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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got my oil changed about 1-2 months ago at jiffy lube. Before then I had no problems. Not sure if the problem is related to them or not.

I've driven it 500+ miles since the oil change. The oil level was on MAX after the change and is now inbetween MIN and MAX. Does anyone know how many qts I may have lost/leaked? Is that too quick?

I parked it today and checked the exhaust while the car was idling but I didn't see any blue or black smoke.

Car has about 120k miles on it. Vulcan engine.

Can I put 5W-30 in it instead of 5W-20. Any chance that will help?
 

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I got my oil changed about 1-2 months ago at jiffy lube. Before then I had no problems. Not sure if the problem is related to them or not.

I've driven it 500+ miles since the oil change. The oil level was on MAX after the change and is now inbetween MIN and MAX. Does anyone know how many qts I may have lost/leaked? Is that too quick?

I parked it today and checked the exhaust while the car was idling but I didn't see any blue or black smoke.

Car has about 120k miles on it.

Can I put 5W-30 in it instead of 5W-20. Any chance that will help?
No chance of seeing smoke from oil burning. Cats fix that. Possible, if you let it sit and then start and watch the exhaust for quick puff of smoke if it is valve seals and that smoke will pass the cats as they will not be up to temperature and work.
I bought a '04 few months back and dealer had oil and filter change before the sale. DOPHC. Sticker was Jiffy lube. All OK, level top of hatch at 1800 miles. However, the oil filter they used looks nothing like the Ford filter. Tiny thing. At 2K I will changing the oil and putting on FL-820S.
Pic of plugs in engine with bad valve seals.
In your case, need to be at least 1K miles and very flat surface for checking. Most makers for new cars oil use 1Q per 1000 miles is OK. You can pull a plug and it will show burning of oil.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will check the plugs in the morning when the engine has cooled down, unless it is fine to check while it is still warm. I know where the plugs are but don't know where the valve seals are? I assume those are under the plugs? I will take a picture of that also.
 

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I will check the plugs in the morning when the engine has cooled down, unless it is fine to check while it is still warm. I know where the plugs are but don't know where the valve seals are? I assume those are under the plugs? I will take a picture of that also.
The valve seals are around the valve stems, they are rubber. Very uncommon to fail on modern cars. They can be changed with only removing the valve covers and using some tools. Bit complicated.
A car can burn Q per 500 miles and run just fine if it is not the valve seals. ~'90 Buick 3.8, wife's mother's car. I drove it about 4500 miles in 4 weeks. It had about 80K on it at the time. On the road it burned about Q per 1000. Longest day trip 800 miles. It burned that oil from day one new.
Oil burning around the valve seals will foul the plugs as in the picture.
-chart-
 

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I have no idea where the valve seals are.
This is the installation of the valve spring with a valve spring compressor:
Auto part Household hardware Machine Nut Metal

Next to the spring you see the green valve seal. A close-up with its oddly shaped spring to hold it onto the cylinder head:
Finger Household hardware Gas Circle Auto part

If you look carefully, the red seal says EX and the green seal says IN. This is the installation of the top ring to press the seal against the valve stem that runs through it:
Household hardware Gas Auto part Wood Screw

If the seal is sloppy around the valve stem, oil leaks into the combustion chamber. That is what Chartmaker means. He is also an avid taker of pictures, but he only has Duratecs in his herd ...
 

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TBH there's any number of things that could be going on, including not much at all. It could be as simple as where the car sat each time it was checked or a difference in how long the vehicle sat after running between the two checks. Is the filter snug? As @ice445 noted above the Vulcan is not known for being an oil burner but it does have some history of leaks that happen slow enough they don't necessarily make it to the ground in a noticeable way. Certainly I'd suspect a leak before burning in a Vulcan but overall I'd simply keep an eye on the level over time/distance driven. Losing a quart or two between changes is not exactly extreme in a 15-20 year old car with 120K+ on the clock.

Just my 2¢ YMMV
 

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It is not inbetween changes. I went from MAX to between MAX and MIN in 1.5 months
My comment on oil loss was not about your car specifically. It was a 'rule of thumb' observation from a gearhead of a particular age and no small amount of Bull wrangling experience.
Hence my ending with "Just my 2¢ YMMV"
;)
 

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I had '72 Mercy wagon, 429 4V. It burned a Q per 800 miles. It had 15K on it when I bought used. I gave it to my son to use for hauling mowers around so he could make money mowing yards. ~135K. He then moved way south to NC. He wrecked it with a trailer behind and it damaged the frame. He worked for a garage so he sold the engine to the shop and they put in delivery van replacing a 390. Some time later that was wrecked and they put it in the shop wrecker. Last my son knew, shop drove the wrecker on a long trip and it ran out of oil and that was the end. No idea of how many miles but the oil thing never was an issue until someone did not check it. Only time it smoked was when I floored it and 4V kicked in and it smoked mixed colors. Pre cat days so no cleaning up the exhaust.
-chart-
 

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I had a 1991 Taurus that I purchased used with 56k miles on it. It used one quart of oil every 1000 miles and did that consistently for another 200k miles. It was a Vulcan engine, Never smelled or seen any signs of oil and didn't leak a drop. I believe the min max marks represent a less than a quart.
 

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I had a 1991 Taurus that I purchased used with 56k miles on it. It used one quart of oil every 1000 miles and did that consistently for another 200k miles. It was a Vulcan engine, Never smelled or seen any signs of oil and didn't leak a drop. I believe the min max marks represent a less than a quart.
Marks on the dip stick about the same accuracy as the gas gage. Pan is not a cylinder but sort of a cone. Oil in pan same as tranny, over fill and trouble on the way.
If one is paranoid about this, fill with one Q less than book value fill. Start and let settle on a very level place. Let settle and check, then use a file and make a mark on the dip stick. Add one more Q and do the same.
Years ago, '70's coworker had new Chevy full size new and it burned oil. Dealer marked the dip stick and had them come by once a week and checked it. They determined it burned oil, but only on the road speed, not around town. GM determined the cat was double charged with pellets and making back pressure and overheating the oil. They then had to replace the push rods and rockers due to wear from overheated oil
-chart-
 

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I got my oil changed about 1-2 months ago at jiffy lube. Before then I had no problems. Not sure if the problem is related to them or not.

I've driven it 500+ miles since the oil change. The oil level was on MAX after the change and is now inbetween MIN and MAX. Does anyone know how many qts I may have lost/leaked? Is that too quick?

I parked it today and checked the exhaust while the car was idling but I didn't see any blue or black smoke.

Car has about 120k miles on it. Vulcan engine.

Can I put 5W-30 in it instead of 5W-20. Any chance that will help?
Check to see if filter was put on secure. Might be leaking from there.
 
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