Why do some cars burn one oil brand but not another?

EEE

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56
I have read this several times here and there. I have a friend who swears his car burned one oil brand, switched to another and hardly any burn. I'm talking same weight.

I switched from M1 to RL and it seems like my car is burning less, but it has only been 600 miles. I want to wait to hit 1000 miles before I draw any conclusions. I did the switch because I thought the burning in my car might be caused by clogged piston rings and RL supposedly cleans better than other oils. I did not want to run an engine flush....have a little bit of a mental block against flushes, but I hear Amsoil's is solvent free and likely is not going to hurt anything.
 
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17,634
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...
The internet is full of gobbledygook.

What car? Make, model year, how many miles?

As for Redline, I’ll leave that to others.
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
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Virginia
I've found that certain brands just get consumed in every vehicle I put them in. Pennzoil Platinum and M1 5w-30 have always been the worst for me no matter what car I put them in. Castrol Edge and even QSUD have always been somewhat better. Even Supertech is better than PP/M1 from an oil burning perspective in my experience.
 

Zee09

Site Donor 2021
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5,219
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Fairhill Maryland
I have seen it many times myself.
Luckily the last 4 vehicles I have owned I can throw anything into them and they don't do that at all.
That said I gave up using M1 in 1986 so that was never in the mix.
And i just don't buy M1 and yes I know it has went through a zillion revisions since then but I just wrote it off. Just not tempted to buy it and I don't do rebates.
 
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281
Location
eastern WA
I personally believe this is a question of anecdotal evidence with a small sample size. No signal, just noise. A properly conducted experiment would yield no significant difference in oil consumption by brand of oil of otherwise comparable specifications.
 
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2,906
Location
High Tax Illinois
Never had one that would burn one kind of oil but not the other brand. Oil weights, yes. Read somewhere ( here? ) that ash content would be the difference. IDK. . .
 
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124
Location
Raleigh, NC
Not every oil's composed of the same stuff. Some have a great base stock and a little VII, others an OK base stock and a good dose of robust VII, you get my drift. Likewise not every engine is the same. My car has a timing chain, doesn't run hot, has low-tension rings, and is a boxer engine. I also drive conservatively. A 2004 Honda Odyssey my neighbor had featured a timing belt, v6, and she drove somewhat more aggressively than I.
 
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327
Location
USA
First time I used Pennzoil Ultra 5W30 I had to add 1/2 quart. Same with Redline 5W30. Of course; every application and environmental conditions differ. Never had to top off with Mobil 1, Valvoline or Conventional oil. In my humble opinion it must be the chemistry of the motor oil. But, I'm no Chemist nor an expert.
 

wwillson

Staff member
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3,910
Location
Naperville, IL
My 2014 3.6L Durango burned about 1/2 quart in 5,000 miles no matter what oil I put in it. At 110,000 miles I switched to HPL 5w-20 and 16,000 miles later, without an oil change, it hasn't burned anything. I believe formulation really does make a difference. BTW - I will have the 16,000 mile UOA back tomorrow.
 
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2,971
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pa
as just noted a 30 W can be thicker or thinner within its spec range just like all base oils are not the same + comparing anything costing over twice the cost it surely should be better!!
 

EEE

Thread starter
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56
as just noted a 30 W can be thicker or thinner within its spec range just like all base oils are not the same + comparing anything costing over twice the cost it surely should be better!!
Not sure cost matters with respect to burning rate. I don't care the cost as long as it doesn't burn. I would even pay Amsoil $$ :) for oil if I didn't have to top off. I'm willing to try a few different brands, not brand loyal when it comes to oil. Once I find one that works for this car, I'm sticking with it.
 
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26,148
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
That is a good question, I never found a real answer to it. In my own VW I use Euro higher HTHS synthetics only, it never used more than 1/2 qt between 3-4K OCI until I used one brand in particular that is supposed to be the best thing since unicorn tears (I wont say but it had HTHS 3.5 and brand name) good god it was drinking it so badly I thought something must be leaking or something like some rings had broken, after 2K into the OCI it was drinking 1qt every 500 miles.

I couldnt find any leaks so I figured I better plan on tearing it down this summer, I changed back to the oil it always used and it stopped, back to what it always was 1/2qt every 3-4K. I have no answer not even a guess.

Edit: The oil was not Mobil or Castrol and cost retail (it is avalable in stores) about $10 a qt
 
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9
I personally believe this is a question of anecdotal evidence with a small sample size. No signal, just noise. A properly conducted experiment would yield no significant difference in oil consumption by brand of oil of otherwise comparable specifications.
there are all kinds of tests and experiments you can find mixing diff, oils synthetic and dino, using lighter or heavier oil flow test and testing wear and they all wind up testing very close to the same. i worked in the lube indus. and there are only a very few manufactures of lubes the rest just put their names on the cans and yeh i know they are supposed to have their own formulas maybe maybe not,,, the car dealers buy the cheapest they can in bulk as any smart business would i,ve sold the same dealer 3 diff, brands of oil in six months,, i think as long as you use a major supplier whether its walmart or amsoil redline pensoil or amazon you will be fine and i know someone is gonna say iv,e got a thingy that turns 85236912 rpm,s well zippy you,re just different thx
 
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17,591
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Upper Midwest
there are all kinds of tests and experiments you can find mixing diff, oils synthetic and dino, using lighter or heavier oil flow test and testing wear and they all wind up testing very close to the same. i worked in the lube indus. and there are only a very few manufactures of lubes the rest just put their names on the cans and yeh i know they are supposed to have their own formulas maybe maybe not,,, the car dealers buy the cheapest they can in bulk as any smart business would i,ve sold the same dealer 3 diff, brands of oil in six months,, i think as long as you use a major supplier whether its walmart or amsoil redline pensoil or amazon you will be fine and i know someone is gonna say iv,e got a thingy that turns 85236912 rpm,s well zippy you,re just different thx
So you're saying that even oils with different manufacturer approvals, certifications and licenses are the same as all the rest?
 
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375
Location
Georgia
This is only anecdotal, but I have experienced it, also, when I tried different brands. It does not mean one brand is better than another; only, one brand did better for you during one OCI. The most important part is checking the oil level, which 99% of people can't even pop the hood.
 
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