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Dissapearing Oil

About a week ago purchased a 2003 Ford Focus and drove it from Chicago to Washington (approximately 2000 miles). At one of my fill ups I went to leave and noticed the lifters knocking a bit. I shut the car off and checked the oil and found it to be barely reading on the dipstick. I added 2 quarts which put it to about where it needed to be and continued on my journey. At the next fillup (approximately 300 more miles) I checked the oil again and it was about half where it had just been. Subsequent checks throughout the remainder of the trip showed it is using a little less than 1 quart per tank of gas. The car does not leak oil and does not have any visible sign of burning oil, such as smoke coming out of the tailpipe etc… Outside of this it runs absolutely normal. Does anyone have any suggestions on where the oil is going and what I should check or consider replacing to fix the problem?

What is happening to the coolant level? What does the coolant look like, smell like?

I checked it once when I noticed the oil problem just to go over the fluids and everything seemed fine, I will check again tonight and post the findings.

the reason why your oil level is lowering is probably because the previous owner could’ve used the wrong weight oil or sometimes not using a synthetic blend motor oil as per ford. If i’m not mistaken most fords that require 5w20 rec. synthetic blend motor oil. Another thing you might want to do at your next change is use seafoam or an engine flush solution and then watch your oil consumption. hope this helps, Steve.

How fast are you driving? oil use that is controled at 55 can be extreme at 75 when a engine condition exists,its being burned.

Running the engine so low on oil that it was making noise harmed your engine.

One of the pitfalls of not establishing engine oil consumption rate on a “new too you car”.

You did not state previous maintenance records or a check of the car by an independent mechanic, so given so little info I could guess it is about 55 k miles, the previous owner never did an oil change and your piston rings are now worn beyond spec. More info, better answers.

Ok, I will try to answer everyones questions and thanks ahead of time for all your suggestions.

The car was checked by a buddy of mine that has been a county mechanic for 20 years. He gave the go ahead but is on vacation and I cannot call him about this issue for the moment. The dealership stated that the oil changes were followed per spec but what dealership wouldn’t tell you that, so not so reliable there and not sure if oil changes did actaully happen frequently. When I checked the oil before purchase it was at a safe level and a nice clear brown as a new oil change would look.

The coolant looks fine, smells fine, so no mixing of oil in it.

Knocking only happened upon initial acceleration but did not happen when idoling or once I reached speed and it was barely noticeable. I think it lasted for about 2 seconds when accelerating. I read the manual (odd these days I know) and put the proper synthetic 5W-20 oil in.

The drive I was traveling at 70-75mph which was following the speed limit and I drive like a grandma and I am careful with my vehicles. No hard accelerating etc…

The vehicle is not salvage and had about 95k miles on it when purchased.