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 Time to rebuild? 1997 Chevy 350 using about 1qt of oil between changes 219K miles
Eastwood123  [Member]
12/27/2011 6:44:13 AM
My old truck, which is in pretty good shape for being 14 yrs old, is starting to use oil between changes. Its getting to the point that when close to changing the oil, i start checking it more frequent and now is about 1-1.5 qts low about a few weeks or so before i actually change the oil. This has been the case for the last 6 months or so.I suppose I should get a compression check? Either way, Ive priced a GM crate motor from several sources, and surprisingly a local dealer has the best deal, including nearly free rental car while they are swapping out the engine. It still runs like a top. Ive always done (or had done) all the maintenance on it.

The other option im considering is getting something to use as a daily driver and park the truck for weekends only or where I actually need to haul something.
jmt1991  [Member]
12/27/2011 6:57:28 AM
How many miles does it take to burn the 1 - 1.5 qts. If it's taking 1000 miles or more to burn that much oil, don't sweat it. If the oil consumption is < 1 qt. per 1K miles, it's OK. If you're burning more than 1 qt every 1K miles, that's a little too much. But this is just a ballpark figure, some engines burn more, some less.
flightsimmer  [Member]
12/27/2011 9:25:50 AM
I used to replace my valve guide seals whenever I started using oil and seeing smoke when the engine was idleing like at a stop light when you start moving again. Oil is cheaper than parts and labor.
newguy2k3  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 9:45:46 AM
Just extend your oil change interval a little bit to compensate.....profit

My car has been using ~2-3qts over 10k mile interval for 60k miles now. It doesn't smoke that I can see or leak on the ground so I just keep it topped off.
Schroedum  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 9:46:44 AM
If you have the money to do it and you want to invest it into the truck I say go for it. But if your not sure your going to be driving this truck in a year or two, just keep adding oil and save the cash you would have spent on the new engine for a new truck
bluebead  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 12:41:59 PM
Some oil change places will top off the oil in between changes for free. My 98 has 120.000 and still dosen't use any, except when towing the camper.
Krochus  [Member]
12/27/2011 1:00:20 PM
LOL you could go buy a NEW GM truck and have it use more oil than that and the service dpr will tell you it's A OK
fxntime  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 1:06:05 PM
One quart or so between oil changes? You have another 100K to go before worrying about rebuilding the engine unless your oil changes are at 500 mile intervals. Plenty of newer engines that will use a quart between oil changes and are well within specs. Low tension piston rings reduce friction but also allow a bit of oil to be burned which isn't an issue.
wildearp  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 3:19:49 PM
Originally Posted By flightsimmer:
I used to replace my valve guide seals whenever I started using oil and seeing smoke when the engine was idleing like at a stop light when you start moving again. Oil is cheaper than parts and labor.


Have someone watch the tail pipe when you cold start it. If it smokes, you should change the valve seals. (I had a new truck do this with only 1200 miles on it)
94TBlazer  [Member]
12/27/2011 3:34:54 PM
I like the new daily driver option. That'll give you time to figure out your truck & not put you in a bind. Also, the 350SB is one of the greatest engines ever produced. No way I'd junk it unless I had to. Find a competent rebuilder & get a refresh done.
AASG  [Member]
12/27/2011 4:45:04 PM
What's with all the guys worried about oil consuption lately? Damn it boy, I don't think I've had a vehicle that uses that SMALL of an amount. I check my oil at least once a week. Since I drive numerious vehicles, I tend to just check it every time I get ready to go in the morning. Seriously, taking the truck apart to put in a new engine is likely to cause even more problems than it had before. I've never met a mechanic that can get it back together without having new quirks.
I think you're being anal to even worry about something like this.

In my higher mileage engines I start running 15/40 diesel grade oil (multi fleet, approved for gas and diesel) and I just started adding Lucas oil stabilizer.
ColtRifle  [Member]
12/27/2011 6:28:28 PM
That's not even really consumption. I remember my dad's 1969 Chevy 350. We took it for a 500 mile trip to pick up some furniture when I was a kid. It used 4 quarts of oil in 500 miles. We had to clean or replace the spark plugs about every 500 miles too!!!

You're good. Keep driving it. Bet any oil consumption is through the valve stem seals. You should be able to replace those without removing the head on that engine IIRC.
tothemax  [Team Member]
12/27/2011 6:32:16 PM
I wouldn't worry about that.

I had an 2000 chevy 2500 and it used 1-2 quarts of oil in 5k miles. I took it to the dealer and it was "within specs"

Drive that truck until it starts to really use oil
DonofKalifornia  [Team Member]
12/30/2011 8:39:18 AM
Leave the engine alone.

To all of you talking about valve guides/ seals, you know very like at GM 'R' motors. The seal just barely lets enough oil in to lube the guide. I've pulled down Vortec heads that have 200 K miles on the and the guides are still so tight you run a .343 reamer through them you get metal. Only issue with 'R' motor heads is the valves stick in the guides when real hot.