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Old 09-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
AnOrangeLeeloo
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Exclamation '03 Element Oil Consumption/Leak

Hello. I took my '03 evil toaster (as I call it) to my uncle's shop today, where I was told that it was dangerously low on oil. The mechanic who discovered that bit of fun news, said she couldn't find any discernable leakage.

A couple of months ago, the oil sensor burnt out, and the mechanic shop (who wasn't my uncle's, since I had to have it towed to the nearest shop & my uncle's was 20 miles away), who fixed that said that the oil was pretty darn low then too.

I've done numerous searches, trying to find if anyone else has had the same issue, but am unable to find anything. It only has 73 or 74 thousand miles, so it's not old enough to be this stupid yet.

Does anyone have any ideas what the cause might be? Is it burning oil (even though I've never seen any black smoke when I start the car in the morning) or is there an invisible oil leak in the belly of my evil toaster?

I've never seen any puddles underneath the car, except for the water from the a/c.

Thank you!
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
ramblerdan
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Kinda low mileage for an '03. Sometimes cars that sit a lot develop leaks. Check the oil level at least once a week to get a better handle on consumption. Watch the exhaust, especially on startup, for smoke. Also check the (cool) radiator for signs of oil contamination in the coolant.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
MikeQBF
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A faulty PCV valve can play games with oil consumption. These are more likely to foul on a vehicle that sees mostly frequent short trips and/or sits idle for long periods, as your low mileage would indicate. Easy, inexpensive fix, so don't be fretting about it just yet - get it checked, tho'.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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You mention no smoke (which can be hard to catch if not actually back there looking at it) but did you look at the tailpipe for any signs of an oily residue? This and the aforementioned coolant check for residue.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:34 AM   #5
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JEEZ
I know it's one more thing to do in a usually ridiculously busy life but every one should check the oil every fuel fill up.
For me vehicles are expensive and I find it in my best interest to take care of them.
The hour of time it takes to check the oil for lets say 40 fill ups is a LOT cheaper than 3 or 4K for a engine. I don't make 3K an hour.
Sucks for me.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
AnOrangeLeeloo
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High Oil Consumption Question...and an odd clunking noise...

Took my E to my uncle (who owns his own shop) for an oil change and he said that the oil was dangerously low, and that i should monitor it closely to make sure I add oil when needed.
I just checked it today, and it was horribly low, so i added three quarts. My question is...it's an '03 70-thousand some miled vehicle, and what could be causing the high oil consumption? I had a genius (some dipstick I knew...not my uncle) replace my valve cover gaskets several months ago, and strangely enough the oil started disappearing...could it be related to him being a complete idiot and somehow screwing up the job? I see no discernable leaks, so I dont know what else to think.
Another thing is, now my car has a weird clunking noise coming from the rear right side whenever I'm going over minor bumps. Could that be something related to the ball bearings? I had some struts replaced by Honda not too long ago, so I don't think they would be acting up again. Thank you.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
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Oil issue is most likely from head gasket replacement. See if you're leaving the telltale "Blueish Cloud" upon morning start-up. Also check for fresh puddles beneath engine. Take it to be fixed by your uncle. Never let the idiot who did it last time near your E again.

The clunk is harder to tell, Could be a strut, not sure. They have a limited lifespan that can vary depending on quality of unit and harshness of use.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
AnOrangeLeeloo
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Exclamation Incorrect Installation of Valve Cover Gaskets...

hello, if the valve cover gaskets are installed incorrectly, could that lead to a lot of abnormal oil consumption? Several months after this installation my oil sensor blew, and I was wondering if the genius who did this job, somehow f-barred it (which according to my mechanic uncle is virtually impossible, but he didn't know this idiot), thereby causing the oil sensor to blow, and the abnormally high oil consumption?
If that is a possibly, what are the symptons? I do not see any oil leaks, or smoke coming out of the exhaust, nor anything else, besides the decrease in the oil level on the dipstick.

Thank you!
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #9
Bowzer
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THat oil has got to be going somewhere and fast it sounds like. Did you stand behind the car to detect the blue smoke? You'd be surprised how hard it is to catch a glimpse from the driver's seat of that kind of thing. Check the tailpipe to see if any oily residue is present. Also, while cold, check the engine coolant for milky looking contamination as is typical of oil contamination getting to the coolant.

Can't comment on the oil sensor question I'm afraid. But it may be good to just get you car to your uncle for a more thorough check with the oil finding its way out so quickly.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
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I have 105 000 miles on my E and the engine is burning 1 liter every 3000-4000 miles....
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