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Old 09-18-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
our1vue
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Default 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Over the last 20,000 miles, our vue has started to use oil. It currently has 143,000 miles on
it. It looks like it is going to use about 1 quart for every 2000 miles. There is no oil on the
ground so it must be burning it somewhere. I've run Mobil 1 since day one and changed it every 3-4 thousand miles. I can't believe mine is the only one doing this. Has anyone tracked this down and know where the oil goes in these engines ? Thanks.

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Old 09-18-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

143,000 miles
1qt / 2000 miles


It's burning it.

Check your plugs to make sure they all look the same (might as well replace them if it's been awhile).

If the plugs all look the same, it's not concentrated in one cylinder, and I wouldn't worry about it...

...
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Crankcase ventilation. If you exhaust every means to find nothing definitive but normal wear and tear with a high mileage engine with excellent oil use, crankcase ventilation may be only place that depends on correct baffling to reduce oil ingestion as combustion blowby is vented back to the intake manifold. Wear and tear will eventually create more blowby gases, more to feed back into the intake system. There are many, including me, that notice oil coating the intake manifolds - this is the result of a closed crankcase ventilation system to channel gases back to the intake system for reburning as part of emissions control. When designed correctly it goes almost unnoticed but those that remove their intake manifolds see this coating as something wrong and clean it, never understanding that the moment the engine is restarted the oil coating continues. This doesn't mean its bad and that oil is being consumed but that its just the oil mist floating that eventually coats everything in its path as it travels around from the bottom of the cylinders to the intake manifold. Most of this oil mist just stays in the engine while the smallest and lightest float out to eventually make it into the top of the cylinders as part of the fresh fuel/air mixture for burning. Worn rings means more blowby, more blowby means more gases passed back into the intake system. Oil use goes up, gradually. That's just how it goes........

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Old 09-18-2010, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

High mileage ? What about all those saturn commercials where they had owners with over 300,000 miles on their cars ? :-)
emsvitil - I'll pull the plugs and see how they look.
fdryer - I'm surprised that I would have blow-by. I've been running synthetic oil since day 1 and that is suppose to greatly cut down on the wear and tear of the engine.
I had a corsica with a 2.2 that wasn't burning oil at 150,000 (but it did rust out a head gasket, so no one is perfect :-). The corsica was a pushrod engine vs the OHC on the vue. I heard that OHC engines were more prone to burning oil than pushrod engines. Looks like this may be true. Still I'm kinda disappointed that the GM ecotec engine is burning oil. Doesn't give me a real warm feeling about the ecotec engine they are putting in the cruze.

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Old 09-18-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Its always been a roll of the dice as to how any engine can run beyond design limits (there are none) as no one guarantees oil consumption at any level. Have you seen or read of documentaton stating one brand of engine will do so and so and use oil at a specific rate? An engine runs and uses oil. No one has written in stone the oil useage patterns of any engine and if you believe in hype then you've fallen into the oil companies favor. Europeans pay high prices for fuel and oil. No subsidies over there. Oil changes are in the tens of thousands of miles, not 3k or 4k miles. The waste in running M1 and replacing it at 3k miles doesn't guarantee less wear and tear as you found out. Successfully running to 150k miles is no small feat while still having little oil use. When GM decided on the oil change indicator, OLM, they took great care in developing their program to cover as many variables as possible to account for every pattern of engine use from the short stop and shop grocery/soccer schedule/srtictly in-town driving to the long haul treks piling up mileage in one drive; the OLM determines shorter changes for daily stops and longer intervals for the longer traveler. There are members using this OLM indicating 5k mileage changes while others have theirs around 8k miles. Mine tells me to change around 6k in NYC surroundings. The OLM works but far too many owners still cling to 3k oil changes that are simply outdated in view of synthetics that last far longer than 10k miles. Its always an individual choice..................

To not expect wear and tear after 150k miles is simply wrong. Nothing lasts forever otherwise someone just invented perpetual motion. It doesn't exist.

...
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

ALL engines including new, have blow-by. Just as all engines use some amount of oil.

Although I will admit a quart in 2K on a small engine with 143K on it seems a bit much.

I would like to add something to fdryer's comment which may not be applicable. If these engines are equipped with a PCV valve, one not working correctly can cause increased oil consumption. I had one stick open on an engine and it was literally slerping the oil up. I went from 1 quart in 2K to 1 quart in 1K. Keep in mind this was a chevy 350 with 210K miles on it at the time. I put a new valve in, and it went back to its normal 1 quart every 2k.

One stuck closed can also cause increased oil use.


Another possibility is valve seals.

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

You're right at the margin ... GM's specs for excessive oil consumption for 2.2 is one quart - or more - per 2000 miles. If your Vue was within warranty - and you took to dealer - they'd probably argue the consumption is normal.

I've attached a service manual extract with a few items which increase oil consumption.

Improper oil viscosity ... use recommended viscosity for prevailing temps.
Continuous high speed driving and/or severe usage.
Crankcase ventilation system restrictions or malfunctioning components.
Valve guides and/or valve stem oil seals worn.


I've had a few vehicles that consumed oil through the years. The first clues I recall of consumption is white or blue-white smoke from tail-pipe, usually most prevalent during the first start of a new day and when closing throttle after revving engine to higher RPM.

...
"Good judgement comes from experience - and a lot of that comes from bad judgement." ... Will Rogers

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Old 09-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

blue smoke on startup, or when you take off from a stop is usually from worn valve guides or seals.

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Old 09-19-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

ourvue; does the Mobil1 you use meet the viscosity requirement of your VUE; 5W30? For example, if you used 0W20 in a new engine you would expect oil consumption because the engine is clearanced for 5W30.

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Old 09-19-2010, 10:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

I would have loved to had both our SC's use just 1 qt in 2000 miles...

IMO normal wear and tear has caught up with you.

The 2.4L Ecotec in the SKY has been good, not requiring oil to be added. It has about 25k on it. My VUE has 22k and doesn't show any signs of oil usage.

...
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:07 AM   #11
mrtube
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
I would have loved to had both our SC's use just 1 qt in 2000 miles...

IMO normal wear and tear has caught up with you.

The 2.4L Ecotec in the SKY has been good, not requiring oil to be added. It has about 25k on it. My VUE has 22k and doesn't show any signs of oil usage.
BobbP is on the other side of the spectrum, surprising he doesnt have oil consumption due to neither engine being broken in yet

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Old 09-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Neither of our Saturn's are used on the highway often. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

I'm still using 0w-20 synthetic in the VUE, the SKY gets generic 5w-30 dino oil from the dealer...

mrtube - Funny you mention that... My UOA's still say my engine is still breaking in. The Japanese 0w-20 oil has over 3 times the anti wear moly additives that Mobil 1 uses.

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Old 09-23-2010, 04:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

1saxman - I'm running 5W-30 as it states on the engine fill cap :-).
mrtube- I've never changed the PCV valve yet. I'll pick one of those up when I get the plugs.
I haven't seen the tell tail blue smoke coming out the exhaust. Maybe the cat converter is cleaning it before I can see it ?? I
used to have a Camaro that when going down a hill could lay
down a blue smoke screen that was easily visible.
I guess what upsets me is in 1992 GM could make a 2.2 engine that that didn't burn oil after 120K miles. Now in 2003, they can't make an 2.2 engine that doesn't start burning oil after 100K miles. And this is their state of the art ECOTEC engine. Is the GM engineers getting dumber as time is going on ? Hmm, given the state of GM now, I guess I know the answer.

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Old 09-24-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

Mine has 160,000 miles and isn't burning anything. I have used dino oil from day one. I changed the oil at 500 miles for the first change, at 1500 for second change and from there after have relied on the OLM. It averages about 7500 miles per oil change since I do all highway.
I had an 84 sunbird that started burning oil at 150,000. Just kept adding when needed and changing the oil and it ran till 250,000 when I sold it. When started, it blew a little blue smoke and you could smell it burning if driving behind it, but it ran like a top.
If the PCV valve doesn't cure it, just keep adding oil when needed and do regular changes. I'd switch to topping off with dino for not wanting to burn synthetic dollars up between each oil change.

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Old 09-25-2010, 12:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

pdough - want to trade engines ? :-) I notice that you have
a 2006. Wonder if they changed something to stop it from
burning oil.

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Old 09-25-2010, 05:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

You know, when a company produces a few hundred thousand engines, not all of them are going to be 100% perfect.

All engines behave slightly different. And ALL engines burn some amount of oil by nature. Its impossible for a piston to travel down a cylinder and not leave a film of oil on the cylinder which will be burnt.

An engine using a quart in 3-4K miles in my opinion is fine. Although I prefer to see 1/4 of a quart in 3K on an engine with less then 100K on it.

I believe the Honda 3.5 in the wifes vue uses around 1/4 of a quart in 6K miles. I'm sure it will gradually increase over time as well. The engine currently has 67K on it.


Valve seals will cause blue smoke on startup. The cat will not effect this on a cold engine as the cat is also cold.

If your engine is using a quart in 2K, and you change the pcv valve and everything else seems kosher like no major leaks, I would just drive it and don't run it low "more then a quart down".

It could easily last another 50-100K without any issues other then adding $3 worth of oil occasionally.


The other thing that may be worth mentioning is, when I had my 19 yr old chevy 350 that was using a quart in 2K. I wasn't able to get more then 20-30K out of a set of plugs, even double platinums. They would get a bulk of crap on them from I assume oil. Not oily or black. Just build up.

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Old 09-29-2010, 02:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

I took a look at the shop manual and it looks like the 2.2 has no pcv value. So looks like there is nothing to replace. It does have a ventilation hose to the valve cover, but that is about it. Am I missing something (or did saturn miss something in their shop manual :-)

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Old 09-29-2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

A partial reprint from the FSM; The intake manifold is made of composite plastic. The exhaust manifold is cast iron. The intake manifold incorporates a distribution and control system for PCV gases.

The L300 V6 engines uses similar venting without need of hoses and pcv valve.

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Old 09-30-2010, 12:53 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

There are many pluses and minuses with synthetic oil. You unfortunately have ran into one of the minuses. The acceptable amount of usage for just about any manufacture is quart every 1000 miles. If you do research on synthetic oil one of the down falls is that the oil doesn't allow rings to seat properly. Not a problem if engine is broke in according to "there" studies. Use to have seals leaks claimed that was fixed also. Now all these cars are getting up to mileage and since it is over 100000 miles it is considered high mileage and normal. Many sites claim if over that mileage then go back to dino. Hear is the problem all seals are swelled from the synthetic oil and now you have to reseal stem seals and hope other seals don't start failing as well.

Last edited by tiger862; 09-30-2010 at 01:05 AM..

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Old 10-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2003 2.2 Vue using oil

So how long should you stay with dino oil before switching to synthetic ? I'll have to check my records and see how many miles it was before I switched.

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