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Oil Usage/Smoke Discharge



I have an Avalache 1500(2002). I love my rig but I am concerned about the oil usage. I have approx. 18000 miles on the truck but I constantly get the low on oil message at about 2000-2500 miles after oil change. I generally have to add a quart. Whats really weird is that every time I drive my truck to higher altitude(from basically sea level to 4000 ft) I see a discharge of smoke when I start it(after sitting)????This dosen't happen driving at the lower sea level??? My dealer mechanics say the avalanche does use alot of oil but I have my doubts. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
First of all WELCOME! You will find a lot of information that will help you here. I think that there was a TSB about a bad PCV valve talked about here that was causing oil usage. Try doing a search for that. Any help anyone? I have a '02 Avalanche and it uses NO oil, I have not had to add any in almost 10,000 and 4 oil changes.

HERE YOU GO.....I found the thread you need HERE.
Whoever told you the Avalanche uses a lot of oil is full of it. He needs to find a new job.

That thread is excellent information.

I haven't had the problem, but I have heard of it. It sounds like the problem you're having. Except for the fact that you're getting smoke. That might indicate a leak elsewhere.

If it's smoking, there is a chance that your valve covers are leaking onto the manifold...
I had the problem also,.. maybe even one of the first. Since they replaced the PCV (TSB was in the writing stage), all oil use is gone, and only a couple times have I had the smoke.
Conclusion: it worked for me!
Thanks for the info. You would think the guys at my dealer would be aware of this. Ireally appreciate you taking your time to help me out.
Rick T.
Good luck with this one. 35,000 miles and I have used oil since day one. Very similar to your symtoms. At about 2-2,500 miles the check oil level light comes one.

I found out about the PCV valve, bought it myself and when I went to do the swap, the right valve was already in. So, next I went to the oil consumption test. Yup, as you guessed it, GM said I was within spec.

FYI, out of spec is 1 quart or more in 1000 miles or less.

So now I have a truck I really enjoy with a motor I despise. I ended up spending $1400 on the extended warranty from GM but who knows what they will do if it gets worse.

P.S. anyone got a noisy drive shaft? :cry:
Not to scare anyone but... I had a little different oil consumption problem... after going through 2 quarts of oil in my 1st 2500 miles... I was told that it wasn't a problem (Within standards) by the dealer I purchased my AV from.
Nevertheless I convinced them to start an oil consumption test. After more continued oil loss (through my first 12k miles) and a couple of heated discussions I went to the service mgr of a DIFFERENT dealership and explained my problem.

He said he'd do some research. About a week later, He called me to tell me about the PCV change and we tried it.... TWICE!!!.... still used oil.

During this time, however, I noticed puffs of smoke on startup... nothing big... just a puff.... Sure enough, oil was leaking past the valve seals... They did the repair (under warranty) and now with almost 40k I've not had to add even 1 additional quart of oil between changes.

Although a major concern could have been nasty, a good Service Manager and some dilligence on my part took care of the issue.

My motto. If at first they don't listen... find someone who will!

Wow! My second car is a 1975 Datsun 280Z with 240,000 miles on it. The engine has never been rebuilt, and it doesn't leak oil past the rings.

Now everywhere else on the car leaks oil, but that's beside the point...

At least it happened during warranty. I have had none of these problems (knock on wood)...
it is actually a pretty simple repair....

valve covers come off.... plugs come out.... an adaptor is used to put and hold air pressure in the cylinder (holds the valve up)... the valves retainer and spring is removed and the seal is replaced.

Showed a little blow- by the seal which was probably crimped a little on original install or was defective from the manufacture.

Haven't had a lick of trouble since