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Burning Oil?


Ted Davenport
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Like the last person said did you check the dipstick leval? How much oil did you add? Have you been changing you oil regularly? A lot of places recomend every 3 months or 3000 miles. I know some might disagree. The point is old oil burns faster than new oil. Even when you top off with new oil it does not help. What type of oil do you use? Thinner and synthetic oils burn faster. A bad PCV valve can increase oil consumption. For a few bucks it would not hurt to have a fresh one. If it's one quart every 2K miles it does not seem too out of line for a older engine. That would mean adding one quart between oil changes. I believe GM's universal spec is 1 quart every 1K miles is acceptible for new or used cars/trucks. I think that's a bit much for a newer car but I'm not the one buying the warrenty engines. <P>If a quart or so of oil every 2K miles is too much for you than I would think about the price of another engine.<P>Tom

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Vehicles with catalitic converters don't exhibit smoking like older car. The extreme heat of the converter completely burns the oil. I know of a 350V8 Chevy that uses a quart per 300miles and it doesn't smoke, it is either the valve seals gone bad or bad oil rings.

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My '88 with 115,000 miles has given off a wiff of smoke when it was started ever since I bought it with 70,000 miles. It uses about a quart every 3,000 miles. I have suspected valve seals and not attemped to do anything about it. I would expect that when the catalitic converter is cold on startup the wiff is possible.<P>V8CHRIS

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There are a couple of things to check.. are any of the plugs fouled or are they all about the same color (probably sooty black)<P>Replacing the valve guide seals is fairly inexpensive but is probably only a temporary fix for an engine pushing 100k miles. <P>If you need rings, you might as well rebuild the entire engine as the labor cost is only a little more. The other choices is a rebuilt long block or a low mileage junk yard engine. Since the 3800 is such a good engine, there are plenty in wrecking yards. <P>I don't have a clue what it cost to do the above.... you can buy a AutoZone 350 Chevy engine for about $650, I don't know if the 3800 is more or less.<P><P>------------------<BR>Barney Eaton Reatta technical advisor for BCA and keeper of the Reatta database.

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Dear Barney Eaton, <P>You are the Reatta technical advisor for the Buick Club of America and the keeper of the Reatta database. Don't you think it would be a good idea to GET A CLUE about repair costs for 3800 engines, since so many Buicks, especially Reattas, use these?

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Guest wally888

Better watch out Barney. Many more comments, like the one from A. H. Steve and you'll be getting a pay cut!

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Hey there Mr. Steve - put a sock in it!<P>As for engine replacement cost - nearly 4 years ago it cost me ~$3300 to replace mine with a NEW (not rebuilt) one from GM, somplete with 3 year/50,000 mile warranty. In my current car I found used engines from $400-$1200 (I settled on a $600 one - 70,000 miles & 1 full one year warranty) & labor charges were est at just under $1000 (engine should be pulled from underneath [per GM specs], otherwise the shop risks damaging the brake system - hence the high cost of labor).<P>~Brenda<P>------------------<BR>REATTA SITE:<A HREF="http://members.aol.com/gohighr/reatta.html" TARGET=_blank> <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/gohighr/reatta.html</A>" TARGET=_blank>http://members.aol.com/gohighr/reatta.html</A> <P>[This message has been edited by Reatta2go (edited 03-09-2001).]<p>[This message has been edited by Reatta2go (edited 03-09-2001).]

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I normally don't respond to post like Steves<BR>Today I will....... <BR>The cost to do anything to any automobile can probably vary 30-40% across the country. The parts you use can vary 100% depending on where you buy them and who you are (or know)<BR>Any cost that I might give on this subject would be wrong. <P>This is a discussion page and that is what we do, when someone has better information, they usually post it. Early on when I volunteered for this job (the pay is nothing and the hours can sometimes be long)I stated that I didn't know lots of things about the Reatta.... I have owned 5 and that forced me to know a little.<P>Please DO NOT send money but I purchased a service manual for all years of Reatta to try and do this job. I often am expected to return long distance phone calls. I spend at least an hour a day on the internet answering Reatta questions. I get an average of 2.7 note per day sent directly to my e-mail. In addition there is a phone call everyother day on average and at least one letter a week.<BR>I don't do it alone... there are several people, especially on engine and transmission questions that I ask to help, people with lots of experience. <P>Finally, keep sending me questions.... maybe some day I will know it all........<P><P>------------------<BR>Barney Eaton Reatta technical advisor for BCA and keeper of the Reatta database.

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Just my .02. Oil usage you describe would not be anywhere near being a warranty issue(if it were new of course). As long as it runs well, I would leave it alone. You might try a few oil changes at short mileage intervals to make sure the engine is good and clean inside, also stop and go driving accelerates oil usage. The vacuum created everytime the engine decelerates tends to pull oil past the rings if they are less than perfect.<P>Barneys comments are right on when it comes to repair costs, they vary all over the place, except perhaps in a flat rate book. I not sure why someone would make disparaging remarks like were posted, there is no call for it. Barney makes a great contribution and gets little (except recognition and thanks) in return.<P>Reatta 2go and I had a discussion about pulling the engine from the bottom. The manual recommends pulling it out the top, and I did so last summer. I replaced the engine the same way, all without removing the hood. This is only a one person job and can be done in a weekend. <P>For the record, I purchased a 1990 3800 for $340.00 with 74,000 miles on it. This was a complete engine with all sensors, injectors and exhaust manifolds. I did overhaul this engine, for purposes of increasing performance, higher compression, ported heads and intake etc... but, the engine did not need it. The cam miked out to book values and it was reused with the original roller lifters. I spent approx. $1000.00 on the rebuild, but that includes all parts and machine work. The injectors were sent out to be ultrasonically cleaned and flowed, the throttle body was bored out and a new throttle blade was installed, and the exhaust headers were ceramic coated. All for the price quoted. Of course the labor I added isn't included.<P>------------------<BR>Hal, btk@vbe.com

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