freakin saturn, I give up

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866
Location
OH, US
ok, my 1994 SL1 seems to want to lose close to a quart of oil every thousand miles with a 5w30 oil. I've tried 5w40 Rotella Synthetic and the oil consumption seemed to go down quite a bit(<1/2 quart in 1000 miles) but that oil didn't last very long, after 2500 miles it was already showing noticible wear. I was considering going to some good mobil1 0w40 but I'm betting that'll leak out of my front main seal. Auto-RX didn't seem to do much forthat leak, but I'm only 345miles into the new dino oil and aparently it is still working on that for 500. I'm really not in the mood to spend big bux for synthetic oil I'm just gonna have to dump more of into my engine. so I figure I'm just gonna give up and add oil every 500 miles like most other saturn owners. There's so many treatments that seem to work for some people and not others. The car is going on 9 years old and has 161k miles on it. A quart per 1000 miles is acceptable by the manufacturers anyways. Oil consumption does seem to be slightly less with a 10w30 as opposed to the 5w30 but the manual says no 10w30 under 20f which I've been starting at around 5:00 every morning here lately so I'll use it in the summer. What is a good oil on the heavier end of the 30wt scale that I can use. The engine makes a strange whining noise with dino 10w40's for some reason. I'm prety much set on schaefers #701 for the winter, does that sound like a winner? --Matt
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Amsoil, Redline and Royal Purple's 5w30s are all on the higher end of the 30wt scale. Why won't Saturn acknowledge there is a mechanical problem with their cars and fix it though? Thicker oil is just a band aid solution. I realize you are long out of your warranty period mind you, but new cars have this problem too. If it were me, I'd be shopping for another car, and definitely not a Saturn. [ December 30, 2002, 05:39 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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3,023
Location
USA-Michigan
quote:
The car is going on 9 years old and has 161k miles on it. A quart per 1000 miles is acceptable by the manufacturers anyways.
I don't know what you are complaining about 161,000 miles? There are a lot more cars with less miles already dead. Have you owned the car since new?? [ December 30, 2002, 07:27 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
 
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3,683
Location
Chattanooga, TN
With the age and mileage why are you concerned with what is in the owner's manual. Go with a 15W40 and see if that works, especially a synthetic or Schaeffers 15W40 which will still flow well at zero degrees and may reduce your oil consumption?
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Sounds like a typical Saturn ... which really isn't that bad, is it? [I dont know] I'd heard from a number of sources that it's valve seals ... and a significantly thicker oil won't help too much. Might want to ask how much new valve seals are for that car. If it's $300 or less, it might be something to consider ... except that continuously adding oil would still be cheaper. [Wink] --- Bror Jace
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Bror, you reminded me of a funny story. In the late 80s I worked with a guy who had an old Dodge Omni. This thing burned a quart of oil every 20 miles! I'm not exageratting! He would buy a case of oil every week and when he left his house in the morning he put in a quart and before he left work he put in another quart. His car left a HUGE smokescreen behind him! He told me it was cheaper to buy oil than to get it fixed. He did this for an entire summer until a cop FINALLY pulled him over and pulled the plates off the car and told him it needed to be fixed or kept off the road.
 
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1,933
Location
Oklahoma
A bit off topic but have you thought about fixing it with a 7.62x39 round? As in a few hundred of them? [Wink] I have been a Corvette owner for many years but not a fanatic. I know of a forum where the L-88 is looked upon as sometype of a God/engine and I get sick of hearing the L-88 this,L-88 that. They were good motors for their time and thats it. I have vowed if I ever win the lottery I will buy the first one evermade,take it to the river and shoot it full of holes. The NCRS guys think some are Satin anyway for modding their cars,,,,would sure like to hold a drawing for who got the first shot,,classIII guys welcome as well [Cool] Back to the Saturn,,160k is pretty good life from a automobile,,might be time to fix it properly or just drive it on out,,,,what I don't like is the EPA is so tough on car makers then comes a bad engine design and no backing from them,these engines are grose polluters period and from what I read all started this in the 50k mile range,well within the limit of the smog control systems warranty,,,,good luck with it. [Patriot]
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by mkosem: ok, my 1994 SL1 seems to want to lose close to a quart of oil every thousand miles with a 5w30 oil. I've tried 5w40 Rotella Synthetic and the oil consumption seemed to go down quite a bit(<1/2 quart in 1000 miles) but that oil didn't last very long, after 2500 miles it was already showing noticible wear.
What do you mean "noticible wear" and how did you determine this?
 
Messages
109
Location
PA
I would use the cheapest 15w40 available at Walmart. I think they sell Supertech 15w40 in a 2 gallon jug that's pretty cheap.
 

mkosem

Thread starter
Messages
866
Location
OH, US
quote:
Originally posted by XHVI:
quote:
Originally posted by mkosem: ok, my 1994 SL1 seems to want to lose close to a quart of oil every thousand miles with a 5w30 oil. I've tried 5w40 Rotella Synthetic and the oil consumption seemed to go down quite a bit(<1/2 quart in 1000 miles) but that oil didn't last very long, after 2500 miles it was already showing noticible wear.
What do you mean "noticible wear" and how did you determine this?

I'm refering to the rougher idle and louder sound of the engine typical of a worn out oil. It just didn't seem to hold up in this engine. But when I first put it in and for the first 1000 or so miles it was awesome. Perhaps a better 5w40 like devlac1 would be better? I do agree 160k is a good life for a car, espcially an american made car. The car runs beautifuly other than that. I don't forsee any mechanical problems anytime in the near future because the car runs perfectly and did great on the emissions test even though it had a hollowed out cat when I got it(since replaced). I got the car early in the summer from a school teacher. The engine makes a funny high-pitched noise with 10w40 oils. I'm thinking it may have a problem with 15w40 equally as much if not moreso. I think I may just stick with 5/10w30 and add oil when needed unless there's a better solution. --Matt
 
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2,794
Location
NM
Go with M1 15W50. It has the same pour point as their 10W30 (-49*F) and is definitely thicker. Rick
 
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6,388
Location
Washington St.
Pour point is not meaningful for engine operation. Pumpability limit of the M1 15W-50 is -35°F, which is (no surprise) 7°F higher than M1 10W-30. Anyway, not much reason to use high priced oil in this engine...it burns too much and at 161k doesn't have much future. I think I'd use 10W-30 in those Ohio winters and 15W-40 the rest of the year. What was the "noticeable wear" on the Rotella syn?...got really dirty?...maybe just the robust detergents doing their job? Ken
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by mkosem: I'm refering to the rougher idle and louder sound of the engine typical of a worn out oil.
I've never heard of these symptoms being "typical" of a "worn out oil." The only way to tell if an oil is "worn out" is through oil analysis. I seriously doubt if your Saturn wore out a CH-4 rated oil in 2500 miles of driving unless you've got some serious blow-by or coolant leaking into the crankcase.
 

mkosem

Thread starter
Messages
866
Location
OH, US
I have no coolant leaks, the oil just failed to keep the vehicle running as smoothly as normal. Changing the oil fixed the problem. That would lead me to believe the oil was done. The auto-rx could have lead to premature "doneness" of the oil. I ran the rotella for about 1500 miles, put on a new filter and dumped in the RX. I then ran for 1000 miles then drained. I wouldn't imagine the RX would affect the lubrication properties of the oil. Would it? --Mat
 

mkosem

Thread starter
Messages
866
Location
OH, US
I am, however, considdering running another treatment of auto-rx or possible schaefers #132 Moly EP since that's supposed to improve oil consumption. -Matt
 
Messages
2,794
Location
NM
quote:
Originally posted by Ken2: Pour point is not meaningful for engine operation. Pumpability limit of the M1 15W-50 is -35°F, which is (no surprise) 7°F higher than M1 10W-30. Anyway, not much reason to use high priced oil in this engine...it burns too much and at 161k doesn't have much future. I think I'd use 10W-30 in those Ohio winters and 15W-40 the rest of the year. What was the "noticeable wear" on the Rotella syn?...got really dirty?...maybe just the robust detergents doing their job? Ken
Ken2 Unless I have suddenly lost my sight or have crooked eyes or something, it clearly states on the label "pour point: -49*F" I just bought 2 cases of M1, one of 10W30 and one of 15W50....the latest formulation (according to the 10W30's new label, which they just changed) The reason I said 15W50 is because it is much thicker than 5 or 10W30, so that it would "hopefully" stop some of the consumption; but then again, I don't know much about oils. Rick
 
Messages
874
Location
Pacific NW
Rick, I think what Ken meant was that pour point is somewhat obsolete as a spec. It's better than nothing (and marketers still use it) but most oils have more accurate cold performance specs readily available. (i.e. cold cranking, borderline pumpability) If you only have pour point data then the safe rule is to add 20degrees as a safety margin for the low safe starting temp. The problem is some will work much closer to their pour point while others won't. To get a clearer view check the other available cold specs to know what will work for your climate. M1's data is here: M1 DataSheet David
 
Messages
922
Location
Ontario , Canada
Try this inexpensive test, fill the crankcase with Castrol GTX or Castrol High Mileage, and be done with it, accept whatever consumption you end up with after that, I doubt you can do better than that. If you are intent on a 5w-30, the Castrol GTX 5w-30 is a good 12.7 vis, at the high end of the 30 scale, can't ask for more than that, I believe it has a higher vis. than their 10-30 formula. I think they make High Mileage Castrol in 5w-30, you may want to check it out. The High Mileage formula is more expensive. I estimate it is cutting my consumption by about 50% on my 88 Lincoln Town car which has been a high consumer in recent years. It seems to be a bit thicker than other oils of the same weight from my unscientific observation too. I don't mean to preach about Castrol oils all the time, but I have had good luck with them on high oil consuming engines. I don't recommend synthetics in such engines as they always seemed to leak more than conventional oils. hth. [ December 31, 2002, 04:28 PM: Message edited by: Idrinkmotoroil ]
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
"Castrol GTX 5w-30 is a good 12.7 vis, at the high end of the 30 scale, can't ask for more than that." Um, didn't someone post a result here a month ago showing that castrol GTX 5W30 sheared down to a 20 in just a couple thousand miles? [Confused] --- Bror Jace
 
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