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Burning oil_Diagnozing the reason


vitz
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Dear All, 

A vehicle of one of my colleague done 32000 km burns oil (Turbo 1500). Its 700 ml for 4000 km (6 months), oil used 0W20 fully synthetic. This has been a well maintained vehicle.

There are no any hallmarks of burning oil

1. No blue smoke

2. No carbon build up in the tip of the muffler.

3. The agent is clueless about the reason

4. Spark plugs also (two removed and checked) did not show any signs of oil burning-see the figure below

5. Turbo exhaust was checked, but not much oil on turbo exhaust line towards the intercooler

5. The engine runs very smoothly but only indication for a quarry is "clicking noise on high acceleration when climbing" The agent suspects its due to low octane number of fuel

 

The agent's recommendation is to monitor it for another 1000 km.....

 

What could be the issue here?

 

Capture_plug.JPG

Edited by vitz
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Is he sure that it has done 32000km, coz most imports that came in the past decade has mileage tampering, also what type of car is it? Was it the last model of the Civic that came in? I've heard that the 1000cc civics are having premature engine wear but nothing on the 1500cc models, this looks like the car has done a bit more than 32k, or he's running very high boost. Better to go with a compression test as well, FYI the agent should have done that. 

What you see here is almost like the dipstick Hi level to Low leve been consumed during services, which is approx 1L 

Also 0w20 is not the recommendation for a conventional turbo small engine car, should be 5w30 or 5w40.

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4 minutes ago, tiv said:

Is he sure that it has done 32000km, coz most imports that came in the past decade has mileage tampering, also what type of car is it? Was it the last model of the Civic that came in? I've heard that the 1000cc civics are having premature engine wear but nothing on the 1500cc models, this looks like the car has done a bit more than 32k, or he's running very high boost. Better to go with a compression test as well, FYI the agent should have done that. 

What you see here is almost like the dipstick Hi level to Low leve been consumed during services, which is approx 1L 

Also 0w20 is not the recommendation for a conventional turbo small engine car, should be 5w30 or 5w40.

Hi Tiv,

Thanks. It was an import from a known source from Japan, reached here 6 months after manufacturing. There were no indications of mileage tempering. 

This is an Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Driving style is not aggressive, and well maintained throughout with genuine filters and valvoline oil. Used mainly for short trips during last 4 years, as per the mileage indicates. Services done in 6 month intervals always.  

Yes, its consumption from HIgh-Low level of the dipstick during the service interval. But, the consumption intensity became high as oil gets older (last 1000 km), what we noticed was the latter 250-300 ml went off in 1000 km. Anyways, we are monitoring that aspect too. 

0W20 is the recommendation by the Agent. According to UM, this problem has been reported in number of JDM ECs but not in local imports as per the UM.

However, UM has not worked in detail to find reasons for this problem.

Thanks

 

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On 9/17/2022 at 12:07 PM, vitz said:

Hi Tiv,

Thanks. It was an import from a known source from Japan, reached here 6 months after manufacturing. There were no indications of mileage tempering. 

This is an Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Driving style is not aggressive, and well maintained throughout with genuine filters and valvoline oil. Used mainly for short trips during last 4 years, as per the mileage indicates. Services done in 6 month intervals always.  

Yes, its consumption from HIgh-Low level of the dipstick during the service interval. But, the consumption intensity became high as oil gets older (last 1000 km), what we noticed was the latter 250-300 ml went off in 1000 km. Anyways, we are monitoring that aspect too. 

0W20 is the recommendation by the Agent. According to UM, this problem has been reported in number of JDM ECs but not in local imports as per the UM.

However, UM has not worked in detail to find reasons for this problem.

Thanks

 

They wouldn't go digging either as incase something comes up they might have to honor the warranty. They'll just let him drive away the 100,000km or the warranty span. IF the warranty was over;

I would suggest a compression test, its very unlikely for such a low mileage brand new car to consume oil. A very blunt test given the day and age but still a worthwhile diagnosis.  

It if was me, I would secondly switch to 5w30 or 5w40. The same brand would do. There used to be heaps of threads on the weights of oils and how they fare in our climates. I'm sure the agent is bluntly copying what they use in Japan, to suit their weather. 0w20 in my opinion is too thin for a turbo engine, also given the heat they produce, there is a high tendency of it loosing its properties in the heat range, also the thin nature making it seep through the rings. 

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1. You need to check the API rating of the oil before deciding to go with 0W-20...the recommendtion for almost all JDM cars is if it is API SP oil then 0W-20, if it is API SN oil then it should be 5W/10W-30.

2. If there is no oil blowback on your turbo chargers exhaust o oil port that only shows that there is no issue with the oil return valves. However, there could be an issue with the turbo charger (I am not saying that there is...). So I have to ask...how is the turbo running ? Does the car have a turbo charger temp gauge or boost gauge ? Do they seem normal ? If the turb charger is running excessively hot there could be some oil burn by the turbo charger itself. Now here is the other thing....this is really uncommon though....the wastegate actuator sometimes gets messed up and can't hold the pressure. So when the engine is on "boost" at the pre-set threshold the actuator starts making a clicky noise and the thing just keeps on knocking back and forth not being able to hold the wastegate open.

Again...I am not saying that the turbo chargers has gone kapoot..just saying that just because there were no abnormal amounts of oil at exhaust or inlet ports does not mean the turbo chager was running fine. 

Also...the manufacturers will promise you the sun and the moon whilst claiming that new turbo chargers do not need to run at idle before shutting down (i.e. no need for a turbo timer). But it does significantly reduce the life of the turbo charger. So...even with new cars...don't just "turn off" the engine after running, especially after running for a while. So that brings a question of idle stop on a turbo charged car....well...it is not the best of things...the only saving grace is that the engine starts running again the oil starts circulating in the turbo charger so it is able to absorb some heat (but still don't can affect the longecity of the turbo charger).

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15 hours ago, tiv said:

They wouldn't go digging either as incase something comes up they might have to honor the warranty. They'll just let him drive away the 100,000km or the warranty span. IF the warranty was over;

I would suggest a compression test, its very unlikely for such a low mileage brand new car to consume oil. A very blunt test given the day and age but still a worthwhile diagnosis.  

It if was me, I would secondly switch to 5w30 or 5w40. The same brand would do. There used to be heaps of threads on the weights of oils and how they fare in our climates. I'm sure the agent is bluntly copying what they use in Japan, to suit their weather. 0w20 in my opinion is too thin for a turbo engine, also given the heat they produce, there is a high tendency of it loosing its properties in the heat range, also the thin nature making it seep through the rings. 

I do agree with you. Agent must be blindly following the recommendation for Japan without putting much thought on our climate. I will move to 5W30 next time. The high intensity of burning oil at the latter stage could be due to further thining of 0W20 under our climate. 

One point of concern is why the car did not show any consumption of oil during first 20000 km when using 0W20. Could be engine wear could have a relevance....

I will ask the agent to do a compression test next time.

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9 hours ago, iRage said:

1. You need to check the API rating of the oil before deciding to go with 0W-20...the recommendtion for almost all JDM cars is if it is API SP oil then 0W-20, if it is API SN oil then it should be 5W/10W-30.

2. If there is no oil blowback on your turbo chargers exhaust o oil port that only shows that there is no issue with the oil return valves. However, there could be an issue with the turbo charger (I am not saying that there is...). So I have to ask...how is the turbo running ? Does the car have a turbo charger temp gauge or boost gauge ? Do they seem normal ? If the turb charger is running excessively hot there could be some oil burn by the turbo charger itself. Now here is the other thing....this is really uncommon though....the wastegate actuator sometimes gets messed up and can't hold the pressure. So when the engine is on "boost" at the pre-set threshold the actuator starts making a clicky noise and the thing just keeps on knocking back and forth not being able to hold the wastegate open.

Again...I am not saying that the turbo chargers has gone kapoot..just saying that just because there were no abnormal amounts of oil at exhaust or inlet ports does not mean the turbo chager was running fine. 

Also...the manufacturers will promise you the sun and the moon whilst claiming that new turbo chargers do not need to run at idle before shutting down (i.e. no need for a turbo timer). But it does significantly reduce the life of the turbo charger. So...even with new cars...don't just "turn off" the engine after running, especially after running for a while. So that brings a question of idle stop on a turbo charged car....well...it is not the best of things...the only saving grace is that the engine starts running again the oil starts circulating in the turbo charger so it is able to absorb some heat (but still don't can affect the longecity of the turbo charger).

Thanks IRage, 

Very useful stuff!!!!

1. The recommendation of EC is "SN  GF-5" But Valvoline SynPower 0W20 says it exceeds "SN Plus, SN, SM". I am not sure why it should be 5W30 if it is API SN?

2. There is no turbocharger temp gauge. Turbo does not make unusual noises. But, as mentioned on climb with bit heavy foot, engine makes a clicking noise, only audible when we get side walls/object enabling reflection of engine noise. Noting audible to vehicle. Apart of that , the Engine is pretty smooth. Even, water droplets appear in the exhaust tip.

3. A good care is taken with engine idling.  Actually, the vehicle we taken a good care and no chance of operational/maintainance lapses.

Could it be (defective) open "PCV" Valve? Bit of unusual idling was observed in the morning from the very first day of the ownership. However, the oil depletion was noticed after 20000 km.

I am really concerned on "why the oil burning becomes significant as oil gets old" (As Tiv indicated  it could be the too thin oil (0W20)) and why it was not noticeable in first 2000 km. Did something go wrong during last 10000 km or it is just the normal engine wear might have let thin oil to pass through piston rings and get into the combustion chamber. 

 

Cheers. 

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7 hours ago, vitz said:

1. The recommendation of EC is "SN  GF-5" But Valvoline SynPower 0W20 says it exceeds "SN Plus, SN, SM". I am not sure why it should be 5W30 if it is API SN?

SN, SM, SP....indictes a set of improving spec standards. When SP was introduced SM and SN become "old" <I don't want to say obsolete as there will be SN,SM oils in the market>. The difference for the viscosity is that due to the properties of a SP oil, a 0W-20 SP oil will have equal or better heat absorbtion, lubrication and liquid properties than that of a SN 10W-30 oil. So it goes in reverse as well....if the car needs a SP 0W-20 oil...then the old standard/rating SP oil needed is a 5w-30 (which will have the same properties as a SP 0w-20).

Well..like I said..there might be absolutely nothing wrong with the turbo charger...but just that no oil on th eports does not necesarily mean nothing is wrong (future reference). 

Having said that....technically, losing 700ml within 4000km for most manufacturers is within acceptable thresholds (probably explians why Mitsubishi hasn't done anything about it ?). Its not idea but for some manufacturers (especially Toyota) that is fine.

Also, how do you know that most of the burning happens towards the last 1000km ? Did you use the dip stick or did you top up the engine oil at varying intervals and measure hos much oil you put in ? If it is the dip stick...since the measurement gauge is not an accurate linear measuring device it could be that when the oil is fresh and full together with the flow of oil the dip stick does not record a noticeable drop in oil at the early stages but does so after the natural burn of oil. 

Has anyone ever ruled out the fact that this could be normal wear and tear for you? Also, anything fishy you observed in the oil filters ? metal shavings ? extra absorbtion ? thickness in oil residue ? have you put a scope through the valve cover atleast to see if there is any sludge build up ? Does the transmission and transfer case show anything abnormal ?

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17 hours ago, iRage said:

SN, SM, SP....indictes a set of improving spec standards. When SP was introduced SM and SN become "old" <I don't want to say obsolete as there will be SN,SM oils in the market>. The difference for the viscosity is that due to the properties of a SP oil, a 0W-20 SP oil will have equal or better heat absorbtion, lubrication and liquid properties than that of a SN 10W-30 oil. So it goes in reverse as well....if the car needs a SP 0W-20 oil...then the old standard/rating SP oil needed is a 5w-30 (which will have the same properties as a SP 0w-20).

Well..like I said..there might be absolutely nothing wrong with the turbo charger...but just that no oil on th eports does not necesarily mean nothing is wrong (future reference). 

Having said that....technically, losing 700ml within 4000km for most manufacturers is within acceptable thresholds (probably explians why Mitsubishi hasn't done anything about it ?). Its not idea but for some manufacturers (especially Toyota) that is fine.

Also, how do you know that most of the burning happens towards the last 1000km ? Did you use the dip stick or did you top up the engine oil at varying intervals and measure hos much oil you put in ? If it is the dip stick...since the measurement gauge is not an accurate linear measuring device it could be that when the oil is fresh and full together with the flow of oil the dip stick does not record a noticeable drop in oil at the early stages but does so after the natural burn of oil. 

Has anyone ever ruled out the fact that this could be normal wear and tear for you? Also, anything fishy you observed in the oil filters ? metal shavings ? extra absorbtion ? thickness in oil residue ? have you put a scope through the valve cover atleast to see if there is any sludge build up ? Does the transmission and transfer case show anything abnormal ?

Thanks. It seems we need to keep an eye on the depletion. I too agree that better to go for 0W30 SN or SP grade in the next change.

Regarding the oil level drop observation! I used the dipstick assuming its a liner reflection of oil level drop. Seems its not so. 

Nop, I did not observe anything fishy except the metallic noise when uphill drive. By the way, don't you think it could be due to open "PCV Valve"

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On 9/21/2022 at 10:32 AM, iRage said:

Could be....

Had a recheck of the compression side hose for oil. See what we found, residue of fresh oil in the hose between Inter-cooler and the turbo!!!!. 

image.png.4c50946ef109725fbddda4aa70783487.png

 

 

Is it normal to have oil in the hose of the compression side? Agents preliminary conclusion is the turbo oil seals are gone, needing a replacement of the turbo. They are still working on it as, some cases were found in Agent imported vehicles also. Pretty alarming about the quality of present day Japanese vehicles. By the way, the turbo used in EC is n IHI RHF3 unit, a similar one is used in CHR too. 

Bit of digging to the construction of the unit revels its cooled through oil as well as water

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5 minutes ago, vitz said:

Had a recheck of the compression side hose for oil. See what we found, residue of fresh oil in the hose between Inter-cooler and the turbo!!!!. 

image.png.4c50946ef109725fbddda4aa70783487.png

 

 

Is it normal to have oil in the hose of the compression side? Agents preliminary conclusion is the turbo oil seals are gone, needing a replacement of the turbo. They are still working on it as, some cases were found in Agent imported vehicles also. Pretty alarming about the quality of present day Japanese vehicles. By the way, the turbo used in EC is n IHI RHF3 unit, a similar one is used in CHR too. 

Bit of digging to the construction of the unit revels its cooled through oil as well as water

Aha ! See ! The turbo charger is the culprit most of the time....no..typically there should not be oil on the hoses on the compression side. Yes....gone are the days of just pour oil, pump fuel and run around type engiens of the 80s and the 90s. They require a lot of maintenance. Even then...it might still throw a few hissy fits. So kind of like Euro engines.

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32 minutes ago, iRage said:

Aha ! See ! The turbo charger is the culprit most of the time....no..typically there should not be oil on the hoses on the compression side. Yes....gone are the days of just pour oil, pump fuel and run around type engiens of the 80s and the 90s. They require a lot of maintenance. Even then...it might still throw a few hissy fits. So kind of like Euro engines.

I think the engine clicking noise in high acceleration could be having a link to this. The oil vapour might be making a lean mixture. 

There could be the leak in the turbine side too, in that case clogging of the Cat Converter would be a problem. 

Is it okay to run couple of thousand Kms without the turbo replacement? or would it lead to another set of problems?

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59 minutes ago, iRage said:

Aha ! See ! The turbo charger is the culprit most of the time....no..typically there should not be oil on the hoses on the compression side. Yes....gone are the days of just pour oil, pump fuel and run around type engiens of the 80s and the 90s. They require a lot of maintenance. Even then...it might still throw a few hissy fits. So kind of like Euro engines.

One thing to note, the crankcase breather hose is connected to air inlet of the turbo. Could that add evaporated oil to the compression side and channelling to the intercooler. Just a thought for possibility of adding some oil to the compression side of the turbo charger!!!!

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21 hours ago, vitz said:

One thing to note, the crankcase breather hose is connected to air inlet of the turbo. Could that add evaporated oil to the compression side and channelling to the intercooler. Just a thought for possibility of adding some oil to the compression side of the turbo charger!!!!

Yes..the brether hose also helps to drain out any accumilated blow out oil. But it should not be that high. If it is..then there is something wrong with it somewhere

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Bit of research!!!!

Two excellent videos on the functioning of the turbo unit and its lubrication system. Checkout the video 2 for the details on the need of timely change of oil to lengthen the life of the turbo

 

 

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Nice...also....manufacturers claim that new turbos do not need anything like a turbo timer (because with the introduction of idling stop systems it is not needed as manufacturers have factored it in).

Not the case ! If you have been driving for long periods of time or have been driving with a lot of spirit...do not shut the engine down as soon as you come to a stop. EIther drive like a granny for a few minutes to let the oil and excessively hot gases release or just let the engine just idle for sometime.

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4 hours ago, iRage said:

Nice...also....manufacturers claim that new turbos do not need anything like a turbo timer (because with the introduction of idling stop systems it is not needed as manufacturers have factored it in).

Not the case ! If you have been driving for long periods of time or have been driving with a lot of spirit...do not shut the engine down as soon as you come to a stop. EIther drive like a granny for a few minutes to let the oil and excessively hot gases release or just let the engine just idle for sometime.

Agreed. However, manufacturers claim that auxiliary water cooling system integrated to new turbos would do bit of cooling  through the siphoning effect of water cooling pipes. Don't know how successful it is?

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11 hours ago, iRage said:

See...that is the thing...I am sure the water cooling helps...but we really don't know :)

Hi iRage,

Thanks for intellectual contribution for the forum 

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