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Old 12-03-2014, 04:37 AM   #1
derfderf
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Default S Cars and Oil: What should I use


Zillions of posts across many a saturn forum over the years has discussed this issue, regarding S car engines specifically. The pistons were not designed with a weep hole in the oil control ring area to allow oil to easily recirculate from the oil control rings back to the rest of the oil.

This often lead to the oil control rings building up a varnish, then sticking/freezing up in their channels of the pistons and failing to control oil the amount of oil sneaking past into the cylinders and getting burned.

There are also many who have described leaky valve guide seals which also permit oil to enter the cylinders.

So what do we have? An "oil burner". You may have heard that ALL s cars burn oil.

This is a loaded statement. While different oils may help to reduce the oil control ring issues, your valve guide seals are going to wear out eventually.

How many miles has the car been driven? Was the oil changed regularly?
Many variables, few constants -- other than the engine itself.

Oil:

Will address this with both anecdotes and recommendations

I used conventional dino oil for my 92 sl2 purchased new, kept up on oil changes (3k miles with dino oil), and that thing burned 3 quarts per 3k miles at 45K.

Happy to trade that in on a 97 sc2 purchased new. Ran that on dino 5w30 up to about 100k with no oil burning issues. Once they set in, my Saturn techs recommended I try Mobil1 5w-30 full synthetic. It seemed to stabilize the RATE of oil burning. Dropped a cyl at 185 and the compression was sinking.

Reman engine at 185K. Mobil 1 5w30 full synthetic since break in. No issues (246K) 66K on reman engine
_______________

95 Sc2 purchased new. Ran that on dino 5w30 up to about 100k with no oil burning issues. Once they set in, it increased quickly. I was burning 6 quarts every 3kmi. And still passing state emissions....my Saturn techs recommended I try Mobil1 5w-30 full synthetic. It cut me down to 3 quarts per 3k but was more expensive. Valve train damage at about 180K, compression quite low; reringed and repaired some of valve train issues.
Now running mobil 1 5w30 with no oil burning issues (236K) 55k on partially rebuilt engine
_________

What oil should I use?

Depends on
where you live (temperature)
whether you can justify full synthetic for a (minimum) 13 yr old car
whether you think 5w30 provides adequate lubrication for this engine
Personal preference
whether you intend to drive it into the ground

Where you live will dictate what oil you use in the winter. I lived in Jersey so 5w30 was appropriate in the winter.

If you have no real winter, people have used 10w30, 10w40, and higher weight oils to take advantage of the consistently warmer temperatures.

For year round use, many use 10W30 or even 10W40 with the intent of providing better engine lubrication.

My PERSONAL recommendation?

Since I'm driving my cars into the ground AND will likely be the one who has to deal with oil burning issues should they arise AND can afford the extra cost of the synthetic......

Full synthetic Mobil 1 5w30 for winter if applicable
Full synthetic Mobil 1 10w30 rest of year.

But that's just me.

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Old 12-09-2014, 04:40 AM   #2
goaliemo
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If anyone has anything to add, please let me or another mod know, and we will put the information in.

Thank you,
Billy/Goaliemo
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:09 PM   #3
goaliemo
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What IS your motor oil and what is actually in it?

This is a great read for those of you interested.
http://www.upmpg.com/tech_articles/motoroil_viscosity/
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