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Excessive Oil Usage? -- 2001 Isuzu Rodeo Sport

scottpkellyscottpkelly Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Isuzu
User manual did not state when to perform first oil change, so I assumed 3000 miles. At first oil change lube center said that vehicle was 1 quart low. I didn't think much of it, attributed it to break-in period and so-forth. At second oil change (6000 miles) lube center said that oil did not even show on dip-stick. After draining, they said approx. 3 quarts came out (should be 5 quarts). I contacted Isuzu customer relations and they asked me if I read my user manual. They said that this is absolutely normal for a vehicle to use up to 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. After hanging up in discust, I called the local dealership. The service guy who answered said and I quote "all new cars use that much oil, it's totally normal". The vehicle displays no signs of leaking or burning oil. What should I do and is this normal?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    First thing you need to do is determine exactly how much oil it is using and why.

    So I'd start with puting newspaper under the car and running it at idle to see if anything drips down, also leaving the newspaper there for a few hours to see if anything drips at rest.

    If there are no leaks, pick a level spot, park the truck, and after 1/2 hour check your oil level and if necessary top it up to the right level.

    Then, after 1,000 miles, park in the same place and check the level again.

    Armed with these facts, you would have a better case to argue, otherwise the dealer will not act until these tests are performed.

    He will also ask you what type of driving you do. If you are doing frequently stops and starts every day, and only short mileage trips, it is possible you will use more oil than normal.

    Or, if you are driving at very high rpms all day (commuting hundreds of miles at freeway speeds), you will use more oil than normal.

    He will also ask you to put a reasonable number of miles on the truck before a judgment can be made about typical oil consumption.

    What is "normal". Generally whatever the factory engineers state as "normal" for your engine. This is usually expressed as a minimum acceptable. It sounds like in your case 1,000 miles per quart is a minimum acceptable. If that's what your truck is doing, you'll have to live with it until it drops below that (if it ever does, and IF, in fact, it is actually using that much).

    So really, there's nothing you can do unless you get some facts under your belt; otherwise it will just be a case of people screaming at each other with no data to back up anyone's claims pro or con.

    Personally, if your tests show a consumption of around a quart every 1,500, I would consider this acceptable, and it is very likely it will either improve or stay like that forever. Should the consumption be around a quart every 1,000 miles, I'd keep a close eye on it. That is borderline, but again not necessarily the sign of something awful about to happen. The only real downside of oil consumption is that you have to check/add more often, and even this has a good side, in that it gets you under the hood more than once every 3,000 miles, which is really too long for a visual inspection and a good poking around.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    But after gettting the level at the line, you should not wait until 1000 miles to check it again. I'd check it more frequently given the history. The fact that you left it get below the dipstick after having some inkling that it was using oil to me is inexcusable. Your oil consumption will probably not improve. With careful maintenance (not letting oil level go below the dipstick) your oil consumptionj is likely to stay as it is. I also do not like the oil level to get below halfway between "full" and "add" The extra quantity of oil allows the remainder to work less. Thats just me. Your vehicle is using more oil than I would care to have in a new vehicle. But the car manufactures give some ridiculously high consumption value for obvious reasons. You will have to live with it as Mr_Shiftright says.
  • ocelot1ocelot1 Posts: 101
    I owned a isuzu amigo 98 3.2 it used all most a quart every 1000 miles asfar as isuzu corp is concerned a 1000 miles to the quart in normal if you go to the isuzu post's you can see that about 80% of isuzu owners have this delema I check my oil every week so this was not a proublem for me.I thought my Isuzu was a great vehicle as well. that 3.2 is and was the smoothest runing engine I ever encountered.
  • I guess I'm just looking for an explanation. Where does the oil go? (remember I'm a network engineer, not a mechanical engineer)
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    O where o where is my oil a'going. Seriously-if you park it as Shiftright says and see oil on the ground it is leaking probably from a gasket (like where the valve covers are) or around the shaft that comes out thru the engine where the belts are. If this is the case-thats good-the dealer can and must fix this problem for you.

    The other places it can leak is around the valve guides where the valves go into the engine cylinders. The most probable cause of your leakage is around the piston rings (compression rings) which seal the hot gasses from going around the piston. Other piston rings (oil control rings)control the amount of oil which lubricates the piston as it moves up and down in the cylinder. Too much oil leakage could be a broken ring, improper heat treated rings, damage to ring or cylinder wall etc. These things can happen and car manufactures will give high values for acceptable leakage to avoid fixing the problem.
  • winnyvwinnyv Posts: 30
    This is unbelievable. 1qt. every 1000 miles! I think I would unload this puppy and stay away from Isuzu. Of the 10 or so vehicles I have owned in my lifetime,none of them used this much oil.
  • unfortunatly you didn't say what kind of oil and viscosity your using so without that there is some points of interest.
    1- if your isuzu is like alot of others, the dip stick when just pulled straight out will always show 1 qt low. BUT IT ISN"T. what is happing is that there is a tight seal around the dip stick that will not allow oil to travel up the tube to registar, so what has to be done is first pull the stick out (or up) breaking the rubber seal from the tube, then reseating back down. this will give you more of an acurate reading. now understand this is what happen'd to me the first time i changed oil thinking that i could go out first thing, pull the stick and read it. WRONG! i ended up with putting a qt in, the reread the stick and ended up 1 qt high! (personally i hope thats all your problem is)also it isn't at all possible that the untrained oil guys could make the same mistake.

    now if that isn't the problem, here is some other things to look at. are you running a synthetic? what viscosity of oil are you running, and under what driving conditions are you doing, outside temperature /stop and go/hwy???

    using one type of viscosity can "burn off" where another wont. all this can be caused by several factors from 1-quality of oil, 2- to thin of an oil 3- wrong type of oil, 4- additive clash from a mix of different types of oils, and a few other things that can contribute to your problem. i personally don't agree that 1 qt to 1000 miles is acceptable. at least not in anything i would drive, unless... it has an actual oil leak. which brings me to one last point... if you are leaking, if i recall correctly i heard that isuzu doesn't want you to use a synthetic oil. certain full synthetics can case seal leaks.

    i will check back in this forum in the near future, but if you want to ask more or get a quicker response to the questions i asked for, you can reach me on my oil board forum at
    bob in jville florida, member STLE, lubrication specialist.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    At every 3000 miles it requires only 1 quart.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    But I do have 72,000 miles on my Ranger. It nevever drinks a drop of oil. If the dealership won't do anything I would take the thing to a trustworthy mechanic to see if there's a serious problem. Not saying there is, but I would have checked.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Drove with the owner of a 96 Caddy today, STS with the Northstar engine, his drinks 1 quart every 3000 as well and he has only 46,000 on the engine. Could very well be normal for some engines, key is if it gets any worse.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    3,000 miles on a quart?. This is well within engineering specs for any modern engine. I wouldn't even think about it if I were him. This is a non-issue to worry about unless you dont' open your hood for 9,000 miles.
  • avidcaravidcar Posts: 2
    Another Rodeo with a Oil consumption Problem. Welcome to the group. My 98 rodeo burns about 1-2 qt every 3000 miles. Per Manufacturer, 1 qt every 1000 miles is acceptable. If you get close to that, have Isuzu do an oil consumption test. You have to bring your car in every 500 miles and they check oil consumption and if you are over, time to take engine apart to find problem.
    A funny thing happen to me lately, I was burning close to 3/4 qt every 1000 miles and took it into dealer for Oil change & check Valve cover gasket. No leakage around gasket and to my surprise, the car started burning only 1qt every 3000 miles. It is like my car was healed, but dealer might of added some additives to my oil??? You call it.
    Like the Mr. Shift_right says, tests everything and take good documentation. I've got it down to a science on how much oil I am burning, from location on Dip stick.

    Dealer has also informed me that they had a 2001 vehicle that came in with only one quart after 3000 miles. They told me to add a quart the 1st 1000 miles and everything should be k. I think they should of told me to add a quart every 1000 miles and never change the oil because you will be adding New oil every time.

    Good luck & buy cheap oil.
  • ohioguyohioguy Posts: 2
    I have a 99 4wd LSE. Drinks about a quart of oil between changes. Maybe a quart and a half. I used to use ordinary oil, it gobbled that. I switched to synthetic (a buddy uses that in his vette), it still consumes. I know for a fact that the oil is not leaking from the Rodeo. Not a spot anywhere that it's been parked.

    Sounds like the best bet is to use an ordinary 10w30. No sense blowing money on synthetic that is going to get burned quicker.

    The wife has a 98 Ford Escort that uses no oil. The oil stays clear for about 2000 miles in that thing as well. Runs great on anything that you pour into it. Same with a 96 5.0 V8 Explorer that I used to own. Now that was an engine. We drove the Rodeo through some mountains a few months back. The engine couldn't pull the hills without downshifting. It was irritating. The Explorer had no issues over the same hills. It sure had a ton of other problems, though...
This discussion has been closed.