Hi all, first post here, so by all means point me to any relevant FAQs, stickied threads, etc. Car is an 03 Civic LX, been in my possession for a bit over a year, coming up on 190k. I've done a couple oil changes using Valvoline NextGen (due to sales/rebates), but it's started using oil. It's a low-usage, small-town errand car, round trips of less than 30 mi, with the occasional longer, c. 300-400 mi trip every few months. It seems if I keep an eye on it, it never drops, but forget it for more than 4 weeks, and it'll be down a quart. (Bottom indicator hole on the stick.) It was perfect a week ago, just got back from one of the long trips (mountain freeway driving) and it was down about half-way. 1 - As I'm pretty new to more than the basics of car operation, what are the main points I should be checking, symptoms that are cause for concern vs. probably not a big deal? (I assume I should look at degreasing the engine...) 2 - Should I try switching to something like the maxlife and see if it helps before spending much time on #1? Using Valvoline's adviser, they suggest the full synth, as it's a high-temp area. However, car spec is for 5W-20, but full synth is only available in -30 variants. Is that difference worth considering or should I go for the regular maxlife? I'm in N. CA, 100 degree+ days are not uncommon... Thanks all for any help.