Oil Consumption, what does this mean?

Has your “low oil” warning light been illuminating on your dash board? Are you seeing drops of oil on your garage floor? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you must take your vehicle to the dealership right away to have it checked for an oil leak. If the dealership finds that there is no oil leak, you need to ask them to begin an oil consumption test. A certain degree of oil consumption is normal in any engine. However, if your vehicle is not actually leaking oil and your vehicle is burning through or using one quart or more of oil between routine oil changes, every three to five thousand miles, you may have an oil consumption problem. Nowadays, with synthetic oil in new vehicles, oil does not need to be changed as often as it used to. A good rule of thumb is this, if your vehicle is using one quart  or more of oil per three to five thousand miles, you should have it checked out by the dealership.

The very worst thing you can do if you think your vehicle is consuming oil is to add oil yourself. You absolutely must have the dealership document and repair this problem each and every time it occurs. Without the dealership’s documentation as evidence, it is as if the problem never occurred. In addition, it is standard for a dealership to begin an oil consumption test by measuring the amount of oil in your vehicle and then writing on your repair invoice that you should return in 600 to 1,000 miles for the second part of the test. It is critical for you to follow through with these instructions or else the test will have to begin all over again. It is also very important for you to read the repair invoice because the invoice may tell you to return for the second part of the test, but the service advisor may not tell you anything. Nissan/Infiniti vehicles and Volkswagen/Audi vehicles are notorious for having oil consumption problems.

Lastly, if it is determined that your vehicle is consuming oil, and the dealership replaces your engine, ask them if they are using a brand new engine or a remanufactured engine. Nine times out of ten, they will use a remanufactured engine and not a new one, and they will not tell you this. If you think you have an oil consumption issue, please call us toll free at (855) 59-LEMON so that we can get your lemon law case started right away at absolutely no cost to you!

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Debbie Horowitz

Deborah L. Horowitz, an attorney who has been licensed in California to practice law for the past 14 years, has dedicated her entire legal career to protecting consumer rights. She has settled over 7,000 lemon law cases and achieved excellent results for her clients.