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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'97 Saturn Coupe SC2, Oil Consumption

Q: I own a ‘97 Saturn Coupe SC2, it consumes about 4 quarts of oil every 3000 miles. I change my oil every 2800-3000 miles on the dot, and I do not see an oil leak nor do I see smoke out the back. I have been told by Saturn that oil consumption is high, and I have been told by my mechanic that in order to try and solve this they will have to take apart the engine to figure out the problem, and I am looking at a good $1000. Is there anything I should know about my car that might help me solve this problem, or do I need to solve this problem?

- Jonathan S.

A: Yes you have a high oil consumption problem and I doubt that you can have it corrected for under $1000. The cause for the oil consumption is likely an internal engine problem and will require removal of the engine for inspection and repair. If you don’t correct the problem you will find that other problems will begin to occur. Because the oil is being consumed by the engine the catalytic converter is working over time to deal with the oil. That is one of the reasons you do not see much of any smoke out the exhaust. Converter failure is greatly increased due to this. Also, the oxygen sensors (your car has more than one) are likely to become clouded/contaminated for the same reason and need to be replaced more often. Due to the age of the vehicle (now 7 model years old) you should have the whole vehicle evaluated to be sure that the cost of repairs do not exceed the value of the vehicle. For a guideline use the price of a rebuilt engine and its installation along with any other repair needs that are found while the vehicle is being evaluated. Once you have all the information, you can make an informed decision on whether or not the vehicle is worth the investment. In the mean time don’t run the engine low in oil.

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