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Low Oil Level

This is a discussion on Low Oil Level within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have kind of a mysterious low oil level issue. I bought my 01 T/A in December and in late ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Low Oil Level

    I have kind of a mysterious low oil level issue. I bought my 01 T/A in December and in late January the change oil light came on. It looked like the oil was changed in November at the dealer so i checked the oil level and it was just below the hash marks (not sure what the tech term for it is). Anyway, i decided to just have my oil changed since i'm not sure what kind of oil was in it anyway.

    So, last weekend, after about 2500 miles, my Low oil level light came on. I checked the oil and it was about 2 qts low. There are no oil spots on my driveway so I took it to my mechanic and he could not see any oil leaks anywhere. Actually, he couldn't say enough how clean this car is.

    Could the low oil level just have something to do with how long it has sat between owners or could there be a more serious problem? The engine runs great and like i said, there are apparently no leaks.

    Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    None Shall Pass Knight's Avatar
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    Have you checked the coolant to see if you have any oil mixing with it? You could also be burning it, do you notice any blue smoke from the exhaust?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    2 quarts low after 2500 miles is a lot. My guess is that you are probably burning it.

    How many miles on the car?

    You could have worn piston rings if you're not physically seeing the leak anywhere.

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    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Coolant was checked. No problems there.

    Haven't noticed blue smoke. I will keep an eye on that. Last time i saw smoke is wasn't blue though.

    Is blue smoke an indication of burning oil?

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    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    The car has 29,600 miles on it. That's why this seems strange because the car isn't even broken in yet.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Blue smoke = burning oil

    White smoke = burning coolant

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    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was never quite sure about that.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Keep us updated.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Blue smoke = burning oil

    White smoke = burning coolant
    wow didn't know white smoke is coolant. I always tought it was oil for white. nice info.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    wow didn't know white smoke is coolant. I always tought it was oil for white. nice info.
    Yep. And there is only one way coolant can get into the exhaust chamber to be burnt Well, a couple ways, but most likely a head gasket leak.

    A little white smoke is fine. This could be simply from moisture being burnt off at car start-up until it warms up.

    If you are flooring it and seeing white smoke though while driving around, you are definitely burning coolant, which is never a good thing.

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    Member blackcar's Avatar
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    When you changed your oil how much did you put in it?

    I say this 'cause the first time I changed my oil I only put 5qts in (supposed to put 5.5). It didn't take long before the low oil light came on, and it was about 2 qts. low. After that I would put 5.5 and it would never loose any.

    Had the same issue with my Beretta. except it held 4.5.

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    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Wow, good question. I usually just take my car to Jiffy Lube (yeah, i'm lazy and i'm sure i'll hear all kinds of crap for this..haha).

    Anyway, i will make sure it gets 5.5 qts. Thanks for the info.

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    Get a compression and leak down test. That will help pinpoint the problem.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    You might want to also check around your pcv. check the whole tubing. It can crack and leak. I'm willing to bet you shorted yourself on the last fill up. Also ppl forget to put some oil in the filter too and that also takes up oil.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Even if he did use 5 quarts, he would still be low 1.5 quarts in 2500 miles. That is still a lot of oil consumption...

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    Wouldn't hurt to pull the intake tract and look into the throttle body to see if it is oiled down. As posted, the PCV system can suck oil into the engine on our cars and over that distance it isn't a whole lot if there is a continuous draw. Just for giggles, assume that you traveled 2,500 miles at an average of 45 mph. That equals engine run time of 55 hours, not including all the time spent idling at lights and such.

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    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Just a quick update. I checked my receipt and it does show 5.5 qts. Who knows if it is accurate though.

    I will have to look at the PCV and throttle body next.

    It's almost time for another oil change so i will monitor this more closely this time.

    In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming. I really appreciate all the help.

  18. #18
    Junior Member thor2001TA's Avatar
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    Another update. It's obviously been months since the last post but i was monitoring my oil level over the last 5 months and nothing really changed. I added a quart of oil every 1500 miles. Today i had Speed Inc. install an LS6 Valley Cover. I am hoping to see a change in oil consumption but i guess we'll just have to wait and see. I have an oil change coming up so i will be updating this in 3 months or so.

  19. #19
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Now do a catch can and it will help keep what little oil that still get's by the PCV from getting into the intake.


    Prior to doing the LS6 VCT I was like you, once a month my low oil light would come on and I would have to add about 3/4 of a quart. It's been about 8 months and have had no oil lights or issues. I've drained the catch can 2 times in this period and have only gotten about a 1/3 of a measuring cup the first time and a 1/4 of a cup the last time.



    Did you check the PCV like we asked?

  20. #20
    The Generals Finest Deviant LS1's Avatar
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    Most LS1s burn oil. I would get use to it. My old motor I would have to add 1/2qt every three weeks or so.

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