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Sudden oil loss

Question : I DRIVE a 1995 Proton Perdana SEI (manual) which has done 286,000km.

I service the car every 5,000km and the gear oil every 20,000km without fail.

Suffice to say that the car runs great.

About a fortnight ago, I checked the levels (every few days or so as per norm) and found that the dipstick indicated that there was no oil (the car was on level ground).

This seemed odd as when I warmed up the car, the oil and temperature gauges worked s they normally do.

To be on the safe side, I topped up the oil. With a litre, the level came up tot he mark and until now, all is fine.

Is there something that I may have overlooked ?

Is it the norm for a car this age to burn up some oil after an outstation run ?

Also, are the Perdana headlights available with glass lenses as the plastic ones are a nuisance in terms of light dissipation.

Answer : If this oil consumption is something that is sudden (i.e. has not been building up over some time), then you have to think of the possibility of piston ring breakage as a possible cause.

Oil cannot simply disappear and therefore I would suggest that you get someone to do a we/dry compression check to verify that no rings have broken. Although rings breaking is a very unlikely occurrence with road cars, it is best to check it out.

Also, check if your PCV (positive crankcase valve) is working and not clogged.

If it is jammed shut, crankcase pressure can build up on a long run and force the lubricant past the piston rings to burn up with the fuel. You will see no indications of it as it would have gone out through the exhaust.


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