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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
442,709 miles
Total Complaints:
38 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. top off oil every 1,000 miles (19 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. replace pistons and rings (4 reports)
  4. top off oil every 1,500 - 2,000 miles (3 reports)
  5. oil pan modification (1 reports)
2007 Chevrolet Tahoe engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

May 012014

Tahoe LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


My 2007 Chevy Tahoe burns an excessive amount of engine oil. I have to add a quart about every 800-1000 miles. Two of my friends have the exact same vehicle and have experienced the same problem. One of them recommended this website to me after having his engine repaired at the cost of GM.

After significant research on the web, it appears that this is a very common problem and is clearly the fault of the manufacturer. I use this vehicle daily and often use it for long trips with my family. I worry that something could happen to the vehicle while we are in the middle of nowhere. Any help towards getting this repaired would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- , Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #37

Dec 002012

Tahoe LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

• Our Tahoe engine consumed motor oil even when new … roughly 1 quart per 3000 miles.

• In 2012 with about 70,000 miles, the increase in motor oil consumption became obvious. Occasional malfunction of StabiliTrak was first noticed with “clunks” in the drive train.

• In May 2013 with 81,000 miles, I started monitoring the oil consumption. The rate was 1 quart per 1400 miles at that time. Intermittent malfunction of StabiliTrak increased in frequency.

• In November 2014 with 98,000 miles, I learned (for the first time) that the 5.3 L engine had an oil consumption problem and I reported my problem to the local Chevrolet dealer. The specification was no more than1 quart per 2000 miles. Our Tahoe was using 1 quart per 1200 miles at that time. Tahoe out of warranty, no help. A Tahoe technician/mechanic at the Chevrolet dealership stated the problem was inherent to the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system design. When 4 of the cylinders are OFF, the intake valves remain closed during the intake piston stroke and this pulls a vacuum in the cylinders that sucks a little oil by the rings. He said there were a couple of fixes proposed by General Motors (GM) but he was not going to make the changes to his personal Tahoe engine. He said the only useful fix was to replace pistons and rings at roughly $4000. He said he intended to just add oil as needed and that he expected his engine to last a long time. I agreed I could buy a lot of oil for the cost of replacing the pistons and rings and left the dealership thinking the engine would last.

• During the winter of 2014-2015, Auto 4WD (auto shifting between 2WD and 4WD as traction varies) became intermittently inoperable … lots of clunking and grabbing especially in turns at very low speed. I quit using it.

• During the summer of 2015, StabiliTrak began to malfunction more frequently but was still too intermittent to have the problem diagnosed. Dash display lights and service messages appeared.

• On September 10, 2015 with 106,000 miles, the StabiliTrak problem became constant and serious. The StabiliTrak lights and messages were present. But now the service engine light was also ON and the engine was running rough at low speed. Transmission shifts between first and second gears were with a jerk and clunk. I took the Tahoe to the dealer and the service manager drove it and witnessed all the problems. I made an appointment to have the dealer diagnose the problems. My oil consumption was now 1 quart per 1000 miles.

• That night, I found an interesting discussion at a web site called ChevroletForum.com … a site where owners discuss likes and dislikes. I was amazed to find a person who had experienced the same sequence of Tahoe problems … the recommended solution: replace the #7 spark plug. Next day I replaced the #7 spark plug and, sure enough, all prior symptoms disappeared. My Tahoe ran smooth with no warning lights and messages.

• I spent the next two days (September 12th and 13th) at my computer researching the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system … how it works and the problems it has caused (and is still causing). Now I know that a lot of web information is just someone’s erroneous opinion. But when I found the same information time after time at both owner’s forums and mechanic’s forums, a degree of confidence emerged. The following is a discussion of what I think I learned from the internet research.

-- GM implemented AFM in 2007 to meet average fuel mileage requirements across the entire fleet. GM must continue to use the AFM system to maintain fleet economy … even though AFM is a flawed design. 2015 Tahoes still use the AFM system. -- Excessive motor oil consumption is an inherent part of the AFM system. GM apparently did not anticipate the appearance of significant engine problems that are associated with the oil usage. -- GM published a Technical Service Bulletin for the 5.3 L engine with AFM (the bulletin number may be 10-06-01-008M, dated November 2014). GM acknowledged the piston ring and spark plug fouling problems in this repair bulletin. The bulletin states that if oil usage continues to be greater than 1 quart per 2000 miles, the pistons and rings must be replaced. This bulletin also discussed the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) problem that is apparently associated with the AFM system. -- The web research revealed two problem categories. (These categories are also presented and discussed in the above GM bulletin.) When motor oil is vaccumed past the piston rings in the AFM disabled cylinders, the ring grooves become fouled, which allows more oil to pass. As fouling increases with miles, more oil is used and more fouling occurs. Eventually the pistons and rings must be replaced. The PCV system recirculates crankcase fumes through the cylinders for re-burning. The fumes go into the #1 and/or #7 cylinders and foul the sparkplugs and cause the plugs to misfire. The Electronic Control Unit (computer) senses the misfire and sends out anomalous signals, which cause the StabiliTrak system to do strange things and cause the transmission to shift erratically (some reports say violently). The two problem categories (fouled rings and fouled sparkplugs) are interrelated. Apparently the optimum valve timing for the AFM system may not be optimum for the PCV system. -- There are two procedures recommended by GM to mitigate the two problem categories. The piston rings are cleaned by introducing a fluid through the spark plug holes into the cylinders. Apparently no one knows how long to let the rings soak in the cleaning fluid (although GM says 2.5 to 3 hours in the bulletin but cautions about exceeding the 3 hour limit). If the soak is too short, the cleaning is ineffective. If the soak is too long, the fluid etches the cylinder walls. This is a blind procedure with no way to check the results. In any case it seems to be a moot point since, at best, the fluid only contacts and cleans the top piston ring. The other two un-cleaned rings pass oil to the top ring and it quickly fouls again. There is a companion mechanical modification that replaces the AFM relief valve (located in the crankcase and attached to the oil pan) with one that has a splash shield. This modification might provide mitigation in a new engine where the ring grooves are not fouled but mechanics do not consider this to be a credible fix for used engines. In the Technical Service Bulletin referenced above, GM states that 5.3 L engines with cast-iron blocks are less susceptible to AFM oil spray and implies that installation of the new splash-shielded relief valve it is not necessary. [The local dealer says our Tahoe has a cast-iron block but we definitely have excessive oil consumption.] GM also recommends a mechanical modification that replaces the left valve cover with a modified cover that has a relocated PCV drain hole. This modified valve cover may mitigate fouling of new (replaced) spark plugs but mechanics ask what about the fouled piston rings in the #1 and #7 cylinders? -- Mechanics believe that oil consumption within the GM specification rate of 1 quart per 2000 miles will foul the piston rings and eventually require replacement of the pistons and rings. Piston and piston ring replacement is, in effect, a re-build of the engine. Re-built engines are often called re-manufactured engines.

• GM admits that a large (but unspecified) number of these 5.3 L V8 engines have failed. It is unreported if such failures have occurred at speed. GM should recall and replace these engines at no cost ... it is economically unfair to the owners and engine failure could be a safety issue in certain situations.

- , Hamilton, MT, USA

problem #36

Jan 012014

Tahoe LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased my 2007 Tahoe to be the last car I would need to buy as I am near retirement. I am very worried now that it will need some major repairs to correct the oil consumption. Chevrolet should cover these repairs as it is obvious there is a design problem with the engine and thousands of users have this problem. For the enormous cost of the vehicle I expected better. I should have kept my old 1998 Tahoe. It probably would still be running and wouldn’t need oil between oil changes.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #35

Dec 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


Purchased my 2007 Chevy Tahoe brand new and around 90,000 mile began to notice excessive oil consumption. It’s not leaking on the ground or visibly burning out the tail pipe. Took it to the Chevy dealer and was told the engine needed to be rebuilt at my cost. Later found out that Chevy new about the engine problem and has failed to fix the issue. My vehicle is approaching 200,000 in excellent condition, but I have to buy cases of oil putting in a quart a week. Need an attorney to file a class action suit against Chevy.

I also have been getting cuts on my fingers as a result of the poor design on the interior door handles. They are currently covered in duct tape to prevent further injuries.

- , Sorrento, FL, USA

problem #34

Jan 312015

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

Bought Tahoe used in Dec of 14. Since the weather has gotten warmer we go to the lake every weekend 250 miles round trip. Two trips = 1quart of oil insane!!! I have had very many personal autos 40/50 and have never had one burn oil. Some of them were real POS, but not oil burners.

The Tahoe is supposed to be a luxury vehicle and it really looks nice with a jug of oil in the rear floorboard! Unacceptable problem. I bought new Chevys every year since 2001. This is the first I've bought used since I' m at retirement age I couldn't justify 80k for a new one. We travel every weekend in this vehicle, and now I don't trust it to perform as it should I'm sure with 132k on it now the dealer will do nothing. So sad GM ending up this way.

- , Independence, MO, USA

problem #33

Jan 012015

Tahoe LT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Continuing to have to add oil is a pain. Seems like since they know there's a problem that they would own up and fix the issue. Purchased my Tahoe brand new loved it and would likely buy another accept for this issue.

- , Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #32

Nov 092014

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles


I have a 2007 Tahoe that I bought back in October of 2010 with 54000 miles on it. In November of 2014 I notice that the oil was a quart low when I went to change it. This all started after the vehicle got over 100000 miles on it. Every 1500 to 2000 miles I have to add oil to it.

I checked the forums and found that there is a known piston ring problem with the 2007 Tahoe that GM knows about but won't fix. I have also heard that some dealers want to charge over $3000 to fix it. I feel GM needs to step up and fix this problem because it is a result of a poor design. I have worked in the electronic controls engineering trade for almost 15 years now and whenever we see something that is a bad design the first thing we do is try to correct it ASAP.

Something needs to be done about this. I had a 2003 Yukon before I bought this Tahoe and I put over 120000 miles on it and it never used a drop of oil. New car designs are supposed to improve things not regress them.

- , Huber Heights, OH, USA

problem #31

Feb 162015

Tahoe Vortec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

A month after oil change this vehicle needs 2 quarts of oil! Dealer said it needs pistons and rings and that its a shame. GM isn't doing anything to fix it because it's out of warranty. So I asked what he recommended and he said just keep driving it. I am crushed. I really believed in GM. I think I'm gonna trade the truck in and get a Ford.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #30

Jul 232013

Tahoe LS 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I am sick of this bull crap! The truck is a piece of crap! Problems since day one, now with this excessive oil consumption the car is doing I'm just sick. The money I spent on this is just not worth it. Anyways, back to the excessive oil consumption, every 2,000-3,000 miles the engine oil is low so I add oil. It is annoying because I just got it an oil change. I'm taking it back to the dealership, so they can buy this thing back I seriously want to drive this thing off a cliff, it is so freaking annoying! The dealership needs to hurry and buy this thing back.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #29

Feb 012001

Tahoe LX 5.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Have a problem with the oil consumption. After 1500 miles the oil is gone. There are no oil leaks. Contacted Chevrolet and they directed me to a local dealer where they began an oil consumption test. After the test was done, they concluded that the pistons had to be replaced, which meant the motor having to be taken a part and rebuilt. The dealership had the vehicle for a month correcting the problem. However the problem still exists and multiple oil consumption test have been given with no other alternative to correct the problem. The oil has been changed to a higher grade oil, which is more expensive. This also has not corrected the problem. I have done research and have found multiple owners with the same problem and they also have not found a solution other than trading the vehicle in for another vehicle.

- , Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #28

Oct 092014

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,490,900 miles


This SUV is our extra vehicle for driving on the weekend or when the entire family is going out. Our truck has been running fine but we started hearing a knocking noise when driving and idle on Friday, October 10th. I took the car to the dealership on October 11th and was told I will need a new engine. I took the truck for a second opinion on October 13th and was told the truck was 2 quarts low in oil and the noise is coming from the bottom of the engine. We have not had any oil leaks or major issues prior to Friday, October 10th. Now we are faced with purchasing another engine.

- , Fairburn, FA, USA

problem #27

Jun 012014

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Hit 100,000 miles and seems like everything is starting to collapse and now this oil consumption issue is evident. No leaks on the floor, not burning oil, no clue where it has gone.

- , Locust, NC, USA

problem #26

Jan 022012

Tahoe LTZ

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

2007 Tahoe...THERE NEEDS TO BE A LAWSUIT. Chevy knows about the problem of consumption of too much oil and they do NOTHING about it...something needs to be done about this!!!!!!

Update from Mar 19, 2014: I'm having to add oil into my 2007 Chevy Tahoe @ 1,500 - 2,000 miles from an oil change. RIDICULOUS...It's a 50K SUV...I should not have to deal with the extreme oil consumption all the time. CHEVY KNOWS ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING NUMBERS OF COMPLAINTS AND THEY DO NOTHING ABOUT IT TO KEEP THEIR CUSTOMERS HAPPY...PLEASE HELP!

- , Fontana, CA, USA

problem #25

Dec 172013

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,114 miles

My husband and I purchased a 2007 Tahoe in May 2013 with 45,000miles. Had the dealership change the oil in June and in August after only 2500 miles the low oil light came on. We figured the dealership shorted us a quart and added one. About a month and a half later,we changed the oil ourselves ( which my husband has always done and he didnt want to bring it back thinking the dealership shorted us oil) and 2 months later (Oct) the oil light came on again saying we were low. My husband has me add a quart.

Another 2 months and oil light came on again, so into the dealership we went. They gave me a printout telling me that a quart every 2000 miles is standard use and gave me a sheet to monitor the oil use, they checked the oil and sent me on my way. Not even 4 weeks later and the light was on again, this time down 2 quarts. The truck is now at the dealership and I'm waiting to hear what they say about it.. Very irritating when I still have $20,000 to pay on this truck!

- , West Yarmouth, MA, USA

problem #24

Apr 202014

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #23

Jun 022013

Tahoe LS V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,554 miles

I have an 07 Tahoe with 57,000 miles and it is using about 2 quarts of oil between oil changes. I went to the dealer for an oil change and voiced my concerns and they said they were aware of it. I can do an oil pan modification for about $400 and if that does not work I have to change my pistons which is about $3000. If Chevy is aware of this then it is a design flaw and they should pick up the cost, it's nothing that I did, all my services were done by the dealer and they have all my records. I just can't understand why a well maintained vehicle should be using sooooo much oil.

- , Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #22

Jun 012012

Tahoe LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles

Owned my Tahoe for about 5 yrs with about 64500 miles on it. Bought an extended warranty on it and it is almost expired. I noticed lately my oil light came on when it was about 35% oil life left. After checking the oil it was about 1 1/2 qt low. I read a few on-line threads regarding others having the same issued. Anyone have the answer to this problem or aware if GM doing anything about it?

- , Riverbank, CA, USA

problem #21

Jun 282013

Tahoe LT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,325 miles

I Bought this car a year ago and have had the dealership change the oil every 3,000 miles. Recently, the add oil light came on. I was aware I was about 500 miles over but there should be know way it would be out of oil. Checked the dipstick and there was no oil in it. It was about a quart and a half low. I thought maybe the dealership didn't fill it up all the way. So I changed the oil my self. Which I have done a lot on my past cars. Filled it up and made sure I put enough in. 3000 miles later quart and a half low. Goes to find out my 2007 Tahoe with 115,302 miles on it is burning oil. So I checked and I have been told by a few mechanics that they have seen this problem a lot. My friend evidently just had his whole motor replaced by Chevy because they couldn't figure out why. ( 6 months ago, his can was still under warranty). Chevy you dropped the ball, and it is still rolling around.

- , Lexington, NC, USA

problem #20

Sep 072012

Tahoe LTZ 5.3V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,027 miles

Engine has been burning excessive oil for some time, low oil light would come on periodically. Needed a quart or so between oil changes, then two or three, four. Brought in to dealership, said they would need it for a couple of days for a valve cover and deflector? Got back two days later to find pistons, rods and rings were replaced @ no charge. No complaints by dealership - seems odd.... only 56,000 miles, well maintained. Driven mostly by my wife, who drives like an old lady ;} I Would have freaked out if it cost a cent, as it would have been a fortune. No explanation by dealership.

- , Negaunee, MI, USA

problem #19

Oct 062012

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I bought this 2007 Tahoe LT in June 2012 and have put 2,000 miles on it since then and had to add 1qrt of oil every 1,000 miles.... It doesn't smoke or leak oil anywhere! I have been reading that this is a MAJOR problem with these 5.3L engines? What can I do to get this problem fixed? Is there a recall on this? I really like this Tahoe but to keep adding oil to this thing is a bit extreme and expensive! I have 122,000 miles on it......

- , Leicester, NC, USA

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