Consumer Reports Criticizes Oil-Burning Cars

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Audi, BMW and Subaru all say their engines’ consumption is normal, but it’s not typical of all new cars. It’s not unusual for engines to burn some oil when they have been in use for years, but most new engines don’t need oil added between changes unless something’s wrong.

The oil use means owners will have to remember to check and add oil, sometimes more than once a month. Some of the cars use synthetic oils that can cost $8 or more a quart.

Chalk this up to one more question to ask when you buy a new car: Does the manufacturer say adding oil between changes is normal? If so, add that to your budget for maintenance.

Consumer Reports magazine has singled out Audi, BMW and Subaru cars for burning more oil than they should, an expensive habit most new cars don’t share.

CR’s survey of owners found some of those brands most popular engines can burn a quart of oil a month. Most new cars do not require extra oil between changes.

The engines that used the most oil in CR’s survey of 100,000 cars sold from 2010-2014 are — in alphabetical order — the Audi 2.0L four-cylinder and 3.0L V6, BMW 4.8L and 4.4L V8s and Subaru’s 2.0L, 2.5L and 3.6L engines.

“The worst case showed that, overall, owners of BMW 5 Series vehicles with V8 engines were 27 times as likely to suffer excessive oil consumption as owners of an average vehicle,” according to CR.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press.


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