Why a car consumes oil
Anyone who has a car and wants to keep it in perfect condition will know that from time to time you have to refill the oil. There are some who simply do it when they have to take it to the mechanic, but if we check with the rod we will see that as we go kilometers the oil level of the car goes down.
Why does a car consume oil ? Where does that oil that we regularly fill up come from? When can we consider that consumption is excessive? And if so, how can the consumption of engine oil be avoided?
In the following article we will try to solve all these doubts so that you learn a little more about the operation of your vehicle and you can keep it in the best conditions so that its performance and safety are optimal.
Main cause of car oil consumption
To begin with it should be noted that absolutely all cars consume oil, in fact this element is essential for the proper functioning of the engine and therefore must be changed frequently. Among the functions of the oil is to lubricate the parts of the engine that are in motion -oblasts, crankshaft, valves, cylinders, etc.- in order to protect them from wear. The oil forms a thin layer that separates these pieces, preventing chafing from wearing them. Here you can read what happens if you go without oil in the car.
But, why are there cars that consume more oil? What happens when there is excessive consumption? First we would have to establish what we mean by normal oil consumption and this limit is 1 liter per 1, 000 kilometers, however, depending on the type of engine, the driving style and other technical aspects and deficiencies of the vehicle may vary. In fact, it is very simple to check if a car is consuming oil, because when it does, the exhaust smoke takes on a bluish color.
Unless there is a leak, the external ones are easy to detect because of the puddle they leave, the consumption -excessive or not- can be due to the following causes that we will explain to you.
Consumption by piston lubrication
As we have already told you, the main cause of motor oil consumption is lubrication. Essentially, the oil lubricates the spaces that remain between the walls of the cylinders and the pistons. A part of it enters the combustion chamber, where it is burned. Therefore, the faster the engine turns, the more oil it will consume.
Just as excessive consumption is worrisome, it can also be problematic if the car does not consume oil. If it does not burn this liquid means that there is no layer that protects the piston and the cylinder, and may cause damage to both.
Oil in greasing of valves
The valve is like a long nail with a large head. It is for this piece where the mixture between air and fuel enters, also where the combustion gases that finally cause the movement of the engine leave.
The car oil also serves to lubricate the space between the valves and their guides. The rods are pieces that prevent the oil from entering the combustion chamber, but as with the piston, inevitably a part of the oil that lubricates the valves ends up entering the combustion chamber and, consequently, burns.
Since it is when the piston lowers that the valve absorbs the mixture, which will pass through it, when the engine turns at idle or decelerates, the hole being greater, the oil consumption of the engine increases.
Consumption of oil by evaporation
But combustion is not the only reason for oil consumption, but it also evaporates. The oil that serves to lubricate the valve is subjected to high temperatures by the gases that escape from there, so that it eventually evaporates.
The faster the motor rotates, the more oil will enter the valves, so that more oil will evaporate and the higher the consumption. In the same way, cylinder gases and temperature will also increase.
Causes of excessive consumption of oil in gasoline engine
- External leaks, either by misplacing the plug, because there is a wear on the joint or why the pressure sensor has problems.
- Some failure in the engine parts that makes it require more lubrication.
- If the engine has a turbocharger, it may be due to a defect in this element.
- The engine often turns at high speeds, so it is the fault of the driving mode.
- If there is a problem with the lubrication of the piston for the exhaust, blue smoke would appear, while the engine would lose performance.
- In this article we show you how to measure the oil level of a car.
Depending on how high the oil consumption is, the extent of the damage can be determined. In any case, whenever you notice that your car consumes too much oil, you should take it to the workshop to have it checked and take the necessary measures so that it does not go overboard.