2004 Kia Sedona - High Oil Consumption

 I  have a 2004 Kia Sedona minivan (3.5 litre V-6) with 120,000 miles and during the past year it has experienced high oil comsumption.  Twice the dipstick has been dry for my 3,000 mile oil change.  The Firestone dealer where I take my vehicle has ruled out oil leaks by twice conducting oil leak tests and I have never noticed any oil on the ground.  The only conclusion is that the engine is burning oil, although no warning light has gone on and the engine performs satisfactorily.  I now start adding oil after 2,000 miles.  Is there anything I can do besides adding more oil between oil changes?
 I already use use a high mileage oil at Firestone which is 5W-30.  Is this the proper oil to use under these circumstances?   Also next year I will need to to take a required emissions test for my vehicle registration.  What effect does high oil consumption have on an emissions test?  At the present time, no smoke is coming out of the exhaust pipe.  
 Lastly, is there any link between high oil consumption and lesser fuel mileage, which I am experiencing?  Any answers anyone could give on these issues would be greatly appreciated.  


It is considered NORMAL for a car to burn a quart of oil every 1000 miles. A quart every 2000 miles is not high oil consumption by any means. You should be checking your oil more often so it never drops off the dipstick…THAT can be harmful as the 2 or 3 quarts of oil remaining are severely over-worked…

You might consider another car because this one is damaged goods. Not checking the oil level between changes and running the stick dry is damaging to the engine and can also contribute to premature piston ring wear, as in oil consumption.

Burning oil can cause a vehicle to fail an emissions test and lesser fuel mileage could be due to lowered compression (piston ring wear) or a number of other possibly neglected things.
Catalytic converters partially clogged with burnt oil can drop fuel mileage and decrease power also.

Odds are you won’t pass the next emissions test but that remains to be seen.

Could It Be That Kia Is Negligent ?
Please, Seriously, Open the Kia Owner’s Manual. Find The Part About Checking Motor Oil And It’s Timeliness And Post That Exact Quote Here.

Every manual I have for other car manufacturers and every manual I’ve seen contains that admonition.
Tell us what Kia’s says.


A Small Number Of 2004 Sedonas, Sorentos, And Amantis (I’ve Never Heard Of Some Of These) May Experience A Head Gasket Leak Due To A Damaged Engine Block Near Cylinder #6.

Suspect vehicles were built between 10/27/03 & 11/24/03. Symptoms usually include poor starting or running, mifire DTCs, and coolant consumption and exhaust steam. I can only guess that oil consumption could result if the gasket got bad enough.

Any of these other symptoms ? On a tag on the vehicle (door, door frame, glove compartment, trunk . . .?) , what month and date of manufacture is given ?


I agree with ok4450, as I usually do.
The OP’s failure to check the dipstick in a timely fashion has apparently resulted in the engine being run for extended periods of time with a low oil level in the crankcase, and this is one of the best ways to destroy an engine.

The OP has to realize that the level of oil in the crankcase should never fall more than 1 qt below the “full” mark. Ideally, oil should be added as soon as the level falls by 1/2 qt. Allowing the oil level to fall so low that it no longer registers on the dipstick is very injurious to the engine.

If someone is talking about the level of the gasoline in a car’s tank, the level of gas is not very important, and many folks allow the tank to go almost dry before refilling it–with no consequences. However, the oil that lubricates the engine’s bearings and other friction-sensitive parts must be kept at or near the full mark at all times in order to avoid engine damage. It may be too late to save the engine on this car, but hopefully the OP can become more diligent with his/her next vehicle, and will get into the habit of checking the oil (and other fluids) at least every couple of weeks.

What was likely to have been a normal rate of oil consumption (1 qt per 1,000 miles) has likely now increased geometrically as a result of owner negligence. Whether the OP decides to get rid of these damaged goods is up to him/her, but two things are clear:

The rate of oil consumption is now higher than it should be, as a result of excess engine wear.
The excess engine wear is largely the result of owner negligence.

Well stated everyone.

I’d just like to add to the OP to learn to routinely check the oil level and add oil when it gets to the “fill” line rather than every 2000 miles.

In addition to lubricating the parts, the oil

  1. washes the cylinders, just as dishwater washes the dishes
  2. removes heat from the cylinders
  3. becomes contaminated and diluted by combustion blowby and by the products it washes out of the lubricated parts.

Even if the oll level never drops to where the oil light illuminates, the volume of oil has a very real affect on how well it performs its functions. Routinely running with the oil low definitely shortens the life of the engine. It is unfortunate that you’ve had to find this out the hard way.

Sincere best.

“Twice the dipstick has been dry for my 3,000 mile oil change.”

That sez it all… sheesh!

The OP is nowhere to be found…

Sitting on the side of the road with a seized engine or a couple of connecting rods not in the appropriate holes anymore… ??? :slight_smile:

How much oil is actually being used per thousand miles? Just saying “high” doesn’t help very much here.

Why don’t you check your oil between oil changes? Do you really not care if you end up having to spend $3,000 or so for a replacement engine, just to save two minutes per week of your time?