For GM to say burning off oil every 2,000 miles is "normal" is simply trying to cover up a major problem that they don't want to or possibly can't afford to correct. By "normal" they mean it's COMMON. Big difference and very sneaky of them. Same logic that it's "normal" for Ford Taurus transmissions to fail before 100k miles. I'm not sure how they justify this. All it does is make them look bad as a company. Idiots. My response would be "It's 'normal' for me to take my 1yr old oil burning GM back to the dealership and throw a fit!"
Although using a quart of oil every 2000 miles is not unheard of in some newer cars, it does seem a bit excessive. No new car we have owned since 1985 used any noticeable amount of oil between 3,000 mile changes, except for a Honda Civic, which used a quart every 500 miles (it was a lemon and never even made it to 100,000 miles).
Our friend's Avalon leaked a quart about every two weeks, but didn't actually burn it. It just kept their driveway messed up.
The last new car I owned that actually used any oil was a 1972 Plymouth (bought new in 1972). It used a quart every 1000-1500 miles from day one until I sold it with nearly 200,000 miles on it. It always ran flawlessly and never had any engine or transmission repairs.
I don't know if I'd go to the trouble of getting a dealer to repair one that was only using a quart every 2000 miles. They would probably do more harm than good. Just add a quart between changes. It certainly isn't "common", but it isn't that big a deal either.
It certainly is a BIG deal to people who spend all that money on a brand-new car and can't just get in and go wherever they want whenever they want. Having to constantly check to make sure the oil isn't too low in your car, new or used, is just a pain in the butt. I know when I have places to go I typically don't have the time or patience to pop my hood, check the oil level, then go as normal. It's a burden. If it's burning a quart every 2k miles, that means they have to always make sure to have a spare bottle of oil in the trunk and dump it in between oil changes. That's just a pain! I could be mistaken, but I thought one main reason people buy new cars is so they don't have to worry about problems. Beside all this, burning oil like that is terrible for the environment, a reflection of terrible engineering, and makes me wonder if the problem would only get worse with time. It's very unforgivable. The only cars I've owned that burned oil were OLD cars at the time. My '88 Camry started burning about a quart between oil changes at around 140k miles as did my '92 Plymouth Acclaim with close to 200k miles. I expect that from an old Plymouth, not a new car.
I just traded a 1999 Park Avenue with the 3.8 and over 140,000 miles and the car burned absolutely no oil even going between 4-5,000 miles between changes. The 3.8 is a very tried and true design, and it is certainly not normal or acceptable for the car to be burning or leaking that much oil in 2,000 miles.
In some cases, only sustained light driving can actually cause oil consumption in some engines. What happens is carbon can build up around the piston oil control rings causing them to not seal properly. With some spirited acceleration, the carbon can break up and leave the combustion chamber through the increased airflow and out the exhaust.
Modern engines are designed to be driven to maximum driver input from time to time, it certainly won't hurt.
The 3800 engines are generally a good, reliable, economic engine.
It would seem that it is not all the fault of the car and GM. Your dealer is partly to blame because it sounds like an easily fixed problem. Try going to a regular mechanic shop to see if they can properly diagnose the problem.
And don't buy a Toyota Hybrid. There is no question that Toyota builds the best cars at the most affordable price to date. Why else would they be the #1 car manufacturer in the world? But the Prius is nothing but a gimmick. It does not help the environment because the batteries it uses are inefficient and must be shipped all across the globe from Britain to China for manufacturing. Plus, its gasoline counterpart, the Yaris (which we do own, by the way) gets over ten more miles to the gallon, is much cheaper, and produces much less carbon emissions in manufacturing.
If you want a real ecomobile, buy a Yaris. If you want a fake, "Carbon Offsets" buying yuppie-mobile, buy a Prius Hybrid in light green.
To the above comment, I wonder myself if a small gas car like Yaris or Hyundai Accent is actually better for your wallet and the environment in the long run based on what you mentioned. It's hard to justify paying literally 2x the price new for a $28k Prius when you can buy a Yaris or Accent for $14k. You'll average a lot less MPGs, but that is negligible when you look at the difference in price. If you look at it from an environmental point of view, it still seems better for the environment to drive something that doesn't require $1500 in batteries and the manufacturing processes involved.
If Prius' do actually cost $28k, who in their right mind would buy one?? They are tiny, God awful cars whose only virtue is high fuel mileage in a day of reasonably priced fuel.
Though it doesn't have a lot to do with this Buick, I agree with the Yaris vs Prius debate. I think it makes a lot more sense paying half as much and probably being just as good to the environment.
12:43 What about other considerations when buying a new car. Are you driving a lot? Distance driving... how many passengers. Do you like amenities, handling, some driving enjoyment as well. If it's only about green and short driving... ride a bus or a bike perhaps. Maybe consider the applications other than just cheapest.
I had a 2002 LeSabre 3.8 engine that burned 1 qt per 1000 miles. I now have a 2007 Lucerne 3.8 that burns 1 qt in 2000 miles. GM says that is in the normal range. I say it is in the extreme normal range. They won't say what they will do if I get beyond the normal range of 2000. Most the mechanics I ask say that GM has had a bad set of rings in their engines for some years. I am going through a oil level check every 1000 miles. So far I am still at the 1/2 qt. per 1000 miles. Good luck GM owners. I can see why they won't acknowledge that they have an oil burning problem. At Valvoline they tell me that my car is normal for a GM 3.8 engine that they see all the time.
Own a 2010 Buick Lacrosse. Starting to use oil, approx. 2 quarts every 4500 miles. GM service rep. tells me this is common??
Have owned numerous GM autos and never heard of or had this problem. GM does have a problem with this engine (3.8).
Very partial to GM, but starting to question the answers on the oil PROBLEM.