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Old 07-06-2014, 06:06 PM   #1
DJKrohn
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Default Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

I know someone that works at a Chevy dealership, and I hear all kinds of stories about having to replace pistons in 2.4L Ecotecs, and even V8 engines like LS4. The rings aren't "coked" or stuck, like people assume that's the cause of the Saturn's failure. You would think the oil has gotten better. They use Dexos now, but I've heard of that causing problems. Usually it is noted that all the ring end gaps are aligned upon disassembly, but I don't think it causes them to burn as much oil as they do.

I can't believe they are still having to rebuild all these engines under warranty. It really just has to be rings with bad metal or something. I've replaced rings in Saturn engines with aftermarket, and they are completely fine after that, and for a long time. Cars even have oil life monitors now, I'm not sure if you can void your warranty by not following it.

But, yeah, Saturns are definitely not the only ones.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

My Cousin-in-Law has been a highly skilled GM mechanic for the past 32 years. Oh the stories.

OLM's had to be scaled back, especially in the GM DI engines. They were extended too far out which caused lots of problems.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

There are 2 or 3 causes:
  • - the plateau cylinder finish
  • - thin low tension rings
  • - the 0w-20 low viscosity oil
The plateau finish is designed to hold oil on the cylinder walls and this thread from BITOG opines on the last 2 items.

This is not a mystery, it has been well known since shortly after the first internal combustion engine ran. The mandates for no emissions and infinite fuel economy come at some rather high costs.

The Saturn oil consumption is the result of very high piston temperature, no proper oil drain back ports, and oil quality. Not the same thing that is causing all of the recent heartburn. FORD argued with the EPA several years ago as to the consequences of the push to the 0w-20 oils.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

People on forums like these often think that others take care of their cars like they do. The average person driving the roads couldn't tell you much, if anything, about the maintenance of their cars. There is a reason why they put those oil change stickers on your window. Even then, people ignore them.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Seems Consumer Reports is not impressed either. https://autos.yahoo.com/news/consume...140000066.html
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

I just hope they still use low oil level sensors, and not trying to pinch pennies like Saturn. I mean, even the Cavalier had one. Sure you can argue it's no replacement for checking the dipstick, but it still very useful, especially when driving on the highway.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Here's a comment from OldNuc's link: "This is especially frustrating, since most of the newer cars don't have dipsticks. My 2008 BMW 535xi doesn't have a dipstick. That's a heck of a way to figure out how the I-Drive system works (which tells you that you're low on oil)."

No dipstick, wow.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

No Dipstick?

No purchase.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
People on forums like these often think that others take care of their cars like they do.
^^This is a huge one. I was recently chatting with a friend, She was talking about waiting at the quick lube place to get her oil changed yada-yada, then casually mentioned that "Oh yeah, I figured I probably needed to get that done since it was 4,000 miles overdue." This was on a late '90s quad 4 engine.

I see no problems with BMW removing the dipstick entirely. In one of their vehicles, if it isn't at least 3 generations old the owner will not be touching the dipstick. They went from a pretty good sports/performance car company to a luxury sports car company. Everything changed at that point, things were sacrificed in the name of comfort and luxury. Even Mazda's RX rotary engines are far more serviceable than anything from BMW in the last 15 years. The sooner that brand goes into the ground the better. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be happening yet...
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

I think all these light viscosity oil like 0w20, even 5w30 are for the birds, The oil is to light for the engine, Back on the 50's,60's,70's they used 10W30-10w40 weight, Last time I checked all engines are the same they all have pistons, crankshafts, lifters, camshafts why should the weight of the oil change this much from those years till now, Its all MPG and the government, My Aunt got a new 2014 Subaru Forester and I love those thats going to be my next vehical, The owners manual states 0W20 engine oil, The first thing Id do when I got it home from the Dealership if i had one was drain it all out and put 10W30 Mobile1 in it, this water like oil is a joke, Does nothing but hurt the engine as it doesnt properly lubricate anything.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

10W is way too thick for winters around here. What you want is Mobil 1 0W-40, that's what I use for my race car. I still use 5W-30 high mileage for my daily driver, but sometimes switch to 0W-30 in the winter. Oil is always too thick in winter

I've noticed according to the technical numbers on their website, the actual viscosity is less than "40" at higher temperatures with the 0W, but that's why I go with 0W-40 instead of 0W-30 (for my race car). They have the 5W-50 race oil, but I'm not really interested in that.

Ideally they would have used 0W-30 instead of 10W-30 to start with back then, but it hasn't always been possible to have such a versatile multi-viscosity oil in the past. And it's more expensive to produce.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

High RPMs increase oil consumption.
Engine braking increases oil consumption.
Leaks, out-of-spec PCV valves, increase consumption.
Higher operating temps will like increase consumption.

I suspect many people with deep enough pockets to by BMW, Mercedes, etc. etc., are not very inclined to get their hands dirty checkign oil. And maintenance is a profit center for dealerships.

My '04 GM 3800 engine with 144K miles on it currently uses a quart (of 5W-30 Super Tech syn) every 4000 miles these days, is used mainly as a daily run-errands car by my wife.

My '95 SL2 at ~170K miles used a quart of 10W-30 every 600 miles when I traded it last year.

My '13 Outback with the 4-cyl 2.5 is using almost no (0W-20) oil between change so far at 21K miles.

I suspect oil consumption is in part the luck of the draw engine wise. Some will drink the stuff, others just sip a tiny bit.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL19302 View Post
I think all these light viscosity oil like 0w20, even 5w30 are for the birds, The oil is to light for the engine, Back on the 50's,60's,70's they used 10W30-10w40 weight, Last time I checked all engines are the same they all have pistons, crankshafts, lifters, camshafts why should the weight of the oil change this much from those years till now, Its all MPG and the government, My Aunt got a new 2014 Subaru Forester and I love those thats going to be my next vehical, The owners manual states 0W20 engine oil, The first thing Id do when I got it home from the Dealership if i had one was drain it all out and put 10W30 Mobile1 in it, this water like oil is a joke, Does nothing but hurt the engine as it doesnt properly lubricate anything.
Bingo!
A friend of mine has a 2006 Ford escape. About 4 years ago, He asked If I would do his Oil changes with 5w20. I told him 10w30 would be better, but He said the manufacturer knew best. OK. A year and a half later he blows the engine. He takes it to a guy He's known for years, who told him He should have used 10w30.

I have had this SL1 for 14 months, and have done 10 Oil changes. I never go above 5000KM. I ALWAYS use 10w30. Last winter was the coldest winter in 30 years, and the Car ALWAYS started, and ran great. It doesn't bother me in the least to sacrifice fuel mileage for the sake of preserving the engine.
This car has 178,000 km(about 107,000mi), and uses about half a litre of oil between oil changes. 10w30 Dino works perfectly for me, and that's the way it will stay.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've run 5W-20 high quality dino oil in the wife's Crown Vic since we bought it with 30k on the clock. Just turned 200k this weekend. I add 1/2 quart at 3000 miles after oil change and it is 1/2 quart low when I change it at 5000. I will admit the 5W-20 has the viscosity of water - at least it never backs up in the funnel!

BTW, BMW is not the only manufacturer to ditch dipsticks. My son's Cayman S does not have one. If you turn the key to run, it will report the oil level on the instrument panel.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:32 AM   #15
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Some things to consider while playing lube engineer. The lower the viscosity the lower the average operating oil temperature all other factors being the same. The lower the viscosity the thinner the oil film on the cylinder walls all other factors being equal. The viscosity of all oils is too high for proper loaded lubrication when less than about 100F. The "w" rating is related to the cold cranking apparent viscosity and has no to minimal impact on the actual operating viscosity. In other words 0w-30, 5w-30, and 10w-30 exhibit almost identical viscosity values at 40C and 100C. You will see more variation in the 40C and 100C viscosity values between different refiners products of the identically marked oils (ie. 5w-30) than you will between 0w-30 and 10w-30 from the same refiner in the same product line.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitcher View Post
No Dipstick?

No purchase.
+1; I'd love to see how the beanie-copters who came up with an oil level monitor can explain how such a device can possibly "know" the level in the crankcase while the engine is running, and an indeterminate amount of oil is being pumped through the engine. I could imagine _one_ possible way such a thing could work reliably - a float or similar sensor in the oil pan, that the PCM reads while the engine is OFF (using the PCM B power); the PCM program would also have to count a minimum period of time (say, 10 minutes) after the engine is NOT running, and record the level/state and store it for the next time the driver turns the key to RUN. I doubt they would go to the trouble of rigging / programming such a thing for a Cadavalier, and any pan level reading while the engine is running simply can't be trusted to mean anything. Sounds like just another potential failure point.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

^ a float is an extremely simple solution, but I doubt it's that straight forward, afterall, what is so simple on a car these days?

There may be sensors which monitor oil pressure before/after passing through it and mathematically determine the oil's ability to lubricate based on given lab results programmed into the oil life monitor. Such a system would require you ALWAYS use a certain viscocity of oil to keep the monitoring system all working within spec.


I still say - give me a dipstick and a straight forward owner's manual which outlines maintenance intervals. Doing away with owner-maintenance is a ridiculous step in the already overly instant-gratification world. If you, as the owner of your mode of transportation which you depend on to make a living and feed yourself and keep a roof over your head, cannot check your own oil and maintain at least that aspect of your vehicle.... how do you look yourself in the mirror and think of anything other than a helpless lost puppy?

Reminds me of my g/f calling me to come fix her flat tire on her leased car. I show up, half our away in the damn rain, only to show her the maintenance agreement in the glovebox w/ free roadside assistance. She then proceeds to call AAA which she "forgot she also had" and all the while, I'm soaking wet and go ahead and replace the tire w/ the spare, which she didn't even know she had in the trunk. All I kept asking her was "why did you lease a car, only to not read or know a damn thing about the benefits of leasing?" Her response, "I worked hard in nursing school, I deserve a nice car!"

She's my g/f and all but.... what an idiot. That's how the world works. Give me nice things... I have no idea what to do with it other than show it off... but give it to me anyway!
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

My limited understanding of the Porsche system is that it uses a level indicator. The system works only with ignition on and engine not running. If the engine has been run very recently and the oil level check is attempted, the system will tell you that you'll have to wait quite some time for the test to complete (time to let the oil run down and cool - can be 1/2 hour or more). If the engine is cold, the test takes 5 seconds.

Oil temperature and pressure are also monitored with associated idiot lights. I too prefer a dipstick, but can somewhat understand not having one in a tightly packed, mid-engine car as there is no good place to put one.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

The level sensor is probably a bubbler type of level detector. Google will explain how they function.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: Even today's engines have oil consumption problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
^ a float is an extremely simple solution, but I doubt it's that straight forward, afterall, what is so simple on a car these days?

There may be sensors which monitor oil pressure before/after passing through it and mathematically determine the oil's ability to lubricate based on given lab results programmed into the oil life monitor. Such a system would require you ALWAYS use a certain viscocity of oil to keep the monitoring system all working within spec.


I still say - give me a dipstick and a straight forward owner's manual which outlines maintenance intervals. Doing away with owner-maintenance is a ridiculous step in the already overly instant-gratification world. If you, as the owner of your mode of transportation which you depend on to make a living and feed yourself and keep a roof over your head, cannot check your own oil and maintain at least that aspect of your vehicle.... how do you look yourself in the mirror and think of anything other than a helpless lost puppy?

Reminds me of my g/f calling me to come fix her flat tire on her leased car. I show up, half our away in the damn rain, only to show her the maintenance agreement in the glovebox w/ free roadside assistance. She then proceeds to call AAA which she "forgot she also had" and all the while, I'm soaking wet and go ahead and replace the tire w/ the spare, which she didn't even know she had in the trunk. All I kept asking her was "why did you lease a car, only to not read or know a damn thing about the benefits of leasing?" Her response, "I worked hard in nursing school, I deserve a nice car!"

She's my g/f and all but.... what an idiot. That's how the world works. Give me nice things... I have no idea what to do with it other than show it off... but give it to me anyway!
My best friend and I always thought that changing a flat should be on your Drivers Test. It looks like we may have been the only two that thought that.
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