1999 SL2 burning oil (no smoke, no puddles), Runs hot

Asked by Sep 09, 2014 at 06:10 PM about the Saturn S-Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1999 SL2 with 105,000+ miles goes through quart of oil every 7-10 days (5W-20).  The engine also seems to be running hot:  I have replaced the complete cooling system 2x in last 5 years (including radiator and thermostat)  The temperature gauge in the dashboard will show less than 1/2, yet the overflow tank will start steaming & shooting out water.  Some minor power loss on uphills. Lousy gas mileage city driving, but almost like new on highway

2 Answers

80,315

Do a cooling system pressure test. As part of the test start the engine with the system pressurized. If the needle on the pressure tester bounces the head gasket is blown. When the engine heats up the oil thins out. The hotter the engine the thinner the oil becomes. This will allow oil to pass by piston rings, valve guide seals, and just burn off. Also make sure the cooling system doesn't have air trapped in it. This can give you a false reading on the dash board gauge and overheating at the same time. HTH. -Jim

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1,665

1. Did you replace the radiator cap. 2. Saturns are notorious for burning oil. Use 10w30 instead and it will curb some of the burning, but theres not eliminating it all together.

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