Does your engine oil burn off quickly ? Do you think it is the issue with the exhaust?

Does your engine oil burn off quickly ? Do you think it is the issue with the exhaust?

Engine oil emptying off too quickly or seeing oil residue at the tip of the exhaust mouth is an indication that your oil is getting burnt off during combustion within the chamber. At Barrel Exhaust, we get this question a lot of times from our customers and 99% of the time some mechanic would have misguided them that the issue is because of the change in exhaust. We have helped hundred's of bikers to understand the real reason behind the issue and helped them solve it. We wanted to share the knowledge with the community so bikers are not taken on ride by self certified mechanics.  

Is this a major problem?

Yes, it is because the lower the qty of engine oil than the required qty in the sump will harm the engine, heat it up more and even can cause the piston to rub against the cylinder walls eventually killing the engine.

Does this have to do anything with the exhaust that you have changed?

Surprisingly the answer is “NO”. The issue is not with the exhaust / muffler that you have changed to. The exhaust change has little to do with the oil getting burnt off. In fact it is the exhaust that gives you an early warning about the oil getting burnt off in the chamber by showing you oil residue in the pipes at the tip. 

What could be the reason for the oil to burn off too quickly? 

The answer lies in the faulty piston rings that hold the oil from reaching to the top of the piston head. If the piston rings are faulty and allow small qty of oil to enter the combustion chamber (between the piston head and the spark plug), the oil gets trapped in the energy stroke and the fire ignited by the spark plug burns off the oil along with the air and fuel mixture. Some unburnt oil is also seen on the exhaust valves (see pic below) and the silencer inner walls. 

Burnt Valves

Over period, the oil level drops considerably leading to engine heating up, excess friction off the crank and shaft and finally killing your engine without any warning. 

What can you do to avoid this issue?

As soon as you sense any of these symptoms such as..

  1. Engine over heating
  2. Oil residue in the exhaust inner walls
  3. Oil emptying too soon

    Get your mechanic to first check

    1. Adjust Air Fuel Mixture manually if carburetor or reset ECU to check if it is running too lean.
    2. Check the exhaust valves for oil residue or burning
    3. If above two fails, check and replace your piston rings.
    4. Check if the engine oil is contaminated with foreign body (Some impurities in the engine oil can damage the piston rings)


    Note : If you sense your oil levels are low and with the indications given above, make sure you always top up your engine oil to the prescribed levels till you get the rings changed. Some mechanics who are not very informed, find it easy to drop the blame on the exhaust and in fact the exhaust has nothing to do with the damage caused in the piston rings. 


    If the manifold is fastened without leaks, if the engine oil levels have always been maintained correctly, if the engine oil viscosity is good (branded engine oil without any contamination) is used, the pistons rings would never have a negative impact. 

    Tip: Regular maintenance from an authorized / experienced mechanic will ensure long life and better performance of your motorcycle.

    Check out some of the best exhaust systems designed and developed by the Barrel Exhaust team of engineers (bikers) for your machines. Made in India, loved by bikers across the globe!  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q. Do aftermarket exhausts improve performance?
    A. An aftermarket performance exhaust can free some of the power in your engine. These systems allow for a quicker, more efficient path for exhaust gases to escape. This means your engine "breathes" better, so spent fuel and air exit the combustion chambers faster.

    Q. What is the legal sound limit for an exhaust in India?
    A. There are a lot of modifications that are illegal, and that can get your vehicle seized. Altering exhausts for sound/aesthetics or even performance is one such modification. While the maximum permissible sound limit for two wheelers is 80 decibels, that for four wheelers is 75 decibels.

    Q. Is it worth getting an aftermarket Exhaust?
    A. By improving the airflow through the system and decreasing back pressure, aftermarket exhausts reduce the energy wasted in the system having to overcome these pressure problems. This leads to better fuel efficiency. Better sound: Aftermarket mufflers can significantly louden the sound of your engine.

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