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more oil consumption with thicker oil? #4525966
09/25/17 04:28 PM
09/25/17 04:28 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
friendly_jacek Offline OP
friendly_jacek  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
I got a 03 saturn ion for my son used with 135000 miles and changed oil due to unknown history (unknown oil looked clean).
i followed the oil change light since.
the first OCI was 5,500 miles, mostly city driving, with consumption of about 1-1.5qt (5W30 synthetic G-oil). seeing oil consumption, i decided to switch to mineral oil (5W30 Halvoline).
next OCI was almost 7000 miles, mixed city/hwy, with consumption of about 2 qts (regularly topped). seeing that oil consumption, i switched to 15W40, but there is already a consumption of about 4 qts in about 6000 miles (no oil change light yet). Looks much worse, but he drives mostly on hwy now.

clearly 15W40 is not helping. I guess i can try kreen piston soak/flush next. Anything else to try? Should I go back to thinner oils?

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4525981
09/25/17 04:56 PM
09/25/17 04:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
The oil issues with these are well known and I am going to assume you must have run across that with internet searches.

I would use a high-quality synthetic at a modest OCI. This is advice I received in the same situation (different vehicle but same root cause - oil control rings/drains). Given your location, going to a 10w-30 before a 15w-40 would have been my move (in fact, was). Once these get to the point they use oil, if you manage to get it tamed, it will return quickly if you go back to standard habits ((dino oil, longer (standard) drain intervals)). Especially since you say it's urban miles, keep the OCIs modest. If you don't take some pro-active course, it will get can get much worse pretty fast.

Saturn and some Toyota and Isuzu/Honda/Acura owners have a lot of experience with this and you can get advice there. There was a spate of this engineering idiocy across multiple manufacturers from like '97 to '04.Mine would be to flush the engine, soak the pistons to try to clear the oil rings and drains, run a sturdy synthetic 10w-30 HM like m1. Top up frequently. This should get you back to the modest level of consumption you were originally seeing.

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4525986
09/25/17 05:03 PM
09/25/17 05:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 119
North TEXAS
oldoak2000 Offline
oldoak2000  Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 119
North TEXAS
My Saturn also chuggs oil at highway speeds - regardless of weight/conv/syn.// interval/ or MMO soaks. It dont care.
sips in the city.

at 30+ mpg, I'll feed her all the (cheap) oil she wants . . .

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4525987
09/25/17 05:05 PM
09/25/17 05:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,990
Texas
4WD Offline
4WD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,990
Texas
I respectfully yield the balance of my time to BrocL and clinebarger on this one ...

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4525993
09/25/17 05:11 PM
09/25/17 05:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,198
Slovenia EU
Kamele0N Offline
Kamele0N  Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,198
Slovenia EU
Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
seeing oil consumption, i decided to switch to mineral oil


This is where you have failed

Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
Should I go back to thinner oils?


Thinner oils are usually synthetic......but since your car is already an oil guzzler....resolve that problem first...


2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Shell Rimula R6M 10w40
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: Oro_O] #4526006
09/25/17 05:16 PM
09/25/17 05:16 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
friendly_jacek Offline OP
friendly_jacek  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
Originally Posted By: Oro_O
The oil issues with these are well known and I am going to assume you must have run across that with internet searches.


oil burning that saturns were famous for was in the S series prior to 2002. 03+ ions were supposedly not effected by it.

the other things you said sound good and I'll do that. i do have that 10W30 castrol magnatec in my oil stash and will try that next.

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526063
09/25/17 06:20 PM
09/25/17 06:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,446
Toronto Canada
WobblyElvis Offline
WobblyElvis  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,446
Toronto Canada
Take the plastic pipe between the throttle body and the air filter off. Is the throttle plate covered in oil? Make sure the air filter is not extra dirty. This is the 2.2 ecotec engine which is not known to have oil consumption problems.

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526114
09/25/17 07:18 PM
09/25/17 07:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,183
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Offline
clinebarger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,183
Fort Worth, Texas
Some "Low Tension" ring designs can cause greater oil consumption with higher viscosity oils. I have seen this first hand on brand new engines & higher mileage engines....The latest was a ZZ4 GM crate engine with 25,000 miles on it....Been drinking 2 qts of 20w50 every 3,000 miles for over 10 years according to the owner. Smoked the crankcase-No "under intake" leaks, Pulled 8 of the rocker studs that intersect the insect the Intake runners & applied thread sealant, Checked Blow-by(normal), Valve Cover baffles in-place, PCV valve is good, Great Leak-Down numbers, No smoke upon start-up so the valve guide seals are doing their job. Changed the plugs as all of them showed signs of oil burning.

We switched over to a 5w30 synthetic & monitored oil consumption, It slowed the consumption to 1/2 a quart in 5,000 miles.

Certain engine can also burn a quart of oil & the consumption will STOP dead in it tracks IF you leave it a quart low, I know of 2 HARD cases of this.....Our 1997 S10 4.3L/NV3500 shop truck is 1 of them.

If your oil consumption is lower with Xw30....Run Xw30, Which is what a 2.2L Ecotech calls for anyway!


The L92 in my Camaro has low tension rings, But....I run 5w40 HDEO because my high valve spring rates & I haven't had a noticeable amount of oil consumption. This is a Case By Case situation.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526139
09/25/17 07:43 PM
09/25/17 07:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,560
SE Texas
2015_PSD Online content
2015_PSD  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,560
SE Texas
Fill the cylinders with Berryman B-12 Chemtool and let it soak overnight. Turn the engine over by hand to force it out of the spark plug holes and then change the oil. Change it again in 500 miles and you should see a significant reduction in oil use if the rings were the problem, which they typically are in Saturn engines.


2018 MB AMG GLC43 3.0L Coupe - Castrol 0W-40/Purflux
2018 MB C300 2.0L - M1 0W-40/OEM
2015 F-250 6.7L PS Diesel - Delo 15W-40/CQ Blue
2014 Explorer 3.5L Limited - M1 AFE 0W-20/FU
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526164
09/25/17 08:11 PM
09/25/17 08:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 551
South OZ
KL31 Offline
KL31  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 551
South OZ
Maybe just check the pcv is ok and the intake is not full of oil. Simple oil consumption fix for many cars. Start with the simple things first.


95 MX-3 2.5L|Shell Helix Ultra 5W40|Wix 51356
04 Focus 1.8L|Wesfil Cooper WZ63|Valvoline MST 5W30
05 Kluger 3.3L|Wesfil Cooper WZ418|Magnatec 10W30 Semi Syn
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: 2015_PSD] #4526169
09/25/17 08:13 PM
09/25/17 08:13 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 1,232
Minnesota
philipp10 Offline
philipp10  Offline
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 1,232
Minnesota
Originally Posted By: 2015_PSD
Fill the cylinders with Berryman B-12 Chemtool and let it soak overnight. Turn the engine over by hand to force it out of the spark plug holes and then change the oil. Change it again in 500 miles and you should see a significant reduction in oil use if the rings were the problem, which they typically are in Saturn engines.


Sounds like a good plan....and if it should fail, but some cheap oil and let it burn. To me it's pretty cheap to throw in a quart every 1000 miles or so.

Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526204
09/25/17 08:58 PM
09/25/17 08:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,183
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Offline
clinebarger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,183
Fort Worth, Texas
This is not a "Saturn" engine, It's a 2.2L Ecotec.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: friendly_jacek] #4526333
09/26/17 02:19 AM
09/26/17 02:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 416
Martinsburg West Virginia
71Chevyguy Offline
71Chevyguy  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 416
Martinsburg West Virginia
Kind of odd to hear that an Ecotec is using so much oil. I had a Saturn Ion and it never used a drop, till I put in G-oil. The first week of having that stuff in there, it used about a quart. Even smoked and left a blue cloud when pulling away in the morning. After about 2 weeks it was fine and didn't use any more for the rest of the oil change (7.5k). That car never used a drop of oil again, even on another run of G-oil about 30k later. Never had issues with G-oil in any vehicle except that one. Was very interesting to come across your post and see something similar. I would try soaking with Berrymans or Seafoam and see if that makes a difference. Not going into details about the soak, because I know, you know what you are doing. Or maybe do another run of G-oil if you still have some? Maybe mine fixed itself by keeping it in there? I remember everyone saying that oil would loosen stuff up.


15 Chevy Sonic RS M1 Dexos1 / Delco filter
99 VW Beetle TDI M1TDT / Mann filter
98 Buick LeSabre PHM + G oil / Bosch filter
85 Skylark 2.5
71 Nova 250
Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: 71Chevyguy] #4526618
09/26/17 11:01 AM
09/26/17 11:01 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
friendly_jacek Offline OP
friendly_jacek  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
Originally Posted By: 71Chevyguy
Kind of odd to hear that an Ecotec is using so much oil. I had a Saturn Ion and it never used a drop, till I put in G-oil. The first week of having that stuff in there, it used about a quart. Even smoked and left a blue cloud when pulling away in the morning. After about 2 weeks it was fine and didn't use any more for the rest of the oil change (7.5k). That car never used a drop of oil again, even on another run of G-oil about 30k later. Never had issues with G-oil in any vehicle except that one. Was very interesting to come across your post and see something similar. I would try soaking with Berrymans or Seafoam and see if that makes a difference. Not going into details about the soak, because I know, you know what you are doing. Or maybe do another run of G-oil if you still have some? Maybe mine fixed itself by keeping it in there? I remember everyone saying that oil would loosen stuff up.


this is a very interesting and G-oil/Ion-specific post. there might be some truth in it, because the first 2 OCIs with G-oil in another car (toyota yaris) resulted in minor oil consumption (like 0.5 qt in 8000 miles) that disappeared for good by the 3rd OCI.

the thing that was very different in Ion was there was initially only minimal consumption with G-oil, and I was initially relieved that it wasn't an oil burner, and suddenly later toward the end of OCI it accelerated and surprised me (drained 4qts out of initial 5qts + some minor top ups). it does sound like some piston deposits developed toward the end of OCI. Furthermore, I noticed a small amount of sludge on a dipstick by the end of that OCI when it got cold and my son did some short trips at that time.

However, i forgot to mention that I actually did a single kreen piston soak/flush cycle before the first oil change and there was nothing really in the filter, so I was sure the engine was clean. Furthermore, I inspected under the valve cover a year later, when I replaced chain tensioner, and the engine was clean indeed.

I checked and I have a bottle of B12 on a shelf. So, i'll do another piston soak/flush with that, change oil back to G-oil and see what happens. BTW, this is a car with the highest mileage I ever head (currently over 158000, so I'm thinking it could be also just wear and tear of the old age.


Re: more oil consumption with thicker oil? [Re: clinebarger] #4526621
09/26/17 11:05 AM
09/26/17 11:05 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
friendly_jacek Offline OP
friendly_jacek  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,605
southeast US
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Some "Low Tension" ring designs can cause greater oil consumption with higher viscosity oils. I have seen this first hand on brand new engines & higher mileage engines....The latest was a ZZ4 GM crate engine with 25,000 miles on it....Been drinking 2 qts of 20w50 every 3,000 miles for over 10 years according to the owner. Smoked the crankcase-No "under intake" leaks, Pulled 8 of the rocker studs that intersect the insect the Intake runners & applied thread sealant, Checked Blow-by(normal), Valve Cover baffles in-place, PCV valve is good, Great Leak-Down numbers, No smoke upon start-up so the valve guide seals are doing their job. Changed the plugs as all of them showed signs of oil burning.

We switched over to a 5w30 synthetic & monitored oil consumption, It slowed the consumption to 1/2 a quart in 5,000 miles.

Certain engine can also burn a quart of oil & the consumption will STOP dead in it tracks IF you leave it a quart low, I know of 2 HARD cases of this.....Our 1997 S10 4.3L/NV3500 shop truck is 1 of them.

If your oil consumption is lower with Xw30....Run Xw30, Which is what a 2.2L Ecotech calls for anyway!


The L92 in my Camaro has low tension rings, But....I run 5w40 HDEO because my high valve spring rates & I haven't had a noticeable amount of oil consumption. This is a Case By Case situation.


very good points, thanks!

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