97 Lumina Using Oil @ 67,000 Miles - What to Use?

CJH

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489
Location
Pennsylvania
I bought the Lumina new. It is mostly driven around town on short trips and since it has a remote starter and we live in Northern PA, it usually idles about 15 minutes every winter morning. Oil changes varied between 3,000 and 7,000 miles with brand name 5W30 oils. At 67,000 miles, it started using a quart every 850 miles. At 70,000, I switched to 10W30. No change whatsover. At 73,000, I switched to Castrol GTX High Milage 10W40 (thicker oil that the manual calls for). Too early to tell for sure but it seems to be reducing consumption. I know there are a lot of knowledgable people here. What would be the best choice of an oil in this situation? I prefer to use something common that you can buy at Wal*Mart...not the speciality type oils I see some on here recommending. Also, what change interval should I use at this point? Thanks in advance!
 
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6,388
Location
Washington St.
The oil consumption can come from different problems: 1) wear--probably not @ 67k 2) something leaking, either on the ground or into the engine. 3) oil control rings stuck in the ring grooves with carbon. If wear, the thicker oil is your best bet. If it's a leak or rings stuck in the grooves, it's worth an Auto-Rx treatment http://www.auto-rx.com Schaeffer's Neutra works well for the carbon...contact Mills at the phone number in the ad at the top of the page. You'd be better off installing an electric engine heater and forgetting about that long idle. Ken
 

CJH

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489
Location
Pennsylvania
Ken, When I notied the high consumption at 67,000, I had the dealer check it out. They did a blow by test and said it was rings. They also cleaned out the cylinders with some sort of solvent...said a lot of carbon came out. The problem is engine wear. It was after this that I did the measurement and found a quart per 850 miles. Prior to cleaning out the carbon, it could have been higher. I also mixed the mysterious oil with my gas for a while, but it didnt help at all. I am just looking for the best motor oil to use in this circumstance.
quote:
Originally posted by Ken2: The oil consumption can come from different problems: 1) wear--probably not @ 67k 2) something leaking, either on the ground or into the engine. 3) oil control rings stuck in the ring grooves with carbon. If wear, the thicker oil is your best bet. If it's a leak or rings stuck in the grooves, it's worth an Auto-Rx treatment http://www.auto-rx.com Schaeffer's Neutra works well for the carbon...contact Mills at the phone number in the ad at the top of the page. You'd be better off installing an electric engine heater and forgetting about that long idle. Ken
 
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1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
I use 20w50 Castrol GTX in my well worn Toyota Cressida at 250,000 miles. It is a great oil for those of us with senior citizen engines. Slows consumption and handles overheating problems which have occured several times as I needed a new radiator and water pump.
 
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6,388
Location
Washington St.
There is no good reason for ring wear at 67k. There's carbon and then there's carbon. The stealership may have removed some of the carbon from the combustion chamber, but it's unlikely that their quicky procedure cleaned any carbon from the ring grooves. Your choices-- 1) keep buying 10W-40 or 15W-40 oil. 2) rebuild that engine...it probably isn't worth it. 3) try one of the products I mentioned to see if cleaning the carbon from the ring grooves helps. Try an API-SL rated 15W-40 oil with 3000-4000 mile oil drain intervals. Can't hurt and might help. Ken
 
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3,023
Location
USA-Michigan
These 3.1L engines usually run a long time. My employer has a lot of these Luminas and no engine problems. If your engine is on its way out, that should give you some indication of the quality of the oil amd filters you were using. Youi might want to avoid those with your next car. I suppose you could blame the manf. but if they was the case, the oil buring should have showed up sooner. The oil you were using, did it come in a yellow bottle? btw I have a 1993 Lumina here with the 3.1L engine and it runs perfectly. Just turned 60,000 miles running Havoline and AC Delco since new. Never change oil unless there is at least 5,000 on it. Never did any 3000 mile changes, about once a year.
 

CJH

Thread starter
Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
I know that Luminas do not have a history of oil consumption. I have 4 cars (Civic Si, Tahoe, Cavalier), all bought new and this is the only one with the problem. I don't think the oil / filter I use is the problem, rather, I think it is the fact that the car is driven on very short trips and also suffers a lot of cold weather idling. With new car manufacturers claiming that up to 1 quart per 1000 miles is "normal" in new cars, a quart in 850 miles does not seem all THAT bad. Anyway, we are getting off of the track, becuase my question was not what caused the oil consumption problem, but rather what oil to use from here. Thanks to those who suggested 10W40, 15W40, 20W50. I am going to try to hold the oil consumption off at 1 quart / 1000 miles. I think the 10W40 will do it, but if it does not, I will gradually go thicker.
quote:
Originally posted by Mike: These 3.1L engines usually run a long time. My employer has a lot of these Luminas and no engine problems. If your engine is on its way out, that should give you some indication of the quality of the oil amd filters you were using. Youi might want to avoid those with your next car. I suppose you could blame the manf. but if they was the case, the oil buring should have showed up sooner. The oil you were using, did it come in a yellow bottle? btw I have a 1993 Lumina here with the 3.1L engine and it runs perfectly. Just turned 60,000 miles running Havoline and AC Delco since new. Never change oil unless there is at least 5,000 on it. Never did any 3000 mile changes, about once a year.
[ April 05, 2003, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: CJH ]
 
Messages
226
Location
Virginia
CHJ--I have the same vehicle and use the 5W-30 as GM recommends. I use SuperTech oil and filters. Engine seems quiter at startup since I switched to Frams. If you have any out of warranty issues I think it's better to show that you followed the factory recommendations although I am glad to see that GM recommends 10W-30 for my Impala.
 
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226
Location
Virginia
CHJ--I meant since I switched from Frams. With your mileage I don't see what difference another brand oil would make as long as you change it regularly.
 

CJH

Thread starter
Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
Engine runs and sound great. No noise and no smoking. I am currently trying the 10W40 GTX for high mileage cars. There are no warrnty issues on a 1997 car with 74,000 miles on it! I could stick with the 5W30 or 10W30 the manufacturer recommends and use 1 quart per 850 miles, or use the 10W40 oil I am using now (or even thicker!) and reduce consumption. Any opinons on this choice?
quote:
Originally posted by Pluto5: CHJ--I meant since I switched from Frams. With your mileage I don't see what difference another brand oil would make as long as you change it regularly.
 
Messages
263
Location
DFW, TX
I'd recommend the Motorcraft 15w40 if you go with that weight oil. It appears to have a low sulfated ash at .9% which will create less deposits than most other 15w40 oils and it is cheap. Another route is the high mileage oils. You may even be able to use a 10w30 in these as they are usually thicker than the normal oils. They also have better NOAK #s (at least Pennzoil does) than the normal oil which should help with the blow-by.
 

CJH

Thread starter
Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
Hey, you could be right! I am at 74,000 right now. Dealer had checked gaskets, valve guides, etc. at 67,000 miles. Problem diagnosed as rings.
quote:
Originally posted by Pluto5: CHJ-thought I saw some posts saying GM covered the 3.1 up to 75K miles for intake gasket failures.
 

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
quote:
Originally posted by Mike: If your engine is on its way out, that should give you some indication of the quality of the oil amd filters you were using. Youi might want to avoid those with your next car. I suppose you could blame the manf. but if they was the case, the oil buring should have showed up sooner.
It is clear that this car has been run into the ground by short trips and 15 minute idle on cold mornings [crushedcar] No matter what oil, in these conditions any engine would be worn out (perhaps even sooner) because of severe oil degradation. What can I say? Remote starters are extremely bad for cars and I would suggest buying heated seats instead [Razz]
 
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8,756
Location
RI
The problem that I see is the 3k-7k oil frequency with "name brand" oils/filters. What oils did you use? What filter? Why go 7k miles? Stick with some type of consistency for brands chosen so that you can blame them when you have problems. Ditto for oil change interval. Mileage is irrelavent when excessive idling is thrown into the picture. An engine timer would have been a better choice. Your engine ring wear is caused by abuse. At this point, either save $$ for a new engine or start normal 3k mile oil/filter change intervals. Only exceed 3k intervals with an oil analysis which would prove that the oil is good enough for continued use. Hopefully the consumption reduces with the xxW40 now being used or recommended by others. Someone mentioned autorx and your engine would be a good before/after situation. Give it a shot and fill us in.
 

CJH

Thread starter
Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
What oils did you use? What filter? At least half of the oil changes were with Pennzoil lube and filter at a Pennzoil service. The other half were done by a combination of dealer (Pennzoil and AC) or a shop where I may have work done (not really sure what they use...I am sure it is a brand name). If it is in the shop for other reasons, I just have them change the oil. Otherwise, I take it to Pennzoil where I do not have to have an appointment or leave my car. Also changed at Wal*Mart (Supertec and Fram) once or twice when I happened to be shopping there. [QUOTE]Originally posted by unDummy: [QB] The problem that I see is the 3k-7k oil frequency with "name brand" oils/filters. What oils did you use? What filter? Why go 7k miles? Stick with some type of consistency for brands chosen so that you can blame them when you have problems. Ditto for oil change interval. Mileage is irrelavent when excessive idling is thrown into the picture. An engine timer would have been a better choice. Not familar with Auto Rx. Has anyone had experience with Marvel Mytery Oil? Sounds similar in that it cleans the engine. I have never had much faith or experimented with engine additives. I did mix some mysterious oil with the gasoiline for a while on the advice of a friend but didn't do anything...which is what I expected.
 
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144
Location
98281
quote:
Originally posted by CJH: it usually idles about 15 minutes every winter morning. .
You have worn the engine out. A 15 minute idle every morning has washed all the oil off the cylinders and the rings and bore have worn prematurely. Don't do the same thing on your next car.
 

CJH

Thread starter
Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
All I wanted to know was what oil to use from here. "You have worn the engine out. A 15 minute idle every morning has washed all the oil off the cylinders and the rings and bore have worn prematurely. Don't do the same thing on your next car."
 
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