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Discussion Starter #1
I have one of the oil burning 4 cylinders.

I did the consumption test at 9 years and 140,000 miles and passed.

I repeated the test at 11 years and 170,000 miles and failed badly.

When I look back at the 9 year test it was obviously a bogus test because they said I had more oil in the vehicle than when I started. Stupid me I didn't catch it and now am stuck with this.

Historically I've burned about 1 quart every 500 miles.

I did a full synthetic oil change recently at Jiffy Lube. At 500 miles I put in a quart of Lucas. At 1500 miles I went to Jiffy Lube for a free top off and they said I was 3 quarts low; they filled it. 370 miles later I went back for another top off and they said I was 2 quarts low, and filled it.

Now the Jiffy Lube guy says this is common when initially switching to a full synthetic. Says the synthetic tends to clean out a lot of accumulate c*** in the engine and by the second change it will not consume as much. I don't know my heads from my carburetors so I have no idea if he's telling me the truth, but whatever - I get free top offs for the next 5000 miles and plan to milk them for all they're worth (at $5+ per quart, the stuff adds up and at 5 added quarts in the first 2000 miles I'll probably get $75 of free oil from them before I'm due next).

There is no oil leaking from the vehicle - no oil spots on the driveway or anything.

What do you think? Why has my consumption skyrocketed recently?
 

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However much it's burning why would you switch to a more expensive oil? I'd be running the least expensive oil I could find and change just the filter every 5,000 miles. You're already changing the oil faster than that.

Also learn how to check the level yourself and do it every fill-up. Would avoid having to rely on someone else and you might just save your engine from an out-of-oil failure.
 

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Having switched from using conventional oil to full synthetic with my motorcycle with no increase in oil consumption (used zero between oil changes before the switch and now zero afterwards), from my experience the Jiffy Lube person's statement about the consequences of switching oil types is bogus.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was checking my own oil and adding a quart of Motocraft synthetic blend (from Walmart) about every 500 miles. That seemed to keep things fairly level. I'm only using Jiffy Lube for topoffs right now because it is free.

Burning 6 quarts in under 2000 miles is crazy, I've never had consumption so high. Oil pressure looks good and there are no oil stains anywhere so I don't think there's a leak.

I switched to synthetic mostly because of the high mileage, but I have run a blend for about 40,000 miles. I could top off with the motocraft anytime, and keep a few quarts in the back just in case.

My RAV runs well, and still gets 25 mpg in mostly highway driving, so I'd like to keep it another 3-4 years. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something simple that could ultimately kill my engine. It's kind of hard to imagine losing 1 quart every 300 miles.
 

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It does sound like you're staying on top of it better than other members who don't seem to understand the seriousness of running out.

I had an oil burning Mitsubishi Expo about three cars before the RAV4. Adding a thickening product like STP or Motor Honey definitely reduced consumption to the point I was only adding a quart every other fill-up. Yeah for me!

A quart every 300 miles? Think positive, that's 1200 mpg!
 

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Sound like you have a very serious oil burner on your hands. I am surprised it did not die after being down 3 quarts. Did you not see the check oil light? You should consider getting rid of it. One day that engine will kick the bucket and you will have a car with a huge engine repair bill which you have to sell at a huge loss. Find another car to love and divorce it before she racks up the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the vehicle only has a street value of $3000-$4000 as is so I'm driving it til it dies!

Also I just bought a really spendy third vehicle that has killed my budget for a few years. So even if I have to put in a quart every 300 miles, I'll do it.
 

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Sound like you have a very serious oil burner on your hands. I am surprised it did not die after being down 3 quarts. Did you not see the check oil light? You should consider getting rid of it. One day that engine will kick the bucket and you will have a car with a huge engine repair bill which you have to sell at a huge loss. Find another car to love and divorce it before she racks up the bill.
The check engine light never did come on, interestingly. Just at the very end it would occasionally 'flash' on when I turned a corner or braked/accelerated hard, suggesting to me that it was getting very low. But it never did come on regularly and even the flashing only came on at the very end. So I suppose I could have a bad sensor but rather it raises the question of whether I was actually as low as Jiffy Lube said.
 

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The check engine light never did come on, interestingly. Just at the very end it would occasionally 'flash' on when I turned a corner or braked/accelerated hard, suggesting to me that it was getting very low. But it never did come on regularly and even the flashing only came on at the very end. So I suppose I could have a bad sensor but rather it raises the question of whether I was actually as low as Jiffy Lube said.
Do you mean the amber CEL or the red low oil pressure light? Big difference!
 

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Red low oil pressure light.
If that one stays on for more than a few flickers your engine will no longer burn oil ... or gasoline.
 

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However much it's burning why would you switch to a more expensive oil? I'd be running the least expensive oil I could find and change just the filter every 5,000 miles. You're already changing the oil faster than that.

Also learn how to check the level yourself and do it every fill-up. Would avoid having to rely on someone else and you might just save your engine from an out-of-oil failure.
Hey...if he can get Jiffy Lube to top it off with synthetic for free, for 5000 miles, why who's better than him!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If that one stays on for more than a few flickers your engine will no longer burn oil ... or gasoline.
ha! kind of late for a warning light, eh?

well, that's only the second time it had happened in all the years I've driven it. I had let my mileage get away from me and crept toward 1000 without adding anything. I have a good system now and won't let that happen again.
 
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