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Dodge van using/burning oil?

I recently purchased a 1999 Dodge Roadtrek Sprinter van for travel and work as a Mobile Journalist (MoJo) and it is burning/using a lot of oil. No, it’s not leaking, no spot on the driveway. It’s not smoking. It just goes through a quart of oil about every tank of gas. I recently drove to Washington, D.C. from Birmingham, Alabama and it used two quarts on the way up and two and half on the way back. Any idea what’s causing this or how to fix it? My brother-in-law does computer work for Express Oil and they recommended using Valvoline High Life oil, 10w 30. They said after three oil changes it would slow down the use, but it has only gotten worse.

Another clue. When burning cheap gas, the valves rattle upon acceleration, like when you get back on the Interstate from a rest area and try to catch up with the traffic flow. I added some Z-Max a few months ago and put in a tank of premium gas and it purred like a kitten. It is a Dodge 318 V-8, 5.2 litter engine.

Want me to call this into the show on Saturday?

1999? How many miles are on the van? Do you have any insight into its history?

I think the best way to address this is to aimply have a shop evaluate it. A compresison test could be revealing. It’s very, very possible that the engine is simply shot. You can no longer rely on not seeing clouds of blue as a sign that your cylinders are in good shape. Today’s catalytic converters can capture much of that smoke before it goes out the tailpipe. It’ll wreck the converter, but the visable coud won’t be obvious.

The show is in reruns, the brothers have retired. How many miles on this van? Have you checked the PCV valve lately? Pull off the oil fill cap and look into the area under it, do you see a lot of carbon buildup or a lot of gunk?

The cover on the bottom of the intake manifold may be leaking. There is a test proceedure for this, see TSB 09-05-00;

http://www.nagca.com/grandtech/tsb090500.htm

In my experience if you disconnect the breather hose from the air cleaner and there is a great amount of vacuum (sounds like a vacuum cleaner) the intake manifold cover plate is leaking.

There is no show, they are all repeats, some many years old…How many miles on this vehicle? Check the air-cleaner box and plumbing back to the engine for any sign of oil inside…If it’s wet with oil in there, then have the PCV serviced from end to end, not just the valve…Still burning oil? switch to 10-40 or 15-40 and live with it…Does it blow a big puff of blue smoke when you first start it up cold? That’s usually the valve stem seals and that’s fixable…

Oh, I didn’t realize the show was over. Don’t listen like I used to.

When I bought the van it had 129,000 miles on it. Now it’s about 134,000.

Thanks for the quick, helpful responses. I will check all this out this afternoon and get back to you on what we find.

The pinging/rattle could be from carbon deposits in the cylinders, which is a byproduct of oil burning.
It could also be a clogged EGR system, also often related to oil burning.
There’s a good chance this van didn’t get enough oil changes in those 129k miles.