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Classic drinking lots of oil

Dr W

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I bought my classic (92 3.9 Vogue SE) in Jan and had it serviced straight away.

Noticed after a few months (I don't do that many miles, just occasional long motorway journeys) that the oil light had flashed on, checked it and not much in there.

Thought it might be leaking from sump gasket so I changed this and the oil filter, re-filled with oil and thought no more of it.

This was a few months ago and after doing around 1,500 miles, I noticed that the oil light was flashing again.

I've heard of engines drinking oil but that would be 10-12 litres of oil in only 6 months and 2,500 miles.

This doesn't sound good to me and I would welcome your suggestions and ideas before I start taking it to a garage so I don't get completely fleeced.

Many thanks

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Crawl under and check for leaks first -my old Rangie had probably got as bad as this by the end -it was both headgaskets blowing into the crankcase, forcing oil out of the back of the valley gasket. There are lots and lots of possibilities on these engines for leaks... need an idea where it's coming from to give you feedback really... if indeed it is leaking it, and not burning it.

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1st what oil are you using

2nd its either loosing oil or burning it, you need to work out which. The post above gives good info, also remove the bung at the base of the bellhousing between the engine and gearbox, this would show if the rear crank mains is leaking. The amount your getting through is a fair amount, so with a bit of work shouldn't be tricky to trace.

Does the engine have white smoke coming out of the exhaust if you boot it up the road ?

If its not leaking then options are pistons / rings and / or valve guides as the often 2 main culprits


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So Oil is Millers Synthetic 10-40w (recommended by Land Rover parts supplier in Stockport and it's only £20 for 5l).

Checked underneath and it's clean, no visable sign of oil leaking, slight oil shine round right rocket cover but only slight.

No sign of any smoke out of exhaust, exhaust only has carbon deposits at the tail pipe no sticky residue suggesting it might be burning oil.

Replaced sump gasket about 2 months ago as thought it might be leaking from there, while doing that unbolted a plate which I think covers rear crank (but not sure, any way this was clean), haven't checked the bung at the base of the bell housing yet but will do.

Someone suggested that the grey filter on top of left rocket cover might be blocked and pressurising the system so forcing oil out when driving so will take that off and clean at some point (is this easy to get off?).

No leaks or drips when car has been standing for a week.

No visable signs inside engine bay of a major leak (which I would have thought there would have been if I was losing oil as quickly as this.

Very confused.

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