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2001 Saturn SL-2 Burning Oil

2001 Saturn SL-2. 1,000 miles since last oil change and oil level is on the low end of the stick. Was apparently very low when I brought her in last time - I had gone about 6,000 mi. w/o a change. Car has about 96k miles on it.

Thoughts on how to handle this? Thanks guys!!

You have to figure out where the oil is going. It’s eather leaking or burning. These sl2’s where known for valve cover leaks, so start there. Particularly around the spark Plug holes ( pull the wires and look in the holes). Have you noticed blue smoke on your exsaust??

I will add to gsragtop that you should be checking your oil far more often if I am guessing right (" I had gone about 6,000 mi. w/o a change." It sounds like you are not checking oil between changes. Sorry if I am wrong about that.

Maybe you should check it a little more often…Running an engine “very low” on oil is a good way to destroy it…

I’d start with a compression test. If my guess is correct, not only are the oil rings gummed up from neglect but the cylinders and compression rings are shot…from the same root cause. Not maintaining your oil level above “fill” is the best way to destroy an engine. If it’s been neglected for its entire 11 year lifespan than I can almost guarantee that the engine is shot.
If I’m right and the engine is shot, there’s no point in shoveling money into it.

Poat back with the results.

You might try changing the PCV valve to see it that helps.

Do you ever check the oil? Who changes it? If you didn’t check the oil level after the last oil change, then you currently have no idea how much oil may or may no have disappeared over the last 1000 miles.

The standard issue inside a trunk of these cars is a case of inexpensive motor oil.

They ALL burn oil in 7 people I know who own the Saturn S-series.

Just check & top oil every 2-3 fuel fillups and drive on.

We have one and it does not burn oil, Checking oil is important, and I do Like cougars suggestion. The low oil could mean a lifetime of oil usage Hope not.

raj, no you know one whose Saturn does not burn that much oil, about 1 qt/2000 miles and it has 240k miles on it with 6000 to 12000 mile intervals between oil changes. I carry a quart in the trunk, not a case.

great thanks guys - sounds like i need to get it checked out

I’d run a compression test (both dry and wet) as mountainbike mentions. That will give you an idea about where you stand with the engine’s condition.

Most oil consumption, assuming no leaks, is valve seal or piston ring related; or both. Irregular oil changes leading to oil sludging/coking and running it low on oil can contribute to piston ring problems.