1998 Dodge Ram 1500 - Oil consumption mystery

my dodge truck uses more oil than it should. I checked the spark plugs for sign of burning oil. all the plugs are clean, no oil on the ground. no oil smoke. what can be wrong?

Hi, Ray. Those Magnum engines had a two piece intake manifold. The lower gasket would sometimes fail and allow vacuum from the engine to suck oil from the engine into the intake. The oil would then get burned in the engine. They actually make an aftermarket lower piece that bolts to the bottom of the intake manifold that is thicker than the oem piece and is supposed to lessen the chance of the gasket failing. I replaced all of the intake manifold gaskets on the 98 Ram that I owned years ago, and it isn’t a real difficult job since you don’t have to remove the distributor or worry about timing.

There are a couple of things you can check. The most obvious, if you look into the intake (either by opening the butterfly or removing the throttle body) and see pooled oil, that gasket has most likely failed. Some oil residue from the pcv valve is normal, but if the gasket has failed there will be excessive oil and it’ll probably be fairly obvious. Check the pcv valve too. Make sure the little check valve is functioning properly. But, yeah, the lower intake gaskets failing was pretty common. Search “Dodge Ram plenum gasket” for more info. Good luck.


This comment is a perfect example of the value of the Car Talk Community. John Swain, great job!

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Thank you, sir!

I have another solution to this that seems to work for some reason: Park the truck uphill.

How steep of a hill ? Uphill from the house ? What if the person does not have a hill for miles ?

Well then they’ll have to do it the other way!

Front of truck higher.

If this actually works, then a set of ramps is certainly cheap enough.

NHTSA ID Number: 610005

Had this same issue on my 1998 Ram Van with the 318 motor. They replaced the below and it
completely fixed the problem .

Manufacturer Communication Number: 090500