The LS1 oil-consumption problem...

Les

Messages
122
Location
Kemah, TX
can be compounded by using synthetic engine oils. GM recommends sticking with petroleum-based oils in the LS1's. This was tough to do when the Vettes came with synthetic from the factory. The above came straight out of the November 2003 issue of Chevy High Performance magazine in the Q&A section on page 130. I had certainly never heard this one before. They also talk about a known ring problem and "fuel washing with ring wear". [I dont know] Les
 
Messages
34,373
Location
NJ
GM should fix your car. I'd run a mix of 5w-30 with 15w-50 or use Amsoil 10w-40. I'd be pissed if that were my car. You dont' pay 45K for that. The bright side is at least it's not an M3 where the engines were breaking and requiring a 10w-60 oil. [Smile]
 
Messages
47,815
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Sounds like bum "advice" to me. Synthetic oil does not compound or increase a comsumption problem. Sure if your car is inhaling oil like Gore during his youth, you know sucking lube like a 57 chevy with 300K miles, then sure synthetic makes no sense. But is this what they are telling you to treat your car like?
 
Messages
942
Location
Daytona Beach
Pablo is more correct on this one. Very unlikely that synthetic oil "in general" can cause oil consumption problems. Now some synthetics that tend to run thin or shear quickly, might be another matter. GM installed sythetic oil in the newer Vette's for one reason, to avoid the cost of additional oil cooling or an external air/oil cooler. It was cheaper and would actually fit under the hood, and would not detract from cooling system capacity. If my car came with synthetic, I would STICK to synthetic. I have written on this board about engine design and oil consumption becoming more common, mostly learning from a GM powerplant engineer, it's not the oil in most cases. Don't drive your car like grandma, keep the carbon out of it, and stick to manufacturers specs on oil, and your oil consumption should decrease. keep in mind that a truck engine is a whole other story, completely different service.
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
Unless they put an oil cooler on the Corvette, they can't stop synthetic oil from going into the Corvette. The only motor oils that meet the GM heat requirment are synthetic oils. Maybe you have a Camaro rather then a Corvette, but the Covette comes from the factory with synthetic oil. If I owned a Corvette (not very likely unless I win the lottery-in which case I will take a red one) I think I would use Amzoil oil in it, or else Redline.
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
quote:
Originally posted by Mystic: Maybe you have a Camaro rather then a Corvette, but the Covette comes from the factory with synthetic oil.
Mystic, Z28s and Trans Ams all came with Mobil 1 begining late 2001. The vette engine and the F-body engines are the same. There might be some minor details like "slighty" bigger cam in a vette, but otherwise the same. My Z28 does not consume any oil and it has run on M1 since new. Rick
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
Look at all the posts on assorted places on the internet talking about problems with the LS1 engines. To me, it points to a few simple problems. They were inadequately engineered using less than desireable materials and are poorly assembled at the factory. I don't see it as much more complicated than that. Oh well. Maybe GM can blame it all on synthetic oil and snow the faithful, but I really don't think anyone else is too convinced. Wonder what the next "reason" for the problems is going to be when people start runiing dino oil in them... [ October 06, 2003, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: jsharp ]
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
jsharp, I don't know if you are referring to my post, but if you are, you don't have to convince me that GM has some major quality problems. My car makes a slapping/mechanical noise at idle that sounds more like an oil starved motor....the interior looks like it was put together by my 1 1/2 year old girl (little angel) and there is a clunky sound from excessive play in the drivetrain (almost, if not all M6 cars have this), but this car is fast as h3ll. I still don't believe what the engineers say in regard to the LS1 being smoother than all previous SBCs...I had an '88 Trans Am and that baby was smooth....until I put a top fuel cam in it [Eek!] ....but these LS1s are definitely the most sophisticated and most powerful (by a long shot) V8s ever....even more than their big block brother....at least pound for pound and as far as GM is concerned. It's a shame GM can't get their act straight [Roll Eyes] Rick EDIT:
quote:
They were inadequately engineered using less than desireable materials and are poorly assembled at the factory.
Regarding this commment, I tend to disagree with you on the inadequatly enginnered part. Even though the LS1 is totally different that all other SBCs, the basic desing, pushrod type is still the same; and GM has been building SBCs for a while now.....I think they know, for the most part, what they are doing. Now, the second and third part of your statement, I agree 100%.....especially when it comes to tolerances, assembly and quality control......it isn't uncommon to see 20-30 hp among stock engines from the same year [ October 06, 2003, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: Last_Z ]
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
But you can't run conventional motor oil in them, can you? Is there any conventional motor oil that will meet GM's heat requirement? If I had a Corvette and they told me I had to start using conventional motor oil, I guess I would start using Schaeffer's blend. But how could GM go against their own requirements? They were putting Mobil 1 in at the factory, and requiring that oils meet a GM requirement. Are they saying that there is something wrong with Mobil 1? Well, if there is-then what about Amsoil, Redline, etc. Something wrong with them too?
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
Mystic, You can put any oil you choose in an LS1....they run no hotter than LT1s and L98....if something, they run cooler. In fact, the fan settings in the LS1 are really high...something like 220* for the secondary fan with A/C off....I'm sure this is due mostly to the all aluminum engine losing too much heat. My friend's 99 TA has run nothing but cheapo dino...no problems. Rick
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by Last_Z: jsharp, I don't know if you are referring to my post, but if you are, you don't have to convince me that GM has some major quality problems. My car makes a slapping/mechanical noise at idle that sounds more like an oil starved motor....the interior looks like it was put together by my 1 1/2 year old girl (little angel) and there is a clunky sound from excessive play in the drivetrain (almost, if not all M6 cars have this), but this car is fast as h3ll. I still don't believe what the engineers say in regard to the LS1 being smoother than all previous SBCs...I had an '88 Trans Am and that baby was smooth....until I put a top fuel cam in it [Eek!] ....but these LS1s are definitely the most sophisticated and most powerful (by a long shot) V8s ever....even more than their big block brother....at least pound for pound and as far as GM is concerned. It's a shame GM can't get their act straight [Roll Eyes]
My post was just a general comment, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I know for a fact the cars are fast as %$#!. It bothers me that GM won't stand behind them. My bet is once the dino oil dodge doesn't make it all go away for GM, they are going to start blaming owners for abuse. As if anyone buys one of them to putt it along at 55. If I had one I'd drive it like it was stolen. I figure I'm OK to whine about Detroit tho. I've got a 5.0L Mustang in the garage. That would explain why I have a Toyota as a daily driver... [Wink] [ October 06, 2003, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: jsharp ]
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by Last_Z: Mystic, You can put any oil you choose in an LS1....they run no hotter than LT1s and L98....if something, they run cooler. In fact, the fan settings in the LS1 are really high...something like 220* for the secondary fan with A/C off....I'm sure this is due mostly to the all aluminum engine losing too much heat. My friend's 99 TA has run nothing but cheapo dino...no problems. Rick
I thought they had to go to a reverse cooling setup to keep them cool? Check this. I read it on the net so the validity is suspect...
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
Are you guys sure that GM is going to start requiring conventional motor oil in cars like the Corvette? The Corvette would probably require an oil cooler. There is a GM heat requirement for motor oils for the Corvette. If this is correct then this is shocking to me. GM has been selling Corvettes with synthetic oil in them for years. Guess when I win the lottery (when, not if) I will get that Mustang rather then the Corvette. A red one, and fast.
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
As much as I hate to say this, I have no choice: God bless Toyotas and Hondas! [Patriot] My wife drives a 03 Corolla and so far so good, althoug it does have some lil itty bitty bugs (rattles), and so did my 01 Accord. Just don't take my Z away though.....4 bangers just don't cut it for me. [email protected] MPH; 99% stock with only 6000 miles more than compensates for the small bugs my car has.
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
jsharp, the LT1s had the reverse cooling system. Too much compression and too hot coolant force the change. This brought problems though....LT1's cooling sys. are (supposedly) a b**** to bleed, since air rises inside the engine, but the reverse flow pushes it back down. L98s and LS1 have conventional flow. Mystic, I am not aware of GM saying anything about using dino or synthetic only oils. My manual says to use 5/10W-30 only with the API starburst on the container. It doesn't even mention SF or SL required. I believe the requirement you mention is something like" Corvette requirement GM4775" or something like that, which I was told here is a series of tests, not just a single test. Rick
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
There are a few things I hate about GM. I hate that horrible red antifreeze that causes all kinds of problems. I guess they can't go back to the green stuff because some engineer would be embarassed. That red stuff might look pretty at first but after your car has a few miles it looks like mud! And now, if GM has been selling cars like the Corvette with synthetic oil and they have to tell people they need to start using conventional motor oil-well, that is pretty poor engineering. I don't think you can blame the oil. And if Mobil 1 is too thin in an engine that may have a tendancy to burn oil, how about requiring 15W-50 Mobil 1 instead? That is what they use in one of the hot Mustangs. Maybe we need to rethink this entire deal of 5W-20 and 5W-30 motor oils so that corporations that build cars and trucks can have a higher CAFE. And maybe some good engineering needs to be put into American cars and trucks before Toyota and Honda blow us out of the water.
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
quote:
Originally posted by Mystic: There are a few things I hate about GM. I hate that horrible red antifreeze that causes all kinds of problems. I guess they can't go back to the green stuff because some engineer would be embarassed. That red stuff might look pretty at first but after your car has a few miles it looks like mud! And now, if GM has been selling cars like the Corvette with synthetic oil and they have to tell people they need to start using conventional motor oil-well, that is pretty poor engineering. I don't think you can blame the oil. And if Mobil 1 is too thin in an engine that may have a tendancy to burn oil, how about requiring 15W-50 Mobil 1 instead? That is what they use in one of the hot Mustangs. Maybe we need to rethink this entire deal of 5W-20 and 5W-30 motor oils so that corporations that build cars and trucks can have a higher CAFE. And maybe some good engineering needs to be put into American cars and trucks before Toyota and Honda blow us out of the water.
I agree with you, but consider this though: -LS1 engines make ~330-340 on stock trim -LS1 engine can achieve ~30-33 MPG -LS1 engines are slow turning engines, relatively speaking, for better durability. -The red antifreeze is not a design problem....at least not GM design problem....it's probably more of a money or political problem. For the money I paid for my car (actually paying), $25,600, this car is not that bad at all. They are kinda inexpensive, so don't expect a lot of German/Japanese type of quality. An Acura RSX is just about the same price as my Z and it's at least 1.5 seconds slower. The NSX is something like 80-90 Gs....even the Civics, which are great cars, realiability wise are something like 13-14 Gs. So, pound for pound, the F-bodies are the bargain of the century. I could easily spank a stock Ferrari 355 (which I hear break a lot) for $110k less. Rick EDIT: The requirement you were mentioning is "GM 4718M for Corvettes"....I looked it up. [ October 07, 2003, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: Last_Z ]
 
Messages
3,377
Location
BC, Canada
Les; Chevy High Performance has to fill up their pages with new B.S. every month. Everyone wants to be the next Smokey. [Frown] Once you are on to the magazine writers and their style, read very carefully what they say. 1. Very little of what they print is ever backed up with fact. 2. The first, third and last paragraphs of any "tech" article is warming up to the audience. 3. There is very little technical information in any of the articles, just a lot of Bla, bla, bla... 4. They HAVE to support the advertizers with articles that put glowing reviews on their products. 5. These reviews are disguised as tech articles, when in fact they are not more than shamless informercials. Buster; Why do you suggest mixing 15W50 with other viscosities? Last_Z; What is a "top fuel cam" 302/296 @.050"?
 
Messages
3,542
Location
Colorado
I love these LS1 threads! Some of you might remember that my 2002 LS1 was rebuilt at 12,000 miles due to piston slap and oil cunsumption. I'm now on my last Halvoline oil change. I used Halvoline to break in the rebuild and dropped the oil at 500, 1,000 and will switch back to Mobil 1 after this last 2,000 miles with the Halvoline as Terry reccomended this for the break in. So far durring the last 1,000 mile the oil level did not move on the dip stick so I hope the new rings stopped the oil consumption. I'll have this Halvoline 10w30 analyzed as soon as I finish this 2,000 miles. I hope that it will not start to burn! The LS1 is one of the best engines performence wise if not the best ever dollar for dollar. Yes it has it's problems(mine still knocks) but it's performence makes up for that. I wish it was a perfect engine but I guess that dosent exist. I just love how it pulls so dam hard and a 12-13 second car for under $27,000 who's V8 gets 30 MPG just can't be beat! All this makes up for it's short falls.
 
Top