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Old 05-29-2013, 18:19   #1 (permalink)
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1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

Hello there,

I have a 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis with the standard 4.6 liter. I bought the car with 62k on it over a year and a half ago. I have noticed since purchasing the car it burns about a quart of oil every 1000-1500 miles. I have seen posts and comments in regards to Ford engines, the 4.6 in particular burning oil at this rate is not uncommon, according to what I have seen. The car now has a little over 79k on it. Just got back from a road trip that took me from Denver to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Since doing the oil change 2 weeks ago in preparation for this trip the oil was full where it needed to be, the top end of the operating range ( I checked before I left). I noticed while on the trip and upon return the car appeared to be burning oil at a higher rate. The trip was a little over 1700 miles and I had to put in exactly two quarts of oil when I got back to get it back to where it was after the oil change. I have never had a car burn oil like this, at a rate of a quart every 850 miles seems ridiculous. I have an '88 jeep cherokee that I never put oil in between changes. Granted the entire trip I was going over 75 mph most of the way and we were driving in 100+ degree temps. I never notice smoke coming out of the exhaust even when I really hammer the engine, there are no other performance issues with the car, it runs really great. Is this normal, should I be replacing a main engine component? The car is absolutely not leaking anywhere! There is no oil on the under carriage of the car, I obsessively checked this.

I am not used to this at all, also does anyone know why the owner's manual would say to check the oil level when the car is warm? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2013, 19:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

Have you checked your plugs? Compression test? Apparently they had some problems with intake manifold gaskets and it would show up on the plugs. The other option could be a ring job.
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Old 05-29-2013, 19:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

I can check the plugs, that's a good idea. Do you think rings already with such low mileage, that is shocking to me? Wouldn't the vehicle performance be affected and smoke show at higher rpms?
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Old 05-29-2013, 19:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

those engines were not desinged for those constant speeds. Drive at a normal speed.
2 qts in 1700 miles is a bit over the line. actually way over the line. It's as simple as using the wrong oil. Need more info.
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Old 05-29-2013, 19:37   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

I use 10W30, it is what is recommended in the owner's manual. Let me know if there is any other info that I can provide.
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Old 05-29-2013, 20:34   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

Those years had different valve seals then the 97 and newer. Replace the valve seals and it'll run a LONG time.
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Old 05-29-2013, 20:55   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

I'm so sorry excuse my stupidy but what valve seals exactly? Do you mean the valve cover gaskets?
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Old 05-29-2013, 21:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

Valve seals wear out in early model 4.6L engines . The intake in those were aluminum & not composite that cracked like later models . Valve seals will develop smoking later on if not taken care of . Valve cover gaskets might be needed due to age & low miles on older car isnt always great . Low mole on older car will cause gaskets to dry out & stuff also
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Old 05-29-2013, 23:15   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

So valve seals are different than the valve cover gasket? What is typically the cost for having this type of repair done with a mechanic? Like I said the car normally runs through a quart every 1k-1500 miles, the last time I took the car into the dealership about a year ago for a coolant flush I asked them about that and they informed me that was normal oil usage. How urgent of a repair is this? I just am afraid that if I take the car to a mechanic they are going to tell me that it could be a multitude of issues and they can't do anything until something catastrophic happens.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:27   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis burning significant oil

Valve stem seals are made of rubber. Early seals were a wear problem and were later updated to Viton (a synthetic rubber), which lasts much longer. Valve seals are not difficult to change and any competent shop will be able to handle the job. Have the shop do a compression and leak-down check first to determine if the problem is, in fact, the seals and not rings.

Disregard what was said about these vehicles not being designed to run at 75 MPH. Many police departments and Highway Patrols drive C/V's at high speeds all day long and beat them to death on patrol. Your engine was engineered to run all day long at 75MPH, IF the engine and cooling system are maintained and in good condition.

I have driven my 120,000 mile C/V Sport across Texas, on I-10 where the speed limit is 80, many times with the speed control set at 80+. It uses no oil between changes (done at 5000 miles), but I have used synthetic oil since it was new.
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