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I have a 1995 Honda Accord with over 170k miles on it. I have the oil changed regularly every 3000 miles. My mechanic noticed the oil levels were pretty low at each oil change and took a deeper look. He said the timing valve had sprung a leak and fixing it would be an 8-10 hour job, which was really not worth fixing up in his opinion. If I buy a few quarts of the same oil and keep adding it if I feel the level is low (he recommended checking it every week), would that be okay?

-Craig

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I did. '95 Grand AM, and other than the oil leak the car ran great. Wasn't worth fixing (didn't look like a valve cover gasket), so I kept a 5qt container in the back and topped it off when the light came on. –  BigHomie May 9 '13 at 17:05

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm only familiar with my cars (and not at all with Hondas), but on both of my cars oil loss of up to 1 qt every 1000 miles is still considered "within specification".

Even if your car isn't visibly leaking/dripping oil it's always wise to do a weekly oil level check. Even a new car can suddenly start using/leaking oil. If something does start happening, hopefully one can catch it before it's a big deal.

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I agree with Brian. I've had plenty of cars with very minor fluid leaks, and as long as you keep an eye on it, it's generally fine. Obviously it is not ideal, and if you were dripping oil over the road I'd tell you to sort it to avoid contamination, but if it is a valve leak then you're almost certainly burning it - I suspect you'll find the engine is more smokey than you might otherwise expect? –  Nick C Jun 30 '11 at 8:23
    
I agree, and suggest making a habit of checking your oil every time you fill up. (Rather than watching the dollar signs go by). –  jzd Jun 30 '11 at 18:36
    
I'm not a fan of checking at fillup time anymore. Besides the engine being hot (a problem if you bump into it), the oil usually hasn't had enough time to drain into the sump, so you'll get an improper reading. Also combine that with dipsticks that have oil spray up them... Just makes it more difficult to figure out what the oil level is than it really should be. –  Brian Knoblauch Jul 30 '11 at 20:29
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I'm with you. I'm also wondering why dipsticks haven't advanced much in the past 80 years or so. I guess some cars have oil level sensors though. –  Nick Feb 10 '13 at 22:00

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