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Old 11-29-2021, 09:17 PM   #1
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Used 7 quarts oil in less than 200 miles!

This is puzzling me!

Our 1999 Allegro BUS CUMMINS 8.3 oil was half way between the marks at just under 4K miles since changed. We did a short trip, encountered terrible weather. Tornado warnings and downpours for several hours. Cutting the trip short, we packed up and headed home. Soon after leaving the campground the rain subsided.

Yesterday, I checked the oil for our upcoming trip (I wanted to run 6K miles before draining the AMZOIL synthetic). No reading on the stick which shocked me, so I added a quart, then another quart, still no reading! Started the engine which indicated good oil pressure so I allowed warmup. Checked again, no reading. At that point I decided to remove the oil to see what was going on.

Using my evacuator, I registered a net loss of 7 quarts within less than 200 miles. Checked all over the bottom side, no leaks, all dry. I am wondering whether my air filter might have become wet and plugged in the storm which, might cause crankcase oil to be consumed. However, the engine ran fine with zero sign of any oil burn. The filter was not showing any sign of blockage per the air flow indicator prior to the trip. Unfortunately, I removed the oil prior to thinking about the air filter, so tomorrow I refill and see if the flow indicator is showing blockage.

The filter is a long tube, large diameter, with inlet and outlet. It was replaced just under 15K miles ago, and I know it's due now.

Appreciate opinions regarding the consumption causation. Thank you!
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:31 PM   #2
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Considering you have no external oil leaks, and you lost 7 quarts,....my only thought is the oil may be getting by the turbo bearing and seal.

Could be from a worn turbo bearing and or seal.
Could be from a clogged of slow draining turbo oil return tube.
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Old 11-29-2021, 11:23 PM   #3
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Oil loss

Well there really is only a few ways to loss oil.
1) external leaks.
2) exhaust turbo oil seals are leaking. Which should produce large amounts of blue smoke.
If itís the air intake compressor side leaking oil your air to air intercooler could be full of oil. To check pull rubber hose off and look to see if you have any oil in the pipes. If so do not drive the bus.
3) valve guides leaking oil into the cylinder.
4) damaged piston rings, wrist pin. But you have not complained about loss of power or exhaust smoke. So I would guess itís not internal engine problems.
5) your air compressor could be leaking oil into the buses air system. Easy to check. Check the air dryer for oil coming out of the bottom of the air dryer unit and Pull your air tank drain lines to see if you have oil draining out.( you should have 3 tanks to drain and check).
Thatís a lot of oil to go missing in a short distance.
Do you notice any loss of power?
Do you see any blue smoke coming out of the exhaust or any smoke.
Start looking for external oil leaks first.
Then air dryer for a mess of oil and air tank drained for oil.
Those are the easy simple things places to start.
If no oil signs then go to your turbo and remove the intake compressor rubber hose off look for signs of oil. Then remove the air compressor hose going to the air to air looking for any oil. ( they should be clean ). Then remove the exhaust side pipe off and look for oil. It should look like dry black carbon no wet oil looking carbon.
Go to your air to air pipes going into the intercooler.
Check for oil in the intercooler. If you have oil there the turbo needs replace / rebuild and intercooler cleaned.
With what Iíve said you should find the oil consumption problem. Hopefully nothing internally in the engine.
Good luck
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:39 AM   #4
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Check for oil in your coolant. A bad oil cooler will push oil into the cooling system, displacing the coolant.
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmckenzie View Post
Well there really is only a few ways to loss oil.
1) external leaks.
2) exhaust turbo oil seals are leaking. Which should produce large amounts of blue smoke.
If it’s the air intake compressor side leaking oil your air to air intercooler could be full of oil. To check pull rubber hose off and look to see if you have any oil in the pipes. If so do not drive the bus.
3) valve guides leaking oil into the cylinder.
4) damaged piston rings, wrist pin. But you have not complained about loss of power or exhaust smoke. So I would guess it’s not internal engine problems.
5) your air compressor could be leaking oil into the buses air system. Easy to check. Check the air dryer for oil coming out of the bottom of the air dryer unit and Pull your air tank drain lines to see if you have oil draining out.( you should have 3 tanks to drain and check).
That’s a lot of oil to go missing in a short distance.
Do you notice any loss of power?
Do you see any blue smoke coming out of the exhaust or any smoke.
Start looking for external oil leaks first.
Then air dryer for a mess of oil and air tank drained for oil.
Those are the easy simple things places to start.
If no oil signs then go to your turbo and remove the intake compressor rubber hose off look for signs of oil. Then remove the air compressor hose going to the air to air looking for any oil. ( they should be clean ). Then remove the exhaust side pipe off and look for oil. It should look like dry black carbon no wet oil looking carbon.
Go to your air to air pipes going into the intercooler.
Check for oil in the intercooler. If you have oil there the turbo needs replace / rebuild and intercooler cleaned.
With what I’ve said you should find the oil consumption problem. Hopefully nothing internally in the engine.
Good luck

All good advice but bottom line is I'd find the problem before I drove it. You have a major problem.



I did an oil change last month in anticipation of a trip. I put +5k miles on the rig and the level on the dip stick has not changed. I have learned that my rig likes one less quart then the recommended amount so that's what I fill to when I do an oil change.
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:53 AM   #6
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Surely have plenty of good places to check now. As of last night I had:

-Checked coolant reservoir which did not show oil but did not check radiator itself yet.
-I replaced the air drier approximately 450 miles ago, end of last summer.
-Hoped to check the air filter today, however, with two meetings this afternoon I may not make it.

Note: Have not noticed any loss of power, any exhaust smoke or other issues. In fact, it ran in my barn for 20 minutes yesterday with the door open to ventilate and produced no noticeable change in the atmosphere other than the normal diesel fumes.
-New air filter on order locally for $198 will arrive in AM
-The turbo was just off the engine less than 2k miles ago when the new intake was installed (local shop did this). At that time I specifically asked to thoroughly check the turbo and seals for wear and replace it if necessary. I'll need to check the invoice but I believe he replaced the seal and bearings were OK. Wondering how much was actually done to check it over.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:20 AM   #7
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Our 1999 Cummings. When I call Cumming's tech support to find out how much oil it took with the oil filter so I could calibrate the dip stick.

They mentioned that Cummings recommended not to using synthetic oil. Something about a seals failing. I think it was the rear main seal.

Also, I think around 80K, is around the time the oil breather should be cleaned or replaced. I think a clogged oil breather can cause a lot of oil usage?
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:55 AM   #8
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I would follow cmckenzie guidance for troubleshooting and not buy into something not causing the problem because of recent maintenance.
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Old 11-30-2021, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I would follow cmckenzie guidance for troubleshooting and not buy into something not causing the problem because of recent maintenance.
Tomorrow I'll check/change the air intake filter and also the turbo for signs of oil leakage.
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Old 11-30-2021, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtJoyce View Post
Our 1999 Cummings. When I call Cumming's tech support to find out how much oil it took with the oil filter so I could calibrate the dip stick.

They mentioned that Cummings recommended not to using synthetic oil. Something about a seals failing. I think it was the rear main seal.

Also, I think around 80K, is around the time the oil breather should be cleaned or replaced. I think a clogged oil breather can cause a lot of oil usage?
I'm shocked to hear of the CUMMINS' recommendation against synthetic oils. I've run it in everything from boats to diesel tractors without any failures to date. I may, however, purchase some conventional oil when I pick up the air filter tomorrow just to cover all the bases.
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:13 AM   #11
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If there is no external leakage evident, which with 7 quarts would definitely be visible, or in the cooling system, it must be oil consumption, which would be seen in the exhaust. Burning through 7 quarts in 200 miles the exhaust would have been blue gray but very visible.



Silly question, did do your own oil change the last time???
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm shocked to hear of the CUMMINS' recommendation against synthetic oils. I've run it in everything from boats to diesel tractors without any failures to date. I may, however, purchase some conventional oil when I pick up the air filter tomorrow just to cover all the bases.
From what I recall, seal compatibility was an issue with some early synthetics when they first started showing up on the market for consumers. That's one of the reasons synthetics got a reputation for causing leaks. The other was their superior detergent packages cleaning sludge out of old engines which REVEALED existing leaks. I heard that back in the 1970s. I've never heard that about modern synthetics. Now there IS a possible seal compatibility issue in older Allision transmissions with non TES295 or 688 synthetics, but I never heard about engine seals in older rigs. I too have run synthetics in everything I own with issues. I don't own a Cummins though.

This seems to contradict what you were told:

https://www.cumminsfiltration.com/si...es/CF-2296.pdf
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Old 12-02-2021, 04:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
If there is no external leakage evident, which with 7 quarts would definitely be visible, or in the cooling system, it must be oil consumption, which would be seen in the exhaust. Burning through 7 quarts in 200 miles the exhaust would have been blue gray but very visible.



Silly question, did do your own oil change the last time???
I always do my own oil changes except when it comes with the purchase of something. Last change was just under 4K miles.
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Old 12-02-2021, 10:41 AM   #14
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Ok, my interest is peaked. Where is the missing oil? No leaks and no smoke? Oil just doesn't disappear. It will leave a trail when it disappears in 200 miles. With no tell tale signs of excessive usage, it has to be somewhere. I will watch this saga to see where it leads.
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