I have a 98 CRV with 130,000 miles. I don't drive this car too
frequently (about 100 miles one day a week). Took the car in for oil
change and the guy told me that it had lost 2 qt of oil since the the
last oil change (3,000 miles ago).
I have noticed that there was some black smoke coming out of the tail
pipe when I started my car in my every other week drive to my office.
I though that it was from the infrequent usage and the car was blowing
off the carbon.
I don't sense any lost of power of this 10 year old car.
What could go wrong and how do I do the diagnose? What is the cost of
I'd just like to educate myself before taking the car in.
By the reading of your original post, you last had the oil changed about
last October. Your oil-change monkey is now claiming you've lost about half
your oil in seven months. At only 130K miles, and with no reports of oil
stains on the driveway, this assertion is somewhat questionable, to say the
The markings on your dipstick indicate one quart between them. If you were
two quarts low, the oil would be be well off the stick and your monkey
would be guessing as to the "2 qt" thing. Maybe he's judging by what
drained out, but even that's unlikely since most garages drain into a big
steel drum with wheels, so there's no way of telling from that how much
came out of the engine.
That you're here, now, asking what you're asking, suggests that you haven't
checked your own oil during those seven months. Sorry, but that's not good.
My recommendation, to be taken before panicking or doing anything else:
Check your oil level now, and record the reading on the stick. Wipe, dip,
read, several times, making sure to seat the stick fully each time and wait
a few seconds before pulling the stick again.
Drive for one month ONLY, then repeat the oil level check. Do this every
month. If over the next six months there is in fact a pattern of oil level
drop, then you have cause for concern.
Tip: Make sure the engine has been OFF for at LEAST an hour before taking
your reading each time!
I suspect you will be unable to duplicate your monkey's report, and your
oil level will be just fine each month. It will drop over time, but maybe
1/8" down from its original reading after 3K miles, and not 2 quarts.
Oh, by the way, with your drive pattern, you should be changing your oil
every six months at the outside. Your car sits idle for long periods, which
is very bad for both oil and engine.
You are absolutely correct. And in addition to that, the car needs to be
parked in precisely the same place and orientation each time for maximum
accuracy. This is how I monitor my own oil consumption.
But whenever I say this, I get people telling me I'm too anal and it
doesn't make any difference anyhow, so I've dumbed my recommendation down
to having the engine sit "at least an hour".
I am actually posting for the car I gave to my son. He is not as
mechanical as me and I don't doubt that he had not opened the hood
I'll pass on the advise so he can follow.
Thanks a lot for the advise.
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