i have a 1998 saturn sl2 it bruns oil alot is that normal?

Caleb Pruitt

Asked by Caleb Feb 15, 2010 at 07:07 PM about the 1998 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

27 Answers


how much oil and what color is your exhaust?

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
Shane Abele

I also have 97 SC2 with 1.9 DHOC and has 190,000 miles and it uses 1 Qt to a tank of gas it is common for these cars to burn oil

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

isnt that a lot of oil? my eagle does that because of a bad rearmain seal.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Shane Abele

Its nature of the beast with Saturn's to burn oil with alot miles ...excellent on gas, mine gets on average 34 miles to the gallon

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

as long as theres no black puttles left behind then it should be okay i guess.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Andrew Conrod

Yupp, as they get older or the miles racked up they burn a good amout of oil. On my old sl1 with 300k on it I would use anywhere from 1-3 quarts a fill up depending how hard i was on it.

Gavin Roerdink

i've had 2 saturns already that burn oil, once saturns start to have alot of miles they will burn oil and eventuly blow up. it always seems like the 3rd cylender is the one goes out in the 1.9 4cyl.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi There, This is Melissa from WWW.SATURNUSEDPARTSSTORE.COM This is all too common on Saturn S-series, and it's so sad becuase Saturn will tell you it's normal! No modern car should burn oil. We've found that using Valvoline Max Life 10-40 can reduce consumption, and we recommend it to all our customers. I find that allot of customer are still using the 5-30 which should only be used during break in period. Once you have higher mileage you should be using the 10-40 high mileage. Also, Saturn's don't like synthetic oils, alot of people think their doind a good thing by switching to a synthetic oil and things actually get worse. Using the Vavoline and changing your oil every 3,0000 miles helps. You can also try adding a cup of marvel mystery oil in the day before change your oil. This will safely help clean your engine of gunky buildup.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

reply to ur ? about burnin oil u put bruns oil but ino wut ya mean .. anyway.. if ur drivin it kinda hard or on highway or even just keepin the engine temp up for long periods then ya its norman for them with the sport shift n twin cam but mak dam shur not ta run er even clos ta dry too much maybe better then ot enuf if ur driven it hard . i got a 94 sc2 luv it got lot a balls now pushen 295 horse with only 1900 pounds it flys speed limiter at 145tho still just so i don get in too much truble.. most cars are set at 190 but these saturs factory 145 spedd limiter n only car that has both speed n rev limiter rev limit at 4500 .. never unhook that rev limit in these saturns blow up for sher bot 5200 everytimew neverfail trust me if anything unhook stupid speed limiter i just kepp min ta keep out of truble but if ur cars stock takeit out hahahalol with all the work i put into mine itl hit the 145 in bout 6 seconds so ya lil under 6 achuallyi just say that case sumone calls me on it n i feel like babyin it lolololhaha

Jorge Perez

They've been burning oil since it rolled out the factory! FAIL!


I have a 1998 saturn sl1 with 42k burns one quart every 300 miles. This is so not normal I would be embarassed for the saturn tech who told me it was not to mention being insulted.

Joshua Carlson

I have a 95 SL1 with 145,000 miles. It actually DIDN'T burn oil when I got it 2 years ago, but when I let a mechanic change the oil, it was spewing blue smoke when I drove off until I stopped and found it overfilled with oil, and has burned it ever since. I was charged for the appropriate amount, but I always put all 4 corners on jackstands when I personally changed the oil(the owner's manual specifically states that the car should be level, or the right side slightly lower, when oil is drained), so I think that just lifting the front end doesn't completely drain the oil, then when it's refilled, the excess volume breaks a seal (according to my reading, there's a relatively fragile oil seal somewhere above the oil pan), which allows oil to eventually get into the combustion chamber. I think that the best thing is just keep it at the right level to protect the motor until it's time to rebuild rebuild it, should you choose to. I personally think it'll be worth the price for 40+ MPG on the interstate, if the rest of the car doesn't die at the same time.

Gage Perkins

any car over 100,000 miles is typically gonna burn oil. some you get lucky and dont burn oil for quite a while some before 100,000. any car can and probably will do it. the main thing is to check your oil frequently and when the motor is cold so before you leave your house. and a good idea is to keep some oil in your car.

Joshua Carlson

You neglected to mention why synthetics aren't good for old motors. Synthetic oil contains more detergents, which remove deposits in the oil system. While new cars run better without the additional resistance caused by sludge, old motors, has more wear, and such, more gaps for oil to escape appear. The small amounts of deposits that form in spite of proper maintenance act similar to cholesterol and blocks those gaps in exchange for a little lost power. It's pretty clear than when synthetics clean that away, you have something leakier than a generic diaper. The reason that cleaning the engine's internals during a rebuild is because the excess gaps are repaired through replacing and refurbishing parts. That said, don't run the same oil for 100,000 miles trying to build sludge in a motor that burns oil. I have a friend who did that, and 2 pistons shot out the side of the engine when his father borrowed the truck for a couple days.

Michael Johnson

All doch Burns oil Some soch do. My 96 sl2 burn About a quet evary 3000 And that when i do a oil change so i dont care.... I real do love my car alot. I hav e put so much money in it. P.s. all cars burn some oil.


I have 1999 Saturn SL2 with 205,000 as the original engine. Am I living on borrowed time with this baby? What is the typical life expectancy on the 1.9L DOHC LLO? ...

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Jerred Weingarten

Something which where covered is that your oil consumption will have a lot to do with your speed. In town commuting I was at about 1qt every 3K. With a 1 hour commute a 75-80MPH that went up to about 1qt per fill up.

Not Active

just keep adding oil to it until it lets go.


if any car burns allot of oil it usually indicates that your motor is going out. And you say it goes really slow up hills this to is an indicator that you need a new car or a new motor

Alex Nazarian

This topic is 3 years old, congratulations. And the oil rings seize up on these motors. They'll run forever if you keep them full of oil. Your statement is incorrect.

Albert Strianese

I have a 1999 Saturn SC-2 with 207,000 miles.my car burns about 1 quart of oil every 200 miles. Other than that since I own the car from 1999 till now it's been a great car.I wish they still made cause I'd probably buy another one.


I rebuild saturns for work and it comes down to 2 things that are problems on them first the valve seals wear out after time and let oil flow into your cylinder head solution new head with metal valve seals. Issue 2 the oil drain slots on you pistons clog up and don't let the oil drain solution new engine or pull it apart and clean them or drill holes in you pistons. it was bad engineering on there part but if you let your S-series go to low on oil it'll spin bearings in the crank, reck your head or reck your head gasket, rear main and many other things that's why you should change your oil every 3000 mile regardless of using ams oil or any other kinds of oil. Seafoam is a great way to clean out your engine 1.5 ounces for every quart of oil right into your crank case ( through the oil filler). My S has 340,000 original engine and head burns oil but not worth pulling it apart great cars but cost a lot after you add up oil.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My 1999 SC2 has burned oil since the day I got it in 2002 with 30K miles on it. GM should be ashamed of themselves for stating this is NORMAL. I have owned many cars including several GM cars, like Camaro's, a Corvette, and Impala. None burned a drop of oil and I beat the hell out of them. Now the SC2 has 142K miles and burns about a quart per tank of gas. I would be happy if it was only a quart every 3000 miles.No more GM' cars for me. It's no wonder Saturn closed shop.

Kevin O'Grady

I have a 1999 SL2 I've had since day one. My original engine only started smoking at around 300,000 kms (x 0.61 for miles). Ignoring the intermittent squeal under the hood cost me my idler pulley and forced me to consider replacing the entire engine with one that a third less miles on it. Being that I did replace it with another DOHC SW '99 engine the oil related issues are confounding me. Freaky error codes that tell me I have a cam position sensor for which there is of course none. Oil is getting into the cylinder heads and getting burnt off, but, as with my original engine I have used Penzoil High Mileage to seem to drastically reduce oil consumption. A buddy followed along behind me at highway speeds and mentioned that I was burning some oil at first, but, it stopped after my car must have warmed up. I am planning on keeping an eye on the oil level and on driving habits. Something of note that still puzzles me is that at highway speeds of 65 mph the check engine light flashed on and off sometimes faster than other times but, it is that magic speed that triggers it. I'd like to figure that one out for before I go crazy. I'll deal with the oil burning (if it persists) with the combination of 15W-40 diesel oil and a recommended 10W-40 high mileage car engine oil.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

When your engine light flashes its because of a misfire either low or no spark or just bad comperssion

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Kevin O'Grady

That makes sense. I changed spark plugs and wires. This improved running considerably, but now when I hit the 110-115 kph (66-69 mph) is when it happens. I took it out on the highway recently and although it was before the car was warmed up, I decided to keep the RPM's down and see if anything happened. Nothing. nada, purred right along. Kept the speed at 95 and below (approx 55 mph) drove the 10 miles to where I was going and no flashing light, or service engine soon staying on. I'm inclined to believe the ground on the 2 sparking modules may be to blame. It seems like only 1 cylinder is at fault, but only acts up at higher revs!!


One solution to accidentally having too much oil after an oil change is to add one quart less than specified, then add as necessary after a little running. This would solve any problem from not having drained all the oil out for the change.

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