Anyone who has owned a GM with the infamous "AFM" or "active fuel management engine" knows how big of a fumble the government bailed out automaker made coming up with this mess. From lifters that break to cams that get wiped out to the 5qts of oil they will burn between changes, there is no end to the list of problems these engine have. Here in the PRNY (Peoples Republic Of NY) or anywhere in the rust belt the only thing that wears out faster than the AFM engines in these GMT900 series trucks is the frame. On a quiet night around here you can listen to the frame rotting away. So with that being said customers in these parts rarely want to fix these oil guzzlers when they come in with one of the AFM cylinders sucking so much oil it fouls out a spark plug and causes a misfire with a flashing engine light. So in this video I show you a common practice around our shop to keep these junkers going while they are waiting for the frame to rot away. Oh and don't take my word for it that the AFM engines are a disaster, just Google "Problems with AFM engines" and pull up a chair.
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Another Day at SMA Another Chevrolet AFM engine. It's a 2013. it's got the Active Fuel Management The Big Five three. Um, this thing's only got a hundred and some thousand hundred and thirteen thousand I think he's at right now.

Uh, these engines are a huge pile of poo. Uh, anybody that knows anything about these GMS and their Active Fuel Management crap that they put on there same thing with the Chryslers any of these Active Fuel Management engines even Hondas they all have the same problem. They start sucking oil on those cylinders so you have to carry out your yearly maintenance if you will on these. which includes replacing the spark plug.

That follows up because the ultimate fix for this thing to keep these things from sucking copious amounts of oil is to rebuild the engine or at least the cylinders that have all the you know, the Rings stuck and put the all the updates in it to keep it from burning oil. or do an AFM delete on it. which you know includes, you know, camshaft lifters, things like that. So if they're not burning oil, they're going to break a lifter and get to misfire and so they're junk all the way around.

And that's not just giving Chevy hate, it's just a matter of effect. Um, anybody who owns these knows it. Everybody's quite familiar with it. If you're not and you don't believe me, just Google it.

Google Active Fuel Management Engines I mean so much so that when you buy a new one from Jasper they give you the option, do you want it, delete it or not? Um and then one thing I would say based on that, if you let's say you have one of these I have a customer that has one of these uh, it was relatively new I mean like less than 10 000 miles on it and he deleted it electronically made it so the AFM wouldn't wouldn't engage. it wouldn't go into four-cylinder mode thinking that it would Preserve Uh, the vehicle from being broke but it didn't quite make it to a hundred thousand miles. It still broke a lifter and you know, had to have the engine tore down. so you know I got to pull the heads and everything and put a lifter in one.

but he does not have the oil burning problem so I guess it's kind of uh, you know, good and a bad. uh. Anyhow, this one's here because it's been, you know, a little over a year since it's had its spark plug change and it's developer number one cylinder misfire. This guy is elected to put a few spark plugs in it every year or two years.

However long it'll go before it eats up a spark plug, oil files and cracks and that's what I advise some of my customers do, particularly in the Northeast This truck, being a 2013, is just a couple years away from being recycled into a new Chevrolet so this is what customers do. It's nonsense to rebuild the engine on these in the Northeast spark plugs are cheap. Let me show you how to take care of your maintenance on your Chevy Hopefully after saying all that, I'm correct. So we've been having a problem.

You know how do you know what the problem is? Um, so cylinders one was it, one, four, six, and seven I think are the FM cylinders. If you get it in and it has a misfire on any of those, you can almost count on it having an oil-fouled spark plug. These spark plugs only have. Oh goodness.
Grace Is there how tight did you make that thing? Um I don't know how many miles he has on these. Not a lot since they were put in. So what we're going to do is just do the the one spark plug tune up. I Believe the porcelain is broke on these.

The oil fouled to the point the porcelain breaks. Let me get a smaller ratchet here and then they start developing misfires. So he's been having his engine light come on and go off and flash a little bit and it's off right now. When I looked at my history when I did this vehicle, it was the number one spark plug.

Yes sir, this Baby's all Caked Up with oil. It's got the crusties on it and we're going to put a spark plug in it and get it taken care of. And the only reason I make this video is because I want people to see that option. Um, you know because you might be at a shop and you're like, ah, you know your spark plugs were broke on.

you know one in seven or number seven is all followed up and cracked and you know the porcelain's missing and you know it's You know you need a new engine if your car if you're running your car on borrowed time. Anyways, just put a couple spark plugs in it sometimes. I have some customers I only see every two years or you know, once a year at the most and it's way cheaper for a spark plug than it is to rebuild the engine when the car has an ultimate. Doom So just something to think about.

Let me go get another spark plug. So I'm curious on this one because he said his light had been on, but today it was running pretty smooth. I Can You probably won't be able to see it in there, but as I look down into the porcelain so you can see back here near the grounding electrode, you know a little clump of of oil. soot that's in there.

So oil will typically on the spark plug, it'll turn white and Ashy and it'll oftentimes build all the way around here. It's just be a big hump on here and I can see looking down into the porcelain you guys probably won't be able to see. but I can see down in there like a pretty good ring of the white oil deposit that was stuck on there. and I'm wondering if a big chunk of it fell off and then it, you know, fixed itself.

uh, temporarily. I don't really know. All I know is you know it's history. Code is a 301.

What? I looked back in the past. That's what it was also. So this is what we're doing. Here's our brand new Sparky Classic 41 162.

Napper. Uh, of course I've already gapped it. Naturally, we'll get that started. We're going to get it started with our magnetic spark plug socket from Snap-on not a sponsor.

Don't tighten down spark plugs with this thing. You will crack them suckers every single time. Not every time, but most of the time we're going to use it. Just a standard 5 8.
Whoa. almost dropped it. So there's that. I'm gonna turn the camera up.

We'll get a torque wrench. We'll come back. Torque that to factory specs, stick our plug wire back on there. new.

A little bit of dialect grease in both of them so you can get them off next time you need to get them off. That's it folks. That's how to keep your AFM Chevy going. He's running smooth as butter.

Step two in the process is clear: Your codes Here are your misfire code. Go into your live data, Find your misfire stuff. We have a gander at it. make sure that we have no other cylinders misfiring and we don't She's happy.

I'm happy you're happy and this guy will get another year out of his truck. What's up Going to the Post office? Well, you gotta get the post office. I Gotta take mail to the post office I Don't really need any of the Bells but I definitely need me, don't we? So that's it folks. It's not the Cure All end-all solution, but it is a solution to a problem that these engines have.

and it's a good solution in our part of the country because we live in a salt belt 2013. it don't have long left if any. I didn't look underneath it. Um, but hopefully this will get the guy going uh for another you know, year or two and perhaps at that point it's on to a different truck or it's broken half and you know, sitting down at Wilbert you pull out a bath.

Thank you. If you live in a part of the country where you don't use salt, you can actually drive your truck for more than 10 years then this may not be the best solution for you. What's ultimately going to happen is it's going to continue to burn oil on the four cylinders or at least that cylinder and eventually it's going to take out the catalytic converter. So at that point you know if this customer came in with a PO420 or 430, I'm going to verify how much oil this thing's burning.

Usually your customer will tell you yeah. I add you know, two quarts or three quarts every 5 000 miles and at that point I wouldn't sell the mechanic converter because I don't want it to come back and haunt me. and I know for a fact it won't last more than you know three to six months before it burns up that converter again. So big picture.

The real fix is to replace the engine or rebuild it to stop it from burning oil. Fix all the AFM problems that GM has that they will tell you about in service boltons and they tell you how to fix it. They won't foot the bill on it, but they'll tell you how bad they screwed up and then you know at that point you know, delete it. Possibly these things are trash folks.

I'm not just hating Chevys so we'll just leave it at that. Use your noodle. Do it this way. If you want to get another year or two and you're going to send it to the crusher, you want to fix it for real.
Fix it for real and I just want you to be for real. In that comment section questions. comments The Entity the Facebook And just remember viewers, if I can do it, you can do it. Thanks for watching foreign.

100 thoughts on “One way to deal with gm’s oil burning afm junk”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tom Cook says:

    What would happen if you could maybe use a like hotter burning spark plug

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars zaffo757 says:

    The wave of the future. All will be leased separately….power pack and the vehicle.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Seymour Wrasse says:

    got to keep it running for that last drive, to the scrapyard

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Seymour Wrasse says:

    and Ford has the Triton motor which is a huge pile of poo also, so what pick up truck should we go with ?

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Richard Clark says:

    If you can do it, I don’t think I can do what you do!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars JoseCan says:

    Seems to me the cylinders that are AFM'd off should change every time.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars raa says:

    My GM trucks. 97, 00, 02, 06, 09, and now a 17. All 5.3's except 97(5.7), maybe 00 also, can't remember. I put 200k miles on every one before I handed them down to my employees. 97-06 ran great with 0 problems. 09(AFM) ran good, but had to replace #1 spark plug regularly starting at around 100k miles. All were company trucks up to the 17, which I bought after selling company. I'm nervous about it. It has 55k miles on it now. No problems yet, but confidence is low. I put a AFM delete tongle in it at 5k miles. All trucks had oil changes at 3k mile intervals, continuing with the 17. I'm nervous, confidence is low. Any other preventive measures I should take??? I live in Texas, so no frame rot. CONFIDENCE IS LOW!! The 97 and 06 were my favorites by far.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Ferguson says:

    Just wondering, recently replaced the a\c blower, resister pack, and pigtail on my 2004 Silverado with an after (junk) market, and it doesn't seem to be blowing as much as the oem did. Didn't buy OEM because I was leaving town temp was 108° dealer had to order. Is it normal for these Chinese junkets to run slower?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars William Groel says:

    Thank you for sharing

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Liemandt says:

    My memory is shot but didn't Cadillac and maybe some other GMs try something called a 4 6 8 fuel management system that was a massive failure?

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars TurnThemWheels says:

    What is the fix for P219A on these trucks ? Besides injectors

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ted Reeves says:

    OMG….This is exactly what I experienced on my '07 Suburban 5.3L. I changed out all of the plugs figuring it had never been done as long as I had owned it let alone who knows if the previous owner did it. Then, about two years later, the #1 cylinder was showing a misfire. I checked the plug and it looked just like what Eric O showed! I replaced the plug…….got another 10k miles out of it before the tranny went out. Wasn't worth the fix with 243k on it, so we junked it. But, just change the plug and maybe wire if needed and you'll get some extended life out of this AFM crap.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Taylor Sutherland says:

    Never learned from the Cadillac 8-6-4…..

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Taylor Sutherland says:

    And to think…this is all to save the planet. Government Motors, here to help.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nick DiCarlo says:

    There’s an updated valve cover PCV… doing all this screwing around and badmouthing over a PCV issue

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Craig Walker says:

    would a hotter plug last longer???

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars KO says:

    I have a 2004 Tahoe LT I bought new that came with everything. Put 274k on it when the oil pressure dropped out. Parked it and bought a new 2017, loved the truck but when I learned about all the new trucks and SUVs complicated everything, I sold it and put a new GM engine in it with whatever else it needed. My trusty local shop Calvert Automotive in Denton Tx did a great job and I am happy again. I don't have a car payment anymore which means I can afford to pamper my Tahoe with anything to keep it tip-top. I get nice comments about how nice it looks and runs. Also others out there agree the 2002-2006 were the best years.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Mansell says:

    The side electrode looks a good color so seems the fuel mix is running ok, but the oil burn is not good. Would adding a fuel additive help on these big engines? I do this with my diesel and it runs great.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Fasst55 says:

    HP Tuners. Set DOD from enable to disable in the ECM calibration, I'm surprised you don't have it and use it. I've seen AFM/DOD engines go from using a quart of oil every 800 miles to no oil consumption at all. You can also use it to disable Flex Fuel on the Virtual FF vehicles that calculate alcohol content in fuel incorrectly. And you should have changed the plugs on the other 3 AFM cylinders IMO. You can thank the government and their CAFE requirements for forcing things like AFM/DOD on the OEMs.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steve Schilling says:

    i would rather have an engine that didn't burn oil big defect

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Backroadscamaro says:

    If you have an afm engine disable it with the modules they sell

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Backroadscamaro says:

    I disabled my afm when I first got my 2013 suburban now approaching 300k

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steve m says:

    Today's solutions are problems.. and class action law suits

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dwayne Baker says:

    Eric,I looked & cried over what General Motors mistake putting this style of engine in production.Back in the early 1980’s General Motors produced a Cadillac V 8-6-4 similar to this same design They should had learned about this design of bad technology then❤❤❤😊😊😊

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hawkeye tech says:

    Its sad company's try to save money so they can go out of business .
    Rember the Cadillac 4,6,8 Ht 4100?
    Do the R and D before going to production. Gm lost 40,k customers in 1984 beacuse of that engine..

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sledninja says:

    bro, they have a valve cover update. They move the positive ventilation hole that seems to solve the oil consumption problem.

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Parker says:

    Could you go up one heat range on that fouling spark plug?

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Allen Leavell says:

    Sounds to me like the real fix would be to never buy one of these in the first place

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Pratt says:

    Scrap is way up according to Weistmans😊

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dan Learned says:

    AFM!…Save gas, enhance fuel economy!!! Satisfy, exceed the Corporate Average Fuel milage requirements. Yeah, AFM does all this but…

    At the expense of engine longevity and reliabiltiy.

    Shows you don't get something for nothing…

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Key's Auto Repair says:

    The oil burning issue is because the oil bypass valve splashes oil on the crankshaft throwing it on the piston rings.

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Curtis Gomes says:

    I've never owned a GM product and I'm sure I never will…..

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bigbadvlad9 says:

    Deactivating AFM via software or plug in tool is not guaranteed to prevent an AFM lifter from getting stuck collapsed. Those weird lifters with coil springs on them are like a cancer inside the engine just waiting. It's not a question of if but when. The only way to be 100% sure is remove the AFM Hardware completely and replace them with old, proven solid lifters and matching non afm camshaft.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Will D says:

    Is there a way to disable the AFM in software without something like HP tuners? That way at least you're not fouling plugs constantly. You still have the ticking time bomb of the lifters though.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hari I says:

    Torqued to spec while putting in the wires…

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Don Cordier says:

    I have a 2003 trailblazer LS 4.3 liter v-6 4wd and it definitely doesn't burn oil. It has 220578 miles on it. My friend who sold it to me only replaced the computer. I've had it four years. It's been rear-ended in July and did some damage a 2005 Ford mustang hit my wife at a high rate of speed on the freeway during the evening congestion. She was pushed sideways into the guardrail and destroyed 9 of the wooden poles and bent the guardrail inwards. So we ripped off the plastic bumper and put a new taillight assembly and called it good. We're still driving it use it as a daily driver. We love the fact that it took the hit and still runs didn't hurt anything else. People keep telling me that this model year is a POS. Well anything that you buy is a POS.

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tdh Tdh says:

    I've soaked the offending cylinders in x66 for 8hrs it definitely helped with oil consumption issues. This was after the updated valve cover

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bobman P says:

    do you have a video of doing the heads and cam?

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J P says:


  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CR Auto guy says:

    See I understand these Engines are not perfect by any means I've been mechanic for 25 years I'm a Chevy guy so I may be kind of biased But at least you can change the spark plugs without them breaking apart or stripping out oh and you can see them and get to them GM engines Are way easier to work on than any of the other manufucturers I have 0 8 GMC Sierra Burns oil in between oil changes A little bit but all modern engines do Super thin oil super small rings And tight Clarences All to cut down on reciprocating Power Loss for better gas mileage But I would take an LS over a 3 valve Triton Any day No point in talking about Mopar Hemi 4.7 is a turd but better EngineThen a hemi its Mercedes Base design Ish Set up. When the first triton 4.6 and 5.4 Engines came around I hated them. But the only real problem those had or the ones with not spark plug threads. These days I actually really like them Have a lot of Customers that use them in their fleets There's a million of them anything goes wrong with the motor you can get a low mileage about $1000 And the engines are pretty simple to work on just Under powered. But cost-effective maintainability Which is pretty true for the LS But the fact of the matter in the last 10/15 years is trucks Are ridiculously over priced And design to fail Carb Epa calf nonsense have their heads up their butts The most efficient vehicles on the road are the ones that That last 30 years regardless of their fuel efficiency The ones with grease fittings so that everything doesn't just wear out Because it takes less energy to drive a less efficient vehicle for 30 years than it does to recycle Parts of it 10 times over. If everyone in the country had the same car for 30 years And carb and EPA Would allow you to update the vehicles To improve emission instead of calling them modified so they can get them off the road Imagine how much better our economy would really be if If everyone didn't have to buy a new vehicle every 7 years And save all that money Maybe not good for the car manufacturers But good for the people And there wouldn't be wrecking yards full Of Cars that didn't last a 100000 miles And all burn oil and burn up expensive catalytic converters It's pretty easy to figure out What's good and what's bad 1987 Chevy pickup truck 15 miles to the gallon had 2 motors In 300000 miles Or $80000 pick up truck That gets 15 miles in the gallon Last maybe 10 /15 years Or 4 on the East Coast Toyota Makes the best truck 4.0 V6 Is the most reliable truck Specialized Toyota for 20 years Never really do engine work on 4.0 They last That's better for your wallet and the environment

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars natedawg4 says:

    My 2012 Sierra with AFM seized a lifter at around 112K. Prior to that it was burning oil pretty heavily. I put a motor in it from GM. Not a great experience. If it happens again I'm doing a non-AFM 6.2L swap. I love the truck. Just hate the AFM

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thomas Huerta says:

    My ‘14 Yukon xl with 5.3 afm is at 180k no oil consumption, failed lifters, or fouled sparks plugs. Even with full synthetic oil and 3k-5k intervals, these engines appreciate your oil/ gas additives like Seafoam or marvel mystery to keep it extra clean and running smooth. Just my experience so far.

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeffrey Barnes says:

    Are you able to explain why the snap on spark plug socket cracks the plugs?

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars eric pigg says:

    Man I feel so fortunate. 255,000 miles on the wife's 2012 Yukon with the 5.3. It came up with a misfire on cylinder 7 a few months back. I was certain it was a lifter collapsed. I swapped coil packs with no change. I finally pulled the # 7 plug and when I removed it, a chunk of the insulator around the electrode was gone. It was sparking all over the place. I changed all 8 plugs (2nd plug change on the vehicle) and we are back to smooth sailing in that department. We bought it with 88k miles and I have used Castrol GTX High Mileage oil and did my own oil changes since we have owned it. I stopped using the oil change reminder at about 160k and went to a 5000 mile interval, as it was showing some oil consumption and running the mileage out to around 8000 miles before the system told me to change the oil.

  45. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars DotarSojat says:

    I’m less concerned about my 2008 5.3, than I am about the Silverado body that’s dissolving around it.

  46. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bobman P says:

    anyone ever swap a pre 5.3 afm into a afm suv?

  47. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eric Daub says:

    I love your videos! I am a honda dealer technician and we stay putting in piston rings due to oil consumption issues.