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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, new to the forum. I'll get right to it. My daughter recently bought a 2012 Traverse with the 3.6l. It had 115,000 miles on it. I'm concerned with oil consumption. It was, what I think, more than a quart low and she has not put 1000 miles on it. Are there any major problems with this model year and engine? I just changed the oil and will monitor the consumption, just needed info in the mean time. Any info is appreciated, and thanks in advance.
 

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As the miles build up on my engine, oil consumption has gone up.
I have always monitored. Always change oil at 5,000.
Same with my older cars. but those dont use oil.

The 2010 now uses 2-3 qts every 5000 miles. (now at 152,000)

my 2013 with the 3.6, now at 86,000- shows sings of using a little bit of oil.


Ive also read in other places- that oil usage on the 3.6 will happen as the engine racks up the miles.
Ive wondered----could it be that carbon buildup is ocurring- and you get pieces of carbon- from say the top of the valves- break off and make it into the cylinder where it bounces around-- and scratches the cylinder walls????
or you get carbon buildup- and you then use a carbon cleaning agent in the fuel- and it cleans/breaks off small pieces of carbon that then scratch the cylinders?


Its something Ive been pondering for a while. Is it true? I dont know.

As Ive seen the oil consumption slowly increase as the engine gets older.
 

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As the miles build up on my engine, oil consumption has gone up.
I have always monitored. Always change oil at 5,000.
Same with my older cars. but those dont use oil.

The 2010 now uses 2-3 qts every 5000 miles. (now at 152,000)

my 2013 with the 3.6, now at 86,000- shows sings of using a little bit of oil.


Ive also read in other places- that oil usage on the 3.6 will happen as the engine racks up the miles.
Ive wondered----could it be that carbon buildup is ocurring- and you get pieces of carbon- from say the top of the valves- break off and make it into the cylinder where it bounces around-- and scratches the cylinder walls????
or you get carbon buildup- and you then use a carbon cleaning agent in the fuel- and it cleans/breaks off small pieces of carbon that then scratch the cylinders?


Its something Ive been pondering for a while. Is it true? I dont know.

As Ive seen the oil consumption slowly increase as the engine gets older.

Multiple sources say that the deposits that form on DI engines are much harder, and much more prone to score the walls when they come off... maybe that's just the walnut blasters trying to sell their service through scare tactics, who knows.

My '14 used about a quart, going all the way to 0% with the OLM.
 

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I guess the walnut blaster are on to something.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I own 2011 Equinox with 3.0 V6 and have read terrible stories about the Equinox with the 2.4L 4 cylinder. I'm hoping not to read stories like them about this Traverse.
 

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I own 2011 Equinox with 3.0 V6 and have read terrible stories about the Equinox with the 2.4L 4 cylinder. I'm hoping not to read stories like them about this Traverse.

In my research it seems like the 2.4 has horrendous issues with carbon buildup and the 3.6 is not nearly as bad... All that searching on Colorado/Canyon/Camaro/etc. forums didn't really find many instances of people needing to have it done and having code issues.

My policy with the Traverse is to drive it, maintain it and see if a code ever pops up... then I'll address the issue if needed.
 

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my 2009 only used oil one time. It was shocking. I couldn't find any issues with it, but decided to change the oil. Since then, about 15k mile ago, it has not used anything. I never saw any oil leaks or smoke.....just in the intake tube. I have 113k miles on mine.

I can't remember if I did the "pcv" fix before or after this or at the same time. Anyway....just my observation on mine.
 

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timing chain and oil loss

our 2011 started doing the same thing after 100K+
Just test it each month. Also, our 'check engine' light is off and on. This is due to the brackets that hold the timing chain in place, and them being affected by the low oil. Supposedly this issue affects all of the traverse engines from 2009-2013...funny how there was never a recall!!! It also affects the 3.6L in other GM brands, too. But, the 'danger' time supposedly isn't until you hear a noticeable clicking noise while the engine is running...then, you are in danger of the timing chain breaking and may need to abandon the car. Talk to a mechanic for suggestions, but it may be well over 200K if that happens, and so long as you actively maintain it...maybe change the oil every 3000 miles instead...you should have little worries about that specific problem.
 

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The owners manual calls for synthetic oil. People worry about the expense but with this engine, this is where not using it catches up. I personally have used Mobil 1 since it came out in the late 1970s, so it was a natural with our 2012 traverse AWD that now has 115,000 miles with about a pint of consumption between oil changes. We bought it at 10,000 miles. We change it according to the computer that averages about 8,000 miles. The problem with the timing chain was supposedly fixed in 2012 by enlarging the oil passages. They also increased oil capacity from 5 to 6 qts. I change the trans fluid once a year. We had a torque converter just fail, but its being covered by the extended warranty. In my opinion, you might be looking at an engine rebuild soon because of improper maintenance from the previous owner(s). You might try an oil change using 5qts oil and a quart of Lucas Oil Stabilizer. I did that when my daughter purchased a car with a worn engine and she got a lot of additional miles out of it. Good luck.
 

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The owners manual calls for synthetic oil. People worry about the expense but with this engine, this is where not using it catches up. I personally have used Mobil 1 since it came out in the late 1970s, so it was a natural with our 2012 traverse AWD that now has 115,000 miles with about a pint of consumption between oil changes. We bought it at 10,000 miles. We change it according to the computer that averages about 8,000 miles. The problem with the timing chain was supposedly fixed in 2012 by enlarging the oil passages. They also increased oil capacity from 5 to 6 qts. I change the trans fluid once a year. We had a torque converter just fail, but its being covered by the extended warranty. In my opinion, you might be looking at an engine rebuild soon because of improper maintenance from the previous owner(s). You might try an oil change using 5qts oil and a quart of Lucas Oil Stabilizer. I did that when my daughter purchased a car with a worn engine and she got a lot of additional miles out of it. Good luck.
I didn't know that GM specified only Synthetic oil, glad that I am used to only purchasing synthetic for all our vehicles. Is that what Dexos1 oil is, synthetic?
 

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I believe Dexos is some sort of "synthetic blend." And I thought that is what GM specified - maybe because that is what they sell...

Our 2013 LT1 3.6 (135k miles) has never been low on oil between oil changes. However at the last oil change, I was told that a sealant is starting to break down on the engine cover, causing it to start leaking. He said he has seen it on many 2011-12 models and now starting to see on 2013's more. And it is not a gasket, it is a sealant, so I can't really picture exactly where this is. But for now it is not dripping in the garage at all, so I'm not overly concerned at the moment. Quote from the dealer to fix: $1800. I'm thinking I can buy a heck of a lot of oil for $1800, so will monitor for now.

If anyone is familiar with this, I'd be curious to know more.
 

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RBarrios, I think you are correct, I bet you are right!
I think..... When the engine "lugs" , high load, low speed and you are gently accelerating,
Then
Carbon build on intake valve, Which is hard as lava rock,
Could fall off, then scratch the cylinder walls. These scratches contribute to oil consumption


An article in "engine builder" says something similar...
The article titled "Solving Gasoline Direct Injection Issues: The facts and fictions of GDI"
Says.....

.... “What I found to be the problem is that fuel injection, especially direct injection, has a very poor accelerator pump function where as a carburetor has an accelerator pump or two,” Dickmeyer says.
“So when you are at a high load,
low speed operation
of the engine and depress the throttle slowly it squirts additional fuel through the accelerator pumps.
Fuel injection doesn’t really have that function as well. "

"What happens under this low speed,
high load situation
is you get bits of carbon and soot that break off from the valves
and
in the combustion chamber which makes its way to the cylinder walls where it sticks to the oil and the fuel that’s on the cylinder walls. "

When the piston moves up it loads the crevice clearance with carbon,
and those little groupings of carbon and soot get diluted with fuel and oil which then smolder and act like a glow plug or a wick to cause pre-ignition.

"These valves are running hot, so when oil droplets come through the intake port and pass through the cylinder head they’ll stick to the backside of the intake valve.
That starts to build up layers and it’s not just a layer of ash or goo, it almost turns into something like a lava rock"
 

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the 2009-2010 called for oil meeting the specs at that time... which was met by regular oil.
In my 2010 Ive used nothing but Regular Valvoline oil @ 5000 mile intervals.
Always came back with great Used oil analysis.


In 2011 or 2012, they changed the specs to Dexos. Which was a Synthetic Blend.
My 2013 has used nothing but full syn PP.


In regards to the oil consumption.... yeah--- im leaning towards HARD carbon slowly scratching the cylinder walls.
 

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Our 2010 has used surprisingly little oil in the 4 years we've had it. Currently sitting around 170k miles and I've switched to Castrol Edge 10w30 high mileage oil to quiet the valvetrain. Runs very smooth but I know there's MASSIVE amounts of carbon on the intake valves. It has almost no shove until you give it full beans and the cats are toast, but it still runs smooth enough at idle and it can semi get out of its own way so my mom is "just ok" with it. Have put about 6000k miles between changes now and I still change it when it gets to about 35-40%.
 

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I don't have the manual home right now to look. It could be faulty memory on the full synthetic. I'll claim a senior moment.. I do know that if you take a car with the 3.6 direct injection engine to a dealer in my area this is what they put in it. https://zzperformance.com/products/gm-dexos-synthetic-5w30-oil?gclid=CjwKCAjw-vjqBRA6EiwAe8TCk4RClQiBdbeNdV9v5BYLujnyJJ4j3989lUtxfobjYEenZmQuJp047BoCu_8QAvD_BwE .

The carbon problem has been an apparently issue for any direct injection gas engine from BMW to VW, especially if you use cut-rate gas in it. We do use regular 87, but it's a top tier gas, not the bargain basement. We also follow that up with an occasional bottle of Lucas fuel system cleaner. I'm not ordinarily a user of additives, but this seems to actually work. And with no oil consumption between changes, still good fuel mileage at 115,000 miles I must be doing something right. Just changed the spark plugs for the first time, and while worn, they were the right shade of grey, not with any evidence of the type of combustion that would indicate conditions for carbon build up.

I'm not a mechanic, I just do most of my own service and I have a mechanic who's shop I take my cars to when I need service or repairs I need help with for the past 20 years. He teaches the smog classes and ASE certificate classes in California. He gave me a link for TSBs or Technical Service Bulletins. Among the 2010's, there are instructions for reprogramming the oil life function to a shorter time for more frequent oil changes. I will leave you with the link for the various years of Traverse. I didn't really want to buy the car after reading the ones for the early models at the time, but hey "Happy Wife, Happy LIfe" a wise old man married 60 years once told me. She reminded me that I said I can make any car last a long time with the proper maintenance. She's holding me to it. Cheers. The Link: http://www.chevroletproblems.com/models/traverse/tsbs/
 

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ohhhh no.
 
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