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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed over the last couple oil changes on my '07 Ion SC 2.0 that my oil level is getting low after only a couple thousand miles after an oil change. I was a gm tech back in the early 2000s and remember customers coming with oil consumption concerns and it was acceptable for an engine to use 1 qt per 2000 miles under normal driving conditions. I changed my oil about 1500 miles ago and today I noticed a ticking noise when I pulled into my garage. I checked the oil and it was barely indicating on the dipstick. There is nothing leaking under the vehicle, the coolant is clean and it's not smoking out the exhaust that I can tell. The car has 180k miles and the person I purchased it from a few years ago said the only performance work it's had done was port/polished heads. I've been using the stock recommended mobile 1 5w-30. Has anyone else experienced oil consumption like this before or has any suggestions?
 

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Most things are acceptable with GM I've noticed my few months working there.

How do the plugs look? It's just odd that if it's not leaking, and not going out the tail pipe, where's it going then? I know you're asking yourself the same thing. Wonder if maybe it does have a leak somewhere. Rear main, back of the valve cover, I've seen around the timing tensioner leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to throw it up on the lift tomorrow and take a peek around. I'll pull the plugs and see how things look as well. I just couldn't believe how quick the oil level dropped after only 1500 miles.
 

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Check your air filter for oil staining indicating excessive oil going through the pcv system, and most likely caused by excessive blow by into the crank case through the rings, mine burned 2qrts of oil every 1k miles and with in a month of a new air filter it had a massive oil stain on it. (Can post picture on Monday when back at work) i had about 30% cyl leakage on cyl #2 but it would never miss fire until max boost near redline. I just did a rebuild a few months back and has been nice to still have full oil after 3k miles of driving. Note i probably started burning small amounts of oil around the 180k mark by 230k i was burning a lot more oil so felt it was time by the time i hit 250k.. i could also give it a full throttle blip while stationary in neutral and a lovely smoke cloud would emit from the tail pipe. Fun fact i'd top off with 10w-40 diesel oil and it slowed down the consumption 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I put the car up on the lift this morning and looked underneath. Everything is dry as a bone. The only thing I see under there is some residue from coolant leaking when I changed the thermostat a long time ago. I pulled the air filter and there's not a drop of oil in there. I pulled out the plugs and they look decent.. plug 4 did have a little oil on the threads (see pic). I threw a scope down each spark plug hole and I can see just the normal carbon deposits on top of the piston. Unfortunately, the end of my scope is too big to get into the cylinder so I couldn't take a peek around. I did an engine-cold compression test while I had the plugs out: 1 - 220; 2 - 210; 3 - 220; 4 - 230psi.
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Random other thought. After our engines run they do need a long time , sometimes up to 30 min, for all the oil to run back down. Have you checked the oil after it sat a while / overnight? On a side note.. where is all the rust? Lol mine looks no where that nice underneath and yes i am in NJ so salt eats cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I pulled the car in yesterday morning, adding oil was the last thing I did after pulling the air filter spark plugs, doing the compression test. The car had been sitting for a couple hours at that point. I put about two and a half quarts in when I topped it off. I'm really not sure about the rust. I think I got lucky considering this is a vehicle that has been in Rhode Island it's whole life. There's only a little bit of scaling rust on the edges of some of the shielding under the vehicle. Other than that, there's nothing anywhere.
 

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Random other thought. After our engines run they do need a long time , sometimes up to 30 min, for all the oil to run back down. Have you checked the oil after it sat a while / overnight? On a side note.. where is all the rust? Lol mine looks no where that nice underneath and yes i am in NJ so salt eats cars.
You should see my car. Not a spec of rust on it and even has the factory antirust protetion on it.

Your compression numbers look good. They are what I got on my redline when i tested it. I honestly dont remeber the redlines eating oil. My original never had that problem and AFAIK my current one does not either. I have driven it about 2k miles since i got it so i will double check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow. Yeah, I checked and there wasn't a spec of oil on the inside of the filter. Even the end of the tube coming from the PCV barely had anything on it for residue. However, this morning when I got to work and parked in the garage, after getting out of my car as I was walking in, the wind must have been blowing the right way and I got a whiff of burnt oil. I'm not sure if it was coming from my car or not, but I guess it's possible I'm burning just enough to not produce any blue smoke. Any ideas on how I can confirm this?
 

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You did compression , but did you do cylinder leak down? That would be the best way to check cylinder health. I had good compression even burning the amount of oil that i was, but heavy leak down on 1 cyl into the crank case.
 

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Yeah, you will need an air source via a compressor / air line hook up and the gauge set with appropriate adapters and the appropriate procedures (idk if you are familiar with the process) worst case any shop / dealer should be able to do it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've done a few leak-down tests when I worked at Chevy a while back, just never had my own kit. I'll look up the procedure for our cars and let you know the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wasn't able to source a cylinder leak down tester to rent locally. I ordered one online and it should be delivered tomorrow. I'll go through the procedure and let you know the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So, I got the leak down tester today and I think I got a dud. The gauge that tells you % of loss seemed totally off (sits at 80% loss with nothing connected and pins out when you put more than 20 psi to it.). But I still ran through the process regardless and listed for leaks out the tailpipe, intake, and crankcase. The only place I heard leakage was through the dipstick tube. I could hear bubbling on cylinders 2, 3, and 4 and just air on cylinder 1. I will hopefully have a replacement tester tomorrow and will try the test again and let you know if I have more accurate results.

edit: got the new leak-down tester -- still junk -- returning -- ordered the more expensive OTC brand - will be in Monday.
 
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