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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an '07 Escape 2.3L which uses around 1 ro 1.5 quarts of oil per 500 to 600 miles. Exhaust pipe is sooty with oil deposits as one would expect with a vehicle burning oil.

What confuses me is how clean the plugs are and no fouling. Is this typical with the "newer" engines like the 2.3L?

There isn't any oil leakage on the outside of the engine that I can find. There is a small leak which has developed in the valve cover gasket into 2 of the 4 spark plug ports. It is minimal from what I can tell with just a light coating on the socket and not a deep pool of oil in the spark plug area.

Attached a pic of the plugs so you can see what I am asking about.
 

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Have you checked that your PCV valve is not gooed up? It is supposed to feed crankcase gases to the intake manifold, and if it is dysfunctional it can feed oil in addition to the gases. Reports of failed PCV valves in the same vintage 3.0 V6 engines causing the engine to eat all the oil between fills of the fuel tank have been seen online.
Would not hurt to check the valve, or replace it as they are a 'wear item'.
One check is to disconnect the filtered air line from the snorkel feeding the engine intake that connects to the cam cover. Engine at idle, you can block the air inlet to the crankcase and after a short while should feel a light vacuum indicating the PCV is functioning and venting(at a slow rate) gases from the crankcase to the intake to be burned. If no vacuum or actual pressure, then the system is not working as desired/designed, and should be checked further.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you checked that your PCV valve is not gooed up? It is supposed to feed crankcase gases to the intake manifold, and if it is dysfunctional it can feed oil in addition to the gases. Reports of failed PCV valves in the same vintage 3.0 V6 engines causing the engine to eat all the oil between fills of the fuel tank have been seen online.
Would not hurt to check the valve, or replace it as they are a 'wear item'.
One check is to disconnect the filtered air line from the snorkel feeding the engine intake that connects to the cam cover. Engine at idle, you can block the air inlet to the crankcase and after a short while should feel a light vacuum indicating the PCV is functioning and venting(at a slow rate) gases from the crankcase to the intake to be burned. If no vacuum or actual pressure, then the system is not working as desired/designed, and should be checked further.
tom
Yeah, the PCV and hose were the first things I replaced. Apologies for not giving the entire history.

I have also done the vacuum test as you described in the past and it does pull a vacuum..

I think we have had this discussion before months ago about the PCV and other possible issues. I was just more curious this time about how clean the plugs are if that much oil is being burned.

I did get a suggestion from another forum about maybe the exhaust valve seals are shot as when an oil change is completed, in less than 100 miles or so, the oil is already black and smells like raw exhaust.

I am just having a hard time going with others suggestion to get rid of the vehicle. It doesn't have the typical rear frame and shock tower rut like so many do and overall the vehicle is in excellent condition, minus the oil burning and the headliner covering failing. It has been paid off for a long time, I only paid like $500 for it. It is just the hassle of have to keep such a close eye on the oil and keep it topped off..
 

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what brand/weight of oil are you using? Do you do the changes yourself? What are you adding as make-up oil?
The original suggested was 5W-20, I think. Later FoMoCo decided that it would be better(for longevity?) to prescribe 5W-30. I am not positive of the ratings, but they did up the second number.
It may be that if you go to a higher rated oil you may decrease the amount burned. If the engine is a bit tired, or was not maintained very well in the past, I would go higher in both ratings. Mentally, I would go to the 15W-40 that is used in a lot of diesel engines. Start a bit higher, and when hot, is a bit more viscous. Unless you live in a frosty area, the 15W should not cause any problems.
I used to check the 'pressure loss' time on engines with a warning light that indicated a loss of oil pressure by running a hot engine at idle, killing the ignition, and then turning the ignition on as quickly as feasible. The time between engine stop and the light coming on told me how quickly pressure was lost through bearings, etc. The light should come on at about 5psi. If you can imagine(hence the mental) a pressure gauge as you turn the engine off, and ignition ON, the time between the OFF and the light going on is the time the gauge needle would take to fall from normal pressure to 5psi. More or less. The longer, the tighter the bearings, in general.
Exhaust valve guides generally don't need valve stem seals nearly as much as intake valve guides as the exhaust valves are not subject to vacuum trying to pull oil down the guide. The oil changing color and odor are more of an indication of blowby getting into the crankcase. Burned fuel or partially burned will leave the black soot, as will 'stuff' that has accumulated when an engine has not been maintained. The stuff will get entrained in the oil, and carried around, turning the oil black in a short time. Have you looked inside the cam/valve covers to see if there is appreciable deposits? In addition, a too-rich mixture can allow fuel to migrate to the oil, and give it a fuel-like odor.
tom
 

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5w20 was the original spec, and most 5w20 has much better shear thinning resistance than 5w30, but that is also a number crunchers thing (5w30 will thin more than the 5w20 but will still be closer is weight to 20 that the 20 would be), but maybe a heavier weight oil might slow it down enough to make it worth it.

At some point, enough wear in various places causes oil consumption, and it becomes a game of keeping it from running out, and all the other issues burning oil causes. I ran 5w20 in my Grand Marquis (it was originally specced for 5w30 but back specced for 5w20) until around 260,000 miles. Then it would use a quart in 4,000 miles (I topped it off at oil change to the top of the full line, 1 pint more than the 5 quarts it held) and I would add another pint to get to 5000 miles. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it did mean keeping tabs on the oil more frequently than I had gotten used to. But my older carbed vehicles I had to consistently check the oil, add, and change it much more frequently. It used mainly because of worn valve guides/seals (it would puff at startup if it sat for a few days, or at a WOT take off from a long red light).

Oil color is not a great indicator of much unless it is pink, white, or chocolate colored. Higher mileage, more worn vehicles will turn it black very quickly, but that is oil doing what it should, keeping it in suspension.
 

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The amount of VI added to base stock is what determines the second number in the designation. These Viscosity Improvers are 'long chained' constructs that are coiled up when cold, and uncoil when heated. They can become short-chained when run through an engine and encounter rubbing friction, in the past the interface between cam lobes and valve lifter faces. That is where the cam rubs on the lobe and cuts the VI apart over time.
Most new engines have 'roller lifters' where the cam-lifter shear interface is replaced by rolling friction rather than rubbing. The VI bits last a lot longer with roller lifters than in the past.
In the 1980's FoMoCo related to a friend that his oil consumption in a brand new Ranger would not be considered excessive until it used more than a quart in 500 miles. Times change. Drivers have become accustomed to never having to check under the hood. IMO that is a mistaken assumption, and costly if there is a problem. FWIW.
In this case, given there is apparently no visible leakage, the spark plugs show no indication of significant oil fouling, and, I think, no blue cloud following along going down the road. That leaves, IMO, the problem of oil being vaporized in the crankase, and fed to the intake. If the oil used has a low 'word for boiling/vaporization' point, it will turn to vapor, not drops, a gas, as in boiling water gas, and fed to the combustion chamber and burned. There is a possibility the oil selected has a low vaporization temperature, I would read up on any available figures for the oil used, and choose another if the numbers indicated that oil turned to vapor at a low temperature. Couldn't hurt.
tom
 

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Are you sure, there are no leakages, loose oil filter, loose drain plug, oil pan gasket leaks, cylinder head gasket leak, etc.............The oil that you put, is it Motorcraft semi-syn or any top tier full synthetic brand not the grocery brand or Dollar store brand?
 
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