Would changing what oil is used cause the engine to start using oil?

i sold a 98 suzuki sport sidekick that was in pristine condition to my l’il bro… i’d maintained it myself and had always used premium oil and filters…

it NEVER used oil!!!

now, after 3 or 4 months, he calls and says its used a quart in 3500 miles or so…

my initial reaction was shock! and i have no explanation other than he took it to a *mart service center and had them use the “house” brand of oil and filter…

i’ve always been told changing suddenly would cause that, but i figured todays oils were all pretty good as long as you didn’t run them too long… i’m not sure about filters though…

whatcha thank?

The brand of oil has absolutely nothing to do with it. You figured correctly – today’s oils are all pretty good, all much the same.

This sudden change in oil usage has only one likely cause – owner abuse. Your li’l bro is driving like a banshee.

Actually, I’ve found that the brand and type of oil can make a difference in oil consumption. My 94’ Chrysler with 230,000 miles uses about ? quart of Mobil1 between 6,000 mile oil changes. However, if I use ‘conventional’ oil, it uses about a quart every 2,000 miles. I noticed similar behavior when I had my truck as well. So in my experience, the quality of the oil does make a difference. As the other poster mentioned though, driving habits will make a big difference too. A quart in 3,500 miles isn’t bad at all though.

Was he using the correct weight oil? Even that crappy *mart oil/filter should not cause a rapid increase in oil consumption, but using the incorrect weight could have some effect. That said, using a quart in 3500 miles is not really excessive, I would just keep an eye on it and look for leaks.

As mentioned this is most probably related to the viscosity of the oil being used. If you were putting in 10W30 and he went to 10W20 this will do. Also check the PCV “valve” and make sure it is not stuck.

As long as the oil meets the specifications for the engine it should be fine. I suspect the amount of oil being used is within the norms as established by the manufacturer.

How was the usage determined? Has there been a change in the driving conditions? Weather? A switch to synthetic? (note: the old problem about switching to synthetic should not apply here.

Some people change there oil every 3000k, so the oil usage you described would not require adding oil between changes, perhaps this is the case here.

While it is a good idea to keep the same oil I doubt that was the problem.
You did not mention how many miles were on the car. If over 75000 it is a
good idea to use STP oil treatment or a similar product. This helps clean
out dirt, sludge, and deposits. Deposits that build up under the rings cause
them not to follow the cylinder walls accurately for good oil control. Also
valve stem seals and valve guides may cause oil consumption. Usually new seals
can be installed without removing the head from the block. Another thing that
does not casue oil consuption, but plenty of other trouble, is timing belts or chains. Chains usually last longer than belts, if over 75000 check your timing belt too.