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Is Burning Motor Oil a Prelude to Engine Failure?
 
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Question:
Is Burning Motor Oil a Prelude to Engine Failure?
My 1997 Honda Accord is burning oil... does this mean that my engine will die? The local tech guy told me to switch to 20W-50 since the oil is thicker and it won't burn as much. Please, someone help me. What's gonna happen to my car?
-- Leandro Pagano, Lawrenceville, GA
Answer:
If your vehicle is burning oil it means there's probably a maintenance issue like worn piston rings, bad valve stem seals or other issues. The most important thing to do at this time is to make sure you check your oil more often and maintain the proper oil level. By the way, it is not uncommon for an older vehicle to burn some oil and yes, a higher viscosity oil or a high mileage oil can help to reduce oil loss. 
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