GM 2.0 Turbo LTG oil consumption (2015 Malibu 2.0 LTZ)

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2,229
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SE MI
I'm working on a 2015 Malibu LTZ with the 2LT package that has the 2.0 LTG Engine (GTDI). Original owner, claims she had the oil changed based on oil life monitor each time with Mobil 1 synthetic. Currently has 73,000 miles. I changed her oil and filter with Amsoil SS 5W-30 and an Amsoil Ea filter at 68,000 miles. The oil that came out at 68,000 was super black and about 3 quarts low. At 5,000 miles, her engine is about the same level low (on the dipstick) so I'm guesstimating 2-3 quarts low. But this is with Amsoil SS 5W-30. When I first changed the Amsoil, the dipstick oil still looked black. Usually after a new oil change, the oil is clear/amber. There is signs of sludge/coking on the dipstick as well. The engine runs smooth and fast, but it also seems qualitatively hot. I can't touch the dipstick unless I wait like an hour after shutting off the engine. My other GTDI engines (Ford EcoBoost) don't have this problem. I read about piston failures due to "misfire" on the earlier ATS's with the same engine. Supposedly the Camaro has a different LTG engine. Any ideas? I'm thinking about going to 10W-30 or maybe a 10W-40/5W-40 oil from Amsoil, or perhaps Rotella T6 5W-40.
 
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12,892
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ROCHESTER, NY
Well as a rule, turbos do run )))HOT((( and not being able to touch the dipstick for an hour after the engine has been turned off IMO is normal. Maybe not the hour thing but, HOT just the same. I haven't been able to touch a HOT oil dipstick after an engine has shut down in ~50 yrs of tinkering/wrenching, I don't care what engine it was. Dark oil is one thing(usually nothing more than dark oil) but as you mentioned, sludge is not good. And too, as far as what the owner(she) claims, remains to be seen unfortunately, its all you have to go on. Do you know exactly how this person drives? I mean, she could be #e!! on wheels!
 

metroplex

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SE MI
The oil that came out of that engine was jet black, and even with fresh Amsoil it was really black. There must have been a lot of carbon inside that engine. My Fusion Sport has about 5000 miles on its 5W-30 (Pennzoil Platinum) and when I compared dipstick samplings with the LTG, the LTG oil is noticeably darker at around the same mileage, not to mention at least 2 quarts low. The LTG has a weird setup. The dipstick handle is black, not the normal yellow color, and has white warning marks indicating it is hot... but my Cobalt SS Turbo has the LNF, which is about a generation older than this LTG, doesn't get anywhere as hot as this engine and I can easily check the dipstick after driving or even pull the oil fill cap. The person does drive fairly aggressively but I wouldn't say she keeps it in high RPMs on a road course, more like she gets on the gas a little more aggressively than most. I'm going to see if they revised any of the PCV parts. The LTG seems to have at least 2 or 3 PCV valves.
 
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1,638
Location
Americus, GA
It's been consistently using oil and she is changing it based on the OLM. My guess is she hasn't been checking the oil level between changes and adding as needed. People are creatures of habit and you probably won't be able to convince her to check her oil and add oil when needed. Switching to a high mileage oil may help slow the consumption. Changing the oil every 5,000 miles may help in her situation. If she continues doing what she has always done, she will be looking at engine failure in the future.
 
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Canada
Originally Posted by metroplex
The oil that came out of that engine was jet black, and even with fresh Amsoil it was really black. There must have been a lot of carbon inside that engine. My Fusion Sport has about 5000 miles on its 5W-30 (Pennzoil Platinum) and when I compared dipstick samplings with the LTG, the LTG oil is noticeably darker at around the same mileage, not to mention at least 2 quarts low. The LTG has a weird setup. The dipstick handle is black, not the normal yellow color, and has white warning marks indicating it is hot... but my Cobalt SS Turbo has the LNF, which is about a generation older than this LTG, doesn't get anywhere as hot as this engine and I can easily check the dipstick after driving or even pull the oil fill cap. The person does drive fairly aggressively but I wouldn't say she keeps it in high RPMs on a road course, more like she gets on the gas a little more aggressively than most. I'm going to see if they revised any of the PCV parts. The LTG seems to have at least 2 or 3 PCV valves.
It's the first time I hear of such thing. Do you have a temperature gauge for the oil or the coolant in the car?
 
I think there are some subjective readings here. The engine should be running at about 210 deg F. If you have a temp gun, you could get a few shots to confirm.The temp of the dipstick is a function of what is positioned next to the tube. Is the tube running past the metal cover over any of the exhaust plumbing? That would cause the tube to be hot and stay hot longer. Being that the oil is three quarts low would contribute to a higher oil temp for sure. This lady was not ever checking or adding oil and the engine loaded up with carbon. A few more oil changes will help with that. Thanks for the post. Interesting issue.
 
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2,413
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Deep in the heart of Jersey
My wife has a 2011 Equinox 4 cyl, and it has the same consumption problem. it uses 1/2 a qt in about 750 miles. Doesn't matter who's oil or what weight. There's alot on it on the net about that motor and oil consumption. It boils down to bad engineering and design right from the factory. If you don't have it fixed under warranty, which they make you jump the hoops and play games with running back & forth to the dealer, to having them officially say it consumes too much oil, they act like they never heard of the problem and want you to pay to fix it. I'll never buy another GM product after this piece of junk.,,,
 
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Location
New England
DI engines produce soot, so the oil will tend to look dark pretty quickly. I notice that my oil will look somewhat dark even after I take a brief "test drive" following an oil change and then check the level after a cool down. Within a week or so it will already look pretty black on the dipstick. This doesn't happen in my daughter's port injected engine. This engine had some Low Speed Pre Ignition (LSPI) issues, but the 1.5l DIT in other Malibus seemed to have much more severe problems. I doubt that this engine has LSPI piston damage if it is running well, but when the Subaru FA20DIT was recalled for LSPI some weird things like severely eroded spark plug electrodes were found. Sticking with dexos1 Gen 2 oils is probably a really good idea...Amsoil SS should be fine as it has passed the d1G2 LSPI tests even though it does not meet the standard as a whole. M1 5W30 is a great choice for this engine IMHO, I have used that more than anything else in my DIT. It does sound like this engine is suffering and I doubt the owner is going to take the initiative to monitor her oil level and top off...maybe you could suggest a 3000 mile OCI so it does not run quite so low? Are you sure there is no coolant system issue if the engine seems to be running super hot? My car can display oil temp on one of its screens, maybe if her car has this function you could set it up to display that for her and she could tell you what kind of temps she sees? It would be a shame to see this engine die so early!!
 
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In the Garage...
I have the same exact car with just at 60,000. Why are you running Amsoil? Mobil 1 5W-30. No make up oil between oil changes which I do at about 5000 miles. Amsoil is not a good choice for that engine. As discussed by the 2.0 turbo guys on different forums. They are adding oil. The ATS problem was 2013 with some cracked pistons. You can read all about it on line. What does super hot mean? How are you quantifying that? How long was it between the last oil change that is got so black? Sludge and coking on the part of the dipstick close to the turbo? Yep. Mine has that too. The heat bakes it on there. [Linked Image] You can see the dipstick here.
 
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In the Garage...
Originally Posted by BigCahuna
My wife has a 2011 Equinox 4 cyl, and it has the same consumption problem. it uses 1/2 a qt in about 750 miles. Doesn't matter who's oil or what weight. There's alot on it on the net about that motor and oil consumption. It boils down to bad engineering and design right from the factory. If you don't have it fixed under warranty, which they make you jump the hoops and play games with running back & forth to the dealer, to having them officially say it consumes too much oil, they act like they never heard of the problem and want you to pay to fix it. I'll never buy another GM product after this piece of junk.,,,
Your wife's engine is a 2.4 which shares nothing with the 2.0 LTG.
 
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34,696
Location
NY
She was 2-3 quarts low when you changed the oil. I wonder how long and how often she ran the engine 2-3 quarts low on oil? That to me is neglect. The engine could have a defect, but this seems more like neglect to me. A 40 grade oil might help assuming there isn't an engine defect.
 

metroplex

Thread starter
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2,229
Location
SE MI
How is Amsoil SS 5W-30 not a good oil for the LTG? Serious question. If you read my first post, her Malibu would get Mobil 1 5W-30 from day one up to 68,000 miles and I noticed it was about 2-3 quarts low at the first oil change I performed. With Amsoil 5W-30, the oil consumption is about the same. She insisted on the Amsoil as she has used that in the past on her other vehicles, but for circumstantial reasons she had the dealers change the oil on the Malibu and they used Mobil 1 5W-30. I have other GTDI engines, the LNF (precursor to LTG), SHO's 3.5 EcoBoost, two Fusion Sport 2.7 EcoBoost, and none of them produce soot like this in the engine oil. Yes, there is soot in the tail pipe tips but never the oil. Like I wrote above, I pulled the dipstick from my Fusion Sport 2.7 EcoBoost and compared the oil color/condition against the Malibu since we both have similar miles on the oil. It was pretty much night and day, and keep in mind both are GTDI engines. I'm going to check/replace the PCV valves (looks like there are 3 or 4 of them on the LTG). I'm considering a thicker synthetic oil, but I'm not sure if that would help.
 
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34,696
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NY
Originally Posted by metroplex
I'm going to check/replace the PCV valves (looks like there are 3 or 4 of them on the LTG). I'm considering a thicker synthetic oil, but I'm not sure if that would help.
That's a good idea.
 
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In the Garage...
Was it 2 or 3 quarts. Oil light should come on at about 2 quarts low. Was the low oil light on? How long was the old oil in there? The 2.0t folks have complained about oil consumption with the Amsoil, but not with Mobil 1 or Pennzoil.
 
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Toronto Canada
Originally Posted by 2004tdigls
the motor is done because it has obviously been run way to low on oil for extended periods of time
I wonder if getting involved with this engine is the right thing to do. It's probably going to fail soon. Is she going to blame you?
 

metroplex

Thread starter
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Location
SE MI
Originally Posted by ls1mike
Was it 2 or 3 quarts. Oil light should come on at about 2 quarts low. Was the low oil light on? How long was the old oil in there? The 2.0t folks have complained about oil consumption with the Amsoil, but not with Mobil 1 or Pennzoil.
She had a oil change sticker from the Belle Tire shop that changed it last, and the mileage was fairly close to when I changed it. The oil light never came on, but the reason I say it was about 2-3 qt low is that I used windshield wiper fluid gallon jugs to collect the old oil. The book said 5 quarts of 5W-30 with filter change. What I collected was a lot less than the full jug. Saying it was 4 quarts / 1 gallon is a stretch, more like maybe 3 quarts. Normally when I change the oil on an application that needs 5 quarts, I will fill that gallon jug and then fill some of the other jug. I was able to only get a lot less than 4 quarts even draining the filter dry. Do you have any links to complaints about consumption with Amsoil? She claimed the dealers and Belle Tire used M1 5W-30 in the past. It was the first time I used Amsoil in this engine based on her recommendation.
 
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NE,Ohio
Originally Posted by metroplex
[ge the oil on an application that needs 5 quarts, I will fill that gallon jug and then fill some of the other jug. I was able to only get a lot less than 4 quarts even draining the filter dry.
so it was really 1 to 1.5quarts low? or is that the new math? If you could see the oil on the dipstick it wasnt 2 quarts low. The add mark is 1 quart low.
 
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1,638
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Americus, GA
If she's been running Mobil 1 5W30 then, Mobil 1 5W30 High Mileage would be a good choice. I don't see any reason for Amsoil. Also, make sure the PCV valve or valves are functional and replace as necessary.
 
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