Reader Question: Hi Austin,
I have a 2001 Chevy Express van G1500, V8-350 5.7L with 132270 miles on it. Due to my neglect, I have run it with very little oil twice.
I now know that I am using about 1 quart per thousand miles. I had a check engine light come on and its #4-cylinder misfire. We pulled the plug and it was very corroded.
New plug lasted one day and the light came back on. The shop thinks I need to replace the engine rather than do over haul.
What do you think?
Was this #4 cylinder misfire due to oil on the plug OR could it be fouled because of carbon deposits because you are due or past due for a tune up or have a bad spark plug wire and that cylinder is not getting spark?
If the plug was covered, dripping, with black engine oil…
I would try installing a screw on “spark plug anti-fouler” tip on THAT NEW plug only. You really are not supposed to use an anti-fouler with computer-controlled engines, but I have in the past with no issues. The anti fouler helps keep the oil off the plug.
I would also start using straight 50 wt Castrol or some other brand engine oil. Thicker oil will reduce oil consumption. Check and service the PCV system. A restriction in the PCV – Positive Crank Case Ventilation will build up internal engine pressure thus more oil consumption.
If you still have issues, replacing the engine is probably the best path to take since you ran low on oil before. In some cases, you can do a valve job, which rebuilds the top half of the engine and things will rock on for another 50-60K miles without problems.
Either repair, valve job or engine replacement…its VERY expensive and you will probably not get your money back out of this vehicle. Since it is now 6 years old…you might want to consider cutting your losses and buy something newer.
Remember getting a “new” rebuilt engine is only the large hunk of metal that EVERYTHING else attaches to. So all the other expensive components like transmission, water pump, AC compressor, alternator, etc. etc. etc. etc. is still going to be 6 years old with 132K miles on them.
I would hate to see you spend big bucks on this engine and get nickel and deemed to death the next few years repairing and replacing all the other components.