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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
OK. So, I got the new leak-down test kit in. I ran the car to operating temp (which I hadn't done the first time around) and ran through in firing order - 1-3-4-2. I ran the test up to 100psi and I have ~0-1% loss for all cylinders. I ran through the test twice just to make sure I got the same results and it was consistent. So I would imagine that means the cylinders/rings are in good shape. Back to the drawing board...
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Update: Did an oil change over the weekend. Noticed when I got to work on Friday I could hear lifter tapping. Ran to the gas station and grabbed a quart of oil - it was barely showing on the stick. I decided to do an oil flush and threw some Seafoam in it for a good ride, then used some Motor Mechanic Oil Flush and let it idle with that stuff for a bit before dumping the oil. Filled it back up with a little heavier weight oil this time - 10W30 Mobile 1 High Mileage. We'll see how things go this time around. Still a mystery where the oil is going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Update again... Put about 900 miles since the last oil change and went to start the car before work on a cold morning and could hear tapping in the valve train. Checked and the oil was barely on the stick again. Dumped about 3 quarts to get it to where it should be. I've got a week vacation coming up here soon and I think I'm just gonna tear down the motor for rebuild. It's got just over 190k now and it probably couldn't hurt. Wondering what y'all recommend for a rebuild kit. I did some googling and there seems to be quite a few choices out there.
 
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