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Old 01-17-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default engine oil consumption excessive 2007 5.3 flex

2011Jul 05

Tahoe LT
Automatic transmission
69,853 miles

I just started having this problem a couple of months ago. I am about to take it to the dealer for a oil change and tire rotation. I am curious as to what he says the problem is and more importantly, how to fix it. I should not have to take 6 quarts of oil with me every time my family and I go out of town. We keep this Tahoe serviced on a regular basis, so I am very concerned about this issue. I would say I would trade it in for a Ford product, but I have a 2010 F-150 with transmission problems. So much for buying American made automobiles!

David W.

Wilmington, NC, USA

2010Dec 01

Tahoe LT
Automatic transmission
103,775 miles

My 2007 Chevy Tahoe burns up tons of oil and I have needed to purchase cases of oil to replenish. I have 103,775 miles so now we are starting the oil test.


San Marcos, CA, USA

2010Aug 19

Tahoe LTX 5.3L
Automatic transmission
73,000 miles

About 8 months ago I had the oil changed at a local quick lube. About a month or two later my wife called and said there was some kind of warning light on... something about oil. After adding 2 quarts I blamed it on the quick lube guys. I normally change my oil, always have, but I won a coupon at a raffle. We were getting ready for a short trip, recently and I gave the Tahoe engine bay a once over. A feel good thing. A quart low. I blamed that on myself. Wrong. Checked the oil the other day..... A quart low.
I E-Mailed GM and complained. At 98000 miles I'm just barely under warranty. The GM rep called and I got a voice mail saying that I have a reference number and that the service bulletin says that it is "normal" for the Tahoe to use 1 quart every 2000 miles. GM recommends every 75000 miles. I change mine at 5000 miles.... SO They, GM is telling me that it is normal to use 2 1/2 quarts between 5000 mile oil changes.

This is a 40,000 dollar vehicle with less than 100,000 miles and here I am in the driveway adding oil. I have been an auto and industrial mechanic ALL my life and the only car I EVER owned that used this much oil was a worn out '51 FORD. Did I here class action law suit some were??

Bill H.

New Bern, NC, USA



2010Jun 15

Tahoe LS V8
Automatic transmission
40,000 miles

Noticed at around 40,000 miles, my tahoe was using excessive oil! What? This is basically a new vehicle. May have started b/f then but I didn't notice and they didn't mention it when I had my oil changed. I shouldn't have to carry a case of oil around in a new vehicle. But this is normal? I don't think so!! This isn't my first vehicle... I've never had this problem. Had a Land Rover Discovery b/f this Tahoe and at 135,000 miles never had an engine problem... NEVER was low of oil!! GM needs a recall but they'll never own up to this problem b/c it would be too expensive to fix! It will cost them in the long run though because we will purchase more vehicles in the future and if something isn't recalled on this, it won't be a chevrolet!!!


Moulton, AL, USA

2009Sep 16

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8
Automatic transmission
48,000 miles

Seems like there should be a definite fix for these 2007 5.3L engines by now. Obviously chevy knows about the problem because this oil consumption is not a problem in 2008 or later models.

Alex I.

Puyallup, WA, USA


2010Mar 10

Tahoe LS
Automatic transmission
65,000 miles

This engine I was told by Decosky GM Center in Mt. Vernon,Ohio is normal for this vehicle. I think it is not normal and GM needs to do something.


Howard, Ohio, USA



2010May 10

Tahoe LT V8 5.3L
Automatic transmission
33,900 miles

I own a Chevy Tahoe. It is suppose to be the reliable family car. I am so angry over this oil consumtion problem that I cannot stand it. My Tahoe was a $40,000. investment and to think that I have to stop in to get the oil topped off every 1000m is pain in the butt. My Tahoe is currently in the service center as we speak and they say there is nothing wrong with it. It just has a hot burning engine and it is no problem to come in and top it off. My customer service gentlemen is at least being fair with us in regaurds to our Tahoe. He thinks the oil consumption issue is a real problem too. Butt I am getting all his promises in writing and have a wittness everytime we talk about the engine issues.

My biggest problem is that I do errands in town and do not drive great distances to often. So for me to come in every 1000m is going to take a while. I was promised that if I follow the oil consumption test to T, and never mess it up that my Tahoe will be taken care of long after warranties have run out. I am not suppose to have any cost out of pocket while dealing with this oil consumption testing.

I think GM needs to step up to the plate and recall this V8 5.3L engine!!!!!!!!!!!


Folsom, CA, USA

2009Jan 01

Tahoe LT V8
Automatic transmission
77,000 miles

GM KNOWS they have a problem with this V8 in their trucks, they try and replace the lifters, NOT a long-term solution, continues to BURN oil.

Warren B.

Brentwood, TN, USA

2008Jul 20

Tahoe LT 5.3L
Automatic transmission
12,000 miles

this truck uses 1.5 -2.0 qts of oil every 1000-1500 miles? GM says this is normal?? my local dealer ankeny iowa.... tells us to call the 1 800-chevy usa .. they cant call me back for 4 more days .. sometime between 1-3pm on friday the 25th .. when did the cable company start running general motors? we have had both synthetic and conventional oil in it and makes no difference. over 1 yrs of oil consumption analysis and all i get is just keep your eye on it . how is that even acceptable! this truck only has 22k on it now and getting worse. Its not hard to guess why gm is broke. junk cars and crappy management!!!!!

Jeremy T.

desmoines, iowa, USA
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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had the same problem in my 07. Did some reading on other forums, which people identified to the AFM/DOD (active fuel management). Don't know the specifics on why it caused oil consumption, but I can tell you after disabling the AFM my motor doesn't burn oil. I purchased a predator 3 tuner to disable. Doesn't have to be that specific tuner, that's just the one that I went with for my preference. Almost all tuners remove it, just read the description of the device. Just my expierence......
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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grin Just had this TSB done ALL 2007 model 5.3L and up DANG GM knows about this

Originally Posted by bowtie_hoe View Post
had the same problem in my 07. Did some reading on other forums, which people identified to the AFM/DOD (active fuel management). Don't know the specifics on why it caused oil consumption, but I can tell you after disabling the AFM my motor doesn't burn oil. I purchased a predator 3 tuner to disable. Doesn't have to be that specific tuner, that's just the one that I went with for my preference. Almost all tuners remove it, just read the description of the device. Just my expierence......
Just had $600.00 worth of TSB Warranty work completed 4.5 hrs. labor under power train work done, you all should check into this. If you continue to use oil then they replace ALL you Pistons and Rings FREE.


If it doesn't correct oil consumption issue they must replace piston and rings! WOW

#10-06-01-008B: Engine Oil Consumption on Aluminum Block Engines with Active Fuel Man
Service Information
2009 Pontiac G8 | G8 Service Manual | Bulletins By Category | Technical | Document ID: 2596962

#10-06-01-008B: Engine Oil Consumption on Aluminum Block Engines with Active Fuel Management (AFM) (Install AFM Oil Deflector and Clean Carbon from Cylinder) - (Mar 7, 2011)

Subject: Engine Oil Consumption on Aluminum Block Engines with Active Fuel Management (AFM) (Install AFM Oil Deflector and Clean Carbon from Cylinder)

Models: 2007-2009 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT

2007-2009 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado 1500, Suburban, Tahoe

2007-2009 GMC Sierra 1500, Sierra Denali, Yukon, Yukon XL, Yukon Denali, Yukon Denali XL

2008-2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Equipped with Aluminum Block V8 Engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) (RPOs LC9, LH6, L76, LFA, L92)

with Greater than 45,000 km (28,000 mi)


This bulletin is being revised to add the 2009 model year and new Correction information for the 2009 model year - left rocker arm cover replacement. Information has also been added after step 9. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 10-06-01-008A (Section 06 - Engine/Propulsion System).


Some customers may comment about engine oil consumption of vehicles with higher mileage (approximately 48,000 to 64,000 km (30,000 to 40,000 mi). Verify that the induction system is assembled correctly and that there is no evidence that the engine has been ingesting dirty air due to a mis-assembled induction system. Also verify that the PCV system is functioning properly. If diagnostic procedures indicate that oil consumption is piston/piston ring related, verify that oil consumption is less than 3,000 km (2,000 mi) per liter/quart. If these conditions are met and oil consumption is less than 3,000 km (2,000 mi) per liter/quart, perform the service indicated in this bulletin.

This condition may be caused by oil spray that is discharged from the AFM pressure relief valve within the crankcase. Under most driving conditions and drive cycles, the discharged oil does not cause a problem. Under certain drive cycles (extended high engine speed operation), in combination with parts at the high end of their tolerance specification, the oil spray quantity may be more than usual, resulting in excessive deposit formation in the piston ring grooves, causing increased oil consumption.

2009 Vehicles Only
Important: This left rocker arm cover is NOT to be used on 2007-2008 vehicles because of the calibration of the PCV orifice being different in 2007-2008.

A new left rocker arm cover has been released for 2009 engines. Technicians should replace the left rocker arm cover with GM P/N 12642655. This rocker arm cover has relocated PCV drain holes that prevents PCV pullover into the intake manifold. Refer to SI for Valve Rocker Arm Cover Replacement - Left Side.

2008-2007 Vehicles Only

To correct this condition, perform the piston cleaning procedure as described in this document, and install a shield over the AFM pressure relief valve per the procedure outlined in this document. Monitor oil consumption after this repair to ensure oil consumption has improved to acceptable levels. If this repair does not correct the condition, it may be necessary to replace the piston assemblies (piston and rings) with new parts.

Important: It is critical in this cleaning process that the engine/fuel injector cleaner remain in the cylinders for a minimum of 2.5 hours to fully clean the components. The cleaner solution must be removed before a maximum of three hours.

Verify the oil consumption concern following Corporate Bulletin Number 01-06-01-011F. If oil consumption is found, continue on with this bulletin.
Remove the spark plugs and ensure that none of the pistons are at top dead center (TDC).
Clean the pistons by putting 118-147 ml (4-5 oz) of Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner, GM P/N 88861802 (in Canada, use 88861804), in each cylinder. Allow the material to soak for at least 2.5-3.0 hours, but no more than three hours and then remove the cleaner. A suggested method of removing the cleaner is cranking engine over. Make sure to unplug the ignition coils and fuel injector before cranking the engine over. Also make sure that the painted surfaces are covered so no damage is done.
Remove the oil pan. Refer to Oil Pan Replacement in SI.

Remove the AFM valve (1).

Install the new shield (1), GM P/N 12639759, and tighten the AFM valve to the oil pan to 28 Nm (20 lb ft).
Important: Ensure that the engine cleaner is thoroughly removed before reinstalling the spark plugs. Failure to do so may result in a hydro-lock condition.

Reinstall the spark plugs. Replace the spark plugs if necessary due to full of carbon. Refer to the parts catalog.
Reinstall the oil pan. Refer to the Oil Pan Installation procedure in SI. Replace the oil pan gasket if necessary. Refer to the parts catalog. Replace the engine oil if necessary.
Re-evaluate the oil consumption. Document on the repair order. If the oil consumption is still greater than 0.946 L (1 qt) in 3,200 km (2000 mi), replacement of the pistons and rings will be required.

Important: Some minor scratches may be noticed on the cylinder walls during piston and ring replacement. If the scratch cannot be felt when running your finger nail over it, the scratch is considered normal wear and the block or engine should not be replaced.

Parts Information
Part Number

DEFLECTOR-OIL PRESS RLF VLV (quantity of 3 per order) (07-08 Models Only)

88861802 (in Canada, use 88861804)
CLEANER, F/INJR 16 OZ LIQUID POUR (Upper Engine and Fuel Injector Cleaner) (07-08 Models Only)

COVER ASM-VLV RKR ARM (09 Models Only)

Warranty Information
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

Labor Operation
Labor Time

Install AFM Oil Deflector and Clean Carbon from Cylinder
3.5 hrs

Install AFM Oil Deflector and Clean Carbon from Cylinder (4WD)
4.5 hrs

Install AFM Oil Deflector and Clean Carbon from Cylinder (G8 Only)
10.5 hrs

Rocker Arm Cover- Left Bank - Replace- (For 2009 Only)
0.6 hr

*This is a unique labor operation for bulletin use only. It will not be published in the Labor Time Guide.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.


2011 General Motors. All rights reserved.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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pissed Getting rid of a beloved 09 Tahoe LTZ

Just spent 15 min with a guy riding in the dealer passenger delivery vehicle who told me of his experience with the 5.3L flex fuel engine. Scary, GM will admits the issue but blows you off, these engines when in 4 cylinder mode splashes oil on the bottom of the piston and onto the rings, they become caked and hard, score the cylinder, and the engine has to be rebuilt. Problem starts at about 50K miles and continues to get worse with fuel mileage dropping and engine going bad. Under warranty they will rebuild but it's only temporary because the process all starts again unless you disable the variable cylinder mode which voids the warranty.
Time to trade in! Sadly the more people who learn of this the faster the value is going to drop. Act now.

UPDATE Late yesterday got some advice from service advisor as follows; the fix for this is a three parter namely 1. to install a modified driver's side valve cover, then 2. Install an oil splash guard in the bottom of the engine with oil plan removed, and then 3. Do a top engine clean (can pay the dealer for this or...run full tank of 89 octane and run engine for a period to exceed 45 minutes, then next tank 91 octane again for periods longer than 45 minutes (this to get engine to max operating temp). These three steps should avoid the trouble, but no guarantee. In addition he states that certain years seem to get this problem more than others. This is from a guy that owns an 07 and has more than 100K on it.

Last edited by Towin' Tahoe; 12-02-2014 at 10:15 AM. Reason: UPDATE Information
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #5
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Have heard this complaint repeatedly. Replacing the valve cover with the updated one according to TSB helps and fixes in most cases and disabling the AFM will take care of it also. I know people that disable the AFM just because they say they feel an engine vibration when it is activated.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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That is concerning, but appears as though many have some good insight here.
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