M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations

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searchman
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M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations

Postby searchman » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:49 am

I have a M45 that uses 1 quart of oil between 300 and 600 miles. 65,000 mile curent. Has used this amount of oil from new 2003 model. Consumption varies according to the type of driving conditions. The dealer states this is normal. Yeh! Right!The last time I took it in the service writer said I was reading the dipstick incorrectly. There are two holes in the dipstick by the graduation markings. The upper hole shows full the lower hole shows add. The dealer states the distance between the holes in 1 quart. I know from adding oil this is incorrect. I am looking for documentation to show the factory specs on the dipstick.


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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (searchman)

Postby szh » Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:26 am

Welcome to NICO and the forum, searchman!

If you have not already done so, please do put pictures of your car into our Members Rides Gallery (quick link on the right hand side under "NICO Menu").

Z

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (searchman)

Postby szh » Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:58 am

Hi, searchman.

If you do a search for "M45 oil" (search button is in the upper right corner of this screen,) you will see some posts that talk about this issue on the 2003/2004 M45 (and some years of the Q45) with the same VK45DE engine. In the meantime, I will paraphrase some of this for you here.
searchman wrote:I have a M45 that uses 1 quart of oil between 300 and 600 miles. 65,000 mile curent. Has used this amount of oil from new 2003 model. Consumption varies according to the type of driving conditions. The dealer states this is normal. Yeh! Right!
1. This is a known problem on some percentage of the M45 and Q45 cars that were sold. The engine is just a bit "looser" than the previous years to achieve the higher power that this engine has.

However, a quart every 300 to 600 miles is way excessive! And simply not normal. What would be normal is a quart every 3750 miles (i.e., between my oil changes). That is what my M45 achieves easily. Some people report a quart used every 1500 to 2500 miles - this is the minimum acceptable amount imho.

2. Infiniti will replace your engine if pushed - many of these engines have been swapped out (the rumoured threshold was a quart used below every 1000 miles, which definitely applies in your case.)

Be quietly pushy and talk to Infiniti Corporate if you have to, but simply do not take "No" for an answer - tell them that you know that they have done this for other owners. It is a bit more tricky in your case since you waited for 65,000 miles, but you never know, Infiniti may help out. Yelling will not help, but not allowing a No answer may!

Do this before your warranty expires, by the way!

3. Then, when you get your new engine (we will keep our fingers crossed,) break it in properly. Here is my recommendation:

a. Don't baby the car. Drive the engine relatively hard the first few hundred to five hundred miles, with high revving and acceleration (not crazily, but just don't baby it!) You must seat the rings well ... this is the source of the oil blow-by and high consumption.

b. Use a good dino oil (like Chevron Supreme 5W-30 or 10W-30 or 10W-40, depending on where you live) for the first 10,000 miles ... at least. Then switch to a steady diet of Mobil 1 0W-40 Synthetic if you can affort it; if not, then stick with the Chevron Supreme.

If you want other engine oil recommendations, do a search for posts by "palmerwmd" on the topic of oil. Fred is our resident chemist and knows a lot about this stuff!

c. Change oil and filter more often than usual the first few times. My personal approach is designed to deal with the moving parts "deburring" that occurs inside the engine upon first use. This is an easy, relative low-cost way to increase the longevity of the engine.

Buy the filters from Infiniti and the oil from local auto parts stores and do the oil change yourself or go to a place that will change it out for you for a nominal cost. That is what I do (no lift and time to do it myself, but I should!)

d. My oil and filter change schedule is: 300-600 miles (wanted to but did not do this one), 1500 miles, 3750 miles and then every 3750 miles. This is a mite aggressive, but I can tell you that I am achieving among the lowest (if not the lowest) oil consumption rates of all the M45 and current-gen Q45 owners here!
searchman wrote:The last time I took it in the service writer said I was reading the dipstick incorrectly. There are two holes in the dipstick by the graduation markings. The upper hole shows full the lower hole shows add. The dealer states the distance between the holes in 1 quart. I know from adding oil this is incorrect. I am looking for documentation to show the factory specs on the dipstick.
I think the dealer is right is correct in this "quart between holes", but I am not certain. I'll look in the service manual and get you the answer, if it is in there, later today ...

FWIW, the "upper hole full" and "lower hole add" is not the way I would have described it. Those are the extremes - my wording would be "don't add oil past the upper hole" and "don't let the oil drop below the lower hole" (being in the middle is fine!) The point is having too much oil can be bad for the engine too!

As an aside (you probably already know this, so pardon the sermon here,) the oil must be checked consistently for the readings to be comparable. I.e., always in the same - ideally level - position and always when the oil is cold. The "wait 10 minutes to cool down" rule of thumb is not a good one - I check my oil (and tire pressure) in the morning before I start the engine up. Not every day, of course but regularly (every two to three weeks.)

Good luck and let us know how it goes with the dealer and Infiniti Corporate! Come by often - we need lots of M45 owners to participate here.

Z

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (szhosain)

Postby szh » Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:15 pm

szhosain wrote:I think the dealer is right is correct in this "quart between holes", but I am not certain. I'll look in the service manual and get you the answer, if it is in there, later today ...
Unfortunately, the M45 Service Manual makes no mention of what the high and low holes mean in terms of amount of oil. They do iterate that if the oil is within the range, then it is okay.

Z

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (szhosain)

Postby elwesso » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:41 pm

Wow, hell of a post Z!!
Z wrote:1. This is a known problem on some percentage of the M45 and Q45 cars that were sold. The engine is just a bit "looser" than the previous years to achieve the higher power that this engine has.
This is true, and this is why many engines today have more HP than engines 10 years ago.....
Z wrote:a. Don't baby the car. Drive the engine relatively hard the first few hundred to five hundred miles, with high revving and acceleration (not crazily, but just don't baby it!) You must seat the rings well ... this is the source of the oil blow-by and high consumption.
This is also important, but I would suggest against redlining the car...
Z wrote:d. My oil and filter change schedule is: 300-600 miles (wanted to but did not do this one), 1500 miles, 3750 miles and then every 3750 miles. This is a mite aggressive, but I can tell you that I am achieving among the lowest (if not the lowest) oil consumption rates of all the M45 and current-gen Q45 owners here!
I would skip the 300ish one for starters... Other than that, thats about what I would do..... Chanigng the oil before its broken in makes no sense to me!!!

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (elwesso)

Postby szh » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:47 pm

elwesso wrote:Wow, hell of a post Z!!
Thanks!
elwesso wrote:I would skip the 300ish one for starters... Other than that, thats about what I would do..... Chanigng the oil before its broken in makes no sense to me!!!
Oh, I agree, the oil is definitely not used up at all at those miles. The purpose is simply to remove the "stuff" that has come off the engine and is now inside the rest of the engine, oil pump, etc.

Mercedes Benz recommends the first oil change at 100 miles for example! I think that there is a good reason for this. Perhaps overkill, but a good rational reason.

Of course, FWIW, I did not do the 300-600 miles change - just did not know about it at the time. So, I did my first at 1500 miles or so.

Z

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (szhosain)

Postby TxGuy67 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:13 am

I took my car into the dealer this am (03 22,500 miles). After reading about the oil consumption I did my own test and it's using 2 quarts between oil changes. Dealer said "normal" but I don't believe him. As I'm walking out he also said the in-cabin filter needs to be replaced and it "only costs $99.00". Gee and no dinner for me?

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (TxGuy67)

Postby elwesso » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:16 am

Cabin filter is something good to replace... id DIY replace it, it cant be that hard!! I wish the older Qs had cabin filters, instead of gunking up the evaporator...

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (searchman)

Postby stubear334 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:44 pm

Glad to know I'm not the only one.

I took delivery of my M45 August 19, 2003. Within 2 days, the front rotors were horribly warped, then the oil began to disappear. I felt like a fool for checking oil on a brand new car. My wife looks at me strangely when I check oil every Saturday.

My "M" began using oil from day one. I always hoped it would lessen. One week, it looks fine; the next week, it's lost half a quart. Currently, it uses about 2 quarts every 5000 miles.

Weirdly, if I don't drive the car for a day or so, it clatters upon start up. At 8000 miles, it clattered so badly, I was afraid to drive it! We had it towed to the dealer. He claimed there was carbon on the valves! At 8k miles???

Don't even try mid-grade gas----once the engine sounded like pebbles shaken in a tin can. However, the car got better gas mileage at the price of lower performance.

The oil consumption is not alarming, but I'm used to my other cars using ZERO oil.

Thanks for listening,Stuart

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (stubear334)

Postby elwesso » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:27 pm

Welcome to the club stuart!! Please tell us more about your M, and some pictures would be nice!! Interesting that your rotors were warped so fast, you were *that* hard on the car were you?

Unfortunately, according to this, I dont think that the 2 quarts every 5k is something to be afraid of.. its borderline, IMHO...

Thats interseting about the clattering... I wonder if trying some BGquick clean or something like that would fix it... For less than $10 a can, its certainly worth a try....

Good call on the midgrade gas as well......

I think what a lot of owners fail to do is, for lack of a better term, is drive the crap out of the car... These engines are HIGH PERFORMANCE and are not meant to be grandma-d around... Anytime I drive more than 10 miles (to assure the oil is to proper temp) you can bet my car will see the redline!! Once your past that 1000 mile mark, you have no worries... DRIVE THE CAR HARD!! You may very well have carbon on the valves, and driving the car hard is certainly the easiest form of maintenance i can think of.....

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Re: M45 oil consumption and dipstick graduations (stubear334)

Postby szh » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:17 pm

Welcome to the M35/M45 Forum, Stuart!

Pads

I am surprised that you had rotor problems that quickly. I drive my car pretty hard (well, about 70% highway miles though) and after 24.5k miles, my rotors and pads are doing fine. Pads measured at 5.5mm (as I recall) at the 22.5k checkup.

One possibility is that the pads did not break in properly and has left clumpy material on the surface of the rotor - this will feel like rotor warp! At the next pad change, you may want to try the procedures recommended by Q45tech here (please do a search ...) and break in the pad immediately per those recommendations. Those may prevent the problem you are experiencing.

Oil Consumption

I am using about a quart every 3750 miles (basically I put in about 1/2 quart in the "middle" of my oil change cycle) and since I replace it at 3750, I do not have to worry about adding any extra then.

Unfortunately, like Wes said, 2 quarts every 5k miles would not be considered a "needs engine swap" situation (by Infiniti.) So I do not have an answer for that.

Clatter

I have to admit have not heard any engine clatter in my M45 ... I do let it warm up for about a minute or more before I drive off and there is no clatter at all. As you also noted, Wes's comment about not using anything less than premium gas is an excellent point. And you can definitely try the BG44K to clean up (available from http://www.everythinginfiniti.com) - put in a can in about 1/2 to 3/4 tankful and take it for a long drive and fill up again. Well, at least take it down below 1/4 tank before you fill up again! That cleaning just may do the trick.

Can any other M owners chime in if they have experienced this issue? What did the Infiniti dealers say was the problem? If fixed, how was it fixed?

Z

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Postby DAEDALUS » Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:46 pm

This oil consumption is really troublesome, since it is so commonplace. What is the specification on allowable consumption, or is there one? What obligates Infiniti to replace a high-consumption engine?

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Re: (Daedalus)

Postby szh » Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:39 am

DAEDALUS wrote:This oil consumption is really troublesome, since it is so commonplace. What is the specification on allowable consumption, or is there one? What obligates Infiniti to replace a high-consumption engine?
Hmmm, I do not know the answer to those questions. Dennis once said or implied that they kinda had to accept this to get the higher power results that they were trying to achieve. I would be surprised if they would want to issue a TSB along the lines of replacement ... too many chances for admitting liability. Every case is probably treated one at a time.

As far as I know, the current rumoured threshold is the "1 quart in 1000 miles or less" that I mentioned, when they will replace the engine. I guess you still have to push them even then.

Z

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Oil Consumption

Postby stubear334 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:42 am

Thanks for the suggestions!

As a remedy to the valve clatter, my dealer performed an intake cleaning procedure. This occurred at 8k miles. The problem still persists.

I'm willing to accept oil consumption at a rate of qt/3000 miles. It is just disheartening that I must keep a quart of oil around at all times. I'm also worried that the engine will blow up a week after the warranty expires. (My sisters Expedition blew a head gasket at 37k miles & cost $1200 to repair.) I want to keep this car for about 10 years or 150k miles.

BTW, I called the dealer FRIDAY. They were very sympathetic. On Wednesday they are going to change the oil and monitor the consumption. I've been asked to return the car after 1,000 miles for further analysis.

Stuart

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Re: Oil Consumption (stubear334)

Postby DAEDALUS » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:37 am

stubear334 wrote:As a remedy to the valve clatter, my dealer performed an intake cleaning procedure.
Glad they're not doctors. Go in for a headache and recieve a colonoscopy.

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Re: Oil Consumption (DAEDALUS)

Postby maxnix » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:02 am

DAEDALUS wrote:Glad they're not doctors. Go in for a headache and recieve a colonoscopy.
My thoughts. What are they thinking....or not?

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Re: Oil Consumption (stubear334)

Postby elwesso » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:08 am

stubear334 wrote:Thanks for the suggestions!

As a remedy to the valve clatter, my dealer performed an intake cleaning procedure. This occurred at 8k miles. The problem still persists.

I'm willing to accept oil consumption at a rate of qt/3000 miles. It is just disheartening that I must keep a quart of oil around at all times. I'm also worried that the engine will blow up a week after the warranty expires. (My sisters Expedition blew a head gasket at 37k miles & cost $1200 to repair.) I want to keep this car for about 10 years or 150k miles.

BTW, I called the dealer FRIDAY. They were very sympathetic. On Wednesday they are going to change the oil and monitor the consumption. I've been asked to return the car after 1,000 miles for further analysis.

Stuart
At least theyre trying to do something about it!

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Postby DAEDALUS » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:13 pm

Better to do nothing if they don't fix the problem. At least then you wouldn't be wasting your time taking it in, waiting, and possibly arranging other transportation. They can keep trying until the warranty expires, at which point sympathy might be a lot harder to find. Save it for the poor techs who don't make as much doing warranty work.Had a buddy over today for some light work. Reported an oil leak to him a while ago, and the dealer replaced a cam seal under warranty. Imagine his surprise when I told him the leak is still there. Small comfort to him that they tried to fix the problem; luckily he has just enough time on the warranty to have them give it another shot.


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