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Old 08-10-2018, 04:54 PM   #1
Sc2Zr2
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Default Excessive oil consumption

first a little history on the car. 1995 sc2 manual 159k. i believe i am the 4th owner. its my first Saturn. i got the car from my aunt who was going to scrap it after buying a new car because it wasn't going into gear and it was burning a lot of oil. thanks to this forum i diagnosed the clutch hydraulics to be the problem with not going into gear. i replaced the starter motor and the engine mounts/tams for my aunt years ago. my aunt was always on top of oil changes and keeping the oil topped up. it has burned oil since she bought it. since taking ownership at the end of may i have replaced the clutch hydraulics, ECTS, spark plugs (NGK), wires, air filter, breather hose to cam/rocker cover, the cam/rocker cover gasket and the engine/trans/strut mounts(again). since replacing the cam/rocker cover gasket the engine does not leak oil externally. there is no oil in the coolant. i have cleaned the TB, EGR valve and IAC valve.

since the end of may i have put between 2 and 2.5k on the engine. i have gone through 5 qts. of oil keeping the oil topped up. so im burning a qt every 400-500 miles of driving.

so this morning i did a compression test per the FSM instructions (i just picked up a 3 volume FSM on ebay for $50), the results are as follows:

cylinder 1 - 205psi
cylinder 2 - 205psi
cylinder 3 - 207psi
cylinder 4 - 202.5psi

i was surprised at the results, from all the reading ive done on here regarding oil burning i was assuming the pistion rings were likely the culprit. these results seem to point to the rings being in good shape right? cylinder 3 seems to be just above the "normal compression pressure" maybe due to carbon build up on the piston or in the combustion chamber.

now the FSM is pointing me to either the PCV/crankcase ventilation or valve stem seals. i inspected and cleaned out the PCV valve a few weeks ago, it seemed to function (the ball isn't stuck). i did notice when i took off the TB to clean it that the inside of the intake manifold is completely covered in thick black sludge...maybe a combination of carbon and oil? i feel like ive read that that's pretty normal for these engines and to not worry about it. should my next step be a leak down test? any input or advise would be appreciated. thanks for all of the information and im glad to be a part of this forum.

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Old 08-10-2018, 06:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

The oil control rings are often the culprit. When I rebuilt my '99 they were glued tight with coked oil, due to the lack of drain back holes in the groove. These are not the rings for sealing to make compression.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
The oil control rings are often the culprit. When I rebuilt my '99 they were glued tight with coked oil, due to the lack of drain back holes in the groove. These are not the rings for sealing to make compression.
Correct. It has been a long time since I visited this forum as I havn't had a Saturn for a long time but I have over the years had 5 "S" cars. The first being a '95 SL-2 that I bought new.

It was long known that the engines in the "S" cars used oil. As stated in the previous post, Saturn knew there was a problem with the oil control ring and the lack of a drain back hole in the associated ring groove was the cause.

With that understanding, most owners knew that there was really nothing "wrong". If you don't mind just keeping the oil topped off, all is fine. On that note, keep in mind it is VERY important on these engines, DO NOT run them low on oil and change it as required. I always changed mine (and still do on my current vehicles) every 3,500 miles even when the book says you can go 5,000 miles.
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Knock on wood I did the b12 soak and my oil consumption dropped dramatically

-Robert
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

The real fix is in the piston drain holes.

I rebuilt mine 3 years ago, put in Silvo-Lite piston heads with drain holes.

No more burning. Out of shell shock from burning oil, I still check every few weeks to only be astonished that NO oil loss is apparent.

If you don't opt for the rebuild, check frequently and keep it topped off by replacing what is lost ASAP.

If you track the results of the checking, you could have the cost of oil loss down to the pennies per quart. From that data you can decide if it's worth maintaining over the long haul.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Thanks for the information. I would love to overhaul this engine in the future, but for the time being i guess i will just live with the oil consumption if it is due to the oil control rings. Thinking of swapping out to a fixed orifice pcv valve because its cheap. Any reason to not give this a try? I have read a little about the b12 soak, with mixed results, maybe i will give that a shot as well.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

No reason not to try the b12. Itís worked for a lot of people. Some have posted long term results. I did it 3 months ago. I was adding every 2 weeks and since the soak Iíve dropped less than 1/2 quart.

-Robet
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sc2Zr2 View Post
Thinking of swapping out to a fixed orifice pcv valve because its cheap.
No moving part 0.10" hole PCV designed to reduce oil induction into intake.
Oldnuc approved at the time.

These were available during my rebuild 3 years ago:

AC/Delco CV4000C
FRAM FV410
BWD PCV 484
Autozone PCV1009DL
NAPA CRB 29485

You might want to confirm these models.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Iíve never been able to locate the one Nuc recommended.

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

The B12 soak worked well for me... I recommend doing it on a fairly warm engine. The heat really seems to help increase the cleaning activity. Cut my consumption at least by half. I did a few soaks, and each successive soak seemed to drain from the pistons faster. I'm assuming that is a real-time visible sign that the oil control rings are clearing out.

Now I'm just running a can of BG109 every year as maintenance, and it helps keep them clean. Since the oil is flowing more through the oil control rings, the BG109 can do its job better.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

I originally thought Iíd soak the b-12 hot but it vaporized the second it hit the hot pistons. So maybe there is a sweat spot of letting the engine cool.

-Robert
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

The oil consumption/loss was significantly less on our 1999 SW2 with 140k miles on it -- only 1 qt every 1,500 miles. I've been running Auto-Rx in it for the past 10k miles with good results (tracking post here). We're currently at 1 yr/10k miles on this run of Rotella T6 and Auto-Rx, and oil replacement has slowed to ~4 to 6 ounces every 1,000 miles.

I've never had a car that used as much oil as yours. I've also never used B12, but that seems like it might be a good "shock to the system" ring cleaner. More trouble than an oil change, but maybe a more cost-effective way to restore some function to the oil rings? Auto-Rx is more of long, drawn-out waiting game. If it were mine, I might try a B12 soak first, then a long OCI of Auto-Rx in Rotella T6. You'd need two bottles of Auto-Rx (maybe three?), probably three gallons of T6, four or five "oversized" oil filters, and a slight modification to the current A-Rx application guidelines.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Sc2Zr2, did you clean the Throttle Body when you found it all gunked up, as it seemed you could have been saying that you left it alone based on how you worded it.

"the inside of the intake manifold is completely covered in thick black sludge...maybe a combination of carbon and oil? i feel like ive read that that's pretty normal for these engines and to not worry about it."

If you haven't cleaned it, do so, and pay attention to the IAC and TPS all right there and usually need cleaning too.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sc2Zr2 View Post
Thanks for the information. I would love to overhaul this engine in the future, but for the time being i guess i will just live with the oil consumption if it is due to the oil control rings. Thinking of swapping out to a fixed orifice pcv valve because its cheap. Any reason to not give this a try? I have read a little about the b12 soak, with mixed results, maybe i will give that a shot as well.
I have an engine block, with excessive wear from trying ATF, MMO, and Seafoam soaks and its respective cylinder head has a burnt exhaust valve in the #3 cylinder.

Run synthetic oil, keep it topped up, and rebuild it when you get th time and money to do so.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

thanks for more great information. after researching more into piston soaks, be it mmo, seafoam, chemtool etc. some people seem to have good luck with these soaks, but like Saturn night has experienced I have also read of people damaging cylinder walls and such doing this procedure. bottom line for me is that may help in the short term, but if my oil consumption is due to the control rings or lack of drain back holes in the piston that's only a temporary solution or a half fix...it seems the proper fix will be drilling relief holes in the pistons when I rebuild, or replacing the pistons if necessary with the holes. I have decided to not mess around with piston soaks.


I still plan to try a fixed orifice pcv valve just for the heck of it.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Sc2Zr2, did you clean the Throttle Body when you found it all gunked up, as it seemed you could have been saying that you left it alone based on how you worded it.

"the inside of the intake manifold is completely covered in thick black sludge...maybe a combination of carbon and oil? i feel like ive read that that's pretty normal for these engines and to not worry about it."

If you haven't cleaned it, do so, and pay attention to the IAC and TPS all right there and usually need cleaning too.
thanks, yes, in my original post I stated that I cleaned the throttle body (TB) and the idle air control valve. don't see why the throttle position sensor would need cleaning but it was removed and inspected during cleaning.

I didn't clean out the intake manifold. i would only do that with it removed, and i have read there is little to gain from the removal and cleaning of the intake manifold.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Ive never heard of any negatives from the soak. I tried seafoam without success but so far b-12 is holding. It took 160,000 miles to coke the first time if the b-12 soak gets you another 80,000 miles itís worth the $4.

-Robert
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eiron View Post
The oil consumption/loss was significantly less on our 1999 SW2 with 140k miles on it -- only 1 qt every 1,500 miles. I've been running Auto-Rx in it for the past 10k miles with good results. We're currently at 1 yr/10k miles on this run of Rotella T6 and Auto-Rx, and oil replacement has slowed to ~4 to 6 ounces every 1,000 miles.

I've never had a car that used as much oil as yours. I've also never used B12, but that seems like it might be a good "shock to the system" ring cleaner. More trouble than an oil change, but maybe a more cost-effective way to restore some function to the oil rings? Auto-Rx is more of long, drawn-out waiting game. If it were mine, I might try a B12 soak first, then a long OCI of Auto-Rx in Rotella T6. You'd need two bottles of Auto-Rx (maybe three?), probably three gallons of T6, four or five "oversized" oil filters, and a slight modification to the current A-Rx application guidelines.

im still looking into running rotella t6, but am hesitant to put anything other than the manufacturers recommended 5w-30. don't want to cause anymore damage to any components due to lack of proper lubrication as i do plan to rebuild this engine in the near future.

as far as running a synthetic oil i may consider trying it out if i get a good deal on something, but at the rate im burning it i may as well just run the $12/gal chevron 5w-30 from Walmart. after rebuild synthetic all the way.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
it seems the proper fix will be drilling relief holes in the pistons when I rebuild, or replacing the pistons if necessary with the holes.
Amen! I go to that church too.

Quote:
I didn't clean out the intake manifold. i would only do that with it removed, and i have read there is little to gain from the removal and cleaning of the intake manifold.
Same for me. When I replaced the TPS on the '98, I cleaned the TB. No way was I cleaning the inside of the manifold. I did not want all that gunk going through the engine, and it would have been a pain anyway. When I rebuild it someday the machine shop will make it look like new again.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Excessive oil consumption

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
Ive never heard of any negatives from the soak.
Me neither.

aturn Night also substituted ATF for some of the engine oil in the crank case. Any excessive wear is likely from that rather than any top-end soaks.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night
Every single person(myself included), that claims to run ATF mixed in their crankcase has also stated that many of their engines are still on original sensors, never been opened up for anything, and most are stories where the vehicle is also still being driven and well over 300,000 miles.

I agree with everything, EXCEPT your statement on ATF in the engine because I have used ATF in my Saturn since Day 1.
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