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Old 12-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
bethrw
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Default 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

Ok. I have had my car since May 2005. It has approx. 115500 miles on it. Spring of 2010 I noticed the oil in my car wouldn't last for the entire 3000mi/3 mo routine oil changes. There would be no oil in it at all. So I'm figuring my car is burning about 4-5 quarts of oil in approx 1.5 mo or 1500 miles. I haven't actually tracked it's actually usage, but from the sounds of the car after about 1500 miles from the oil being changed (in this case, added) I know it's empty. There are no leaks or oil spots left under my car. There is also no blue smoke from the exhuast system. It's simply guzzling the glop. I had changed the spark plugs and there was no oil on them indicating a leak somewhere. I tried using full synthetic oil to preserve the life of the engine but it burned through that even faster so switched back to the normal 5W-30. Also, my gas mileage has dropped tremendously. When I used to get approx 30mi/gal in the city, I'm now only getting about 22mi/gal. Ouch!! Is there an oil or filler I can add to the oil that will slow down the usage of the oil? Does it sound like my car has something more going on with it than just burning oil?

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Old 12-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

You've completely run your engine out of oil several times? you need a new engine...

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Last edited by 2006 ion2; 12-19-2011 at 03:03 PM..

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

I was wondering if that would be coming up soon. It ran out of oil twice. Both times I knew right away due to how the car ran. The last time I took care of the oil, the check engine light came on and stayed on for about 3 weeks (can't afford to fix due to just moving which is expensive!!) then it went off last week on it's own. The car runs fine, no weird lags or putters or starting issues. What will happen if I just keep adding oil to it making sure it never runs out?

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

1. noticing it "right away" implies you caught it before it was low (by one quart), not out. your car has as much oil as it does for a reason, and the damage begins as soon as you drop below the "low full" line.

2. the engine will run for quite some time with no oil in the sump, that doesn't mean it's safe for the engine to do so.

3. running that much oil through your exhaust will destroy the cat, and also means engine failure is imminent.

engines are cheap, replace the engine with one from an 03-04 ion, and keep driving the car.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

Thank you for the information. So after some research it looks like the 2003 Saturn Ion 2 has a 2.2L L61 DOHC Ecotec I4 engine. Is this correct? I'm trying to get pricing for one but am having a hard time locating places that sell an entire engine. I think I'm missing something.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

yes, but you need one from an 03-04 ion, specifically. check junkyards.

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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

FYI if you decide to limp along with the old engine for a while... Double check the Owner's Manual... the "normal" Fill Level is slightly above/below the Dipstick's Max Fill line. You might want to carefully add to the Maximum (not overfill) allowed Oil Level. Then hopefully make a habit during your Fuel Ups (lets say for discussion every 300 Miles) pop the hood and check your Oil. Bring along a few extra Bottles of Oil and a funnel (some stations provide free Paper Funnels... stock up they can come in handy.) Then you'll avoid the immediate death by being forgetful.

You mentioned having a Check Engine Light on... Did you ever get the Code(s) read as to what those were? It might be useful to know what those were so you can better understand the problem(s) the vehicle is having. (Besides the Oil Burn)

You asked about "fillers" you could try. Have you attempted to use any Oil Additives or different Oils (besides switching from Conventional to Synthetic)?

While I've never used them on my ION.(GM/Saturn doesn't recommend additives) With my previous vehicles I did end up using Motor Oils specifically marketed for "High-Mileage" vehicles (75,000 Miles+) during their later years... along with various "Restore" type Oil Additives.

There is also 10W30 Oil you might try if you are driving in warmer parts of the country. Saturn doesn't want you using anything but 5W30/0W30 but if you've got an Engine on the way out... it might be the safest/cheapest option without risking dumping "junk" additives in the Oil. That could be doing who knows what to your existing Oil's own additives package. (Creating a little war inside your engine creating more problems)

Safest bet IMO is to start using the High Mileage 5W30 Oils for changes/top off. If that isn't any good maybe switch to the HM 10W30... the Engine may not be happy but it might slow the Oil Burning for a time.

Another option you could attempt is sending an Oil Sample in for Analysis. (To places like Blackstone Labs) They might be able to determine what is going on inside your Engine and suggest what you might try to resolve it and/or what parts of the Engine are failing...

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Old 12-27-2011, 01:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

My 03 Ion QC has been burning oil since it had 60 k on her, not as much as you, but about a quart every 800 miles, depending how hard I drive it. I have been using synthetic for a while now, and I can smell it on start up. I found that using Lucas "Upper cylinder treatment" it has helped tremendously. I always check my oil level every fill-up, I used to top it off every time, now I usually don't have to add any for about 2-3 fill-ups,like I said, it depends how hard I drive, is that a factor for you?

I keep the lucas and a quart of oil in the trunk all the time, I've been wanting to do a compression test, but never got around to it yet. My plugs weren't that bad, only one was a little damp,(can't remember which one now).

Good luck....

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Old 12-27-2011, 04:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

^^ not normal oil consumption for any engine, especially the ecotec.

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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 01-29-2018, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

There is a coupe with 2 full doors and 2 small suicide doors most likely the cause of this is the piston rings you can try adding Lucas or heavy weight oil but your fuel milage will suffer you could also try cleaning your fuel injectors but I doubt it will help much

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Old 01-29-2018, 12:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

Also just because you ran it low on oil doesn't mean the whole engine is junk you could always pull it and replace the piston rings and valves and you will probably be better off than buying another engine that likely has the same issue

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Old 01-29-2018, 06:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

I have 220,000 miles and mine burns some oil or I should say has an oil leak drip from an unknown spot under the engine in the back. I just check my oil regularly and add as needed. I seldomly do oil changes any more cause of my slow drip.

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Old 01-29-2018, 09:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Ion 2 burning oil

Welcome to SaturnFans, Brian789101! You may, or may not have realized that you were responding to a thread where the last response prior to your first one was in Dec. of 2011. I've responded to threads which were effectively "dead" early on as a new member so what you did wasn't out of the ordinary at all. Each of us need to take a brief moment to look closely at the dates of posts, that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddemier7 View Post
I have 220,000 miles and mine burns some oil or I should say has an oil leak drip from an unknown spot under the engine in the back. I just check my oil regularly and add as needed. I seldomly do oil changes any more cause of my slow drip.
ddemier7, I can understand your decision to change the oil less frequently due to the leak which currently exists on your vehicle. You are certainly free to choose this for yourself. However, it could be short-sighted. This may result in allowing contaminants (which contain elements of carbon and other fuel additives) to remain in the crankcase longer than they should. Additionally, it could be more problematic if the oil filter isn't changed when it should be since its filtration capacity could inadvertently be exceeded over time.

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