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normal, or engine about to die?       #: 1008
 Moderated by: Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 03:08 am
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VelociRanger
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so, the other day i went to check my oil level and when i did the oil was about halfway up the dipstick, solid oil, so i then proceeded to use my handy dandy flashlight to check the trans, under the engine, both sides of the engine, in front of the engine, basically everywhere and no signs of oil leakage. granted, i checked it after i just turned it off so when i got to my destination i waited about 6 hours and the oil was low, so added more. i turned on the engine to let the oil circulate, then decided to remove the oil fill plug and felt puffs of air coming from the oil fill plug on the top of my engine. i researched it, because i read somewhere that that was a sure fire sign of blown head gasket. :)  also read that a little "blow by" was normal, but excessive could be signs of piston ring wear/failure. how much would be "excessive", and how much is normal? she idles fine, a bit under 1000rpms. i would say 750-800. also, noticed bottom of oil fill plug was wet from oil. not dripping, but wet. any and all help is much appreciated, thanks.

Last edited on Sat Jun 30th, 2018 03:11 am by VelociRanger



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 06:17 am
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VelociRanger
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update: i let it warm up and drove it maybe 5 miles and took the oil fill cap off again, and noticed a small amount of smoke coming out of the oil fill....now im really worried. i didnt see any metal particles from looking down the oil fill spot, but since its night and had my handy dandy flashlight i noticed the smoke that i couldnt see during the day. now seriously worried. i got pretty high in the rpms (4500-5000) to see if that would push oil out from any orifice that may be present in the engine, and none came out. is small amount of smoke normal, with air coming out of oil fill? 2008 DOHC 2.3l. thanks



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 12:00 pm
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JAMMAN

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Short of extreme high mileage it really shouldn't be doing that.

Doubtful it is a head gasket, usually a head gasket will cause other issues such as pressurizing the radiator and blowing your coolant out the reservoir. If your plastic coolant reservoir is empty wait till it is cold and check radiator fluid.

In extreme cases the coolant will look like gravy (oil pumping into the water through blown head gasket) but usually it just pressurizes beyond what the limit is on the radiator cap and blows it out the plastic reservoir.

Another blown head gasket sign is coolant disappearing for no reason. Radiator has pressure after engine is shut off and can push coolant into the cylinders after shutdown. Symptom of this is a miss at start up and excessive dripping out the tail pipe when you first start it up. I have seen all of these conditions with my own eyes.

BUTTTT if none of these exist it is probably blow by. A cylinder "leak down" test would show how bad it is.

A motor with excessive blow by you can just check the oil and keep on driving till it pukes, but you probably shouldn't because the next thing to go will be the first catalytic converter.

So I would suggest 2 tests, a cylinder leak down test followed by a test of your radiator coolant for exhaust gasses both of which a reputable shop should be able to do quickly.

Unfortunately I'm leaning toward ring blow by on this one. Sorry.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 12:08 pm
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VelociRanger
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if the rings were bad, would a spark plug check be beneficial? like, oil on spark plugs would be a good indicator, correct?



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 12:16 pm
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Have to pull spark plugs for the leak down test. Just a lot of oil on the plugs doesn't necessarily point at blow by or head gasket. You can't tell definitively your exact problem by looking at the plugs.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 12:19 pm
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VelociRanger
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10-4 thank you sir



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 01:00 pm
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Is it running weird? Is the check engine light on? Are you losing coolant?
Is the oil level normal again? Using any oil?



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 01:05 pm
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VelociRanger
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runs good, idles good, no check engine light on, coolant is good, and im not sure about losing any oil. i checked all round the engine visually, and saw no wet spots on the engine/trans, so no apparent oil leaks. will check back in a couple of days to confirm. the main thing that worries me now was the slight amount of smoke coming out of the oil fill spot. the oil needs changed (its kinda bad) and when i did it last time i guess i didnt put the full amount because it was sorta on the low end of the dip stick, so i added more and it sits right at half of the cross section on the fill mark.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 04:15 pm
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Copy that! Get that oil changed, get all fluids up to level and start to monitor, see if it is consuming oil, coolant or trans fluid

Also a good idea to monitor mpg

Also do all the stuff Jamman said, analysis and leak down will tell the taleof the engine internals



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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2018 04:43 pm
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VelociRanger
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what about the small amount of smoke coming out of oil fill location? its not so bad that its pouring out, but if you put your face about 6 inches away from oil fill cap then you can see the smoke. possibly from old oil, or something else?



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 Posted: Mon Jul 2nd, 2018 05:16 am
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relatively normal.. I would have to ask if its even remotely as dense as cigarette smoke but I have a feeling its just the heat of the oil and engine escaping.

Now if it was coming out like someone was dragging on a vape under the hood, then Id be a concern if not more..



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 Posted: Tue Jul 3rd, 2018 02:17 pm
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Diesel guys use a ping pong ball and put it on the oil fill cap, it should dance around a bit but not be blown off
This is a blowby test for a 7.3 diesel...would be interesting to see what happens on your 4 banger

Best way to know the health of your engine is analysis of the oil as Jamman pointed out, short of that you can read the plugs and watch your fluids



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 Posted: Thu Jul 5th, 2018 10:27 pm
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My son's Escort always had engine oil half way up the stick, but it was never short any oil. Just wonder if some engines do this and some don't.

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