Car seems to be using more oil than normal, a switch is needed

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1,983
Location
New Brunswick
So, I've been using 5W20 in my 93 Vic with 180000+ miles. I've had it in for maybe 2 weeks, distance unknown due to defective odometer. In the short time I've been running the 5W20, I've already used 1 quart! And it seems the car is blowing more smoke than normal. Now here's my plan. Since I only changed the oil less than 1000 miles ago, the next time I need to top up, I'm putting in a quart of 15W40, and I'm going to continue to use a 15W40 whenever I need to add oil to the crankcase. Sure I <i>may</i> lose 2 percent off my fuel mileage, but I think it's worth the risk. What do you think?
 
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13,228
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
You mean it's worth the 2nd risk. The first risk was using the wrong weight for your vehicle. That 15W-40 should ease consumption a tad. Think about using the same oil brand-name for both thin & HDEO weights you are blending.
 
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39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
I'd do auto-rx and see if you can remedy the consumption that way. It's not the same engine, by a long shot, but it worked on my daughter's Vulcan. Almost no consumption after a long bout of using it by the hour(s). I agree with tri7 in that if you're going to mix ..try and keep it within brands ..and, if possible, within product lines. That all said, sure, use the heavy weight just to see if viscosity can slow your consumption and reduce your smoking. You didn't mention your driving habits ..nor the oil brand that you use.
 

55Test

Thread starter
Messages
1,983
Location
New Brunswick
I've got 4 quarts QS 5w20, one bottle of SLOB, and 1 quart of Castrol GTX 5w20 in it. Now, my driving habits..hmm, most of the time I keep close to the speed limit, but I do like to accelerate hard quite a bit, I just like the sound of the engine. Most of my driving in the car is in to town, about a 15 mile trip one way, speeds roughly 45-50 mph on the way in, then 35-40 around town. I try to take it out on the highway at least once a week.
 
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4,643
Location
The Garden State
Aren't those early 90's 4.6's known to have bad valve stem seals? I second the use of one or two ARX treatments. Also go back to the oil you were using previously, if it wasn't being burned off like the 5W-20. By the way what oil were you using previously? If the ARX doesn't help your valve stem seals and your previous oil din't burn off like the 5W-20 I guess the least expensive course is to continue using your previous brand/grade oil. Whimsey
 
Messages
1,401
Location
Sarasota, Florida
If you can afford it this may be a good time to experiment. The engine is certainly worn and dirty so a 20 wt oil may be inappropriate. However, clean the engine as Gary suggests then try several different 20 wt. oils and test them after similar milage runs, say 3,000. Keep track of oil consumption. Do you have an oil temperature gauge? aehaas
 
Messages
60
Location
Springfield, MA
55, While I'm big fan of Xw-20 oil and ford, but wow you have guts. I would like a little back story. When did you switch to xw-20 and why? What was your change in MPG when you did this? How many oil changes happen before you noted your car drank oil? I'm with Gary on this you need to clean your engine. An Auto-RX treatment might do the job, I personly thinks it works too good.(too fast) If it was my car I rather use a HDEO 5w-30 Cl-4/SL or better "fleet oil", this is going to be MUCH slower then Auto-RX, but less sludge will come off at once. Etherway only after cleaning your motor learning your car does not drink xw-30 should you once again start using xw-20.
 

55Test

Thread starter
Messages
1,983
Location
New Brunswick
Whimsey, yes you're right, the early 4.6's were well known for bad valve stem seals and I assume mine is a victim to it. I was using Maxlife dino 5w30 before and it wasn't using near as much oil as it is now. I really should get underneath the car and check to see if anything is loose, it's just using so much oil I have to wonder if anything is leaking. I've only had this oil in the engine for maybe 3 weeks and by the looks of it I'm going to have to change it soon. I wanted to try the 5w20 to see if it really does help or hurt fuel economy, and I can say in my case it hasn't made any noticeable difference. No oil temperature gauge, but the oil pressure gauge has consistently read slightly lower than with the Maxlife I was using before. I think the 5w20 would help my fuel mileage as much as a 15w40 would hurt it. If the oil usage keeps up at the rate it's been going, then in a week I'll have to drain it and put some HDEO in.
 
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