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Can OCVs Leak Oil


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My car recently died. Just before dying, the check engine flashed on and off, and then it immediately began to lose power before dying altogether. Upon inspection were a couple things of note: 1) there appears to have been a minor oil explosion (oil sprayed on bottom of hood and pooled on oil fill cap) on the engine's right side, just behind the oil fill cap, around the OCV area, and 2) the oil dipstick was sitting about an inch up from it's normal sealed location.

 

I had the car towed to a local guy (KC Autoworx in Kansas City, MO!) and his preliminary Dx is that the right OCV might be the culprit. He said that when he checked the oil level, the dipstick showed nothing. He filled it up with oil and it started, albeit with lots of smoke coming out. He said that while he, at this point, thinks it might be a failed OCV, he's never heard of them leaking oil.

 

My question: do these things leak, and if so, is it possible for them to minorly explode oil? If not, what could cause the minor oil explosion in that area of the engine? And why would my dipstick be sitting up about an inch from its normal sealed position?

 

Thanks!

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You sure all the oil on the hood came out the OCV instead of all out the dipstick?

 

I am no expert by far, but usually when the dipstick comes flying out is because of excessive crankcase pressure- which is supposed to be relieved by the PCV system. I would look at that.....

 

How much oil did the mechanic put back in? How religious have you been about checking your oil levels? Did he pull the CEL code?

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The usual reason for the dipstick to pop off is excessive crankcase pressure. This can be caused by two things (that I know of): stuck pcv valve OR broken ringland. The fact that the dipstick did not show any oil is not a good sign.

 

I would check the following at this point:

1. CEL codes if any

2. check the banjo bolt filters (one on the driver side behind the timing belt cover, and one on the passenger side bolted on the head).

3. check turbo for shaft play

4. do compression test

5. oil change and inspect oil for any metal shavings

 

I would not drive the car until you have at least checked these things.

 

Oh and to answer your question, I have not really heard of OCV leaking. They usually get stuck.

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With your engine blowing a lot of smoke (what color smoke?), I would think to side with xt2005bonbon that you might be looking at a very possible broken ringland- would explain the loss of oil, increased crankcase pressure, and smoke out the exhaust.

 

Good luck my friend- you are going to need it.....and about $6k.

 

Que MrTris famous quote in 5...4...3...2...1...

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Thanks for the replies, AF_3C2 and xt2005bonbon. The car is at the shop and will be further inspected in two days. But to answer the questions/issues you've raised:

 

1) I'm unsure what color the smoke color was, as the mechanic relayed this info (will learn this in two days);

2) I check oil weekly and always have to top off at least a 1/4 quart;

3) unsure if the mechanic pulled a CEL code, but I assume he did in raising the OCV as a possible issue (In the past, the CEL twice came on and it threw a P0021 code, indicating an issue w/ the OCV.)

 

Thanks again for your replies, guys. And AF_3C2, $6k, huh? But I'm not yet done paying off the car!

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OK. I've seen on the forum that several people who got either P0021 or P0011 or both, was a sign that the turbo was on its way out. So ask them to make sure to check for turbo shaft play, and clogged banjo bolt filters.

 

How many miles are you doing a week? Usually, we assume that it is OK for a block to burn up to a quart per OCI (3750 miles). If it burns less, then that is even better (mine for instance burns about 1/4 of a quart per OCI). But, if the engine goes through a quart per ~800-1000 miles or less, then that's probably a sign of failed ringland :(. So I am curious on how many miles you've been doing per week..

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1/4 quart weekly??? ouch, that is a lot.

 

Having low oil would more than likely set off the CEL for OCV- they are driven by oil pressure and lack thereof would cause them to malfunction.

 

How long since you bought it and from where? How many miles?

 

Compression test is going to tell you a lot at this point, and if you get decent numbers, do a leak down. But I have my doubts at this point....

 

$6k is an average price to rebuild a motor correctly and have the work performed in a qualified shop. If you can do the work yourself, a proper build up with parts might be closer to $4k.

 

Go read up on MaxCapacity and MrTris build threads- they have been in your shoes and went through all the learning pains to live and tell the tale. Reading their threads will tell you about common issues found and what to avoid.

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I've been doing between 150-250 miles/wk, and the occasional trip of 200+ miles.

 

I bought the car almost 5 months ago from a used car dealer and it's presently beyond any sort of warranty offered by the dealer. It has 153k miles.

 

Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'll be doing or repaying for a rebuild anytime soon--I'm studying for a bar exam. :-( But after the madness is over, I'd consider manning the f*ck up and doing a rebuild. I've been reading a lot of the rebuild posts on here to sort of mentally prepare for the worst-case scenario.

 

Thanks again for your replies!

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I see. Well, if you do about 200 miles and add 1/4 of a quart, that's like 1 quart per 800 miles :(. No good unless you have a major leak somewhere.

 

Let us know how it goes and btw, welcome to the forum and good luck with your exam.

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Sub'd. Would like to see this come out not needing a new shortblock, but its not looking good, if your oil consumption really is that high. You're basically into the quart per K club at this point, AMD all signs point to failed ringland. To be sure, I'd replace the PCV and make sure the valve breather hoses are also clear of any significant blockage. If your crankcase pressure still persists, via popped dipstick and/or oil consumption, you'll be safe assuming the worst, and should start prepping for a rebuild. At 153k, it's time to make a decision on that, anyway: Keep it and invest in its future, or gift it to some poor schmuck.
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Gotcha, and thanks, MrTris. I suspect in some month's time, I'll be thinking of a quote from your build thread: "I cried tonight, asking what I just got myself into. It all looks so easy on the internet!"

 

I'll keep this thread alive w/ updates, then will eventually begin a new one on the build.

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Quick update: I had the car towed home earlier, but before I did, had a conversation w/ the mechanic. He took the oil cap off and started it, and lots of white smoke came from both the oil fill tube and the exhaust. He talked about replacing the PCV valve and checking the related hoses for restrictions as an initial step. When I get some time, I'll do this.

 

RE: the white smoke coming from both the oil fill tube and exhaust, is this further indication of a failed ringland? Thanks!

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  • 8 months later...

Is this cylinder beyond repair? I can't tell if it's deeply scored or if the broken piston bits have fused to the walls. If it needs honed, can that be done without splitting the block?

http://s13.postimg.org/5vw674fjb/IMAG1276.jpg

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Is this cylinder beyond repair? I can't tell if it's deeply scored or if the broken piston bits have fused to the walls. If it needs honed, can that be done without splitting the block?

http://s13.postimg.org/5vw674fjb/IMAG1276.jpg

 

At this point, you would be splitting them for the rebuild anyways or going new short block. Price out their rebuild and reconditioning of the halves price and labor vs starting out with a new short block.

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, I fixed it...finally. Rebuilt the dang thing myself--pistons, bearings, gaskets/seals, hoses, timing kit, head bolts, turned crank, honed cylinders, etc, etc. First start was tonight, and it hummed along beautifully.

 

But catch this: I think I must have mis-connected some part of the air intake assembly on the driver side of the intercooler. The sound appears to be originating from there. When I give it a little boost under load, it has the hilarious sound of an elephant trumpet. Will have a look tmrw, but thought someone, somewhere may know.

 

Cheers.

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You have earned your man card. Congrats. Nice work.

 

Check the intercooler to throttle body connection, both ends, but most specifically at the throttle body. It is very easy to not quite seat that ring clamp right and get an air leak. It can make that sort of sound under boost.

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You have earned your man card. Congrats. Nice work.

 

Check the intercooler to throttle body connection, both ends, but most specifically at the throttle body. It is very easy to not quite seat that ring clamp right and get an air leak. It can make that sort of sound under boost.

 

:whore:

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Okay, I fixed it...finally. Rebuilt the dang thing myself--pistons, bearings, gaskets/seals, hoses, timing kit, head bolts, turned crank, honed cylinders, etc, etc. First start was tonight, and it hummed along beautifully.

 

But catch this: I think I must have mis-connected some part of the air intake assembly on the driver side of the intercooler. The sound appears to be originating from there. When I give it a little boost under load, it has the hilarious sound of an elephant trumpet. Will have a look tmrw, but thought someone, somewhere may know.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Nice!

 

If the intercooler connection on the driver side (to intake) is not clamped down then it'll sound like a screeching banshee under boost. :spin:

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A bit late for you, but if anyone else has this same question...

 

If you look up "wrecked block" in the dictionary, it should have this picture next to it.

 

Is this cylinder beyond repair? I can't tell if it's deeply scored or if the broken piston bits have fused to the walls. If it needs honed, can that be done without splitting the block?

http://s13.postimg.org/5vw674fjb/IMAG1276.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
A bit late for you, but if anyone else has this same question...

 

If you look up "wrecked block" in the dictionary, it should have this picture next to it.

 

Nah, the block was definitely not wrecked. I just had my machinist hone it to 10 over. Good as almost quite new.

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