2013 Chevrolet Equinox 2.4 Oil Consumption

Changed the oil at 34k (4.5k interval). Using a full synthetic this time (Pennzoil Platinum). On the last change the oil level did not drop below the full mark for the first 2000 miles. Based on estimated oil consumption I was assuming the oil was a ~1/2 qt past the full mark. This time I added 4.5 quarts and checked the level, it was between 1/2 and 2/3 full. It took another 12 oz (3/8 qt.) of oil to bring it to the full mark. At worst the oil was only 4 oz overfilled. It looks like there is no measurable oil consumption for the first 2k miles after an oil change.

Ed B.

Just an update. Oil consumption from 34 to 38.5k miles was 2 to 2 1/4 quarts. The previous 2 oil changes used ~3/8 and ~3/4 quarts respectively for the same interval (4.5k miles).

The dealer suggested I bring it in for an oil consumption test. They changed the oil and it’s up to me to monitor the level and bring it to the dealer to add oil as necessary. The threshold for repair is 1 quart/2000 miles. The Equinox is right at the threshold for the repair which consists of new rings and pistons.

Ed B.

I guess based on current standards, the consumption is reasonable but I will drive it a bit hard and push the dealer for warranty work. Now, are we sure new rings & pistons are going to fix this? Do they re-bore the cylinders and also re-seat the valves?

Sincere thanks for the update. It’s rare to get one, and it really is appreciated. We’re a bit ornery at times, but we really do care. :smile:

Galant, as far as I know the fix is pistons and rings with an improved wear coating. I don’t know the details. This article has a little more detail. http://sandyblogs.com/techlink/?p=2204

I will be sure to bring up your points about cylinder re-boring and reseating the valves to the service department. Excuse my ignorance, but why would the valves need re-seating after a piston and ring replacement? I’ve never worn out an engine before.

A Piston and ring replacement almost seems to be a quick cheap fix. If the oil consumption was stable I would live with it rather than having the engine torn apart. I’m curious to see if consumption will drop with the GM Dexos semi-synthetic oil used this time.

Mountainbike, thanks for the comment, I was wondering if I was boring all of you to death.

Ed

I’m curious to see if consumption will drop with the GM Dexos semi-synthetic oil used this time.

Sorry if I missed this, as I haven’t gone back and read the entire thread, but what do you mean this time. This car required dexos from day one. Has the engine been getting something other than dexos?

Asemaster, I have only used 5w-30 Dexos approved oil. The last oil change before I took it to dealer was Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic and the oil consumption was over 2 quarts. The 2 prior oil changes were Quaker State and Castrol semi-synthetic oil, oil consumption was much lower (less than 3/4 qt.) over the same interval of 4500 miles.

I’m curious to see if the oil consumption will continue to increase regardless of the type of oil or if going back to semi-synthetic will lower the oil consumption. If oil consumption is the same or increases then it’s an engine issue.

I hope this answers your question.

Ed B.

If you can get the repair – whatever that would be – done for free, maybe it’s worth a shot. But I wouldn’t spend my own money on it. 1/2 quart per thousand miles isn’t something I’d worry about. I’d just check the dipstick frequently and top off between changes as required. Some caution is in order. An attempt to repair this problem might have unintended consequences which are worse than the current symptom.

The engine WILL have to be pretty much torn apart to do the ring and piston replacement. This isn’t a minor repair. I would at least hope for a re-hone too so the new rings seat in well. If they bore, larger rings and pistons will be required. You would basically have a rebuilt engine after this.

As far as why I think the cylinders need to be re-bored and the valves re-seated, to me this is an engine overhaul and doing it half way is not smart since they are already tearing in the engine. It has been more than 20 years since I did any major engine work. It seems like @cwatkin also agree with me, but would be curious what everybody else thinks.

If they do repair the engine, is there any extended warranty offered on it? I wouldn’t expect the warranty extension to apply to anything else but you might try to get a longer warranty on the engine.

Yes, to fix this right the engine will need to be essentially rebuilt, especially the bottom end. I don’t know if the valves/head will need any service but I am sure it will be inspected as that must come off for this work. You might offer to pay for a new head or a rework of this head if that isn’t included. That may be overkill though as this isn’t really the issue with your car. On the other hand, the oil burning may have gummed up the valves.

The important thing is that you are keeping an eye on the oil level. The engine can go a lot longer with an owner like yourself vs. some that just run them low until they lock up hard. I have known people who use the low oil pressure light as an indicator to add oil and this usually doesn’t end well for them. One guy would carry a quart with him and pull over and add the quart when the oil light came on. He never even checked the level but would only add a quart but I am sure he was still low at this point.

Update: On 12/29/15 I took it to the dealer for an oil consumption test, i.e. an oil change where I monitor the oil level and take it to the dealer to be topped off. I took it in yesterday at 3250 miles as the oil level was ~1/8" from the tip of the dipstick. I thought I was only a 1 quart down and oil consumption was lower with the GM Dexos 1 oil than the full synthetic I used in the previous oil change.

I was surprised when the service manager said it took two quarts. I checked it the next morning and it’s at most a 1/2 qt overfilled. But at the same level after the oil change back in December. The dealer has ordered the parts (pistons and rings) and is going to do the repair since oil consumption is greater than 1 qt/2000 miles.

Ed B.

Sounds like they add oil only in full quart increments.
1/2 qt over is of no consequence, especially since the engine is going to be torn down soon.
Hopefully they won’t find any top end issues to charge out of pocket for.

It’s nice when people post back with updates :smiley:

The parts came in and I dropped it off at the dealer tonight. I’ll post back when it’s done.

Ed B.

Best of luck to you OP. Thanks for posting back.

It is nice to have updates and even nicer to see the dealer is owning up and trying to fix the engine.

It is nice to have updates and even nicer to see the dealer is owning up and trying to fix the engine.

It is the manufacturer that provides the oil consumption repair programs, the dealer profits from this. It is up to the dealer to prove to the manufacture that the vehicle qualifies for the repair, this requires some effort from the dealer.

Since the engine is well past the break in phase… It may be advantageous to go up in viscosity a bit. Some of the new oils are literally thinner than water. This has its place but…it lends itself to consumption in engines that are known offenders…perhaps even ones that arent. Using or burning some oil is perfectly normal. Where do we draw the line ? My line between normal and excessive is about 1 quart per oil change added…beyond adding one quart in one interval and I would label it excessive…or heading there anyway.

My VW uses 0-20W and that is pretty THIN… She uses about 3/4 of a quart in 7000 miles. Not too shabby for a Turbo Charged 4 cylinder.

Blackbird

It took longer than expected but I picked up the Equinox at lunch today. After the pistons and rings were replaced and the engine reassembled the computer was unable to set/sync the timing(?) because the timing chain was stretched. The engine had to be torn down again to replace the timing chain.

I asked if the rings needed to be seated, but I was told to drive it normally and not to worry. The oil and coolant levels are full and I will continue to monitor them. I have not noticed any difference in performance or driveability before and after the repair… The engine compartment is clean and appears to be in order.

I will change the oil after 1k miles to be safe. After that, I’m going back to 4k oil changes. It appears the dealership did a good job but time will tell. I’m hoping to be the first person on the net to have a happy ending with this repair.

Ed B.