Missing oil


I have a 1999 Nissan Maxima with 130,000 mi. We have been having a strange experience of having oil disapear after only a few hundred miles. There is a little bit of smoke on occasion at start up but not while runnig or driving. There are NO oil leaks any place to be found. The car dosn’t over heat or show any idications of low oil including an idiot oil light which functions properly.

Shortly after adding 2 quarts this last time and driving 60 miles, the dipstick shows no oil! Could there be a problem with the dipstick or the wrong dipstick?

The car runs smooth without any indications of low oil but I am having trouble sleeping.

One possible theory is sludge build up in the valve covers is holding oil and not allowing it to drain back to the pan.



If the oil wasn’t able to drain back into the oil pan due plugged drain-back holes, the engine would eventually run out of oil and would start making noise.

I think the engine is burning the oil. And reason you don’t see any smoke is because the cataytic converter is hiding it. But it will eventually damage the cat.

Here’s what you might want to try. Purchase a can of RESTORE engine treatment and add it to the oil. Monitor the oil consumption over the next week. If the consumption slows down or stops, there’s something wrong with the oil control rings on the pistons.



your rings are out, youll need new ones, and dont drive without oil, your engine will be gone forever


Did you check the dipstick after you added the two quarts?? Maybe you were four quarts low to begin with… If you were burning 2 quarts every 60 miles, it WOULD smoke badly. No converter could cover that up.

Change your oil and filter and check it every 100 miles, keeping accurate record of the oil consumption.


You say you added two quarts of oil and drove 60 miles, but how much oil was in the engine before you added the two quarts? And did the dipstick show “full” after you added the two quarts? You are aware, I hope, that the oil “idiot light” is not an indicator of low oil level, but of low (or no) oil PRESSURE, which is fatal to engines.

You can’t be burning two quarts in 60 miles. If so you would smoke out the neighborhood. The engine is burning oil, no doubt about it, just not that much.

The Maxima engine is generally very reliable and long-lived, unless it has been abused and/or neglected. You have to establish the rate of oil burning. Change the oil and filter, make sure the oil is full to the proper level, then check it AT LEAST once a week until you determine how many miles it takes for a quart to burn away. When you know that, post back.