Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Nothing seems wrong and the motor is burning oil

asked by on

I am unnerved at how cleanly my 2006 Chevrolet Impala can run while burning oil at the rate of 3 quarts every 2000 miles. I don’t see smoke or smell the oil, and none has leaked out. It’s just gone. Other than buying a lot of oil, there aren’t any issues from my end. It’s just odd. Should I just live with this? My car is near the 82,000 mile mark.

The oil consumption on most engines is supposed to be less than 1 quart per 1,000 miles. You state you are using 3 quarts every 2,000 miles. The first thing would be to have an oil consumption test that would entail a fresh oil and filter change and monitor your oil usage to determine exact oil usage in 1,000 mile intervals. It is important to get the oil checked as close to the 1,000 mile interval as possible and oil added to bring back to full mark. If excessive oil consumption above 1 quart per 1,000 miles then the engine may have stuck oil control rings on the pistons and/or the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system needs to be serviced. There is a procedure by GM to clean out the carbon in the pistons by removing spark plugs and putting top engine cleaner in spark plug holes for 2 to 3 hours to dissolve carbon on piston rings and help free stuck oil control rings. Then to remove and replace the oil pan and replace the gasket with a new style gasket that limits how much oil sprays on back of pistons while driving at extended highway speeds. Then a new oil consumption test is to be done to see if oil consumption is normal. If still excessive then the engine pistons and rings would have to be replaced. Your first step is the oil consumption test.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Heating/cooling system blowing cold/warm air when it should be warm/hot air

This suggests you may have a clogged heater core. As you know, the heater core circulates warm coolant through it that is used to blow the warm air into the cab via the blower motor. The other possibility may be...

Q: Brake lights

The most common problem is the brake light switch not making contact sometimes. The brake light switch is powered from the fuse and goes to the turn/stop module then to the brake lights. I recommend to test the brake light...

Q: How many miles can I drive on empty?

Every vehicle is a little different when it comes to how many miles you can drive when your low fuel indicator first comes on. The fuel gauge is an estimate of how much fuel you have in your fuel tank....

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...