Oil disappearing with no visible leaks and engine not using oil.
My 2002 Cadillac DTS with 61,000 miles uses one quart of oil every 800 miles. There are no visible leaks and the engine do not appear to be burning the oil. There are no running problems and the check engine is not on. The PCV has been replaced and no oil is in the air breathing system. No oil is visible in the water system. I purchased this car at 56,000 miles and I do not know exactly what type of oil was being used in this car. I use GM recommended 5-30 weight oil (Castro). This is a fine car otherwise. I am perplexed.
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Re: Oil disappearing with no visible leaks and engine not...
I would have the oil and filter changed and look for evidence of anything unusual. With some engines it is considered "normal" to use a quart in 800 - 1000 miles. I've read that your Cadillac normally uses a guart every 1000 - 2000 miles. I would change to a quality synthetic oil such as Castrol or Mobil 1 and expect somewhat less consumption.
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If your car is losing oil, and if there is no evidence of oil leaking, there is no question that it is either losing it through piston rings or through the head (head gasket or valve guides).
Best thing to do is use a HEAVIER WEIGHT oil than specified for the vehicle when new, regularly monitor your oil level and be sure it never falls below one quart low, and consider having the engine overhauled when you start noticing a performance deficit or hear mechanical noise (such as rod knock) from the engine.
Keep checking the oil every time you gas up and you will be able to estimate how much oil it uses/100 miles or so. Then you can plan your trip. If the oil gets too low a warning will show up. That engine has about 7 quarts in the pan. As long as you don't run the engine low on oil the leak is just waste.
My 1993 voyager is like that. It may burn some , it definitely leaks some , and it could be just sending some through the PCV valve. Oil leaks and burning oil causes pollution . If you can fix it with a new seal or a valve cover gasket it is easier than constantly checking your oil. Temperature, trailering, speed, outdoor temperature, and engine RPM all can be factors if you are losing oil. If your engine is a quart down, the engine oil consumption rate doubles or triples. In other words the lower the oil level the faster it disappears. High mile cars will drive for years as long as you add oil when it is needed (keep the oil level between the marks). Fix any obvious leaks. Then determine your oil change interval (3000 miles, 4000 miles, 5000 miles). I change between 4000 and 5000 miles. If i am a quart low at 3500 I add a quart. If I am a quart low at 4500 miles I just change the oil in the car. A good practice is to carry a quart of oil in your vehicle just in case you need it. It is far cheaper to add a quart when needed than to go to the dealer once to maybe fix a problem that they may not be able to find or fix. Older engines (even some newer ones) just use oil , especially in hotter climates. Fix the obvious and carry a quart.
it is not normal for that engine to use that much oil. i know of another grand prix like yours that lost the engine and the dealer had to replace it. something is wrong with that engine. maybe talk to another gm dealer. good luck
Add enough oil to get the stick reading back to the full line. Oil can't disappear...so either you are burning it or leaking . If you used more than two quarts in 400 miles, if it's burning it it definitely should be fouling plugs and smoking. If leaking, there has to be wet oil under the engine somewhere. Check everything over again to verify either condition.
If you love the car as you say than be prepaired to shell out the bucks for a rebuild or replacement engine, because thats the only fix for your situation. You may not see any blue smoke but believe me its burning it, or you got a leak witch you say you don't. Its going someware and most likely its out the exhaust.
the time it takes to use one quart is not the figure I need, how many miles does three weeks represent? 1000 miles per quart is ok, less and you will need new rings in most cases, which of course means an engine overhaul.