2001 Saturn SL2

Engine Mechanical problem
2001 Saturn SL2 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 145000 miles

HI, I hope you can help. My car blows white smoke all the time. It's worse when the car is hot - I cloud out nearby cars (i.E. City stop and go traffic or waiting in backed up traffic). It happens when I accelerate and idleing at a red light - all the time. I am not losing any coolant. There is no oil in my coolant. My oil is clear - although I have to add a quart of oil every three hundred miles (a tank of gas). I still get great gas milage. This has been going on for a year - getting worse as time goes on. The white smoke out the exhaust didn't start out this bad. The burning oil - has been happening since I bought the car in 2001. I have to add oil more often now. No light on the dashboard comes on.

I took the car back to the dealer about six months after I bought it concerning the burning oil. They said " some Saturns have been known to have a defect in the engine that might be covered under my warrenty - but - if it's not caused by the manufacture -I would have to pay for the repair and it's 1500.00 to take the engine apart. &Quot; No guarantees. I did not have the money, so I have been adding oil as needed.

Related or unrelated: recently - since May - the car heater gage began going up to the middle when idling. It's became worse - went up in city traffic or slow traffic - came right down as soon as I drive 30 or more for a short distance. The gage doesn't go up when I'm driving on the thruway. Two weeks ago, I played with all my fuses. I took them out - checked them - none were bad - out them all back in. Now, the heater gage has only gone up three times (even in city traffic). My top radiator hose has to be replaced. It's soft and old looking. I purchased one and a termostat. I'm going to replce them as soon as I build up my nerve to do it. I figure, I should eb able to figure it out. : ) Autozone tried to help diagnose the problem. The print out gave several possible causes (fuse, hoses, thermostat, water pump).

Thank you for your time and hopfully your assistance. I've talked with several machanics. They all begin by ignoring me when I tell them I do not have any coolant lose. They immediately say it's the head gasket. When I remind them about no coolant lose - then they say they have to take the engine apart to see what is wrong. Help! Any ideas?

PS: my radio stopped working. When plug it in all I get is a low pulse like noise (not static). Is this the radio or wiring? I had trouble off and on for two years with the radio cutting out for no appearant reason. Sometimes I could turn it off and back on and it would come on - but not all the time. Most of the time it would come back on when it felt like it.
September 23, 2010.

If your burning one quart of oil every 300 mile's then that's why it's smoking. That's a lot of oil being burned and no loss of coolant then that's the only thing that would make sense for the smoke. As far as your temp gauge goes the cooling fan come's on when the gauge reaches just over half way on your temp gauge that's normal. Doesn't mean it's running too hot unless your getting boiling over the coolant cap or something to say it's over heating. It's normal for the gauge to go up in traffic or siting still then when the gauge reaches just over half way the fan come's on. If it wasn't doing that then it must have been real cold or you had a bad thermostat. As far as your radio goes that could be a loose connection or a bad radio.

Sep 23, 2010.
Hey saturntech,

Hope you don't mind me putting in my 2 cent.

I had a vehicle years ago that had similar problem. They took it to serveral garages and it was smoking so bad they wouldn't even touch it. Telling them it would cost alot of money to find the cause.

Well, I tackle it and come to find out all it was was the PCV Valve was stuck, replace it. Drove up and down the hwy with heavy exceleration for about 30 minutes and smoking cleared up.
I have noticed in my area that a lot of the garages over look this part.


Sep 23, 2010.
Thanks for the tip he has a good point I forgot to mention to remove the pcv and see if it's stuck open or all gummed up if so replace it.

Sep 23, 2010.