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I bought my 2010 Patriot 4x4 5spd brand new. It's now at 197,000 kms. I've always performed oil changes as scheduled, and engine has performed well. No major issues.

For the past 10 months or so, my Pat has required oil to be added in between oil changes (this was never the case prior to 2019). I figured that was normal because my Pat was getting older. In the past couple of months, however, my Pat has had the oil pressure light go on. When checking the oil, I've noticed it was considerably low - even only after a few weeks (maybe 300-400 km) after an oil change. I thought for sure there was a leak. Brought it to the dealer to service. No leaks, but bad PCV Valve, so that was replaced. Now only two weeks after that oil change and PCV valve replacement, the oil pressure light is coming on again, and the oil is now low - still in the safe zone, but waaay too low considering it was just filled less than 500 kms ago. I brought it to the dealer again, and it was about a quart low. They still couldn't find the source of the excessive oil usage. My catalytic converter has needed replacing for a while now, and I know it's going to get worse because of the oil issue.

The service tech at the dealer is one of the very knowledgeable longtime employees working there that basically told me that he sees this sort of thing a lot on older vehicles that come in, and it may be time to start thinking about a new car. The cat replacement will run about $2500, and the oil issue could also end up costing thousands. The car is only worth about $4000 in our local market. When I brought it in last time, they had originally mentioned doing an oil monitoring - but at the time, that was the only apparent issue. Now with the cat issue, it could end up costing more to fix it than the car is worth. But, I recently spent $3000 on a new transmission and about $1200 on new all weather tires, so the rest of the car has a lot of life left.

We are not in a position financially to buy a new car..and I still really like my Pat. It's great in the snow, too - better than any other car I've had. But it's a tough decision to know if I should give up on it, or keep putting money into it and keep it going.

So, in a case like this, what are my options? Here's what I can think of - I am hoping some of you can provide some suggestions:

1. Try to get a recommendation for a local repair shop that may specialize or be good at diagnosing excessive oil consumption issues (it's not feasible to go to the dealer for this - they are too busy and not set up for frequent visits. Not to mention they charge too much, and some of the service techs are useless). I'll probably try to call around to some of the shops I've been to before (like the transmission place I went to) to see if they do this type of work. But I really don't know much about it - so hoping someone here can provide some direction in how to find a shop that may be good at diagnosing issues like this and what's usually involved.

2. Keep filling the car with oil every few weeks (uggghhh) - maybe switch to the thicker oil? Maybe get more frequent oil changes and have it checked out every time I get the oil changed and/or every time the check engine light comes on (when it throws the code for the bad Cat - I never know if it's throwing a code for the oil issue?) The transmission place I go to will plug it in for free to see what the issue is, so they may be a good place to get things checked out.

3. Have a re-built engine installed. Yeah, seems excessive - and I have no idea how much new engines cost these days, but my hubby had this done to an old pick-up truck that was having too many issues with the engine. This was years ago and only cost a few thousand. Today's new engines may be too expensive for this option?

4. Sell the car now, with its known issues, to someone who's a backyard mechanic. It's hard to find a 5 spd 4x4 Pat these days, so it could be worth something to someone.

I know the decision to purchase a new car vs. repairing the old one can be a very personal decision - and there's emotions about hanging onto your 'baby'. My car isn't fancy, and I enjoy driving it. But I really don't want to get stranded. I have roadside assistance, so I'll always be relatively safe that way, but mechanical safety is always a concern, too. But ultimately, it comes down to finances. I have the time now to deal with the headaches of monitoring the oil consumption issue, so I am not fussed about that.

Hoping to hear from anyone else who's gone through something similar to gain a little perspective.

Thanks for reading!
 

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First thing I would do would be to take it to a reputable mechanic. A simple compression test should be able to tell if theres a problem with piston rings or a valve seal. Either of which will be a pricey repair, but shouldn't be as much as getting a remanufactured engine installed.

Do not use thicker oil! These engines use variable valve timing, and thicker oil will cause damage.
 
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