Burning Oil???

Derek Pulvino dbpulvino at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 2 14:58:09 EDT 2006


Here's the newest skinny.  For a while I've suspected I need to replace the 
valve guides and seals as I'm seeing higher than normal oil consumption (500 
miles/quart) and get puffs of oil smoke on start up.  The other thing I've 
found is in those situations where I get stuck in traffic and wind up 
idleing with very little movement (ie never move faster than 1st gear idle) 
for upwards up 15-minutes or so, when I finally do start moving the car 
burns oil....very badly, embarassingly badly.  In fact, at those times, so 
bad is the smoke that the untrained eye may actually mistake the 200 for an 
80's vintage Dodge Caravan.

I've seen this situation (idle for long periods of time then drive with bad, 
bad, smoke) happen three times.  Talking to my local shop this morning they 
mentioned that if the seals/guides are bad, when you sit and idle for that 
long, excessive oil can accumulate within the combustion chamber leading to 
exactly what I've seen...lots of oil smoke out the back on acceleration, or 
more and more white smoke coming out the tailpipe the longer you idle.  
Today after idleing and moving less than a 1/4-mile in a half hour, the car 
was burning oil while idleing, and then really burning oil once I got on the 
freeway, however once the oil cloud went away (about 3-miles later), it 
didn't come back under any condition (heavy acceleration, idleing, crusing 
with or without foot on gas).

Has anybody else heard of/experienced this situation?  Any other suspects?  
To my knowledge, the head gasket is fine.  No oil in the coolant reservoir, 
no moisture or foam on dipstick/filler cap.

At this point I'm on the knifes edge between biting the bullet and getting 
the head redone, or biting the other bullet and getting a different car. 
Reservations on head rebuild is the mileage of the vehicle (235k) with the 
potential for block/ring and/or turbo seal issues in the future, and of 
course all the other oddities that plague the 200 (windows, lights, fuel 
injectors, bomb, exhaust system...)


Derek P

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