Car Burning Oil: How to Know if Your Car is Burning Oil and the Most Common Causes

A car that’s burning oil could have several causes, ranging from simple issues that your mechanic can fix quickly to expensive problems that require more extensive repairs. Here are the most common causes burning oil and how to know if your car is burning oil.

How to Tell if Your Car Is Burning Oil

Blue smoke from your exhaust is one telltale sign that your car is burning oil. Also, if your engine makes tapping noises or loses power, it could be burning oil. Another way to tell is to check your oil level. If it’s low, that could mean that your car is burning oil. Four common issues cause a car to burn oil:

Cause #1: Oil Pan Gasket

A car that is burning oil will often have engine trouble. The most common cause of this problem is a faulty oil pan gasket. This gasket seals the oil pan to the engine block and keeps oil from leaking out. If the gasket fails, oil can leak out and come in contact with hot engine parts causing it to burn.

Cause #2: Worn Piston Rings

If your car burns oil, it could be due to worn piston rings. The piston rings are responsible for sealing the combustion chamber so that oil doesn’t enter. Over time, they can become worn down, which will cause oil to leak into the combustion chamber and be burned up. This can lead to engine trouble and decreased performance.

Cause #3: Blown Head Gasket

If your car is burning oil, it could be due to a blown head gasket. The head gasket seals the engine block and cylinder head, so the oil can leak into the combustion chamber if blown. This will cause your car to burn oil and can lead to engine damage. The most common cause of a blown head gasket is overheating, so keep an eye on your car’s temperature gauge.

Cause #4: Worn Valve Seals

The most common cause of oil burning in cars is worn valve seals. When your car’s engine runs, the valves open and close to let air in and out of the cylinders. The seals around the valves keep oil from leaking into the combustion chamber. Over time, these seals can wear out, causing oil to leak into the combustion chamber and burn up.

Burning oil is a very common issue with many cars. It’s best to get the cause of this problem diagnosed and corrected before engine damage occurs. See your mechanic as soon as possible if you suspect your car is burning oil.