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Old 09-06-2007, 10:10 PM   #1
MikeD2
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Default After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Car is 99 SL2 DOHC with 107k, it uses 1 quart in about 1000 miles. Previously at about 100k, I did an MMO soak with no improvement in oil consumption but I had a lot of white smoke. This time I tried Seafoam and had a minimal amount of smoke for about 5 minutes.

I have also tried 2 ARX Treatments. I did get quite a bit of gritty stuff in my oil drain pan while using the ARX but consumption remained the same.

I know for a Saturn (which runs great BTW) a quart in a thousand miles is not a lot but just 2 years ago it was about 1800 miles before I had to add a quart.

I change the oil & filter regularly at 3000 miles using a name brand (whatever is on sale) SM rated oil along with a Wix filter.

I will try almost anything (short of a rebuild) to at least keep the oil consumption from getting worse. I am a little spoiled, my Mercury Sable (106k), Dodge Van (110k) & Ford Focus (45k) are all less than 1/2 quart low after a 5000 mile oil & filter change.

I know oil consumption is a common problem in Saturns but I still would appreciated any thoughts, comments. Thanks.

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Old 09-06-2007, 10:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Most of what could be loosened probably came loose with the MMO, leaving very little for the SeaFoam. As for your oil consumption, I think you'll just end up having to deal with it.

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Old 09-06-2007, 11:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Could be there just isn't much left to cough out anymore except for some of the SeaFoam itself?

Seems you've been taking good care of it, so probably wasn't that much varnish or deposits to begin with you've already done some cleaning up so there's nothing more to do. The amount of oil consumption is normal for an S series and your car is not suffering any ill effects from it.

You've done your due diligence, anything further would be spending alot more money than it costs just top off your oil. I suppose you could thow in some High-Hileage oil every 3rd intervall or mix in some slightly thicker oil and see if it makes a little difference.

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Old 09-06-2007, 11:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

I'm at about 1 quart per 300 miles, and I've been trying MMO soaks to ungunk my rings.

Last weekend I tried CRC High Mileage Engine Flush that said on the can that it's supposed to loosen stuck rings.

I'll let you know how it works after a few tanks of gas.

I haven't tried Seafoam since I haven't seen it at any of the local stores. I guess I'll have to actually make an effort to look for it.

Chemtool use to sell a product that you could use in your gas, oil to clean your carburetor, injectors, or oil passages. This stuff was as runny as gasoline. I believe it had acetone in it or something (not sure). I did a few flushes with that stuff on my Corolla that lasted 250,000 miles before I stopped driving it (There was still nothing wrong with the engine and it didn't burn any oil ever).

I was thinking that since Chemtool was so much more runny than MMO, it might be good for use as a piston soak after a few MMO soak to get rid of most of the junk in there before using the Chemtool.

I'm pretty sure that anything available that's meant to be used as an engine flush is OK to dump in your cylinders as a piston soak since all that could happen is that it could soak past your rings and end up in your oil anyway.

If it's possible to loosen my piston rings with one of these products, I will end up loosening them. If it's not, then I'll know that this stuff doesn't work and I'll let everyone know.

95 SL2 @ 180,000 miles.

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Old 09-07-2007, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Thanks for the replys guys. One thing I forgot to mention was 3 of the 4 cylinders were dry after the 20 hour soak while the other seemed to have a good bit of Seafoam left. I am not sure if that means anything. Common sense would tell me the rings on 3 cylinders are stuck but I don't know enough about the internal workings. Thanks again.

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Old 09-08-2007, 03:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

I believe you're right. The one that didn't leak down was the one with good rings while the other three must be stuck.

I just read somewhere in another thread that you shouldn't do a soak for over 3 hours because when all of the stuff leaks past, then it brings with it all the deposits it removed from your piston heads, and they get jammed into the gap along the cylinder walls worsening the problem.

I wasn't aware of this when I did my soaks, so I did some very long soaks. Now my thoughs are that you should do a 15 minute soak, then start the engine for 5 minutes to clear out all the junk, then do another 15 minute soak and another 5 minute run. Then maybe it'll be clean enough in there for an extended soak.

I think it'd be nice to have a nice small camera on the end of a wire that one could use to look inside the cylinders and check it out in there. Maybe take a few pictures.

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Old 09-08-2007, 03:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

FIrst time I did the soak, I didn't understand it much. All had leaked through, and I switched to synthetic. Most on here have heard my story, oil consumption increased a bit, but gas mileage increased enough to make it worth the synthetic. I found out that the fact it leaked, meant that it didn't do the job fully. I did it again, only one cyinder was empty the next day. Kept adding throughout the whole day to all cylinders as they emptied, cause it made sense. Forgot to keep track of oil consumption. Haha. I also did the steam clean, added it to oil, and gas tank to clean injectors. Seems everywhere sells it around here.

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Old 09-08-2007, 03:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Originally Posted by quiksc2 View Post
All had leaked through,
That's what gave me the idea to add 50% 20w50 oil that I had for my truck to my MMO to thicken it up so it wouldn't leak past my rings so quickly. Maybe for really badly stuck rings it might be a good idea to mix the MMO with some oil for the first few 15 minute soaks. In this case I also think that less is better. I mean dump less MMO mixed with oil in there so that you're not allowing as much of the stuff to leak into the crankcase each time, and so that there's not enough in there to spray out of the plug holes when you crank it over a few times to get all the excess out before reinstalling the plugs and attempting to start it.

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Old 09-08-2007, 03:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
That's what gave me the idea to add 50% 20w50 oil that I had for my truck to my MMO to thicken it up so it wouldn't leak past my rings so quickly. Maybe for really badly stuck rings it might be a good idea to mix the MMO with some oil for the first few 15 minute soaks. In this case I also think that less is better. I mean dump less MMO mixed with oil in there so that you're not allowing as much of the stuff to leak into the crankcase each time, and so that there's not enough in there to spray out of the plug holes when you crank it over a few times to get all the excess out before reinstalling the plugs and attempting to start it.
I have my old plugs to put in there for the first tank or so to work it all out. Dunno if I WANT it to sit in there, since it's the soaking through that cleans it all. I dunno. Worth a try.

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Old 09-08-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Dunno if I WANT it to sit in there, since it's the soaking through that cleans it all.
Yeah, but if it's all soaking through in 1 minute it might work a bit better if it's thicker giving it a chance to soak through in 15 minutes instead. Maybe a couple of such soaks might loosen them enough so that it takes 15 minutes to a half an hour for pure MMO to soak through (hopefully).

I've been doing my soaks off and on trying to solve my seriously bad 1 quart per tank oil consumption problem.

I also plan to be changing my oil every 2000 miles now hoping that it'll help as well.

I'm thinking that if I try a bunch of stuff and eventually solve the problem I'll know for sure that it's at least possible somehow to solve this issue even if I don't know which thing I did solved it. Then I can tell everyone all the things I tried and maybe someone else could try similar things and eventually with enough people one after the other trying the things we could all narrow it down to a simple repeatable formula.

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Old 09-08-2007, 05:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
Yeah, but if it's all soaking through in 1 minute it might work a bit better if it's thicker giving it a chance to soak through in 15 minutes instead. Maybe a couple of such soaks might loosen them enough so that it takes 15 minutes to a half an hour for pure MMO to soak through (hopefully).

I've been doing my soaks off and on trying to solve my seriously bad 1 quart per tank oil consumption problem.

I also plan to be changing my oil every 2000 miles now hoping that it'll help as well.

I'm thinking that if I try a bunch of stuff and eventually solve the problem I'll know for sure that it's at least possible somehow to solve this issue even if I don't know which thing I did solved it. Then I can tell everyone all the things I tried and maybe someone else could try similar things and eventually with enough people one after the other trying the things we could all narrow it down to a simple repeatable formula.
IF it's gone after fifteen minutes, I think your only option is new rings. That sounds pretty bad to me.

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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IF it's gone after fifteen minutes, I think your only option is new rings. That sounds pretty bad to me.
Yeah, I know. But new rings will run around $300 or so minimum and a few days of work. Something I feel is not worth it in order to save a few bucks on oil every couple of weeks. However spending $10 or so on some engine flush product once a month I figure is worth a try. And, if I can produce any results, I get to learn something.

Over the years I've pretty much decided that it's very rare that an engine just up and dies for no reason. It's almost always (in over 99% of the cases) something that the owner of the vehicle did to kill the engine (like ran out of oil or overheated the engine). And when engines do actually kill themselves, they were probably defective to begin with. I've had a lot of crappy cars that have lasted for years because I always keep oil and coolant in them, and when something fails and needs to be fixed, I fix it properly. Of course if the car is really crappy and I don't actually have to fix the problem I don't. Like the 84 Mercury Couger I had where I had to hold the gas petal to the floor to get it to start. I just left it like that because who really cares.

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Old 09-11-2007, 12:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Mike

One thing that will help your oil consumption is to inspect your PCV hoses and boot seal. If its cracked or worn you'll blow oil. If the engine's dirty that might be the case. Sounds like you pay attention to the car so you'd have mentioned it. Also learned [at least for my SC2] that it pays to get an OEM PCV. Sat's have higher engine pressure, and will blow oil out through the PCV system. The OEM PCV has a stiffer spring to prevent this. Currently burn less than I can measure in 3K with 108,000 on the SC2. When I used a [parts store] PCV I burned a quart every 1000 until I went back to the OEM.

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Over the years I've pretty much decided that it's very rare that an engine just up and dies for no reason. It's almost always (in over 99% of the cases) something that the owner of the vehicle did to kill the engine (like ran out of oil or overheated the engine).
In most cases, you are right. However, burnt valves are the exception to that one. Almost any engine can get one. No matter how well it's maintained.

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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In most cases, you are right. However, burnt valves are the exception to that one. Almost any engine can get one. No matter how well it's maintained.
Very true, but a burnt valve is very rare. I've only seen one, and that was in my sisters car when I was about 17. I haven't seen one since, and have only heard of them from people on here. And even here it's quite rare compared to all the other issues showing up every day.

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

So if it's not maintenance or driver habits, what _does_, typically, cause a burnt valve?

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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So if it's not maintenance or driver habits, what _does_, typically, cause a burnt valve?
I did some looking into that a while back. No one seems to know for certain. The general consensus is that it's a flaw in the metal itself. If you can call a part that performs for 150K or so, flawed. Burnt valves usually happen on relatively high mileage engines. It's not possible to go back and find out what differences there might have been in the manufacture of an individual valve after it fails and having one valve burn in an engine is not a indicator that the rest of the valves in the same engine will burn. Surely in a single engine the valves will be from the same batch most of the time. If you were to manufacture valves using the same metalurgical standards as say, gas turbine blades, you might never see a burnt valve. OTOH one valve would probably cost more than the whole engine, if you did.

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Old 09-11-2007, 02:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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So if it's not maintenance or driver habits, what _does_, typically, cause a burnt valve?
I believe that an engine is supposed to be designed such that the valves spin as they operate causing them to slightly grind the mating surfaces each time they are seated. This should keep them smooth and clean and cause them to have a perfect fit every time they close.

If for some reason some crud get's caught in there preventing the valve from closing properly, this spinning should grind away the crud keeping the valve seats nice and clean.

The design should be such that it takes around the maximum expected lifetime of the engine for this spinning of the valves to grind down the valves and/or seats to the point where they start to malfunction.

If for some reason the valves stop spinning then a small piece of crud will cause the valve to leak, and once it leaks for a bit, a section of the valve and/or seat will be worn away by the hot flames that have been blasting through there burning away metal. If the valve doesn't start to spin properly before damage is done, then damage will continue until there's a huge leak that will quickly eat away at the valve and/or seat.

Since the valve runs a lot hotter than the seat since the path for cooling (contact with the seat) has been removed, it is more likely to burn away faster than the seat.

I suppose it's possible that lack of changing the oil could cause the valves to stop spinning properly, but I've had several cars that were so old and crappy that I stopped bothering to change the oil regularly. And I've never had a burnt valve in any of my engines.

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Old 09-11-2007, 09:51 PM   #19
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Thumbs Up Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsv sc2 View Post
Mike

One thing that will help your oil consumption is to inspect your PCV hoses and boot seal. If its cracked or worn you'll blow oil. If the engine's dirty that might be the case. Sounds like you pay attention to the car so you'd have mentioned it. Also learned [at least for my SC2] that it pays to get an OEM PCV. Sat's have higher engine pressure, and will blow oil out through the PCV system. The OEM PCV has a stiffer spring to prevent this. Currently burn less than I can measure in 3K with 108,000 on the SC2. When I used a [parts store] PCV I burned a quart every 1000 until I went back to the OEM.
Thanks HSV-SC2 but the very first thing I tried was replace The PCV & grommet with the OEM type from the Saturn dealer. That is one of many items that Wolfman highly recommends.

It's kind of funny, the $2 for a quart of oil every thousand miles doesn't bother me & like I said originally "I don't want it to get any worse".

I keep thinking I am going to discover a miracle cure that would help so many Saturn owners. Sometimes my determination gets the better of me.
I guess I am just a hardhead, tell me something can't be done & I still try to do it. As I say to my kids (young adults) your Dad can be "determined to the point of stupidity". I still don't know if that's a good trait or a bad one.

Anyway, if I ever figure something out that will reduce oil consumption in Saturns I will be sure to post it here. Thank God there are a lot of folks like me on this website. I know I am in good company.

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Old 09-20-2007, 01:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: After Seafoam soak, very little smoke?

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Originally Posted by oseberg View Post
I believe that an engine is supposed to be designed such that the valves spin as they operate causing them to slightly grind the mating surfaces each time they are seated. This should keep them smooth and clean and cause them to have a perfect fit every time they close.

If for some reason some crud get's caught in there preventing the valve from closing properly, this spinning should grind away the crud keeping the valve seats nice and clean.

The design should be such that it takes around the maximum expected lifetime of the engine for this spinning of the valves to grind down the valves and/or seats to the point where they start to malfunction.

If for some reason the valves stop spinning then a small piece of crud will cause the valve to leak, and once it leaks for a bit, a section of the valve and/or seat will be worn away by the hot flames that have been blasting through there burning away metal. If the valve doesn't start to spin properly before damage is done, then damage will continue until there's a huge leak that will quickly eat away at the valve and/or seat.

Since the valve runs a lot hotter than the seat since the path for cooling (contact with the seat) has been removed, it is more likely to burn away faster than the seat.

I suppose it's possible that lack of changing the oil could cause the valves to stop spinning properly, but I've had several cars that were so old and crappy that I stopped bothering to change the oil regularly. And I've never had a burnt valve in any of my engines.
Valves burn if they are not adjusted properly. When they close,they better have the right clearance between the rocker arm and the valve stem. Stay ahead of the game and adjust your valves. Volkswagens were notorious for burnt valves because the clearance was only.004 of an inch and the owners never took the time to adjust them.

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