My Voyager Uses Oil

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

I have a 1989 Plymouth Grand Voyager with over 136,000 miles. We've owned it for about a year. It runs real well. The only thing that concerns me is the amount of oil it seems to use. The previous owner said it used about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles or so. I had it inspected before buying and was told it had a rear main seal leak and some oozing around the oil pan gasket. The indication was that neither was very serious. I have cardboard underneath to catch the oil drips when it's parked in the garage. The drips are no where near a quart worth. This spring I see that it's using a quart every 500 miles or so.

I don't see much blue smoke in the exhaust unless it's just idling like in slow traffic. My wife uses it to run errands with the kids and it's the main family vehicle so it doesn't get into slow traffic very often. I'm using 5w30 and will switch to 10w30 at my next oil change. I usually take it to one of those rapid oil change places where they check all the fluid levels. They've never indicated that the coolant was dirty or higher than it should be. Any ideas about where the oil is going?

First, don't always trust what those speedy guys tell you. They usually don't want to tell you anything that they can't do themselves. To be absolutely sure, look yourself. Now if you have a confirmed rear main seal leak, then forget it. Unless you were mechanically inclined and felt like rebuilding the motor, then do it. But if you were that kind of person, you would not be writing to me! Check your spark plugs for an indication that you are burning oil. Believe me, you'll know if you are. 500 miles to a quart seems a bit excessive. As your last hope, you might want to try some of those stop leak products. The only real fix is to pull it out and repair the seal, but that is probably not cost effective for you.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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