valiant171 New Reader
8/12/11 2:39 p.m.

So my S.O. has a 1999 rubber trash can with just over 100k and it has suffering from "consumtion."

I know its the rings or something wrong with the cylinder wall lining.

It looks like its getting bad (almost 2 quarts a tank).

IIRC her parents bought the car new and in the 90's Saturn did replace some engine's but I don't think that will be feasible because of being over 100k...

Can I just hone the block put in some rings and appropiate seals and cross my fingers? I figure a junk yard motor will have the same problem so that is out.

Any ideas?

belteshazzar SuperDork
8/12/11 3:50 p.m.

pull the spark plugs out.

evenly distribute a can of sea foam into all four holes

wait until tomorrow

crank engine over

replace plugs

mrwillie Reader
8/12/11 4:23 p.m.

I wish that I had known this a few months ago. We parted out a free 1999 saturn, b/c we thought the motor was toast. The guy that had the car parked at his house didn't want to do alot of diag and wound up listening to a guy that knows even less than I do. Not that I know much at all.

belteshazzar SuperDork
8/12/11 5:20 p.m.

the rings are rarely worn. just stuck.

mad_machine SuperDork
8/12/11 9:30 p.m.

wow.. wish I know it was that easy to repair a saturn.

Did they use crappy rings or something?

Maroon92 SuperDork
8/13/11 6:23 a.m.

We have a 99. I thought they fixed the ring problem by that point.

I know the first gen cars have a lot more of a problem with consuming oil.

joey48442 SuperDork
8/13/11 7:21 a.m.
Maroon92 wrote: We have a 99. I thought they fixed the ring problem by that point. I know the first gen cars have a lot more of a problem with consuming oil.

Our 99 sl2 used a good bit of oil.


Twin_Cam SuperDork
8/13/11 8:07 a.m.

All Saturns eat oil. The MMO/Seafoam soak will help a little.

I have a theory about Saturn oil consumption. Every Saturn engine I've ever taken apart, all the ring gaps line up, so oil can essentially just take a straight shot up into the combustion chamber. I don't know if they're assembled like that at the factory, or if the rings migrate there after a while, but it's a good chance that's why a quart every 1000 miles is considered normal by the manufacturer.

mad_machine SuperDork
8/13/11 8:32 a.m.

so.. I imagine using one of those "sealing" rings.. the ones that interlock to close the gap.. would have one of those engines running forever?

Twin_Cam SuperDork
8/13/11 10:46 a.m.

I haven't heard anything good about those, other rather they are not worth the coin, and the same problem'll still burn the oil until the motor heats up.

Try the piston soak, and see what happens. Also, is that car running 5W-30 or 10W? Forget 5W, just run 10W all the time, even in the winter. I've never had problems with viscosity and I've started my car when it's -10*F outside. Saturns will literally inhale the 5W, even though that's what viscosity it says to use on the oil cap and the owner's manual.

All that said, yes, putting that much oil in the car is super annoying, but as long as there is oil in it, the motor and the rest of the car will last forever. It's a shame GM destroyed what was such a great little car.

mad_machine SuperDork
8/13/11 10:48 a.m.

GM is good about that.. not that the later opel models were not good cars, but it kind of defeated the purpose of Saturn as an "import fighter"

Nitroracer SuperDork
8/13/11 12:45 p.m.

I just changed the oil on my girlfriend's 01' saturn sl, and it has the consumption problem as well. I tried the sea foam treatment to free up the rings and it may have helped some, but I hope she remembers to check the oil often enough. With her old corolla she would get reminded to add oil when the oil pressure light came on . I did install a taurus 3.8L filter to gain a little more capacity though.

And who decided that the oil filter had to be right above the axle and drip oil everywhere?! Saturn had their own engine and chassis it wasn't shared with any other cars!

mad_machine SuperDork
8/13/11 2:57 p.m.

Ferrari 308 engine.. note where the oilfilter is. Saturn was not the only one guilty of putting an oil filter in a bad place

HStockSolo New Reader
8/13/11 4:55 p.m.

On this one the oil consumption was through the valve seals. Of course I did try the various methods of unsticking the rings, so perhaps those did work. The rings were fine when I took the pistons out (one of them lost a chunk.) I highly doubt any of those treatments did anything, but perhaps keeping Rotella 5W40 in it helped. Definitely a bad thing can happen if you let the oil level go a little low and then pull several high G turns. Keep the oil level up and change it often.

And I certainly wouldn't say all Saturns consume oil. Mine certainly doesn't now. :)

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