OCI/FCI strategy for a high mileage 2000 Saturn SL

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19
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SoCal
2000 Saturn SL. 1.9L I4, 5 speed manual. ~156k miles, manual says 4 qts 5W30. Belongs to a lady friend. Car was burning oil (approx. 1 quart per 1,250 miles), which is common with the Saturn S-series. Dealership did all oil changes but her most recent, which was valvoline. Car has always gotten dino or synthetic blend, apparently never full synthetic. She got ramps/chocks, 5qts Pennzoil Platinum full syn 5W30 & a Mobil 1 M1-102 filter. She did the oil change herself, with me just watching and handing her tools. She installed a Fumoto drain valve. Filter is awkwardly positioned-- horizontal and above the axle. ~150 miles since oil change. -Are a 5k OCI and 10k FCI appropriate with PP and a M1 filter? -If the car still burns oil, would it be OK to top off with cheaper dino oil, and if so what?
 
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2,408
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CA
Originally Posted By: txelen
-Are a 5k OCI and 10k FCI appropriate with PP and a M1 filter? -If the car still burns oil, would it be OK to top off with cheaper dino oil, and if so what?
1) yes why would this be bad? But is it that difficult to just change the filter at 5k too? 2) yes, but what are you really attempting to save? like maybe $8 over the length of the OCI (cost of 2gallons of gas or 40miles driving)? If you're frugal be consistent about your frugalness, why did you pick synthetic for the fill if you were counting every penny?
 
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Messages
202
Location
California
At that rate of make-up oil, 1 year oil+filter changes will work fine, miles not important. Not a problem to top off with conventional oil. Pennzoil Yellow Bottle. Great choice for an oil filter, and remember a Fram ToughGuard performs about the same as her M1 oil filter and is made in the same factory, and Fram TG might be cheaper, good dirt capacity.
 
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1,686
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VA
Motorcraft FL400S fits, too. Knowing how messy the operation is, I wouldn't blame her for changing filters every other time as long as the engine is fairly clean inside. The filter change is cleaner and easier if you remove the passenger side tire and inner fender splash shield. But then you have to, well, jack up the car and remove the tire. Consensus when I was maintaining a Saturn was to keep OCI mileage low to avoid accelerating oil burning. If she's only burning a quart in 1250, I would feel confident with 5000 on Platinum. (Mine burned a quart every 200 and got whatever was cheapest.)
 

txelen

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Originally Posted By: raytseng
2) yes, but what are you really attempting to save? like maybe $8 over the length of the OCI (cost of 2gallons of gas or 40miles driving)? If you're frugal be consistent about your frugalness, why did you pick synthetic for the fill if you were counting every penny?
I was thinking that around the 4,000 miles mark, when oil will only be in the engine for another 1,000 miles, there wouldn't be any point to spending more on synthetic.
Originally Posted By: boundarylayer
At that rate of make-up oil, 1 year oil+filter changes will work fine, miles not important.
Do the contaminants that the filter would otherwise catch burn off with the oil or something? I always thought that they concentrated in the remaining oil.
Originally Posted By: mattwithcats
You can use a longer M1-209 filter on Saturn S series... Cross reference is Fram 3614 or longer Fram 3600...
Originally Posted By: Rhymingmechanic
Motorcraft FL400S fits, too. Knowing how messy the operation is, I wouldn't blame her for changing filters every other time as long as the engine is fairly clean inside. The filter change is cleaner and easier if you remove the passenger side tire and inner fender splash shield. But then you have to, well, jack up the car and remove the tire.
When I looked under the car, it looked like the area around the filter was very tight, I was worried that a longer filter wouldn't fit on. How much clearance is there along the longitudinal axis of the oil filter with one of the larger filters?
 
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usa
It will probably be OK, but I'd still rather change the filter every oil change. Maxlife is also a good HM oil. How many miles does she put on in a year?
 
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Spring HIll
txelen, while you can't stop the bad ring design, you can clean things up, have you used Auto-RX as per the treatment directions? It does clean things up nicely, slowly, and methodically. Highly recommend for Saturns. It's not a mechanic in a bottle, it's good stuff. 10K OCI's in this application are too much, the most I would push the OCI with this engine is 7500 miles. Filters: if you want to catch most of the garbage in the oil, use an M1 or Amsoil filter. You're in SoCal, use a higher weight oil to fend-off burning after Auto-Rx treatment, Pennzoil HM 5w-30 is a "thick" 30 grade product, very good to start with. I've done dozens of UOAs on my old Saturns, very happy with PZ products in them, even 5w-20, yes 20, but on that car, it only burned 1qt about every 7500 miles. cheers
 
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202
Location
California
Originally Posted By: txelen
Originally Posted By: boundarylayer
At that rate of make-up oil, 1 year oil+filter changes will work fine, miles not important.
Do the contaminants that the filter would otherwise catch burn off with the oil or something? I always thought that they concentrated in the remaining oil.
The oil filter gets out smaller and smaller particles as it stays on the car before clogging, removing most gunk. If she puts 8,000 miles a year on the vehicle (guessing), then that means about 6 quarts of make-up oil was added in 1 year (in a 4 qt sump), more than enough to disperse & neutralize contaminants to easily make it to 1 year.
 
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202
Location
California
Originally Posted By: Rhymingmechanic
Motorcraft FL400S fits, too. Knowing how messy the operation is, I wouldn't blame her for changing filters every other time as long as the engine is fairly clean inside. The filter change is cleaner and easier if you remove the passenger side tire and inner fender splash shield. But then you have to, well, jack up the car and remove the tire. Consensus when I was maintaining a Saturn was to keep OCI mileage low to avoid accelerating oil burning. If she's only burning a quart in 1250, I would feel confident with 5000 on Platinum. (Mine burned a quart every 200 and got whatever was cheapest.)
There are premium oil filters easily found (Walmart, etc.) like Fram Ultra that tolerate more dirt accumulation over time, so someone who doesn't like to change their oil filter could probably go a full year on that one. Burned a quart every 200 miles? Good news is your MPG was way up since oil was the primary means of powering your car.
 

txelen

Thread starter
Messages
19
Location
SoCal
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
How many miles does she put on in a year?
About 10,000 currently
Originally Posted By: ToyotaNSaturn
have you used Auto-RX as per the treatment directions? 10K OCI's in this application are too much, the most I would push the OCI with this engine is 7500 miles.
Never tried any additives. It seems as if the consensus is that a 10k OCI is too long, but is a 10k FCI too long? How does the Mobil 1 stack up against, say, a Fram XG filter?
Originally Posted By: ToyotaNSaturn
forgot to ask, how often to you change or at least clean the PCV valve?
She doesn't know anything about it being worked on. Saturnfans.com indicates that they're pretty cheap; could replacing it reduce oil consumption? All: I'm really appreciating these responses, definitely soaking this in. Any more input is greatly appreciated. cheers
 
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Virginia
There are little things you can do to help slow the oil burning... PCV - Autozone PCV1109DL, Standard is 1106, the "09" has a small hole on it for continuous air flow. It's usually behind the counter, so you have to ask for it. Oil Filter - Purolator 20195, either the yellow PureOne or the Blue Synthetic... Advanced Auto has the PureOne, Blains Farms and Fleet or Amazon have both types. Use either Mobil1 Turbo Diesel or Rotella T6 5W-40 oil for one change. Really gets the gunk out, lots of detergents...
 
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2,360
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Virginia
OIl Change... Dino oil - every 3000 miles Synthetic blend - 4500 Full Synthetic - use the Oil Change indicator (reset is in the fuse box under the hood)) or 6000-7500 miles Change oil filter each time, air filter at 12,000-15,000
 
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2,360
Location
Virginia
If this is a DOHC Saturn (SL2), seventh or eighth VIN # is a "7", Then a 5th gear swap may be considered. You go from a .730 5th gear to a .605 (From the economy geared SL1 gear set) Drops the RMS's a thousand in 5th Cost is $80-$100... Mileage increase is around 12%
 
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North America
First of all, it burns 1 quart every 1250 miles - so good on HER for keeping it topped off. And she must be alright if she's changing her own! At that rate, with the 10k she drives a year she should be fine with yearly changes, IMO. There is also this thread: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3436031/I_Don't_Change_My_Oil_-_Test_R#Post3436031 Where the owner is doing NO changes. Although I don't think I'd be comfortable with that it's something to take into account. I also recall a few other threads, wherein the usage rate was roughly the same, and the owners were changing the filter every 10k, with a full oil change every 20k. Replacing 1 quart every 1250 means that the entire sump will be changed out in 5k, so it's ridiculous to do a full change in less than that.
 
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Messages
481
Location
PA
10K OCI is too long with an S-series, I think. You could run a quality filter for two OCIs, but I've never really understood that. Even a good filter does not cost much. I have a 2000 Saturn 1.9 SOHC, but mine does not burn as much oil as some, luckily. Best oil and filter to reduce consumption on my SL1 was 5w-30 M1 High Mileage and an M-1 EP filter. I used the M1-102 but as noted you can get an even longer M1 filter to fit. (The 209?) If you use the longer filter you can also use a full 5 quarts of oil to fill. It will read a bit high, but with your consumption that should not be a problem. Also track the consumption as you get further into the OCI. Mine only burns a few drops for the first 1,000-1,500 miles---not even that with the M1 HM---but consumption increases after that, on a fairly straight track. If I go 4K on an OCI, it will burn at least a half-quart for the last 1,000 miles, after only 2-3 ounces for the first 1,000. Common pattern with the S-series. Biggest thing with these cars is to check the darn oil level obsessively. The chain just loves plenty of fresh clean oil to keep things running smooth....good luck.
 
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