Oil Consumption

What Do You Define As “Excessive Oil Consumption?

Oil Consumption

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition defines “Consumption” as follows:

1 a) consuming or being consumed b) Econ the using up of goods or services, either by consumers or in the production of other goods c) the amount consumed

Get any group of “Gearheads” together discussing their “Wheels” and eventually, the subject of Oil Consumption will come up. Some will complain that their vehicles use a quart every 1,500 or 2,000 miles, while others will brag that their vehicle doesn’t use any oil between changes. Most will claim that they do oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles.

The following charts will give you an idea of just how good modern engines are when it comes to the average persons concept of “Oil Consumption”

Oil Loss Due To Internal Consumption

Engine RPM & Vehicle SpeedConsumption RateExtended
3,200 RPMs @ 60 MPH1 oz per RPM100 qts per minute / mile
3,200 RPMs @ 60 MPH1 drop per RPM24.6 oz (3/4 qt) per minute / mile
3,200 RPMs @ 60 MPH1/10th drop per RPM4.6 qts per hour / 60 miles
3,200 RPMs @ 60 MPH1/50th drop per RPM1 qt per 65 miles
3,200 RPMs @ 60 MPH1 drop per 1,600 RPM
(2 drops per mile)
1 qt per 2,080 miles

Oil Loss Due To External Leakage (consumption)

Vehicle SpeedLeakage RateExtended
60 MPH1 drop per 20 ft (264 drops per mile)4 qts per 63 miles
60 MPH1 drop per 100 ft (52.8 drops per mile)1 qt per 79 miles
60 MPH1 drop per 1,000 ft (5 drops per mile)1 qt per 788 miles
60 MPH1 drop per 2,000 ft (2.5 drops per mile)1 qt in 1,575 miles

You can see by the next to last line that consuming and/or leaking of just 5 drops of oil per mile will result in the consumption of more than a quart of oil every 800 miles, a figure that is unacceptable to even the manufacturers. Even half that amount, as shown on the last line, is unacceptable to many people.  In fact, you would need to reduce oil consumption / loss to just over 1 drop per mile to get to a number that most people would consider normal or acceptable (approx. 1 qt per 3,000 miles)

Now for short, easy quiz.

  1.  How often do you change your oil? _____________ miles
  2. When you do an oil and filter change, how much oil does it take? _____________ qts
  3. Do you have to add oil between changes? _____ Yes   _____ No
  4. If the answer to #3 above is yes, how much? _____________ qts
  5. Given the fact that with the internal combustion engine, absolute “0” consumption is not possible, at how many miles would you consider the consumption of 1 quart of oil to be acceptable or normal?   (1 qt per 1000 miles, 1 qt per 2000 miles, 1 qt per 2273.5 miles etc. your choice, you pick the figure.)   _____________
  6. Add your answers for #2 and #4 together to get a total.
  7. Take the miles from question #1 and divide it by the total from question #6.

If your answer to question #7 is smaller than your answer to question #5, by your own standards, you have excessive oil consumption.

I know, your going to say I tricked you. Oil used to do oil and filter changes is not “Oil Consumption”. Go back to the first paragraph and read the definition of “Consumption”:

1 a) consuming or being consumed b) Econ the using up of goods c) the amount consumed

If you drain out 5 quarts of oil and dispose of it, that product has been consumed, it is no longer serviceable, in use etc. It is gone, CONSUMED!

I’m not the one who tricked you. It is the manufacturers and oil companies who don’t include the amount discarded at oil change time as Consumption.

If you buy a new car, do oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles (5 quarts plus filter), drive an average of 15,000 miles per year and keep the car 7 years, you will generate 35 waste oil filters and 175 quarts (43 ¾ gallons) of waste oil. That’s consumption the oil companies don’t want you to think about. In fact, they want to make you feel guilty by telling you that if you don’t change your oil every 3,000 miles, your being negligent!

For more than 40 years, AMSOIL has been telling people there is a better way. In 1972 they introduced the first API certified Synthetic Motor Oil and stood behind the quality with a 25,000 mile or 1 year Warranty! What kind of Warranty does your oil have?

Taking the same vehicle as above and using AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils you would do 1 oil and filter change per year. That means only 7 oil and filter changes over the 7 year period instead of 35. It means only 7 waste oil filters instead of 35. It means only 35 quarts (8 3/4 gallons) of waste oil over the 7 years instead of 175 (43 3/4 gallons). (Even adding a quart of make-up oil between changes only brings the total oil used to 42 quarts or 10 1/2 gallons)

Of course there are drawbacks.

  • You only have to spend time on lube services once a year instead of 5 times a year. (Twice if you go to them for makeup oil.)
  • Your engine will run cleaner and maintain efficiency longer, meaning you may not be able to justify getting a “New” car as often.
  • Over the life of the vehicle, you’ll spend less on fuel because synthetics are more energy efficient, thereby depriving OPEC of some of their vital income.
  • With pour points 30 to 50° lower than petroleum oils, your car will start much easier in the cold winter weather, virtually eliminating the “Car Won’t Start” excuse for taking a day off.
  • Being more energy efficient, Synthetics are also quieter meaning you will have to listen to the kids (or turn up the radio).
  • The oil recycling companies won’t be able to charge your garage as much for picking up the waste oil (because there won’t be as much).

But, where would you rather spend your time and money, with your family or with a big oil company?

Give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll show you how easy it is to start saving time and money by using a better quality lubricant.

(PS: It’s not only better for you, it’s better for the environment!)

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