Low compression on all 4, now what...
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This is a discussion on Low compression on all 4, now what... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've got a problem. Was coming up on my timing belt maintenance but the last few oil changes I've been ...

  1. #1
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    Low compression on all 4, now what...

    I've got a problem. Was coming up on my timing belt maintenance but the last few oil changes I've been burning a lot of oil - now at a rate of 1q / 1000 miles. I use AMSOIL at about 10k mileage drains. Oil tests have always come back excellent, no metals, etc. Mileage has gone down, noticeable but not significant. So my mechanic did a compression test and came back between 115 and 120 lbs. Spec calls for 140 to 165 lbs.

    We've opted to hold on the timing belt and just fix the serpentine belts which were shot. Will switch to conventional oil, a little thicker to try and reduce consumption.

    I don't think that I beat on this car. I don't drive it like grandma would either - but I know a lot of you guys out there are far worse. Any suggestions here? Is it time to get out of it? Can they run for a long time at this compression level?

    Do the turbos increase engine wear? If I get another vehicle the short list is a Legacy GT or an Outback XT but it'll have higher miles and I'm concerned that I could be getting into the same problem.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Boost > NA itWRXjustfine's Avatar
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    What is your mileage at? Lucas makes a great oil stabilizer..you might want to try that.
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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Unfortunately its either deal with it or rebuild. Maybe get a second opinion on the compression test or do it yourself. If you do it yourself do it warm and make sure you hold the throttle wide open during cranking.
    Last edited by Donkey; 09-05-2009 at 10:28 AM.
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    My mileage is 102,500. We were joking about putting marvel mystery oil in there

    I can double check w/ my mechanic about doing the test while holding WOT. What happens if you don't?

  6. #5
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If you do not hold WOT, you will get a false reading.
    If the battery is weak and the motor cranks slowly you will get a false reading.
    If the gauge is read before a stable reading is achieved, you will get a false reading.
    If there is fuel or oil in the cylinder, you will get a false reading.

    If you are going through 1 qt every 1,000 miles you are still within what many makers consider "normal." However, since this is elevated consumption, figure out where the oil is going. You mechanic removed the plugs to do the compression test. What did they look like? If the car has a PCV system, is it functioning correctly? Does the exhaust smoke?

    Did your mechanic consider a wet test or a leak down test to see where the oil is going?
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