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Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I have a 2000 Civic SI that burns about 1 quart of oil every 500 miles. No leaks. From all the research I've done it appears that it is either the oil control rings or the valve stem seals. Here are my numbers from the compression test:

Cylinder Dry Wet
1 170 220
2 180 230
3 185 220
4 180 220

Leakdown test done dry
1 16%
2 7%
3 4%
4 7%

According to Honda 185 psi is normal. What are you guys getting with your tests? I haven't seen any smoke. I am stumped.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

Where is cylinder 1 losing compression?
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

I couldn't determine but my guess would be through the rings. My roomate's car (2000 integra ls) had similar results on the leakdown (1, 10%; 2, 15%; 3 7%; 4, 8%) and it doesn't burn any oil.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

Besides worn piston rings, burning oil can also be caused by bad valve stem seals or a bad head gasket.

Is the surface of the engine completely free of oil?
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

I suspect bad valve stem seals and that will probably be the first thing I change but I'm not sure if that can account for so much oil loss. The compression numbers seem slightly low especially considered against the wet numbers. No oil anywhere on the engine. Oil meticulously changed every 3750 miles with full records. I would say this started around 90,000-100,000 miles (currently 116,000).

On a side note, I adjusted the valve lash at 86,000. There was no oil loss prior to that. It's probably not a cause but someone may have had a similar issue.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

you would be surprised how much oil can be lost through those seals, when I replaced the ones on my 86, all the exhaust seals were completely toasted, they have to take a lot and will burn up, every time I stared the car it was like a mosquito fogger, once I put in new seals, it cleared right up, the later model cars have much higher exhaust gas temps and will probably burn them up even faster
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

I guess I'll have to pull the head and see. I already have the stem seals so I'll probably put them in next week. I really hope that cures the problem. I usually check the oil at the gas station and this consumption problem seemed to present itself pretty quickly.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

plus 1 for valve stem seals. stay out of vtec to
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

Thank you everyone. Most of my driving is on the highway and I probably hit vtec about 1-2 times a week.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

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Originally Posted by alchemyst6 View Post
I guess I'll have to pull the head and see. I already have the stem seals so I'll probably put them in next week. I really hope that cures the problem. I usually check the oil at the gas station and this consumption problem seemed to present itself pretty quickly.
Please post pictures of your work.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

i burn oil only when i hit vtec (i also have a 00 si). when i do i might as well just pull my drain plug out lol i'll lose less oil that way :-/
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

Its probably oil control rings, they wont show up on a compression because they are not supposed to seal up the combustion chamber, one of two symptoms to determine if it is rings or stem seals oi s when it burns oil, if there is a big cloud of smoke at first start up its stem seal, if it burns during acceleration its control rings, its probably control rings because of the amount of consumption, you can check the pcv system, if its working good it can decrease the it a little
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

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Originally Posted by shogee View Post
Its probably oil control rings, they wont show up on a compression because they are not supposed to seal up the combustion chamber, one of two symptoms to determine if it is rings or stem seals oi s when it burns oil, if there is a big cloud of smoke at first start up its stem seal, if it burns during acceleration its control rings, its probably control rings because of the amount of consumption
100% agree.
I think its oil rings
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

I will post pics. I think I will do both anyways just to cover all my bases.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

i lose about 1 liter of oil a week took my civic em1 for compression test at honda and came back 1.205psi 2.200psi 3. 200psi 4. 206psi guy said all in normal levels. so where all my oil going????????? no signs on leak and the odd puff of smoke out the exhaust
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

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Originally Posted by davidjames1983 View Post
i lose about 1 liter of oil a week took my civic em1 for compression test at honda and came back 1.205psi 2.200psi 3. 200psi 4. 206psi guy said all in normal levels. so where all my oil going????????? no signs on leak and the odd puff of smoke out the exhaust
Did you read through the posts in this thread?

Is there no engine oil whatsoever on the exterior of you engine? Have you crawled under the car and carefully looked for leaks?

Bad valve stem seals will yield good compression but will cause oil burning.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:52 AM   #17
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

honda said slight mist on sump, apart from that totally clean
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

scratched cylinder walls not allowing the rings to sit properly?
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Burning Oil 1 qt per 500 mi. good compression.

would that not lose compression though??? plus every time i replace oil every week dont really drive that many miles say 200miles all less
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