Saturn Owners, What oil/filter are you running?

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I'm just trying to gather some information from fellow saturn owners. I have a 98SC2, its about to roll past 70k and at 70,100mi I'll be done with the first step of my Auto-rx treatment. When that is complete I intended on running mobil 1 10w30 in 7,500mi intervals with a high quality filter (havent decided on a specific one yet) But before I invest any more time I would like to hear from some of you who are running the same engines. (1.9l DOHC) What oil are you using? why? What filter? why? How many miles are you up too on the car? how has it been holding up for you? I'm at 70k now, and for alot of american cars 70k is at or past mid-life (or so it "seems") . I hear saturn is a bit different (hopefully) I'm curious to know what to expect! I want this car to go for a long, LONG, LOOONNNGGGG time! [Big Grin]
 
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I've been using Delvac 1 5w-40 with an AC Delco Ultraguard Gold filter for a while. I have 168,000 miles on my '99 SL, with Mobil 1 exclusively used for the first 125k or so. I'll be trying out Redline's 5w-40 when I finish with my stockpile of Delvac 1. I'm also going to be trying an over-sized NAPA Gold filter when my stockpile of Ultraguard Golds runs out. Except for oil usage, the car has held up better than any other car I've owned, including my Toyota Tercel. Aside from the expected parts that need to be replaced as maintenance (i.e., brake pads), I've replaced a water pump and an oxygen sensor: that's it. My catalytic converter is starting to rattle, but the clutch is still going strong, so I don't see anything too significant on the horizon (knock on wood). It's been a great car: it takes care of you if you take care of it.
 

Al

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I think you have a good plan with the 10W-30 and 7500 miles. I would suggest the K&N and it is good for the 7500 miles-no problem. [Smile]
 
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whoops, I ran QS 5/30 for 59,000 miles with no problems. The switch to M1 comes for the benefit of longer drains. If i can get 6000-7500 miles out of it I am essentially getting better protection for the same price. The car definetely runs smoother and quieter with the M1. The K&N oil filter comes as a result of the K&N air filter I am running. There are soime photos on here of a k&N filter cut open. High Quality. I paid 9.30 for mine at Advance Auto Parts. I have experienced no oil usage in this car.
 
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I use Supertech 3614 or Napa Silver. I'm satisfied with either and will be using the Supertech more often as I'm on my last Napa Silver. I run Redline most often for a period between 4 and 5 thousand miles. My current is a mix of Redline and Amsoil 5W-30
 

joe

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i use a wix oil fiter and air filter, very good brand and oil i use penzoil 5-30 i have 127000 on my sc2 98 only thing that went wrong was the o2 sensor at about 80,000 and last week i had to have the wheel bearigs replaced i also have a 92 grand am same oil and filter that has 134000 burns no oil at a 3000 mile oil change rate saturn burns about 3/4 of a qt every 3000 but i think i need a new pcv and ects plus i drive 100 round trip to work and im always passing slow as people so my oil loss isnt bad
 

joe4324

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so far so good!, I'm glad to see I havent noticed any "major" gripes yet. oxy sensors seem to go though (is that all cars really? seems like it.) the K&N filter, I'm guessing its much higher quality then the 3614 at walmart, but does it justify the 4x greater cost? Obviously if I'm going with mobil 1 I'm not going to use an inadequate filter for the interval, but I'm after price vs performance. errrr... at least thats what I keep telling myself, M1 might be pushing that one already [Smile] I'd love to see this car over 200k...
 
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I have a 2001 Saturn SL2 with the double overhead cam engine. It now has over 51,000 miles. I am using Schaeffer 5W-30 part synthetic oil and a K&N oil filter. Right now I am using a maintenance dose of 3 oz. Auto-RX but after I change the oil I will start using Lube Control, and Fuel Power in the gas. The K&N oil filter is kind of expensive but it works really well. If I could find a cheaper oil filter that would work as well I would use it. I really like the Schaeffer's oil but if I were to find out that some other oil was better for about the same price, I would use what was better.
 
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97 Saturn SL1 147,000. First 100k used Penn 10w-30 and a fram oil on 3k change cycles. Next 12k Mobil 1 10w-30 and PureOne filterson 6k change cycles. To present 147k Schaeffer's 15w-40 with PureOne and Wix air-filter. Runs good and the 15w-40 slowed oil consumption to 13/ to 1/2 a quart every 6k. No analysis as plan on selling the Saturn in September. Only problem was several throttle body cleanings,new alternator and a new belt tensioner.
 
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1996 SL2 DOHC, 86000 miles. Runs great on Chevron Supreme 10w-30 and Supertech Filters. The oil gets drained at 2,500 and change the oil & filter every 5k. Costs only $13 every 5k. Going synthetic on this engine? I would be very interested to see if any other DOHC motors are consuming oil at inordinate rates (yep, still weary of going to M1 or Amsoil on a Saturn DOHC motor). Mike
 
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I have owned three Saturns. Before that I owned a Toyota Tercel that I bought new and before that a Toyota Corolla that I bought used. I like Toyotas but I dislike the dealerships (the ones I have had experience with). Saturn is a fairly cheap car that provides decent transportation. I have never had a real serious oil consumption problem with a Saturn. I can't say too much about the '94 Saturn I had-I traded it in for the '95 when I was able to get a really good deal. I drove the '95 for 87,000 miles. Then I traded it in for the 2001. Only problem I had with the '95 was a head gasket leak.
 

joe4324

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ToyotaNSaturn : I'm interested too in seeing how a full synth reacts in this enviroment. I'm surprised to see the kind of oil consumption wtih saturns that we do though. on other saturn forums theres a "large" number of people who have cars that consume nearly 1qt every 3k. of course there all fairly high mileage (100k+) but theres even extreme cases I've read about were it was 1qt every 500MI!!! (it was a really high mileage car though) Is it the DOHC engine that causes this seemingly large amount of oil consumption? or do nearly all engines burn more and more oil as they age? If so does a DOHC engine burn more? Its not uncomon for me to be reading a board and see a large v6-v8 truck consuming seemingly the same amount of oil as many DOHC users even thoguh the DOHC engines are half the cubic liters or less! My car just rolled 70k and it looks as if I'm using up 1/4-1/2 a qt every 3k. (give or take) With a full synth at $4 a qt, that is an expense I need to consider.
 
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I'm currently using Delvac 1300S 15W40 and a Bosch filter, I'll have that oil sent out for analysis at the end of the interval(very soon). I found the best consumption results with Mobil1 0w40 tho, I used only 2 quarts of top up in 4500 miles(WAAY better than before). I'm almost at a gallon of top up with this Delvac in just under 3500 miles. I'm thinking the synthetics may have the advantage because of the high temp stability in my case... --Matt [ June 18, 2003, 08:37 AM: Message edited by: mkosem ]
 
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Joe4324- From what I've read about the 1.9L Saturn motors, the SOHC can produce the same oil burning results, but most of the oil consumers are the DOHC models. I guess it has something to do about insufficient piston ring blow-by holes (sorry, not well versed in this!) that disallow oil from being blown-by, thus it's trapped during the combustion stroke. More air is taken in by the DOHC model, meaning more gas, more oil consumption, etc. My 1991 base SL had 185K on it before I traded it. Never used any oil like we've experienced with the DOHC models. Have you tried one of the thicker Delo oils? Chevron makes a 5 qt jug you can buy from Walmart for a decent price. I'm wondering if a thicker oil wouldn't burn as much during a 3k run compared to your current consumption rate.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ToyotaNSaturn: Joe4324- From what I've read about the 1.9L Saturn motors, the SOHC can produce the same oil burning results, but most of the oil consumers are the DOHC models. I guess it has something to do about insufficient piston ring blow-by holes (sorry, not well versed in this!) that disallow oil from being blown-by, thus it's trapped during the combustion stroke. More air is taken in by the DOHC model, meaning more gas, more oil consumption, etc. My 1991 base SL had 185K on it before I traded it. Never used any oil like we've experienced with the DOHC models. Have you tried one of the thicker Delo oils? Chevron makes a 5 qt jug you can buy from Walmart for a decent price. I'm wondering if a thicker oil wouldn't burn as much during a 3k run compared to your current consumption rate.
The SOHC and DOHC motors both have the burning problem. The only reason DOHC are perceived to have more of a problem (I believe) is that they are more popular: since there are more of them out there, more people with DOHCs complain about the oil burning. The Saturn SOHC and DOHC engines are IDENTICAL on the bottom end: only the heads are different. You could put a DOHC head on an SOHC bottom and you'd have the same engine in all the 1.9 Sx2 models. Anyway, it has to do with low-tension piston rings, and lack of proper lubrication drainage around the ring pack. Any oil you run -- any oil -- will cake on the rings eventually. This includes all synthetics. There are Saturns out there that don't burn any or much oil. I've heard this may have to do with driving style, but I don't know. Also, I've heard that manual transmission Saturns have more of a problem than automatics. This has to do with vacuum created during downshifting sucking oil past the rings. Haven't heard any hard numbers on this, but I recall a Saturn tech saying that he doesn't see nearly as many automatics that burn oil as he does manuals. I hasten to add one more thing: many DOHC engines have problems with leaky valve covers -- much more so than the SOHC engines. You'd be surprised how much oil you can lose through a small leak that isn't noticeable when you pop the hood and look around. I think a lot of DOHC motors are leaking as much oil as they are burning, and a lot of people have had luck significantly lowering their oil loss by replacing the valve cover gasket. [ June 18, 2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: kev99sl ]
 

joe4324

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All in all these seem like fairly negative traits. That said overal what are your opinoins of saturn motors? I hear alot of flak from the performance crowd (yes there is a saturn performance crowd) about saturn never taking them to fully explore the potiential of there 1.9l engines. and that they have only maintained 124HP through out the entire product line. I enjoy performance, but my 1st priority is economy and reliability. (hence I own a saturn!) so far my SC2 has fufilled both those catagories very well since I bought it in 99. Now that its paid for I want it to stick around forever, but now I'm fearful of a car that sucks down a qt of oil every 1k in a few years. man that would suck...
 
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Kev99sl- I've had 4 Saturns so far: 91 M/T SOHC, DOHC 93A/T - 96M/T - 98A/T models. Only on the 93 DOHC did I ever notice any oil consupmtion. Interesting how the bottom end of SOHC and DOHC are the same. I never realized how many leaky valve covers there are. I'll be sure to do some snooping around my engine bay more carefully! [Smile] Joe4324- Overall opinions of the motors are very good--reliable, but unexciting. The 91 SL base 185K and never leaked a drop of anything. But with only 88 (or was that 85?) horsepower, the "unexciting" part slipped in far too often! I bought this 96 just recently from a guy who really didn't take good care of it. A couple Neutra treatments and everything is back to normal (or as normal gets for a Saturn). The clutch works fine and the moonroof doesn't leak. Can't beat a car that works A-ok with a slider, and has plastic panels so it still looks quite new for only $4,000 that gets 35+MPG. [Smile] The new IONs are nice, but I'll keep the $12,000 in my pocket that I didn't spend on it. Overall, I'm quite happy with the 1.9L motor. I wish GM would have done SOMETHING with rasing the HP rating higher during it's dozen years in production.
 

joe4324

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I guess one of the major grips about IONS that I read on saturn forums is that they are getting farther and farther away from what many consider to be the "saturn vison" they are getting bigger. heavier and with bigger engines. theres always some people that want bigger engines. but they are getting heavier and heavier. and the mpg just keeps going down... [Frown]
 
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