Having your own car is highly beneficial because you can go anywhere, which isn’t always possible when commuting. However, being a car owner is also a responsibility because you must ensure that it stays in optimal condition for a drive. In other words, you need to ensure that it doesn’t experience problems like burning oil.

Burning oil happens when you lose oil, but there’s no leak. When your car’s oil light is on, it’s usually because of two things: a leak or your engine burns oil. The engine is the culprit since it’s pretty easy to rule out a leak. An oil change is necessary when this happens because it can cause extensive engine damage. However, drivers must also know the different possible causes of burning oil. These include:

#1 – Worn-Out PCV Valve

When your PCV valve is worn out, it will malfunction and not do its job. This is the most common cause of burning oil. When this happens, the pressure in the crankcase will build up and be sent back into the intake manifold, where it gets burned. The result is more oil consumption.

#2 – Worn-Out Valve Seal

The valve seal is responsible for keeping the oil in the crankcase. If the seal is worn out, the oil will make its way into the intake manifold. Oil will then be burned and will increase your consumption.

Additionally, your valve seal will lose its resistance and will not seal your valve anymore. If there’s no pressure in the crankcase, the oil will escape through the valve, which will result in a burning oil smell and will increase your consumption. The only solution is to replace the valve seal.

#3 – Worn-Out Piston Rings and Cylinder Walls

Worn-out rings and cylinder walls are the results of excessive heat. The heat that occurs during burning oil will warp your cylinder walls. This will cause oil to seep past the rings, which go into the intake manifold and burn. If you’re experiencing oil burning, it is highly recommended that you get your rings and cylinder walls inspected.

Other Lesser-Known Causes

There are cases where the cause of the burning oil problem is not the PCV valve, valve seal, piston rings, or cylinder walls. However, this doesn’t mean the problem is necessarily due to a gross problem. These include:

Incorrect Breather Size

If the breather is too large, the oil will enter the intake manifold and get burned. Reducing your breathing will solve this problem.

Excessive Valve Clearance

If there’s excessive valve clearance, oil can easily find its way into the intake manifold, where it will get burned. To solve this problem, you need to check the valve clearance.

Valve Grind Marks

If the valve grind marks are too deep, the oil will quickly find its way into the intake manifold. You need to remove the valve and re-grind it to prevent this problem.

Why an Oil Change Is Necessary

It’s highly recommended that you get your oil changed regularly. While this is mainly because your oil is gunked up and prevents it from lubricating properly, it’s also because your oil has burnt. If your oil light is on and you’re experiencing burning oil, changing your oil is a must. This is because you must prevent your engine from wearing down and experiencing damage.

If your car regularly burns oil, you likely have a significant problem. When this happens, the best thing you can do is to bring it to a repair shop to diagnose the problem. You can also do so yourself and see if you can find the cause of your burning oil. If you do, you’ll be able to fix it yourself. Otherwise, you’ll have to go to a repair shop.


Burning oil is a severe problem and must be fixed immediately. It’s one of the leading causes of extensive engine repairs, so you must take care of it. If you’re experiencing burning oil, you need to get your engine checked out and fix the problem. Otherwise, you’ll have to get it replaced.

Hoover Automotive provides top-quality services for an oil change in Hoover, AL. Our professional automotive specialists give comprehensive repair services to ensure your vehicle remains in peak condition, all for affordable prices. Call 205-587-4888 today to schedule an appointment!

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