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Old 19th June 2017, 23:01   #16
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Default re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
I can't comment on disclaimers from manual but in real life I have never seen such consumption with Jap designs, in a VAG car I can understand.
Yes, my experience with Japanese engine is similar. They tend to be indestructible. Many, many years ago I had a Datsun 120, estate version. (Remember Datsun?). Anyway, that car used about 1L/750 km. I was given the car by a good friend of mine who moved back home. It was really an old banger. It came in handy for us at the time. But I was not going to spend any money on it, other then to keep it safe. Oil is cheap, (that is if you buy cheap oil of course!)

So I actually did a compression test and a blow by test. Nothing showed. So it does happen and it doesn’t necessarily mean an engine is in bad health. Did some 20.000km in that Datsun in about 2 years, never a problem.

But the oil consumption on some European brands is often more than on the oriental brands. Still, everybody puts this 1L/1000 km as a cut off point in the manual.

I discussed it some years ago with some car engine guru’s: Seems the number comes from a combination of empirical technical data and economic data.

Once you go over the 1L/1000km it is becoming more likely that there is something wrong or starting to go wrong with your car. In the west replacing piston rings would always be an expensive job. Labour would be substantially more than the parts. So, adding oil is a cheap option, up to a point. Hence, apparently the 1l/1000km.

Small anorak fact:
As some of you might remember I’m a former navy Chief engineer. (long time ago!). And I can tell you that most marine diesels use vast quantities of lub oil! Especially when you run them of heavy fuels.

In fact, on one of the vessels I sailed on, MV Hector, with a Stork Werkspoor TM410, 6 cilinder medium speed, our range was determined by the amount of lub oil we could take, not the amount of fuel!

We would run out of lub oil, before we would run out of fuel! On (larger) ships lub oil would be stored in huge storage tanks, similar to fuel tanks. But on the MV Hector on long ocean crossed we had to take additional oil barrels tied down on the deck.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 19th June 2017 at 23:02.
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:11   #17
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Default re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Not for a Suzuki design engine, in good health.
Before opening spark plugs, just check the exhaust tip. It is a very easy check to do.
As a broad check for engine internal health this an excellent suggestion, before going on to more profound issues!
Shashanka


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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Sorry, that is simply incorrect. See my post above or check the other post where Iím referring to. The 1 liter per 1000kms was already discussed there. Various members found reference to this rules of thumb which has been around for a few decade.
If all fails, do check the ownerís manual! As we have already seen, many manuals will mention this exact 1l/1000km.
Again, engine oil usage is not a direct indicator of engine health. That is a big misconception!
Jeroen

Absolutely! To marry high oil consumption instantly with serious engine health issues (without good analysis) is a mistake. Higher than normal oil consumption (in my case) can be due to consumption through mildly worn t/c bearings, without any reflection in the cars performance, other than a dirtier than usual t/c housing! My 12-year old Scorpio had this symptom for years and was doing regular trips (averaging two per year) to the Uttaranchal hills quite happily. It is only after I noticed the blower side casing was suddenly far more dirty than usual, that investigations resulted in changing the t/c core (post #4300 in Scorpio issues & solutions, 8th May '17)
Shashanka



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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
....Small anorak fact:As some of you might remember Iím a former navy Chief engineer. (long time ago!). And I can tell you that most marine diesels use vast quantities of lub......
Jeroen
Hello there, Chief! - nice meeting another sailor on these pages!
Shashanka
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:39   #18
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Default re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
For 3 or 4 cylinder engines, 1 litre per 1000 kilometers is a lot. I think 1 litre per 10000 kms would be a closer figure if the engine is not in the best of health.
Based on my experience with modern and well maintained petrol engines of the last 20 years of up to 2 litre size in different Indian cars, I agree. There was a time I had a litre bottle of oil in the home for top ups in between annual services; now I don't bother. I just make sure that the filling is done just short of the max mark on the dip stick during service.

The 1 litre for 1000 kms was what I needed when I had the old Fiat 1100.

But what is probably more relevant is if the consumption pattern has changed from earlier days.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:20   #19
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Default re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

1L/1000km is not environmentally friendly. Ship engines... oh, never mind!

Coming to the OP's problem, there are 2 ways one can lose oil from an IC engine. Either
- through an external leak (even hidden ones like the big end bearing oil seal), or
- via the combustion chamber, burnt out as smoke (in a petrol engine, the spark plugs & exhaust tell the story).

If the OP (not a petrolhead as he has declared himself) hasn't found the source of oil loss yet, it'll be better to find a good mechanic at this stage. The Directory section should help, but based on my personal experience with http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bangal...bangalore.html (Automotive Garage - SK Karzone (Jaya Nagar, Bangalore)), I would recommend them.

Speculation on the forum won't really find the answer, and advising expensive engine overhaul work based on a report of oil loss is not justified either.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 20th June 2017 at 09:28.
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Old 20th June 2017, 10:59   #20
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by blueaquan View Post
Every time it was topped up, it would stay good for a few months and then it's almost dry.
Don't let it run dry, buddy. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Keep checking the levels more frequently.

Could be a leak, could be that it's worn out, but what you do need is a thorough + proper checkup at the MASS.

Quote:
The car has already done 1.67Lakh. It has only been serviced in a MASS all these years.
Even if it's not a leak, don't sweat. 1.7 lakh kms means the stock motor has served you well. If engine work is required, Maruti makes things convenient by selling a half-engine kit - related thread (Plan to recondition your old 800/Alto - Maruti does it in Rs.35k with new half engine).

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
For many engines up to 1liter per 1000 km can be considered normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Not sure about this particular Suzuki Alto, but on other versions the owner manual states
Not this one. It was once the 'national petrol engine of India' and all of us oldies on the forum have owned it at some point of time.
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:52   #21
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

Only one thing I can say if the engine oil used is synthetic switch back to mineral oil and see if it resolves the oil consumption. I think this has been already told by other Tbhpians. This is simple test that you can do. when the oil drops to low level next time change the whole engine oil to a good mineral oil of same grade.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:51   #22
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by blueaquan View Post
Dear Team, I have no automobile background, but I have a 2005 model Alto Lxi that was in excellent condition until recently I started noticing the engine oil level was coming down frequently although there was no leak under the car.
Every time it was topped up, it would stay good for a few months and then it's almost dry. The MASS personal is quite familiar with me and he insists there's no leak under, he suspects the oil must be burning out during running (I am not sure if such a thing happens), if that, what's the way forward, he has already hinted at an Engine work.
A few other details to add-
The car has already done 1.67Lakh. It has only been serviced in a MASS all these years.
Until 1.2Lakh or so, the engine was extremely smooth, but in the last 30K or so, I've had a rough noise emanating from the engine when I cross 80kmph, it is no longer responsive like it used to be.
Appreciate any inputs please.

Thanks, Best
I also own an F8D powered car, albeit it's the 5 Speed 800, so I can tell you that oil consumption is definitely not normal. I have never topped up the engine oil in 17 years/3 lac kms of my ownership.

Two things which I can make out from the information given:

1. Your car is regularly serviced at MASS
2. Rough sounding engine is a recent occurring.

Which grade engine oil have they used?? Most MASS are now using 0w20 even on older cars, which shouldn't be done. Make sure that its a W40 engine oil. This is very important.

If engine oil grade is proper(W40), these are the things you need to do:

1. Get wet and dry compression test done. The results should tell you about the condition of the engine.

2. Clean the PCV valve. A stuck PCV valve can cause engine oil to enter combustion chamber. You can do this as a DIY too. All you need is cotton ear buds and IPA.

3. Sticky piston ring

4. Worn or damaged valve stem seal

5. Worn valve stem

But first check the engine oil grade and type and PCV.

Regards,
Shashi

Last edited by Leoshashi : 20th June 2017 at 12:53.
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Old 20th June 2017, 16:42   #23
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Mod note: Post edited. Back to back posts, use Multi Quote [Quote +] instead. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post

Which grade engine oil have they used?? Most MASS are now using 0w20 even on older cars, which shouldn't be done. Make sure that its a W40 engine oil. This is very important.

If engine oil grade is proper(W40), these are the things you need to do:
Thank you Leo, frankly I have no idea what kind they use, will surely check this time when I take it to the service station.

Thanks, Best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Not for a Suzuki design engine, in good health.

Before opening spark plugs, just check the exhaust tip. It is a very easy check to do.
Hi Jaggu, I checked the exhaust today, I could only find soot, but absolutely no trace of oil. I could wash off that soot completely using water.

Last edited by Jaggu : 20th June 2017 at 16:59. Reason: Back to back posts, use Multi Quote [Quote +] instead. Thanks.
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Old 20th June 2017, 17:05   #24
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Mod note: Post edited. Back to back posts, use Multi Quote [Quote +] instead. Thanks.

Hi Jaggu, I checked the exhaust today, I could only find soot, but absolutely no trace of oil. I could wash off that soot completely using water.
So the obvious first check clears major engine oil consumption during combustion, next would be to do a compression test and see how the overall health of the engine. You can also get the valve setting done if the variation is minor along with the compression test, check the plugs, filters, plug wires etc and replace if need be.

Ask them to check for any oil leaks anywhere around the engine and breather tubes are all in good condition. Another thing you can get check is any oil contamination in the radiator, just to rule out issues with head gasket.

How is the fuel efficiency, is it decent and consistent?
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Old 20th June 2017, 17:39   #25
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post

How is the fuel efficiency, is it decent and consistent?
Well, I think it is low, although not accurate, it may be somewhere in the range of 12 to 14 kmpl.
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Old 21st June 2017, 19:01   #26
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Dear Mr Blue..
What is the update.
Engine compression check?
Pictures of the spark plug.?
Something for us auto enthusiasts.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 07:24   #27
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

Another problem which used to be pretty common, esp with the old FIAT was blow by. This means a leaking sealing ring, which in turn led to the oil fumes blowing by. It manifested itself with the car sending some fumes into the combustion chamber. Not enough to smoke though.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 22nd June 2017 at 08:01. Reason: is turn > in turn
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Old 22nd June 2017, 09:42   #28
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

From experience when oil drop is noticed the places I check are;

1. Exhaust color.
2. Exhaust tip.
3. Spark plug tip.
4. Air box.
5. Oil color after running 100kms.
6. O-ring/Gasket leaks.

If smoke;
1. When starting only but reduces eventually - valve stem oil seal.
2. Always and more when accelerating - piston rings.

As a rule of thumb if the vehicle has considerable mileage then it would be better to go for a rebuild, and the smart choice(because we live in India) would be to opt for a new half-engine as GTO has mentioned, less hassles and better reliability. Hope that helps.
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Old 25th June 2017, 11:19   #29
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

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Originally Posted by norhog View Post
Dear Mr Blue..
What is the update.
Engine compression check?
Pictures of the spark plug.?
Something for us auto enthusiasts.
Dear Norhog
I've been extremely busy this week, perhaps next week when I get back, I hope to take this through those tests Jaggu and GTO have mentioned. I will surely keep you guys updated on their observations.

Thanks, Best
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Old 2nd July 2017, 06:36   #30
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Default Re: Engine oil levels coming down, but there's no leak

Ahem! - mods, if this is found to be OT please feel free to delete.
It struck me that lub oil consumption in cars (and ships!) & its investigation seems to be based more on empirical data than otherwise.
This is unlike fuel oil consumption, where a figure (Specific Fuel Oil Consumption) is usually the arbiter (at least in the marine industry) to put speculation to rest regarding FE. Specific fuel consumption is measured in Kg/kWh or g/bhph, i.e. the fuel consumed to generate unit power per unit time, under specific conditions. Mfrs would rather avoid getting into this nitty gritty as it would let the public into the backroom skunk-works. Much better to quote ARAI and wash their hands off the issue!

Lub oil consumption in IC engines does not seem to have such a detailed approach (at least I didn't find one after a cursory surf).
And, being an ex-mariner, I could not resist adding the following link (https://www.scribd.com/doc/217856475...il-Calculation), which is a fair indication of how seriously lub oil consumption is taken in the marine industry.

Last edited by shashanka : 2nd July 2017 at 06:47.
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