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Old 11-04-2017, 09:42 AM   #1
cgg17
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Default Suggestions on Oil

Hello all,
I've searched the threads and only seem to find how to fix the oil burning threads, and what type of oil to use while burning oil. BUT, my new 94 Sl2 doesnt burn any. It has 5w30 in it, and I had it filled up to the bottom of the "U" on FULL. I checked it every 100 miles, and am at 500 miles and it has not moved one bit. I used the same exact spot, marked with tape to ensure it is not just the way its sitting. I allowed a 30 minute drain down each time.
So, what oil should I run in this thing to keep it from burning oil? Its not due for a change, but I really want to change it and get it stabilized before burning happens. And once I get the oil in, what intervals should I change it at? I mainly do town driving with back roads, and the occasional highway. We change our others at 3k, but they run normal oil in them (10w30 due to burning).
Thanks for the input,
Chris

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Old 11-04-2017, 10:01 AM   #2
underthehood
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

My experience with having owned 3 Saturn SL2's is for the first 1000 miles or so past an oil change little to no change, after first 1000 they typically would use about 1/2 qt in pretty rapid order, and from then on they would avg a qt at 1000 to 1500 over the course of the oil change interval.
So while you may not have seen a change believe me you WILL.
As for brand and weight of oil you will see many types of advice here. Some on the hilarious and absurd to basically "good".
Overall pick a brand you're comfortable with. I.e. Mobil, Castrol, Valvoline, etc. Decide on synthetic or not. I prefer synthetic and have pretty much always used Mobil1 European Formula (it's a 0-40). It seems to work well in everything I own (I used it nearly exclusively in 2 of my Saturns, My Saturn Vue, the Infiniti QX4 I owned, and now my 2 Toyota Highlanders.
Is it right for you? Who knows. I do recommend a synthetic though. Saturn "S" series engines are about as hard on oil as any engine I have ever seen.
Use a good 0W, 5W (on the low end rating as low temp flow is VERY important) and either the 30 or 40 rating on the high end. Many here like Shell Rotella T6 5w40 for instance.
Use a high quality extended length filter Mobil1 209 is one that works.
If you run a lot of highway you can feel pretty safe pushing OCI to 7000 miles or even as high as 10000 miles. IF all you do is around town stay closer to 4-5k miles. These engines sludge up a lot due to their design especially in colder climates.
BTW all the BS you'll read about additives, transmission fluid and so on is just that BS! Also the only true "cure" for the oil issues on these engines is an overhaul with new rings and drilled oil return lands on the pistons. Period. There is no mechanic genie in a bottle

...
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

^^ not bad advice, except for the final 2 lines....which shows what one of my relations always maintained, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still".

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Old 11-04-2017, 11:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

We are all different. I agree with the last two lines. I can say that on a steady diet of Castrol 5W-30 conventional that it started burning oil at 70K, and was burning a quart every 1000 at 204,000. My OCI has always been 3000ish. After 18 years and those miles, the engine was in pretty good shape but the oil control rings were stuck hard in the grooves. My nice new pistons have oil relief slots in the third groove. I'll report back at 306,000 miles in 2026 and 408,000 miles in 2035 to provide one datapoint on underthehood's last statement.

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'99 SL2, owned since new
5 speed manual
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!

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Old 11-04-2017, 11:28 AM   #5
OldNuc
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Mineral based oils will oxidize rapidly to a hard carbon varnish at elevated temperature while the 100% PAO synthetics do not. This is why hot running engines should use a PAO oil. Failure to do so results in oil control ring failure with the stock no direct thrust face drain back ports to begin consuming oil around 80,000 miles. This is not a new discovery, check my photo gallery. What is new is the oxidation process differences between the PAO and mineral based oils.

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Old 11-04-2017, 12:17 PM   #6
rgrafton
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Mineral based oils will oxidize rapidly to a hard carbon varnish at elevated temperature while the 100% PAO synthetics do not. This is why hot running engines should use a PAO oil. Failure to do so results in oil control ring failure with the stock no direct thrust face drain back ports to begin consuming oil around 80,000 miles. This is not a new discovery, check my photo gallery. What is new is the oxidation process differences between the PAO and mineral based oils.
would you consider S Series to be hot running cars?

...
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Any full synthetic 5W-30 works,
If it’s really cold, use a 0W-30.
A 10W-30 full synthetic can be used in hot climates...

To keep from burning oil, use Shell Rotella T5 in 10W-30 during the summer...

If you are burning oil, use Rotella T6 in 5W-40, good thick oil with lots of dispersants to clean out the crud...

...
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Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30, NAPA 41516...
NGK BKR6E-11 spark plugs

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Old 11-04-2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Suggestions on oil

Oil filter, regular Fram 3614 or
Purolator 14612, three and a half inches long..

Oversized, Fram 3600 or
Purolator 14610, nearly five inches long...

...
2002 Silver SL2, manual, 5th gear swap (.605), 78,000 miles, black badges,
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Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30, NAPA 41516...
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrafton View Post
would you consider S Series to be hot running cars?
The DOHC, yes but not the SOHC unless you really beat on it.

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Old 11-04-2017, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Full Synthetic oil.
I find Walmart’s SuperTech in the 5 (actually more like 4.5) quart jug at $17.87 to work fine for my DOHC wagon with lots of stop and go driving. Cheap enough for 3,000 mile Oil Change Intervals and virtually no oil consumption at 180,000 miles.

...
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• 2004 Ion3 new 11/2003 (totaled) 11/2011 -23 mpg
• 1994 SL1 new traded
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:14 PM   #11
TXSaturn02
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

I never used synthetic. Always the cheapest available. OCI between 3K and 5K . As stated, keep an eye on it as it WILL burn oil even though you may not notice. You MAY be babying it right now and this is reason you have not noticed. I say this because I normally baby mine and oil consumption is not bad. However, when you take her out and work her hard (long road trip at 75 MPH plus) OR a lot of jack rabbit starts, THEN the oil consumption will be noticeable. High RPM is the key. If you have a tendency to get the RPM up, the oil consumption will follow. I don't do jack rabbit starts, but I tended to go on road trips in which I would go 75 MPH + for hours (most of the day). THIS is when my oil consumption was very noticeable.

...
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

^Yep^
I just did a 500-mile trip. When I started the AmsOil 5w-30 HDD was at the bottom of the “U”. After 500-miles, the oil level was at the Full mark on the stick.
75 mph for about 5 hours of the trip.
About 220,000 miles on the engine.

...
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

That would be about 3500-4000 miles/qt of oil @75mph. Not bad. Some of that oil went through the PCV system as oil vapor.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That would be about 3500-4000 miles/qt of oil @75mph. Not bad. Some of that oil went through the PCV system as oil vapor.
I’m keeping track. After an oil change, I start with a full quart bottle in the trunk.
It seems usage was/is about 1 qt per 3000 miles.
I think this and the last were the New and Improved HDD with lower volatility so maybe oil usage is less. Maybe. I am keeping track.
Engine still working well, therefore happy

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

If the engine is not collecting dust on all exterior surfaces there is some escaping oil. You can leak a quart every 3k mile and never see it go.

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If the engine is not collecting dust on all exterior surfaces there is some escaping oil. You can leak a quart every 3k mile and never see it go.
This is a very significant statement and a tip that I have never heard before.

Good one!

...
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• 2004 Ion3 new 11/2003 (totaled) 11/2011 -23 mpg
• 1994 SL1 new traded
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If the engine is not collecting dust on all exterior surfaces there is some escaping oil. You can leak a quart every 3k mile and never see it go.
What do you mean by this?

...
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Suggestions on Oil

If you do not see dust then you have oil/oil vapor in that area. This works almost everywhere in the country as there is dust in the air that will end up on everything. If it gets oil on/mixed with it you will not notice it. Try the white glove inspection trick.

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