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Burning oil

This is a discussion on Burning oil within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I did an oil change about 2,500 miles ago. Just last night the "low oil" light came on. Previous owner ...

  1. #1
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    Burning oil

    I did an oil change about 2,500 miles ago. Just last night the "low oil" light came on. Previous owner was my mother and it use to burn oil. She bought it brand new. It now has 76,000 miles.

    My question is, is it common for LS1's to burn oil? Car doesn't smoke, I don't see any leaks, nothing on the ground when car sits after a while.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    How low was it?
    Rear main seal comes to mind but you said you don't see oil on the ground.
    What about when its running, any oil on the ground?

    Its normal for LS1s to burn a little due to the crappy PCV system but not enough to make your low oil light come on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tatertot91 View Post
    How low was it?
    Rear main seal comes to mind but you said you don't see oil on the ground.
    What about when its running, any oil on the ground?

    Its normal for LS1s to burn a little due to the crappy PCV system but not enough to make your low oil light come on.
    No oil what's so ever on the ground any where. It has never leaked oil. Last time I was underneath it I didn't see anywhere that it looked dirty like a was leaking just a little.

    I didn't check how low it was I just put in a QT and the light turned off. I came on at 11pm last night and I was on my way home so I just put a qt in cause I had work in the morning. I'm gonna keep an eye on it from now on see how much actually is bering burned.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the intake manifold to see if the gaskets are leaking or the pressure switch is cracked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferndogg View Post
    No oil what's so ever on the ground any where. It has never leaked oil. Last time I was underneath it I didn't see anywhere that it looked dirty like a was leaking just a little.

    I didn't check how low it was I just put in a QT and the light turned off. I came on at 11pm last night and I was on my way home so I just put a qt in cause I had work in the morning. I'm gonna keep an eye on it from now on see how much actually is bering burned.
    From what I understand, every car burns alittle oil, not alot. It's more likely your leaking it somewhere than burning that much. You also have to realize while your car is sitting there, the oil system isn't under pressure, so it can be leaking while your driving and then stop when your not. Other chances are its leaking somewhere, like exhaust, where it gets burned.
    Quote Originally Posted by cammed goat View Post
    Have you looked at the intake manifold to see if the gaskets are leaking or the pressure switch is cracked?
    This is what I was thinking.

    OP, how dirty is it under the hood (around the heads and block)?

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Not to ask a stupid question, but how much oil did you add when you did the oil change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tatertot91 View Post
    Not to ask a stupid question, but how much oil did you add when you did the oil change?

    Actually, a valid question. Some people just dump in 5 qts. and call it good.

    A couple of thoughts -- pull the intake ducting off, open the throttle and look down in there with a light to see if you have oil accumulating where the PCV enters the manifold. You can also pull a few spark plugs to see if they are getting oiled down. Do a Google search on reading plugs and you'll get some good pics for comparison. Last thought is you could have a faulty low oil sender unit. You mentioned dumping oil in, but said you did not pull the dipstick. Always check your oil level rather than simply assume it needs a quart.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    all valid options ^^

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    LS1s are notorious for burning oil due to the PCV setup pulling air from the valve covers. If you see alot of oil residue in your intake manifold, this is most likely the cause. You can do a LS6 PCV conversion for under $100. Write-up is on ls1howto.com

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    From my experience, about half a quart is common between oil changes. That should never make your low oil light come on.

    These cars take 5.5 quarts of oil so if you just put 5 in then thats your problem.

    Like said above, the PCV does get quite a bit of oil in the intake. Replacing the check valve is always a good thing to do especially if its still the stock one.


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    Go to Home Depot or Lowes by the air compressor shit. Buy the Small water/air seperator and get 2 fittings if it isn't included for what ever sized thread the fittings are to 3/8" hose barb. Then go down to Autozone and get yourself 5-6 feet of 3/8" fuel line. Take the hose that goes from the lifter valley cover to the throttle body off. Now look at the arrow on the new filter. . . . . Place this in between the two.

    After you add this Cheap solution either buy a can of AutoRX or a can of Seafoam. The rings are all gummed up at this point from sucking and burning that oil over the years. Do some searching I and Sarge have posted a couple different threads with detailed instructions. I have been doing this for over 10 years now and have NEVER had a bad experience with Seafoam so don't let the confused scare you.

    Good luck and change the oil after you Seafoam or AutoRX.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS2Tuner View Post
    Go to Home Depot or Lowes by the air compressor shit. Buy the Small water/air seperator and get 2 fittings if it isn't included for what ever sized thread the fittings are to 3/8" hose barb. Then go down to Autozone and get yourself 5-6 feet of 3/8" fuel line. Take the hose that goes from the lifter valley cover to the throttle body off. Now look at the arrow on the new filter. . . . . Place this in between the two.

    After you add this Cheap solution either buy a can of AutoRX or a can of Seafoam. The rings are all gummed up at this point from sucking and burning that oil over the years. Do some searching I and Sarge have posted a couple different threads with detailed instructions. I have been doing this for over 10 years now and have NEVER had a bad experience with Seafoam so don't let the confused scare you.

    Good luck and change the oil after you Seafoam or AutoRX.
    Thanks I will do this just before the next oil change.

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    I think it's kinda strange that someone would think their car is burning/using oil, without ever bothering to check the dipstick. Not to hit you over the head too hard Ferndog, but you should check the oil level at least every month or so on a DD to keep on top of things. And no, 1 quart even every 1,000 miles is not excessive. It all depends on each individual engine and how that engine is driven. My car now has 90k on it, and I can use a quart in 1,000 miles, or it might take 2500. All depends on how hard I've been driving it, and I should do the PCV system upgrade.

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    A quart every 1,000?!?

    I've never owned a car that would burn that much oil. I must drive like a grandpa or you have serious issue

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnomee View Post
    A quart every 1,000?!?

    I've never owned a car that would burn that much oil. I must drive like a grandpa or you have serious issue
    *sigh*

    I guess it's another sign of my age. I remember when the 1,000 miles/quart was a lofty goal.

    And I do believe GM states that unless the engine is not going thru more than 1 quart every 700 or so miles, they won't do anything about it, even on a new car.

    However, if I'm really aggressive with my car, I can use a quart in 1,000 miles. Like when I drove the "tail of the dragon" 3 years ago. I stayed in 2nd gear, from idle to 6K RPM and up and down, for the 11 mile stretch of US 129. It is 311 curves in that 11 miles, my wife and I drove it 7 times in one day and it was about 1000 miles with this drive in between I had to add a quart. High RPM equals higher oil consumption, at least for my car. Another reason to re-engineer my PCV system....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    *sigh*

    I guess it's another sign of my age. I remember when the 1,000 miles/quart was a lofty goal.

    And I do believe GM states that unless the engine is not going thru more than 1 quart every 700 or so miles, they won't do anything about it, even on a new car.

    However, if I'm really aggressive with my car, I can use a quart in 1,000 miles. Like when I drove the "tail of the dragon" 3 years ago. I stayed in 2nd gear, from idle to 6K RPM and up and down, for the 11 mile stretch of US 129. It is 311 curves in that 11 miles, my wife and I drove it 7 times in one day and it was about 1000 miles with this drive in between I had to add a quart. High RPM equals higher oil consumption, at least for my car. Another reason to re-engineer my PCV system....
    Your OK Don't worry!!

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    ^^^thanks for the reassurance LOL.

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^thanks for the reassurance LOL.
    No Problem! You would be amazed how many customers over the years just don't check there oil enough to realize the oil consumption there cars have.

    Just do the cheapy oil separator with the Husky or Housefield small plastic separator from Lowes or HomeDepot. All you need is a few feet of hose and the 3/8" hose barb fittings for the dryer/separator.

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    Actually, GM's accepted rate of oil consumption is 1 qt in 2000 miles.
    1 qt in 700 or 1 qt in 1000 miles is way too much

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    ^^^Well there I go again showing age. Glad to see GM has upped the oil consumption rate, I work in the aftermarket and not the dealer.

    Hey Cutlass, I was just in Leesburg VA at ASE, writing questions for the A6 electrical test. Pretty cool to be on the other side of the test for once.

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