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Industry Standard Mileage Expectations Per Quart of Oil

My 08 Lacross with 16000 miles is burning about one quart/4000 miles which I thought was too much. My local GM dealer told me that the Industry Standered per quart of oil is 1000 miles. That seems to me to be rediculously low. Is that in fact the Industry Standard, GM’s standard, or the service reps BS???

You should be very happy that your Lacrosse only uses 1 quart every 4000 miles. Most engines use about 1 quart in 3000 miles until they start wearing out. The old style straight 6 Jaguar engine had a 7 quart sump and used 1 quart every 700 miles on a normal basis!!

The dealer’s statement is out of date though; in the past, with large tolerances and poor engine oils, 1 quart per 1000 miles was common. But it is still the cut-off point where dealers can refuse to do anything if your vehicle uses a quart every 1100 miles, for instance.

My 2007 Toyota uses 1/2 quart every 5000 miles, but that’s an unusual situation.

So, I’d be happy if my vehicle only used 1 quart evry 4000 miles. Oil is cheap.

Whenever these discussions come up people say that this kind of oil consumption is within the bounds of “normal.” I don’t get it though.

I have a 95 Caravan with over 200K on it that burns almost no oil - it even leaks some and I still don’t have to add anything between 3-5K oil changes. My '00 Olds silhouette has 116K and burns zero oil - or close. Same with my '97 Escort with about 135K on the engine.

In fact, I just can’t recall ever having a car - without a leak - that burned anything like this amount of oil.

Of course, Docnick is right though - as long as there is some kind of standard out there that makes this “normal” you won’t get anything out of a dealer.

The industry standard is very liberal. Generally if the rate of oil use is greater than 1 qt per 1000 there is a problem, bad PCV value, or significant engine wear. Something is wrong and needs to be diagnosed.

Rate of oil use varies from car to car (same engine, same mfg, same model) and also differs for brand and type of oil used. I expect to use a quart between oil changes intervals with is 5,000 to 7,500 miles in my cars. A quart of oil used every 2,000 miles would raise a red flag for me. I’ve had this happen a couple of times and switching oil brands was all I needed to do.

A quart per 4,000 seems pretty normal given the light weight oils used to reduce drag and improve mpg. Modern engines also run at a bit higher temps to improve tailpipe pollution numbers and higher temps mean a bit more oil use. I’d live with it. I don’t like mechanics tearing apart my motors unless I know we have a problem.

Most engines use about 1 quart in 3000 miles until they start wearing out.

Maybe that’s your experience…certainly NOT mine.

With the ONE exception (73 Chevy Vega)…ALL my vehicles since I started buying them in the early 70’s…never came close to using that much oil in 3k miles. My 98 Pathfinder…at 340k miles…when I did an oil change after 5k miles…it was less then 1 quart low…My current vehicles when I do an oil change at 5k miles…the oil is right on the full mark. It may be a standard…mainly to CYA of the manufacturers. I’ve never seen it.

I remember back in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when Consumer Reports tested a car, one statistic that was reported was “miles per quart of oil after break-in”. Many cars didn’t do as well as only a quart of oil in 1000 miles. It seems to me that the original Chrysler slant six engine in Consumer’s test averaged about a quart of oil every 400 miles. I was delighted when replacement valve stem seals reduced the oil consumption in my Ford Maverick to a quart every 1250-1500 miles. I don’t think that a quart every 4000 miles is a problem.

I have noticed on cars that use a little oil (and yours doesn’t), switching brands while using the same viscosity may help a little. I have no idea why. I used 10W-40 in my Maverick. After the valve seal repair, I used about a quart every 1250 with Sunoco 10W-40. When I switched to Valvoline 10W-40, I could go over 1500 miles on a quart. Whatever you do with your Lacrosse, don’t add STP or another oil thickening product to the crankcase. You don’t need it and it may really cause problems.

Mike; most of my cars started leaking some oil as they aged at 200,000 miles it’s hard to tell what leaks out and what is burned. Your vehicles must be very tight and have good valve guide seals.

I live in a very cold area, and winter oil consumption with 0W30 is higher than summer with 10W30, for instance. I normally would add a quart between changes (4000 to 5000 miles) when using thin oil or towing a camper in the summer.

NH isn’t warm…And even when I lived in Upstate NY where temps could reach -30…my cars never leaked that much oil.

My experiance with the 12 vehicles I’ve owned over the years parallels yours. Very seldom had to add oil between 5-7K oil changes. And, if so very little. Based on others comments though I guess I’ve been spoiled.

It’s often claimed that is the standard but my cars or my family members vehicles don’t use anywhere near that; even with 300k or more miles on the clock.

Just something for consideration. The car is an '08 and if you bought it new in say the fall of '07 this means it’s got about 2 years worth of use on it.
That’s about 8k miles year, which is pretty low.

I assume this means you don’t do much driving and most trips are short hoppers.
This kind of driving, if oil change intervals are stretched out, can cause sludging around the oil control rings on the pistons.
Once they sludge up the rings are not able to expand and contract as they should. (breathe if you will)
This can lead to oil consumption problems.

I don’t know if this is the case with your car or not; just pointing out a possibility.

Most of the mileage on this car is interstate highway driving. So, I don’t think that’s the case. Thanks for the input thiugh.

We just bought a new 09 GM car with the 2.2 DOHC engine. It has an aluminum block and steel cylinder sleeves. It has over 8000 miles on the original oil; has about 3k more to go according to the oil change computer. The reading on the dipstick shows ZERO oil consumption so far. We also have an 08 GM car with an aluminum block V6 with steel cylinder sleeves. It does just as well.

Both were broken in according to the advice in the owner’s manual. The dealer said not to worry about break-in but we followed the manual.

I have to wonder how you or someone broke your engine in.

Just curious. Did you buy this car brand new, which means 4 or 5 miles on it, or was it purchased as a used vehicle? (meaning a lease return, dealer demo with a 100 miles on it, etc.)

Every vehicle I have ever owned has consumed at LEAST a qt every 2000 miles…

I’ve never owned a car that used much oil at all other than my old 87 Sable and seeing as how it had over 400k miles on it that consumption was acceptable. Most of that was past a leaky rear main seal.

My son’s old Camaro (up until it got wrecked) had just a shade under 300k miles on it and oil useage was maybe a tablespoon between changes.
Same with my Lincoln Mark. Until it got wiped out a couple of months ago, oil useage was almost non-existent between 3-3500 mile changes and that was with a shade under a quarter million miles on it.

Majority of vehicles do not consume much if any oil. However a subset does including brand new ones. It is a pain for the owner.

The worst offender was my wife’s old Civic once it hit around 120k. 1 qt every 1500 miles and she did not check it. She simply changed it every 3-4k miles.

The industry standard is indeed usually stated as 1 qt of oil consumption per 1,000 miles. That being said, I would be upset if my new car used that much oil. In fact, my 8 year old Subaru, with over 95k on the odometer uses no oil whatsoever between its 4k oil changes.

However, my friend’s '08 RAV-4 typically uses about 1/2 qt between its 5k oil changes. That is actually an improvement, as it initially used a full qt between oil changes. Apparently it took ~10k miles for the rings to be fully seated in this engine.

Anyway, while I would not be happy about the consumption of 1 qt per 4k miles, and clearly the OP is also not happy about this rate of consumption, it is very definitely within the normal range and is really not that unusual.

Followed 500 mile break-in pretty much as stated in the manual. Even afterwords I’ve never beaten the car or any car I’ve owned for that matter.

Some oils have a higher percentage of volitial factions that will boil off quicker,we used a universal oil in my former employers Macks for awhile and this oilwould go down a gallon real quick,then it stayed on the level good.However after changing to Mobil oil,the truck I drove sometimes would go change to change without adding any oil-Kevin

By now, you have noticed that the industry has no standards unless there is a law that mandates one. Since you bought the car used, you should have it checked for sludge. If the oil has not been changed by you, do it immediately.