A mechanic with 56 years of experience offers valuable advice that can help fix engines leaking oil | Taza Khabre

Scotty Kilmer has been a mechanic for over 50 years and has become one of the most subscribed automotive YouTubers on the platform. His videos give gearheads a lot of insight and his latest video is about how we can prevent oil from leaking out of our engines.

It shows us how we can diagnose a used car which burns its oil, though you may have no idea why it does so. Kilmer notes in the title of the video that you can do this fix for free and goes over the various reasons why an engine may be leaking more oil than it should.

Information on engine oil burning problems was provided by mechanic Scotty Kilmer

There are various reasons why your engine may be burning through oil

Scotty Kilmer’s Essentials on the Oil Engine

  • A sighting tool can be inserted into the spark plug hole to check for burnt pistons
  • The positive crankcase ventilation valve could have failed, leading to oil burning
  • Compression tests can test the compression ring in the piston, but not both for the oil
  • Mechanics may charge more than you have to pay to diagnose the problem

Kilmer talks about the reasons why your engine may be burning oil quickly. The positive crankcase breather valve has gone bad, Kilmer says it can suck oil. It can cost anywhere from $15 to $20 to replace, so it’s not an expensive fix. Kilmer advises people to simply replace the valve.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, Kilmer says to run an engine compression test. If the compression is too low, it can cause the engine to burn oil quickly. The mechanic expands on this by talking about the rings that are in the pistons.

Most pistons have three rings, and if the two bottom rings that control oil are worn but the top ring is in good condition, it can give high pressure results in a compression test. During the test, only the top ring will be tested, so you may get false readings for the compression set. So your pistons can be very worn without you noticing.

Kilmer talks about engines that suffer from this problem, such as the four-cylinder engine in the 2007 Toyota Camry. Kilmer’s grandson has one of these cars and the engine runs fine and the oil doesn’t need to be changed, but needs to be topped up more due to worn rings.

Correcting this problem would require an engine rebuild and cost a small fortune. Fully aware that not many people can afford such a rebuild, Kilmer shows us how we can test our engines to see what the problem is. First you need to remove the cover from the engine and then the spark plug before removing the spark plug from the engine. After pulling out the candle, Kilmer takes the camera tool to insert it into the spot where the candle was and find out what’s going on.

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Removing the spark plug shows what is happening in the engine

Scotty Kilmer's Engine Oil Check Piston
via Scotty Kilmer’s YouTube channel

Thanks to the camera in the spark plug hole, we can clearly see the smoothness inside the cylinder. This particular Toyota is Kilmer’s, and he says it doesn’t burn any oil and is very nice reliable car. There is no burning on the cylinder walls, which would be a sign of a problem. Kilmer says that if the cylinder walls are badly burned, either the middle ring or the bottom ring, or both, are now worn and scraping the side of your engine. This will cause your car to burn a lot of oil.

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It’s an incredibly simple and effective way to find out what’s going on with your car. It also shows us how good tools like the scope are and allows the car owner to take the engine apart to find out what’s wrong. Kilmer says that’s one way to avoid getting caught by a mechanic or shop telling you that your engine is fine, but your car is still somehow burning oil. According to Kilmer, all you have to do is remove the spark plug and look inside.

Videos and photos can prove that your engine has a problem

He also advises taking video and pictures from the scope to take to the garage and prove to them that the engine has a problem. He recommends a scope that can articulate, which will easily show the various burn marks on the engine.

Kilmer recommends a special tool for a variety of diagnostics, saying they’re good for finding leaks in the air conditioning system and even through the dash to see if the evaporator is faulty. Volumes will allow you to see a problem before you throw money at it, and any solution is not guaranteed.

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Scotty Kilmer Removing engine oil from the engine cover
via Scotty Kilmer’s YouTube channel

Key issues to pay attention to

  • What can cause the engine to consume too much oil: Damaged piston rings
  • How to diagnose a potential piston problem: Remove the candle and insert the camera into the socket

When discussing scope, Kilmer also recommends purchasing a diagnostic scanner. This will allow us to see even more detail, but the 56-year-old mechanic must say that the scale. If you want to save some money, you can also buy just the cable and camera online and then connect it to your smartphone. According to Kilmer, the only problem with them is that the apps are not very good and the photos are quite grainy.

More expensive scopes also allow you to take videos and photos of faulty car components to avoid garage scams. Kilmer says it even helped a customer get their money back after a garage claimed to have installed a new part on the car when it was actually a used part that they paid new money for.

Kilmer even talks about how good scopes are for everyday use, like checking sinks or toilets for clogs. The tool, as he showed us, is extremely useful and allows us to easily find out if there is a problem with the engine and oil consumption.

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It’s a solution that lets you find out what’s going on under the hood of your car without spending thousands before you even know what the problem is. Decent Kilmer scopes are available for around $50-$60 and have excellent resolution which means less chance of a garage trying to rip you off.

Source: Scotty Kilmer’s YouTube channel

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