Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'97 Saturn Coupe SC2, Oil Consumption
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
- Jonathan S.
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 dont 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 dont run the engine low in oil.