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Excessive or normal? 3.0L LZ0 Duramax diesel oil usage after 5k miles


We just lifted the dipstick on our long-term 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 test truck, and we’re taking a look at the 3.0-liter LZ0 Duramax diesel oil usage, which has been a hot topic after using two quarts in less than 5,000 miles. While we did take a 1,000-mile road trip — half of which included some towing — we’re still trying to figure out if this is normal.

Is the LZ0 Duramax diesel oil usage normal?

This new engine is the second-generation diesel, following the LM2 Duramax. Both engines currently have a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) talking about oil usage.

Checking with General Motors, the LZ0 Duramax diesel has an “acceptable oil usage” range with up to 1 quart per 2,000 miles, or more if you are doing a lot of towing or driving at high speeds (i.e. running the engine with higher RPMs).

GM’s 21-NA-272 TSB states:

“The accepted rate of oil consumption for engines used in the vehicles referenced is 0.946 liter (1 qt) in 3200 km (2000 mi). Important: This rate only applies to personal use vehicles, under warranty, that are driven in a non-aggressive manner and maintained in accordance with the appropriate maintenance schedule or driven at legal speeds in an unloaded (for trucks) condition.

Important: This rate does not apply to vehicles that are driven in an aggressive manner, at high RPM, high speeds, or in a loaded condition (for trucks). Oil consumption for vehicles driven under these conditions will be more and accepted rate is 0.946 liter (1qt) in 1600 km (1000mi).”

The document also states you shouldn’t check your oil until after 5,000 miles of ownership.

“Engines require a period of time to BREAK IN so that moving parts are properly seated. Therefore, oil economy should not be tested until the vehicle has accumulated at least 8000 km (5000 mi) and the oil has been changed for the first time. An exception would be allowed only if an engine is reported to be using more than 0.946 liter (1qt) in 1600 km (1000mi).”

Also worth noting, according to Sean Szymkowski, senior manager for Chevrolet Trucks Communications, the 3.0-liter LZ0 Duramax diesel comes overfilled from factory.

“The 2023 LZ0-powered vehicles are shipped with an extra quart of oil in the crankcase,” he said.  “This extra oil is only required for the first factory fill. At the first oil change, the standard oil amount is used moving forward. Chevrolet dealers have been advised of this.”

Excessive or normal 3.0L LZ0 Duramax diesel oil usage?

After completing a 1,000-mile drive (500 towing, 500 unladen), we decided to check the oil and see where things stand. The result causes us some concern. The dipstick was mostly dry with just a slight spot of oil at the end. Reading online and via YouTube comments, the dipstick measures 2 quarts of oil, and this means, (dah, dah, dah) the truck is down 3 quarts (including the factory overfill) — after just 4,696 miles.

According to the TSB, this could be excessive usage — depending on what it considers to be driving in a “non-aggressive manner” and “legal speeds” — which could be 55 MPH to 80 MPH depending on the state. We did use more than 2 quarts — including that overfill — but we also towed a car and drove through mountains, which would have put us in the “high RPM” range.

So, we did some searching, and the online comments from owners and diesel engine fans point to this being normal.

The bottom line

Oil usage is a hot topic for the new 3.0L LZ0 Duramax diesel. While our truck has performed very well in every other regard, the bugaboo over oil usage has raised some concerns.

What do you think? Normal or excessive?

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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  1. Howard April 27, 2023

    Every engine is different. On one of the forums I frequent, this discussion has come up. Some see higher consumption, others not so much. I’ve made runs to northern WI both unloaded and towing my 4600 lb boat (700+ miles one way) as well as two trips unloaded to central FL (800 miles one way). All running 70+ mph. While the engine coolant and oil temps are higher than I’d like to see (which is “normal for the LM2), oil consumption was negligible. No where near 1 qt on any round trip. I check my oil regularly and change it at 5k miles. First oil change was at 500 miles then 2500. 5000 miles thereafter. 35k now.

    The big question is how does this level of oil consumption affect the emission systems long term?

  2. Tim Roemer April 28, 2023

    Your truck doesn’t have 5,000 miles on it yet so according to GM your engine is still in the break in stage. The Powertrain warranty is 5 years or 100,000 miles which you will never see. But for those of us who keep trucks long term if a problem arises then GM should take care of it. I would recommend just keeping an eye on the oil level which everyone should do regardless.

    1. bodink August 22, 2023

      not sure what you mean by 5 years 100000 miles with you will never see, I currently have 200000 miles on mine and don’t use any oil between oil changes?

  3. Ted1 April 28, 2023

    That is a lot of oil! Hate to think how much it will be using at 50 60,000 ugh

  4. Bruce Parker April 28, 2023

    Even synthetic oil is cheap compared with any other metric of vehicle use. The more important question: does any level of oil use/loss predict further problems?

  5. Todd Kovalcik April 29, 2023

    I’ve got 35k on a 2020 GMC Elevation and during a long trip (not towing or hauling) used oil at a rate of approximately 3 quarts in around 1,400 miles. It’s a bummer since this is such a great motor with the torque and efficiency that is very hard to beat! I love this motor but it’s really going to suck if I have to put this much oil in the truck.

    1. Anonymous April 29, 2023

      Correction!!! I made a type, that’s 1 quart every 1,400 miles.

  6. Motley May 4, 2023

    Any updates on how much oil was needed to refill? After another 1000-2000 miles let us know if usage continues at this rate.

  7. Dan August 3, 2023

    On my 2022 LM2 it does not consume any oil in 7500 miles…. If I had to do a quart every 2k miles I would be pissed!

  8. smokey_mountain September 21, 2023

    My 2023 LM2 Tahoe 4100 miles on odometer and it burns about 1Qt per 2000 miles. It runs Dealer says GM TSB says it is “normal” thus it is “normal” and no fix is to be performed. We drive 28000-35000 miles per year across US, and now I need to load up extra oil on every trip and check oil on every fill-up. Feels like 1970-ies to me. Are good folks here concluding that now that GM released that TSB, there are no ways to get the fix?


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