Burning Oil

My beautiful 2000 Lincoln Town car is starting to burn oil - a couple of quarts every 3,000 miles. I get the oil changed on schedule and have not had a problem except in the past few months. I just don’t want to have a new engine put in (mechanics recommendation), nor can I afford a car payment. I think adding oil is cheaper than a car payment or a new engine. Any suggestions?

How about an engine rebuild? How about trading it for a quality used car that you can afford without a loan?

Are you sure it is burning and not leaking? When was the last time the PCV valve was replaced? What other diagnostics have been done to find out where the oil is going?

It’s usually the valve stem seals. I think that about a $1K job.

You may want to check into used engines. Just make sure sure sure you get it from a reputable place. Also, take it to a different mechanic for a second opinion. A new engine is a big purchaes, so make sure you actually need one!

How many miles on your Town Car? And how many quarts in 3K miles? One, two, or more? Burning oil is not common on these cars at only nine years old, unless the mileage is excessive. There may be something causing this other than worn rings.

As BustedKnuckles suggested, a bad PCV valve can increase oil consumption. Don’t assume the worst right away.

Even if the rings are worn and the engine is burning oil, if the rate of oil consumption is less than a quart per 1,000 miles I suggest you keep adding oil and drive the car. When you get to measuring oil consumption in hundreds of miles per quart it’s time to make a move.

  1. Yea, how many miles on this thing?
  2. Echo, PCV valve might make your problem go away for less than the cost of a 6 pack.
  3. Not as likely valve seals in a 2000 as in earlier engines. The seals were revised in the mid 90s somewhere, maybe ?97. Symptoms of valve guide seal oil leaking are smoke at start-up and when taking off after idle for a few minutes or more. Smoking is not continuous.
  4. Don?t rebuild, get a used engine. The rebuild parts for this engine are expensive. The TTY head bolts alone cost a lot of money. If you put in a used engine, ask at www.crownvic.net for what long blocks will interchange and what to look for in different model years. The changes in this engine as it evolves is surprising. As already mentioned, the earlier engines are prone to hardening valve stem seals. You would be looking at later engines, though. Another example is that somewhere in the mid oughts, the timing chain guides were changed and the change was not good. They wear out and fall apart. They is no biggie to change in a used engine before it is installed. Look for an engine with a metal/nylon intake manifold rather than an all-nylon. Your 2000 came with the latter and it will fail at the coolant crossover or at the thermostat. If you do decide to replace the seals, have the intake manifold replaced while they are in there.
  5. Heck yes, a little oil is a lot less expensive than changing the engine. Burning oil can eventually cause other issues though.

Two Quarts every 3000 miles?? That’s NOTHING… Drive On!! In the summer, try using 15w-40 oil, 10-30 in the winter…

Add oil until it becomes excessive (eg 1qt every 500-1000 miles). On new cars manufacturers consider 1qt/1000 miles normal in warranty claims.

You are right, buy oil by the case and check/top every other fuel fillup.

The OP is opposed to a replacement engine. Otherwise, I would have recommended one too. He left us with so few options, that a rebuild is one of the few options left.