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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

I did a search, didn't really find a thread speaking to this to my surprise.

981 CS has 4k+ miles from last oil change. There is one bar left before it changes to yellow I'd think, it's still green. By then, I'm thinking the car will be in 5k mile range. I'd say I drive the car hard, and often.

Is this about normal for a 981 CS? Better than avg? etc. I've heard these cars burn oil but maybe that's wrong info.
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

You didn't specify what was the level after the oil change. If it was full (4 bars), seems above average, but if you ask Porsche, anything less than 1 freaking quart per 1K miles is 'normal'. It's obviously not, but that tells you the uphill battle that such fight is with them. In your case, 1.8-qt (Max. It's probably less than that, since it's hard to fill up the 4th segment, and you might not get to the yellow one. Each segment is 0.45-qt) in 5K miles is definitely in the true normal range, but on the high side for sure, for what I've read here. I put 5,500 miles on my oil, and level didn't move from 4 bars (and got 9.25-qt out, so nothing fishy), and I also drive my car aggressively most of the time (not near redline, but both upshift/downshifts in the 4-5K rpm constantly, which is where the engine sounds awesome with PSE open. It was a nice surprise that my engine doesn't burn any measurable oil. Put back 9 qts just last week, and still showed 4 bars, so left it there, but probably just barely triggered the 4th segment, which is perfectly fine with me. I just removed the extra quart (on a Porsche bag) from the cubbie behind my seat, since will never use it. Remember you could change oil viscosity depending on your climate, to minimize oil consumption. Based on the many years reading about that, I'd say about 1-qt for every 5K miles is about the average consumption IMO. You're probably at the 1.5-qt level, which is not alarming by any means. I'm at the other end, fortunately, but by your description, you seem to drive harder than I do, which obviously increases oil consumption. That's why it's hard to set a figure, since it depends a lot on driving style. I wouldn't worry about it. But if you live in fair weather year long, you could switch to 5/50, like many have done. Do a search to get more details. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

You didn't specify what was the level after the oil change. If it was full (4 bars), seems above average, but if you ask Porsche, anything less than 1 freaking quart per 1K miles is 'normal'. It's obviously not, but that tells you the uphill battle that such fight is with them. In your case, 1.8-qt (Max. It's probably less than that, since it's hard to fill up the 4th segment, and you might not get to the yellow one. Each segment is 0.45-qt) in 5K miles is definitely in the true normal range, but on the high side for sure, for what I've read here. I put 5,500 miles on my oil, and level didn't move from 4 bars (and got 9.25-qt out, so nothing fishy), and I also drive my car aggressively most of the time (not near redline, but both upshift/downshifts in the 4-5K rpm constantly, which is where the engine sounds awesome with PSE open. It was a nice surprise that my engine doesn't burn any measurable oil. Put back 9 qts just last week, and still showed 4 bars, so left it there, but probably just barely triggered the 4th segment, which is perfectly fine with me. I just removed the extra quart (on a Porsche bag) from the cubbie behind my seat, since will never use it. Remember you could change oil viscosity depending on your climate, to minimize oil consumption. Based on the many years reading about that, I'd say about 1-qt for every 5K miles is about the average consumption IMO. You're probably at the 1.5-qt level, which is not alarming by any means. I'm at the other end, fortunately, but by your description, you seem to drive harder than I do, which obviously increases oil consumption. That's why it's hard to set a figure, since it depends a lot on driving style. I wouldn't worry about it. But if you live in fair weather year long, you could switch to 5/50, like many have done. Do a search to get more details. Good luck.
Thanks bud, yea, it was not full 4 bars but 3 bars, so 5k doesn't seem too off. I do drive pretty hard, regularly riding 2nd gear 5 - 6 rpms and hitting 7.2k pretty much every time in all gears but 4th. I'm pretty much never in 5th or forget about 6th : )
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

At the risk of starting yet another debate about break in.............can you tell us how you broke yours in? Followed the recommendations in the manual or much more aggressively than that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

At the risk of starting yet another debate about break in.............can you tell us how you broke yours in? Followed the recommendations in the manual or much more aggressively than that?
bought her used past break in miles, but from I can tell the last guy drove it 2k miles or less a year, he was changing oil annually per schedule on a maintenance plan he bought. I bet you she's wondering, "holy ****, now I'm ALIVE!"...lol.
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

I'm at the other end, fortunately, but by your description, you seem to drive harder than I do, which obviously increases oil consumption. That's why it's hard to set a figure, since it depends a lot on driving style. I wouldn't worry about it. But if you live in fair weather year long, you could switch to 5/50, like many have done. Do a search to get more details. Good luck.
I have got to respectfully disagree.

Every new engine I owned since 1995 was broken in as suggested by manufacturer, and this Porsche is no exception. But you can bet everything you have that all of those engines went WOT for miles at max rpm for a long while as a part of break-in procedure. When I got my N55-engined BMW I opted for Euro Delivery for explicit reason to be able to break it in properly. As soon as I had 1,200 miles in, it was show time and burning a tank of gas in less than 2 hours on the 'Bahn in 4th gear at 140 mph and at 6,800 rpm was a joy. This Cayman was ordered as Euro Delivery but I had unfortunate setback and had to take US delivery 6 weeks later. I still did my thing, even though it had to be in 2nd gear and not the 4th as it would have been on the 'Bahn.

None of those engines EVER consumed any oil between oil changes. Renault (multiples), Honda, Toyota, VW (multiples), BMW and Porsche - all the same. As long as you do everything manual says you need to do and after that open it up for proper break-in with fully heated oil, in my experience, it will only make the engine oil consumption asymptotic to zero. Oh, forgot, after a break-in, that BMW was used in 15 racetrack weekends running max rpm for miles and miles to no ill effect. Or extra oil consumption between oil changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

I should of looked at the manual first, lol! What's interesting, some cars oil may be diluted more thus showing levels not changing vs. ones where levels change so the dilution is limited to non existent.

Engine oil consumption
It is normal for your engine to consume oil. The rate of oil consumption depends on the quality and viscosity of oil, the speed at which the engine is operated, the climate, road conditions as well as the amount of dilution and oxidation of the lubricant.

If the vehicle is used for repeated short trips, and consumes a normal amount of oil, the engine oil measurement may not show any drop in the oil level at all, even after 600 miles (1000 km) or more. This is because the oil is gradually becoming diluted with fuel or moisture, making it appear that the oil level has not changed.

The diluting ingredients evaporate out when the vehicle is driven at high speeds, as on an expressway, making it then appear that oil is excessively consumed after driving at high speeds.

If the conditions you drive your vehicle in are dusty, humid, or hot, the frequency of the oil change intervals should be greater.

If the vehicle is driven at a high rate of speed, climatic conditions are warm, and the load is high, the oil should be checked more frequently, as driving conditions will determine the rate of oil consumption.


The engine in your vehicle depends on oil to lubricate and cool all of its moving parts.
Therefore, the engine oil should be checked regularly and kept at the required level.
Make it a habit to have the engine oil level checked with every refueling.
The oil pressure warning light is not an oil level indicator.
The oil pressure warning light indicates serious engine damage may be occuring when lit, if engine rpm is above idle speed.
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

I have got to respectfully disagree.
Well, it's how internal combustion engines work man, not my opinion. And that's independent of break-in method. A stressed engine will consume more oil than if not stressed constantly, whether that amount is measurable or not... which depends a lot on engine design and tolerances. And yes, no engine will be identical due to tolerance fluctuations; some will consume more oil than others. It's just the way it is.
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

For what it’s worth, if you are concerned about oil consumption then pay for a UOA at your next oil change and get a compression test done. Between the two things you will have a good feel for what is going on with your engine.


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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

Well, it's how internal combustion engines work man, not my opinion..
Not true. That may be how some work, but not all -- it is not a dynamic of all internal combustion engines. The two 993s I had exhibited totally different oil consumption; the convertible that was babied from new burnt a quart every 500-1000 miles. The C4S that had almost 100k miles, was beaten on the street and track and regularly saw the redline literally never burnt a quart.

There are many factors in how much oil an engine burns: the components used, the assembly, the break-in, and the treatment of the engine after that, including oil changes and warmup of cold engine/oil. It could be that increased consumption is because of high revs, but it not 100% correlation.

But, back to OP. My car, babied since new with 3 oil changes before 5k miles, burns no oil but it my DD and does not regularly see 6k rpm. It might be worth experimenting and see what consumption is with lower revs -- if you care.....
 

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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

As a reference point: I have 37k on my 981. I had to put in a quart of oil at 6500 miles. I change oil annually which is about at 9k miles/year. Since my first oil change, I have not lost a single bar in oil.

Your manual says that oil usage is higher early in it's life (I forget the exact words). You have nothing to worry about.

I didn't follow the break-in process for either of my Porsches. I picked up both of them at the Factory in Germany and the delivery rep told me I didn't need to worry about break-in except too get the oil warmed up. In addition, Porsche does not break-in their own cars for their track usage. Porsche's Leipzig track (been there), PEC - Atlanta, Barbers motor park - Alabama or PEC - LA. None of these cars are broken in.

These cars have high tolerances. You need to hammer the car to get the piston rings to seat properly. You have nothing to be concerned about at this point.
 
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Re: 981 Oil Consumption Between Oil Changes

My 981S never burns oil. The bar display never changes between 10K/1 year oil changes. I'm at 56K now. Drive it hard most of the time. Never did any low-rev break in. Just don't rev high until 175F.
 
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