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2013 Chevrolet Malibu - does it really need a new engine?

My daughter has a Chevy Malibu Eco with 110381 miles on it. For the past several months it has been shutting off automatically, mostly when she is at a light, sometimes as she is driving. The car always starts right back up. I drove it on Saturday and while I did not experience it shutting off, I did feel it rock or surge when I stopped at a light. And her check engine light came on a couple days ago.
We took it to a Chevy dealership this morning. A few hours later the service rep called me to tell me there was practically no oil in the car, it was all burning up somewhere and the only way to fix it was to replace the engine. That would run me about $3000 for a new engine and a couple thousand more to put it in!!
This sounds very BOOOOOGUS to me. I will be taking it elsewhere for a second opinion, but thought I’d ask here if this is even remotely possible.

If you are asking if it is possible for an engine to be almost completely out of oil the answer is Yes. Ask your daughter just how often she checks the oil and at what miles or time she gets oil changes. A second opinion is a good step but I think you will be looking at a engine rebuild anyway.


For a customer that doesn’t want to open the hood and add oil when needed sometimes the remedy is to replace the engine.


If the engine has not seized, and it doesn’t knock or make noise, why can’t you just change the oil now and keep it topped off? If the timing chain has worn, that can be replaced for a lot less than the entire engine. What exactly is the service advisor saying is the problem?

Thank you for responding. The service advisor did not tell me what was making the car shut off, just that the oil was gone and I need a new engine, which sounds suspiciously like a rip off to me. I am taking it for a second opinion.

When you checked the oil level was it normal or low?

Check the oil? :thinking::rofl:


What was the oil level in the car before you took it in?

Since the oil light did not come on and since my husband checked it the other day, we figured there was enough oil.

you checked oil level. than went to dealer. dealer said oil was very low
yes i think that is an odd sequence of events
did you check oil level when you got home?

They did not check the oil before going in.

you checked it after you left dealer? dealer put oil in? did he say he put oil in?
or you checked it before you went into dealer?

My husband checked the oil the day before yesterday and said there was enough oil. I just got back from the second dealership; the service rep there said it’s possible the oil is burning off and that is what is causing the car to shut off. And if that’s the case she would not recommend putting in a new engine because the same problem will most likely occur with a new engine unless the parts have been upgraded.

Did you add oil? I find so, is the car working better? Please tell us what “enough oil” means. The dip stick should have either drilled holes or a crosshatched area at the end to denote the oil level. If the oil is at the bottom of the measurement area, the car needs a quart of oil. If there is no oil on the dipstick, then the level could be low enough to damage the engine.

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I just found out from my husband that indeed the oil was low when he checked it the day before yesterday. There was some oil on the dip stick but he knew we were taking it in to be checked. The dealership said the oil was very low and they put in 3 quarts. The second service advisor we went to suggested we take the car back after another 1100 miles and they will check the oil level again.

I have instructed my daughter to document dates oil is added and dates the car stalls out to see if we can detect a pattern.

Sorry, missed “the other day” phrase.

First see if she really knows how to check oil . Then have her check at least once a week . Most people choose a Saturday or Sunday morning before they start the vehicle.

Message to your husband : If the oil level is not full then don’t drive vehicle.

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you checked oil level. that is good. make sure it is at proper level by looking perhaps once each week?

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@Cavell I am here for constructive advice. If you continue find it necessary to be condescending and critical, please leave this thread. It is not helpful.

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Okay, NO she does not require a new engine, a rebuilt/remanufactured engine would suffice.