Engine Is Burning Oil And Smoking


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
131,000 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. heavier oil and lucas oil (1 reports)
1999 Saturn SL2 engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Saturn SL2 Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 012009

SL2 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Had problem with oil burning for years and was having to add oil all the time. At last oil change, I had them put in 10w30, instead of 5w30. They also added a can of Lucas oil. That was 3 weeks ago and so far, it hasn't burned any oil. Keeping my fingers crossed!

- lmich, Lansing, MI, US

problem #6

Jul 082011

SL2 1.9L Doch

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I want to know, is there a recall for this,cause it will smoke if idle for 15 min or so,I wonder what causes it ,there is no oil dripping.

- rayfla, Vero Beach, FL, US

problem #5

Aug 012010


  • 170,000 miles

This is to all who are reading this for advice, to learn, or just to complain; never buy a Saturn. This is a PROBLEM IN ALL MODELS OLDER THAN 98. Saturn redesigned the engine to make less noise. In doing so they messed up the entire engine. My car was doing the same; I replaced the seals and gaskets thinking one might be blown, I changed the oil filter, new exhaust, new pistons; nothing worked. My crank is now locked up and the crank was the one thing in the engine Saturn was proud of.

- Aaron D., Joplin, MO, US

problem #4

Feb 042009

SL2 4 cyl, Dual Ove

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles


My car has been burning oil for a while but wasn't really smoking a lot. Now it is smoking all of the time. I took it to the dealer and they said the only fix was a new engine which costs more than the car is worth. I had so much carbon build up that it started stalling on me. I took it to Saturn and they changed the spark plugs and wires, and cleaned the throttle body as well as the rest of the fuel injection system. $300.00 later it is still doing the same thing and seems to do it more frequently. I know it won't pass inspection next time around so we have until August to decide what to do. That is if it lasts that long and if I can stand the embarrassment that long. Does anyone have any ideas on how to prolong the life of this car without buying a new engine?

- Allison V., Chapel Hill, NC, US

problem #3

Jun 102005

SL2 1.9L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have a Saturn sl2 1999 it has 176000 miles and burns 2 quarts every 2 gas fill ups. I am still getting about 27 MPG.

It won't pass smog next June as the Cat is dead. I have been looking for a rebuild kit for the engine but found one. I would like to fix my car . I also have a Dual overhead cam and one is bad it's made a strange noise since I bought the car.. And I bought it new. I asked many times about my cam making strange noises and they said it wasn't.

- jodianne67, Palmdale, CA, US

problem #2

Oct 142006

(reported on)


  • 93,000 miles

We have a 1999 SL2 with 93,000 that started using oil best I can remember about 50,000 miles. It smokes and consumes almost a quart of oil a week with just around town driving. It's my wife's car so I just add a couple of quarts whenever she tells me the oil light is flickering.

The dealer is useless. The guy who owns a body shop behind my studio tells me they all use oil of that vintage. He says whenever he gets a Saturn in he always checks the oil because they are almost always at least a quart low. I keep telling my wife that we should write Saturn about the oil consumption. This Google search that turned up this discussion thread is the beginning of my research in preparation for that letter. It gives me pause about buying a Saturn again.

- Matt B., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #1

Sep 062006

(reported on)


  • 113,000 miles

Never know when the car will die or start shaking because of the carbon build up. Dealers were charging me to clean EGR & I have a new one. I now do it myself. Smokes a lot and I am darn embarrassed about it. All they say is saturn burns oil and the car has too many miles. My other saturn is much older and no problems. I would hate to get rid of it but its a shame, it smokes and burns oil, not sure what to do anymore. I just keep checking the oil and clean the egr valve periodically. Does anyone have/had the same problem?

- Zoila R., Franklin, TN, US

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