If you are burning enough oil to use a quart in a week I'd say there is some serious wear in the cylinders or piston rings, or you are doing some serious miles. Until you can have it checked/remedied check the oil every few days rather than waiting for the oil light to come on.
Driving with the oil light on may damage the crankshaft bearings, adding more cost to the repair and you run the risk of seizing the engine leaving you stuck on the roadside.
BTW, there are three possible colours of smoke from an engine. Black = excessive fuel. Blue = oil. White (like steam) is automatic transmission fluid been drawn into the engine.
I just took my car in for the same thing. Not only was it leaking oil every time I put it in it came out, also my check engine light was on.
It was the oil seal gasket that needed replacing. I took it to Meineke, it is a KIA but they charge way to much to fix things. It was not overly expensive to fix but it isn't cheap either and it does need to be fixed.
I think to replace the seal it was 134. I am pretty sure.
Doesn't hurt to call around and ask, I don't know what kind of car you have but that ended up being my problem *S*
If you smell the oil burning, it could just be an oil leak. Oil leaking onto the exhaust pipe will burn off and smell bad. By the time the oil light comes on, it's likely more than one quart low. Check with dipstick.
HI if your engine is burning oil, it means that your car is finished ,due for the wreckers or scrap .its not.not worth spending $1.on it, you are driving a un road worthy car or 4wd and it does not even matter how perfect your car looks , to most humans. I have been a mechanic for over 28 years its like saying its got a new motor in my car ,but your car still has 150,000. KLM and up. and still only worth $2000.for the whole car , which most think your car worth heaps of $$$$ .not true, To all, do your homework and see how cheap old cars and rubbish 4wd are worth, go for a test drive a normal standed 2005 model camry 2.4 litre and see how good and how much power they have, they will overtake anything and up hills to,they are like a speed race car and even those old rubbish GT fords and old holdens with huge v8 engines junk ,they cant even do more than 80 or 90 klm up hills ,they over heat and always break down,people think its all about the motor ,what about the gear boxes ,thats a motor to, that made it go all the new tech .china and so on are the smartest people on the planet ,you cannot beat them..remember were does everything come from and what your reading from ,and mosty ,i cannot beleive humans still drive MANUEL cars ,they made 380 planes luxury planes and still people are driving MANUEL ,thats why they are cheap new ,worth nothing,yes and thats a fact, to all,thanks for reading. stop making manuel cars automatic is the way to go in this greedy ,greedy planet we want too much. we are 2013 remember and to all no offence but its true anyway.
When a car is burning oil, it means something's amiss in the engine. Blue smoke emitting from the exhaust means oil consumption in the combustion chamber due to worn out piston/rings. Also valves (both intake and exhaust) can be at fault for oil consumption. If the color of smoke is black, it means carbon deposits in the engine head. Rectifying this problem can be done by yourself using this simple procedures given on the link - automotix.net/autorepair/diy/
It you can see residue, and smell it, then stop driving it and get it towed to a shop. Do your homework on a good shop, or take it to a dealer if you can.
The cause is not as important right now as you not doing further damage.
If it is burning oil, then you are likely going to need some major work, so be prepared.
Time to take it to the shop. If you wait longer , the repair will even be more expensive.
Take a look in the radiator....If you see black stuff floating in it...You have a blown head gasket.....That is a bad thing....You should have never kept driving it....Go and get it looked at right now.....Or you will seaze you engin..And that means a new one.....Lots of cash....
Oh ya....And make sure that you haver AAA....that is a good thing....You are in U.S. Ihope