Calling all saturn owners

Not open for further replies.
Jun 26, 2003
Columbus Ohio
My mothers POS saturn burns oil at a horrible rate, supposedly due to the saturn stuck ring problem. Auto-rx doesn't seem to be helping, so what kind of oils have you guys tried that helped the consumption?
I ran the auto-rx in it for 1500 miles. The car is in the rinse cycle now, but for some reason, the oil consumption has doubled since the addition of auto-rx. I have no idea if it had any connection to the auto-rx. The car used to burn a quart every 1000. It burned 3 quarts in the 1500 mile auto-rx run. I am still hopeful, but not that hopeful. [Frown] The oil was just some 88 cent a quart advance auto brand stuff. [ November 27, 2003, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: sbc350gearhead ]
Originally posted by sbc350gearhead: -*-* It burned 3 quarts in the 1500 mile auto-rx run. I am still hopeful, but not that hopeful. [Frown] The oil was just some 88 cent a quart advance auto brand stuff.
Wow! Are you sure there are no external leaks? I donno, maybe give it a little more time... maybe you may have to go to a heavier oil or a straight...
There's several members here who have tried different methods such as AutoRX or piston soaking or other methods. I would run 3 or 4 1500 mile runs of AutoRX before looking at other methods. Then, like the previous poster said, run a thicker weight oil, I would suggest a 15w-40 Delvac or Delo 400. Or even a 20w-50 oil. There's no "solution" per se, but some things work and some don't.
The newer Saturns are using the Ecotec engine, as well as some other engines. The Ecotec carries more oil and collant, and maybe will not overheat as readily. And hopefully there will be fewer seal problems.
Did you do a piston soak or just add it to your crankcase? There are some saturn fans that take out the spark plugs and do a MMO piston soak. Many here say auto rx is better but you just might need to soak the chemical of your choice.
Keep the VII to a minimum. This means API SL spec and a narrow viscosity range (or synthetic). Try to do some wide open throttle accelerations, particularly at on ramps to freeways. You can try the GM "manuever", while going slow, place the transmission in second gear, accelerate up to redline (or so), and let off the throttle. Let engine breaking slow the car down and hit it again. Repeat. The high vacuum of deceleration in second tends to lift the rings and rotates them, this is what you want, even for the RX to do it's job. This of course rules out any broken rings or other internal engine parts. Try at your own risk.
I would try Moto-Vac or the GM eqivalant at this point. The piston soak is not a bad idea either though! With that much consuption and it getting worse after the Auto-Rx it sounds like valve stem seals. If the seals wear damaged and dry rotted and filled with soft seals(see sludge) then when the Auto-Rx removed the sludge the leak path increased in sive in spite of the seals being made more pliable the mechanical damage was already done. If you do not have LC or FP then B-12 will work fine and it can be had at Walmart.
I haven't tried a piston soak on it, but my mother can't be without the car long enough to try that. After the rinse cycle is done, I am either going to try another dose of auto-rx, or I am going to use LC. I am currently leaning towards the latter.
Well JB, If I can get my mother to bring the car to me on sunday, and I can pickup a 35 dollar valve cover gasket tomorrow [Mad] , I will probably do just that.
A couple of points: The Auto-RX will increase consumption while you're using it: that's what happened to me. You need to have a couple bottles on hand, and just keep topping up with a 50/50 mix of Auto-RX and oil, in order to keep a good ratio of Auto-RX working in the engine. The consumption will level back after the FULL application. I hasten to point out that it isn't unusual for these engines to double their oil consumption when switching oil brands/weights: you really need to give them a couple of changes with the new oil before you get a good picture of where the consumption stands. As someone pointed out, the piston soak is worth your time. Use Berryman's B-12 for this: Marvel Mystery Oil won't do much of anything for it, although some would disagree. Your mileage may vary, as they say. For even better results, plan on doing a few soaks over a month or so. Run something like Neutra in the gas tank. Start with a couple of full-bottle applications for a couple of fill-ups, then go down to a few ounces per fill-up. This will keep things significantly clean, and also contribute to cutting down on oil consumption. Your spark plugs will thank you. Consider moving to a heavier oil. I've had the best luck with Delvac 5w-40 so far, although I'm now trying out Redline. (My consumption is up with the Redline, but it's the first fill.) You can take off the valve cover if you want, but I am 99.9% sure this will be a complete waste of time and a source of great aggravation. You won't be able to "take a look at the seals" without pulling them out, and a standard valve spring compressor will barely work with the Saturn springs -- I had to use an oversized washer and lots of praying in order to use my standard-issue AutoZone compressor. I replaced my valve seals at 100,000 miles to help cure the oil burning, and the old seals were indistinguishable from the new ones, and it didn't do a damn thing to help the consumption. And did I mention that the Saturn valve cover gasket is simply liquid RTV? You can get a preformed bead from the dealer, but it will still need supplemental liquid RTV, and you will spend all of four hours cleaning the block and the valve cover of the old gasket material. And if there is the SLIGHTEST trace of either oil or ANY old gasket material, you will have leaks. In my opinion, it is well worth it to try everything else mentioned first, as the valve seals are most likely not the culprit. After all is said and done, I was able to move my consumption from approximately two quarts every 3000 miles, to one quart -- and it has stayed at this level for many thousands of miles. [ December 01, 2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: kev99sl ]
Not open for further replies.