bad oil leak from head gasket? - Saturn Forum - Saturn Enthusiasts Forums


Saturn 3 Door Coupes SC1 and SC2

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 05-14-2018, 09:06 AM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default bad oil leak from head gasket?

In December 2017, I drove literally 90+ mph, trying to make it to hospice as my mother was taking her last breath. RPMs about 4200 for 20 min straight.

A week or so later, during a routine fluids check, I was down a full quart of oil. The only time in 70,000 mi on this reman engine any significant oil has vanished. I've needed a cam cover gasket for several years and got that replaced, figuring I was pushing oil past the gasket.

Last weekend, I drove from Atlanto from Pittsburgh 660 mi. I want through 2 quarts of 10w30.

After taking it back to the mechanic who did the valve cover gasket, he commented that as soon as you replace the weakest gasket, the next week is gasket will start to leak if it is already compromised. He said it appeared to be leaking from the head gasket on the side of the engine facing the front of the car. I believe him because I looked and that is where the oil was still leaking. l actually got some in my mouth.

I pulled the plugs. None were oil-soaked. I did a compression test wide open throttle cold and got 195 + 200 cross the across the cylinders evenly. I did not bother doing a hot test.

In my experience and that of others, that S car dohc engines start burning oil slowly and the consumption increases. However mine was quite sudden. Given that the head gasket is now leaking oil, I am wondering if the head gasket was already compromised back in December from my crazy driving and did not seem to leak much driving around town.

However driving at 3200 RPM for 3 hours at a time seems to be pushing oil.

I find it hard to believe that I could freeze all four oil control rings at the same time that severely although they were all exposed to the same oil and same temperatures in December.
No oil fouled plugs, no misfires, no smoke out exhaust, no codes.

My question is does the head gasket oil leak sound like a reasonable explanation or am I missing something? As in am I way off? I will need to drive this vehicle the 660 mi back and I am thinking if I keep up with the oil, the lower end should stay lubricated. I am not losing any coolant. Nor is anything milkshaking.

The top-end is not making any noise and neither is the timing chain. The car runs quite smoothly at idle. My biggest concern would be reduced oil to the Head. Am I on track or off base?

Last edited by derf; 05-16-2018 at 10:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-14-2018, 09:29 AM
02 LW300's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 982
Default

How does the crankcase vent system function in your car? It sounds like excess crankcase pressure pushing oil out at high rpm. There are oil return ports in the middle and at the belt end on the front side of the engine. There are also three oil retuns evely spaced across the back. It looks like oil supply to the head is in the rear on the chain end of the gasket.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-14-2018, 07:30 PM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default

Pcv valve outputs back to intake and is mixed with air fuel and goes back to the intake manifold. I'll check that first.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:09 AM
02 LW300's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 982
Default

What I have found is on a car with too much blowby the oil gets pushed into the air cleaner and burned by the engine. You usually see the smoke out the exhaust under load. Metros have oil fart issues which is partially caused by poor crankcase breather design. The pcv valve is in a t shaped hose between the valve cover and the air cleaner. In my opinion there needs to be a loop between clean air in and oil/air back to the intake through a pcv or metered oriface. If the crankcase cannot vent properly then you can get an external leak.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-15-2018, 03:20 AM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default

Sorry -- I did not describe the full PCV system properly

Here's the setup under the hood.



PCV valve itself vents directly back towards the intake. But there is another unmetered line connected to the intake air ducting between the throttle body and the air cleaner.
And of course, it slopes downhill towards the air filter. So I understand that if the PCV is not properly relieving the pressure, it's being relieved by pushing oil or vapor to the intake ducting. The combination of the unmetered positive pressure and the engine vac pulling on that port as the intake air heads to the throttle body make for a mess if the PCV is malfunctioning.

I want to check right now but it's 4 am here, my niece and her a hole husband finally had their impending divorce blowout encounter, and I get to pick up the pieces and write up the mess tomorrow

oh, that would be today.

Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-15-2018, 09:32 AM
02 LW300's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 982
Default

Keep it between add and full on your way home and deal with it there. Good luck with your niece.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-16-2018, 11:15 AM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default

That's what I did on the way down. Doesn't help to pull 350 lb of tools up and down those W Va

I bought a new PCV and hose set in case one is crapped up inside. Mine are well past their prime. I bought an AC Delco PCV as the aftermarkets are known to pass too much oil to start with.
--------=-----
THey've reached agreement pending one clause in the settlement agreement that defers the entire decision to the Judge since his child support offer is absurdly low.

I have put almost $2k into what is legally still his pickup truck without so much as a thank you (she uses it and it will be hers but is in his name)

Ironically, he tried to move out last night and the starter went down hill. I got it started but it only stats warm on every 3rd ign turn.
I don't have time to pull of the intake manifold to ge to it so the work is getting done as we speak
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-17-2018, 06:54 AM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default

Pulled old.pvc valve. Definitely crudded up internally. Compared to an identical ac Delco replacement PCV,.the innards.were.gummed.up and inhibiting.full motion of the inner portion. Still had some rattle to it but not full motion and not unless you shook it hard. I know this is not a definitive test.

There were traces of oil in the upper (output) port of the PVC. The air filter and ducting showed no oil whatsoever.

Based on the range in which the PVC valve was gummed up, I don't believe it was ever closing all the way at low rpm (high vac pressure, and was sticking open at higher RPMs (lower vac pressure) but was open and sticking open too far, allowing too much vapor back into the Mani to burn. I'll do a throttle body cleaning and spray way in there and through the inlet and let it drain out and hopefully take a pic. Won't know if it is the complete solution till I start bsck or maybe I'll find some interstate and do a test run.

This is what happens when you allow your mind to focus on the symptoms and draw the worst case scenario (me) without considering ALL of the possibilities (Andy). I am a very analytical person by nature and academic training. That does not mean I am perfect at diagnosing vehicle problems.

I have been trying to follow follow Andy's lead by considering ALL the possibilities first. I'm getting better (at least I think I am), but I have a long ways to go.

Last edited by derf; 05-17-2018 at 07:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-18-2018, 09:00 AM
Rubehayseed's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Posts: 3,474
Default

So, did the PCV valve replacement work for you derf. Or have you tested it? I generally replace the PCV valve when I do every other tune up. They're cheap enough that even if the old one rattles, a new one is just good preventative maintenance.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-24-2018, 11:58 PM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,147
Default

Well, I've been busy at the house taking care of pre listing shayt, like cleaning, doing 7 years of landscaping maintenance in 2 days, relaying pavers making a walkway to a lawsuit they were so f'd up.
Setting up house powerwashing, Orkin to kill the 3 billion ants on the property.(my lord I have never seen so many ants. These SOB's bite or I'm getting chewed on by spiders I can't see.

I replaced the entire PVC "system". PVC valve (AC Delco). PCV hose to intake, and crankcase vent output hose to fresh air intake before throttle body. My hoses were well past death but I remember trying to find them 10 years ago and could not.

I am now thoroughly confused. The airflow is backwards.

I'm getting pressure pulses of air coming OUT the orifice that connects to the air intake piping: that should be PULLING IN fresh air, no?
The pressure pulses get stronger out that orifice with increasing RPM. This backwards flow would indeed push oil into the air ducting system -- but there isn't any there.

I cleaned the throttle body including the long piece (intake plenum? never knew what it was called, still don't) and the port where the hose from the top of the PCV valve to (mystery part name after throttle body). I did not remove it from the car but doused it internally with throttle body cleaner.. Throttle plate not gunked up. IAT fine.

Since the air output increases at the supposed input at high RPM, and it puffs air out the input at idle, that there is something fundamentally wrong here.
As I understand it, at idle, engine vac is high, PCV "sucked" almost closed. At higher RPMs with the throttle plate further open, lower engine vac and PCV should partially open to vent pressure, sending blowby to be reburned.

If the flow through the system Is backwards, then either the engine vac situation is not as it should be ( no of course I didn't bring my tester to fix up the damn house), or there is something funky going on somewhere.

The car drives fine as is.

I have a spare PCV valve (I always order two of things I'll need later). I'll put that in and see what gives.
Parts as spec'd from RockAuto. They don't seem to make the original anymore.


I DID just have my valve cover gasket replaced.
Is the head somehow "overly sealed' (awful terminology) wrong such that there is so much pressure building up under the valve cover that the vapor flow is just taking the path of least resistance and heading out the unmetered AIR INTAKE orifice in he valve cover?

Thanks for your help. I drive back Sat nite - Sun so any input would be appreciated before then.
Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad Oil Leak - Need Help Locating It! TheBeater Saturn Ion 8 03-03-2016 07:30 AM
sw2 overheating, head gasket leak, how to keep cool cjj Saturn S Series Sedan 2 05-02-2011 09:58 PM
oil leak from head WEST403 Saturn S Series Sedan 1 12-17-2009 09:14 PM
Bad head gasket on a 95SL2, what to do??? Mera Saturn S Series Sedan 3 09-01-2007 09:37 AM
new rings and head gasket jonni 95 SL2 General Tech Help 4 09-13-2005 04:18 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:06 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.