2011 GMC Terrain - Oil consumption


I’m sorry to reach out to a popular on the air talk show personality/trusted automotive mechanic, but I am sooo in a pinch!

I am a midwest mom of 2 kids in community college, a wife to my husband with degenerative discs in base of neck with epilepsy, who may have to have neuro/spinal surgery on his spine/compressed vertebrae, a caregiver to my father with cancer, & a graphic designer from Iowa who listens to Iowa Public Radio often!

Please help me, as I am also the consumer of a used, ‘bunk’ 2011 GMC Terrain, this past summer.

We didn’t realize or ‘discover’ the blatantly expensive, excessive oil consumption issue/potential eventual engine failure issue, until these 6-8 months later…

This was the first most ‘luxurious’ vehicle I’ve ever owned & I was so elated to find it. I had to convince my husband that with such a beautiful, clean, feature-filled, ONE owner, second hand car, we couldn’t go wrong…

But, how wrong I was. Now my husband insists on getting rid of it because of this major flaw, but…

  1. We can’t afford a different/used car either, plus the taxes.

  2. Then, what would we do with this one, take a loss?

  3. And, everything else is in excellent condition! The unwitting, initial owner took excellent care of this (failing) gem.

IF we had NOT gotten it ‘checked out’ at a GMC dealership before our ‘future making’ trek (check up, oil change, & a regular service maintenance that took a gouge out of our wallet), we may have broke down on the way to / in Tennessee, where we went in November to try & get my husband’s country music singing / songwriting career off!

While we were down there, we realized a ‘knocking sound’ in the engine & experienced a $300+ synthetic oil change (as there was barely any left) plus a transmission oil change at a Valvoline Quick Service in Nashville…The service of which we thought had been taken care of before we left…So now, we were left ‘questioning’, the dealership we took it too…

When we returned, we had our regular mechanic of our previous vehicles take a look. They found nothing distinctively wrong, from what I understand, this can be an evasive & ‘failure over time’ issue.

So, we continued to drive it, yet kept an eye on it as we now were concerned the ‘deal’ we got may have been too good to be true.

We proceeded to drive solely around town & the other day we experienced the very same dreaded ‘knocking’ sound.

We pulled into O’Reilly’s Automotive in SW Cedar Rapids & the nice gentlemen there assisted with helping to diagnose, check, & add more oil it needed, again!

Now it’s in the driveway, post driving home & following online research, & probably low on oil (as we didn’t want to ‘overfill’ it), and almost headed for the junkyard if my husband has his way, now out $11,000 by now! : (

You are who I am entrusting, please, to tell me what to do, if I can do anything, & possibly without breaking the bank (although we’re almost there).

I am sorry to ask for advice this far away, but I don’t know who to trust now for sure & as it is such an evasive problem with these vehicles.

Is there any hope, please?

Thank you & ever sincerely,

Michael & Jodie

sorry to hear about your problems. if you have the 2.4 engine you might want to check in to this. it was original only going to cover your vehicle for 7 years or 120k miles. but it might have changed. with this crazy used car market we are in now you can always sell it. people will buy vehicles now even if they have problems. used vehicles are in high demand right now and getting top dollar no matter the condition. best of luck.

Settlement Reached In GM Oil Burn Lawsuit | GM Authority

sorry I forgot the link. it is there now.

Yes, check the oil level daily and ad oil if low.

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It sounds like you are not checking the oil until you hear a knocking sound. Like @It_s-Me said, you need to be checking the oil frequently and adding it as needed, frequently enough that no more than a quart is needed to get back to the ‘full’ mark on the dipstick.

To help we need to know how many miles it takes to go through a quart of oil.

Also, you won’t hear from Ray here, it’s a forum for car enthusiasts, many with experience diagnosing and repairing cars.

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It sounds like this vehicle model/engine may have a known history of excess oil consumption. If so, do check with GM to see if they’re offering any “relief” for the problem.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t get rid of the car yet. As others have said, if you check the oil regularly yourself, before the engine starts knocking (gulp!), you can keep the oil topped off yourself. It just takes some discipline and a little effort.

Oil is a heck of a lot cheaper than a new engine, let alone a new vehicle.

I agree, but because this engine has been run so low on oil that it makes loud “expensive” noises–on more than one occasion–I fear that its days are numbered.

Yes, check with GM, oil consumption looks to be a common problem for the 2011:
2011 GMC Terrain Engine Problems | CarComplaints.com

I would recommend that this product be added to the engine oil.


I’ve used this product many times over the years in different vehicles that burned oil.

And if it didn’t stop the oil burning completely, it slowed it down quite a bit.


Your explanation isn’t clear. When you checked the oil regularly over these six to eight months, was the level staying the same or was it dropping each time?

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