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Old 11-11-2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by uncljohn View Post
The only time I have experianced oil being sucked through the PCV valve is when engine wear had progressed to the point where there was tremendous cylinder wear and accompanied oil consumption.
A compression check would generally confirm overall or individual cylinder compression being extemely low.
I agree completly and that is why the first thing I did was a compression check. If my memory is correct the range on these motors is 185-200 lbs of compression. Mine was balanced accross all 4 cylinders and at 200lbs so I don't think the rings or valve seats are a problem. This is what has been driving me crazy over the oil usage. I am at the point that I don't think it is a cylinder problem but think the oil is being forced or sucked out the top and going in the intake. Still looking for the solution. I drive 500 miles per week so anything I try will show the results in a shot period of time.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:54 AM
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At the moment you are paralelling pretty much the direction I went on my friends 99 Saturn. It was at the time a high mileage 5 speed car as he was a traveling Anglican Priest from the Nova Scotia area he spent a lot of time on the road and the car being Canadian was in klicks. I don't remember what it had on it at the time about 200 k comes to mind though. It was consuming oil, he bought it new and maintained it well. There was no visible smoking out the tail pipe nor was there any blow by. Disconnecting the PCV valve lines you could not see any oil collecting in them.
I once followed him for quite aways on the freeway so high speeds and all. Not a wisp of oil smoke could be seen.
Here in Phoenix where it is HOT looking at a temperature vs viscosity oil chart the light weight oil recommended by the factory is just that, light weight. To me that is not the oil to run on a car driven hard in the heat. As at one point I ran afleet of cars used in service work the drivers were complaining of them running hot and had the fleet change to 20W50 which was compatible with the temperature and the drives quit complaining.
As for me, I did that a long time ago on all my cars.
So we changed to the heavier oil. It did not seem to affect oil consumption any. I really did not expect it to. Living in a winter climate where light oil was a winter oil and something heavier was a summer weight by the time engines got to 100,000 miles if you were getting a 1000 miles to quart you were lucky. Usually at that time it was less than that.
Here in Phoenix I have had cars go 300,000 miles with out oil consumption. But we used an additive and I think it was Z-max or something similar and the next oil change the danged thing quit using oil.
I think what is going on is the oil control ring is sludging up.
I see comments to that on Saturn forums for those who have rebuilt these engines.
The additive may have freed it. Don't know for sure, can't say for sure, but something worked. The last I talked to him about a year ago he was still using the car as a second car and now lived in Tennessee.
I don't think additives on the whole are worth the price of the chemistry inside of them. But every now and then something actually works.
It is not going to hurt to try it.
I personally think todays problems are caused by the stupid decision to recommend a light weight oil with the only benifit being questionable gas mileage improvement as a year around oil and I will not use it.
The weight I choose to use conforms to Viscosity vs Temperature oil recommendation charts rather than the factory recommendation. When I rebuld an engine it goes in with first oil change and when I buy a new car it goes in the same way. A used car gets changed also.
I think on todays catalytic converter cars, some oil consumption is hidden by the catalytic converter burning it out cleanly. That is the only idea I have as to why it can not be seen.
It is only now that I am seeing Saturns laying down oil screens like the old I6 Studebakers used to.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:00 PM
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my 1996 saturn sl1 burns oil too the final verdict was to add mystery oil or thicker oil???
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 96sc1996 View Post
my 1996 saturn sl1 burns oil too the final verdict was to add mystery oil or thicker oil???
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:49 PM
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Location: wa. state
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I use 10w40 in the winter( we can see single digits) and 20w50 in the summer( triple digits are frequent) I don't believe it is likely you will see "smoke" coming out the talepipe 'cause the cat will clean that up. Well maybe you will if the consumption is massive.

Bottom line........ use 20w50 and see if it helps.I know it won't hurt.

so I guess I agree with you uncljohn..... again !

I too believe in what works and old school is still working .

Last edited by scotterichmond; 06-17-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 96sc1996 View Post
my 1996 saturn sl1 burns oil too the final verdict was to add mystery oil or thicker oil???
The final verdict?
A bit of an understatement probably.
The final verdict is oil consumption is generally caused by excessive wear as a function of high mileage or improper maintainence.
Once wear takes place the only solution is a mechanical rebuild which depending on where and who does it can cost between $1000 and $4000, a number that while realistic, on a car that probably has a value of about the same number is not financially worth it.
The only other option is to slow down the oil consumption by using a heavier weight oil.
As to the pluses and minuses, oil is used to lubricate the engine and when it is extremely cold such as winter time with snow on the ground and freezing temperatures, a heavy weight oil will not flow and lubricate. The engine can be damaged. So you have to use an appropriate weight oil for the application.
During the summer, the opposite is true, when the engine is hot and the temperature is hot, light weight oils are way too thin, do not lubricate well and wear takes place.
Light weight oils can improve fuel economy. How much is open for question because I don't know and don't care. Because the use of a light weigh oil can also cause increased wear. How much? I don't know that either but it seems that on many applications, a car with about 100,000 miles has started to consume a lot of oil to where the the blue smoke can be seen comming out the exhaust.
And if you look at a NASCAR racing motor that costs in the area of $40,000 per engine that will run under extreme duress for about 600 miles and then basically is prone to failure, a light wieght oil might make the difference between 1st or last.
It depends I guess on how much money you have and your objectives.
Mine is not much money and a long lived engine. So I use the heaviest oil the Viscosity vs Temperature charts allow and using modern oils, that is a 20W50 weight oil. There are heavier. Straight weight oils are available up to a straight 50 weight if you can find them.
The problem is the engine is worn out. There is no majic fix.
The next problem is why? And only the curious are looking for a solution.
I am curious, mine Saturn is one of many that do not use any oil at all.
I used a heavier oil than the factory recommendation of 5E20 from the day I bought the car and still do in all my cars.
And as it turns out, most new cars turn into used cars and sold. Very few new car owners drive a high mileage car and most used car buyers pretty much have to take what they get.
A number of people I have talked to lately are saying that it was curious their new cars started using oil just before they sold them or traded them and all of them were using the factory recommended oil weight of 5W20. The factory don't care, the warrenty is over and in the case of Saturn, the factory is over and gone.
It's done whatever the reason.
So to repeat. The only fix is an engine rebuild. The only other option is a heavier oil to slow down consumption.
An additive some times might help depending on circumstances.
I have seen Z-Max help, the assumption is that the oil control ring is stuck due to mileage and for some reason Z-max caused it to loosen.
I use STP to further thicken the oil for my purposes.
If I think I need it.
But on the whole, additives are a waste of money.
In my opinion.
Good luck. It is nice to enjoy a Brand of automobile. I like my 16 year old Saturn Coupe. I own it, it has 2 doors and a sun roof. It all works and is in good shape. To replace it with a new car that does the same for me would be about $40,000 or so. A new Caddy Coupe would be nice. But there is not much inbetween that would work for me. And I can not afford a new Caddy.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:01 AM
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ok so i have oil consumption prob too ... but no leaks or exhaust visual ... sometimes .... bout a quart every two to three weeks ... usin 5w30 sometimes 10w30
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:21 PM
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Pretty much it is a function of time and extended use of what used to be called a winter grade oil, year around. Now that the wear has occured the odds of a "get lucky" repair is about nil. About all you can do is use a heavier oil and depending on where you are a 20W40, a 10W40 or possibly a 20W50 or if the oil consumption is bad enough a straight weight 30, or 40 weight oil. During the summer and something lighter during the winter.
The more I ask around to people who actually own thier cars for a long period of time, the more they are saying that some where around 100k they started to use oil. providing of course that the original factory recomended oil was something like a 5W20 or 30 and that was what was used. There are of course other specific reasons too but in genral the patern has been established.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:16 AM
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Default So you are using oil eh? Don't feel alone!

Not being able to sleep and bored I did some research on oil consumption. The internet really has a lot of info. on it if you ask it nice, it will actually deliver it to you. The following search was one of them.
There is plenty of things to read, there were some 31 million results. That should keep some one busy.
Light weight oil in general has the fickle finger of fate pointed at it. Of course that is hedged by saying.
The factory recommended the light wieght oil!
I am sure some where in the 31 million results is the fact the reason the oil was recommended was gasoline mileage is enhanced by light weight oil, while light weight oil used under summer or regional heat on a car driven hard causes premature wear and excessive oil consumption.
Hell of a deal, you get good gas mileage!!!!!
Everyone is happy. Specially the factory! The warrenty is off and they are off the hook.
This brings about a series of solutions to possibly ignore the need to rebuilt the engine.
One of which is to use "high mileage oil" Something that will help high mileage engines.
But probably is little more than a can with words on it that lets people think it is good for the car thus buy it. The purpose of the oil? To remove money from your wallet.
Another is a piston soak.
Done something like pull all spark plugs, pore in any of the following,
SeaFoam (an engine cleaner like many although this has a funny name)
Marvel Mystery Oil (available for years in gallon cans used for general engine cleaning and assored mystery fixes)
A GM supplied top engine cleaner - go read one of the articals, you find the name.
or other stuff.
The purpose? To free up stuck piston rings. Let it soak for 20 min, repeat a second time and then?
Change the oil. All that raspy stuff is not in the crank case disolving sludge and gaskets.
Will it work? It might, if you have stuck piston rings.
But most of the time, the reason for the excessive oil consumption is!!!!!
The light weight oil used for maximum gasoline mileage also causes maximum engine wear as a function of time and use.
I really have not had the problem.
I am old school, when the recommendations came out my initial reaction was the use of the 5W20 oil year around was stupid.
I drive mucho miles and keep cars a long time.
I build them, I restore them and I build my own street racer motors.
Every car I own was changed immediatly to a recommended oil viscosity that comes from a viscosity vs temperature chart that can be found in an owners manual of the car or an Oil Company data sheet.
Similar to any one of these:
Or if your garage is like mine you have a collection of Motors or Chilton manuals, mine go back to 1936 so I can use them to repair a Marmon, if I had one. And look at the oil recommendation for the same engine over the years.
I am currently building a 350 Chevy V8. An engine that has remarkable interchangability with the first one built in 1955, the infamouse 265 Cu In Power Pack mouse motor, and look up the specks. Most manufactures started recommending a light weight oil all about the same time when gasoline mileage became an EPA issue and a sticker on the window rates estimated mileage.
And warrenties stopped covering them after 30 thousand miles.
A complaint to the dealer that you are using oil after the warrenty is up is generally responded with;
If you are using the factory recommended oil, thus the 5W20 the answer is NOT you are using oil, the oil usage is normal.
What is not being said, is excessive usage of oil is normal when using a light weight oil year around. That is how I blew the engine up in my 1st car in the middle of the summer. That and stupidity.
If you are using excessive oil, the damage has been done.
It is rare that motor fix it in a can can fix anything.
There is a mechanical problem that needs replacement parts because they are worn.
If you catch it in time, oil usage may slow down and may even slow down a lot. By changing to a heavier weight oil
Can't help you, you are not alone. It is now and industry standard.
Sorry about that.
But I do not have the problem in my own cars. I changed to a heavier weight oil on the 1st oil change or if I built a motor I started out with it.
I live where 20W50 is a viable alternative. That is what I use. Except my Chrysler which uses synthetic and I use 15 W 50 and nothing I own uses oil.
Well not true, my Pony Car with a monster engine does, but I let the heads sit on the shelf too long before I installed them and the valve umbrellas dried out, so it is sucking oil through the valve guides.
But oil is cheap compared to taking it apart.
So I do not worry about it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: wa. state
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Uncljohn................. even though your comments are ... well..... long and wordy, I have to say a great big AMEN to all you had to say (and yes I did read it all).
I too follow the old school though of ? Why is there oil in the engine? oh , yeah to lube stuff and reduce friction. and a by product of less friction is less wear AND less heat. All I can add is more viscosity = less friction. That being said there is a balance that needs to be reached. You can get TOO thick. I once ran 90 w gear oil ( 50/50 with 30 w) to postpone the inevitable overhaul. I got about year out of her.

Well thats enough beating that dead horse.
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