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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Internal Oil Leak?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 dennyt


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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

'94 Loyale SPFI with 249,000 miles on the original engine, located in Seattle, WA.

A month ago I noticed some stumbling when starting the car first thing in the morning. Replaced the spark plugs and wires. Front left plug showed white flakey buildup, the rest are fine.

Replacing plugs and wires didn't fix the problem, and now it's getting worse. The car is definitely running on 3 cylinders for about 30 seconds after I start it up after letting it sit for 4-8 hours. Today I finally drove it in the daylight and saw a puff of blue smoke in the rearview mirror when the 4th cylinder finally started firing. Once it starts firing, it runs like a champ. It's not burning enough oil to get me worried yet, but I guess I should start buying parts to fix this soon.

So I'm guessing I have an internal head gasket oil leak or a bad valve stem seal, and it leaks oil into the cylinder while it sits parked. Any thoughts from the gurus out there?


#2 MilesFox


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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

I would suspect a intake gasket leak first. the #4 cyl may be lean. Intakes do fail and simulate HG problems, but without the compression loss.

The valve stem seals may be the source of your oil burning. Try replacing the PCV valve.

#3 silverback


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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:43 PM

Your timing belts: age and mileage??

#4 dennyt


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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

Just replaced the timing belts and the PCV valve and hoses before this problem started. Cam timing is definitely right as it is making good power and running smoothly, except for the first 30 seconds after startup when it runs on 3 cylinders.

Thanks for the tip on intake gaskets, I hadn't thought of that.

Edited by dennyt, 18 January 2013 - 01:21 AM.

#5 dennyt


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

Well, this problem seems to have gone away on its own. Maybe it's the temperatures in the upper 30's rather than upper 20's. Car starts and immediately runs smoothly. Huh.

#6 presslab


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:16 PM

You probably had a dirty fuel injector leaking down when you turned the car off. Whatever intake valve was open would allow the fuel to dribble in. Or maybe it's something else.

#7 dennyt


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

Ooh, I like this idea the most. I noticed a raw fuel smell when starting, but thought it was a symptom not the cause of the misfire.

Also, my fuel mileage went way down from 30 to 26. I was chalking it up to cold temps, snow tires, and driving fast to the mountains with a full load of people, aka Ski Season.

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