High milage engine starting to burn oil

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Jan 26, 2003
150,000 miles on a Ford 4.6 V8 and its starting to smoke now. I have been using Castrol 10W-30. Are there any oils or additives that may help cut down on the amount of smoke? Specifically I was wondering if synthetics smoke when they burn. I realize switching could cause more leakinging or blow by but with less smoke I can live with that. Thanks in advance.
If your 4.6L is pre 1998 the most likely cause of your oil consumption is valve stem seals. They tend to harden up and leak oil wich is burned in the cylinders. The best solution is to replace the valve seals with new ones. The seals are very inexpensive but the labor is very expensive. OTC makes a tool that allows you to change the seals with the heads still on the car. This is the way to go if you can do the work yourself. My '95 Lincoln Towncar with 90K miles uses about 1/2 quart every 3 to 4K. It's not bad enough to change the seals yet. I'm in process of using Auto-RX on this car. I don't think it will "fix" the problem but I'm curious to see if it helps. I change the oil every 4 to 5K with Chevron Supreme 10W30. I have also used other oils in this car and they all had similar oil consumption patterns.
I would recomend you go to a heaver weight oil. As you engine ages the clearances get larger and a heaver oil will work better. I have a toyota cressida with 250,000 miles and uses about one quart every 1500 miles. I went to the 20w-50 Castrol GTX at about 180,000 and have been happy with the results. For an older car with high milage you can't beat the 20w-50 GTX.
And I have seen Neutra or Lube Control condition VS seals as well as cleaning up the ring pack. You might also want to try Mobil 1 15W50 or Schaeffer's 15W40 Blend.
My '71 383 Chrysler was using/leaking a quart every 1500 miles or so when I got it eight years ago. An engine flush, followed by a quick change with cheap Pep Boys "synthetic", then to M1 15W-50 and new valve cover gaskets was a help. I changed the valve stem seals a couple of years later, and oil "consumption" is at a quart per 4000. Car went from having 80,000 on it to 135,000 now. Pulled the heads a couple of years back to de-carbon and inspect during a timing chain replacement, found no sludge in motor, just a varnish coating that a future round with Neutra or Auto-RX ought to take care of. Car had been severely overheated after losing a water pump and having to travel a very slow 12-miles to another stop. Had been severely overheated once or twice prior to my having it. Neutra, A-RX, Lube Control, etc, ought to be worth a try if the labor expense is as high as indicated above.
Thanks for everyone's reply. I'm considering getting the special tool and replace the valve seals as suggested by ssmokn. I had suspected that was the problem due to one plug not firing when starting the engine after it sits all night. It sometimes smokes upon start up also.
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