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View Full Version : 31,500 miles, losing oil.



hobbie2k
10-07-2006, 03:51 PM
So last time I changed my oil (about 28k) I switched to Mobil 1 5w-30. Since then I've lost about half a quart of oil. Is this normal when switching?

The car is a 2005 Chevy Malibu Maxx with the 3.5L pushrod V6 with 31,500 miles.

I didn't notice any oil loss when I first got it (dealer had just changed the oil, would have used cheap dino stuff). So I'm guessing it has something to do with the switch. I know it can happen on older cars because the synthetic will slip through worn seals easier, but on a fairly new car?

I haven't noticed any drips on the floor where it's parked, nor any odd smoke when starting the motor.

alltracman78
10-08-2006, 01:01 PM
What is the factory reccomended weight?
It should say it on the oil fill cover.

If it is thicker than 5W-30, you are probably losing it on startup.
That is more of a winter oil, unless the car is designed for it to begin with.

hobbie2k
10-08-2006, 02:34 PM
5w-30 is the recommended all year round.

I know my 91 Sentra with 140k didn't have any problem with the switch... *sigh* GM...

alltracman78
10-08-2006, 02:50 PM
Yeah, I thought it might have been....
Most new cars run that or thinnner.

You could always do a leakdown test to see if the rings are worn already.

hobbie2k
10-09-2006, 02:01 AM
well...the bottom of the oil pan is slightly wet so I'm gonna take it to the dealer and have them figure it out. It's still under warranty. I'll be sure to ask about a leakdown, too.

Thanks

alltracman78
10-09-2006, 02:47 AM
Oh, you have a leak?

Well that would certainly explain it.....

hobbie2k
10-10-2006, 03:50 AM
Yeah, the pan is slightly wet, but not bad. I didn't think it'd be enough for half a quart in 3k, especially since there are no drips on the ground...but maybe. Oh well, we'll see.

masterww
10-10-2006, 06:02 PM
i have the same problem wit the mobile 1 5-30 oil... i have it in my 92 gt ... stock engine... and there is not dripping of the oil at all... i can ussually lose about half of my oil just daily driving... ( not even racing) in about 2 months...

werid i think.

davmac
10-10-2006, 07:30 PM
Some engines consume more oil if it is synthetic. You might save yourself some money and worry by going with a name brand dino oil changed every 5K. I've also heard of two other recommendations that are supposed to reduce oil consumption:
1. Run with oil level a little on low side. Excess oil tends to get pushed out the PCV system. In other words, oil consumption does not mean oil is getting past the rings.
2. Regular runs at WOT. Running an engine hard regularly is good for keeping rings and valves sealed. If you suspect carbon build up could be a problem you might do a cycle of several runs between 40 - 70mph in second gear and back 70 - 40mph. I've seen a cycle of 10 WOT runs like this recommended to correct oil consumption in a Northstar engine.

Id say that quart consumption over 3500 miles is nothing to worry about, but it is already too late for that. Of course I'm all for fixing leaks. Good luck. It sounds like a nice car.

hobbie2k
10-10-2006, 11:58 PM
Some engines consume more oil if it is synthetic. You might save yourself some money and worry by going with a name brand dino oil changed every 5K. I've also heard of two other recommendations that are supposed to reduce oil consumption:
1. Run with oil level a little on low side. Excess oil tends to get pushed out the PCV system. In other words, oil consumption does not mean oil is getting past the rings.
2. Regular runs at WOT. Running an engine hard regularly is good for keeping rings and valves sealed. If you suspect carbon build up could be a problem you might do a cycle of several runs between 40 - 70mph in second gear and back 70 - 40mph. I've seen a cycle of 10 WOT runs like this recommended to correct oil consumption in a Northstar engine.

Id say that quart consumption over 3500 miles is nothing to worry about, but it is already too late for that. Of course I'm all for fixing leaks. Good luck. It sounds like a nice car.

Thanks for the advice. I'm always up for a WOT fix :hehe: . If the car had more like 100k+ I wouldn't be so worried about the consumption, but with only 31k on the clock (and having had bad luck with domestics in the past) I tend to be a bit paranoid over any little thing.

Anyhow, I'm still planning on taking the car into the dealer tomorrow, complaining about the oil and the noisy window regulator, and I won't tell them it's Mobil1.

I'm sure a good dino oil will work just fine, but I had a very good experience with Mobil1 in my Sentra which ran great for me from 90k-140k without any noticeable consumption and virtually no loss in compression. So, since I'm hoping to drive this car until it dies, I wanted to try and keep that death as far in the future as possible.

Anyhow, thanks for the suggestions. I might go out for some WOT runs now. :)

hobbie2k
10-13-2006, 12:45 AM
Just got the car back from the dealer. The replaced the oil pan gasket, replaced the driver's window regulator, and replaced the drivers vanity mirror cover all under warranty. Was overall happy with their service.

Now we'll see if it keeps losing oil or not.

davmac
10-13-2006, 10:47 PM
Sounds like you have a reasonable dealer. If the oil pan gasket was leaking then I gotta believe that was where you were losing oil. I guess you'll find out over the next couple of months. IMO GM makes several good cars. I had great service from a 94 Bonneville. Other than routine oil / tires / brakes only one tune up, replaced power steering pump and a small heater bypass pipe over 10+ years and 135K miles before an accident took it. I hope you have the same - excluding the accident.

Fuelish
10-17-2006, 09:35 PM
I had great service from a 94 Bonneville. Other than routine oil / tires / brakes only one tune up, replaced power steering pump and a small heater bypass pipe over 10+ years and 135K miles before an accident took it. I hope you have the same - excluding the accident.
Me thinkst you might have been one of the lucky ones ;) I had nothing but misery from an "inherited" (my dad's old car, he's no longer able to drive) '95 Olds 88 (same platform as Bonneville, I believe...) That car was pure misery ..... cost me, probably, $1500 - $2000 minimum per year in repairs (coil packs and brakes being regular replacements). " Luckily," I was involved in a <5mph fender-bender which resulted in so much damage the car was "totalled" by the insurance co, which was cool, as it provided a good chunk of change which was put towards my buying my '92 GT vert this past May. I've had nothing but good luck with Toyotas (have had a '75 Celi ST, a '91 Tercel, and now our '05 Corolla S and my "new" old '92 Celi). Have owned a few US automaker cars, and have been, let's say, underwhelmed....Hmmm, let's see....a '84 Buick Skyhawk (crap), my wife's old Ford Tempo (forget the year, but a total pos), a '92 Eagle Summit Wagon (OK, not really "American made" - rebadged Mitsu "mini" minivan, also sold as the Dodge Colt Vista....was kind of cool, but build quality nowhere near Toyo) and the aforementioned Olds 88. Mechanincs kept telling me how the GM 3800 Series II, or whatever it was, is one of GM's best motors....'tis a shame everything attached to the motor was garbage. It's no wonder Oldsmobile is no longer in existence .....

hobbie2k
10-18-2006, 04:48 AM
See...I've had mixed experiences on both sides of the market. My 240SX survived multiple "totaled" caliber accidents and lots of beating. Then my Camry dies at only 88,000 miles. My '79 Celica was still running strong at 135,000. My Chevy Celebrity Wagon 3.1 would not die no matter how hard my brother and I tried...but everything that wasn't necessary for driving broke.

I'm hoping that my Malibu will prove to be a decently reliable car at least until the loan's paid off... This is your opportunity GM.