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Old 11-01-2000, 04:53 PM
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I just answered a post regarding oil consumption on a 420SEL. Now my question is this, my car is consuming about 1.5 quarts every 1000 miles or so... I only notice a blue smoke when the engine is warm, mainly when I accelerate away from a light after sitting for a minute or two. I do notice more smoke if I sit at the light for a longer period of time, say 3-5 minutes, under the same circumstances - accerleration. Would this be valve seals/guides or worn rings. There is a slight shaking when the engine is at idle, but not very much, used to be no shaking. Performance and fuel mileage have not suffered at all, car still runs and accerlerates well with plenty of power. No noticeable noises from the valve train either. Any suggestions on where to start and how expensive are seals to replace.
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Old 11-01-2000, 08:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
Pull the plugs and see what they are wearing for deposits. if they are oil fouled and cruddy, that's the reason for your idle problems. This will clean up as you cruise at highway speeds. 1.5 quarts/1000 is excessive. Have the compression checked. If that's OK, it still could be an oil control ring or two. Best bet is valve seals need to be replaced. BTW what's the mileage??

Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
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Old 11-01-2000, 09:10 PM
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Right. Oil gets into the combustion chamber one of two ways..either by the piston rings, or via the guide seals. (Rarely also by an oil passage adjacent to the cylinder head/block interface...i.e. defective gasket). A compression check will give you a rough idea of the clearance piston skirt vs cylinder wall, altho if ok, it doesnt completely rule out broken rings or oil control rings stuck in grooves. Puffs of oil from idle in my humble experience (depends on mileage here) usually is the guide seals. These are rubber seals that harden up at 125-150K miles, and begin to leak oil into the combustion chamber, then when you load the engine up and bring the rpm up, it blows the oil out, hence the puffs of smoke. The rubber just hardens up over time. It clears up because the oil is not pooling in the area above the guide seal, after takeoff.

Unless this engine is unusual, you should be able to change the seals without pulling the head. You use an air fitting at the plug hole and keep the chamber pressurized, while you depress the valve spring, remove the keepers, and replace the seals. The only downside of this is if there is excessive clearance guide to valve, you won't be fixing this at this time. I have found that this works for engines with 100-150K on them or so. If the mileage suggests new guides or valves (poor sealing of valves, say burned valve edges, would show up as poor compression), then the head needs to come off, and this would be the ideal time to do the valves and guide seals.

I would do a compression check, and depending on the results, and mileage, consider either the guide seals, and/or valve job. I would pull the pistons out after ruling out the top end. If this car has mega-mileage, maybe so.

( are sure some of this oil loss is not simply leaking out the bottom somewhere when the engine heats up?)

hope this helps dave
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