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
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.
And depending on the car, oil flow and oil pressure aren't always
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).
"At first there was nothing. Then God said 'Let there be light!' Then there was
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
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
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.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your
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,
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." (Voltaire)
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.