fire up the engine.
When you keep the car in neutral for too long, you will see that blue smoke is coming out of the exhaust. This is another clear sign that your car is consuming more oil than it should. The blue smoke is generally attributed to excess oil consumption. While it’s a secondary sign to the oil smell, it’s something that reiterates the problem with the piston rings.
What Causes Excess Oil Consumption in Cars
So now that you know the signs of excess oil consumption, it's time to understand what are the underlying factors behind the problem. More often than not, excess oil consumption can easily be controlled with a few simple measures.
Non-marked Engine Oil
Every engine from a simple VTEC to a V8 has specified engine oils. The companies tune the engine for specific types of engine oils. So it is important to ensure that the recommended oils are being used for the engine.
The specific oil type and in some cases, the oil brand are mentioned in the engine manual.
Regular Oil Change
This is another important factor that determines the oil consumption of the car. Every car engine requires a regular oil change. It helps to keep the internal components running and doesn’t clog up over time.
It is generally recommended that the oil be changed every 5000 km interval. It can be more or less than that but this should be taken as the median.
An old engine will consume more oil – that’s a grave universal truth. For example, an engine that has run over 100,000 km will consume much more oil than say a 20,000 km running engine. This is mostly because of the wear and tear over the years. The best way to increase engine longevity is to regularly service the car.
Damaged Gaskets and Piston Ring
Gaskets are the caps that act as a sealant against leaks in different engine parts. On the other hand, the piston rings regulate the oil flow. In any case, where the gasket or the piston ring may be damaged, the oil will enter the combustion chamber and show signs as mentioned previously. So, it's important to get the gaskets and the piston rings serviced regularly.
The vacuum mechanism of a car controls the airflow within the car and its chambers. A faulty vacuum mechanism might allow the oil to leak into the vacuum chamber. This will set a chain reaction where the vacuum will eventually get clogged and restrict the airflow in the entire car.
Believe it or not, driving style may also influence how a car might perform on the oil front. People who love to drive fast with a higher rev count may very well see more oil usage than standard cars.
In addition to these, other oil-related filters and sealing caps may play a role in high oil consumption as well as potential engine damage.
How to Reduce/Fix Oil Consumption in Cars
So you know the signs and potential causes for oil leaks/ high oil consumption in your car. The question is, how do you fix it? Well, here’s how.
Using Recommended Engine Oil
Always stick to what's written in the manual. The best way to ensure that the engine is up and running is by using the correct engine oil. It will help to keep the engine in perfect condition and reduce the potential risk of high oil consumption.
Changing Engine Oil at Regular Intervals
This point cannot be stressed enough. It’s important to not only use the correct engine oil but also to change it at a regular interval. It ensures that carbon doesn’t build up over time in the engine and cause a potential oil leak.
Another useful way to conserve oil is to drive in Eco mode. Most modern cars regardless of brands have an Eco mode which greatly contributes to keeping the mileage high and oil consumption low.
Repair the Faulty Engine Parts
The last resort to high oil consumption is to fix the problematic engine parts. This step is generally reserved for old cars. Repairing engine parts won't make the car run like new but it will at least ensure that there isn’t any oil leakage from the car.
High oil consumption in cars can be a huge problem. It not only reduces the mileage and overall performance of the car but also drives up the maintenance cost. It's uncommon to see oil consumption problems. The best way to combat the problem is by taking precautions. Once you use your car responsibly and take care of it, the chances of an oil leakage or exessive oil consumption in cars will become significantly low.