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    Thread: Burning oil - 5w30 to 10w40?

    1. Member ssaffioti's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:00 AM #1
      Friend of mine has a 160k-mile '00 Saturn coupe that is using enough oil to foul spark plugs in two years of driving. He's a student and needs to affordably nurse it along at least until graduation.

      I was going to suggest using a heavier oil than the 5w-30 it calls for. I think a 10w-40 would be safe, but I have seen many owners manuals over the years that specifically say to not use a 40 weight oil. I assumed that was mainly for economy reasons, and especially living in Texas, that there wouldn't be anything wrong with it.

      Do you agree that 10w40 would probably be a better (and perfectly safe) choice here? Will it make much difference in the oil consumption? Any other product he should use?

    2. Member cryption's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:05 AM #2
      Give it a shot, and try a high miles oil
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    3. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:09 AM #3
      Do what my friend did with a car burning oil. Stop leak + 20w50. Lasted him another 4 years when he junked it, and bought a new STi.
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    4. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:32 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      Do what my friend did with a car burning oil. Stop leak + 20w50. Lasted him another 4 years when he junked it, and bought a new STi.
      THIS
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    5. Member adrew's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:34 AM #5
      The 40-weight helped a bit in my old Trooper.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    6. Member GermaniuM's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:36 AM #6
      I agree with the guy a above. Try 20w50.

    7. Member compy222's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:40 AM #7
      more viscosity will slow the seepage past the rings/seals in general. it will generally make for slightly harder starts and potentially more engine wear in very unpleasant weather conditions.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    8. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 10:43 AM #8
      ^ any colder weather concerns are probably a non-issue in Texas.

      I'd give it a shot. At 160k miles in a Saturn, that car is well beyond its 9th life.
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      02-22-2012 10:46 AM #9
      Sure it's burning oil, and not leaking past the spark plug tube seals? (I assume all coupes have the DOHC engine?)

    10. Member ssaffioti's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 11:25 AM #10
      saron81 :
      Sure it's burning oil, and not leaking past the spark plug tube seals? (I assume all coupes have the DOHC engine?)
      That I couldn't tell you... I haven't seen his car in quite some time. He had the car towed to a mechanic when it started misfiring - mechanic changed the plugs but made no mention of leaking spark plug tube seals.

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      02-22-2012 11:47 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by ssaffioti View Post
      That I couldn't tell you... I haven't seen his car in quite some time. He had the car towed to a mechanic when it started misfiring - mechanic changed the plugs but made no mention of leaking spark plug tube seals.
      Might want to take a look at that. It's a pretty common failure on a lot of DOHC engines.
      Some cars have them built into the valve cover gasket, some are seperate o rings. Mechanic didn't try to determine the source of the oil? Time for a new mechanic.

    12. Member ssaffioti's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 12:29 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by saron81 View Post
      Might want to take a look at that. It's a pretty common failure on a lot of DOHC engines.
      Some cars have them built into the valve cover gasket, some are seperate o rings. Mechanic didn't try to determine the source of the oil? Time for a new mechanic.
      I should have answered your question more accurately, sorry! I meant to say, I have no idea about the condition of the tube seals, but we do know it burns oil. It's smoking a bit and the electrode end of the plugs was completely fouled.

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      02-22-2012 12:38 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by ssaffioti View Post
      I should have answered your question more accurately, sorry! I meant to say, I have no idea about the condition of the tube seals, but we do know it burns oil. It's smoking a bit and the electrode end of the plugs was completely fouled.
      Right... but where is the oil coming from? It could be leaking past the spark plug tube seals, which would be a cheap and easy fix, or it could be worn valves/guides/seals/piston rings which probably wouldn't be worth fixing. If it's the later, just drive it 'till it breaks, or needs new plugs again.

    14. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 12:48 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by saron81 View Post
      Right... but where is the oil coming from? It could be leaking past the spark plug tube seals, which would be a cheap and easy fix, or it could be worn valves/guides/seals/piston rings which probably wouldn't be worth fixing. If it's the later, just drive it 'till it breaks, or needs new plugs again.
      The fact that the electrodes are fouling tells me it's not likely to be the tube seals. That would just cause a miss with a rich condition, and a small amount of oil seeping in. This seems more like bad rings, or valve seals.

      Just from my experience, and the few details we're getting.
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

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      02-22-2012 12:51 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post
      The fact that the electrodes are fouling tells me it's not likely to be the tube seals. That would just cause a miss with a rich condition, and a small amount of oil seeping in. This seems more like bad rings, or valve seals.

      Just from my experience, and the few details we're getting.
      We had a Mini here the other day with the tube seals leaking so badly it wouldn't start at all.
      Plugs were coated.

    16. Member Süsser Tod's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 12:51 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by saron81 View Post
      Right... but where is the oil coming from? It could be leaking past the spark plug tube seals, which would be a cheap and easy fix, or it could be worn valves/guides/seals/piston rings which probably wouldn't be worth fixing. If it's the later, just drive it 'till it breaks, or needs new plugs again.
      If it was that, the oil wouldn't make it into the cylinder.

    17. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 12:54 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by saron81 View Post
      We had a Mini here the other day with the tube seals leaking so badly it wouldn't start at all.
      Plugs were coated.
      but did it burn oil when it was started? I'm assuming when he says burning, the car is blowing blue smoke, and it's not just leaving the oil pan via any way possible.
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    18. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 12:55 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by kerridwen View Post
      If it was that, the oil wouldn't make it into the cylinder.
      There'd be a small amount that made it around the threads. I've had a slight leak on an old honda that in turn would cause it to blow a tuft of blue smoke. replaced the VC gasket and tube seals, and it never did it again.

      (That honda also only had like 100psi compression across all 4, it was beat to death.)
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    19. Member compy222's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 01:09 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by DustinM View Post

      (That honda also only had like 100psi compression across all 4, it was beat to death.)
      good lord, it probably had about 12hp left...
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    20. 02-22-2012 01:44 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      good lord, it probably had about 12hp left...
      Out of 13, not bad.
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    21. Member travis_gli's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 11:58 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by emkaytree View Post
      Out of 13, not bad.
      Thats hilarious :-P

    22. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 12:04 PM #22
      I have to LOL at that, but the honda cost a whole hundred bucks, and had most of its interior. The engine got some type of stop leak that I swear was the consistency of almost dried superglue.

      It lasted me almost a year, and I sold it for a profit.
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    23. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 12:07 PM #23
      Try 20W50.

      I'd avoid using stop leak, unless the heavier weight does not fix it.
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    24. Member DustinM's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 12:09 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      Try 20W50.

      I'd avoid using stop leak, unless the heavier weight does not fix it.
      It's definitely evil stuff, but I'm going to guess it'll need to gum up some of the non existant seals.
      Offikial Minister of Bad Judgements and Floridian Truths of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan

    25. Member travis_gli's Avatar
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      02-28-2012 12:13 PM #25
      10w40 is going in the g/f's GTI this weekend. It's burning about a quart between oil changes. When I still worked at the garage we use to switch all high mileage cars over to a heavier weight. Works like a charm.

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