New Car Burns Alot of Oil

I bought a new car in July 2008. This car has burned a quart of oil about every 6,000 since I’ve owned it! The dealer did an oil consumption study and told me this is normal. In fact they said it’s okay for a new car to burn up to a quart every three thousand miles! I’ve never had a new car burn any oil, so I’m quite worried. I’d hoped to give this car to my son in a few years, but I’m not sure it’ll be around. Is the what the dealer tells true? Any advice?

Most, if not all, new car manufacturers won’t even consider being responsible for excessive oil consumption unless it’s burning more than a quart every 1000 miles.

If you’re at a quart every 6000 miles, be very happy. I wouldn’t worry about it.

How do you know it burns a quart every 6000 miles?? Did you wait that long to change it? If I were your son, I would not want one of your cars period…

Oh, a quart every 6000 miles is NOTHING…

Some engines use a bit of oil. One quart in 6,000 miles is not anything to worry about. The car will last a long time. I don’t think you should worry about it, just remember to keep checking the oil and add as necessary.

I initially checked the oil when the car was at about three thousand miles and saw it was a half quart down. Honda had me in for the oil consupmtion study, and we found it was using about a quart every 6,000 miles. The car has a maintenance minder computer, which Honda swears by. The maintenance minder has me changing the oil about every 9,000 miles at 15% oil life. To remedy the oil usage problem, Honda now overfills the crankcase by about a half quart. I questioned this, but they said it was fine. By the looks of the comments, I’m getting, it sounds like it’ll be okay. I hope you are right.

A Quart In Six-Thousand Miles Is OK. Consumption Varies From One Car To The Next.

Worry about something else because I think you have no recourse. It is what it is. I’m sure there won’t be a big problem when you give it to your son.

Also, most manufacturers recommend checking oil level at each refueling stop. What does your Owner’s Manual say about checking? That’s when people get into trouble, when they fail to properly maintain their vehicles.

You could experiment with other compatible weight oils. If you’re using conventional, you could try fully synthetic.


The amount of oil use is OK. The oils used today are very thin 5W oils to reduce friction and increase mpg. As a result you burn off more oil faster than in years past.

I don’t care for the “overfill” at each oil change suggested by Honda. You should be checking your oil level every couple of gas fills, or a least monthly. I like to add oil in 1/2 quart increments when the dipstick is at the halfway point between the full and low marks. I add until the level is just a smidge below the full mark. Overfilling by how much is a guess, and I don’t like to guess with an expensive motor.

Not checking oil levels is risky. A seal on an oil filter can leak, or something else can cause you to lose oil. Checking the oil can keep you from posting here about what to do with your seized up motor.

I would ask them to fill it to the line, and you check it periodically. Just make sure you have the correct oil for the car. As everyone has said, 1 qt/6000 miles is absolutely fine.

How often does it take to go 6000 miles? If you put on 1000 miles per month, check the oil monthly. If you drive 2000 miles per month, check it every 2 weeks. The idea is to check often enough that there are no surprises in between checks.You can check more often if you like. Maybe your son could help with this chore. I’d do it on one of your days off before anyone uses the car. That way the sump is full. If you do it right after you drive, the oil will be distributed all over. It needs time to drain into the sump.

You have no recourse because you have no problem. A quart every 6,000 miles is excellent. Well, well, well, well within the range of acceptable.

Most manuafcturers consider a quart every 1,000 miles to be acceptable on a new car. I may not agree, but that’s the common standard. I do agree, however, that in your case no problem exists.

The manual basicly says to check regularly at each fill up. I used to do this with my cars that had over 150,000 miles, but I’ve never had to do this with any new car I’ve owned. The service supervisor agreed with me that it wasn’t normal for a new car to do this, but the manufacturer is going to do nothing. Everybody that has commented on my post seems to agree that I won’t have a problem, so I’m feeling much more confident. Thanks for the comment.

I put about 6,000 miles on in 2.5 months. About half is highway. I’ve been checking the oil regularly, and i’m going to keep checking.

Thanks everybody for the good comments. I think I’ll worry less now.

Good idea. I’m not comfortable with teh over filling.

You’re Welcome. Thanks For The Discussion.

As has been said, the consumption of one qt per 1,000 miles is considered to be within normal limits for a new car. While I would personally not be happy with that rate of oil consumption, the fact remains that virtually all car makers consider one qt per 1,000 miles to be normal consumption. Trust me, many owners of late-model Audis would love to have their cars consume “only” one qt per 1,000 miles!

The OP has no valid gripe whatsover with a consumption rate of one qt per 6,000 miles.

Ditto on the perception of the 1 qt per 1000 miles standard as being rediculous for a new engine. My old truck consumed less than that after 338,000 miles!

Agree that 1 quart per 1000 miles is ludicrous as a benchmark, but unfortunately the industry still sticks with it. My Toyota goes down 1/2 quart per 5000 miles, and as a result I don’t ever have to add any between changes.

On the other hand, a newer car with 5W20 dino oil travelling a 100 mph (legal in New Mexico, I understand) in July with a full load and A/C on would likely use 1 quart per 1000 miles legally. Trailer towing with 5W20 oil will also increase consumption. I realize this is an extreme condition, but American drivers punish their cars to untold levels.