1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:
I’m doing it when I was told to by my mechanic. I am only to add oil if it is below the minimum line. The thing also gets its oil changed much more frequently now, and the weight of oil used was changed as well. The car is on its last legs. It’s worth barely more than it’s metal weight and needs to be junked. I’m hoping to put that off till spring.
The problem with 'mechanics' is that it's not in their interests to tell you how to do things properly yourself.
As I said before, always check the oil when the engine is cold, even turning it over pumps oil up into the engine and leaves the level in the sump lower than it really is. the minimum mark is exactly that... the absolute minimum you should have in the engine. You should never let it fall below that line... in fact you should keep it as close to the max level as possible at all times. Get into the habit of doing weekly checks, take 10mins and go around and check tyre pressures (must also be done cold, as the air warms when driven and expands giving a false reading) and keep them a fraction above recommended... and if car is loaded, add about 4psi all round. Check all fluids, oils, washer, power steering, brake and clutch... and gearbox if it's an auto (which should be warmed up first). If the brake fluid has a green tinge to it, it's normally a sign of moisture in it, and it could do with a flush through. Check the water level in the radiator, and top of if needed and before winter, get it tested to make sure it's got enough antifreeze in it. I'd also recommend doing the gearbox oil every 20k at least... especially on an auto... a knackered auto box is a car killer on anything over 10yrs old... Personally I can't stand them... less power, less reliable, fewer mpg's... they're not that common over here and 99% of people learn to drive in and own manual gearboxes... Auto's are for those that can't handle a manual... the older people and the disabled... and sometimes those that spend a lot of time on highways for work.
Also.. never use the manufacturer intervals for oil changes. The older the car, the more frequent you should change the oil... I tend to do mine every year regardless of miles done and I average about 6k a year in my main car, even less in my summer/weekend car.
If you're worried about oil burn, next time you take the car out for a run... when it's fully warmed up... give it a hard boot, not a gently acceleration... foot to the floor (when it's safe to do so of course) take the revs up high and keep an eye on the exhaust fumes... if you see smoke with a tinge of blue... Sure sign of burning oil. Most common issue is worn piston rings... but that doesn't mean you have to get them done... mild wear on a car with higher miles isn't uncommon and regular oil changes and checks is often all you really need on more modern cars.