It will only get worse if you ignore it. I have to add coolant about once every other year. If yours is going down that slowly it may take a while to really get worse.
Ten different people will give you ten different answers to which oil is best. I have the 3.0L in my Caravan. The oil has not been changed in over ten years but I have to add a quart about every 1,000 miles. That's enough to replenish the additives that wear out. Understand that what I'm doing is abuse, not simple neglect, but that engine has over 401,000 miles. I do it to prove to my students what Chrysler's engines are capable of. I also use the cheapest oil I can find from a local farm and home supply store. I stock up when it goes on sale. The stuff is made by a national company to the same specs, it just has the store's name on it.
Look on the oil containers for the markings "SD" or "CD", or something like that. "SD" means spark ignition which is what your engine has and the "D" just means it's improved over the older "C". The last I looked we're up to "SG". That means it's much better than what was needed for your engine. The "C" in "CD"-rated oil is the rating for compression-ignition engines. That means diesels. Oil for those engine has to be much tougher.
The biggest thing we've found in the past is to pick an oil and stick with it. Different brands have different formulations for their detergents, rust inhibitors, seal conditioners, and friction modifiers. When you change the oil in your engine it is going to take 4.5 quarts to refill it, but there's another two quarts in the passages that never drains out. The additives remaining in the old oil may not be compatible with the additives in the new oil. Most commonly when a problem occurs when switching brands it is an external leak or blue smoke from the tail pipe.
Monday, April 8th, 2013 AT 10:18 PM