how to tell if car is burning oil

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hey guys I am back with another question. How can I tell if my car is burning oil? I am very narotic about my car lol. its the only car we have that works and i cant afford for anymore repairs.

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You could put some cardboard or newspaper under the car when you park it in your driveway and see if it drips. If it doesn't drip, yet you are losing oil, you are burining it.
If it is indeed burning oil, it could be your PVC valve and that is a very inexpensive replacement and easily replaced part, if you do it yourself.
If it is leaking, it could be a seal somwhere and those can be trickier to find because oil tends to travel.
I'd consider how much oil is lost. If you have to add some once it a while, it can be lived with and is not a big deal. Just make sure you never let it run low.
Remco
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PCV valve, that is.(slip of the finger)
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Should I see if I am burning oil before I change the PVC? I think I am fine.
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rynniki wrote:

What model and year car is this (perhaps I missed that info in a prior post)? If the PVC valve is easily accessible, then I would remove it and shake it. If it rattles then it's probably ok but, even so, if you haven't replaced it in a while (the service interval is 60K miles) then go ahead and replace it. If it doesn't rattle and you don't want to get a new one just yet, then you can usually clean them out with some carburetor cleaner spray.
Eric
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it is a 1994 civic dx,we bought it used from someone we know,i dont know if the pvc has beem changed,did you read my other questions too
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rynniki wrote:

How many miles are on this car? Did you get a copy of the service records when you purchased it? If not, then since you purchased the car from someone you know they might be able to give these to you so you'll know what's been done to it over the years.
By the way, here's a link to a diagram that shows the general location of the PCV valve on a '94 Civic, http://tinyurl.com/5bqve , the PCV valve is item #6 in the diagram. If you're interested, you can get a copy of the factory service manual from http://www.helminc.com . These manuals are a highly detailed source of information for your car.
Eric
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it is a 1994 civic dx,we bought it used from someone we know,i dont know if the pvc has beem changed,did you read my other questions too
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Check the service interval for the PCV valve.
Based on your question, I was under the impression you were burning oil. If you check oil and there's no indication of you losing any, don't be overly paranoid with how to tell if your car is burning oil. A good check regiment is every other gas up.
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ok we just got back from seeing family and i looked under the hood there was some oil on a piece of black plastic under the fan, and the piece of metal where the dipstick goes in whatever that is was steaming like there was oil on it. what is that piece of metal,i checked my oil and it is fine before we left to see family and when we came home. it is only a half hour trip up and half hour back... thanks for all your help,it is a 94 civic dx if you need to know so you can tell me what that piece is...
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That piece of metal is most likely a heatshield or engine tin. That you see oil on something near the radiator is probably because of sloppyness of whomever changed your oil. If your oil level is not dropping while you have been driving it, it is just left over from that service. It is all over part of the engine and it gets hot so it burns when hot. It will take a while before that burning disappears. It looks bad, but it doesn't hurt anything. Just go elsewhere for oil changes.
Check your oil frequently and if you don't lose any, sleep well and don't worry about it.
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Thanks so much
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its all rusty can i buy a new one somewhere
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You could, but it won't be worth it because a new one will rust as well because this shield gets quite hot. One could paint it with a special paint to protect it, but that really is not needed -- there are many civics/integras on the road with rust on the engine tins and their performance is not affected. That smoke you see must be from that sloppy oil change and will eventually burn off.
Just make sure your car runs cool and your oil is at the proper level -- check it frequently. Change the oil every 3-4K miles, don't "dog" the car and your car's engine should last a long time. One thing with civics: be sure to change the timing belt when it needs to be changed (at 90K miles, I think), because a breaking belt can wreck the engine and it will not give you any fair warning.
Perhaps see if your local high school or tech college offers classes on basic car maintenance and basic repairs -- I think this is a must for anyone that owns an older car or intends to hold onto a car. Besides properly maintaining a car, it will also teach you what can go wrong with a car and also help you not get ripped off when you go to a mechanic.
Remco
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thanks guys so much for helping,yes we have all the service records for the car ,also the timing belt was changed right before we bought the car.also the car has 125,000 miles on it
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rynniki wrote:

As long as you take care of this unit, you shouldn't really have too much of a problem with oil burning. My '88 Civic has 233K miles and I rarely have to add oil between oil changes done on a 3K mile interval.
Eric
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thanks alot, i am sitting here thinking i havent seen any on the ground i just got the oil changed when i had the other work done,the guy who changed my oil got it everywhere,its on the fan and the fan casing, i yelled at him. ichecked my dipstick and it was above the second dot.also is it normal to have condensation in the muffler, we have a after market exhaust on i dont know what kind it is. and also do honda engines have a tendancy to be noisy???? sorry for all the questions
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In article

After you replace the PCV valve--do this about once a day or once a week to see if your car is burning or leaking oil.
When the engine is cold and the vehicle is on level ground--check the oil. Write down on a sheet of paper the results.
After about a month--you should be able to determine how much oil your Honda is burning or leaking. Also--check under the car before or after you check the oil to determine if you see a pool of oil. If you do--use a flashlite to attempt to determine where it is learking from.
Report to us after a month and tell us the results.
--
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In article

You check the oil. Is the level getting lower as you drive the car?
If so, then you check for leaks. Do you see any signs of oil leaks underneath?
If so, you probably have a leak. If not, you should check the exhaust. Do you see blue smoke, especially at startup?
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i dont see nay leaks or blue smoke,i am just being paranoid
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