I drive a 1990 Ford Festiva with 207000 miles. It burns about a quart and half of oil every tank of gas. My question is how often do I need to change the oil filter. Obviously I am changing the oil every two tanks of gas. Btw I am getting about 34 miles to the gallon.
Your piston rings are probably badly worn. The oil may be diluted with gasoline. I would stay with the regular oil change interval that you presently have so that you don’t put needless wear on the engine bearings. Your Ford Festiva deserves all the help you can give it.
Change the filter every time you change the oil.
You DO change the oil, don’t you?
Is there a cloud of oil smoke following you down the road? 1.5 qts per tank is a LOT of oil to burn. Is all that oil being burned, or is some of it leaking out of the engine?
Change the filter twice a year and don’t bother changing the oil. Your oil is always new.
I am going to make a different suggestions. How about getting the rings replaced?
Why would anyone spend that kind of money on repairing an 18 year old car that would be worth–at most–only a couple of hundred $$ even if it was in perfect condition?
The OP needs to either tolerate the current situation while saving his money for the next car purchase or just bite the bullet and buy another car now.
Why change the oil that quickly? I also have a car burning about 3/4 of a quart per tank. I add oil as necessary, and still change oil and filter every 4,000 miles. I have 239,000 miles on that car. Unless there are other contamination issues, there is no reason for the more frequent oil changes. I have a few leak issues and some burning happening. This car is 20 years old, and still my daily driver.
It depends on you driving pattern. If you do mainly commuting and the engine warms up thoroughly, you will not have much condensation in the crankcase or raw gasoline. In that case, change the filter every time you would normally change oil if the car was new, and change the oil once a year to get rid of crankcase deposits.
If you only make short trips, and the car does nto get warmed up, drain the oil as you would for normal use as per the manual, such as 3000 miles.
You will realize, of course, that this vehicle may not pass an emission test!!
I did the above when I owned an old Chevy 6, and drove it for 4 years through college by carrying a case cheap no name oil in the trunk, and just topped up as needed. The car was worth $100 or so but thoroughly dependable.
Happy cheap motoring.
You should still do an oil change, with filter about every 4-5000 miles. There are contaminants that will get through the oil filter that need to be removed periodically, and the only way to get rid of them is to drain the oil. If you know anyone who does their own oil changes with synthetic oil, ask them to save their old oil and use it to top off your oil. You will save money, help the environment (that could be arguable, but instead of their old oil going into a disposal facility, you are using it to pollute the environment, but you are not doing it with new oil) Use regular oil for the oil change. The synthetic seems to burn less and often the DYIers used synthetic oil is as good or better than fresh regular oil.
I did that once using the used synthetic oil from my other cars in an old Toyota. Over the period between the oil changes, the addition of used synthetic slowed down the oil consumption. Went over 300k on that engine.
OP’s car may be too far gone to benefit from syny=thetic, but it is worth a tru; just use a heavier grade than the normal 5W30, such as 10 W30, since this stuff is very slippery and often INCREASES oil consumptrion in an old engine. If it does not decrease oil consumption, go back to the cheapest oil on the market and buy it by the case, since synthetic is too pricey for constantly topping up.
Thanks for all of the useful comments. I do use the car mainly or commuting, driving about 40 miles each way to work. So it does have a chance to warm up. As also suggested i do keep cheap oil in the hatch it would cost me a fortune if I was buying it from the service station and as you can tell by the car I drive I am very frugal. I will try using a higher weight oil. I am sure that wont fix the issues but if it slows down then that is great. BTW live in a state that does not have emmission testing.