4.2 oil consumption

Vicompc

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
109
What is considered normal Oil consumption on a 4.2 I-6? I'm using a quart of oil every 1500 miles or so.
 

IslandRunner

Member
Dec 4, 2011
316
You have a major problem!!! I can go 5000 miles and not loose a whole qt. if any at all. Get to a mechanic soon..
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
GM would consider that oil consumption within their service guidelines (sarcasm) - if it is really burning it, so I see no need to bring it to a mechanic yet.

My 2002 Envoy goes through a qt every 5000 miles. I top off here and there, I use full synthetic and have since 2004 in my Envoy.

Have you ever seen the telltale blue smoke from the exhaust or smelled the burnt oil smell from your TB? I know I never have in my Envoy. What you need to rule out first is an oil leak. Take off each coil and look in the wells for oil. There might be a little, but if its deeper than an inch or so whats probably happening is some of that oil is leaking into the spark plug wells and burning off. Also, the rear of the valve cover is a very common place to leak.

Have you inspected the underside of your truck to look for the obvious signs of oil seepage or a leak? Do you do your own oil changes? Are you sure its getting 7 quarts to begin with?
 

IslandRunner

Member
Dec 4, 2011
316
Shocking if that is normal I would freak if I was 2qts low on a 3000 mile oil change, unless you bought the cheapo oil. I used the 15,000 mile oil before and went 10,000miles measured it when it drained and it still looked new and didn't lose a drop. I think it was Moble 1.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
I have the front main weeping a little and dont go through a quart between oil changes.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
What GM considers 'normal oil consumption' is ridiculous to begin with. But the OP really has to find the source of where all of this oil is going and I cant believe it would be burning all that oil.

I go through a quart about every 5000 miles myself. Didnt start doing that until about the 140,000 mark. In my case, my valve cover is leaky - both in the plug wells and the rear. Im sure that contributes to the problem, at least in my case.

1 quart in 1500 miles is very excessive to burn and you would know if you were burning that much. There would be blue exhaust smoke like a mutha funka. You'd smell it, no doubt. This truck has to be doing something else besides burning all that oil.....IMO
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
FWIW, Ive read 1qt in 2000 miles is considered "acceptable" by GM.
 

Vicompc

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
109
It's not burning it, there is no smoke out of the exhuast and you can't smell it. Also, have been checking under the truck and their are no apparent leaks. If it was leaking into the spark plugs wells wouldn't you notice it by the smell that it was leaking? BTW the truck only has 88000 miles on it.
 

Simon01

Member
Dec 5, 2011
116
MichEnvoyGuy said:
FWIW, Ive read 1qt in 2000 miles is considered "acceptable" by GM.

Yes, that is GM's current guidelines for excessive oil consumption for vehicles under the BTB warranty.
If there are no obvious external leaks, it's possible you have a head gasket leaking internally. What does your coolant look like? Nice and orange or sludgy?
 

coleman

Member
Dec 4, 2011
86
Interesting thread. I have the same issue. Coolant looks great, no smoke, no smell, spark plugs look great, no oil in the wells, no oil underneath the engine, everything nice and clean. I check the oil once every few weeks and top it off to be on the safe side and keep a gallon of oil in a milk crate in the back of the truck in case of emergency.
 

Vicompc

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
109
That's what is strange, the oil looks good, it's not a head gasket the oil looks normal. Really can't tell where it's going the truck runs great no rough idle, no smoke, and no oil in the driveway. Everything looks tight other than a quart around every 1500 needing to be added.
 

coleman

Member
Dec 4, 2011
86
Vicompc said:
That's what is strange, the oil looks good, it's not a head gasket the oil looks normal. Really can't tell where it's going the truck runs great no rough idle, no smoke, and no oil in the driveway. Everything looks tight other than a quart around every 1500 needing to be added.

I was beginning to think that this is an age thing. My truck's a 2002. Once before, I put Motor Honey in to see if it helped, but I never monitored close enough to see if it slowed the consumption. For the time being, I'm fine with checking my oil every few weeks and adding as necessary.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Im curious, to those with the issue - what exact kind of oil are you using; brand & viscosity?

I have 2 other vehicles, and I switched from Quaker State synthetic to Mobil 1 in the one car. It started burning (or somehow otherwise consuming) the Mobil 1 :mad: Once I changed brands, it went away.
 

Vicompc

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
109
I was running Shell 5W30 and thought that might be the problem. I changed to Penzoil high mileage 5W30 which seems to have slowed it down a little. I bought the truck with 67000 miles on it and did not know what type of oil was run in it before I bought it. Could this be the problem? Could the change in brands be causing the consumption?
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Vicompc said:
I was running Shell 5W30 and thought that might be the problem. I changed to Penzoil high mileage 5W30 which seems to have slowed it down a little. I bought the truck with 67000 miles on it and did not know what type of oil was run in it before I bought it. Could this be the problem? Could the change in brands be causing the consumption?

It could have had something to do with it, but if you were experiencing it before the switch (Have you been running shell for a long time?) then I doubt it was from the switch alone. Although, on BITOG forums, its common for members over there to experience higher oil burn when switching oils, and with certain oils in general.
A high mileage oil is supposed to have additives in it that stimulate expansion in seals and make the oil resistant to burning. If you are having better luck with the high mileage, stick with that.

FWIW, my co-worker has a Saturn S-Series, which are notorious for burning oil. Ive performed the maintenace on this vehicle since her warranty ran out ~2005. At first, we used Valvoline conventional for her OCI's. It would burn through 3 quarts between oil changes :crazy: (the car only had 50,000 miles on it!!). I switched her over to Mobil 5000 high mileage vehicle (conventional oil) and it just about all but halted the oil consumption. Now she adds about 3/4 quart between 5000 mile OCI's with the Mobil high mileage.
 

Vicompc

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
109
I'll try the mobile 5000, maybe that will help. I was thinking about switching to a synthetic oil, I'll go the Mobile route and see what happens.

Thanks
 

DocBrown

Member
Dec 8, 2011
501
Its very normal for engines to consume some oil as they age. The rings wear, the cylinders wear, etc. A little oil gets burned, not enough to smoke or cause rough running, but enough to slowly lose it. But 1 qt in 2k? I don't think any of my old small block V8s lost that much oil 30 years ago. and those old workhorses were known for losing oil. My TB has 135k on it and I don't think I'm losing more than a half quart in 5k miles. Engines are built soooo much better these days.
 

coleman

Member
Dec 4, 2011
86
MichEnvoyGuy said:
Im curious, to those with the issue - what exact kind of oil are you using; brand & viscosity?

I have 2 other vehicles, and I switched from Quaker State synthetic to Mobil 1 in the one car. It started burning (or somehow otherwise consuming) the Mobil 1 :mad: Once I changed brands, it went away.

I was running Shell 5W30, too. I got tired of keeping multiple quarts of oil in the back, so I switched to a gallon jug of cheap-o Advanced Auto 5W30. The burn slowed down quite a bit.

I'd be interested in hearing what oil others use who have 2002/3 models with no oil consumption issues. Or perhaps if you have over 150K miles on any year TB/E.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
coleman said:
I was running Shell 5W30, too. I got tired of keeping multiple quarts of oil in the back, so I switched to a gallon jug of cheap-o Advanced Auto 5W30. The burn slowed down quite a bit.

I'd be interested in hearing what oil others use who have 2002/3 models with no oil consumption issues. Or perhaps if you have over 150K miles on any year TB/E.

Well, I have a 2002 with 149,xxx miles. Like I said, my engine consumes about 1qt per 5000-6000 miles or so. I use Valvoline synpower and have for the last 3-4 years.

In my case, my valve cover leaks into the wells, and at the rear of the valve cover. That probably accounts for at least 1/2qt during my OCI, so with that being said I'd be surprised if my engine consumes any more than 1/2qt by burning it.
 

JCJARHEAD

Member
Dec 7, 2011
128
I thought I would share my experience as the year and mileage are similar to some posters. I have been using Mobil1 and/or Valvoline Full Synthetic ....and I have never noticed any oil consumption? I am at 114k so maybe it will start burning oil with more mileage? But to date.....both oils seems to work great with no burn off! At least so far.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
ONE time I lost nearly 2 quarts in 8000 miles. This was after my first oil change and switching it from whatever the previous owner had in it to mobil 1. Since then, I'm down a quart or so in 12,000 miles. This is on my 02 with 150k miles, running Mobil 1 truck & SUV.
 

n0kfb

Member
Dec 8, 2011
104
You can spend a lot of money chasing a marginal oil consumption issue, and have no real guarantee of fixing the problem... except to spend more money chasing another potential source of oil consumption.

Save your money. Check your oil every time you fill the gas tank, and add oil as required.

-- Dan Meyer :coffee:
 

Joe D 04

Member
Dec 5, 2011
26
:undecided: I have an idea...

take off the air resonator (or what ever that black box is called above the motor) and see if there is oil in there. I saw a you tube video where one trailblazer had a ton in there, to the point to where the throttle body had a puddle of oil sitting in it. Mine has always been dry when taking it off and I'm at 165,000

Not too sure on how to fix this problem, but at least its a place to look for all that missing oil.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I have an 06 with about 95k on it. I've run synthetic since it was at 15k miles.
I ran mobile1 for a good bit of the time but usually now run whatever synthetic is on sale that isn't Quaker state.
I change my oil every 7500 miles and have never had to add any oil. It is always full when I check it.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Well, chances are if it's not leaking, it's getting burned....has to go somewhere. The cat will burn up small amounts of oil and you won't see the blue smoke. I was losing about a quart every 5-6K and realized my cam actuator solenoid was leaking and dripping down on the exhaust manifold. I have practically no leaks, and I lose about 1/2 qt every 6-7K with 161K miles.

Put the trans in 1st, run it up to about 35-40 MPH and let it coast down to about 2K RPM,s...then hit the gas again. If it's pulling oil past the valve guides this is where it will or may show up as the blue puff from the tailpipe...if the cat doesn't burn it up first but you may see it if it's excessive.

Worn rings puff smoke all the time but since you're not seeing blue smoke I doubt it's the rings.
 

JerryIrons

Member
Dec 20, 2011
434
My tb has 135,000 miles on it, and has eaten a quart about every 4000 miles for a long time. I think it is a combination of burning a little, minor leaks here and there but not enough to puddle the driveway. I used dino oil, and changed every 3000 miles so it wasn't a problem. When I switched to synthetic, though and started going longer between oil changes it started getting expensive topping off! So I am back to napa oil every 3000 miles just like the old days. It keeps me pretty regular because I know if I don't change it I have to add oil...

-Jerry
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wouldn't it be cheaper and less time, to add a quart of synthetic at 4k miles, compared to paying for 7 quarts of dino and a new filter plus the time for an extra oil change? :confused:
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
WalMart used to sell full syn maxlife.. Im going to check if they still do. I use synpower anyways, so why not have the seal conditioners in it to boot.
 

JerryIrons

Member
Dec 20, 2011
434
When I switched to synthetic it started consuming even more oil. It got to the point where I felt like I had to always check the oil and became a pain. So I switched back to dino oil and it uses less. I ran the numbers and yes it costs more money this way, but not by much. I don't mind working on a quick oil change because it gives me a chance to look over the suspension, check for leaks etc. Maybe other people want to work on a vehicle as little as possible, but a little TLC goes a long way. Just my 2 cents and to each his own.
 

revamp

Member
Dec 22, 2011
223
Mansfield, TX
I am due for my first oil change since my valve gasket change and oil level sensor change, which was also leaking. The levels seemed fine for quite a while since but just the other day I had to put a quart and a half in. I use Mobile 1 high mileage, but I also realized its been about 11k miles since the last oil change.

So, now I have to keep an eye on things to make sure the leak I just natural burn and not something else, like even a loose file filter or something.
 

IHZ05VOY

Member
Dec 8, 2011
73
You do want some oil to consume, but not leak. half a quart is ok every 5000. I was picking my mechanics brain and he said its normal for oil to consume. M1
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Ive driven 2000+ miles since my last oil change. I run synthetic and have since 2004.

I was going through 2-3-4quarts every 7000 miles :eek:
Since I changed my valve cover gaskets, I havent gone through ANY oil in 2200 miles. MUCH MUCH better than before.

My valve cover was leaking at the rear by the firewall, and also into the spark plug wells. It wasnt leaking enough to leave drips but Im guessing it was leaking a good amount because I was starting to go through a lot of oil.

Valve cover gasket = $20. Not having to add any oil to my 156,000 mile Envoy in 2200 miles = priceless :biggrin:
 

n0kfb

Member
Dec 8, 2011
104
MichEnvoyGuy said:
>snip<

Valve cover gasket = $20. Not having to add any oil to my 156,000 mile Envoy in 2200 miles = priceless :biggrin:

How much time did you spend replacing that gasket?

-- Dan Meyer :coffee:
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
n0kfb said:
How much time did you spend replacing that gasket?

-- Dan Meyer :coffee:

Dan, let me say this - I was prepared for the worst. I had never cracked open the top of my engine. It was time. Dont be afraid young grasshopper :biggrin:

I came home from work on a Fri night, pulled into the garage and gave it about 30 mins to cool down. Then I started disassembly.

First I removed the intake box and hoses. Then the throttle body. Then the serpentine belt & alternator. Next was the PCM. After that, the intake manifold itself. Finally I was able to remove the valve cover.

My plan was to tackle the rest of it on Saturday (Thats when I was replacing the exhaust camshaft driven VVT sprocket so I wanted to break the job up into 2 days so I would have 100% focus).

However, I was very surprised when I came inside to see that it a few minutes after 8:00pm!! I had started ~6:00.

So if I were to do it all again, I would do it the same so I didnt get fatigued. Remove everything 2 hours, I could probably do it in 1.5 hours next time. Ill tell you what helped. I researched this gig extensively before I tackled it - I was well aware of the intake bolts being a PITA so I went and bought new swivel sockets and extensions. Ive also removed my alternator at least 6 times over the past 8 years..lol, as well as the throttle body, etc. Removing the intake bolts was the easiest part of the job for me! It helped going into this job armed with the knowledge and past experience.

Putting it all back together, everything went back together easier than it came apart (strange, I know, I kept thinking "somethings going to go wrong, this is too easy") so I'd say all in all 3-3.5 hours next time I did it. A far cry from the vehicles Ive owned in the past where replacing a valve cover gasket was a 30 minute job TOPS but all in all, I saved a buttload of money and was stoked to see the inside of my engine :thumbsup:
 

'03EXT

Member
Dec 4, 2011
34
I have 135,000 on my 03 and I am starting to notice consumption at oil change time, been using castrol gtx from day one and at or about 100, 000 I began noticing my drain pan with less used oil in it, average oil change is 6,000 miles and I am short about a qt and 1/2............. so I guess I am within guidelines, so not to worry, I will just start checking the dipstick and adding as necessary .........on a side note, when i got the truck back in 02, I used to pickup oil for under $8 a gallon (or 5 qt, dont remember if they sold 5qt containers then) at walmart, the cheapest I have gotten it recently is $16 (5qt)............thats a double in 10 years, too bad my income hasnt doubled in that period:mad:
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Check out your PCV system, alot of consumption issues are attributed to that... In fact my fathers (POS) Ford was using a quart every 1500 miles and it only had 55k on the clock. PCV valve was bad and sucking oil out of the crankcase... Figured I would throw that on the table with a FLOP for anyone that has that problem... haha Good luck
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
McGMT said:
Check out your PCV system, alot of consumption issues are attributed to that... In fact my fathers (POS) Ford was using a quart every 1500 miles and it only had 55k on the clock. PCV valve was bad and sucking oil out of the crankcase... Figured I would throw that on the table with a FLOP for anyone that has that problem... haha Good luck

The 4.2 doesnt have a pcv valve.....
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
HARDTRAILZ said:
The 4.2 doesnt have a pcv valve.....

Your right, It just has that open vent hole in the top of the valve cover... Must not pull much vacuum on that line to not need a valve to slow it down... My bad, thanks for the smack to the head, I feel better now... lol
 

vcarlos40

Member
Apr 5, 2013
16
Dear all,

Old thread, I know...

My 02 TB uses up about 2 quarts of oil between oil changes (6k mikes). No blue smoke, but did find oil in the resonator.

Do I need a new head gasket or rings?

Would this be considered blowby?

I also noted that if I remove the fill cap when the engine is still warm I can see smoke come out of there.

:worried:

Thoughts will be appreciated.

By the way only 82K miles on it.
 

JerryIrons

Member
Dec 20, 2011
434
I have an 06, with 187,000 miles on it, and mine has been eating oil for years. It's either eating it, or leaking it, and if you aren't getting oil spots on your driveway, or smoke from exhaust, you are probably just going to have to live with it without a lot of time and money being spent. GM's "allowed" oil consumption rate is something crazy like 1 quart per 2000 miles!

I have the smoke thing happen as well, I think it's normal. Ever put oil in a frying pan and see it smoke when hot? Unless, it's coming out under pressure, that would indicate a problem though.

You can try switching oil brands, also they do make a "high consumption" kind that may help, I may try that myself.

Or, you can just check your oil on a regular basis and throw a quart in from time to time. Mine has always been a little random, I suspect that certain styles of driving burn more oil up.
 

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