Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Small Oil Loss Problem Likely Not Worth Fixing

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Small Oil Loss Problem Likely Not Worth Fixing

Article excerpt

Dear Tom and Ray: I have a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Touring with 39,000 miles on it. The car apparently uses oil without smoking or leaking. What could it be? -- Loretta

Ray: It could be smoking or leaking, Loretta.

Tom: There are no other choices, except larceny.

Ray: According to the principles of industrial stoichiometry, whatever goes in has to either stay in or come out. And that is true for the oil in your crankcase.

Tom: It is possible for either situation to be difficult to detect. If it is leaking very slowly, you might be leaking a few drops per mile every day between your house and the bingo parlor.

Ray: Or it could be leaking onto your hot exhaust manifold and burning up, rather than dripping onto your driveway.

Tom: Just as likely, it is sneaking past the piston rings when the engine is running, and is getting burned up and sent out the tailpipe. But in that case, it is a small-enough amount that you don't smell it, or see the telltale bluish-gray smoke. …

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