In between oil changes I lose at least 4 quarts of oil; at dealership when I inquired why doesn’t my low oil light come on or why am I burning this much oil they said that Chrysler statistics say is it “OK” for the vehicle (3.8 liter engine) to burn up to one quart of oil per thousand miles. I’m pissed and wouldn’t have bought this vehicle if I had known that; also where is that in my owners manual??? It’s not there! I am a faithful oil changer and go as soon as the computer turns on to tell me to obtain service, which is also a dealership directive as when I went in at every 3K miles they said I didn’t have to. Note: it usually turns on somewhere around 4-5K miles but the week before I’m down at least 4 quarts. The dealership also told me Chrysler said that it is the owners responsiblity to check their own oil in between oil changes, but I seriously have to check weekly I guess. So my question: Is this true or BS and what/how should I go about getting attention from Chrysler. Just recently filled out a satisfaction survey after my last oil change rating everything 0 hoping to get some sort of startup on the issue but was recommended by a freind to ask “cartalk”.
You DO have to check your oil regularly. It’s not clear from your statement if you have been doing that , or if you are wondering if this task is actually necessary. Yes, it is. Weekly is not a bad idea given what you describe.
If you are using / losing a little oil but failing to check the level and thus not replenishing it, then the level continues to drop causing the rate of consumption to increase until you are almost empty. This is a destructive pattern, sure to result in a short lifetime for your engine.
What is the year and mileage for this T&C?
I hope I’m reading this wrong, but are you saying you let your oil get four quarts low, perhaps more than once? If so, I’m afraid I have to point out that you’re being extremely negligent here. If your engine dies soon, which wouldn’t be surprising, I hope you don’t try to blame Chrysler for that.
@lion9car, That’s how I read it too.
"Note: it usually turns on somewhere around 4-5K miles but the week before I'm down at least 4 quarts. "
My guess is OP never ever opens the hood, and expects a warning light to report everything he/she must do. Doesn’t understand the need to check fluids periodically, and top off as needed. If this has been going on for a while, damage has surely been done to the engine, insuring that the engine will burn oil rapidly.
Do you suppose the vehicle owners manual OMITS the advice to check oil regularly…using the dipstick? Maybe that page was missing?
@CAC5852: Does your vehicle actually have a low oil LEVEL light, or are you confusing this with the oil PRESSURE warning light? The oil PRESSURE light is more like the smoke alarm in your house–if it comes on, you need to react immediately and shut off the engine to prevent severe damage.
As others have said, if you are letting your oil get 4 quarts low before doing anything about it, you are causing engine damage and/or sludge buildup. The more damaged the engine becomes from this behavior, the more oil it will likely use as well.
People that let their cars run out of oil amaze me. They wouldn’t drive their cars over broken glass or over speed bumps at high speed, but they’ll let their oil run dry and kill their engines, then complain that (insert manufacturer here) is “junk”. People usually spend at least 5-figures on their car, but won’t take time to read the manual to understand how to operate and maintain it.
I wish that basics like checking the fluid levels and tire pressures, understanding dashboard lights and gauges, and how to deal with simple problems were part of driver education in this country.
I’m not sure what model year OP has.
Look on page 441. Ignorance is no excuse.
“it usually turns on somewhere around 4-5K miles but the week before I’m down at least 4 quarts.”
IIRC, that engine only holds 5 qts, so it appears that the OP has been abusing his/her engine for an extended period of time by allowing the oil level to fall to a dangerously low level.
Unfortunately, the OP’s admitted negligence is likely to result in that engine going kaput in the very near future, and that will not be the fault of Chrysler. My theory–which is not proveable or disproveable at this late date–is that moderate/normal oil consumption turned into rapid oil consumption as a result of chronically running the engine with a low oil level.
Simply lifting the hood and checking the dipstick every few weeks, and then replenishing the oil as needed to keep it at the “full” level is all that would have been needed to avert this self-caused problem. An engine should never be run when it is more than 1 qt low on oil.
“Just recently filled out a satisfaction survey after my last oil change rating everything 0”
Since the dealership is not the party that ran this engine with a chronically low oil level, it would be…unfair…and unrealistic to rate it poorly. If the OP wants to see who actually rates a zero in this situation, a mirror will reveal the guilty party.
Yep. Owners responsibility. Yep, 1000 miles per quart is acceptable but not likable. Running the oil down to one quart in the engine is bad news and the last thing I would do is tell the dealer about it. You may need the warranty when the engine blows but if they know you ran it out of oil they’ll leave you on your own. Rating the dealer zero is not likely to get an executive at CC excited.
I think a good habit to develop is to check the oil level at least every other gas fillup. Even though neither of my vehicles use any oil between changes, checking the oil is a real ego booster. Anybody who knows how to raise the hood these days is considered an automobile expert. I’ve often had people come up to me and ask autotive advice when they see that I have the hood open.(The advice I hand out is worth about what they pay for it.)