Dodge Intrepid burning oil

I have a 2000 Intrepid. I have had to add oil frequently, but now when I go up a very steep hill (like the mountain roads in central PA), I am getting smoke out the tailpipe. That hasn’t happened before. Any ideas? It goes to the mechanic Friday — he said it could be simple or it could be really bad, but he’s not sure right off the top of his head.

It sounds like you might have excessive internal engine wear. It could be worn or broken oil control rings, or a general wearout of the cylinder walls. There could be other causes, but you should have an engine evaluation done by a capable mechanic. A compression check will quickly indicate how worn he engine is.

How many miles on it?

See if you have a 2.7 engine.

I liked Dodge cars more than I do now. A lot of former Dodge fans are upset with Intrepid engines that Dodge hasn’t stood behind. The 2.7L V-6 has had tons of complaints from owners with problems like you are describing. Oil sludge problems and faulty timing chain/guides are being blamed for early deaths of the 2.7 . Used engines from salvage yards are hard to get because of demand and because many of the cars are in the salvage yard because of a bad engine.

I hope you don’t have one of the junk engines. My advice is that wherever you take it to be checked out, be sure that the technician is already aware of these problems and how to diagnose them easily.

This engine situation is a bad deal. The car is a nice auto except for that.

Thanks for the hints, and unfortunately I do have the 2.7L engine. I will pass this along to my mechanic, who has always been good to me.