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Username Post: Uses quart of oil between oil changes        (Topic#347538)
Posts: 76
Loc: Brownsville Texas
Reg: 05-20-07
10-07-17 06:25 AM - Post#2710013    

My 2002 GMC Seirra 1500 4x4 5.3 vortec uses a quart of oil between oil changes. It has done so since i bought it with 70k miles. Is this normal?

Thank for the help

Dedicated Member
Posts: 5357
Loc: Lake Superior-Michigan US...
Reg: 03-30-00
10-07-17 07:17 AM - Post#2710024    
    In response to run2jc

Normal, GM considers 1 qt per 2,000 miles to be normal. (see TSB excerpt below)

The oil you use can be a factor in oil consumption as it burns off, its called volatility. Noack volatility (ASTM Test) determines the evaporative loss of engine oils. This test is important because the operating temperatures of an engine will typically drive off the lighter ends of a lubricant while in service. This effectively results in making the lubricant more viscous (thicker) which can lead to reduced fuel economy due to an increase in parasitic load. A lower number generally means less oil consumption due to evaporation when the oil gets hot.

Currently, API SN and ILSAC GF-5 performance classifications require weight lost due to volatility to be no greater than 15 percent for all viscosity grades of motor oil. General Motors’ proprietary dexos1™ motor oil specification is more stringent, requiring no greater than 12 percent weight lost.

NOACK Volatility, mass % loss, 1 hr, @ 250ºC (ASTM D5800 Phosphorus, ppm (ASTM D5185)

click this LINK and find your oil and its volatility rating.

  • Quote:
Subject: Information on Engine Oil Consumption Guidelines

Models: 2009 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Gasoline-Powered Light Duty Trucks Under 8500 LB GVW (Including Saturn)

------------------------- ------------------------- ------------------------- -----
This bulletin is being revised to update the warranty information on vehicles and add model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-06-01-011E (Section 06 -- Engine/Propulsion System).
------------------------- ------------------------- ------------------------- -----

All engines require oil to lubricate and protect the load bearing and internal moving parts from wear including cylinder walls, pistons and piston rings. When a piston moves down its cylinder, a thin film of oil is left on the cylinder wall. During the power stroke, part of this oil layer is consumed in the combustion process. As a result, varying rates of oil consumption are accepted as normal in all engines.

Oil Consumption
The accepted rate of oil consumption for engines used in the vehicles referenced is 0.946 liter (1 qt) in 3200 km (2000 mi).

Important: This rate only applies to personal use vehicles, under warranty, that are driven in a non-aggressive manner and maintained in accordance with the appropriate maintenance schedule, with less than 58,000 km (36,000 mi), or driven at legal speeds in an unloaded (for trucks) condition.

Important: This rate does not apply to vehicles that are driven in an aggressive manner, at high RPM, high speeds, or in a loaded condition (for trucks). Oil consumption for vehicles driven under these conditions will be more.

Many factors can affect a customer's concern with oil consumption. Driving habits and vehicle maintenance vary from owner to owner. Thoroughly evaluate each case before deciding whether the vehicle in question has abnormal engine oil consumption.

2017 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate 6.2L(420hp)/8-sp Z95
2016 Polaris RZR 900 EPS

Posts: 1156

Loc: Mission,BC
Reg: 02-03-05
10-07-17 10:57 AM - Post#2710049    
    In response to elcamino

Change out the pcv valve
What oil are you using?

69 Canadian Pontiac 2+2
factory L48 350 Chev,TH350,PW,PT
99 Silverado RCLB 4.8 NV4500 14BSF 4.10's locker 6" Procomp 35 bfg m/t's 9k winch cutout flares
07 Town Car Loaded,Tinted,Getting Bagged

Posts: 76
Loc: Brownsville Texas
Reg: 05-20-07
11-12-17 07:04 AM - Post#2714115    
    In response to elcamino

Thank you, this is what my oil change manager told me, just wanted to be sure.

"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 892
Loc: Colorado
Reg: 12-01-05
11-12-17 10:06 AM - Post#2714135    
    In response to run2jc

I had an '01 Tahoe with a 5.3. It started using a bit of oil @ about your mileage. I've never gotten overly concerned with consumption of less than a quart in 3,000 miles.

He who dies with the most toys doesn't necessarily win, but had more fun getting to the finish line.

Posts: 28739
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
11-15-17 02:32 PM - Post#2714515    
    In response to elcamino

I think the info in that bulletin has been revised so many times it's hard to know what is truly "normal" - if you ask me, they're grading everyone on a curve so they can excuse excessive oil consumption in the AFM engines that were displaying so many issues.

In the old-school thinking of 3,000-3,500 mile oil changes, I would be surprised to pull the stick before a change and find it a quart low. That was on a traditional small block Chevy engine, though. Things seem different these days...


06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8

Valued Contributor
Posts: 4035
Age: 35
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
11-15-17 07:24 PM - Post#2714560    
    In response to someotherguy

AFM is terrible. My 5.3 impala uses about 2 quarts between 6000 mile oil changes. If you followed the computer like the manual says, you'd be changing oil at 10,000 miles. If you never checked your oil you'd probably only have 2 quarts left.


'88 Chevy K3500, aluminum head roller cam 511in³ stroker 10.5:1 compression, 96 NV 4500, 94-98 grille, 305/70-16 (33x12) BF Goodrich KM2s, 91 cluster swap

Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4401

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
12-28-17 06:59 AM - Post#2719191    
    In response to bowtie44s

My 2002 van's 5.7 uses around 2 quarts in 5000 miles, about a quart in 1800 miles, enough that it gets low enough to splash away from the pickup or something and the gauge reads zero. When it starts doing that I add a quart and it's fine.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.

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