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Old 03-08-2018, 05:52 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 41,834

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Oil Consumption Thoughts

While there's evidence of manufacturers declaring "oil usage of xxx miles per quart" is acceptable when new, my guess is they're hedging to reduce their liability until taken to court with an owner screaming loudly for all to hear when GM/Ford/Fiat-Chrysler/Honda et tal reluctantly caves in quietly and rebuilds a few engines. Statistically, it's easier to deny liability until hauled into court. Be that as it may, I thought most engine manufacturers evolved over the years to modernize tooling to reduce tolerances to a degree with computerized machining to duplicate hundreds of thousands of engines and xmissions to raise quality levels higher while reducing manufacturing costs, elevate engine/xmission reliability to a higher level overall compared to older machining. Having tighter tolerances usually means a better engine to last longer despite most car manufacturers wanting us to buy a new vehicle every few years. I'd like to believe better engines with lower overall oil consumption issues. My '03 L300 hasn't used oil in 100k+ miles. For personal reasons, I chose to use extended oil change intervals when I bought it with 12k or 15k miles. Went to Mobil-1 synthetic and kept the oil filter in for two OCIs, approximately 15k miles for a few years then decided to modify this further to replacing oil filter at every OCI (5k-7.5k miles) but go two OCIs before replacing oil. No oil consumption at all. A light blue exhaust smoke at engine startup quickly disappears. Dipstick checks show little to zero oil use. All NYC driving with highways everywhere. Most L300/Vue members have never complained of oil usage issues with this 3.0L V6 engine. I'd like to think computerized machining allows tighter machining tolerances to allow better long term longevity whether using dino or synthetic oil, extended OCIs or not. Yes, lowering oil viscosity does help with fuel economy but we're comparing apples to apples - 5w20 instead of 5w30? If nitpicking then if my engine calls for 5w30 summer and winter, I would probably use 5w30 for summer and if possible 5w20 in winter. With synthetic oil its moot (from my view point). I mixed both at one point or another when there's a Walmart sale. While what I do may be considered heresy to many, to each his own. I see no evidence of any real oil consumption issues, spark plugs replaced at 100k miles show them to look as good as new when compared to new plugs. Some may argue this V6 engine came from Europe and whether it does or not shouldn't change the way engines are manufactured (here or elsewhere).

As a rule, 4 cyl engines run at higher power levels than V6s and always gets better fuel economy. This also translates to wear rates higher compared to V6s so there may be inferences of higher oil usage compared to 6 cyl engines, relative to each other in this discussion. In the end, if a new engine uses oil at 500 miles per quart and remains this way right up to the one new car warranty and a dealer states it's normal, I would have my say to the dealer, regional rep and corporate then if it isn't resolved, consider litigation if it's a genuine faulty issue with manufacturing while hiding behind the "that's normal" excuse.

To use a recent example, the deaths of high school students with students forming public and online protests to make politicians sit up and take notice is civil disobedience on a better level to force change for the better. Many voices can create change. One disgruntled car owner won't make a difference unless word spreads on public forums and action taken to create a small storm no car manufacturer wants in the news media. Another example was an inadvertent discovery of VW deliberately cheating on diesel emissions by a research group studying diesel vehicles. The inadvertent discovery of VW using Bosch programming to switch off diesel emissions monitoring while driving cost VW somewhere in the billions of fines. Bosch developed the program and had VW agree to never using it except for testing. VW decided, at the corporate level, to abuse this privilege and was caught. Corporate malfeasance and fines in the billions.


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