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Old 09-10-2020, 12:06 AM   #1
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Burning Oil

I have a 2001 e350 V10 with 90k miles. I changed the oil when I first bought the van in the fall and used full synthetic 5w20. I noticed that I burn about 3/4 of a quart of oil between oil changes (3000 mi interval). I don't see any blue smoke when cold starting or when accelerating. Is burning this amount of oil normal and is using synthetic oil causing or contributing to the issue? Should I change back to a convential oil (I believe the prior owner used conventional oil)
Wondering if I should be concerned.

Thanks for your insights!
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:56 AM   #2
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Been going through this for a while now and I have narrowed it down to two main components, at least for my van. The oil coolers tend to crack and leak oil into the coolant and the PCV system is poor at best. I will be installing a catch can on the PCV system to try and understand the amount of pullover actually seen.

I did switch from 5w-20 to 10w-30 and it did not make a viable difference in my case. I just use whatever is cheap and easy to keep on hand as the most important starting factor with oil is simply making sure there is enough in the engine to begin with.

Scott
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:11 AM   #3
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I'd recommend to keep running synthetic, but you can safely increase your intervals.

When I bought my van, I'd get an occasional puff of blue smoke at startup, meaning the valve seals were leaking a little. I switched to synthetic around 150,000 and after a couple changes (~20,000 miles) the puffs of smoke at startup went away completely.

Fast forward to ~300,000 miles. Started getting oil in the coolant. But not milkshake. Just a layer on top of the bottle. I changed the oil cooler because mine was built within a month of batch of vans recalled for known bad coolers. Looked fine. Eventually the PCV valve blew itself out of the valve cover because it was plugged (when it happened, I though I blasted something through the block because of the sound and the oil mess!). Turned out the extra crankcase pressure from the PVC valve was the root cause of oil through the oil cooler, but usually its more likely to cause excess consumption.

You can run 5w-30 as well. It's approved for it also, and Ford recommends it over 20,000 pounds combined. It can improve oil consumption slightly in heavy-load scenarios.

I don't recommend 10w-anything unless you live in very hot climates. The passages in the V10 cause starvation when the oil is cold, and cold oil isn't when the oil consumption happens. It takes a good 10 miles for engine oil to reach operating temperature.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:19 AM   #4
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Increasing intervals with oil consumption issues is a slippery slope. I cannot increase oil change internals in any capacity regardless of the oil used. I have changed the PCV regularly and it does seem to help but I am not sold on the idea that the PCV system is sufficient for this engine platform. Oil consumption issues have plagued the Triton engines since the beginning. I had the exact same issues with a previous E150 with the 4.6 and it ended up with a cracked head and zero oil/water integration.

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Old 09-10-2020, 08:45 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies. Maybe I'll have a look at the pcv valve. I'll keep with the synthetic oil and see how it goes. I will be doing my first oil change this weekend that will be changing out my synthetic oil for new synthetic. So are most of you all burning some oil in their v10s and if so how much between oil changes?
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:35 PM   #6
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When my original V10 got old (400,000+ mile) it would burn about a quart every 4,000 miles if I was mostly towing. Half that normally. Compression was good, and the cylinder walls still had honing marks. Never did a blow-by check. But Scott is probably right about the PCV system. And I didn't switch to synthetic until 150,000 miles. Prior was a synthetic blend. I suspect Enterprise also used the blend. I'm also running really heavy (22,000#) when towing.

Also... have you checked your oil level when doing an oil change, rather than just counting quarts? There's some variation in dipstick length from year to year, and I've read a couple of owners who discovered there's had been swapped at some point for the wrong one, causing them to think they low when they weren't. These motors make a lot of vapor during warmup, so rigs used for short trips get rusty dipsticks. I think some of them were probably swapped by dealers without even telling the owners.

My new V10 doesn't burn a drop (installed @ 458,000). I'm still draining out every bit of 6 quarts after 10,000 miles. Moving to 12,000 for the next oil change. I'm sure over the span of 19 years, Ford managed to make some improvements that we don't really know about. And maybe starting with synthetic will help over time? I came pre-filled with synthetic blend, and I think I did the first oil change around 3,000 miles.
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Old 09-11-2020, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDOVAL View Post
Increasing intervals with oil consumption issues is a slippery slope. I cannot increase oil change internals in any capacity regardless of the oil used. Scott
I switched to full synthetic at around 170K miles. After the first oil change at 5K additional miles, and the second 5K mile interval I took a sample and sent it in to be analyzed for wear metals, oil condition and a particle count. I got the report back and all looked good despite having operated in very dusty conditions. I called the technician that did the analysis to discuss extending the drain interval and he felt based on the oil condition and lack of particles I could easily go another few thousand miles, if not more. This was great news because despite not leaving home for a trip, I always seem to need an oil change in the middle of the trip and I no longer trust drive in places. I've done a few using empty milk jugs in a parking lot, but I'd prefer to put it off as long as possible. I usually burn less than a quart between changes and consider that pretty normal.........
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CDACamper View Post
Thank you for the replies. Maybe I'll have a look at the pcv valve. I'll keep with the synthetic oil and see how it goes. I will be doing my first oil change this weekend that will be changing out my synthetic oil for new synthetic. So are most of you all burning some oil in their v10s and if so how much between oil changes?
My V10 with close to 70,000 miles on it does not burn a drop between oil changes (every 3,000 miles). I've always used the Motorcraft semi-synthetic 5W30 oil in both this van and my F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost.
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:18 PM   #9
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Looking online it looks like the V10 tritons are know to burn some oil. Interesting that some are not burning any oil at all with 70k miles. I will have to keep an eye on it. The van had been well maintained by the previous owner with oil changes at 3k miles and he didn't tow with it. Bummer that it's burns a quart between oil changes with just 90k miles.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:42 PM   #10
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Mine started burning about a quart between oil changes at 75,000 miles. I didnt really pay attention but it was at the same time the A/C vents started malfunctioning. I replaced the PCV valve thinking that was the issue but it wasnt and resigned myself that it was going to need a rebuild in the near future. After the A/C vent doors stopped functioning properly on a 100 mile long trip in 90 degree weather i finally decided to replace the vaccuum reservoir with a new one. After i replaced the resevoir the vents started working properly again and the oil burn smell went away as well as the oil consumption. I have no idea why it impacted the PCV to that degree but it stopped and to this day i have no issues with oil consumption.
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