How do you stop your car from burning oil?

I’ve meticulously maintained my car since I got it. Recently, I’ve noticed a ton of exhaust and a burning oil smell when I’m driving. My dad says my vehicle is definitely burning oil. How can I fix the issue and stop my car from burning oil?

With thick, black plumes of smoke and a burning smell, your car is definitely burning oil. But don’t stress. The issue is usually simple and you can often repair it for $10 to $20. All you need to do is check your PCV valve or oil filter.
The easiest of the two fixes is to check your oil filter and other problematic areas that contribute to oil leaks. You should change your oil filter every 6,000 to 10,000 miles, so if you haven’t replaced it recently, do so. Then, add it to your basic maintenance schedule in the future.
In addition to checking your oil filter, also take a look at the:
  • Oil pan
  • Oil drain plug
  • Oil filler cap
  • Oil cooler lines
Look for oil spots or leaks in any of these areas that can contribute to burning oil on your car. Replace any of these or take your car to the mechanic if you notice any oil stains or leaks.
In all likelihood, these probably aren’t the issues, mainly because of the thick plumes of smoke you described. When you see thick black smoke, your PCV valve or positive crankcase ventilation valve probably needs a thorough cleaning or replacement.
A PCV valve takes gases produced by the engine and the crankcase and reroutes them back into the engine to safely burn. However, a dirty PCV valve sucks oil into the engine as well as these gases if it’s not properly cleaned.
Because the PCV valve is located in many different spots depending on your vehicle, consult the owner’s manual to find it or take your car to a mechanic. In most cases, a simple cleaning or replacement of the PCV valve will only set you back $5 to $10.
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Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 25, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.

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