3176C, 3406E and 3456 Industrial Engines Troubleshooting – Oil Consumption Is Excessive

Probable Causes

Oil Level


  • Excessive oil in the crankcase 

Oil Leaks


  • Oil leaks on the outside of the engine 
  • Oil leaks in the combustion area of the cylinders 

Oil Viscosity


  • Incorrect oil viscosity 



  • Turbocharger seal 

Recommended Actions

Excessive Oil in the Crankcase

Check the engine oil level. Too much oil in the engine crankcase can cause the engine to consume oil. Remove excessive engine oil from the crankcase.

Ensure that the dipstick is properly calibrated and/or that the dipstick is correct for the application. Calibrate the dipstick and/or replace the dipstick.

Oil Leaks on the Outside of the Engine

Check for leakage at the seals at each end of the crankshaft. Look for leakage at the gasket for the engine oil pan and all lubrication system connections. Look for any engine oil that may be leaking from the crankcase breather. This can be caused by combustion gas leakage around the pistons. A dirty crankcase breather will cause high pressure in the crankcase. A dirty crankcase breather will cause the gaskets and the seals to leak.

Oil Leaks in the Combustion Area of the Cylinder

Engine oil that is leaking into the combustion area of the cylinders can be the cause of blue smoke. There are several possible ways for engine oil to leak into the combustion area of the cylinders:


  • Leaks between worn valve guides and valve stems 
  • Worn components or damaged components (pistons, piston rings, or dirty return holes for the engine oil) 
  • Incorrect installation of the compression ring and/or the intermediate ring 
  • Leaks past the seal rings in the turbocharger shaft 
  • Overfilling of the crankcase 
  • Wrong oil level gauge or guide tube 
  • Sustained operation at light loads 

Oil Viscosity

Excessive consumption of engine oil can also result if engine oil with the wrong viscosity is used. Engine oil with a thin viscosity can be caused by fuel leakage into the crankcase or by increased engine temperature.

Turbocharger Seal

Check for turbocharger shaft seal leakage. Remove the air inlet piping and the exhaust outlet piping from the turbocharger. Check the compressor wheel and the turbine for evidence of an oil leak. If necessary, repair the turbocharger or replace the turbocharger. Refer to Systems Operation/Testing and Adjusting, “Turbocharger Inspect”.

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