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Old 05-07-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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What oil to use?

Not brand, as everyone I believe has their own favorite... but what weight.

My owner's manual and oil fill cap states 5W-30 for my '96 Saturn SL2 DOHC. I generally run any type of 10W-30 (seems to be on sale mor often than 5W) I find in a "High Mileage" or "blend" formula due to 135k miles on the original engine and typical saturn rings causing a lot of oil to be burned up. I add about a quart of oil every 400 miles.

I drive 7 days a week generally, but so far this year, honestly, I've only racked up roughly 2,500 miles (yes, since Jan. 1, 2008). So you can see I have a lot of short trips, work is only 6 miles away from my house but w/ no sidewalks and small shoulders so I can't bicycle safely.

I hear and read a lot about guys running 0W-40; what is the benefit? Is this recommended for a FE minded driver w/ an oil burn issue?

Should I just stick w/ the 10W or 5W stuff?

While you're thinking your response over, can someone PLEASE tell me the ratio of acetone/fuel (3oz. per gallon?) so I can try it as well.... and is it safe in my Saturn which has plastic fuel lines connecting the fuel filter to the plastic fuel rail??

Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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I put 0w20 in my geo. My other cars I put in what the cap says.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #3
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The manuals for my 1980 Buick and my 2002 GMC offer different ranges of weights based on weather temperature. The approved oils list for my VW includes a lot of different weights. Your Saturn only lists one weight as acceptable?

0W40 vs 10W40 will circulate easier in cold temperatures when the engine is first started. With so much oil being burned, and bad rings as you report, I'd probably want to run 20W50, keep it thick at all times. If you use synthetic it will still flow decently when cold.

You can probably bicycle safely. Research vehicular cycling. By law, a bicycle has all the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle, with a few exceptions.

I bet you can get more than 25mpg out of that Camaro, unless it has aggressive performance modifications. Folks with fourth gen V8 Camaros report 27mpg highway on non-hypermiling forums, and they've probably got automatic transmissions. I wouldn't be surprised if you can beat your Saturn's average with hypermiling strategies in the Camaro.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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I've been using Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy 0w-30. I never use that high-mileage stuff but I've never had an engine with over 100k that wasn't running full synthetic.

I would recommend sticking with fossil oil at your burn rate, might even look at 2-stroke oil? Totally kidding lol
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:28 PM   #5
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If it wasn't for grammar we'd have the same title on our threads.
www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7108
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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lol sorry DRW, I was at work and didn't have time to surf, just got the idea and wanted to post up the question before I forgot to ask!! hehe

Thanks for all the replies folks.

As for the remarks on the Camaro: last summer I drove to Cleveland, Ohio from Cinciannti, OH and in the heat of August, lets say 85-90*F, using cruise control the entire way (71 N is VERY flat and VERY straight during this 250 mile trip) I was able to get 22.3mpg on the way there, then 4 days later in the same exact weather heading south I got 22.8mpg. No joke. I was in 6th gear at 70mph (I forget now but roughly 1800rpm) the entire time at 19" vacuum (I added the gauge for the trip to try to maximize my FE but 19" was as high as it would go)

LT1's are the wrong cars to hypermile... LS1 cars ('98-02 V8's) make their torque a lot higher in the RPM's than LT1 cars. Guys usually report 26-30 mpg in their LS1 cars on road trips.

My Camaro has custom tune, plugs, wires, throttle body coolant bypass, emissions removed, headers, full 3" exhaust, lots of heavy tubular suspension upgrades, and stock 3.42 gears. Not the best combo to achieve good MPG. Besides, its up on jackstands and will remain there for.... well.... maybe forever.

So, I think a thicker oil would be better, I hear some valve noise when the oil gets a quart low, I'm betting a thicker oil will reduce the oil burning issue.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #7
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My `93 Volvo owner's manual calls for 10w30, but I normally run a 'high mileage' 5w30 year round. My Wife's VW uses either Castrol Syntec 5w40 or 0w30...both of which are VW approved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
I hear and read a lot about guys running 0W-40; what is the benefit? Is this recommended for a FE minded driver w/ an oil burn issue?
Most 0W40s is still fairly thick @ operating temperature, so I doubt there would be any FE advantages...however, it might be more resistant to burning/consumption. But then again, almost any 40 weight oil as well as any 'high mileage' oil could do that.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:46 AM   #8
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The high mileage oils did more for my smoking and consumption problems than 20W50 did, but I wasn't suspecting rings so much as valve seals etc. Anyway, even 20W50 was needing a quart every week or two or about 500 miles, but the H-M ones have changed that to a quart or two between changes, hard to remember exactly but it's definitely not more often than every 2 months.

All H-M brands aren't the same though, they do slightly different things... Pennzoil seems to have the best sealants, and it's cleaning action is more gentle, Castrol and Motomaster brand are similar, then the valvoline maxlife seems to have very high detergent and not much in the way of seal conditioner, at least that's how they seem to me. I've just got the Canadian exclusive Mobil Super 2000 to try, due to it being on sale, hoping it's closer to the pennzoil than the valvoline.

Anyway, point being is that you might want to try different H-M oils, since they vary slightly, I'd be inclined to first try the valvoline maxlife on the hunch that the rings might be stuck, and that a high detergent oil might get in there and loosen them up again.

With any oil consumption problem these days, you should always replace your PCV valve if it's more than a year or so old, don't "check" it, there's not really a good way to test them for operation unless you have X-ray eyes. There's an emissions systems trainer that goes round the drive clean certified repair facilities around here that's quite a card, he holds up a PCV valve and says "Here's how you test a used PCV valve" and proceeds to smash it with a 5lb hammer... this being the funny/shock way to get across that PCV valves are a regular service item and can't be assumed to be working correctly just because they rattle.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:38 AM   #9
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I keep a spare PCV in the trunk and the one currently in the car is only a few months old... I'm on it!! hehe

so, what is the verdict? Run a 40 or 50 weight oil? Play around with blends?

also, can someone address the acetone question from my first post?

Thanks
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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If your rings are shot, I'd leave the acetone alone, will really thin the oil out if it gets through with the blowby.
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