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How do I know if my car is burning oil?

man during car breakdown

To keep your car’s engine running great, its internal parts must stay lubricated and cool with engine oil.

Sometimes unavoidable problems arise, and that’s when a vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty) can have your back and cover engine repairs.

Regular oil checks can do a great deal to protect your engine from major repairs. One problem that can come up during your check is burning oil. Here’s how to know when it’s happening.

What happens when your car burns oil?

Engine oil is supposed to stay inside the engine. Sometimes the oil can leak and it can end up outside of the engine. This can cause various problems, including engine failure, and it can even lead to a dangerous situation. 

Sometimes it’s not just an oil leak that can be the cause of burning oil. It can also be caused by some internal engine components that are damaged.

How can you know you’re burning oil?

Here are two signs that can warn you that your car is burning oil.

  • The burning smell – The components outside of your engine are very hot and the smell of burning oil can be produced. This smell is a sign of burning oil.
  • The blue smoke – Have someone turn your car on so that you can observe the back of your car. Take a look at the smoke coming from the exhaust. A bluish smoke is usually a sign of burning oil.

Extended car warranties for used cars can give you peace of mind at the car repair shop. Here’s how to find an affordable extended car warranty online.

Check your car’s oil

You should be checking your oil regularly, especially if you suspect it’s burning oil or consuming too much oil. Checking your oil is a fairly easy task. 

  1. You should first look in your owner’s manual and check their recommendation on the ideal temperature for you to check it.
  1. Once you open the hood, you should locate your dipstick in your engine.
  1. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean.
  1. Reinsert the dipstick, pull it out and note the oil level. There are two lines showing you that you have a low level of oil or a high level of oil. If the oil is between two lines, you have enough.

If the level is low, you should add oil. Take pictures of the level. Then, drive it for a while and check the oil again. Take pictures to see any changes. You may want to do this a few times to see if the oil is leaking and your car is using too much oil.

What could be causing leaks or excessive oil consumption?

Engine oil travels through all the parts or your engine (bearings, pistons, valves, etc.) and then goes back to the oil pan where it then gets used up again. 

While it’s moving along, the oil may leak or it won’t lubricate adequately because it’s old and dirty. In either case, your engine can end up consuming more oil to compensate.

Protect your car from expensive engine repairs

In many cases, burning oil may be an easy fix. Sometimes it can be as easy as just changing a PCV valve, which can cost under $20. There could be other factors that may be causing problems with your engine. In most cases, it’s best to have a professional mechanic that you trust take a look at your car and diagnose the issue. With a great Vehicle Repair Protection plan, you don’t have to worry about an expensive bill. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!