2012 Chevy Equinox oil consumption

I bought a 2012 certified preowned Chevy Equinox with 50,000 miles. After I drove it for 3,000 miles I had to take it to the dealer due to an engine noise which turned out to be a low oil level. They changed the oil and then told me that it’s normal for these engines to burn a lot of oil. I drove it for 2,000 miles after the oil change and the oil level was low again. I took it back to the dealer and they topped off the oil and told me to come back after 1000 miles for an oil consumption test.
I don’t know much about cars but burning through that much oil does not seem normal to me.
My question is, how can I make the dealer take responsibility for this car oil issues while it is still under warranty?
Is it normal for these engines to consume high amounts of oil and for me to keep replacing about 3 quarts every 3,000 miles?

Most dealers will consider one quart every 1000 miles to be “normal” consumption and will not offer any assistance with any repairs.

Odds are the problem was created by the previous owner and it’s due to an extended oil change regimen; either by keeping track of it personally or by the use of the dashboard Oil Life Monitor.

That cokes the engine oil which in turn causes the oil control rings on the pistons to seize which then causes oil consumption and a low oil level which in turn makes the oil run hotter and will cause the oil to coke easier which causes the engine to eat more oil…
See where this vicious cycle is going?

Many car makers claim that a quart per 1000 miles is normal. My personal opinion is that it’s a sign of a problem.
The reason why car makers won’t admit fault is simple; the cost to them to replace or repair engines under warranty would run into the countless billions of dollars. They have a vested interest in putting a smiley face on the situation.

You will probably be in for a fight getting them to do anything about this though. I will just add that “Certified” is often nothing more than a sales gimmick much like “Carfax” and no matter what; you cannot continue to run the engine oil level down low. Eventually this will become a catastrophic problem although a catastrophic bang could possibly lead to a new engine…

I agree with @ok4450‌

While 1qt/1000 miles may be “technically” acceptable, most mechanics would consider it to be on the high side

I’d add that you need to learn to routinely check and top off your own oil, especially since you buy your cars used. Those noises that you heard after having driven the car 3000 miles were the engine’s internals beating one another up due to lack of oil. Regardless of the discussion of how much oil usage is normal, this engine will never survive if you continue to never check the oil level. Directions for doing so are in your owner’s manual.

While most consider a quart every 1000 miles high, manufacturers consider it acceptable. If you keep the oil level above the “fill” line on the dipstick, the engine will probably give you many more miles. If you do not, it will not.

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So, after a year’s worth of emails (not exaggerating!) here is the last one:

Hello David,

I apologize for the delay in my response. I had the opportunity to speak with the representatives at your dealership and they were able to provide some additional details on this situation. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any cost assistance for these repairs. Please understand that multiple factors are taken into consideration when offering cost assistance, which includes, but is not limited to, the age and mileage of your vehicle. Additionally, since you purchased your vehicle used, it is hard to determine the condition of the vehicle prior to your ownership. I understand that this was not the outcome you were seeking and truly apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused. If you are interested in proceeding with repairs, please let us know as we’d be happy to contact (the Dealer) to schedule a service visit.

_In order to continuously improve our service, I’d like to invite you to take a short 6-7 question survey. To complete the survey, click the link below. Thank you for your time. _


Alex H.
Chevrolet Customer Care

It seems that since I bought my 2012 Equinox USED (but not Certified), then they will not do anything to fix the issue!
I’ve asked the Customer Care rep to escalate the issue to his supervisor (but we all know how THAT will turn out!) since there are so many online threads regarding the oil consumption issue with the Equinox. Seems that GM has no desire to do a recall for this issue and the dealer I took my vehicle to gave me an estimate of $3500 to replace my pistons and rings. Needless to say, I’m not going to go through with the repairs on a vehicle only worth $8000 at the moment.

I can honestly say that I will never purchase another GM vehicle ever again. EVER!

I assume you are not the same person who started this thread 2 years ago. That said it is most likely you bought a used vehicle and many of those are " AS IS " with maybe a worthless 30 day warranty. I can’t fault General Motors because you are not the original owner. Get an estimate from an independent shop or just keep the oil level under control. You did not state how much it uses. As for not buying GM again that is your choice to make but any used vehicle by any manufacture can have problems…

No, I’m not the one who started the thread. I found this one when searching for the oil consumption issue that I’m experiencing. While I did buy the vehicle used, the manufacturer is certainly not off the hook for widespread, known issues on the products they sell. That being said, in this instance, they are responsible for repairing that issue regardless of the “state of purchase” by the current owner.

Shame on GM.

Does the condition of your engine warrant the need for repair? What were the results of your oil consumption test?

So it was 3 years old when you started this process with the dealership? How many miles did it have at that time? Was it still within the age/mileage requirements for the factory warranty?

Is this a four cylinder or six cylinder engine?

@Nevada_545 The engine is fine other than the oil consumption issue so to answer your question, yes, it’s fine.
The results of the oil consumption test came back positive (there IS an oil consumption issue and the finding is that it is due to the pistons/piston rings).

@TwinTurbo Yes, the engine was only 3 years old!! The current mileage is 125000. No, the factory warranty ended after 36000 miles.

@MY_2_CENTS This is a 4 cylinder engine.

OK everybody, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the 2.4 four cylinder actually a Kia engine with direct injection ?

No they are not, actually.
If the previous owner abused the vehicle by (pick one or more)…
…Allowing the oil level to drop dangerously low…
…Using the wrong grade of oil…
…not changing the oil in accordance with the mfr’s maintenance schedule…
…then the warranty on the engine is null and void, and the manufacturer bears no responsibility.

Unfortunately, when buying a used car, you have no way of knowing exactly how the previous owner(s) might have abused the vehicle.

If I read one post correctly this vehicle was out of warranty when they bought it used. Either keep the oil level under control, have it repaired or trade it off. GM is out of the picture now.

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Quick check to weed out oil guzzlers: check the tail pipe.
If the inside is heavily sooted and/or oily, walk away.

It’s a frustrating situation, but put things in perspective; after all, there’s a simple work-a-round: Pour in a quart of oil every 1000 miles. What’s that gonna cost, typical car’s yearly mileage is 15,000, so 15 quarts of oil is like $100 per year, right? Suggest to not lose sleep over a problem that costs only $100 / year to solve.

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1 quart per 100 miles is abnormal for a vehicle that uses synthetic oil. This appears to be a known issue with the 2011 model (and probably the 2012). There is a GM bulletin 15285C that appears to back this up. I plan to go to my dealer and use this or some other bulletin to get the issue fixed.

It’s an abomination in any engine.
But hey, the thread is what, 2-1/2 years old? I’m thinkin’ the OP probably has moved on by now… :slight_smile:

I think you better reread this discussion

We were talking about 1qt/1000 miles

YOU are talking about 1qt/100 miles

Big difference