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Chevrolet Impala heavy oil consumption

I just brought this car a month ago and had my first oil change as soon as i got the car. it has 74,000 miles on it and i noticed that it used a quart at about 3,300 miles.I do a lot of driving back and forth to work 100 miles round trip everyday Mon. to Friday all highway miles.does anyone else with the Impala with the 3800 engine experience any oil usage?


  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Hi Phillip,

    ...I had a 2002 Impala LS with the 3800 V6 just prior to my current '06 LT2 Impala. It had about 89,000 kms (55,600 miles ) when I turned in with absolutely no oil consumption problems at all..!! Sounds like the oil seals my be the culprit here. Sure hope it's not the rings..!!
    Let us know what you find out..
    Frank ;)
  • Someone told me to start with replacing the PCV valve. the last owner may not have replaced it at all.
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Hi again phillip...

    Ya' good point in other posting.. It could possibly be the PCV valve ....
    Lets hope it is as simple as this...!!!
    I have read that if the PCV valve is really clogged, the crankcase pressure forces vapors up through the breather element and oil residue is deposited in the air cleaner housing which eventually contaminates the air filter. Do you see any of this..?? Also, when both the PCV valve and air cleaner element become clogged/contaminated, the crankcase is no longer vented. This now causes the crankcase pressure to increase and results in oil leakage at various gasket surfaces. Do see any of this...??? Finally, a PCV valve that will not open and close properly could direcly affect the air/ fuel mixture and result in a rouger idle and/or hesitation. Do you have this..??
    Phillip , were you able to get any background/history of the previous owner's maintenance visits when you got the car. FYI, the PCV valve should have been changed approximatelty every 15,000 miles...

    Let us know how you make out...
    Frank ;)
  • No i didn't get the history of the last owner as far as maintaining the car. the only thing i got was that it was an older gentlemen who brought this impala brand new for 29,000 he saved the dealership sticker and put it in the owners Manuel. i was told this gentleman has brought several Chevy's new at this particular Chevy dealership.the sells person told me he traded it for the 2007 LTZ Impala.i took the car to a garaged around the corner from me and what i do know is the air filter is almost new the car had a trans. flush last Oct. the brakes and rotors look as if they have been recently replaced.the sells person who i dealt with told me normally they do not put a used car on there lot with this many miles on it (71,940) but because they knew the gentlemen who owned the car and he took care of it they resold the car as a used car. also i just was told by a body shop that the hood on the car was replaced and the right headlight. they said it looks as if no MAJOR damage was done and for me not to be to concerned about it. the auto body guy said he could tell buy the difference in color in the hood from the rest of the car.they told me they could color match the hood for 280.00 dollars repainted and buffed out. i will get this done in April. i didn't find anything in the car fax that the car was involved in a major accident. the body shop told me car fax doesn't mean anything the owner may have got the car fixed out of pocket and didn't get a accident report from police or report it to the insurance company. if this is the case car fax will not pick this up. i have noticed a little rough idle especially when i am at a light or i stop at a stop sign. Frank other than that the car runs and drives very good.
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242

    YOU should also check for obvious oil drips underneath, on the ground and blue-ish smoke out the tail pipe...
    All signs of oil loss.....
    Frank ;)
  • No blue smoke in fact no smoke at all but i did noticed when replacing the PCV valve this morning 3-25-07 on the passenger side of the corner of the intake manifold there is dried up oil around it. i have not looked under the car for obvious reasons (no jack stand or lift). in fact there are at lease two other areas that have dried up oil but i don't see any wet oil around the engine.what i will do this evening is clean the entire engine with window cleaner and armor all and drive it to see if these areas start to buildup oil again.
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242

    Let's hope that the replacement PCV valve does the trick here.....It doesn't sound like you have any major oil leaks
    externally i.e. engine and on the ground.. So at least, this is good !!

    Cross your fingers...and keep us posted on this one.
    Frank ;)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    A quart in 3300 miles would be considered normal consumption in many new cars let alone one with your mileage.
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Some oil consumption is considered normal on most cars these days...this we know.. Not all have it though, But 'ya, it's fairly normal...

    In my humble opinion, since the industry wide acceptance is around one quart /1000 miles, I personally think that one quart/3300 miles is slightly higher than I would like to see, even for a car with these miles (71,940) ....especially a CHEVY !!

    Frank ;)
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    Phillip, Check to make sure the oil filter is seated properly and not leaking around the gasket. If the filter gasket sticks to the block, and the new filter is installed, it will produce a leak--might be a little or a lot. I had an interesting experience with that when I was stationed in Turkey. I bought a beater Ford Cortina station wagon to drive back and forth to work. Motor--V6--had been recently rebuilt and it was four-speed standard, dual exhaust, bucket seats and got great gas mileage; pretty decent car even for a Ford, and a good price at $600, even in 1984. Only problem--previous owner said it used oil excessively. He was right--about two quarts per every tank of gas. I checked for leaks under the car--nothing dripping anywhere. I had someone follow me looking for tale-tell blue smoke--nothing, even though there were oil droplets over the rear of the car. Finally, one afternoon I was working on the car and had the engine running; backed away from the car and looked at it--drip, drip,drip, drip--steady stream coming from the oil filter. Since it was due an oil change, I took it to a shop and had it done, new filter, problem solved. Drove the car for 18 months without a problem.
    Hope you find the problem soon, and hope it's a simple solution.
  • lineman3lineman3 Posts: 12
    I am just going by the last couple of post. Can anyone show me where in writing that the industry standard is 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles? I am not trying to be rude, however that is ridiculous. And if a mechanic or dealer or publication says it, they are just as ridiculous. Motors 30 plus years ago didn't use that kind of oil. There is an inherent use of oil in all internal combustion engines. Can't be helped. However, with a properly working motor, it is minimal. MY 67 pontiac V8 doesn't use a quart every 1000 miles, it doesn't move the level every 3000 miles. I was until recently a master tech for Harley Davidson. None of the motors I built or saw from the factory used oil like that. In fact I would be diagnosing that motor if it did. Oil leaks, valve guides, valve seal, rings, pistons, hone cross hatch, PCV valve, improper ECM/PCM tuning ( too much gas washing down the cylinders of oil ) and the list goes on. Don't accept 1 quart every 1000 miles. In california they call that a gross polluter. Just some thoughts, I am not trying to be dissrespectful to anyone. And if you wish to except that kind of oil usage thats ok too. You just don't have to.

    Jeff :)
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Hey there Jeff... Sorry man... this seems to have got you a litte irritated..!! :mad:

    No your not being rude or disrespectful here...irritated yes, but that's have the freedom to voice your opinion..
    Ya, just go to your computer, type in i.e... auto or car oil consumption in Yahoo or Google and away you go...And wella... different reports, reporters, sites, talk about various experiences & use by car makes/models , by manufactures , and by yes industry standards etc in numerous places.
    Hey Jeff, I understand that you are quite passionate about this, but personally speaking, I don't want to get into a big emotional hurrrrang with you over this.. If you think it's ridiculous and unacceptable, fine, you can take-up the issues with those who are reporting and writing on it in various sites..ok !!
    The statement I read and reported on was that... " SOME OIL USE IS CONSIDERED NORMAL ON MOST NEW CARS THESE DAYS...NOT ALL THOUGH " etc. etc... The operative words being " MOST NEW" ...I glad to hear that your '67 V8 may not use anything near the so called reported standard oil consumption numbers.. Congratulations here..!!
    Personaly, I still think it is a little high at ! quart/1000 miles...Oh well..
    But you know, I'm OK...I use absolutely none, and I am very, very happy .!!!!!! Well, case closed here...
    Happy motoring....
    Frank ;)
  • I called three different Chevy dealerships on this oil usage and what they tell me is a engine using a quart of oil at 3300 miles is considered a good working engine with this many miles on it according to Chevy specs. they told me that if i took it in for service to see what the problem is there isn't much they can do because 1,000 miles a quart is NORMAL!!!!!. Thats crazy. i explained that my other car a 1995 impala SS with 160,000 miles on it and it uses no oil at all. they said some cars use oil and some don't
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    In my experience, minus cars with obvious oil burning or leaks, I've seen anywhere between 1/2 qt. to 1 qt. between oil changes (3,000 miles), often less.

    I have to agree with Jeff on the higher use being a polluter. It's too bad pollution laws aren't tougher and enforced.

  • I talked to at this date 10 different dealerships and they all told me the same thing which is CRAZY!! a quart every 1,000 miles is considered NORMAL GM specs. and my LS is in good working order as far as oil consumption.most of the dealerships recommend i start using the high mileage engine oil in my car. the question i have is this oil all hype.. and does it help with oil consumption?
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    From what they advertise with the high mileage oil, it has chemicals in it that help restore some of the elasticity of the seals and other components in older engines that tighten them up...and should/could help reduce oil consumption. They don't cost a whole lot more and I would give it a shot. I would monitor your oil consumption once you switch, give it a fair shot by adding more of the high mileage oil as it is consumed, and see if your consumption starts to drop off a bit. If it doesn't change at all, then the extra money isn't helping but you'll only be out a few bucks from the price of regular oil. If it does help, it will have been a cheap fix. ;)
  • lineman3lineman3 Posts: 12
    I want to first say that I was not trying to sound irritable, however, I do know that in print I sound that way :confuse: , you are not the first to say so :) . So hopefully you wont hold it against me as it is not intentional. As for the dealerships, of course they are all going to repeat the corporate company line, trust me they are told what to say, we were too, I just didn't do it. I agree, as I said, some oil consuption is normal and cannot be helped in an internal combustion engine. And no, I too will not get into an emotional arguement back and forth, and I surely hope you will accept my explaination of the way I sound in print seriously, however, I do like a fair discussion on the subject. By the way, my 99 chevy silverado also doesn't use oil between changes, it has 63K on it.

  • lineman3lineman3 Posts: 12
    I want to first say that I was not trying to sound irritable, however, I do know that in print I sound that way :confuse: , you are not the first to say so :) . So hopefully you wont hold it against me as it is not intentional. As for the dealerships, of course they are all going to repeat the corporate company line, trust me they are told what to say, we were too, I just didn't do it. I agree, as I said, some oil consuption is normal and cannot be helped in an internal combustion engine. And no, I too will not get into an emotional arguement back and forth, and I surely hope you will accept my explaination of the way I sound in print seriously, however, I do like a fair discussion on the subject. By the way, my 99 chevy silverado also doesn't use oil between changes, it has 63K on it.

  • I called the dealership today to get the history of the last owner who brought the car new there they tell me theres a PRIVACY ACT and they can't release that info. WHAT!!!! so if you buy a used car and you ask the dealership for the history of the car you can't get it but they want your money. i don't know if this is nation wide or just in the state of NJ.
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Hey Jeff..

    Nope...Not holding anything against you my friend....
    And, you know, I to like a fair discussion !! This is a great forum for this as you can well see...Great guys ( and Gals) here. :)

    Yep...Sure do accept your explanation and everthing is COOl..!! :shades:

    Frank ;)
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Ask the dealer to call the prior owner and to him to call

    YOU directly...then you can ask him all the important questions you want!!!

    Let us know how you make out..
    FRank ;)
  • mymittiesmymitties Posts: 242
    Hey Phillip
    My last message didnt quite come out they way I intended
    it to... So, let me try again.. Since they (dealer) won't divulge any information to you.. Ask your salesman if he would call the prior owner for you to see if he( prior owner) would be willing to talk to you directly about the car's history. If so, salesmen can give him YOUR phone number and WWWELLLLLA.

    Frank ;)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    FWIW, I'd be concerned about a quart in 1K, but not a quart in 3K. GM's official line, however, is that it's in the normal range. (insert anti-GM rant here)...

    I would look into high mileage oils, however.
  • chrisis30chrisis30 Posts: 20
    GM considers up to 1 qt. of oil too 2,000 miles accepptable (this is located in GM ASE software that the GM garage runs on) and if you go to your dealer they will put you on a oil usage chart (a print out paper that they write down your oil usage on a paper and figure it out. (this is the 3.8 engine not sure if other engines have differant allowances)
  • My 06 Impala SS currently has 40,000 km (24,000 mi) and has been using at least 1 litre of oil between oil changes since new. I usually have to add oil after about 2-3,000 miles. I added today with the oil "computer" showing 55% oil life remaining.

    I've been buying new GM vehicles since the early 70's and have never before had to add oil between changes....what's going on?
  • Just read your message on the '06 Impala SS oil consumption; I don't have it with me, but will send to you in the next day or so, but GM issued a TSN about two-months ago for the 5.3 Liter. Looks like for some '06 and '07 Impala SS's and some other GM models with this engine there's a nick in one of the valve trains (they have to replace the head and you can get it done under warranty).

    I have an '07 Impala SS (got in June '07) with almost 10K miles and no consumption so far, but I keep watching...
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    I have been noticing a higher than normal oil consumption as well. I wouldn't call mine terrible, but noticeable. Between my last oil changes, my car burned a little over a quart over 6,000 miles. I don't consider that to be a problem but I do consider it to be higher than normal since it didn't burn this much between previous oil changes. I had attributed it to an increase in stop and go traffic since commute route changed but I will be keeping a closer eye on it with this latest bit of info. Thanks for the input!
  • Hey larryo, quietpro, jamiho,
    I've got an 06 SS as well and have been having similar problems with the oil consumption. Have you guys done anything about it yet to resolve the minor problem. Is there a link to the TSB for the valve train problem.
  • Hello and the TSB number is 07-06-01-007; this was in my local newspaper back in July 2007 and the article goes on to read:

    "Several GM models with 5.3-liter engines may be plaged by excessive oil consumption (specifically lists '06 and '07 Impala's). The trouble may be caused by a nick in one of the valve stems. Replacing the cylinder head should seal things up. No mention of extra warranty coverage."

    I have about 12,400 miles on my '07 SS (bought in June '07) and so far haven't had any consumption issues ("knock on wood")!!
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Well, the car consumed just over a quart over the last 6,000 miles. How have the rest of you been faring lately? Any increase in oil consumption? 2,000 of these miles were highway so I'm pretty sure it's either getting worse or stop and go driving has nothing to do with it.
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