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Old 04-12-2006, 09:04 AM   #1
baribenny
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Default Living on borrowed time?

Hi folks,

I just wanted to get some opinions from some knowledgable saturnfans:

I have a 93 SLI with 202,000 miles. It leaks and/or burns oil and I have to top it off every 1000 miles or so (not too much, maybe a half quart). I was noticing though that the oil gets dirty really soon after changing it - I'm talking black and goopy within 600-800 miles here.

Any idea what this might be? I don't know that its really worth fixing, since I don't want to put much money in the car, but just curious what this could be.

The main reason I ask is I'll be moving this summer, and plan on driving 700+ miles in this car, which normallly only gets driven around town. I don't want it to die on me during the move!

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:33 AM   #2
kanling
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Your oil consumption doesn't sound too bad, but turning "goopy" that quickly is interesting. I suggest getting a used oil analysis done to see what the trouble may be, if anything. Amsoil, Blackstone labs and others provide oil analysis sample kits for about $20-$30.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Well where is it leaking from? That is going to depend on whether or not it's on it's last legs. If it's a spot or two that are fairly easy inexpensive fixes, fix them, do an oil flush, an MMO soak or two and keep on driving it 'till the wheels fall off. If it's leaking out of everywhere and you can't be bothered to fix it for whatever your reason (time, money, old car), use some engine honey, thicker oil, whatever, and just keep on rollin' 'till she rolls no more. What I might do in your situation is a compromise. Get some really, really cheap oil and some Rizlone, or MMO, and do the oil change with the cheap stuff & additive. Drive the crap out of it for a few days. Change it again, but put some good stuff in it. See if that cleans up the engine a little. this could cause your engine to leak more. It's your call really. I don't think your car is ready for the scrap yard, but do you really want to fix it?
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Slow down, Uzzy, s/he's new.

Oil consumption at the reported rate is typical for these cars; if anything, it's on the low side. It's most likely due to the oil rings letting oil by; this has NO impact on the performance or longevity (providing you top up the oil) of the engine. Search our archives on "MMO soak"; it's an easy and cheap procedure that improves the function of the oil rings.

Detergent oils should turn pretty dark within 500-1000 miles of commission. Unless it's unexpectedly thick or thin, or contaminated with coolant, gasoline, water, etc., it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing.

Before your long trip, I would check all the other tune-up, and "super-tune-up" items. Filters, EGR valve, ECTS, fluid levels, spark plugs/wires, throttle body cleaning, etc. They can all be done in a driveway. Searching our S-Series Tech and How-To sections will reveal lots of information on all of these.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:28 PM   #5
agoldslsaturn
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Bari-

I have a leaky cam and some other problems wrong with my car. At the current moment it burned 1 quart in 100 miles. Well I think I did, I am going to check it again because it was dark, but its definitely not at the full mark.

Anyways I routinely drive my car in 800 mile roundtrips and have no problems what-so-ever. Its a 95 with 165ish? on it.

Try the MMO soak though, mine worked the first time, but then my car slipped and let go of its "brain" somewhere along the way. I will be doing my third one next weekend
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Ok maybe that was bit much from me. But it's the goopiness of th oil that concerns me. Oil will get dirty really fast, 600-800miles is normal. And Saturns do consume oil all on their own there are things to do to slow that consumption rate. And if it's leaking oil, if economical, the leaks should be sealed up asap. That's just money ending up on the ground otherwise. I don't think baribenny's engine is terminal by anymeans, but it could be made a little better. But it's possible it will run in it's current state for a good long time, provided the oil is kept full. And get a second opinion on the goopiness factor of the oil.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:56 PM   #7
baribenny
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

Thanks all for the comments - the engine has been burning oil for a long time. Perhaps I mis-stated the "goopiness" of the oil. It's not sludge exactly, just a little bit thick. I'll try the MMO soak and will have a trusted local mechanic look at it before I hit the road (I know I'll probably need a brake job by that time anyway.)

I don't think I'm going to try to have them fix the oil leak because I don't want to put any more money into this car - Its treated me really well so far, but I know in the not too distant future, I'll need to get another new (used) car. Maybe just a lower mileage SL! Thanks again!

baribenny
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:14 PM   #8
10W30
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

You could try throwing some kerosene in the engine to help clean out the oil pan. That's what it sounds like. I've seen oil pans that get heavily mudded with sludge. It won't come out if you pull the oil drain plug. So throwing some kerosene in there might help clean it out some. If not, start looking around for a good price on someone taking off the oil pan and cleaning it out. It's not a hard DIY job. Maybe 3 hours for the amature.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:45 PM   #9
Daryl Baines
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

baribenny,

Have you thought about using Auto-Rx it will clean sludge and ring packs with that mileage you might have to us 3 or 4 cleanings. I have used it and it works check out the web site Auto-Rx.com good luck

Daryl
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:02 PM   #10
eljefino
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

I've used auto-rx and it did jack squat. At $25 pretty disappointing.

Not to detract from Daryls positive experience but it's not always a cure-all.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Living on borrowed time?

eljefino,

Just curious what was your engine problems and what was the results of using Auto.Rx.

Daryl
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