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Is my 4.6L Crown Vic worth the repair

I have a 1993 Crown Vic with 212,000 miles on it but it runs great and the body is in good shape. The problem is the car is burning oil at a rate of about 1 quart every 10 days and this has been going on for 2 years now. It is not a leak, that has been checked. I have been told it would run around $2000 just to open the heads from my trust worthy mechanic and he insist on me getting a new car. The problem with that is I can’t afford one but I’m willing to put up to $3000 to fix this car if it will buy me a few more years on the road. I’m pretty sure it is a bad valve seal. Is my car worth the repair cost. Another used car will require more then the $3000 to purchase and any repairs it would need.
Thanks for any advice in helping me make up my mind

Burning oil usually means the valve seals or piston rings are at fault. There is no test for valve seals but a compression or leakdown test can be performed to check piston rings. Unless the mechanic has performed those tests I don’t understand a blind fishing expedition; if I interpreted your post correctly.

Considering the age and mileage of the car, and if this is a ring problem, I’d look for a good, low miles used engine to drop in it.
If you go this route then I would strongly advise that the transmission torque converter seal also be replaced before installing another engine.

A quart every 10 days…How many MILES would that be?? I have a '92 that burns a quart every 800 miles, it’s the valve stem seals, but I don’t drive it enough to justify the expensive repair…Oil is cheap…

Or…There are many of these for sale at reasonable prices…

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-Crown-Victoria-1-Owner-2007-Ford-Crown-Victoria-P71-Police-Interceptor-CLEAN-NC-/330702457503?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item4cff670a9f

If it is the valve stem seals, does it really cost $2000 to pressurize the cylinders with air (or manually feed rope) to replace the seals?

This is an overhead cam engine and replacing the valve stem seals is NOT a simple job on these modular Fords…But 2 grand IS a little high, especially for a pro who done a few of them…

I understand you’re torn by conflicting advice. For what it’s worth, my '94 “Cruiser” will turn 221,000 this weekend and it is running like a top. It is about 80,000 away from tuneup or major repairs with the exception of a starter and a flasher relay. There are the small quirks to be expected in an eighteen-year-old used car, but it is still the finest car I’ve ever owned - and I have owned some dandies. $3,000 won’t buy you a lot of used car in today’s market. I would say, if you can get the repairs done for that, or hopefully less, go for it. Nothing else I’ve driven compares with my Cruiser.

Depending upon local smog rules, I tend to like the: Oil is cheap answer. That is 36 quarts of oil a year. Living in Mexico I do not remember what a quart of oil costs, but whatever it is times 36 isn’t much.

I have put a lot of money in older cars that I felt were going to run a long time. The first one quickly developed mold inside during a very rainy year and my wife could not tolerate the odor. I sold it to a friend for one dollar, and did not get my value out of the overhaul.

The second one got clobbered in Austin and I did not get my value out of the overhaul.

Oil is cheap.

I agree with the “oil is cheap” solution. I owned a 1990 Cadillac Sedan Deville 4.5L V8. Never burned a drop of oil. But then came the NEW Cadillac Northstar engine which was reported to have burned a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. At a car show in the late 1990’s I asked one of the pitch-girls at the Caddy corner of the show if the Northstar still burned oil like that. She said, “They have fixed that.” As if!! So, again, oil is cheap. Set the trip odometer to zero and at 800 miles, open the hood and pour in a quart of generic motor oil. Close hood and reset trip odometer. Enjoy spending the $3,000 on other things. Oh, by the way, that 4.5L V8 got an honest 25mpg/hwy. What ever happened to those great V8’s with better gas mileage than many today? And did not burn oil.

Have you tried a ‘High Mileage’ oil? These oils are the same dino oil that you typically use, plus they have a seal conditioner additive to help soften and expand old seals. If the problem is the valve seals, using this oil may stop or slow down the oil loss. I’ve used them on older cars with leaking oil issues with good results. And it is a lot cheaper than the $2000 quote. Just adds about $5-10 per oil change.

Thanks for the responses, I’m going to get some more quotes on the repair. It’s hard to find a worthy shop that’s not out for money around here. I have not had the compression test done but the lifters are knocking. Yes, the money spent in a year on oil is not that much, under $200 but there is the hassel of always remembering to keep the oil filled and the excess carbon build up in the engine from burning so much oil. I’ve had to have the ports cleaned twice as of now. I average 25-27 miles per gallon

How did they “clean the ports”???