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Old 01-10-2010, 11:49 AM   #1
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my new mileage monster.

well after a few weeks of searching i finally got what i consider one of the better fe cars thats still affordable. its a 1994 saturn sl1. this thing is mint and is easily the nicest beater ive owned. its got 110k on it and very few options. it does have a/c and p/s but thats it. everything else is bottom of the line. im going to start a new gas log on it after i break it in to my style but right now im getting mid 30's for mpg. im hoping for around 40ish before i take a wrench to it. ive got a wai and grill block planned for it as well as switching the fluids to synthetic. gonna do the basics too like filling the tires up and stuff. not much in the way of aftermarket to get better mpg's so im gonna have to get creative.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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the sl1's are known for their mileage abilities. one thing is to maybe do the tune up things like plugs and wires or what not depending on what the previous owners did with it.

at 110k on the car, it should last a while. keep it under 2500rpm (maybe 2000) and drive it easy. I think they were stick shifts. you should easily be able to achieve the 40s. that being said, every car is different so take your time with it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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check oil every fill up + go to saturnfans.com for good advice to fix your car
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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ya im finding out about the oil thing. some of my other beaters have used oil too but they were just tired, these saturns just drink it. their are a few tricks i guess to loosening up the oil rings to curb it abit. im just gonna watch it for a while and go from their. the other cars i just dumped used oil into and all was fine but this car is a little too nice for that.
the car just had a tune up and new tires put on but i may play with it abit. id rather have a reusable type filter so if i can find one ill probably get it and i like experimenting with plugs (love side gapping) so ill probably ditch those too. im hoping to see decent gains by switching to syn oils. amsoil in the tranny (5sp by the way) and rotella t for the motor. of course itll only make oil consumption more of an issue so ill see if its worth it.
im really looking into the underdrive pullies for it. ive had amazing success with them on prior cars but i was looking for power then not fe. i believe they will work just as well for that purpose too. exhaust may be in the works too since the stock one is a little ratty. i think with a nice laid out system i may see some gains their as well.
+1 on the sarturnfans site. its great even if they all hate my car. no sohc love over their.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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I second the saturnfans.com page... just completely avoid the "s-series Mods" section. Wow, scary stuff in there.

40's should be your average in no time. Check my garage entry for pics of a HAI and you can check my fuel log to see how much it helped.

The oil burning isn't really fixable w/o re-ringing. MMO soaks, Seafoam, ATF flush's... blah blah, waste of money. I've tried everything. The burning just gets worse and worse.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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im loving the hai. im thinking of something along those lines since my stock setup is very different than yours. as for the oil im not too worried about it. i have seen some soot at the end of the tail pipe (which fell off today so im gonna need an exhaust soon) but i havent tracked oil consumption yet. the dipstick was on full when i got it so ill check it later. im already about 500 miles on this car and ive only really driven it for 3 days.
how many miles are on your saturn project84? im hoping to hit at least 200k with mine but itll be a lot of gas log entries before i do that.
im also trying to put off the change to syn fluids before i get a good baseline but my tranny hates the cold and i know a fluid change would stop that. gear shifting is very notchy and always grinds a little going into 5th until the car gets up to temp then everything is fine.
this tank is looking real good. im not doing any tricks but driving it like a normal person so i can really get a good idea of mpg. if i go by the gas gauge and base it off the last (and my first) tank full im doing much, much better. at the half way point on the first tank i was as 140miles, on this tank im not even their yet and already at 200. maybe ill do an early fill to see but id rather not.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
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I was thinking about the common Saturn oil burning issue. You would think that with a name like "Saturn", they would have good rings. Anyway...

Is there some kind of preventative maintenance that can be done to avoid the issue, or at least increase the pre-oil-burning life of the engine? Short oil change intervals / excessively expensive oil? Or would that not even help? (IMO it wouldn't be worth it anyway, dump in a quart every tank later vs. do lots of extra oil change labor now.)
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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supposedly its a severe engine design flaw. no oil drains in the pistons or something, i havent quite grasped it yet due to no photos. the route cause ends up being that the rings on the pistons get stuck and allow lots of blowby. the cheap fixes and gm's own solution to avoid warrenty claims is to soak the pistons with marvel mystery oil or gm's own cleaner which is basically mmo. its supposed to loosen the crud and rejuvinate the rings. seafoam and a atf flush are also common fixes. some swear they work other not but they all have the issue. i wasnt really aware of it when i bought the car, at least to its full extent.
heres the bulletin.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38790


notice oil consumption is considered ok on your brand new car if it consumes less than a qt of oil 1500miles. whata bargin.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kit352 View Post
<snip>


notice oil consumption is considered ok on your brand new car if it consumes less than a qt of oil 1500miles. whata bargin.
The owner's manual for the 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente (essentially a '65 Mustang drivetrain in a regular car body) that I had about 30 years ago stated that one quart per 1k miles was considered adequately low oil consumption...that was for a new car (after break-in).
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:56 AM   #10
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1 quart per 1000 miles is specified as normal for brand new Volkswagens.

So if you have a relatively young S-series and want to prevent the ring damage, you should do the MMO soak and that may help?
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