Q: Nothing seems wrong and the motor is burning oil

asked by on November 06, 2015

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.

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