Looks like my Civic burned or lost 2L of oil in the past 6 months, I think that is excessive. At previous oil change garage mechanics advised me to use 5w30 viscosity oil because 0w30 is too thin. I used 5w30 just to see now that consumption is exaggerated.

I always used high quality oil and replaced it often ( twice per year, around 12000km between drains ). I fear bad/warn piston rings, I must admit that I drove the car at the limit sometimes, maybe more than needed, like revving the engine to the redline. I fear bad rings because enigne always used a bit of oil like 1L per 10000.

Is there a chance for worn piston rings on an gasoline engine which has only 130.000km on it?

However, according to this increasing to a thicker oil might increase oil consumption because of bad rings.


There are many things wrong with what you are doing and what you have self diagnosed.

First, 0w-30 and 5w-30 are the same weight oil. Modifiers in the oil cause it to flow easier with the 0w than with the 5w when the engine is cold. If anything, you are hurting your engine by putting the 5w oil, than by using the 0w, because most engine wear occurs at startup of the engine. Since the 5w won't flow as quickly as the 0w would, you are keeping the engine without oil flow longer, causing more wear. No matter what else you do, go back to using the oil which is recommended for your vehicle. If that means 0w-30, then use it.

Second, while you say you are running only 10k per oil change, most vehicles recommend changing oil about every 5,000km or 3 months which ever comes first. You are basically doubling the oil change interval which adds to oil breakdown and causes more wear on your engine.

Third, 1L or oil per 10k is not a lot of oil to be using, especially considering what you've suggested in your question. More than likely in your case, your car is leaking more oil than it's consuming. (Check the fifth thing below.)

Fourth, most manufacturers have two different oil change intervals. One being for normal use and the other for severe use. Considering what you've suggested about "... I drove the car at the limit sometimes, maybe more than needed, like revving the engine to the redline ..." you are definitely using it in the "severe" use range. There is nothing inherently wrong with using your car in any manner you'd like, but if you're going to be taxing your vehicle, make sure you are treating it well in return.

Fifth, check the inside of the tail pipe for soot. Take your finger and rub it. If the soot which is there comes back greasy feeling, then your engine is burning oil. This would be an indication of oil going out the tail pipe and bad rings which would be causing it. If it's just a little black, then it shouldn't be a big deal. The engine may need a tune up.

Sixth, park your car on a clean piece of concrete (in the driveway works well). In the morning, pull your vehicle back and check for oil spots where it was parked. If you don't find any, that doesn't mean much. If you do find some spots of oil, you know you are leaking a little bit. Lift the hood and check around the engine (on, under, around ... be thorough). You are looking for any dirt buildup on the engine or anything which looks like leaking oil. Look around the valve cover (typical leak spot). Check your accessories for oil or grime buildup. Any of these would indicate you are losing oil through leakage and not through burning the oil.

As an aside, if you haven't done it yet, get the timing belt changed. If this has never been done, you are risking having to get a new engine regardless of if it's burning oil. If the belt should break or slip, your engine will encounter piston to valve contact, destroying at the very least the valves, if bad enough, could require an entire engine to fix.

| improve this answer | |
  • Suet? Do you mean soot? :). Maybe it is just a term I have never heard? – HandyHowie Mar 12 '16 at 18:38
  • @HandyHowie - You are right ... I always get the spelling mixed up. Suet is the white fatty substance on animal meat. Corrected and thanks! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 12 '16 at 18:41
  • I thought this was interesting about oil changes - edmunds.com/car-care/top-7-urban-legends-about-motor-oil.html – HandyHowie Mar 12 '16 at 18:53
  • @HandyHowie - Well, I'll split the difference with you on 5k v 10k km interval change. The Honda manual for 2000-2006 (guessing since the OP didn't put the age of the vehicle in there) for severe duty use is 5k miles (or ~8k km). 10k km is a bit long to run. Most people do not realize they are in severe duty range, which also includes constant city driving. I'd put money on the vehicle losing oil through leakage versus bad rings. Honda engines are good and should last well into the 200k mile range if minimum maintenance is applied. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 12 '16 at 21:22
  • The severe maintenance interval is 5000miles( 8000km ). I was changing the oil at around 12000km. I agree that I am in sever driving conditions because of roads and the driving manner. Will clearly go back to 0w30. – Bogdan Petrica Mar 13 '16 at 20:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.