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2013 Chevrolet Equinox 2.4 Oil Consumption

“My Ex-wife owned an 81 faux Mustang straight 6 that she watched the oil gauge never ‘go empty’ (pressure hi/low!) It WAS nearly 3 quarts low when I checked and changed it! ;-)”

What? I’m confused by what is written. She/You were using oil pressure as an indication of oil volume? That’s a good thing that the oil never went “empty,” but rather only 3 quarts low? Was she thinking the pressure indicated volume?

What ended the rapid consumption? Different oil? I don’t get it.

“Oil “consumption” between service intervals should be immeasurable. If otherwise, there is a mechanical problem!”

I respectfully cannot agree with this statement. While manufacturers’ new-car standards are absolutely too low regarding oil usage, it’s perfectly normal for an engine with some miles on it to use oil. I keep my cars for hundreds of thousands of miles and have never had to open one of my engines, but they’ve all used some oil when they got older. Cylinders wear, wiper rings wear and lose their tension, and in some cases valve stem seals get old, but no vehicle I’ve ever owned in almost 50 years of ownership has never used a drop of oil. To say any engine that uses any oil whatsoever between changes has a mechanical problem suggests an “absolute” approach that simply isn’t realistic in my opinion.

One of the functions of the oil is to lubricate the cylinders. “Honing” of the cylinders helps retain a bit of the oil after the wiper rings pass by to lubricate the compression rings. That film ends up in the combustion chamber getting burned. The amount is miniscule, but without it your engine would seize.

I also see in your post an environmental comment. Personally, I think it would be an environmental disaster to send every car to the scrapheap whose engine showed any loss of oil between scheduled changes. The energy costs to try to recycle such a monster would be enormous, as would the environmental cost to manufacture replacement vehicles.

I respect your concern for the environment. But I honestly think that your standards for oil burning are unrealistic and your suggestion would be an environmental disaster. IMHO it’s far better for the environment for people to maintain the vehicles they have and keep them as long as possible.

@mountainbike I agree! Although I have 2 cars which consume hardly any oil between changes, I still do not ever have to add any. I gave away a gallon of top up oil because it was just sitting there.

Environmental zealots usually lack a sense of proportion. If the burning of a quart of oil every 5000 miles is considered environmentally bad, we should put a prohibitive tax on large engines that create a lot of greenhouse gasses.

A good example of environmental insanity: We lived in Malaysia and just across the Strait of Malacca in Indonesia, a large producer of palm oil for diesel use in Europe. The European union had legislated a certain % of “renewable” fuel in diesel, which is mostly met by palm diesel. As a result, Indonesian operators with the tacit agreement of their government burn thousands of acres of prime jungle (they don’t even harvest the wood!), creating a really bad smoke situation and putting millions of tons of CARBON into the atmosphere. The palm trees planted yield fruit in about 10 years, then the oil is shipped to Europe. Even in the long or short term, this activity has no net contribution to mitigate climate change.

Compared to 30 years ago cars are more kind to the environment, but building ever larger vehicles partly negates the improvement. This is called the Efficiency Paradox

With respect to the poster’s comments, the SAE has done several life cycle environmental calculations and by far the most benign impact is building a good car, maintaining it well till the end of its DESIGN LIFE and then recycling it. Today’s design life is at least 250,000 miles for most cars. Poster would do well to download some of these papers.

These thinner oils are being specified for CAFE standards as they have less viscous drag and thus increase mileage. The issue is that SOME engines tend to burn this thinner oil because it can slip past the rings, etc. It isn’t just this GM engine. It seems a lot of European makes went through this as well. A couple years of the Camry were also bad about this.

My new Mitsubishi Mirage specifies 0W20 oil and am sure this is to keep the mileage up there near 50mpg. Both mine and my girlfriend’s used about 1/3 quart of oil during the break in period and then consumption has stopped for now. I figure this had to do with the rings and cylinder walls wearing into each other.

Several times when the dealer overfilled the oil on my Subi on a routine oil change, the excuse was: we know the engines burn a lot of this 0W20 oil so we add more initially.

Yes, that is what the service writer said.

LOL, Bill, that one gave me a chuckle.
It’s sad the extent to which the feds have affected our cars. IMHO we’ve reached the point where further raising of the standards is counterproductive. I know we’ve had this discussion a number of times, and don’t mean to start another lengthy debate, but I’m really not saying anything that the overwhelming majority of people in the industry already know. The real debate is really about how much each of us is willing to accept it.

One thing I never see addressed is oil consumption vs engine size.
Wouldn’t a 2 liter engine that uses a qt every 1500 miles be more of a concern than a 5.7 liter engine that used that much?

"The real debate is really about how much each of us is willing to accept it."

You’re familiar with the frog in a pot of water on a stove, right?

No, but I like the analogy!

Yes, I agree. Burning oil creates emissions too and probably a lot dirtier than those caused by a tad less MPG caused by thicker oil. I understand that modern emissions systems can actually process quite a lot of oil although I am sure this fouls them quicker.

I wonder what percentage of certain offending engines actually have these problems. One of my friends once had a 2007 Camry that DRANK oil. I understand oil burning was an issue with these but wonder how many didn’t have the problem. Of course you only hear people who are pissed about the problems with their cars, not those that work correctly. Toyota is known for making a pretty decent product so people really take notice when they have problems.

You’re familiar with the frog in a pot of water on a stove, right?

That comparison refuses to die.
It’s not true of the frog (with a relatively minuscule brain) let alone a human (with hopefully larger capacity although debatable in some). There is always a threshold of pain that causes action. If you rented and the landlord slowly raised the rent over a decade to 5x what it was, would you not notice? At some point, anyone will go- this is ridiculous, I can’t afford it, I need to make a change.

So far, we haven’t hit that threshold of pain with cars and emission/cafe standards. So why stop pushing the envelope??
These corporations are not altruistic. They react to mandates and market pressures…

Yes, we can certainly blame for government for some of this. Switching to a thinner oil is a very easy way to increase mileage. This doesn’t mean that the car makers have an engine that has been tested to work well with such thin oil. This relates to both the materials used as well as the machining process.

Decided to change oil and filter at 4100 miles since the rebuild.

Both the drain plug and the filter housing were a bear to remove. I’m surprised the oil pan threads weren’t stripped. The filter was somewhat crushed, the white material looks like silicone rtv from the engine reassembly. I dId not see any metal debris in the filter. Hopefully the silicone is harmless.

Ed B.

The question in my mind isn’t “why stop pushing the envelope” but “why PUSH the envelope until the pain is unbearable?” Must the frog be boiled to make us happy? Are you aware that suffering is already going on among elderly people on fixed incomes and those of limited income? At whose pain threshold should we stop? Mine? Yours? Paris Hiltons?

Motors with variable valve timing and with cylinder deactivation require low viscosity oil to prevent clogging of the tiny oil passages that make these features work.

+1 to NYBo’s post.

Oil now is being used like a hydraulic fluid to operate these features.
I don’t have any technical information to this effect, but it’s also possible that low viscosity oils better lubricate the bearings in turbochargers. I solicit the opinions of others on this question. Synthetic for T-charged engines is a must.

When Ronal Reagan was elected he rolled back a number of EPA regs. I suspect that if Trump is elected he will try to roll back the projected fuel economy figures since they are very tough to achieve and will compromise engine life and increase maintenance requirements. I love high MPG but at what cost?

Mine of course!
When car sales begin to drop off due to excessive pricing, then the threshold of pain will have been met. If we looked at any business relative to a small minority of affected consumers, nothing would ever be produced. Sorry, it has to be an impact to the majority before it is significant enough to warrant a change in direction. The issue will be moot soon anyway as electric cars begin to take over. My concern is farther forward- what will these huge government entities do in the future to justify their existence once the current threats are mostly eliminated? You’re worried about intrusion now? Hang onto your seats…

There will never be a shortage of “threats”. We need watch dogs and legislators for legitimate threats, but this "gender’ definition is turning into a whole new industry, for example.

Highway safety and clean air and water are basic things we have to address. Long term climate change is something we cannot do much about, no matter what Al Gore says. However, we can adapt and mitigate , something mankind has done over that may thousands of years we have been on this earth.

So, think twice before you buy that Miami condo located right on the waterfront. A hundred years ago no sane citizen would have built anything there.

Oh, excuse me. I appear to accidentally stumbled upon a political forum. Can anyone direct me to Car Talk, please?

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