Oil Consumption according to Audi (??)

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Nov 16, 2002
Found this on another forum. I assume it's from Audi, not sure though.


A good read from Audi:

"Even an efficiently running engine consumes oil or it would quickly wear out. All of the engine friction surfaces are cushioned by a thin film of oil. The upper piston ring (compression ring) for example, is lubricated by a thin film of oil deposited on the cylinder wall. This microscopic film is burned away during combustion. Although very little oil is consumed per stroke, over long distances small amounts can add up to whole quarts of oil. For this reason the oil level must be checked regularly.

The amount of oil an engine consumes depends on how the vehicle is driven. This is especially noticeable during the first 7500 miles when a new engine is being broken in and the internal components are seating.

Some factors affecting oil consumption are: the ambient temperature, engine size, quality and viscosity of the oil and the way the vehicle is driven.

When a vehicle is driven at highway speeds, unburned fuel, by-products of combustion, condensation and contaminants evaporate through the crankcase vent system and are consumed via normal combustion. A vehicle driven for short trips without fully warming up the engine or in cold weather may not appear to consume any oil because unburned fuel, by-products of combustion, condensation or other contaminants will mix with the oil and give the appearance that no oil is being consumed. In some cases, the added contaminants will even cause the oil level to rise significantly.

The best conditions under which to check the oil level are with a warm engine on a level surface. When checking the level with a warm engine, it is recommended that the engine sit for five to ten minutes with the ignition switched off. This allows the circulated oil to drain back into the oil pan for an accurate reading." - Audi S4 TSB on 'oil consumption'

This is very similar to what Toyota says. Toyota also states that up to 1L per 100km is "normal" oil consumption, yikes!

The oil level has not dropped on my new Tundra V-8 in 1200 miles.
They speak the truth but it's a little misleading. Seems to be an attempt to justify engines that noticeably burn oil. My 52k mile old VW 1.8T engine does not noticeably burn any oil in 6000 miles accoring to the dipstick level. It lubricates itself just fine, thank you very much! The distinction is burning and noticeably burning. 1 qt/1000 miles is the standard for most automakers of what is "normal". It's not "normal" in the statistical sense, what it really means is that over that is so bad that they'll actually do something about it.
I read an interesting comment about how oil consumption can be a GOOD thing. Yes a good thing. Certain engines that don't use any oil at all can have a propensity to develope worn valve guides. Too dry of a valve stem seal that doesn't let any oil down into the valve guide can be bad. This could also be why some cars develop a tick later on in the engine's life. So this article could be 100% right. Who would have thought?
Bottom line though is using a little oil is not bad and can be good in some cases.
VW, Audi and Porsche traditionally state oil consumption of up to 1.5 liter per 1000 km may be normal, depending on driving conditions (towing, high speed driving, etc).

I can cut my Audi's oil consumption in half by driving like a ninny.
GM says (for the two cars I checked, one with the 2.2L Ecotec and one with the 3.1L V6):

"Excessive oil consumption, not due to leaks, is the use of 0.9 L (1 qt) or more of engine oil within 3 200 kilometers (2,000 miles)."

This is direct from the shop manual.
So far 5,400 miles averaging 80mph and had it up to 110mph I've used 1/3qt.
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