The consumer research publication recently put together a list of the used cars that are known to burn engine oil at any mileage. CR suggests readers avoid the vehicles on this list entirely, as these “at-risk cars could require diligent monitoring of the engine oil level so that the engine isn’t damaged.”
CR says “reliability was never these models’ strong suit,” with regard to the 2010 to 2013 model year Chevy Equinox, as the 2.4L LEA Ecotec four-cylinder engine in these crossovers have a tendency to burn oil. GM extended the warranty for the 2010 model year Equinox to 10 years/120,000 miles and 7.5 years/120,000 miles for 2011-2013 models after receiving owner complaints, but even with the extension, all affected vehicles are now out of warranty. CR readers that owned a 2010 to 2013 model year Chevy Equinox have given the vehicle a 1 out of 5 for reliability and a 1 out of 5 for owner satisfaction.
GM has faced numerous lawsuits over the oil burn issues in the 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engines, including one that was just filed in June of this year. That lawsuit alleges the engine’s piston rings fail to maintain sufficient tension to keep oil in the crankcase, allowing the oil to sneak past the rings and into the combustion chamber. The oil burn issue can also apparently foul the spark plugs and lead to carbon buildup on the pistons and cylinder walls. Some owners have experienced total engine failures after the oil level became too low.
CR says the 2010 to 2015 model year Toyota RAV4 is a good alternative to the Chevy Equinox, as it offers similar capability, packaging and fuel economy, but features a more reliable four-cylinder engine.