We have different opinions on "falling apart around me"! On my 25-year-old minivan the only thing holding the front and rear together is the carpeting! It has been so uncommonly reliable that I refuse to give it up until the engine is running down the road without the seat or me.
The amount of oil loss you described is not excessive. In fact, if you look at the markings on the dip stick, you'll see they do not list "full" and "add". To address the many complaints of oil usage in all newer vehicles, they list "min" and "max". As long as the level remains above the "min" mark between oil changes, you needn't be concerned. Of course, you have to start with close to the maximum level when your mechanic fills the oil at that oil change. On most engines I'm familiar with, when you put in the specified amount during the oil change, the level will not quite reach the "max" mark, but it shouldn't be close to the "min" mark either.
If you're still concerned, there is a way to identify the cause of the oil loss. You can add a small bottle of dark purple dye to the oil, then search a day or two later with a black light. The dye will show up as a bright yellow stain that you can follow back to the source. Don't forget to check inside the tail pipe. Auto parts stores will have the dye, and those that rent or borrow tools will usually have the black light.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 AT 5:16 PM