2005 Chevrolet Avalanche oil consumption

Why high oil consumption occurring 5.3 liter engine? Engine seems to be running fine, no smoke or oil leaks but oil level down 2 or 3 quarts at 5K mile oil change. Dealer recommends tearing engine down and possibe $8K fix.

That rate of consumption is alarming, but I am equally alarmed that the dipstick is apparently not being checked between oil changes. I would suggest that you get into the habit of checking the dipstick once a week until you can figure out the exact rate of consumption per… let’s say… every 500 miles.

My car rarely if ever needs oil between oil changes, but I add oil if I see that the level on the dipstick has dropped by 1/4 qt.

How many miles on your Av? My '04 has 131,000 and uses maybe a quart every 6000 miles. It has been pointed out to me that later Avalanches have had issues with oil consumption. Not sure why yours is so high without some diagnostic work.

I am not sure I’d spend $8K on a 13 year old truck for a new engine - and that surely must be the high price here. Plus it is at the dealer.

Take it to an independent mechanic and check on the price for a remanufactured engine. A remanufactured long block can be had for $2000 and installation should run less than $1500, I’d guess.

That means you only have about 1/2 as much as you should have in the engine . Start checking the level every week ( just pick a day to do that before starting engine ) .

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You’re killing your engine by letting the level get that low. I strongly suggest that you start maintaining it properly.

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Why tear down or fix anything? By your figures, if you drive 15,000 miles a year, you would use 9 quarts of oil outside of regular oil changes. At $5.00/quart, that’s $45 a year. That’s not much money to spend on a 13 year old car.

Check the oil once a month and add as needed. It takes 5 minutes.


That simple act will also ensure that enough oil is in the engine to effectively wash the heat from the cylinders and to offset the inevitable contamination/dilution from blowby and other engine byproducts. The engine will be healthier longer.

I personally check more often than that, and I add to bring the level up to the FULL mark when the level gets down about 1/4 quart. It costs not a penny more to add oil in small amounts often as it does to add a quart when it’s down a quart. How much does it actually help? I really don’t know, but I believe in it. And I’ve never worn an engine out, even after hundreds of thousands of miles, so it probably does help.

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It sounds like the dealer is wanting to tear into the engine on a fishing expedition. No need for that.

Run a dry and wet compression test. That is a reasonably certain way of determining whether or not a piston ring issue exists.

Not checking your engine oil level and running it chronically low on motor oil is one way of breaking the oil down and causing engine damage which leads to oil consumption.
As with the vast majority of cases, they are self-inflicted.

VDCdriver has the right policy. Never allow the motor oil to get more than 1/4 quart down.

This is my girl friend’s Avalanche 80 miles away so I can only encourage her to check oil level. I will see her in 2 days to check it and let you know. We want to estimate the miles/quart usage. We are still not convinced the dealer didn’t short her on oil. And, fortunately, a 2005 doesn’t have AFM (Active Fuel Management) which has issues. All comments made were were very helpful and prudent. Yes, If it were my truck, I would ck daily. I exclusively change oil/filter on my own vehicles w Mobil 1 or Castrol myself so I know it is done right. And yes oil is cheap compared to a dealer blowing $5-8K on part/labor. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know Friday the oil usage rate. Thank you!