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Old 10-27-2004, 11:14 PM   #1
Julie1995
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Default My mechanic said...

I have a 95 SC2 with 136k. It needs a quart of oil every 300-400 miles. (This is weekly because I commute.) It is not leaking it. I took it to my mechanic who showed me my spark plugs and said it needed either a valve job or a new engine. The symptoms that improved prior to new plugs included coming to a stop and the car idles low and then dies, or reves really high only to come back down. A year ago I had the throttle body replaced for the same, but worse symptoms. It cleared up for six months and is back again. Once in a while about once a month I notice that it puffs out a small amount of white smoke as I go down a hill. (I live in SF)

My problem is I am not ready to get rid of my car. It feels solid still and I don't know how to find out what is really the problem with my car. Can you take out a spark plug and say it needs a new engine? Is it worth it to have my engine rebuilt on this car?

Thanks

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Old 10-27-2004, 11:44 PM   #2
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First things first. Most saturns burn oil at some point in their life. Do a search for MMO soak. The rev/die symptoms sounds like a linear EGR valve issue. Chang the ECTS (Engine Coolant Temp Sensor) if it hasn't already been done. If it's acting up that bad it should set an SES do a search for paperclip. You can pull your own codes on the '95.

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Old 10-27-2004, 11:55 PM   #3
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I think you are saying that my service engine soon light should be on. Sometimes it is then it goes off. I do not understand what you mean by paperclip. (I have replaced the sensor)

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Old 10-28-2004, 12:07 AM   #4
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You can pull stored codes from the computer with the bent paperclip. Or if you have a CHcker Autozone etc around take it to them and they can pull codes for you as well.

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Old 10-28-2004, 12:46 AM   #5
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And use OEM PCV valve, it has lower oil consumption for some.

As for the "paperclip", look here.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...threadid=28570

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Old 10-28-2004, 01:11 AM   #6
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Burning off a quart every 300-400 mile is excessive consumption, and indicates a worn engine. I am going through the same problem with my SC2. A compression test can shed some light on whether the oil is blowing past the piston rings or the valve seals. You will most likely need to rebuild or replace your engine or just keep the oil topped off.

...
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:03 AM   #7
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A compression check WILL NOT DETECT either worn/stuck oil control rings OR leaking valve guides. Don't waste your money. My first suspicion is that you may want to consider replacing the PCV valve (based on your posted idle behavoir and oil consumption) A PCV valve that sticks open will result in higher idle speeds. One that sticks closed will increase blow by and hence plug fouling resulting in oil covered plugs and perhaps stalling due to such. Sound familiar?

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Old 10-28-2004, 05:10 AM   #8
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Julie, you're new hear so I'll give some advice everyone on hear will agree with, when Wolfman posts, listen. Take his advice first over anyone else.

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Old 10-28-2004, 07:58 AM   #9
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That's 100% gospel truth. Wolf's the man!

He always tries to go with the simple stuff first. PCV valve's a cheap item and may certainly affect oil consumption. Do get a Saturn PCV, not aftermarket since some of them don't work right.

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Old 10-28-2004, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Fm Maritime Storm
Julie, you're new hear so I'll give some advice everyone on hear will agree with, when Wolfman posts, listen. Take his advice first over anyone else.

...
> 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

Last edited by Luke; 10-28-2004 at 09:42 AM..

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Old 10-28-2004, 02:53 PM   #11
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The easiest solution, which I'm suprised no one has mentioned, is just to buy a case of cheap Walmart oil and keep topping it off.

Seriously. Your car is getting up there in years, you don't want to get rid of it, but neither do you want to dump a bunch of money into it. Maybe do some real cheap things like the PCV valve, but don't spend any money on this unless you fail an emmissions test and have no choice.

It's not hurting anything to drive it around the way it is now, so I say just keep an eye on the level, top off as needed, and quit worrying about it!

jeff

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Old 10-28-2004, 07:48 PM   #12
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[The easiest solution, which I'm suprised no one has mentioned, is just to buy a case of cheap Walmart oil and keep topping it off.]

I was just coming to that conclusion myself. Thanks for all your help!

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Old 10-28-2004, 08:20 PM   #13
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...and since you're in CA you can go thicker than the 5w30 the car was spec'd for when new. 10w40 is easy and still good for the car, 20w50 is daring and desperate but not inappropriate; run it only during the summertime. All grades of oil cost the same so you might look at it in terms of "oil mileage."

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Old 10-28-2004, 08:58 PM   #14
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as you live in CA. where there's more warmer climate days there. i drives my satty mostly warmer seasons from spring to fall, not in winter. 1st it was runs on 5w-30 untill 20 something thousand miles later starting burns oil more often ,, then i started changed oil to 10w-40 which really cuts down on oil useages till after 50,000 miles on the clock , starting burning oil like the ones 5w-30 does.I still the same changing oil with 10w-40 with good oil filter along checking oil levels every half tank and every gas fills ups to topping off with gastrol 10w-50 . its only way cutting down oil usage this for me so far... dont know what will happens when my car clocks over 100,000 miles on may be lot different accounting NY state emission tests will be so strict just like CA testings :o:

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Old 10-29-2004, 01:20 AM   #15
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I wonder about this: I do not want to buy a new car. I like my car-it has everything I like. AC, CD player power windows, leather interior. I don't want to buy a car for 4k that I know nothing about that has none of the things I like in it. I feel like it is worth it to me to put 2-3k into this one for three more years. Am I kidding myself? My mechanic says all the other things are good. Brakes, suspension etc. Just the age and milage are a problem. I can not do any work myself really. Am I just sentimental?

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Old 10-29-2004, 01:25 AM   #16
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Probably not. When all things financial are considered it is actually LESS expensive to repair an older car 95% of the time than to purchase a new one. Worst case senario you could replace the engine with a USED lower mileage one for around $2k or less (this assumes someone else "professional" doing the labor) that means (assuming you now own the car outright) you would be out $2k. OR about 4.5 of the average 72 month car payment on a new car...

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Old 10-29-2004, 01:34 AM   #17
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I do own the car outright. How would I go about finding out exactly what is wrong with my car? How do I know if I really need a new engine?

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Old 10-29-2004, 01:44 AM   #18
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Diagnostic evaluation of the engine should include:

An oil consumption test (how many miles before 1 quart is consumed)

A compression check to determine the relative health of the engine's rings and valves

A oil PRESSURE test. To determine the relative health of the rod and main bearings

An exhaust gas (tailpipe) test, to determine the effeciency of combustion.

An used oil analysis. To determine the levels of metals in the oil, a good indicator as well of overall engine health.

Done by a competatant and trustworthy mechanic, these tests should NOT be overly expensive (Figure on under $200) and he (or she) should be able to make a recommendation based on the findings will relative ease and accuracy.

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Old 10-29-2004, 01:52 AM   #19
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My mechanic said one problem may be the catalitic converter being clogged with oil. Will this affect the outcome? He also said, very quietly, that he could clean it out. Will this matter?

Thank you so much for your help. I really like this car and want to keep it longer.

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Old 10-29-2004, 02:49 AM   #20
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Before condemning the catalytic convertor, have a tailpipe test run. You'll need one eventually in CA anyway. IF the convertor is dead, then replace it.

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