Just finshed a 500 mile trip to ny and oil level is low


#1

Ok so i have a 2003 nissan maxima with 136k and runs perfectly fine i always check my oil level before long trips but when i drove the first 250 miles and checked it the oil level was where it was when i replaced the oil at 134k but when i drove the car back and added 250 miles i checked the oil level no and i have lost some but the car feels the same. im just concerned is it anything i should worry about or just change the oil in the next 1000 miles


#2

How low was it?


#3

not to low it was a little less than half way but before it was right under the H


#4

IMO negligible top it off and keep checking it on a regular basis as you already seem to do. It looks like you lost about 8 oz. so that’s about 1 qt. every 2000, I’d say not bad at all. just for kicks and giggles you might want to check the PCV system.


#5

There are several possibilities, which include (but are not limited to) the following:

The oil had a lot of moisture condensation in it from local, short-trip driving, and the long-distance drive “burned off” this moisture, thus lowering the level on the dipstick. Does your normal driving pattern include mostly local, short-trip driving?

The car was not on level ground when you checked it the first time, or it was not on level ground when you checked it the second time.

You checked the oil level too soon after shutting off the engine the second time. An engine–especially an older one with a lot of miles on it–can take a few minutes for all of the oil in the valve lifter area to drain back into the crankcase.

The PCV valve became gummed up somewhere on your trip. A gummed-up PCV valve can result in dramatically increased oil consumption–as well as other problems. When was the last time that the PCV valve was changed or cleaned?

As to whether you should change the oil in the next 1,000 miles, the key question is…
How many months has it taken to accumulate the 2,000 miles that you have driven recently?

I ask that question because all-too-many people only look at odometer mileage when deciding how often to have their car serviced. In point of fact, a car that normally does mostly local, short-trip driving should have its oil changed every 4-6 months, regardless of how few miles it has been driven.

As to “the car feels the same”, even with a low level of oil in the crankcase, an engine can sound and operate normally–until it doesn’t–when the level falls even lower and the engine suddenly seizes.


#6

Just add a tad.
That variance is there for you to know the safe level(S) both max and minimum.
Below the minimum is not good since you don’t know just how much lees than that there is.
BUT, Showing on the stick is still a safe level.

BTW just how long did you wait after arriving to check the stick ?
When you check the stick immediately when you park ( like at a gas station ) you must allow that there is still some up in the engine slowly dripping down.


#7

You were down 1/4 quart before you left and down 1/2 quart when you got back, on oil that had 2000 miles on it. Pretty normal. Cars can use more oil on the highway.


#8

i waited 12 hours to check the oil after the trip because i arrived in the night and checked this morning and yes i do alot of short trip driving


#9

Well, as I said, somebody who does a lot (that’s two words…) of local, short-trip driving will usually have an accumulation of moisture in the crankcase, diluting the oil.

When the engine finally gets up to full operating temperature and is held there for a few hours, that accumulated moisture evaporates, and the level that is observed on the dipstick will fall.
That is the good news…sort of.

The bad news is that in its wake, that accumulated condensation frequently leaves deposits of damaging oil sludge. So…you need to change your oil every 4-6 months, rather than going by the odometer.


#10

ok thank you i will change it soon its getting darker


#11

Did you do more fast cruising on the return trip?
Oil consumption can increase at high engine speeds.


#12

Making short trips when the engine is cold causes the computer to enrich the mixture. At 136,000 miles, there may be enough wear to allow a little of the unburned gasoline of the enriched mixture to dilute the oil which lowers the viscosity. The situation used to be much worse when engines had carburetors. When the choke was on the mixture was really enriched and a lot of raw fuel was dumped into the crankcase.
My vehicle does a lot of short trips. When I hit the road, I make sure to check the oil at the first gas stop.


#13

I tip my hat to you for providing the photo and actual information. Far too many posters leave us in the dark on the details.

IMHO your oil usage is perfectly normal and acceptable for a car of your mileage. And your car care is exceptional. Keep monitoring the level, add a quart when indicated, change it every 5,000 miles, do the other recommended maintenance, and you’ll have a good reliable car for years to come.