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> Burning Lots Of Oil Help!
BjorntheBeige
post Nov 17 2010, 04:25 PM
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So I was planning on stopping for an oil change this past weekend, but was driving around last Thursday when I saw one of the warning lights on the dash flicker briefly. It did not stay on long enough for me to see which one it was, but I thought it was the oil light. I went straight home and checked only to find NO oil in the engine. Dry dipstick.

I put in about 5.5 quarts and took it straight to the dealer. They had it for two days, said it is definitely burning oil. They did an engine flush and gave me the car back, saying "we have no idea what's wrong or why the oil light didn't come on and we have to wait and see".

They first blamed me for using Valvoline instead of Castrol (really?), and said that burning about a quart per 1000 miles is normal for this car with 74k. The tech info they gave me actually shows that the most "allowable" amount of oil burning would have taken 13,200 miles for the engine to run dry instead of the 7-8000 i go between changes.

I spent 300 bucks on a car with a probably cooked engine and have no explanation. They won't diagnose the health of the engine further unless it continues to burn oil, which still doesn't give me a prognosis for the engine.

I don't even know what my question is for the forum to be honest. Trade this thing in now? What the hell should I do?
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Volvo Virgin
post Nov 17 2010, 04:39 PM
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Why not just make sure it's topped up to the max on the dipstick and see how it goes.

A quart every 1000 miles seems a little excessive and I doubt it would be that much anyway.

My 2001 has twice your milage and I doubt if I burn a quart over 4000 miles.

I usually change the oil every 6000 miles and find myself topping it up once in between changes.
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BjorntheBeige
post Nov 17 2010, 04:49 PM
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Your car's consumption is what I would expect of it's mileage. Mine took 8k miles to go from full oil change to empty.

I'm going to watch it of course, but my ongoing concerns are:
why no oil light? (tech said it comes on at 2 quarts but can't tell me why it didn't)
how can I tell if my engine is fried?
what about sensors/plugs/seals damaged from excessive burning?

and I have 12 months at this pace to figure it out before my warranty is out.

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ed7
post Nov 17 2010, 06:37 PM
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You didn't mention past oil usage or mileage on the vehicle.
At 215,000mi, mine consumes about 1qt per 10,000 miles. My change interval is 10,000mi.
At the worst, my old 745 used 1qt per 3000mi.
Check your crankcase ventilation system, check compression, read your spark plugs.
Ed
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BjorntheBeige
post Nov 18 2010, 08:33 AM
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Past oil usage is negligible. The car has 74k miles.

I'll ask another dealership to do those things. I'm baffled as to why I could not convince this one to investigate further.
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Vermont
post Nov 18 2010, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (BjorntheBeige @ Nov 17 2010, 04:49 PM)
". . . and I have 12 months at this pace to figure it out before my warranty is out."

Could it be that they'd prefer to hold you in abeyance until you're outside the Warranty ?

BTW; I'm sitting at 186,000 Miles on a S-60 5 Cylinder and don't appear to burn anything in between my 5000 Mile Oil Changes.

I do recognize however, that EVERY CAR burns some oil, and we just slowly replace it with condensation in the crankcase . . . . but I've never felt inclined to add any in between changes. I used to change oil on a Saab 9000 Turbo every 3000 Miles; so going 5000 Miles for these Volvos seems liberal; but you guys amaze me with the 10,000 Mile changes. I did get over 300,000 Miles out of that Saab, and it wasn't the engine that ended it's tenure with me.

Thanks for the "Down 2 Quarts" information. Who would have thought ? (I won't be testing mine !)

Why can't we have a Warning Light for Low Transmission Fluid ? The Tranny seems more temperamental than the engine (especially if someone can be down 5.5 Quarts !) And why is is so difficult to find and pull out the Transmission Fluid Dip Stick ? . . . . the least user friendly item I've ever encountered. It's almost like they prefer you never check it !
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BjorntheBeige
post Nov 19 2010, 08:38 AM
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Yeah, well they don't want to do what's necessary even IN warranty. And I had an argument with the dealer and Volvo service about the fact that this treatment should be covered. They consider it a "maintenance" item. I consider maintenance items to be proactive services, not reactive measures.

And FYI I think it is "down TO 2 quarts", although I'm not certain. The R version apparently has a "low oil level" alert in addition to my (non-working) "you're screwed" light.

Most people I've talked to use blend or full synthetic, which should give you at least 7500 miles. I cannot see the need to do it more frequently unless you are thrashing your car. My commute is all cruise control.

Don't get me started on Saabs. I'm gonna guess the engine was the last thing functioning on your car .





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Volvo Virgin
post Nov 19 2010, 09:53 AM
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Even if there was damage to the engine, the dealer could probably wriggle out of the warranty if they wanted to by arguing that it's your responsibility to check the oil level on a regular basis - and not rely on the oil pressure light.

I should imagine the only way they would take responsibility for major engine failure would be in the event of a large sudden oil leak - if it was a small leak or if it was burning oil you would be expected to notice the oil loss with regular checks and get it to the dealer before major damage occurred.

You haven't mentioned what engine you have ??
Even when I change my oil and filter, I wouldn't be able to get 5.5 quarts back into the engine anyway - even on level ground you would struggle to drain it all out.

Have you noticed leaving any black clouds in your rear view mirror or had a good look for signs of any oil leak?

The oil pressure light isn't the most reliable of warnings but hopefuly you still had some oil and therefor pressure in the engine and it allerted you in time before meltdown (even though it would have been nice to be warned a little sooner).
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BjorntheBeige
post Nov 19 2010, 03:15 PM
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non turbo 2.4, and 5 quarts, i mistyped.

They told me themselves there is no leak.

See there's my problem. Without any symptoms of leaking, burning, etc. how is one expected to catch the problem when the car went through all of its oil in the span of one oil change? Especially if it never exhibited fluid loss before. Ideally I would be checking levels all the time, but in the real world, absent of anything presenting a problem, how many people do? It wasn't a matter of going 12 months without an oil change and running out due to neglect, there is no way this car should be burning through that much to create this situation. As far as I'm concerned, something went very wrong with the engine first which created the problem. If a leak resulting in catastrophic loss would be covered, then combustion resulting in the same loss should be too.

Sorry for the tone, but the frustration of having a reliable car suddenly turn into a mess without any answers is getting to me.


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