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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2004 nissan Xterra, with 166,000 miles. I am losing about a quart every three days, normal driving. I have already replaced both valve cover gasket. There is a small rear main seal leak but not enough leak to loose 1 quart. There is no big puddle of oil on the driveway. No oil on the back window which would indicate excessive oil leak when the car is moving. No black or white smoke. There is black stuff and water that comes out of the tail pipe at first start in the morning. What is leaking and where is the oil going.
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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So I would be observant of the tailpipe smoke color. Valve stem seals which are located in the heads could be leaking but I don’t see it being that bad. I don’t know as much as some people who will hopefully comment, but I would imagine it’s the head gaskets. I know that coolant will be lost at a rapid rate when the head gaskets go. Check the color of your oil via the bottom of the oil fill cap and on the dipstick for a milky appearance, it means it’s mixing with the coolant. You can also run the engine with the radiator cap off and watch for bubbles, they will continue to appear in the coolant if there is air getting in through somewhere which could be the head gasket. How has your coolant level been? I’m sure there are other possibilities because I lost a lot of oil and coolant in an old Chevy of mine and it wasn’t the head gaskets so don’t stress too bad. But consider looking into that as the issue because it can be catastrophic if not addressed, but for a good chunk of money or a big chunk of your time can be addressed and save the engine
 

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Well, water coming out the tailpipe is normal, not sure about the black stuff. If you aren't leaking oil, then it's being burned. I'd start simple though. Examine/replace the PCV valve. If it's stuck open, you're just going to suck and burn the oil that way. Not sure if it's possible to lose a quart every three days that way, but that's where I'd start. Worn engines eventually are going to burn a little bit of oil. It's pretty normal, but the way you're losing it is quite concerning, especially since they only hold just over 3 quarts or whatever. I too would get this looked at ASAP, even if it is internal engine wear/damage that's causing it, I wouldn't drive it that much without knowing what's going on, as you risk running it too low and eventually causing premature damage.Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I would be observant of the tailpipe smoke color. Valve stem seals which are located in the heads could be leaking but I don’t see it being that bad. I don’t know as much as some people who will hopefully comment, but I would imagine it’s the head gaskets. I know that coolant will be lost at a rapid rate when the head gaskets go. Check the color of your oil via the bottom of the oil fill cap and on the dipstick for a milky appearance, it means it’s mixing with the coolant. You can also run the engine with the radiator cap off and watch for bubbles, they will continue to appear in the coolant if there is air getting in through somewhere which could be the head gasket. How has your coolant level been? I’m sure there are other possibilities because I lost a lot of oil and coolant in an old Chevy of mine and it wasn’t the head gaskets so don’t stress too bad. But consider looking into that as the issue because it can be catastrophic if not addressed, but for a good chunk of money or a big chunk of your time can be addressed and save the engine
There is no smoke on the tailpipe black or white. I know that black smoke is oil and white is coolant. I checked the tip stick there is no water in it, I don't think the oil and coolant are mixing. My coolant level is good. thx.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, water coming out the tailpipe is normal, not sure about the black stuff. If you aren't leaking oil, then it's being burned. I'd start simple though. Examine/replace the PCV valve. If it's stuck open, you're just going to suck and burn the oil that way. Not sure if it's possible to lose a quart every three days that way, but that's where I'd start. Worn engines eventually are going to burn a little bit of oil. It's pretty normal, but the way you're losing it is quite concerning, especially since they only hold just over 3 quarts or whatever. I too would get this looked at ASAP, even if it is internal engine wear/damage that's causing it, I wouldn't drive it that much without knowing what's going on, as you risk running it too low and eventually causing premature damage.Good luck :)
I will replace the PCV valve. If the PCV valve is stuck open would I see black smoke at the tail pipe? Besides the ticking sound I think cause by the valve and loosing oil the engine runs good. thx
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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There is no smoke on the tailpipe black or white. I know that black smoke is oil and white is coolant. I checked the tip stick there is no water in it, I don't think the oil and coolant are mixing. My coolant level is good. thx.
Oil has more of a blue color and gas a black color I’ve heard, although when I had an injector issue it was all raw gas coming through as white smoke. Popping the oil cap off when it’s running and feeling for blow by through the oil stem seals will let you know if they are an issue
 

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Oil has more of a blue color and gas a black color I’ve heard, although when I had an injector issue it was all raw gas coming through as white smoke. Popping the oil cap off when it’s running and feeling for blow by through the oil stem seals will let you know if they are an issue
ACTUALLY --- BLUE SMOKE is oil - black smoke is fuel. Pull the plugs or at least those easy to get to. You don't sound too mechanical so I say TAKE IT TO A SHOP or HAVE A FRIEND LOOK _ SEE.
Best of luck with it.
2004 SE
 
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