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Discussion Starter #1
My girlfriend's 07 limited with the hemi is a few miles over for an oil change. I checked the oil today after it had sat all night. The oil was about halfway between the tip of the dipsticks and the add line. We've only owned the jeep for a year. Shortly after we first got it, we had it serviced and used synthetic oil. They told us that it should be good for 5k miles. As I mentioned, it is just now a few miles over due. She works only 10 minutes from home, so all week it is driven short distances, mostly 35 mph. Is this oil usage normal? I can't tell that it is leaking anywhere.
 

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As long as it is in the safe level it should be ok. Mine is usually down about 1/2 a quart when I do an oil change. Did you read the dipstick the same way after the oil change? Car on level ground etc. As long as you do not see leaks, drips or smoke in the exhaust you should not worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oil is below the add line on the dipstick. Halfway between the tip and add line. A little over 5k miles since last oil change. As I mentioned, we've only had the jeep a year now and had it serviced once. I don't think I've ever even checked the oil in it before until today.
 

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Have you looked for leaks?

Consuming more than 1qt of oil per 1000 miles is the cut off between acceptable and unacceptable.

Most engines only hold 5qts of oil, so if you're going 5k miles between oil changes you can suck the engine dry before the next oil change. That is why you need to check the engine oil level periodically, at least every 1000 miles.

Before you run out of oil, as you drive the oil will slosh, if there is barely anything left in the pan, then it will uncover the pick up and you'll suck in air, which will drop the oil pressure and you'll get the low oil pressure light coming on. Usually most people first response when that happens is to check the oil level and will discover the extreme low oil level.

So it sounds like your Hemi has consumed more than half its oil since the last oil change. You don't know if its done this at a steady rate or if its suddenly started consuming oil at an unacceptable rate, because you haven't been checking. If its been doing it steady, it sounds like you're under the acceptable rate of oil consumption.

But, it sound like the oil consumption is enough to concern you and should be looked into. Oil is consumed two ways, wear and/or malfunctions, even a new engine oil gets pasts seals, piston rings and valve stems and gets inside the cylinder and burned, as the engine wears this gets worse to the point where the engine is so worn out that oil gets past everything is burning and going out the exhaust, this usually produces grey-bluish smoke coming from the exhaust. About the only wear item that is practically repairable without an engine rebuild, is the valve stem seals, and sometimes they do go bad and replacing them cures high oil consumption. The malfunctions that cause high oil consumption? Keep in mind, the oil is splashing around, pumped all over the motor and even misting all over in the air inside the motor, so any minor seals/gasket on the motor develops a leak, a lot of oil can leak out of it. The crankcase has to have pressures equalized and fresh air circulated through it, there are valves and breathers to do this, they have valves and baffles to move the air without taking to much misted oil with it. Just the PCV valve getting dirty or clogged could cause a lot of oil to flow out of the crankcase and into the intake to be burned by the motor. So you have to look all these things over.

A couple miles over the 5k makes no difference at all, you have to change the oil before it degrades so bad it is NOT protecting the engine like it should. Most change intervals are earlier than needed, and the oil degrades slowly, so its NOT like at 5001 miles the engine just eats itself, you can go a while longer, several hundred miles at least without much worry.

BTW, short trips only, where the engine doesn't reach full operating temp during the trip, is about the most severe usage on the oil, you really need to follow the severe duty schedule for the vehicle. Yes, synthetic oil will last longer under the same conditions as conventional oil, so every 5k miles is probably a good change interval for all short trips using synthetic oil. Check your Owners Manual and take that over my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So you're saying I should just keep an eye on it to see of this is normal or not? Should I change the oil change interval to 3k miles, since it is mostly short trips in town? And does anyone else with hemi's experience this kind of oil usage? It's been almost a year since the last oil change.
 

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What does your Owner's Manual say for oil change interval, the guys that designed and tested your Commander know better than anyone else and they wrote it down for you and put it in a book you got with the Vehicle, called the Owner's Manual.

Ok, Ok, since no one reads the owner's manuals anymore, the manufacturers actually stopped putting them in the glove boxes, you might NOT have one, just the quick start user guide (which probably has the oil change schedule), but you can go to the Jeep website and download an electronic one.

Like I said, since you're driving all short trips, you should be using the sever duty maintenance schedule. If you use synthetic oil, IMO and most people's as well, you can extend the oil change interval out 50% or more safely.

What to do about it?
  • 1st look the motor for leaking oil. If you can't figure out the exact spot for the source of the leak, i.e. oil all over, then clean the motor well and keep checking it each day to spot the oil leak as it starts. Fix the Leak.
  • Check the PCV valve, if its only a couple of bucks, why NOT just a new one to make sure its working right. I "think" the Hemi has a different kind of PCV valve that requires periodic disassemble and cleaning, its in the maintenance schedule in O.M. that if is overdue, it will cause high oil consumption.
  • Check the exhaust for the gray-bluish smoke that is burning oil, if the exhaust blows out a lot of smoke of this color after sitting at a stop light for a minute two, as you drive away you can see that smoke in the rear view mirror, that is a good sign its valve stem seals.
  • Keep checking the oil level, make a habit of it every week, and track how much oil is consumed per miles, like I said more than 1qt per 1000 miles is unacceptable and you really should look into correcting it. It may indicate a worn out motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't have a owners manual, so I will look for one online. I also read that it is better to start the engine for a couple minutes before checking the oil. Is this
correct? I checked it after it had sat all night and half the day.
 

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I don't have a owners manual, so I will look for one online. I also read that it is better to start the engine for a couple minutes before checking the oil. Is this
correct? I checked it after it had sat all night and half the day.
No it is NOT correct. The owner's manual will describe how to check the oil, in almost cases you want to check the oil with the motor off and a minute or two after it has been shut off or longer, how much longer makes no difference.

While the motor is running, it is pumping oil all through the motor, so the oil level will be lower than when it is off. Once you turn it off it takes a few seconds for the oil pumped up to the top of the motor to drain back down to the pan. The oil filter has an anti-drainback valve in it to prevent oil from draining out from the pump and internal oil journals of the motor, that is a good thing so every time you start there is oil, NOT air, in the oil system to get it pumping right away. The oil level already corrects for that trapped oil.

The difference in oil level between one minute after shutoff and hours or more, is minuscule, probably can't even tell on the dip stick.

The only way to get a false oil level reading is too check while the motor is running or only seconds after the motor is shut off, and it will be lower than the actual oil level, because oil that should be in the pan is all over the motor draining back toward the pan. Again, after the motor is off, it doesn't take but a minute for just about every drop of oil (that is suppose to) to drain back to the pan.
 

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The Hemi uses 7 Qts of oil and it was still showing on the dipstick so was about a quart or less down from full (85% full). Mine usually shows about 1/2 a quart low come oil change time - 5.7 with 81,000 miles - no leaks or signs of burning. I've heard if it doesn't use some oil it isn't doing its job right.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for putting my mind at ease guys. I will get the jeep serviced and have the oil changed and keep a close eye on it. But from what I'm reading, it doesn't sound like it's anything to worry about.
I've never noticed any smoke or signs of leakage in the driveway
 

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Oil is below the add line on the dipstick. Halfway between the tip and add line....
Thanks for putting my mind at ease guys...
NOT so fast, we (or at least I) don't know how low on oil your engine is. The oil level should be between the "Full" and "Add" marks, usually its a full quart of oil difference between those marks, but NOT always. i.e. you should NOT let, or drive, with the oil below the "Add" mark.

Lets put it this way, there is nothing to freak out about, but it does require some attention on your part.

We have no idea how low is, "Halfway between the tip and add line". You could be 2 quarts low or you could be 5 quarts low, for all you've told us.

Common sense way to guess it, look at the distance between "Full" and "Add", how many of those units is the current level below the "Add" line, that is very roughly how many quarts low you are, in addition to the one quart low at the "Add" line.

If it was me, I'd get some oil and fill the engine. If you're getting the oil changed professionally soon, then no need to get expensive synthetic oil, just get some cheap oil that is API certified and the recommended viscosity. At least get the oil level to the "Add" line, then you'll know for sure exactly how much oil you lost.

Getting your Commander serviced can mean a lot of things. The state of the automotive repair and service industry is abysmal, people are often ripped off for service they do NOT need and never get the service they do need. Most people just drop their vehicle off whenever they seem to think it might be good, or when a service shop tells them, having no idea what needs to be done or what will actually be done, and often they don't even line up. Be an informed consumer, get an owners manual and read it and bring your vehicle to a service shop stipulating the exact service you need according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the HEMI has a service interval for the PCV valve where it needs to be taken apart and cleaned/replaced. PCV valve malfunctioning can cause a perfectly good engine consume a lot of oil.

You drop your vehicle off at a shop, and just say, "Service It", I'm betting most will NOT even touch that PCV valve, that includes dealerships. Most Dealerships do NOT follow manufacturer's recommendations, even though you would think they had too. That is why people call them Stealerships, and its because 9 out of 10 of their customers are uninformed consumers, they get away with it.

Be an informed consumer, read your owner's manual, learn what your vehicle needs for service and when it needs it, that way you'll get it, just trusting some stranger in an industry know for ripping people off, likely you won't get it, don't just dump in gas and go.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I added some oil today. I added half a quart and it brought it almost in the middle of the add/full lines, so I stopped there. I didn't start the jeep or let it run after adding it. So I will check it tomorrow after she drives it around. Hopefully it was only half a quart low. That doesn't seem like much, does it?
 

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I added some oil today. I added half a quart and it brought it almost in the middle of the add/full lines, so I stopped there. I didn't start the jeep or let it run after adding it. So I will check it tomorrow after she drives it around. Hopefully it was only half a quart low. That doesn't seem like much, does it?
Easiest solution? Get a new girlfriend - BOOM your issue is solved! No more oil leak problem!

:D
 

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I added some oil today. I added half a quart and it brought it almost in the middle of the add/full lines, so I stopped there. I didn't start the jeep or let it run after adding it. So I will check it tomorrow after she drives it around. Hopefully it was only half a quart low. That doesn't seem like much, does it?
No, that's NOT low on oil much at all. Shocking that only a quart down puts you halfway between the Add line and the bottom of the dipstick?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As I mentioned, I didn't start the jeep or let it run at all. I will check it this evening after she has driven it and report back. Hopefully it doesn't move
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I checked it this afternoon. I let the jeep sit for at least an hour, but when I went out, the hood and engine were still very warm. The oil was slightly lower on the dipsticks than before, but still just above the add line. I'll probably check it one more time before adding any oil
 

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Oil

Who needs an Owners Manual when Mongo is on-line... Great write-ups.

I would like to add one thing; Check your oil level immediately after your "Service". Many shops don't add oil to the new filter, or check the level after they complete the service. So you could leave the shop 1/2 to a full quart low.

Depending on the filter, after it is installed empty of oil, the filter will consume 1/2 to a quart of oil to fill it's self up after the engine is started.

So say they put 5 quarts of oil in your engine, and installed an empty new oil filter. Engine is started, oil pump fills up oil filter, now there is only 4 1/2 or 4 quarts left in your engine oil pan.
 
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