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Chevrolet Impala heavy oil consumption



  • Not bad so far (knock on wood) and just checked my oil today (2,000 miles from my last oil change; 14,500 miles on 07 SS) and don't need to add any oil on a mix of highway and city driving. Have you gone back to the dealer and told them about TSB 07-06-01-007 and the "nick in one of the valve stems?" Just curious...
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    No, I haven't brought up the TSB yet. I want to make sure my oil consumption is worse than average. I hate nothing more than being told my car is fine by some jackass behind the counter. All I KNOW at this point is my car is using more oil than any other car I've owned (except my first one that left a small cloud at every stop). I was hoping more SS owners would chime in here.

    For you and all other 06+ SS readers, how much oil are you consuming? Please state how many quarts/liters per thousands of miles/KMs. Of course, you Canadians out there could help us Americans by converting back to Imperial standards. :) Those who say they don't have a problem, is that no noticeable oil between changes or just not enough to require adding oil? Thanks, folks!
  • My 2c, Ron: I am relying on the oil life monitor to determine when to change oil. My current driving profile results in an interval of about 9,000 miles. During that interval, I need to add 1 quart which I think is quite reasonable.
  • Surprised more SS owners are chiming-in, but looks like this TSB effects the Avalanch, Silverado, GMC Envoy, Sierra, Saab 9-7X, Grand Prix, Suburban, Tahoe, and other models with the 5.3 liter; I'll bet there's some oil consumption messages on those boards...
  • wesleygwesleyg Posts: 164
    I have an 06 SS with 17K on it now, bought it new and always check my oil level regularly. Since new the car uses about one half to three quarters of a quart every 2 thousand miles. I change the oil at about 3800 miles so that is all I add before the next change.

    I had an 04 Impala LS before this with the 3.8 and surprisingly it also used just about the exact same amount of oil in 2 thousand miles. I dont beat on any car but I do drive it briskly. I really find no problem in this amount of consumption. But if I had to add about a quart in one thousand miles this I would be unhappy with.
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    I know there has been talk of whether it is okay to wait until the oil life indicator said the oil needed to be changed, or go with the ancient standard of every 3K. I've read different views, but both dealership that I have gone to tell me every 3K. At my 3K mark the indicator said I had over 50% of oil life left. So I decided to call the service line. My question to them was, if the owner's manual says the oil change is due according to the oil indicator unless it was reset for some reason, why do dealerships tell you it has to be every 3K miles?

    After putting me on hold for about 5 minutes to find the answer, I was told. . . Waiting until the oil life indicator says it needs a change won't hurt your engine or void your warranty and you can do that, but they trusted their dealer service departments and if they said every 3K, that's what it needed to be. Also, it is really better to change it every 3K because the oil starts to break down and it is really better for your engine to do so. :confuse: So if it won't hurt my engine to wait, but after 3K the oil breaks down and could hurt my engine . . :confuse: . .Am I the only one that sees the contradiction in this?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Your dealer wants you to change your oil (at the dealership) every 3,000 miles so they can make twice as much money as they would if you changed it per the oil life indicator.

    FWIW on my 2000 Impala I struggled with this decision, and finally opted to change my oil myself when the monitor told me to and switch to synthetic oil (Mobil-1 in this case). Doing it myself with synthetic costs about what paying someone to do it twice with regular oil would, but I changed it less often (less hassle) and I was comfortable running synthetic for 6k miles. Sold the car last month with over 100k miles on it, added 1/2-qt of oil outside of oil changes over the life of the car, and it was running great when I sold it. I plan to do the same thing with my current vehicle (Jeep) which says in the manual to change oil per the monitor, or every 6 months/6000 miles. I think oils are much better now than they were (as are engines), so I'd be inclined to go by the monitor and not worry too much about it.
  • May I refer you to this link title

    The article and the follow up comments make interesting reading

    I had the first oil change on my SS done at 3k - the subsequent changes are done when the system says so.
  • Why do they let this ride? I hope they fixed this problem. My Chevy impala started burning oil over the last 4 oii changes. 1.5 quarts of oil at last change @ 81,430. I know all engines can suffer from this especial with high wear (beating on it), mileage, not warming up on cold starts 32or less, improper oil change intervals. but i can say none of these reasons are possible. i have taken care of this old lady at the age of 3 yrs old! burning oil is alright for the environment we live in and the air that are kids breath? Not in a opinion of an engineer or an environmentalist. I would hope that chevy perfected the 4 stroke gasoline engine that they have been making for long f in time you know? If they want to go that way why not bring back the 2-stroke? I believe this is quality issue. material specifications, clearance specifications, engineering error, craftsmanship of worker, or cooperate idea to score more future repairs then realised its happening way sooner than they thought? oopps!! were's the government in this? o yeah they don't drive American cars at home they are so loaded anyway what's engine in there kids new car? 5000 bucks o i'm just going to have buy you that BMW u wanted for Christmas. Mass producing cars in not quite the way to go with lossy materials and designs and poor craftsmanship. Why not make something that Europeans would want to buy at mid range over say BMW 325 or Mercedes C class. And yes that mean's interior and electrical/computer Quality too!

    i hope some reads this Cmartin
  • rysterryster Posts: 565
    This isn't just an issue with Chevy/GM. Take a look at Edmunds' long-term road test blog. They are frequently adding oil to their cars, including their BMWs.

    Several years ago I had a new '99 VW New Beetle. The 2.0L 4-cylinder in that car loved to consume oil. At least a quart every 3,000 miles. There was even a note in the owners manual to check the oil level at every fuel fill-up. I kind of laughed at that initially, but then quickly realized it was a necessity with that car.

    I currently have a 2006 Impala, purchased new and now just shy of 48,000 miles. The oil consumption in the 3.5L V6 in mine varies with the kind of oil I am using. For the first 45,000 miles I used conventional oil every 3-4K miles. I would lose and add oil between changes. Last change I switched to full-synthetic Castrol Edge 5W30 as I am going to extend my oil changes and go by the OLM. I checked the oil level a couple of days ago, and with over 2,000 miles on the synthetic there has been no drop in oil level.

    Now that I am going to be going ~8,000 miles between oil changes (that is the pace the OLM has me on based on the monthly OnStar reports), I will check it every 1,000 miles or so to make sure the level stays safe. There have been similar stories of owners who switch to full-synthetic and stop losing oil.

    My previous vehicle, a 2003 Dodge Durango 4.7L V8, also lost about a quart of oil between changes.

    It just seems normal to me.
  • My 2006 Impala SS purchased new by me started burning 3-4 quarts of oil between 6,000 mile oil changes as typically indicated by the cars computer before it even reached the 36,000 warranty expiration. Dealer has replaced the valve covers under warranty stating that a service bulletin stated the PCV valves which are built into the valve covers were allowing too much air flow in the engine and that the engine was pulling oil back in through the air intake. mechanic stated that this looked logical upon replacement of the valve covers due to the sludge he observed where the PCV valve feeds back into the air intake. Having now driven another 6,000 - 7,000 miles since the valve covers were replaced, total mileage now 46,000, the oil consumption has not improved. I will report the TSB reported in you previous posts relating to the nick in the valve guides and head replacement to see what the dealer tells me. Is there any new information you can provide me with, as the post I am replying to here is over 2 years old?

  • My 2006 Impala is using all the oil in the car at about 2.500 miles. No message stating the oil is low or to add oil. It just runs out.
    The local garage says they want to monitor the usage but I feel they are not telling the truth. If your message board is any indication of all the problems, then shouldn't Chev have a better answer by now? I drive my car about 100 miles a month (think little old lady) and only have 35,000 miles on it. I am told it is my driving or lack of driving which causes the problem. Don't believe it but I need more information.
  • I have a 2001 with 35451 mile on it with 3.8 Ido not use any oil. I use Mobil 1 5-30.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    An oil consumption is the first test the dealer would need to do. Please keep me updated on your progress.
    GM Customer Service
  • Through constant checking on the oil levels, I have determined that the problem exists when I take the car on a trip which is longer than one hour at freeway speeds. The dealer is still tracking the usage but that is all. Since most of my driving is local, it took a while to locate the problem. It is not what I expected of a Chev.
    Thank you for your interest in my problem.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Please keep us posted on any information from the dealership.

    Thank you and have a great weekend!
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • greyscotgreyscot Posts: 1
    I have an 06 ss with 41,000 on it now it has been driven mainly in town with occasional trips with no oil usage but now my wife started driving 45 miles each way 5 day's a week and it has started using oil like crazy,1.5 quarts in 3000 miles.I am taking to the dealer now this should come under the powertrain warranty?
  • That sounds identical to my problem. As long as we drive in town, there is no oil usage but on infrequent road trips, it will use one quart or more. The dealer has me driving an additional 2,000 miles and is checking the mileage and usage. He says he will then send a report to Chev. I am hearing things like a possible ring job but I don't know what that is. Although I have explained that the problem only appears on trips with highway speeds, they don't seem to get it. How can driving another 1,000 miles in our small town give them any more information. Good luck to you. Please keep me informed if you can. I would certainly appreciate it.
  • After checking the mileage every 1,000 miles for 5,000 miles, the dealer got the ok to do something. They said they found the seals were not tight on the intake and they are doing something about that today. Hope this is the end of the problem.
  • I have a 2006 Impala LS with the 3.5 V6 with 115000 miles on it. it doesnt burn or leak oil, BUT for some reason i use 3-4 quarts every 2000 miles. i was going to replace the pcv valve but its not equipped with one!! any ideas PLEASE!!! i went on a 400 mile trip this past weekend and used 2 quarts of oil .
  • I have the same car and had the same problem. The dealer just got the ok from GM to replace the intake valve and all the other seals around it at no cost to me as they determined that was the problem. My car has only 45,000 miles and didn't have such severe usage as you have but what they found was the usage increased the closer I got to the 3,000 miles without changing the oil. I was told the problem is fixed but will be watching it closely.
  • I have a 2008 50 Aniversary Impala that has the same problem I read about here. I noticed on long trips, I was using a great deal more oil than in city driving, once running nearly dry. My dealer now has me on the familair consumption test, but has already documented the heavy usage each time I return from a trip. I have even taken it to Chevy dealers in the distant city and document that they added a quart after a 350 mile trip. When asked, the dealer tells me they have never seen this problem in an Impala! From this message stream, I guess I'm not hearing the truth from them.
  • After I completed the consumption test, the dealer sent the information to Chev. The dealer replaced all the seals and gaskets stating that the cause was "leaking valve guilde seals. This work took several days but as they had given me a 2012 Chev to drive, it was not a problem for me.
    I also noticed that the consumption seemed to increase as I was getting nearer to the time for the oil change.
    One other item is that I kept the dealership informed about this website and my responses about their service.
    Good luck to you.
  • I'm still enduring the consumption test. Just was in for the scheduled oil change and continued to discuss this issue with the Dealer. They are still maintaining the company (GM) line that... "expected oil usage for this car is 1 quart every 2,000 miles". I find that totally unexceptable. I also shared the information from these postings, and he just shrugged off information from "blogs" or non-GM websites. I've also advised the dealer that it seems my lifelong loyalty toward GM might be at an end. And now I have to make another hi way trip where I'll be nearly out of oil by the time I reach my destination (350 miles) like the 3 trips before. Getting to know the GM dealers that as much as this one at home! This just doesn't sound like the image GM keeps trying to convince us they are. Pretty sad...
  • I also owned an 2006 Impala SS that consumed far to much oil. My gut feeling says the root cause is caused by the displacement on demand. Like everyone else, oil consumption was far heaver on the highway compared to city driving.

    While driving to Chicago from Indiana I notice an issue when the engine went from 4 cylinders to 8. I could only replicate this problem If I drove 65-70mph on 4 cylinders anywhere from 5-8 miles without engaging all eight cylinders. After the extended 4 cylinder mode driving I would gently press the gas to engage all 8 cylinders and a plum of smoke would exit the exhaust. I am not talking about a small amount of smoke either, It was a significant amount.

    The challenge is to keep your car from engaging all 8 cylinders for an extend period of time. A neighbor who owns a 2007 was able to replicate the exact same problem Has anyone also notice this problem?
  • The latest in this never-ending story is that the dealer added some dye to the oil, then after 500 miles, scoped the engine and under carriage with a black light. I'm still waiting to hear the results but this was supposed to prove the oil wasn't leaking somewhere. A total of 3 different GM dealers have checked every inch of the vehicle and could not find any leak. But anything they want to do to prove the problem is consumption rather than leaking, I'll endure. I just want the problem addressed and fixed. But they still seem extremely reluctant to admit any problem. There was even a factory letter GM published about the 8 cylinder Impala. Same problem but the letter doesn't address my 6-cyl Impala. I'll share the info the dealer offers me (if any); it looks like I'll have to call them because they haven't called me like they promised, and its been over a week. Customer service - what a crock.
  • After 5 - 6 months of the oil consumption test, and the dye, I had the "check engine" light come on, with a traction warning (while driving in a snow storm) so I had them look at that while doing the next oil consumption check. Several things were "discovered" -
    Steering Fluid gear leaking - replaced
    Tie Rod Ends loose - replaced
    Small Leak from Intake Gasket - replaced gasket
    Front Crank Seal leaking - replaced seal
    Trans Fluid leak - replaced trans line fitting

    Gasket replacement covered by factory warranty
    All else covered by extended warranty

    We will see if this solves the problems. I'll take it back in 500 miles for another oil consumption check. Does seem to be a lot of "problems" in a car only 4 years old and 51,000 miles! My trust in this car has been severely compromised. I see a trade in near future!
  • We have a 2006 Impala SS, we bought it new and it it using 1 qt every 1000 miles, told the dealer and there answer was it is acceptable to Chevy to use this amount of oil in this engine, GM wil do nothing about it, but I have owned Chevy all my life and am serously thinking about buying Kia or ford, I have been told that the oil is getting burned up in the catalytic converters and this is why you dont see the smoke , and there are no leaks anywhere, If someone has an answer as to how to remedy this with GM or what to do, I would really appreciate it,
  • My 2008 had the same problem (see earlier posts). Finally they agreed to replace gaskets where they claimed they found "small" oil leaks - this after 6 months of an oil consumption test. I don't have the invoice handy now to identify exactly what they did but I mentioned all the work done in an earlier post within the past week. If you can't find the post, let me know and I can reply again with more info. Dealer had told me the same thing - the GM line is that a quart per 1000 miles was "acceptable". I raised the roof because that wasn't acceptable to me at all. I have to believe they found it when they added a dye to the oil when they changed it once (part of the consumption test) then scoped it with a black light after 500 miles or something like that. It took another problem for them to fix both the oil issue and the other issue that came up - the gasket replacement was covered by factory warranty, and the rest by an extended warranty. Good luck ... I know what a hassle you are experiencing.
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