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Vauxhall Astra G Petrol (1998 - 2004) - 02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to?  
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - wazza
This applies to the 8v version not the 16v. Whenever i check my sister's car after a few months the oil level is below minimum. There is no oil stain on the ground or around the engine bay. When starting, running or setting off there is no blue smoke. The oil level warning light comes on as you start the car then goes off quickly. This has been happening for a year now. Naturally i top it up but it takes ages to register on the dipstick. The car has done 60k. The next step is to drive behind her and see if i can detect any blue smoke.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 05/08/2009 at 10:04

Tags: technical issues warning lights oil damaged engine

02 1600 Where does the oil disappear to? - topbloke
first off oil should be checked weekly, i would assume that its being burnt but you are unlikely to see it due to the cat burning it off due to the higher temps, you could do a consumption test but it will be a bit involved you need to get the engine hot then drain the engine oil out leave to drain for half hour then refill the sump with the correct measured amount drive for a thousand miles (not all in one go lol) get engine hot drain oil into measureing jug leaving to drain for half hour then check how much has been used, vauxhall allow 1 litre per 1000 miles any more is deemed excessive , Regards TB
02 1600 Where does the oil disappear to? - piston power
Check engine breathers are clear & treat it to a oil & filter change use vx parts there not that expensive and there oil.

Next step is a compression test wet/dry this will tell you if the wear is the piston rings or head.

How many miles does she do in a month?

02 1600 Where does the oil disappear to? - wazza
She only does around 3000 miles a year
02 1600 Where does the oil disappear to? - Dynamic Dave
She only does around 3000 miles a year


Approx how many miles covered between you checking the level?

For reference, the amount of oil required to raise the dipstick level from the min to the max mark is 1 litre.

Could you not show her how to check the oil level instead? Checking fluid levels and tyre pressures is one of the mundane BUT necessary requirements of owning a car. She shouldn't have to rely on someone else to do it for her.
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Victorbox
The oil level warning light comes on as you start the
car then goes off quickly.


Does it even have a low oil level warning light or are you referring to the oil pressure warning light?
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Dynamic Dave
Does it even have a low oil level warning light


According to a Sep 2002 handbook, none of the Astra range had one - they ONLY had an oil pressure light.

Time and time again I see people mistakenly referring to the oil pressure light as a low oil level warning light.
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - piston power
It will come on when there is no oil in the engine but then it's curtains!
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - wazza
oil pressure light
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Enteratu Moteurs
Your sister might be interested in this wazza

tinyurl.com/mcpwhy
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - wazza
Thanks for the info.

Unfortunately my sister just like to drive the car, the maintenance she leaves to me which i don't mind because she cooks me my favourite dish :-) Thinking about it i should really go on a diet :-(
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Roly93
The car could still be burning the oil if you are waiting a couple of months and say 1500 miles between checking the level.
You may not neccesarily see blue smoke even if you follow her.

I had a nearly new Austin Allegro 1100 years ago, and this used a half litre can of oil about every 400 miles, apart from this the car never gave any trouble at all (can hear gasps from the older backroom members !)

I was so intrigued by this I followed my own car to see if there was any smoke, there never was, nor any leaks.
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - zookeeper
> > I had a nearly new Austin Allegro 1100 years ago

crikey....what a memory
02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Hot Fuse
My Astra 2002 1.6 16v is exactly the same. Needs 0.5 to 1 litre every month or so with no visible sign of leak.

With regards to the consumption test described above I did a less accurate version checking my dip every 50 miles (easy having an exact 25 mile round trip to work and back) with the following approx results:

I noticed that it went down a full notch for each of the first 3, 50 mile intervals. However the consumption then seems to slow down taking another 400 miles (8 50 mile intervals) to drop a further 3 dip notches.

It seems to gulp oil when near the Max but be satisfied with a few sips when it nears the min mark. By the way, oil checked in the morning before setting off for work

Is that normal anyway or symptomatic of a specific problem?

Edited by Hot Fuse on 16/09/2009 at 22:26

02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - Dave_TD
had a nearly new Austin Allegro 1100 years ago, and this used a half litre can of oil about every 400 miles


I think I must have bought that car when it was 10 years old, it wasn't a Hearing Aid Beige V-reg 3-door was it? Mine used to burn off half a litre of oil in the five minutes after EVERY cold start.

wazza - Try wiping a clean piece of white cloth across the back of the car, to see if it picks up an oily residue from the exhaust fumes. If so, you've found where it's going.

Edited by Dave_TD {P} on 21/09/2009 at 13:21

02 1.6 (8v) Where does the oil disappear to? - diddy1234
Had a similar occurrence on my old Astra 1.6L SXI (52 reg).

I had the car for seven years and what was odd is that the engine did not burn or leak oil.
But, every now and then the oil would just disappear.

I checked the oil every week and for five or six weeks with the oil level would be ok, then it would be on the minimal marker.

I came to the conclusion that the engine will burn oil if low.

So my work around was to fill the oil level till almost full and guess what it never used oil then from then on.

I suspect the 1.6L engines use oil if below some level but didn't burn a drop of oil if it was kept high (3/4 to nearly high marker).

This was my work around and I can say that in seven years of ownership this work around did help.

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