Focus Engine Oil Consumption???

I have a Focus Zetec 2002 1.6 from new. Its never needed any engine oil topping up until now, last time I checked it the dipstick was dry. Topped it back up with a 3-4ltr bottle (ss 5w/30). Since then
I've been checking it quite often as I am now paranoid something is wrong.
After I filled it I made sure the oil was spot on the MAX mark, it had all day to drain to the sump on a level floor at work. My partner then used the car for the next 2-3 days but she didnt go far, into town and back a couple of times etc....I'd guess at 80-100 miles in that time, the oil level had fallen to 3/4 between MIN/MAX on dipstick.
So topped it back up with more 5w/30 and got it spot on MAX. I then decieded to check my plugs and after hours of rubbing my head I found a tiny crack in one of the plugs..(after checking the plugs the engine wasnt firing correct) - got another plug and running fine again.
Went to Warrington then Bridlington the day after over the holidays, the oil is now under half between MIN/MAX. So my oil has gone from MAX to under halfway in under 300 miles.
No external leaks, surely I would see so much oil on the concrete...all the engine looks dry, just a damp patch round the sump plug from where I've emptied it so many times...
All the plugs looked perfect colour, car runs fine. No power loss, no smoke, no overheating.???
I have no idea what is going on with my car, surely its using loads of oil. I have just come across another poster named 'Mark C.' who says he has done many 1.4/1.6 Zetec bottom ends, he also states one Zetec he fixed burnt a ltr in 300 miles with no smoke - this makes me worried :(
I have wear metal analysis if anyone can help.
Thx Chris
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[snip]
The Zetec SE 1.4 and 1.6 are nice engines but some have been known to break an oil control ring and they burn a lot of oil.
What mileage has it done? Have you always allowed the engine to fully warm up before giving it some welly?
--
Paul Giverin

British Jet Engine Website:- www.britjet.co.uk
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Cheers for the reply Paul.
Mileage is 37.5k, the car did loads of short journeys in the 1st 5 years of its life......what do you mean by 'welly'? I'm sure I did drive it hard on occasions when it was cold/warm.
I've just topped it back up today, it was reading just under halfway between MIN/MAX (285 miles). I have now noticed that the small filter under the large air filter is sogged with new oil, a pipe from the top of engine goes to the small filter.
Do you think my rings are knackered? Would I notice any performance decrease?
Cheers!
writes

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Please ignore my email Paul, my mistake!!!
writes

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writes

As Paul says, the SE enignes are quite well known for a weakspot where the oil control rings can shatter / break, and cause fairly major oil consumption. This is almost always a result of revving the engine hard when still cold, and can happen at any time.
Performance and general running is unaffected.
More info needed please...
Tim..
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Thanks Tim,
Would the oil control ring show up on a wear metal analysis? What are the oil control rings made from? Aluminium?
Another thing I dont understand:-
In my haynes it states that the difference between MIN/MAX on dipstick is about 1ltr. When my oil gets to MIN level I only need to put 0.25ltrs in to bring it to the MAX mark.............??????
Infa-Red scan shows absorption @ 1630.3 which indicates nitration??? This blow-by? This a oil control ring problem?
Sample 1 & 2 shows traces of water - I do quite afew short journeys!?!
So......I flushed about 2-3 ltrs of new 5w/30 through my engine and let it drip back out taking all the carbon with it. Filled it back up with brand new 5w/30 and made sure it had all afternoon to settle so I could get it bang on the MAX mark on dipstick. I've been checking the dipstick daily, after 2 days the oil level had dropped afew mm below the MAX mark - quite normal for this to happen as the MAX mark is very much MAX and a engine will burn slightly to reduce it?
After 285 Miles the oil level is under half way between MIN and MAX. So emptied the oil and tested, Sample 1 & 2.
Sample 1 - Mid stream sample Sample 2 - End stream sample
Sample 1:
Viscosity - 9.4 Cst @ 100C Density - 0.859 @ 15C
Wear Metals
Chromium 1ppm Lead 7ppm Nickel 0ppm Tin 2ppm Boron 5ppm Iron 7ppm Molybdenum 1ppm Silicon 4ppm Vanadium 0ppm Aluminium 0ppm Copper 5ppm Sodium 3ppm (could be background noise from test equipment)
Additives
Calcium 0.327% Magnessium 0.000% Zinc 0.125%
--

Infa-Red scan doesnt really show anything as the oil only did approx
300miles.
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OK,
Just spoke to a couple garages and no one is willing to try fix it :s There all saying the same its alot of work and no guarnteed fix at the end of it, best they can do is fit a recon @ 800 + VAT + Labour.
One of the guys put me onto a place called Browns Engineering - as soon as I said Zetec 1.6 he said oil control rings stuck. He said these enignes are shitty Jap engineering and they suffer from this ALOT!
He said the old Ford engines that arn't Jap nver suffered from it. He told me engine flush wont work, you have to go inside the engine to fix it.....
New Head Sump Sump Gasket etc etc
Bloody Hell!
writes

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No, they dont stick, they shatter. I couldn't tell you what they're made of, probably a very high carbon steel or something.
You could of course take the car down the motorway for several miles, especially if you have a nice long incline you can run up under full power over 4000rpm. If it makes the oil issue worse, it is definately broken rings- you dont have much to loose.
I have a long incline near me, which never fails to improve the health and exhausts of marginal petrols and diesels which have spent too much time going slowly, but thats another story!
Tim..
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I shall try the uphill motorway thing, I'm sure it will use oil though.
Will my engine eventualy fail if I continue running it like this? I know it must be causing major damage to the CAT, I just dont want the engine to cease up when my two kiddies r in the car etc.
Also, if I was to try do the work mysen is this possible? Or would I need expensive garage parts to fix it? Or will the shattered pieces have caused even deeper damage?
Cheers Tim Regards, Chris

end
as
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You will slowly poison the cat and the o2 sensor, especially if oil consumption increases.
The best option would be to drop in a known good replacement engine, wholesale. The SE's aren't designed for being taken apart due to their method of construction, and very few replacement parts (bearings etc) are available.
Tim..
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Sorted it Tim,
After much wear analysis I came to the conclusion the rings were just blocked up. Used a engine flush for 20mins on idle. Drained engine, filled back up with a 5/30.
Engine oil cosumption seems to be minimal again now.....Engine should be in great condition after having 50 litres of brand new oil over the last 3 weeks. Should of cost me over 350 in oil......good job I can get good quality oils for free.
Thanks for your time on this matter, Chris

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