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Old 03-20-2006, 05:54 PM   #1
Petey
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Question about Oil Consumption

This car was using a quart of oil (dino 5w30) every 1500 miles from when I got the car at 80K to about 105-115K and then it went down to quart every 1000miles. At about the time of the drop I had done 2 MMO soaks and replaced the PCV valve (OEM).

About 8,000 miles ago I used GM top engine cleaner and did a change over to 5w30 Mobile 1. My consumption has remained at 1 qt every 1000miles if I use it to commute daily (35 miles one-way on the highway) If I stay local it goes up to about a quart every 1700 miles.

Are these results normal? When does consumption go down after a switch to full synthetic? Should I go to 10w30?

...
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:17 PM   #2
Tomvich
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

With over 100,000 miles on car I would not waste 4+ dollars every 1000 miles
on synthetic oil. Synthetic wont bring this car back to say quart every 3000
miles. I use synthetic but then I started at 17,000 miles. Synthetic wont fix
this problem.

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:46 PM   #3
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Synthetic oil is a better lubricant. You don't use it to reduce oil consumption, you use it to make your engine last longer. You can do the math, but at your level of consumption, a full synth oil and good quality (Wix, etc.) filter change every 4000 miles will cost you approximately a penny per mile. Cheap insurance, presuming your intention is to "drive it forever".

Your first sentence is confusing. By the numbers, your consumption went up, not down. In any event, 1 qt / 1000 miles is a bit high for a car that's had two MMO soaks, but not excessive for an S-car. 1 qt / 1700 miles is pretty respectable. You might want to try one or two more soaks (by the gallon, MMO is cheap), just to see if you can get it down any further.

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Old 03-20-2006, 07:40 PM   #4
96GSL1
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Given a quart every 1k consumption, if you used SuperTech oil and filters, you'd be spending less than 3-tenths-of-a-cent per mile. Using pure synthetic in a Saturn is overkill, especially a 4k interval IMHO. The added protection is - especially in an engine like Saturns - a bit of a myth. Unless you're talking REALLY cold temps or extended drains, the payoff isn't there ('cept for the warm and fuzzy feeling.)

Cheap (SM rated) "dino" oils of today are practically semi-synthetics anyways. They need to use Group 2 + base oils just to pass the API tests.
Your car will run for thousands and thousands of miles with today's cheap oil.

Try an MMO or Seafoam soak for the consumption. Otherwise just keep topping off and forget about it for another 1,000 miles..

...
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:20 AM   #5
Petey
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

From my understanding oil consumption will go down with synthetic because of its cleaning ability.


And yes I plan on keeping this car for a while longer.

...
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:29 AM   #6
Luke
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Default Chevron Supreme at 49 cents per quart

Quote:
>Fm Petey <
And yes I plan on keeping this car for a while longer.
If you plan on keeping the car as long as I have, then you should consider converting to Chevron Supreme (((>I use 10x-40 <))), for I've been getting it at 49 cents a quart. Obviously, I purchase cases at a time. The oil seems to have worked well for me.

...
> 95 SL 2 = 653,369 Miles 40.4 MPG, as of 5/20/11. My manual Radiator Fan Switch, courtesy of Wolfman's patient installation guidance, continues to be.......invaluable < The car was retired

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Old 03-21-2006, 11:54 AM   #7
Bill Murray
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1997 SC1
Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Try a few OCIs with Rotella or German Castrol, you might get lucky like I did.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55258

If not, use Luke's advice and go to the low cost stuff.
The important point is never let it get low, check oil every gas stop.
As he's shown, the useful life of the motor is way out there.

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Old 03-22-2006, 01:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

"Are these results normal? When does consumption go down after a switch to full synthetic? Should I go to 10w30?"

My experience with Mobil 1 5w-30 was consumption went up from 3/4 quart per 3,000 to 1 quart per 3,000 using Castrol 5w-30. Mobil 1 was a little on the thin side for a 5w-30. It also gave me better fuel economy. The reason I used Mobil 1 was to clean the engine and to prevent coked oil deposits on the ring packs. With 10w-30 you may consume a little less oil, and it may slightly affect fuel economy. Wolfman uses 10w-30 as I recall. I went a little different route for cleaning the rings. I did 2 Auto-RX cleaning and rinse phases (4 oil changes and 2 bottles of Auto-RX). It was a little cheaper since I bought everything on sale, then using Mobil 1 as I was doing. I have not noticed a reduction in oil consumption, but performance is wonderful. I also use a fuel cleaner FP60, and oil additive FP20 to keep things clean with Havoline oil. So, my experience is oil consumption was not effected by all the cleaning, but performance gains were noticeable. This is based on 30,000 of driving so far. I plan on keeping this car a long time. I am going to use Mobil 1 when I am out of extended warranty and can extend drain intervals. I just check the oil and top it off, and hope that oil consumption will not increase. After all, it is a Saturn. I feel that my consumption is about as good as it will get unless I go to a heavier weight oil.

...
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:00 PM   #9
Bill Murray
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

There's no wrong answers here (except letting it run out of oil), and you've been observant enough to make a good choice.

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Old 03-23-2006, 01:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Murray
There's no wrong answers here (except letting it run out of oil), and you've been observant enough to make a good choice.
Bill, I was thinking the same thing. There are a lot of good ways to approach oil for a Saturn. The most important one for me is keeping the oil topped off. It is a small price to pay for one of the best vehicles I have ever had.

...
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Even if he is paying $4 a quart for Mobil 1, and burning a quart every 1k miles, that still only works out to 4/10ths of a cent per mile. YES I do run Mobil 1 10w-30 year round (even in the COLD Maine winters) in my personal SL2. I have found the mistake most people make when switching to synthetic is not sticking with it. You may initially get increased consumption, but that trend shoud reverse. Panicing to try and save 4/10ths of a penny per mile is....well...foolish IMHO. The added protection and detergeant properites of the synthetic more than makes up for that. If the car is basically going to run chronically low on oil anyway, the quality of the oil becomes MORE important, not less.

...
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:45 AM   #12
96GSL1
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

No way is my Saturn worth a $4+ a quart oil. Dumping that kind of oil in any car eating a quart every 1k miles or less is also..well, foolish IMHO. I don't think I could justify putting that kind of oil into any oil burner. These cars are just not that expensive...

...
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98 Windstar 123k

Last edited by 96GSL1; 03-23-2006 at 07:56 AM..

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Old 03-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

At 4/10ths of a cent per mile it would cost a whopping $60 for Mobil 1 top ups for an ENTIRE YEAR. (Based on 15k miles per year) That would be about the interest for a single month on a new car payment....if you got a really cheap replacement car, and a really good interest rate.

Penny wise = pound foolish.

...
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

I agree with tiger Auto-Rx will clean sludge and your ring packs after you have cleaned up your engine you should see some improvment in the oil usage good luck.

Daryl

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:36 PM   #15
96GSL1
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

I drive 25k a year. My car burns a quart of anything at 500 miles per. At that rate, it would cost me about $180 a year to top off with Mobil 1. Rather than do that, I put in SuperTech, witch costs me about $45.

If you can keep it in the crankcase (a problem for some Saturns it seems), synthetics are alright. But these cars will run forever on any cheap SM rated dino oil you can throw at them. Just keep it topped up. It's not your oil's fault if your car dies because you don't check your oil!

But hey, if you want to keep giving Mobil more money than you have to, that's great. My retirement is counting on you.

...
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96GSL1

But these cars will run forever on any cheap SM rated dino oil you can throw at them. Just keep it topped up. It's not your oil's fault if your car dies because you don't check your oil!
note to newbies: this is WISDOM

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Old 03-23-2006, 07:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96GSL1
Just keep it topped up. It's not your oil's fault if your car dies because you don't check your oil!
That warms my heart....

...
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:59 PM   #18
Katie
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

When I use full synthetic or even blended, I burn through a quart of oil (from full to low on dip stick) in about 800 miles. Regular 5W30 I run through a quart about every 1k or so. I have been using the Vavoline Maxlife the last couple of times I have changed the oil and I go through about 2/3 a quart every 1K.
I personally, don't like the synthetics in my Saturn. Expensive, burn oil faster and regular oil does a great job keeping everything lubed.

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Old 03-25-2006, 09:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Question about Oil Consumption

My understanding is that the purpose of using Mobil 1 is for its cleaning properties and that it does not coke/develop deposits on the rings, especially the oil control rings, compared to non-synthetic oil. My approach to my Saturn is to do extra things to clean the rings and keep them clean. If oil burning was excessive after making attempts to clean the rings, I think I may go with a good non-synthetic oil. I was going to use Maxlife on my Saturn, but the service advisor advised against using it. I used to use it in my Sentra, but was concerned the seal swell agents in the long run may damage the seals due to over swelling. About 4 Saturn techs said to use Mobil 1 when I purchased my car for its cleaning properties, since the previous owner was lax on oil changes, and deposits indicated they did not keep oil levels high. Seems like everyone needs to decide what is best based on their individual situation. Both synthetic and non-synthetic oil have merit, based on the situation.

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