Burning oil on 2003 Mazda Protege

My 2003 Mazda Protege5 has begun burning oil very badly over the past few months. It would be safe to say it burns 2 quarts a week. It has recently started not wanting to idle while in drive or reverse so I have to keep the revs up. What are my options and possible problems? I realize that the burning oil is due to worn out piston rings. What kind of cost am I looking at for an engine rebuilt? Is it better/cheaper to replace the engine? One thing I believe may be wrong is the Mass Air Flow sensor since I cleaned it a month ago and it stopped idling bad at stop lights but it recently started doing this again and cleaning the MAS didnt help this time....

by in Felton, PA on August 24, 2010
1 answer 1 comment
ANSWER by on August 25, 2010
Mazda 2.0L engines are fairly long lived so I'm thinking that your oil rings may be fouled and sticking in the grooves. If you kept the oil clean it's unlikely but if you let the oil get bad it's a possibility, and that will use a lot of oil. In the '80's, it was not uncommon for this to happen. usually this led to an engine overhaul or replacement but sometimes we could free the rings by removing the sparkplugs and pouring solvent (similar to paint thinner) into the cylinders and letting it sit for a day or two. then we did an oil change and fired it up. Many times that freed the rings and all was well.. In your case, especially if the oil has been kept clean, I'd have a look at the crankcase ventilation system for a problem, like a stuck-open PCV. i'd expect a lot of oil smoke if it burns 2 qts in a week.... That's not a MAF problem. If the engine won't idle, you could have a split or leaky air intake tube or breather hose. Best to check further before dropping $2500 into a new engine. Get a second opinion. These engines typically don't wear out quickly unless they aren't cared for. The MAF on this car is fairly delicate and probably did not survive cleaning well so be prepared for a problem with that too. http://repairpal.com/estimator?car_type_id=3869
COMMENT by on August 27, 2010
Ahh, thanks. Yes it does create a good amount of smoke. If the PCV is stuck open would that cause it to burn that much oil? My air intake tube is actually split but I didnt think that would cause it not to idle, I have some duct tape holding it togethor.... I am really hoping the engine doesnt need overhauled!
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