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Old 09-05-2019, 02:59 AM   #1
BB99SL2
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1999 SL2
Default Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Hello all,

This is an excellent forum. Very knowledgeable members with great advice. I have been reading your forums for years BUT never joined until now.

Car History:
I bought the car brand new in 11/98. It is a 1999 Saturn SL2 automatic transmission with 181,000 miles. The engine oil is CONSTANTLY CHECKED all the time. It burns one quart every 750 miles. The car runs extremely well and still gets 35 - 38 MPG on the highway driving. This is my daily driver. This is the original engine, never been apart. NO oil leaks.

Tests:
LEAK DOWN TEST COMPRESSION TEST
Cylinder #1 4 % 205 Psi
Cylinder #2 8 % 200 Psi
Cylinder #3 4 % 200 Psi
Cylinder #4 3 % 210 Psi

The motor is healthy for the mileage but I want to fix the oil burning problems. I am fully aware of the piston ring problems ( oil control ring grove not having oil drain back holes ).
Possibly another problem being valve seals or worn valve guides. What is annoying is that Wonderful Code: P0410 secondary air injection system problem. Had to take off the exhaust manifold to clean out the air injection port holes and also the cylinder head air injection holes that lead into the exhaust port. They must clear of any oil carbon soot that clogs the air injection path way. Once it's clean the check engine light goes off. JUST not a fun procedure to do. This is the THIRD time I did it , now I am tired of doing it. I need to fix the problem.

The million dollar question is do I have old design engine or the new design WITHOUT disassembling the engine to find out?

Car Manufacturer Date: 9/98
Engine Emission Code: CP XGMX01 9004 California Emissions

The cylinder head has the 9 bolt exhaust manifold pattern SO is it the new design head? One with the roller valve train components? The engine does have aluminum intake not the plastic one. I am wondering IF this motor has the new piston and connecting rod design. Also, this engine has the LOVELY secondary air injection system.

Wolfman stated that late 99 LLO engine with the plastic intake manifold ONLY came with the newer design rotating assembly. Is this true?

Piston Rings:

Many forum members have given their opinions on different piston ring companies. Hastings, sealed power and total seal (conventional classic). Did anyone try the total seal gapless rings?

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Old 09-05-2019, 08:18 AM   #2
Waiex191
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Here is my thread on my '99 rebuild:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=230898

If I was trying to figure out if it was the new or old style motor, I'd pull the cam cover. You can tell by the rockers. Also maybe you could borescope through the engine drain hole and see if there are connecting rod bolts or studs and nuts. But, why bother? For rebuild all the parts will be the same and you have to take apart the motor to figure out what you need. My '99 had roller rockers, aluminum intake, heavy crank, good performance, oil consumption, and the P0410. After rebuild it is all still good.

The one key thing for a '99 is the rod bolts are torque to yield and you have to buy them separately. That is in my thread.

I used silv-o-lites and whatever rings came with them. We only had to file one for end gap out of the box.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 09-05-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

On topic.
3 months ago, my Chevy Avalanche (188K on it) began using about 4 ounces of 5w/30 synthetic oil after every 62 mile round trip to and from work.
Prior to this, it never drank any oil between 3K changes.

It first showed up on a cold start. Literally clouds of blue smoke out the back end! I had not seen/smelled anything like this in decades, and now, here my well cared for car was really burning up expensive synthetic oil.

Frustrated and because of finances, I used 2 packs of this Nano stuff I had read about. Both Pros and Cons.

I used both on a fresh oil change, and after 800 miles, all oil usage stopped. It honestly did stop.
That was 3 months ago.
And my oil level stays full between OCI again.

Now, again, none of my vehicles use/leak or burn oil.

Snake oil in a can, I can only say THIS is the only change I did and it seems to have worked as foretold.

https://www.amazon.com/Nano-Energize...gateway&sr=8-1

I bought off of Ebay for only $12.90 each...shop around.

Last edited by toggenburg; 09-05-2019 at 01:22 PM..

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Old 09-05-2019, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Frustrated and because of finances, I used 2 packs of this Nano stuff I had read about. Both Pros and Cons.
Where did you read about it? Only a few reviews on Amazon.

Have you changed oil since putting it in? Wondering if the effect will remain.

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 141k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 09-05-2019, 03:03 PM   #5
hholbein
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

BB, what sort of oil are you using? A number of us on this forum have had good luck in lowering oil consumption by using Shell Rotella-T6 over several extended oil changes + the larger P20195-size filter.

A few others have varied that with adding Auto-Rx to Rotella-T6 5W40. (Use search to get the details on that combo.) I myself did use a can of the (discontinued) GM Top End Cleaner 20K miles ago and that might have helped some. It certainly caused one helluva smoke show!

I find Rotella T6 does a good job of holding the carbon from our dirty little engines in suspension. In my case, I improved consumption gradually from 1 qt every 1300 miles to about 1 qt every 1900 miles, which I find to be pretty acceptable.

Since your engine seems to be in quite good shape and impeccably maintained, you might want to try some of these easy changes first vs. an expensive rebuild.

My 2 cents.

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Old 09-05-2019, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Yes, have traveled almost 8k miles and done 2 complete oil changes and level has stayed the same. It's almost unbelievable, but it actually seems to have worked and mileage went up 1 mpg average. (big engine so equates to like 7% increase).

I actually forget just where I ran across this Nano ceramic additive. It was a link off of some youtube I was watching with regards to how to 'fix' my 5.3L burning off oil....

I do recall going onto the manufacturer website but just now I can't locate what name they used on that site. It had numerous 'letter' of commendation from BMW and a couple of foreign jobs touting the Nano product's virtues. SO I tried it.
If I get back to where that site is, I'll post.

May take a while, gotta get ready to go to participate in the George Washington's Mount Vernon's Colonial Market Days event next weekend near DC.

Last edited by toggenburg; 09-05-2019 at 03:13 PM..

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Old 09-05-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
alordofchaos
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

OK, thanks. Don't worry about it, was just curious if it was another forum like this one, where people talk about their experiences.

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 141k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 09-05-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Oh man,,,;(
Just on a lark, went and pulled the Avalanche dipsitck.

I hate to report this, but gotta be honest and must say:

No oil on the dipstick, not even at the tip.

Was down almost a pint.

Guess the Nano-fix-in-a-can did not do it's thing long term.

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Old 09-05-2019, 10:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

It should be noted - when that was new - GM considered a qt for 750 miles as acceptable.

...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
97 SC2
99 SC2
01 SC2
02 SC2
02 SL2
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

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Old 09-05-2019, 11:09 PM   #10
BB99SL2
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Hello again,

It is nice to see the responses members left me. I do appreciate the time and effort each one of you gave me!

Waiex191:

The engine in your 99 SL2 is the new design. New for 1999 LLO engine is a redesign rotating assembly. It features a new hypereutectic pistons with coated skirts. The connecting rods features a new powder forged design with a cracked style bearing cap. That's why you have bolt design, not the stud and nut. The roller camshaft design was mainly for less wear & tear. SO the oil companies can remove more zinc additives (ZDDP) out of the oil like they did in late 1990s. Reason, tailpipe emissions.

I did like the suggestion of the borescope through the drain plug area BUT I fear the oil baffle will be in the way to see the connecting rod bolts. This is why I wrote this thread, to gather as much information can obtain. Make a parts some sort of a parts list to see what is STILL available, not discontinued. I know engine parts have to be inspected and measured. Some parts may need to be special order. Just want to see what I am up against.

Bryan, if it is not to much ask, what is your Car Manufacturer Date? Since you are the original owner of the car. I am curious.

hholbein:

I happy to say, I use Shell Rotella-T 10w -30 since the car reached 100,000 mile. I live out in New Jersey where communting back and forth to work , I sit in a lot of traffic. Out of boredom, I can watch the coolant temperature needle sway back and worth, while sitting in traffic. It's just my preference with using the thicker grade of oil. The oil filter I use is a Bosch D3422 which is equivalent to your Purolator L201195. I always believed in using a larger oil filter on a vehicle, if you can. It's a no brainer.

Bernie...

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Old 09-06-2019, 06:06 AM   #11
Waiex191
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Bernie, the car is coming home for his weekend so I can check. We bought it in July 1999.

I forgot about the windage tray!

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 09-06-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Bernie, the car is coming home for his weekend so I can check. We bought it in July 1999.

I forgot about the windage tray!
If you go to https://www.compnine.com/vid.php and enter your VIN number it will look it up and give you a build date and an option to buy a build sheet. Here is what it looks like for my 99 SL2 which was built the same day as my first born daughter - May 20, 1999.

I thought that was pretty cool when I found out the date. I had intended to give the car to my daughter but liked it too much so I passed along the 2001 SL1 MT instead. Maybe I'll give it to her yet...



Attached Images
File Type: jpg CompNine Build Date Lookup.JPG (133.0 KB, 47 views)

...
2001 SL1 MT (433,500 km @ 06/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (277,300 km @ 06/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (128,250 km @ 06/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 09-06-2019, 11:56 PM   #13
BB99SL2
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

Trottida:

I did go to the Total Vin Decoder website. Pretty cool , it stated my SL2 was built 9 / 26 / 1998. Considering Car Manufacture Date sticker is 9/ 98, on the driver door.

Thanks, Bernie

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Old 09-07-2019, 08:26 AM   #14
Waiex191
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Default Re: Same old 99 SL2 oil burning problems

My sticker says 5/99.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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