Sudden Smoke out or the Vents

Hi all..... driving along suddenly I had smoke out the vents and then per chance looking at my oil pressure gauge/light I noticed no pressure. shutting
the engine off and looking at the engine compartment I noticed oil splattered on the passsenger side. Seemed to be coming (wild guess-estimate here) from roughly mid engine... ie the side of the block was wet and the oil seemed particularly concentrated near the dip stick area.... I'm guessing my head gasket let go.... am I close?? The enge ran just fine right until I shut it off. Turned out I was just returning from the car wash where I had steam cleaned the driver side of the compartment near airfilter/block because there was a lot of oil in that area from blow back coming out of the breather tube (connecting to the air filter housing) that had broken....
Any chance the problem could be simpler than the head gasket? It is definitely not the valve cover gasket on top......
cheers, thanks for any feedback
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WHAT ARE YOU DRIVING??????
What engine???

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good point.... too excited about all of this. It's a '93 190e 2.3 Well I went back to look at it a bit more after I calmed down and the engine had a chance to cool off and I noticed that most of the wetness happend to be just below the vavlve cover seal ..... made no sense to me that oil should spew out there in huge quantities.... well I looked at the oil puddles and realized that I lost maybe a liter or a tad more but no more.. and I had just returned from washing the gadetry below the air filter because the oil breather tube had broken and oil had been accumulating there ..... in any case 'I decided stupidly It seems' to plug the breather opening on the valve cover and, for an older engine, it appears there must have been a fair amount of blow-by to help the oil escape on a weak part of the valve cover .... to top it all off, I am guessing that my oil level must have been pracariously low already. so, keeping everythin crossed, I hope to be OK. Meanwhile I put some more oil and in drove the car home without problems and the breather hole unplugged. At least that is what must have happend..... I hope.
Interesting to me is that the oil pressure still shows fine when the oil is as low as a liter or so.... kind of suprising if this is correct.
cheers, guenter

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Oil pressure and oil volume are not necessarily related.

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Very good point. Although, if the volume gets low enough that the pickup tube is dry, THEN you will see it on the pressure gauge...
Marty
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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 11:25:31 -0700, Martin Joseph

And depending on the car, oil flow and oil pressure aren't always related either.
I had an older MGB that used a spring-loaded bypass valve in the oil system. Whenever the oil pressure got to 55 psi (which was basically at any speed much above idle on a healthy engine), the valve would open up and port the excess oil back to the pan.
One of my oil cooler lines got obstructed and was totally blocking the flow of oil to the engine. But since the oil pressure gauge sender was *upstream* of the obstruction, the gauge happily continued to read 55 psi while the main bearings were wearing themselves down to the copper (which took about a minute).
--
Scott Gardner

"At first there was nothing. Then God said 'Let there be light!' Then there was
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fair enough, but it does suggest that the oil pick up tube in the sump is "very close" to the bottom ..... but isn't that where sluge will accumulate over time ..... I remember this sludge well from my VW oil changes
cheers, guenter
>

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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 18:46:55 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

Most cars only have about 1/8" - 1/4" clearance between the oil pump pickup and the bottom of the pan, to prevent cavitating the oil pump while cornering/accelerating/braking.
Sludge near the pickup usually isn't a problem, because any oil that comes close to the pickup gets sucked up, rather than having a chance to settle in the bottom of the pan near the pickup.
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Scott Gardner

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Scott, good point .... somewhat off topic, any idea what the max remaining oil might be if the dipstick shows nothing?
cheers
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On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 21:53:38 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

Too many variables for me to even guess. Would depend on the length of the dipstick relative to the depth of the pan, and the shape/size of the pan near the bottom (are there any kick-outs, funky bumps, etcetera).
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Scott Gardner

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." (Voltaire)
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