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Old 12-15-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
nickroa95
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2003 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Proper Way to Check Oil

I have an 03 ION coupe and recently Iíve thought that I had found my engine was consuming oil. Two months or so after an oil change, my oil read 3/4 on the dipstick. Topped off on oil. Two weeks later, 1/2. Another week after, 1/4. I checked the engine all around for a leaky valve cover but its as clean as it could be. I lifted the car up and checked under the engine and around the pan, and itís also completely clean. Spark plugs were pulled to check for oil but they were also clean. I noticed there seems to be a problem with these cars in checking the oil. If I pull the dipstick, clean it, put it back, and pull it to read the results, I get about 3/8 full. If I leave the dipstick in for about 10-15 seconds and then pull it out, I get 3/4. What gives? Before I dish out some cash for a compression test kit, Iíd like to know if any of you guys may have ideas on what my problem could be. Car has 108,000 miles, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-16-2017, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

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Originally Posted by nickroa95 View Post
Before I dish out some cash for a compression test kit, Iíd like to know if any of you guys may have ideas on what my problem could be.
If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it runs smooth a compression test won't tell you much. Read the oil level a few minutes after shutting off the engine.

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Old 12-16-2017, 06:25 PM   #3
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

It takes a long time for the oil to drain back down to the pan on these engines. I only trust my dip stick after the engine has not run for 12-24 hours.

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Old 12-16-2017, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

Here's a very recent discussion of that same issue in another thread from the Ion Tech Forum.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...king+oil+level

If your car is running well otherwise, save yourself the trouble of a compression test at this time. However, if you want to test the engine in order to have a baseline to relate to in this car's history then I fully support that.

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Last edited by pierrot; 12-16-2017 at 11:35 PM..

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Old 12-16-2017, 11:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

Thank you all for the feedback. I know that there is nothing really here to fix, exactly. But moving from the 1.9L S-series that had awful oil consumption, I was eager to hear the ecotec line of engines should not have had the same problem. The car runs perfectly fine so I guess Iíll save the money for a compression test kit and not buy it. What I donít understand is how exactly oil could be consumed, since these cars DO have oil drain holes on the pistons that the 1.9ís did not.

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Old 12-17-2017, 05:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

1-No one has to buy a compression gauge if a nearby AutoZone has one for loan as part of a tool loan program. Advance Auto provides a similar policy.

2-Ecotec engines have their own peculiarities with many threads on almost any GM forum discussing problems with the 2.2L engine. The S-series, Ions and L-series are examples of Saturn using 2.2L engines.

You'll eventually find out that all engines consumes oil in many ways. Since engines need a film of oil on every cylinder wall to provide easy lubrication between piston, rings and wall, the smallest amount is burned at the top of each combustion cycle, once every 720 degrees. I may have one of the few engines (3.0L V6) with zero oil consumption between oil changes (5k-8k miles). The opposite end would be some S-series engines using one quart every 100 miles from severely coked, stuck oil rings allowing excessive oil to burn off with a blue smoke exhaust as a tell tale sign.

As suggested, if you're unsure whether your engine uses oil or not and there are zero visible signs of oil leaking anywhere on the engine, just park the car overnight on a level driveway or street and check oil the next day before driving off somewhere. If you can, park whenever you work on another level parking spot and when you return to the car an hour or so later, check oil level again. By repeating this several times you'll establish a pattern for consistent oil level checking and go from there.

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Old 12-17-2017, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
2-Ecotec engines have their own peculiarities with many threads on almost any GM forum discussing problems with the 2.2L engine. The S-series, Ions and L-series are examples of Saturn using 2.2L engines.
I think that you probably intended to include the VUE with the L-Series and Ion, and not the S-Series with regard to the ECOTEC 2.2L engine.

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Old 12-17-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
[FONT="Palatino Linotype"][SIZE="3"]Here's a very recent discussion of that same issue in another thread from the Ion Tech Forum.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...king+oil+level
good search skills, LOL.

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Old 12-18-2017, 01:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Proper Way to Check Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
I think that you probably intended to include the VUE with the L-Series and Ion, and not the S-Series with regard to the ECOTEC 2.2L engine.
Yes, you are correct. Holiday brain? Temporary loss of cell power (the one between my ears)? Distracted typing (watching tv) as in multitasking? And no, I wasn't texting while driving. My favorite excuse, allergies (occasional impromptu headache, runny nose, itchy eyes.

I checked and the S-series never had the ecotec engine. Vues did.

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