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Dodge Repair/Burning Oil?

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Question
I have a 2004 Dodge Dakota with the 3.7L Magnum V6 engine. I have noticed lately that I seem to be burning oil, and my fuel economy has taken a hit as well. I understand that there are the possibilities of more than one failure, but is there anything that stands out that could be causing this issue?

Answer
Hi Daniel,
If you see blue smoke when the vehicle has decelerated while in gear and then is accelerated, that is the most obvious sign of oil being burned in excess. That is either from oil leaking around the piston rings or the valve guides. You would do well to check the compression on all the cylinders to see if it is at least 100 psi, and that individual readings are within the range of 25% one another.
Also, check for oil leaks, around valve cover gasket or a oil pressure sensor unit.
The fuel economy can be decrease as well if either of those is verified. But it can also decrease due to a number of other items related to the fuel mixture and or spark control. Those would be best assessed by reading the powertrain control module for fault codes. Turn the key: "on-0ff-on-off-on and leave on" doing that within an elapsed time of 5 seconds or less. Then watch to odometer window to see if the mileage reading is replaced by a 4-digit number preceded by a P. Such a code number would be possibly relevant to why fuel economy may be depressed.
Let me know what you learn.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.
Thanks,
Roland

Dodge Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question or asleep overnight so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

Experience

Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Organizations
Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Education/Credentials
Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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