Why Do Cars Burn Oil? (11 Reasons Why)

Have you ever started your car and seen a blue smoke puff? That is one clear sign that your engine is burning oil. A car that burns oil is a significant issue that must be resolved immediately.

Smoke indicates that your engine is getting older and shows signs of excessive fuel utilization. Here’s what I will talk about why your vehicle experiences engine oil consumption!

Why Do Cars Burn Oil?

1. Rusty And Old-Engine

Your engine will run at its best for the first five years of its life. These are the years when the engine will require the least quantity of oil because its components are still solid and fresh.

Subsequently, several seals and gaskets on your engine will start to wear out and leak in little amounts when enough miles have been placed on it.

Besides that, the oil will enter quickly into the combustion chamber due to worn and corroded valves.

As a result, because older cars have rusty and old engines, the oil may invade areas and cause your vehicle’s motor to burn fuel!

2. Excessive Oil Pressure

High oil pressure indicates that the oil cannot adequately go through the engine’s parts and reach all components.

In addition, when an engine is improperly lubricated, it may experience wear from friction, damage to its parts, and, in severe circumstances, engine failure.

Therefore, the oil will excessively flood the engine with high oil pressure. There’s a good chance this oil will drop to the cylinders and burn up!

3. Low-Quality Oil

Synthetic quality oil can withstand higher operating temperatures without burning or degrading.

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Apart from that, synthetic lubricants are generated by humans from synthetic hydrocarbons and organic esters, as opposed to regular motor oils.

However, if you use the wrong oil in your engine or if it just gets too old and accumulates a lot of grit and debris, your oil will start to burn.

More importantly, the oil’s condition will make it unable to lubricate the engine’s components thoroughly. As a result, the engine will need to utilize more oil!

4. Busted Gaskets

A burst head gasket may be to blame if your car is consuming excessive amounts of oil.

Additionally, minor leaks may result in the engine using more coolant than necessary. Thus, more severe leaks may cause complete loss of compression, reducing crankcase lubrication.

Along with this, when a car starts to perform poorly for no apparent reason, it may have a busted head gasket.

For that reason, these rubber seals are designed to keep coolant from escaping from your engine, but as they age, cracks can form in them and cause leaks from consumed oil!

5. Defective Oil Filter

Your car may experience oil leaks due to a faulty oil filter. These problems are generally brought on by poor upkeep or hazardous driving conditions.

In line with this, driving on uneven surfaces or colliding with roadside debris can cause cars to experience damage to their oil pan.

In addition to that, it can happen if an oil filter is clogged, causing oil to burn in your exhaust system. Thus, even a burning odor inside your car could result from this.

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Above all, if the exhaust fumes from the filter are gray or blue, you may have an issue with enormous oil burning!

6. Detached Oil Pans

Detached Oil Pans

When crossing a low portion of the road, the oil pan may be struck, dented, and detached.

At this time, since they are situated at the bottom of the engine, your vehicle’s oil pans and gaskets are easily damaged by highway debris.

Therefore, a detached oil pan gasket is typically considered a severe problem due to significant oil consumption!

7. Broken PCV Valve

Your PCV valve, or Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, is crucial in relieving the pressure that combustion gasses cause in your car’s engine.

Furthermore, the plunger may remain open if your PCV valve is broken. Hence, the combustion cylinders will then receive a substantial volume of air.

Consequently, when the PCV valve malfunctions, the oil may start drawing into the engine and being burned excessively instead of allowing air to exit the crankcase!

8. Jammed Pistol Rings

Pistons are kept lubricated by oil so they can rise and fall. Typically, piston rings keep the oil inside the crankcase.

Furthermore, the oil may enter the engine’s combustion chamber and ignite when the piston rings are damaged, such as jammed, worn out, or cracked.

Afterwards, the piston rings are probably no longer able to seal tightly against the cylinder wall due to wear, which permits the oil to burn in the combustion chamber!

9. Depleted Oil Viscosity

Engine oil viscosity measures how freely oil flows at a given temperature.

Additionally, a lubricant’s viscosity determines how much pressure or load it can withstand and how well it keeps moving components apart.

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However, this partnership has its limitations. It won’t flow as easily if the viscosity is too high, making your engine work harder and causing it to burn more fuel!

10. Cracked Engine Block

Engine blocks store the cylinders and several other crucial bottom-end motor components.

However, most engine block cracks are caused by contaminants infiltrating the item’s metal during production.

Besides that, a poorly cast block may leak oil from the crack under certain circumstances.

As a result, the top of the engine block will be the location of the leak as the oil gradually degrades the seals in the car!

11. Fragmented Camshaft Seals

Drivers usually don’t think about the camshaft seal because it’s only a tiny engine component.

However, drivers must be aware that whenever oil leaks through the camshaft, it typically causes issues for all other surrounding parts.

For that reason, oil on the cam seals can cause issues like overheating, engine stalling, and even excessive fuel consumption!

To know more, you can also read our posts on why use synthetic oil, why cars leak oil, and why motor oil is so expensive.


Your car’s engine oil performs a variety of essential tasks as it makes your engine run smoothly and efficiently.

As you can see, excessive oil consumption includes factors such as rusty engines, extreme oil pressure, and low-quality oil.

Overall, checking your engine oil level ensures the best engine protection and may extend the life of your car!

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