CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2000 Accent losing oil

My 2000 Accent is losing up to 2 quarts of oil between changes. There are no visible signs of leaks on the engine or under the car. The exhaust does not smoke. Hyundai claims it is working within specifications and refuses to correct the problem.

Does anyone have a suggestion on what I should have checked out?

The engine is burning oil. You don’t see smoke because the catalytic converter hides it.

What’s the oil change interval? 5,000 miles? 7,500?

2 quarts between changes at these intervals is not excessive oil consumption, but the oil is being burned.

Fixing this would probably cost more than the car is worth, since it requires taking the engine apart. I would keep checking the oil and keep driving the car. When the oil consumption exceeds one quart per thousand miles start looking for a new car.

How many miles on this car?

I change oil every 3000 miles, and there are 67,000 miles on the car.

You have two choices:

  1. Live with the oil consumption. Monitor the oil level and add oil as necessary to maintain the correct level.

  2. Sell this car and buy something else.

You’re car is burning a quart every 1,500 miles. Some manufacturers consider this within normal parameters, especially as mileage accumulates. You may be able to drive this car for a long time the way it is. I wouldn’t spend any money trying to fix it.

Likely the owner’s manual says to change oil around 5,000 miles. There is no reason not to do that. Changing oil every 3,000 miles is not likely to provide any advantage in a modern car using modern oil.

This usage is not all that high, based on manufacturer’s numbers. It is more than I would like, but it is not unusual nor does it appear to indicate any impending problems or short life.

You could try using some high mileage oil.

Good Luck