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Old 07-17-2014, 05:24 PM   #1
desert rat
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Default where is all the oil going!

Yes, I have a drip at the drain plug which I'll address at the next oil change. I've got some seeping underneath but no major leaks. Car doesn't smoke and runs like a top, no SES lights....yet the thing is going through a quart plus ever thousand miles. 126k on the clock.

Are these cars notorious oil burners?

I'm running 10w30 dino Valvoline now. Thinking the next oil change will be to 20w50.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

Quote:
Are these cars notorious oil burners?
Absolutely. A qt/1000 is probably average for these cars.

Quote:
I'm running 10w30 dino Valvoline now. Thinking the next oil change will be to 20w50.
No, stick with the 10w30. Spec is actually 5w30
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

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Originally Posted by el diablo viejo View Post
No, stick with the 10w30. Spec is actually 5w30
The car is in the Phoenix area with regular daytime temps around 110 right now. I don't think a heavier oil is gonna hurt too much. May at least jump up to 10w40

Good to know that i'm not going nuts and that these things just use oil.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

You say it doesn't smoke? Have you had someone watch the exhaust when starting up cold? While driving, coasting, shifting gears? Each is indicative of where the oil could be going. Have you had the compression checked lately? Add 1 ounce of 5W30 to each cylinder then perform the compression check again. A significant increase here would indicate worn piston rings. Large amounts of blow-by will cause oil vapor to be drawn into the intake, burned and expelled out the exhaust. I've got 245+K on my SW2 DOHC, 80+K since rebuild. Current oil consumption rate is 1 qt every 3000 miles. What style of driving does the car get? Stop and Go city stuff, or constant speed highway stuff. Switching styles can cause a high burn rate until the rings take a new "set". Don't ask me explain, I've read reports from engineers that claim the rings take a different "twist" at different RPMs. Some claim the oil builds up and turns to sludge at low speeds, others claim that unless the oil control ring grooves have sufficient passage holes to the interior of the piston, that oil builds up behind the oil control ring and "blows by" into the combustion chamber. The Saturn pistons have 3 small holes on each side behind the oil control rings. (At least the ones I installed in mine during it's rebuild had that feature.) That's part of the spec for 5W30 oil, it is thin enough to squirt out those holes and not get forced past the oil control rings. A heavier oil will not exit the ring lands quickly enough and gets past the oil control rings, resulting in more oil consumption. Here in this forum, OldNuc states he has reports that the synthetic oils hold their viscosity better at high temperatures. So far, since my switch to Mobile One 5W30, his assertion is holding true for my engine as well, I had been running Pennzoil Dino stuff since break-in. There are articles in this forum about oil additives, good stuff, I advise you to read them. Happy Hunting.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

10W-40 isn't going to make any difference at all. Unless you want to pull the engine apart and install pistons with proper drainage holes in the ring lands, your best bet is just to load up on something like Rotella T5 10W-30 semi-syn (dirt cheap at Walmart) and make sure she's always topped off. A quart every 1000 miles is about par for the course with these engines.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

Once you get that drain plug leak fixed ( hopefully that is all it is ) you can then get an accurate reading of oil usage. Obviously it will be better than what you are getting now, and may be significantly better, so your engine oil usage is probably not all that bad. The rate of oil usage increases with higher rpms, so if you have a heavy foot, expect more oil to disappear.
When you get the leak fixed, you should consider full synthetic oil as this will help keep the oil consumtion from getting worse.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

I'm not a mechanic, I've never worked on anything until I got my 02 sl.. My saturn used a quart or two every oil change until I put in a new pcv valve and I changed from 5w30 to 10w40 and put some stp oil treatment and I keep 2-3 oz of mmo in my tank.. Now I may get so nay Sayers about the 10/40 and the stp but it has completely stopped using a single drop of oil! I am religious about changing it and even put in a shot of mmo in the crank case as well.. Now when winter time rolls around I'll go to 10/30 but considering delo400.. Also I always put the motorcraft oversize filter. Wally World has it for $3.96
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

it's my daughters car and it's used for city driving. I'm sure it's not getting the easiest miles, but it is using quite a bit of oil. Car runs great though....
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

I am 1600+ miles into an oil change with Mobil 1 TDT 5w-40 and it is promising. I can't post the results (Pitcher said don't tell him) it is definitely an improvement for my car. The vehicle performs very smoothly on this HDEO
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

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Originally Posted by NWSaturn247 View Post
I am 1600+ miles into an oil change with Mobil 1 TDT 5w-40 and it is promising. I can't post the results (Pitcher said don't tell him) it is definitely an improvement for my car. The vehicle performs very smoothly on this HDEO
Hey! I want to know...

I got loads of M1 TDT & may try it in the Red Hot as soon as I get a baseline of the burn rate.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

Quote:
Originally Posted by desert rat View Post
it's my daughters car and it's used for city driving. I'm sure it's not getting the easiest miles, but it is using quite a bit of oil. Car runs great though....
When you do your next oil change consider trying a piston soak, This can help with the extreme oil consumption and bring it to a more bearable level, Some people it helps alot, Others it does not, It really all depends on the condition of your engine and how dirty the rings are, If you decide on trying it the part number for the GM piston ring cleaner is 12378549.
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CHECK YOUR OIL!
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: where is all the oil going!

I should also restate that prior to filling the sump with M1 TDT 5w-40, I idled the engine with VNG 5w-20 for 12 minutes and drained. Then filled with VNG 5w-30 and replaced the FL400-S (w/6200 miles) with a Wix 51516. I then drove only 31 miles, drained & filled with M1 TDT 5w-40. That may not be as effective as a piston soak but may be a factor in the improvement.
...
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Currently sipping Mobil 1 + Delvac 1300 + LM2009 + Rislone

3 ounces Lucas UCL per fill-up



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