nc oil consumption

hi, i have just purchased a mk3 1800 and finding it uses more oil than i would like.

what is "normal " for this engine…

is there anything simple that i such be checking, i heard maybe pcv valve may be faulty but not sure.

any advise would be welcome




I’ve read a comment elsewhere from Paul Roddison that the mk3 can use 1/2 litre per 1000 miles. Not sure if that’s considered “normal” as my 2 litre never used a drop (or at least I never had to top it up between oil changes).


If driven they use oil…


1/2 ltr over 1000 miles would be considered normal…

My 2 litre NC does use some (still a young engine at only about 26,000 miles - barely run-in), but not as much as 1/2 litre per 1000. If merely pootling about on low revs then almost none at all, but if pushing it on the motorway then yes, and about 1/4 litre per 1000.

I initially noticed the difference simply because in my first year with the car all the motorway driving was concentrated in a couple of short time periods, ie a thousand motorway, then a couple of thousand pootling, then another thousand or so motorway, etc, and I always check oil (also tyres and lights) before and after a long trip (a ‘life-saver’ habit acquired long ago and necessary when I owned a Triumph 650).

A simple but obvious question, have you checked underneath for any signs of leaks? Also worth checking the oil sump drain plug is secure. When I bought my NC the dealer (independent, not Mazda) had the car serviced before I collected it. The idiot incompetent mechanic who did the service decided it was perfectly OK to just hand tighten the sump drain plug. As a consequence, most of the oil leaked out whilst driving. Fortunately, the issue was picked up and rectified before any serious damage was done.

Since then, I’ve only driven the car a few hundred miles so hard to know how much, if any oil it’s using but if my NB is anything to go by then it will use virtually none.

I don’t want to tempt fate, but my 2.0 doesn’t burn a drop either.

But I have read mixed comments before on here.

Common fault from NC to burn oil but most important to check regularly, like every two weeks or so. If it runs low you will be excessive wear on the bearings/rings or throw con rod out of the block (known as throwing leg out of the bed)!!

Seen it several times and loads of NC oil burners especially after 70k

bally3 - How many miles has the car done and what is the oil consumption?

As you can see from the replies Mk3 oil consumption seems to vary. Mine has done 57,000 miles and uses nothing between changes, despite being driven fairly hard with a lot of motorway miles.

I suspect that it depends on how the car was driven early in its life and if it was serviced regularly and oil level maintained at the top of the dipstick. As an engineer I still believe in the long term benefit of gently running in a new car, bedding in piston rings and cylinder bores. My Mk3 was first owned by a lady who I suspect would have driven it fairly gently and who certainly serviced it regularly.

I agree. 

In the past I have found that a new engine tends to use some oil but this becomes less when properly run-in, for example my 1.4SE Astra when new in 1994 was fully oil-tight and used 1/2 litre per 1000 doing 400 miles per week around the M25, but after 205,000 miles 1/2 litre went in closer to 5000 miles, and some of that was a tiny dampness from the CAS seal.

Our new 2 litre Mazda3 has used some oil in the first 1000 miles mostly driven by SWMBO, dipstick now down to 1/3 between the two marks from being just below the top one when collected from the dealer, and if I had been able to be up and about as normal to buy some of the correct Stop/Start 5W-30 Synthetic it would have been topped up by now.  Until I top it up I won’t really know what the actual oil usage has been.


My 2.5 has this year been to Spa Classic and Le Mans Classic, around 800 miles each, and not used a drop of oil, with 109k on the clock. My tame mechanic tells me my newly acquired mark 3.5 NC must have the oil topped up or it will go “bang”.

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As a new owner are you reading the dipstick correctly?

I know it’s basic stuff but others have been caught out by overfilling with oil when it’s not needed. In other words the dipstick can be a bit iffy to get a true read. They revised the dipstick to an easier to read one.

I check mine when the engine is cold, left overnight normally, some opinions on this will differ.

BTW my 2ltr sport hasn’t needed a top up between oil changes, which are around every 4-5k miles. Just turned over 60k miles on the clock.

My 2.0 NC2’s never used any oil (even while running in) since I bought new in early 2012 - despite sometimes being “driven hard”.  Agree with the comments made by other posters about the long-term benefits of running in when new - I was careful not to push it & kept the revs below about 4,000 for the first 1,500 miles or so then started to gradually work it.

Another benefit of running-in (apparently) in addition to reduced oil consumption & benefit to engine longevity is better fuel economy for the life of the engine.

My understanding though is that, while some of these do use oil, it isn’t necessarily detrimental as long as the level’s regularly checked & kept right up the the “maximum” mark on the dipstick.



thanks for replies, only done around 300 miles in it as yet ,probably put half a liter in it, bought as a bit of a project so in garage having front bumper sprayed ( scuffed )
the car has done 88k miles , no leaks underneath.
will keep updated when car is back…


Up to and below 3,000 rpm my 2 ltr Mk3 now on 42k miles bought it with 11.5k miles uses virtually no oil.

At about 30k miles on a very fast drive through southern Englandshire and northern France it used say 0.4 litres in 500 miles but most of it at around 4,000 and abobe rpm constant.

On the way back from France to North East Scotland say 800 miles in total but again at 3,000 rpm no measurable oil use and none since.

I would consider 0.5 litres per 1,000 miles to be reasonable

Mmm I might be wrong but I am told mk3   2 litre is basically a ford engine,which is renowned to use very little oil !?

my mk3 is approaching 90,000 miles & uses about a pint between services. not thrashed very often though :slight_smile:

my 2006 2.0 mk3 has 98000 and use very little if any oil. Always checked once a week.


The Ford Duratech started life as the Mazda L-Series engine, so the other way round