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  • avatar zaken1 10/29/08 12:20 am PST

    The experience you reported is a typical description of what normally happens when an engine stalls while the vehicle is moving. When the engine stalls (which can happen if the throttle body needs cleaning, or if the spark plugs need replacement, or if you are using poor quality fuel) the oil pressure light will come on, and the steering will stiffen up; because the engine has stopped, and thus is no longer turning the oil pump or power steering pump.

    It is indeed upsetting, and a potential safety issue, that power steering systems only work while the engine is running. However, this is what happens on ALL brands of vehicles with power steering; when the engine stalls. The steering effort on some brands does not become quite as stiff as it does on others; but they all become stiff enough to be frightening.

    Nothing that you described sounds like it had anything to do with either the oil consumption you experienced, or the previous problems you had with the steering. And oil consumption of less than a quart in 1,000 miles is indeed normal in many types of vehicles. Many owners expect a new car to use NO oil at all; but the rate at which a vehicle consumes oil is very dependent on many factors. If a car is not broken in properly (by either driving too easily, or too aggressively; or by not varying the speeds sufficiently during the first few hundred miles; the piston rings will not develop as good a seal as they could if the engine was optimally driven during break in. So an engine which was broken in poorly will be likely to use more oil than an engine which has been optimally broken in.

    Driving aggressively when the engine has not yet reached normal operating temperature will also create premature engine wear, and increased oil consumption. So will excessive idling, or allowing the engine to warm up by idling, instead of warming it up by gentle driving.

    Another factor which leads to increased oil consumption is the use of so called "energy conserving oils." These types of oil, which are commonly recommended by manufacturers; and are in some cases are mandated by federal regulations, have been thinned to reduce the amount of friction they create. But the thinning reduces their film strength, and increases the rate at which they are consumed. The benefits of energy conserving oil typically save about 1/2 mile per gallon of average fuel consumption. But many car owners are now complaining about the oil consumption and engine wear they experience with these types of oil. The dealers cannot recommend against using these oils; but I'm not a dealer...

    I hope this helps!!!
    Joel

Answers

  • zaken1 10/29/08 12:20 am PST

    The experience you reported is a typical description of what normally happens when an engine stalls while the vehicle is moving. When the engine stalls (which can happen if the throttle body needs cleaning, or if the spark plugs need replacement, or if you are using poor quality fuel) the oil pressure light will come on, and the steering will stiffen up; because the engine has stopped, and thus is no longer turning the oil pump or power steering pump.

    It is indeed upsetting, and a potential safety issue, that power steering systems only work while the engine is running. However, this is what happens on ALL brands of vehicles with power steering; when the engine stalls. The steering effort on some brands does not become quite as stiff as it does on others; but they all become stiff enough to be frightening.

    Nothing that you described sounds like it had anything to do with either the oil consumption you experienced, or the previous problems you had with the steering. And oil consumption of less than a quart in 1,000 miles is indeed normal in many types of vehicles. Many owners expect a new car to use NO oil at all; but the rate at which a vehicle consumes oil is very dependent on many factors. If a car is not broken in properly (by either driving too easily, or too aggressively; or by not varying the speeds sufficiently during the first few hundred miles; the piston rings will not develop as good a seal as they could if the engine was optimally driven during break in. So an engine which was broken in poorly will be likely to use more oil than an engine which has been optimally broken in.

    Driving aggressively when the engine has not yet reached normal operating temperature will also create premature engine wear, and increased oil consumption. So will excessive idling, or allowing the engine to warm up by idling, instead of warming it up by gentle driving.

    Another factor which leads to increased oil consumption is the use of so called "energy conserving oils." These types of oil, which are commonly recommended by manufacturers; and are in some cases are mandated by federal regulations, have been thinned to reduce the amount of friction they create. But the thinning reduces their film strength, and increases the rate at which they are consumed. The benefits of energy conserving oil typically save about 1/2 mile per gallon of average fuel consumption. But many car owners are now complaining about the oil consumption and engine wear they experience with these types of oil. The dealers cannot recommend against using these oils; but I'm not a dealer...

    I hope this helps!!!
    Joel

  • tmaguire 10/29/08 3:30 pm PST

    Thanks.

    I previously had a problem where the gas pedal resisted a little and sort of "popped" when depressed (while the car was moving). They cleaned something having to do with the throttle and the problem went away. Could this be related and would it indicate any larger problem?

    I assume you mean the 5w20 oil that I have religiously used for my car. What would you recommend when the warranty expires and I can no longer be held liable for using an alternate oil? Could I do any damage with another oil?

    Thanks again for you helpful advice.


  • problem_solver 02/22/12 2:03 am PST

    Hi
    Others have answered adequately what happens to your power steering when your engine stalls. If you are strong enough you can still turn the car but if happens to you on a turn and you are caught by surprise you could have an accident. Check all conditions that could cause stalling and ask to have a computer linked up to your computer to find fault codes. Some computers do not turn on the check engine light until there are 3 fault codes.
    Knock on wood I bought a used 2006 Dodge caravan and I tried a regular 5W 20 oil in it. Only went down a very little bit in 5,000 km. So I put in a synthetic oil 5w20 and after 10,000km went down only 1/2 liter. Currently I have 7,000km and it is down about 1/8 of a liter with synthetic oil. So in my opinion yes you have a problem. As I said I lucked out. There are 2 ways engines are broken in. One way is to use thinner oil for the 1st thousand km and you should not over rev or hard acceleration but too many people do more than that and people wanted to test their cars out putting the pedal to the metal so that they now just use regular oil and let it wear in. So the lady I bought this car from lived in the north end of Toronto surrounded by stop lights everywhere and a speed limit of around 40 to 70 km/ hour. The oil was changed every 5,000 km and the engine gradually wore in over the 45,000km with the regular oil. So it was just perfect when I bought it. 45,000 km of stop and go traffic. So I have heard of a friend who had a real nice sports car and from the factory his comes with synthetic oil for his 12 cyclinder engine and he does use 1 liter per oil change and I attribute that to the engine not wearing using regular oil. So that could be a problem to. Switching oil too early.
    So yes there is really something wrong with your oil consumption compared to mine. IF the engine was overheated if the water pump went you could have problems the head gasket and internal components of the engine like vlalve guides and cylinder rings. I would have to know the exact history of your oil change schedule and your engines history to say anything else.
    By the in my engine aver 7,000 km the oil has only a slight tint to it and I bought about 5 5 liters of bottles when they were on sale for $14.99 so it is not the most epensive synthetic oil. I attribute it on the stop and go driving with constant different revolutions of the engine that gave it its great break- in and not switchin to early to the synthetic oil.
    Good luck

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