ECOTEC 16v 1600 excessive oil consumption? Or have I entered a Vauxhall Twighlight Zo
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    Unhappy ECOTEC 16v 1600 excessive oil consumption? Or have I entered a Vauxhall Twighlight Zo

    Hi All

    I've recently bought a 02 plate Astra 1.6LS with the 1600cc ECOTEC engine, with 54,000 miles and full service history. My problem is with the oil consumption.

    So far, in less than 2000 miles I have used 3 litres of oil. All my experience with cars tells me this surely can't be right.

    But when I returned the car to the garage I bought it from I am told that that "is about right for those engines".

    And checking with Vauxhall (who said I should check my handbook) the official figure is that the engine should use 0.07 litres of oil per 100km which works out at about 1 litre for every 1000 miles!!!

    Please someone tell me this can't be right. By my maths that means that even if my engine was factory fresh I would have to top it up with 20 litres (ie 4 large containers of oil) in between services (20,000 mile service intervals) to keep the level at max. As it is, mine is worse than that and will require 30 litres between scheduled services (that'll be about 120 quids worth!!).

    Or put another way... if I didn't open the bonnet (like many people don't between services) after roughly 2500 miles my engine would be dry of oil (3.5 litre capacity if I have that right). Are there a lot of ECOTECs driving around with no oil in them.

    Your comments please because I really think I'm going barmy here!

    Cheers

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    Central Regional Coordinator Johnny A's Avatar
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    It's a bit high yes, don't even think my 120K 2.5 V6 does that... and that kicks a nice cloud out when I ragging it about
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    Haven't read ur full post so excuse me if im wrong - noticed the title and looks like the classic 1600 16v oil issue.

    Its a common problem/feature of this engine in that some owners report a high consumption (within or slightly above the figures quoted by vx) and some owners report no use whatsoever. YES this figure quoted by Vx is correct very strange that it only affects certain vehicles with the same engine and not others but unfortunately all u can do is monitor the situation - make sure it isnt actually burning or losing the oil in the normal sense and take it from there. Anything seriously above the stipulated 1000m/1ltr figure then maybe cause for concern but at this point in time Im afraid its not a very helpful answer from me.

    Ive encountered this situation several times over on my usual forum and Id say approx 50% of X16XEL/Z16XE owners have found the same problem.


    Hope this helps, although not very comforting I know.

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    Central Regional Coordinator Johnny A's Avatar
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    P.S if you take it to vauxhall they will tell you its an 'acceptable' amount to loose.
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    That's the other thing I don't get though... no clouds of smoke, not even on start up to indicate the valve stem seals being f***'d, and no pools of oil on the drive... that's why I don't get it.

    And before anyone asks, the level has been checked with the engine cold in the morning so it should mostly be in the sump.


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    Hmm, that may explain why my mate managed to run his Astra dry. Would a W/V reg be the same engine?

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    Cheers Bandit... not good to hear but at least I don't feel like all my car knowledge has been totally wrong up to this point in time. I really have been questioning my sanity and experience (which includes City and Guilds and 16 years around the motor trade)!! I've still never heard anything like this but at least there are others who have experienced it!

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    Indeed Vx will Johnny... I nearly fell off the chair when the dealer said it "should burn 1 litre per 1000 miles".

    Why have a 20,000 mile service interval if you know the car will use all the oil in the engine within a quarter of that mileage?

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    they did have problems with this engine using to much oil, but they wont admit it.

    it seems that is they are run in very gently they use allot of oil, if you rage em from new they dont use hardly any.

    although it may sound daft, a friend of mine used to have a 1.6 that burned loads of oil, they put some wyns stop smoke addative in the oil and it cured the high consumption.
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    Thanks vxlgsi... worth a try I guess! Mind you your post just confirms that something very strange is going on with these engines.

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    Re: ECOTEC 16v 1600 excessive oil consumption? Or have I entered a Vauxhall Twighligh

    I had the same problem with my Z16XE engine. Excessive oil consumption can be caused by a blocked crankcase or cam breather. This leads to a build up of pressure which forces oil past the seals. It is therefore important to check that both breathers are clear all the way through.

    If this doesn't cure the problem the fault may be due to gummed up oil control rings on the pistons. If these are not free to expand to fit the bores, oil is left on the cylinder walls where it is burnt. Compression could still be excellent as the compression rings may not be affected.

    I tried curing the problem with various methods using Redex, and using Forte engine flush when changing the oil, but neither of these products made any noticeable difference. The only thing which did give an improvement was to rev the engine to 6,000 rpm for a few minutes with the engine warm. This subjects the pistons to very high G forces (about 2000G) which helps squeeze the gummy oil out. However if you do it too much this can foul up the spark plugs or EGR valve with carbon.

    The problem appears to be caused by not using the car for a few weeks or not changing the oil frequently enough. The Haynes manual recommends changing it every 5,000 miles instead of the 10,000 mile interval recommended by Vauxhall.
    Last edited by jetarch1; 21-08-2009 at 16:40. Reason: Additional information added

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