Engine oil is in charge of lubricating the engine parts. Some oil burning in the engine is normal, but if it is more gradual than usual, oil is either burning in the engine or leaking.

New engine oil can last between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. It is difficult to determine whether your engine uses more oil than usual. A quart of oil burned for less than 1500 miles in a normal car can indicate excessive oil consumption.

Is it bad to drive a car that burns oil?

Driving a car that burns too quickly can cause engine problems. There will be no major harm if you continue to add engine oil as the oil level drops. However, the dangers of burning oil should not be overlooked. This is because burning too much oil can indicate serious damage to engine parts. 

Burning oil can cause improper lubrication, spark plug damage, overheating in engine parts, and poor engine performance. This can also lead to dirty engine oil quickly compared to regular healthy engine oil. Below are some of the possible causes of engine oil burning.

Reasons your car is burning oil

The most common cause of oil burning in an engine is wear and tear of engine parts. Some of the engine parts that may be damaged and cause the engine oil to burn are as follows:

1. Worn-out PCV valve 

The PCV valve becomes clogged over time. The dangerous gasses are routed back to the combustion engine to be burned a second time. If the PCV valve is damaged or clogged, the oil will be sucked into the engine via the air intake. The engine oil will burn as a result of this. 

The only way to fix this is to replace the PCV valve, which can cost between $79 and $96.

2. Damaged Valve seals

Valve seals regulate the amount of oil that enters the valve stem system. These seals keep the oil flowing through the valve from entering the combustion engine. Valve seals can break due to overheating and improper clearance between the valve and valve guide. The oil flowing through the valve may leak and burn in the combustion chamber.

3. Damaged Gasket

The engine gasket is critical in sealing the combustion engine. They prevent the combustion gasses from escaping from the engine.  Temperature extremes can cause the gasket to fail. This may allow the oil to escape and be burned in the combustion engine. The cost of replacing the head gasket ranges between $1,624 and $1,979.

4. Worn out Piston rings

Piston rings are in charge of transferring heat from the hot piston to the cylinder wall. They also form a seal against the cylinder to keep oil out of the combustion chamber. Engine friction and overheating can cause piston rings to fail. This may allow the oil to escape and be burned in the combustion engine. The piston rings are quite expensive to replace. Parts can range from $75 to $100, while labor costs can range from $1,800 to $3,500.

5. Oil leaking on a hot surface

If engine oil leaks onto a hot engine part, it will burn. If the engine’s oil pan is damaged, oil can leak quickly. An incorrectly installed oil filler cap or filter can also cause oil to spill out of the engine and splash on hot engine parts. Make sure the filler cap isn’t leaking and if it is, get it repaired as fast as possible.

How to check for burning oil?

Observation is the best way to determine whether or not the engine is burning oil. If the oil light illuminates more frequently than usual, it is likely that the engine is burning the oil. Your car is losing oil but no leak or smoke can also indicate that oil is getting burned.

It is simple to determine whether the engine is burning oil:

Car burning oil symptoms

  1. A burning oil odor
  2. Blue smoke coming from the engine tailpipe
  3. The oil level is dropping faster than usual

Here are a few steps you should take-

  1. Remove your car’s dipstick. Using a clean cloth, wipe the dipstick.
  2. Insert the dipstick into the oil tank and remove it.
  3. Inspect the dipstick for oil level. The oil level on the dipstick must be between the Fill and Full marks.
  4. You can remember how much oil was on the dipstick by clicking the image.
  5. Now, drive the car for approximately 1000 miles.
  6. Recheck the oil level with a dipstick.
  7. Examine the previous observations in relation to the new readings. If the oil level is too low compared to previous measurements, the engine will most likely burn the oil.

FAQs on Car Burning Oil Too Fast

Engine oil can leak internally due to wear and tear on engine parts. Oil leaks in the combustion engine will only produce a burning odor, and you will not notice any leaks. Leaks can also go undetected if spilled on a hot engine part and burned.


To summarize, engine oil burning is extremely dangerous to your engine. Engine misfires and improper lubrication can result from burning engine oil. The most common cause of engine oil burning is oil leaking in the combustion engine. 

Also, ensure that a mechanic replaces worn-out engine parts. 

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