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Old 08-22-2000, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Oil usage question

Okay, here's a dumb question: What's the easiest way to measure oil consumption? I notice some people are pretty precise when they give the rate of consumption for their cars. It's been 3500 or 3600 miles since my last oil change, and it appears that I'm starting to lose a noticeable amount of oil between changes. However, I'm still within normal limits, so I guess I don't need to worry about it too much right now.
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Old 08-22-2000, 07:05 PM   #2
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Here's what I have done. I think it is pseudo-scientific and at least gave me numbers that I could graph. I found this important to me with my first Saturn, a '93SL2m that settled out to using about 1.5 qt per 3000 miles (or .5 qt in 1000).

The hatched area on the dipstick has, I believe exactly 10 full "X" markings from top to bottom. Assuming that the hatched area represents a drop of 1 qt, then one full "X" would be 0.1 qt. A half an "X" I considered to be 0.05 qt. I tried to estimate to 0.01 to 0.02 levels. Is this possible? Maybe not, but it's the data I collected.

With my '97 SC1, I have never seen more than 0.02 or 0.05 qt movement (half of an "X") on the dipstick in a 3000 mile interval. Most of the time I have to consider it zero or maybe 0.01 at most.

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Old 08-22-2000, 07:11 PM   #3
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I keep track of ALL my service (and gas mileage for current fillup and since delivery in a little spiral book). I have not been keeping track of oil added until recently: I decided to write the date and the mileage on the Mobil-1 bottle the last time I opened a fresh bottle. I am only driving 6-7K a year now that I am a telecommuter, but I swear I can hear the sound of the engine when I am 1/4 to 1/2 quart low on oil, and usually add just enough to fill it when I hear the familiar sound (valve clatter or timing chain?).

I guess I'm compulsive, but my Saturn got me through some rough travel (25K in one year in all kinds of nasty weather) a few years back, when I worked myself out of a series of jobs. Also, I try to take good care of my toys because sometimes you don't know when you'll not be able to replace them!
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Old 08-22-2000, 07:20 PM   #4
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OK, so I lied. I didn't mean to.

I just checked my oil and my pseudo-scientific estimate is 0.05 to maybe 0.07 qt down. My log book shows a month earlier I said zero to <i>maybe</i> 0.1. So I'm not the most consistent. I'm even starting to think that wiping the dipstick is a major source of loss! <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

I will admit that making this measurement is difficult and not guaranteed to be exactly valid. But I do try to do it in my parking space at work, mainly because it is pretty level.

Anybody want to see my '93SL2 graphs? <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/TooHappy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

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Old 08-22-2000, 08:48 PM   #5
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All I do is reset the temporary odometer everytime that the oil level is at full(every time I throw in a quart or change the oil). Then I wait until the oil is down to the add line and record the odometer setting and throw in another quart. Simple as that. This past weekend I replaced my leaking valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket. Hopefully that was the problem and not a "burning" issue.
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Old 08-23-2000, 08:00 PM   #6
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<blockquote><hr><font size="1">Original Post:</font><!--1-->
OK, so I lied. I didn't mean to.

I just checked my oil and my pseudo-scientific estimate is 0.05 to maybe 0.07 qt down. My log book shows a month earlier I said zero to <i>maybe</i> 0.1. So I'm not the most consistent. I'm even starting to think that wiping the dipstick is a major source of loss! <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

I will admit that making this measurement is difficult and not guaranteed to be exactly valid. But I do try to do it in my parking space at work, mainly because it is pretty level.

Anybody want to see my '93SL2 graphs? <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/TooHappy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

the HumpMan<hr></blockquote>

HumpMan

You are a geek's geek with your charts and numbers. Many thanks for sharing all of your research with the rest of us!

Jim
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