How do you tell if your car is burning oil?

Is there an easy way to find out if your car is burning oil? My friend’s mom heard some funky noises from my engine and said it smelled smokey. She told me to make sure I wasn’t burning oil, but I don’t know how to check!

Answer
Your friend’s mom may be right! Regularly changing your oil is central to car maintenance. If you haven’t changed your oil in the last 5,000 miles, it could be low or even burning.
The best ways to tell if your car is burning oil are:
  • Check the oil level every 500 miles to see if it’s running low too quickly.
  • Keep an eye out for blue smoke from your exhaust.
  • Smell the exhaust for any excessive burning odors.
  • Pay attention to whether your car is running rougher than usual.
  • Check your spark plugs for oil, moisture, and soot.
Oftentimes burning oil is the result of worn parts that allow oil to leak into the combustion chamber where it burns up. The best way to get the problem fixed is to bring it to a professional. If you explain the problem to your mechanic, they’ll likely be able to identify the problem and get it fixed—though it may take some time.
If you’d like to get your car checked out, but don’t want to spend the money—offset the price by saving on car insurance with Jerry. A licensed broker, the Jerry app can help you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers for free. If you find a better plan, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even help cancel your old policy.
Joshua Levy
Answered on Nov 26, 2021
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