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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

The Mrs' 1.6 SR beetle is burning oil at a rate of about 1litre every 100-150miles. she broke down the other day and had the RAC out, they put the problem down to being a misfire in cylinder 4, when they checked the spark plug it was covered in oil, they replaced the plug and it works again, however the engine is obviously burning oil at an alarmign rate!.

We know that oil is getting in to cylinder 4 however unsure about 1-3, the oil on the dip stick looks like it could do with a change (service due) however it doesnt look white/cloudy.

What would you guys suggest the problem is? anyone have a guestimate on how much it would cost to repair?



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We do not have the 1.6L; here in the USA, however, on the 1.8L, the valve cover will leak and get oil on the top of the spark plugs and cause a misfire. You might check and see; if you are leaking oil from the engine, the valve cover being a typical area of leaks (many other possible areas as well).

If you are "using" oil; there doesn't seem to be any external leaks, than traditional problems to check would be:

1. piston rings worn; oil is being burned, typically shown by "blue smoke" out the exhaust

2. valve seals; in the head, are old not sealing as they should; thus, oil being burned by going through the valve guides and out the exhaust

Testing: using some test equipment, to determine the cause of the problem and overall health of your engine:

1. Leak down tester; would indicate where the problem may lie

a. head gasket,
b. head/valves/valve seals/
c. worn cylinder/piston rings

Here in the USA; you can rent a compression or leak down tester for free; from most auto parts stores. I'm assuming you are somewhere in the commonwealth, check your local auto parts or tool store for this tester.

I would get a repair manual to get the compression specifications and testing procedures, a typical Haynes manual would be a good place to start.


Repair costs; really depend on what is wrong with the engine and you won't know that, until you diagnose the problem.

Also, please fill out your location and car info, that way we can help you now and in the future, in a more intelligent way! Thanks! :)

Hope this helps; let us know, what the results of the leak down test is and how your troubleshooting, repair process progresses.
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