Oil Consumption

Had 2002 Nissan Altima “check engine” light coming on and off. Dealer found head gasket problem and replaced it. Now every 1,000 miles I have to add 1qt of oil. Never had an oil issue… til now. No sign of oil leak on garage floor (or when I climb under the car and look around oil filter and oil pan). No smell of burning oil and no smoke on start up, acceleration or when cruising. Dealer changed oil and filter… said ‘drive it 500 miles and bring it back’. Then, they’ll perform an oil consumption test. Is there such a test? Am I in for a huge repair bill?

An oil consumption test consists of filling the engine to the correct level with oil, and monitoring the oil level over time, as in every 100 miles or every 500 miles, to see how much oil is being consumed.

You can do this yourself, and you should.

How many thousand miles since the head gasket was replaced, and what’s the total mileage on the car?

Thank you for the fast reply. 82500 when the head gasket was replaced. At 86,900 now… and havd to add 5 qts of oil so far.

Sounds like you’re using about a quart every 880 miles. Yes, this could be from a poor headgasket replacement. You have oil passages that go through holes in the headgasket, and if there’s a problem with the headgasket installation oil could be being drawn through a breech or even leak to the outside world.

Have you checked your coolant for signs of oil contamination?
Have you noticed and blue-gray smoke out the tailpipe?

Nomatter, bring it back and let them check it. The work should be gusranteed.