Engine too worn out to make the trip?


Asked by Apr 17, 2013 at 09:50 AM about the 2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My wife and I drive the above vehicle. We got it in 2009 with 50,000 miles on it. So over the past 3-4 years we
have put over 100,000 miles on it. It now has almost 155,000 miles on it. It still seems to run well. But it burns
oil, approx a quart between oil changes.
Now, when my wife drives it, she loves its power and likes to have fun. She usually likes to manually shift it from
low1 up through drive. She ends up revving it pretty high and for a long time. So, the engine has had some hard
My question is, we have a family vacation planned for Florida in August. We will be driving. My wife insists on
taking the Suburban despite its age and fatigue. By then it'll probably have 175,000 miles on it.
Can an engine with that many miles take a 2400 mile round trip like that?

16 Answers

Sure it can. If it is running well now, no worries, But you should try to break her of that habit..easy for me to say I know. But like I say, if there are no problems now just keep a close watch on that oil consumption, check often, and have a great trip!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Thanks! I try to break her of it, but she loves to abuse engines. The pic I posted is my wife forcing the engine against the rev limiter. She's a bit of a wild child!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

She look like she is having a great time and really enjoying it! But...you can predict what I would say..eh?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Than again you may not predict what I would say. As long as she likes to do that and have that fun, well enjoy! I just cringe though. 25,000 miles a year suggests mostly highway, not a lot of stop and start. According to "Bob is the oil guy". a fellow that knows his stuff, 90% of engine wear occurs on start up. And that makes sense. for a few seconds the oil pressure is not up and not all engine parts, the critical ones, are not being lubricated.

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itll make it, but if she keeps doing that to the engine itll blow something, causing more money to be spent fixing it instead of on a vacation. you should probably drive the 2400 miles, haha. but take it to your local chevy dealer and have them do a 60 point inspection on it before the trip so you make sure its ok to go down and back. good luck!

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"She ends up revving it pretty high and for a long time." --- That uses more gas than necessary but it doesn't really harm the engine if it's fully warmed up. You don't have to worry about carbon build up. The ECU will cut the fuel before it has a chance to float the valves. More gas means more heat so make sure the cooling system is maintained.

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The rev limiter is set about 500-700 rpm below the engines capable limits. Working at a hybrid transmission test facility you see the engines sit at redline with the other dyno holding a load on the trans while the its holding one gear. Its to simulate the transmission for slippage while towing up hill. The engine will hold redline for about 5 minutes through each gear with no negative effects on the engine. As tenspeed said gas consumption should be the only thing you need to worry about. You wanna really make her smile get a cold air intake and dual exhaust. They will help the engine breath better on the highway resulting in a gain of 1-2 mpg while driving normal. Doesnt do anything noticeable for the city.

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Thank you guys so much for the info. I did plan on taking it to the dealer for a little TLC prior to the trip. It has made a few long trips before and tolerated it quite well. However in 2010 we made the trip to Florida and my wife did some of the driving. Of course, she did have some fun with it while she drove. After that trip, I did start noticing the oil burning issue. I was worried the engine was getting worn out.

And watch out for the Florida Highway Patrol, or State Troopers whatever they call themselves.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

And yeah LuckyDude at that mileage it will have some wear, but we all seem to agree...don't worry. Have a safe and pleasant trip.

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Will do! Thanks again. Here's another pic of my wife enjoying revving the crap out of the Suburban!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

ps.... speedometer is broken (I think it's a stepper motor)


i drove to florida in a 78 suburban that leaked and burned oil a quart every 100 miles. I'm sure your 05 can do it. Granted i'm only in northern Georgia. If it runs fine now then chances are it will do fine. Long drives are actually less stressful on a vehicle than several small drives in the same time span. Also your wife can enjoy it but keep in mind its a Suburban, not a race car.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have 220K on my current suburban and had 220K on my last suburban and they run like champs -- I would nt fear a long trip in it!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

thanks again guys. That's some peace of mind. She is still insistent on taking the Suburban instead of her new Traverse. "I want to keep the miles off my car. Besides I want to run the Suburban in the ground"! There you have it!


Take the Suburban! It will get better mileage than the Traverse, anyway! Plus, it will take your wife's abuse much better than the modern thing she has. As for the oil, my bet is that the valve seals are starting to bet weak. It may be very easily fixed. My brother had a 305 in his 86 Parisienne Safari, and it did not burn any oil after that repair, and his had almost 400,000 miles on the clock. As an aside, take the keys to YOUR vehicle away from your wife, and let her ruin hers! Also, make sure she pays for her own gas and repairs. Maybe that will teach her not to abuse a vehicle. When the hit is to her pocketbook directly, she may learn that her irresponsibility is costing her money, not to mention the lesson she is giving to the kids. Children who learn habits from drivers like her are the ones who end up wrapped around poles as their skill set lags far, far behind their confidence.

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