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2000 Mazda MPV - now slowly burning oil

I/we have a 2000 MPV with 108,000 miles on it. We have babied our van – I love it as much today as I did 9 years ago when I picked it up!

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve noticed it starting to use oil. By use oil, we used a quart of oil every 1000 miles. This van has never used oil! Our local mechanic today said nothing is wrong. . .I want the opinion of others. . . just keep checking the oil and replacing it until my beloved MPV goes asystolic?

Thanks a lot!

One quart of oil every 1000 miles is not excessive. It may use no more oil than this for the next 100,000 miles. You might check to be sure it isn’t leaking oil.

Sometimes, for reasons I can’t explain, changing brands of oil may make a difference. You might try the oil of the viscosity specified in the owner’s manual of a brand different from what you are now using. Years ago, I had a Ford Maverick that used a quart of oil every 1000-1200 miles. I had been using Sunoco oil. I was going through a grocery store and there was a special on Valvoline oil–25 cents a quart with a mail-in rebate. I figured at that price if the Maverick used more oil, I would be money ahead. With the Valvoline oil, I went 1500-1700 miles a quart. It might even be that at the last oil change, you were shortchanged a quart.

I’m not a cardiologist, but I think you are okay so long as the loss of oil does not get any worse. I like the response given by Triedaq, that you check for leaks (on the driveway or in the garage), but some oil leaks only occur during driving. Most likely and hopefully you have leaky valve cover gaskets, which would cause this slow loss of oil, but would often happen only during driving because oil only reaches these gaskets while the engine is running, and quickly drains off after you have parked the car. If this is the case, there will certainly be some visual evidence of a leak, under the valve covers, or even under the engine. Oil doesn’t evaporate. If you can look under your car’s engine you should look for black, wet-looking areas. Another likely candidate for a slow leak while driving is the distributor gasket.
If in fact there is no evidence of any kind of an oil leak, you can assume it’s burning. In this case, Triedaq’s advice is very good advise, change your engine oil to accomodate your aging engine and don’t worry so much as keep an eye on oil levels. Buy better oil and watch the level.

Unless your mechanic did a compression and leakdown test he has no basis in fact for stating anything.
Those are always Step One when someone has an oil consumption complaint and even those tests are not 100% definitive. It’s the best tests available and by reading some of the posts on this forum apparently a number of shops cannot interpret the difference between good and bad readings.

Any overheating episodes in the past can ruin piston rings and/or valve seals. There is no test for the latter. That’s a replace and pray thing.

Piston rings (especially the oil control rings) can seize in place due to overheating or coked engine oil. The latter can not only be caused by overheating but also by lack of regular oil changes based on driving habits, etc.
Hope that helps.